ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-PLUS (Wi-Fi) Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 3 weeks ago
A Closer Look
It’s an attractive looking motherboard, and if you’ve seen other recent TUF series motherboards from ASUS, you’ll notice it looks broadly the same as any others they’ve done. That’s a good thing, it means that you get the same aesthetic throughout that range, so it’ll match up with other TUF Gaming Alliance hardware in a similar fashion, including memory, coolers, graphics cards, and even chassis.
Surrounding the CPU socket, you’ll find their 12+2 DrMOS Power Stages, Digi+ VRM and some nice and large heatsinks. I prefer full fins rather than the black metal ones, but honestly, they’re got a good amount of mass to them to get the job done.
The CPU can draw power from the 8-pin power header at the top. However, there’s an optional/additional 4-pin to help you drive the more powerful CPUs and provide overclocking voltage stability.
Further down the board, you’ll find two M.2 mounts with NVMe storage and Optane drives. The topmost one is exposed, while the lower one is under a pre-fitted heatsink/shield. There are two full-size PCIe lanes, but only the top one comes armoured. However, you do get three additional 1x slots should you need them.
You can add additional storage via the six SATA ports on the right side of the board. There are four ports forward facing here.
Plus an additional two in the recess cut-away on the right.
The rear I/O shield isn’t pre-installed, which is a shame ,but you do get both HDMI and Display Port here. There’s a good range of USB ports, including a Type-C, and networking comes from the Intel WiFi 6 AX201 module with 802.11ax, as well as the Intel I219-V LAN.