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IEEE 802.11

The IEEE 802 constitutes a set of standards laid down by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to manage Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) and Local Area Networks (LANs).

802, as a name itself, is of no particular importance. IEEE assigned the number to this project simply because it was the next number available to them. Now, we can imagine 802.11 to be a mere subset of the IEEE 802.

The IEEE 802.11 indicates merely some media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) protocols. These protocols are a requirement for the implementation of wireless local area networks (WLANs) at different frequencies. We commonly refer to the WLAN as Wi-Fi.

IEEE 802.11ax / Wi-Fi 6

Since its conception, the IEEE 802.11 standard has seen some major upgrades. Now, once again, the computing world is poised for another major upgrade in Wi-Fi networking. At present, the 802.11ax has succeeded its predecessor, the 802.11ac. The change ensures that the ever-growing and diverse number of Wi-Fi devices are less of a burden on your broadband connection.

Unlike a decade ago, when users might have had a limited number of devices plugged into their router, today, we want to be able to connect tens of gadgets to our Wi-Fi network. These could be our smartphones, smart TVs, gaming consoles, laptops, and even our bulbs and lights. The number is sure to grow. This trend has been fueled up chiefly by the advent of the internet of things (IoT).

IEEE 802.11ax’s benefit will not only be limited to corporations, which can have thousands of Wi-Fi clients (Fixed and Roaming) linked their network. Home users are also going to benefit a lot from this network change by experiencing fast file transfers, streaming, and coverage.

Enhancements

As we can have myriads of networks in our surroundings, the 802.11ax is going to reduce interference making use of novel techniques and, as a result, improve the overall throughput. Crowded environments are the ones most affected by signal interference. Hence, Wi-Fi 6 is going to be particularly useful for schools, universities, and other such places.

The 802.11ax standard is capable of delivering several Gb/s to several devices simultaneously on the same channel. It is going to help people in streaming 4K content and transferring it across computers at a 40 % faster rate than before. To make full use of the multi Gbps connections, users won’t remain constrained by slower Wi-Fi as before. They will be able to use broadband connections to their full potential.

While using the predecessor of the 802.11ax standard, users were able to attain a max data transfer rate of 3.5 Gbps across an 802.11ac router. The Wi-Fi 6 standard has bumped up this rate to a whopping 14 Gbps.

There are two frequency bands, the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz, that are available for Wi-Fi signals transmission worldwide. The 2.4 GHz is quite crowded already with baby monitors, doorbells, and whatnot.

Hence, most Wi-Fi standards improved transmission over the 5 GHz band. Wi-Fi 6 is different from its predecessors as it has upgraded data transmission over both these bands.

Motherboards with Wi-Fi 6

A Motherboard is one of the most crucial components in the entire computer system. Unsurprisingly, every person looking to upgrade or build new rigs will want their hands on a motherboard that’s best suits their needs.

Keeping this in view, we have strived to compile a list of topnotch motherboards from different categories, suitable for various requirements of users. One unique feature that each one of these motherboards boasts of is the support for the all-new WiFi 6. As the feature is somewhat novel, remarkably, a meek number of the motherboards available right now have support for Wi-Fi 802.11ax.

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (WI-FI)Wireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Memory: 4x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gbps, 3x M.2
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1
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MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon WIFIWireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: AMD AM4, AMD X570
CPU: 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen
Memory: 4x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gbps, 2x M.2
Expansion Slots: 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
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ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (WI-FI)Wireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: AMD AM4, AMD B550
CPU: 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen
Memory: 4x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gbps, 2x M.2
Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1
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ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus (WI-FI)Wireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Memory: 4x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gbps, 2x M.2
Expansion Slots: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1
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GIGABYTE Z490 Vision DWireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Memory: 4x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gbps, 3x M.2
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1
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ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I GamingWireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Form Factor: Mini ITX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Memory: 2x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4
Storage: 4x SATA 6Gbps, 2x M.2
Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16
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MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge Wi-FiWireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Form Factor: Micro-ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Memory: 4x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4
Storage: 4x SATA 6Gbps, 2x M.2
Expansion Slots: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
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GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MasterWireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: AMD AM4, AMD X570
CPU: 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen
Memory: 4x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gbps, 3x M.2
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1
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ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming IIWireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 2066, Intel X299
CPU: Intel Core-X Series
Memory: 8x DIMM, Max. 256GB, DDR4
Storage: 8x SATA 6Gbps, 3x M.2
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1
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ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme TRX40Wireless: WIFI 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Form Factor: E-ATX
Socket, Chipset: AMD sTRX4, AMD TRX40
CPU: 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper
Memory: 8x DIMM, Max. 256GB, DDR4
Storage: 8x SATA 6Gbps, 5x M.2
Expansion Slots: 4x PCIe 4.0 x16
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1. ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) – The Best Motherboard with Wi-Fi 6

