ASRock Z590 EXTREME (90-MXBF60-A0UAYZ)
While not Extreme – certainly good value at 200 USD
This Z590 motherboard from ASRock should be Extreme, as that’s in the naming. Realistically this socket LGA1200 and Z590 chipset-based product is a bit more ‘normal’ than others in terms of features. And that shows in pricing as we leave the 500 USD marker behind us, and drop to 200 USD/ EUR. All Comet Lake and Rocket Lake generation processors are supported on this board; it’s about performance and aesthetics, dual 8-pin connectors feed the CPU, and for VRM design, this motherboard has 14 phases backed by 50A power stages. The 11th generation into Core desktop processors is running up-to 8 cores, which’s two down from 10th generation processors. Likely, Intel needed the transistor space on 14nm for the increase in IPC, bigger Tier1 and 2 caches, and of course, the new Xe-based integrated graphics solution. The processor socket sticks towards 1200 pins, aka LGA1200. After a BIOS update, Z490 will also be compatible with 11th Gen processors, be sure to check out compatibility with your motherboard manufacturers. Among the main features, we have HyperThreading through the entire line of Core products, so that’s from Core i3 to Core i9, up to 8 cores and 16threads, and up to 5.3GHz a single-core boost if your cooling allows the processor to do so. The new Z590 motherboards will last for Comet Lake-S (last gen) and Rocket Lake-S (11th-gen).
Being Z590, if you pair the mobo with a Gen 11 (Rocket Lake-S) processor, you’ll get 16 lanes of Gen 4 for graphics cards and 4 lane gen4 available for a nice fast NVMe SSD. It also has and has nice cooled M2 slots, four of them! (only one can be used at PCIe Gen 4. Z590 allows USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 from the chipset. The USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 standard offers speeds of up to 20 Gb/s. The new Z590 has native support for 3200 MHz DDR4 memory, but the OC model can run upwards to 5333 MHz with a compatible memory kit.
As mentioned, the ASRock Z590 EXTREME is a product aimed at the value segment; at 200 USD, you get roughly the same performance as the premium board. However, compromises come at more limited features. Just three M2 slots, an ALC1220 audio CODEC, the lack of Thunderbolt and WIFI are among them. However, you still get that baseline performance and plenty of connectivity, as well as a 2.5 GigE Ethernet (Dragon RTL8125BG). The dark-looking and themed motherboard can be customized LEDs-wise. The motherboard offers your typical x16 PCI-Express slots (with Rocket lake x16 Gen 4.0 lanes are supported), good outfitted rear IO, and LED configurable options. ASRock kept some stuff relatively simple, the ALX1200 CODEC over the new 7.1 Realtek ALC4082 one; also, the VRM design has weaker power stages (50A). The board, as stated, is positioned in a high-end segment and comes with that ASRock design and feel.