ASUS ROG STRIX-I Gaming Z490 Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 5 days ago
A Closer Look
When it comes to mini-ITX motherboard, you literally don’t have a lot of room to work with. However, ASUS has managed to cram a LOT of kick-ass features on to such a small motherboard, and still managed to make it look clean, stylish and rather beautiful. That’s mostly down to the rear shield, which extends down the whole board and hides all the audio hardware, some of the heatsinks, and boring stuff out of the way.
The CPU is well looked after thanks to an 8+2 Power Stage design with a triple-decker heatsink design as well as a heat pipe bridging the two heatsinks to ensure maximum performance. Pretty impressive fo a small motherboard, and it looks great too, especially with that huge extended rear I/O shield.
Power comes from a single 8-pin, but again, for a mini-ITX setup, that’s more than enough for anything in the 10th Gen range.
This is really cool, as it’s a triple decker configuration or M.2 mounts and heatsinks, as well as audio hardware. There are two M.2 mounts under this funky looking raised heatsink.
However, as you can see, they’ve used the available space to cram in their flagship audio hardware, and a large bank of gold capacitors too.
There’s also a break-out board offering up another 5v RGB header, and FP-Audio.
Below that, you’ll also find a fully armoured PCIe slot, which is perfect for taking the strain of a modern bulky graphics card.
The rear I/O is super clean, offering up both HDMI and DP outputs at the top. There’s BIOS Flash Black built-in here too, with one of the USB ports marked out for that. You get eight USB ports, including one of them as a Type-C. As for networking, get you a choice of GbE LAN and the latest Intel WiFi 6 technology. Finally, three gold-plated audio jacks at the bottom. Of course, you can see the rear shield is pre-installed too, so there’s no chance you’ll forget to install that.