There are different motherboards released in 2020, but the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) tops our list of the best motherboard with Wi-Fi 6. It’s a premium motherboard, sitting above the mid-range segment, featuring latest-generation specs and robust design to bring the best of the Comet Lake processors. It uses the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 module to enable Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 wireless connectivity.

The motherboard comes with Z490 chipset and LGA 1200 socket, which supports the 10th generation Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors. Leverage both Turbo Boost 2.0 and Turbo Boost 3.0 technologies to get extreme overclocking limits for your gaming or editing rig.

Design

ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) is an ATX motherboard measuring 12 x 9.5 inches. It comes with a black-themed design covered with armor and heatsinks for durability and cooling. It has RGB lighting on the I/O cover and chipset heatsink powered by Aura Sync. With an additional addressable RGB header, you can implement customized lighting effects to match your PC build.

The motherboard features 14+2 teamed power stages to deliver stable and accurate power to the CPU and other critical motherboard components. With 60amps 14 phases directly to the CPU, Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) produces enough power to overclock the 10th Gen processors without issues. That allows you to get higher FPS at high resolutions during gaming.

Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) implements good thermals for high-efficiency cooling. It has a massive, extended VRM heatsink that transfers heat from the power delivery module – MOSFET and chokes. A large diameter heatpipe help transfers heat from the Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) to the extended heatsink for improved cooling efficacy. The motherboard also features a dedicated heatsink to the three M.2 drives and another for the chipset.

ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) robust cooling solution ensures high performance at low temperatures and supports future upgrades with multiple fan and water-cooling headers.

Features

Onboard is three PCIe x16 expansion slots running at x16, x8/x8, or x8/x8/+x4. The motherboard supports multiple GPU setups with NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX. However, when using a single GPU, ensure to install it to the PCIEx16 slot for the best performance.

Four RAM slots support up to 128Gb of system memory and speeds over 4800MHz. For storage, three M.2 slots support both SATA and PCIe based NVMe drives for fast read/write speeds. The motherboard offers an additional six SATA 6Gbps ports for increased storage capacity with support for RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays.

Designed for gamers and enthusiasts, ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) features ultrafast connectivity options, including Wi-Fi 6 and 5Gbps Ethernet. Choose the perfect bandwidth for online gaming, streaming 4K videos, or transferring files. Other options include Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.1, and 20Gbps USB-C port for connecting peripherals.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4b
  • 1 x 5Gb Ethernet (RJ45)
  • 1 x 1Gb Ethernet (RJ45)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 1 x Clear CMOS Button
  • 1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button
  • 1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
  • 5 x HD Audio Jacks
OUR TAKE
Enjoy next-gen ultrafast connectivity with the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi). It’s the best motherboard with Wi-Fi 6 in 2020. It’s an outstanding option for gamers and enthusiasts with a robust design and unique cooling capabilities. With its high-quality power delivery system and support for multiple GPUs, the Hero is easy to recommend to power users looking for the best performance.
PROS

  • Ultrafast connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 and 5GbE LAN
  • Stable power delivery
  • Three heatsinked M.2 slots
  • Good layout
  • 10 USB ports on the back panel
  • 20Gbps USB-C port
CONS

  • Have to remove GPU to access M.2 slots
 

2. MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi – Best AMD Motherboard with Wi-Fi 6

AMD has been playing catch up with Intel for a long time, and they are finally on par with the processor giant. AMD CPUs are now as faster as Intel, and the best part, affordable. The MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi is an outstanding AMD motherboard with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. It’s a mid-range board but with lots of customization options, robust design, and the latest connectivity standards.

