The previous generation of Intel Core processors still has plenty of power on offer. If you pick up a 10th or 11th Gen Intel CPU, you need the best Intel LGA 1200 motherboard compatible with Comet Lake and Alder Lake chips. Our roundup of Z490 chipset boards covers everything from the best overall board to both extremes of a budget.
For getting the most out of your cash, the Z490 AORUS Ultra is the top choice for an LGA 1200 motherboard. Its build quality and components are high quality and the feature set is fantastic. Supporting up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM and sporting three M.2 sockets for super-fast SSD storage, this board will pair your CPU with some of the fastest memory around.
The Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi is still a reasonably affordable board with plenty to offer. It features the usual BIOS luxuries from MSI such as RGB and fan controls, the latter perfect for testing overclocked components. Two M.2 sockets and four DIMM slots provide plenty of options for storage, and the onboard Wi-Fi 6 makes for easy networking.
Saving space without compromise, the ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming board doesn't skip on features. Four M.2 sockets, four DIMM memory slots, and USB-C ports give you plenty of options for expansion. Even at its size, this microATX board still includes onboard Wi-Fi 6, plus HDMI and DisplayPort connections for monitors. A powerful yet compact motherboard.
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus
With incredible value for its price point, the Z490 Gaming Plus still packs a premium feature set. Its four DIMM slots support up to 128GB of memory at 5000MHz overclocked, paired with two M.2 sockets for SSD storage. If Wi-Fi is something you can do without, there are plenty of reasons to go with this budget-friendly board.
This motherboard was built for overclockers, featuring a wealth of tweaking options in its BIOS. An incredible array of ports, including nine USB-A and one USB-C, plus three M.2 ports give you plenty of storage options. Pair all this with 10GB Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6, and it's clear to see that were no expenses spared. Hence the price.
Choosing the best Intel LGA 1200 motherboard
Sticking with the previous generation of Intel processors is a smart move that will likely save you money. 10th Gen Comet Lake and 11th Gen Rocket Lake chips are compatible with these Z490 boards, with the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Ultra taking the best overall choice.
For the enthusiast gamer pushing their hardware to its potential, the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula is simply one of the best motherboards out there. It might be expensive, but it will carry your gaming rig for years to come, or at least until you decide to upgrade again.
Ben Wilson is a freelance writer working for Windows Central with technical expertise and a background in electronics retail. Fueling a technology and video game obsession with coffee, you can usually find him behind one screen or another.
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