The motherboard supports processors based on the AM4 socket, including 2nd and 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs and 2nd Gen Ryzen with Radeon processors. It uses X570 chipset, making it compatible with future Ryzen processors with the Zen 3 architecture.

Design

MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi features an ATX form factor and measures 12 x 9.6 inches in size. It comes with a uni-black color with some silver accents. It has outstanding aesthetics and lots of customization with Mystic Light RGB. Like most motherboards, you get a pre-installed I/O shield for safe handling and prevent electrostatic discharge damage.

Since Carbon Wi-Fi is a fully-featured gaming motherboard, cooling is essential. MSI includes a heatsink with a fan to actively cool the chipset and ensure optimal performance under intense workloads. It has a heavy-duty heatsink on the VRM to ensure optimal working temperatures for the MOSFET, and the exclusive FROZR heatsink on the two M.2 slots to prevent SSD throttling. Install more cooling solution via the fan and liquid cooling headers to improve the cooling efficiency for even better performance.

Features

The motherboard comes with an ATX form factor but has fewer expansion slots compared to other ATX motherboards. It has two full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slots running at x16 and x8/x4 and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. All are reinforced with steel armor to support large and heavy graphics cards.

MSI equips the motherboard with four memory slots supporting up to 128GB, with 32GB on each slot. With its exclusive DDR4 Boost 2 technology, the motherboard achieves top memory speeds and overclocking up to 4400MHz, suitable for competitive gaming. However, the motherboard only has two M.2 slots but does include extra six SATA ports for more storage capacity.

MSI choosing to include only two PCIe x16 and dual M.2 slots is a dealbreaker for power users considering competitors feature triple slots for the same price.

MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi uses Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 module to provide Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and Bluetooth 5.1. It has a 10Gbps Type-C port and Gigabit Ethernet to wrap up the connectivity options.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen2
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4
  • 1 x GbE LAN (RJ45)
  • 1 x PS/2 (Keyboard / Mouse)
  • 5 x HD Audio Connectors
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 1 x Flash BIOS Button
  • Wireless / Bluetooth Antenna
OUR TAKE
MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi is a feature-rich AMD motherboard with a few caveats. It stacks well among mid-range motherboards with Wi-Fi 6, PCI Express Gen 4, and a robust cooling system. It lacks some vital specs like 2.5GbE and more expansion slots, but unless you’re a power user, the board has all the features you need to build a powerful gaming rig.
PROS

  • Excellent cooling solution
  • Great aesthetics with RGB Mystic Light
  • PCIe 4.0 for faster NVMe SSD speeds
  • Eight rear USB ports
  • Supports future Zen 3 processors
CONS

  • Limited to Gigabit networking
  • Only two M.2 slots
 

3. ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) – Best Budget AMD Motherboard with Wi-Fi 6

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) is another Wi-Fi 6 AMD motherboard but with a B550 chipset. It is the best budget alternative to the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi motherboard bringing improved specs and more expansion slots. The only compromise here is that it supports fewer processors than those with X570 chipset. However, you get the latest specs, including HDMI 2.1, Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 3 header, and USB-C connectivity.

AMD B550 is a cost-effective AMD chipset built for 3rd generation and future Ryzen processors based on the Zen 3 architecture, which allows you to stay up to date with future upgrades. The chipset brings PCIe 4.0 compatibility to your system, providing enough bandwidth for NVMe storage and graphics cards.

However, while it uses an AM4 socket, this motherboard does not support 2nd gen Ryzen processors and is also not compatible with AMD Ryzen 5 3400G and AMD Ryzen 3 3200G processors.

Design

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) is one of the latest motherboards from ASUS targeted to gamers. It comes in black color with pink accents and RGB lighting on the I/O zone. It doesn’t strike as a gaming motherboard on first impressions, which is excellent for building a PC for daily use and productivity.

The motherboard uses digital power design with 14 phases to ensure the best performance possible from the latest AMD processors. It has dedicated 12 stages to the CPU and the rest for other critical motherboard components. ASUS complements the digital power design with enhanced cooling for even better performance from the VRM.

The motherboard features three types of heatsinks; a sizeable primary heatsink to transfer heat from the MOSFETs and chokes, dual heatsinks for the M.2 slots to prevent SSD throttling, and a chipset heatsink to ensure optimal operating temperatures. It’s a reliable cooling solution, so you can overclock your system to get higher refresh rates without causing any stability issues. If you want to go the liquid-cooling way, the motherboard has a dedicated header for water-cooling setups.

Features

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) has two full-length PCIe x16 expansion slots and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Only one of the PCI x16 runs at x16 (PCIEX16) and is compliant with PCIe 4.0, the ideal slot for GPUs. Onboard you get support for AMD 2-Way CrossFireX technology for using dual graphics cards to get more juice for your gaming rig.

In terms of memory, four DIMM slots support up to 128GB of system memory with speeds up to 4600MHz with overclocking. It has dual M.2 slots supporting SATA and PCIe 4.0 x4 solid-state drives. If you want more storage capacity for your games and files, the six SATA 6Gbps ports are enough for any power user. With four SATA SSDs, you can setup RAID 10 array for faster read/writes speeds and reliable data protection.

While the ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) falls in the mid-range category, the choice of connectivity options here is more impressive than premium picks. It is the only motherboard with HDMI 2.1 port so far in 2020. Onboard you also get a Thunderbolt 3 header for adding the 40Gbps protocol to your PC, USB-C port, and 2.5Gb Ethernet port. For wireless connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 6, of course, and Bluetooth 5.1.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x 2.5Gb Ethernet (RJ45)
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x HDMI 2.1
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 1 x BIOS FlashBack Button
  • 5 x Audio Jacks
  • ASUS Wi-Fi module
OUR TAKE
ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) is a budget AMD motherboard with the best premium value. Besides Wi-Fi 6, leverage some of the latest features, including HDMI 2.1, 2.5GbE LAN, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 3, to build a powerful gaming PC. It’s an outstanding motherboard that beats the competition, perfect for anyone looking to build a B550 based gaming system.
PROS

  • Great value
  • Clean design with minimal RGB
  • 12-Phase power delivery to CPU
  • USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 header
  • Support HDMI 2.1
  • PCI Express 4.0 ready
CONS

  • AMD B550 chipset is not compatible with Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 3200G processors
 

4. ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus (Wi-Fi) – Best Budget Intel Motherboard with Wi-Fi 6

Introducing the best budget Intel motherboard featuring a lot of premium specs including Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 3 support, 14 power stages, and USB-C front panel connector. The ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus (Wi-Fi) offers the best bang with the latest and advanced specs for a lower price. It’s a mid-range ATX motherboard with everything you need to build a high-performing PC for gaming, work, or everyday use.

Design

The motherboard has an LGA 1200 socket for the latest 10th Gen processors. It dons a black and silver theme with minimal yellow accents. Aesthetically the motherboard looks impressive with RGB lighting on the sides and addressable RGB headers to customize your rig however you want. It has the “TUF GAMING” brand engraved on the VRM heatsink and logo on the chipset heatsink.

The motherboard does not come with a pre-installed I/O shield, which exposes the ports to electromagnetic discharge damage and needs handling with care.

ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus (Wi-Fi) uses a beefed-up VRM with 12+2 DrMOS power stages for precise and stable power delivery, impressive for a budget centric motherboard. Built for high-performance and cooling, Z490-Plus (Wi-Fi) has an L-shaped VRM heatsink that extends to cover the chokes for improved heat dissipation. Additional heatsinks on the chipset and one of the M.2 slots ensures optimal working temperature for the best performance and stability.

Features

The motherboard comes with two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots running at x16 and x4, with support for AMD 2-way CFX technology, and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. ASUS leverages its exclusive OPTIMEM II technology on the dual DDR4 DIMM slots to reduce latency and crosstalk for faster memory speeds of over 4600MHz with overclocking. Onboard are dual M.2 slots and six SATA ports for storage, with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 supported.

The choice of connectivity in the Z490-Plus (Wi-Fi) makes it easy to recommend to both every day and power users. Besides Wi-Fi 6, you get Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C rear port, USB-C front panel connector, and a Thunderbolt 3 header. It supports Gigabit Ethernet, but it’s not much of a big deal since competitors ship with 2.5GbE and 5GbE ports.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4b
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x HD Audio Jacks
  • 1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
OUR TAKE
ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus (Wi-Fi) is a less-expensive motherboard with a few compromises. It limits you to Gigabit Ethernet and does not come with a pre-installed I/O shield, which can be overlooked since it supports Wi-Fi 6, and some cases come with an I/O shield. Besides, the motherboards support modern specs, including USB-C ports (front and rear), Thunderbolt 3 ready, and reliable power delivery. The features you get in this motherboard are worth the few compromises.
PROS

  • Great value
  • 14-Phase power delivery
  • Optimized for water cooling
  • USB-C front-panel connector and Thunderbolt 3 header
  • Faster RAM with ASUS OPTIMEM II
  • More storage on a budget
CONS

  • No pre-installed I/O shield
  • Only one M.2 slot has a heatsink
  • Limited to Gigabit Ethernet
 

5. GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D – Best Wi-Fi 6 Motherboard with Thunderbolt 3

GIGABYTE targets designers and creative pros with their new Z490 Vision D motherboard with Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3. It’s a combination of the most advanced features of 2020 that a creator needs to build a high-end editing PC. Thunderbolt 3 offers a single port solution for all and opens your PC to infinite possibilities using compatible performance upgrade kits that take advantage of the 40Gbps bandwidth.

The motherboard comes with an Intel Z490 chipset and LGA 1200 socket that supports 10th Gen Intel Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors. It is one of the best picks in the market, also featured in our roundup of the best Thunderbolt 3 motherboards.

Design

This ATX motherboard comes with all the essentials to build a powerful editing rig. It features a black and silver theme, a pre-installed I/O shield, and plenty of RGB lighting. It uses digital power design with 12 DrMOS stages to deliver clean and appropriate voltage to the CPU. It’s enough power to overclock the 10th Gen Comet Lake processor providing more processing power to render ultra high definition 4K and 8K videos or 3D models.

In terms of cooling, GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D does not disappoint. It has an improves cooling solution that combines a multi-cut heatsink for improved heat dissipation and a large diameter heatpipe that transfers heat from the MOSFETs to the heatsink. The motherboard includes three heatsinks for the M.2 drives and a dedicated heatsink for the chipset.

Features

The motherboard leverages its large ATX size to fit three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots running at x6, x8/x8, or x8/x8/+x4 modes, and an additional PCIe x1 for small adapter cards. The board fully supports multiple GPUs up to four options with NVIDIA SLI and AMD CFX. You also get a dedicated M.2 Socket for Intel CNVi wireless module for future upgrades or add more functionality.

A good editing PC requires plenty of RAM to handle the top photo and video editing apps, such as Adobe After Effects. The motherboard lets you install up to 128GB of system memory via four DIMM slots. It has triple M.2 slots and six SATA ports for storage, providing both speed and more storage capacity.

Z490 Vision D is another motherboard with impressive connectivity we’ve reviewed. There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2.5GbE LAN, eight USB ports, and a USB-C port available through the internal USB header. Get both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 for your wireless devices and networking.

Having dual Thunderbolt 3 ports supports up to 12 TB3 devices with daisy-chaining, allowing you to connect many peripherals and performance upgrade kits to get the best performance from your PC.

Back I/O Ports

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 In
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A (red)
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x RJ-45 (2.5GbE and 1GbE)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 5 x Audio Jacks
  • SMA antenna connectors (Wi-Fi & Bluetooth)
OUR TAKE
GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D may not be GIGABYTE’s most advanced motherboard, but it packs a lot of premium specs to rival high-end motherboards. It brings beautiful aesthetics, stable 12-phase delivery, the best of Thunderbolt 3, and Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5GbE combo for blazing-fast networking. It’s with no doubt a winning choice for creators and professionals looking to maximize the latest and advanced connectivity protocols for fast transfer speeds, collaboration, and compatibility across modern Type-C accessories.
PROS

  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • USB-C internal header
  • 12-Phase power delivery
  • Solid cooling solution
  • Three M.2 slots
CONS

  • M.2 slots aren’t easily accessible
 

6. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming – Best Mini ITX Motherboard with Wi-Fi 6

Build a powerful compact gaming rig with this small form factor (SFF) motherboard from ASUS. Not all people prefer a monster gaming system on their table, having a compact PC that can handle anything you throw at it without taking so much space is a dream for minimalists. The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming is one of 2020 outstanding motherboards with a great mix of fast connectivity and efficient cooling to deliver high-end performance with no compromises.

Featuring a Z490 chipset, Z490-I Gaming supports the latest 10 generation processors, including Pentium Gold and Celeron CPUs on the LGA 1200 socket. It’s one of the few motherboards that can unlock Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 on compatible processors to give your more power to hit higher FPS.

Design

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming is SFF mini-ITX motherboard measuring only 6.7 x 6.7 inches in size. It comes with a mixture of black and grey finish and minimal RGB lighting for immersion and aesthetics. The pre-installed I/O shield extends further down to enhance the durability and ensure a safer installation process. This motherboard uses 8+2 DrMOS power stages, which doesn’t compare to large motherboards, but it’s enough to handle Intel’s toughest 10th gen processor.

The motherboard implements a robust cooling design with an actively cooled VRM, an L-shaped heatpipe that extends to the active VRM heatsink, and a beefy M.2 heatsink to prevent SSD throttling, which can cause a bottleneck. You’re unlikely to encounter any overheating problems with this motherboard. Besides, there are headers for fans and water-cooling setups.

Features

The ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming features only one PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slot and dual DIMM slots that support up to 64GB 4800 MHz. It has dual M.2 slots for SATA and PCIe based solid-state drives and four SATA 6Gbps ports that support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.

For connectivity, Z490-I Gaming starts us off strong with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, fast 2.5GbE wired networking, and USB-C port. It’s an impressive selection of ports that blends well with an office or home gaming setup.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x 2.5Gb Ethernet
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0a
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x USB BIOS FlashBack Button
  • 3 x Audio Jacks
  • 1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
OUR TAKE
Small but powerful. The ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming motherboard delivers everything you need to create a high-end gaming rig or productivity PC. It’s not by chance that it gets to be the best mini-ITX motherboard with Wi-Fi 6. It has an impressive range of fast and latest connectivity standards, digital power delivery with DrMOS stages, and active cooling to set it apart from competitors. It’s an SFF board, so you can’t complain much about the fewer expansion slots.
PROS

  • Robust cooling with active heatsink
  • Speedy networking with Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5GbE LAN
  • USB-C port
  • Ready for water cooling
  • Eight rear USB ports
  • Heatsinked dual M.2 slots
CONS

  • Fewer expansion slots
 

7. MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge Wi-Fi – Best Micro ATX Motherboard with Wi-Fi 6

Is the mini-ITX motherboard too small for you? Upgrade to a micro-ATX motherboard to get more expansions slots and support for multi-GPU setups in a compact and sizeable footprint. MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge Wi-Fi is our option for the best micro-ATX motherboard with Wi-Fi 6. It supports the latest 10th Gen Intel processors and brings premium features with an improved power delivery solution.

Design

A blend of black and grey colors dominates the Z490M Gaming Edge Wi-Fi components and PCB. It has some branding on the I/O cover and heatsinks, and RGB lightings around the chipset, customizable via the MSI Mystic Light software. It has a more stable and stable power delivery design with 12 phases to the CPU for steady and appropriate voltage at pin-point accuracy.

The motherboard comes with a large I/O aluminum cover that extends to the VRM heatsink for efficient heat dissipation and to keep temperatures lower. It has two additional heatsinks for one M.2 slot and the chipset. However, one of the M.2 slots doesn’t have a heatsink, which can be a significant drawback for power users. It is ready for water cooling with a water pump header and marked keep-out zones for safe installation.

Features

If you’re an enthusiast looking to use multi-GPU setups, this motherboard provides two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots running at x16 or x8/x8 and supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD CFX. It also has four RAM slots capable of 128GB and speeds of over 4800 MHz. While Z490M Gaming Edge Wi-Fi is just a micro-ATX motherboard, you can build a powerful and fast gaming rig.

In terms of storage, the motherboard has four SATA 6Gbps providing more storage capabilities and support for different RAID arrays. Two M.2 slots offer a chance to use the best NVMe solid-state drives for fast boot times and loading speeds.

Following the trend in 2020, the motherboard supports to date standards, including Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, 2.5Gbps Ethernet, and USB-C. The only thing lacking here is a Thunderbolt 3 header to make it fully future-proof. However, you get an internal header for a front panel USB-C port.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x PS/2 Combo
  • 1 x 2.5GbE LAN
  • 5 x HD Audio Connectors
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT
  • Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Module
OUR TAKE
The MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge Wi-Fi has been our best Micro-ATX motherboard for quite a long time. The 2020 version got updated with even faster AX Wi-Fi and 2.5Gb Ethernet raising the bar for competitors. There is so much that you can achieve with this motherboard. The two full-length PCIe slots, more storage options, and robust power delivery lead to a monster gaming PC. But MSI still has to advance the cooling solution.
PROS

  • Faster connectivity
  • 12-Phase power delivery
  • Ready for water cooling
  • Front USB-C header
  • Faster 4800Mhz+ memory speeds with overclocking
CONS

  • Only one M.2 slot has a heatsink
  • Have to remove GPU to access the heatsinked M.2 slot
 

8. GIGABYTE X570 AORUS

Because of being based on the AMD x570 chipset, the X570 GIGABYTE motherboards support AMD Ryzen processors fully. Other than the support for Wi-Fi-6, the AORUS Master has two PCIe 4.0 slots and a premium-quality audio codec as well, among other features.

It is interesting to note that almost all the x570 motherboards are going to be costlier than the former x470s. That’s mainly because the newer x570s support the PCIe 4.0. Still, considering the number of features this motherboard has, its price tag is not unjustifiable.

Design

Looking at the GIGABYTE AORUS family of motherboards, It becomes evident that the makers have aimed the AORUS motherboards chiefly towards the gaming community. This motherboard has extra RGB LEDs as well as stylish ESD guards to make your system attractive.

With the all-new RGB Fusion 2.0, the makers have made every individual LED digitally addressable. Users will be able to fuse colors at their will and can experience illuminations according to their mood. RGB fusion 2.0 software will make customizing the lighting effects easy. Users can also make the effects interact with selected games they play.

The PCB of the AORUS is a dark, grainy black. Likewise, the M.2 heatsinks, IO covers as well as the heatsinks of the board itself are also black. The four DIMM and single PCIe slot on the motherboard have metal reinforcements. This metal protection is being referred to as PCIe armor by the makers. These slots are also black in color.

A sturdy aluminum cover having a lined pattern guards the I/O of the board. A line streaked pattern can be observed all over the board, from the top right to the bottom left. Its cooling system is also better than before. You can make fans stop when temperature runs down below a set threshold.

Characteristics/Features

Upon purchasing the motherboard, several features are ready to greet the buyer. We’ve filtered out the most attractive ones for our readers.

As we know that the motherboard has support only for AMD processors, AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen processors team with it nicely. Additionally, GIGABYTE AORUS also supports 2nd Gen Ryzen processors. Also, alongside AMD processors, AMD graphics cards are supported.

Four DIMM slots will be available to plug in your dual-channel DDR4 RAMS into the motherboard.

Compared to the traditional heat sinks, the Fin design of the heatsinks extends the heat dissipation area by almost 300 percent. Direct touch heat pipes take the heat and help transfer it from the MOS fins. LAIRD thermal pads utilized by the motherboard can transfer 2.6 times more heat than the ordinary thermal pads used before.

The chipset heatsink employs a smart fan for heat dissipation, which has options for three different operating modes. Users can opt for silent mode, performance mode, or a balanced mode.

The ultra-fast NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 slots coupled with PCIe 4.0 B-Clock Tuning IC ensure the best performance for extreme gaming users.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 4 x USB 2.01
  • 2 x RJ-45
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out
  • 5 x HD Audio Jacks
  • 1 x Q-Flash Plus button
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 2 x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R)
OUR TAKE
Overall the AORUS x570 Master is a superb looking motherboard. The price tag of the board may seem a little on the upper side at first look, but considering the practical features it has, the price is permissible. The inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 has made the motherboard all the more attractive. In addition to that, the AORUS x570 packs slots that are sturdy and won’t bend easily. We think buying it will provide the best value for money that buyers can get.
PROS

  • Aesthetic Design
  • Three long PCIe and M.2 slots are enabled simultaneously
  • Sturdy and Durable, Steel back cover
CONS

  • M2 slot unaccessible directly. (under the GPU)
  • Only a single PCIe 4.0/3.0 x1 slot
 

9. ASUS ROG Strix X299-E

Soon after the release of the Kaby Lake and Sky Lake processors by intel, Asus started flooding the market with a variety of different boards featuring the new chipset capable of running the Core X series processors. These processors were released under the Core-X series by intel.

Motherboards having an intel X299 chipset support these newer processors. The motherboard that we are going to review today is an Asus board being shipped currently under the ROG brand.

Design

This ASUS motherboard has all the features that a gaming motherboard requires. Thus, it should also be perceived as a gaming motherboard, similar to the one we reviewed above. Although priced a little below than the x570 AORUS, the ASUS x299 also has the all-new Wifi 6. As typical with ASUS motherboards, the x299 also features a fierce look. Sharp edges coupled with metal and dull colors give the motherboard a sinister feel.

Perhaps, this is the reason that the makers have not studded the board with a plethora of LEDs. The LEDs could have undermined the original image of the board. One of the leading LED’s is present on the cover of the input/output port. The other main LED is present over the PCI slot. It displays the Republic of Gamers (ROG) logo. It helps make the logo visible from outside of any PC casing.

The motherboard comes with software for managing LEDs, called ASUS Aura Sync Lighting Software. If by chance, you need to have extra LEDs, then all you need to do is find memory modules or other hardware that support Aura software to make your system more attractive and colorful.

The ROG Strix supports two headers for RGB strips, unlike most other motherboards, which only support one. The chipset, interestingly, doesn’t have any lights on it. Also, it seems to be isolated from other components, probably to be able to support better cooling mechanisms.

Characteristics/Features

This particular board packs several features that are quite interesting and useful.

ASUS ROG STRIX x299 features a total of ten USB ports present on the back panel of the board. Two of these ports are USB 2.0, while the pane also features an equal number of 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps ports.

Keeping ahead of its rivals, the board features a Wifi 6 as well. Currently, it is the only board in the market that supports both Wifi 6 and Intel processors.

Another promising feature is the AI overclocking capability. Usually, features like these aren’t taken seriously and rightly so. They are gimmicks at best. This time, it is a different story. The motherboard collects all the parameters of the CPU, including heat, performance, and clock rate. On the restart, firmware computes specific frequencies and multipliers for each core for overclocking the entire CPU.

The ROG Strix is not short of expansion slots. As a result of the three-way, SLI support users will be able to plug-in a second card as well. Hence you can have extreme video card configurations using this board. It has three PCIe x 16 slots. While it also features one PCIe x 1 slots and a single PCIe x 4 slot. The PCIe x 16 slots are sturdy and covered with steel. It helps in keeping heavy gfx cards standing.

For the three M.2 slots, the makers have designed a smart heatsink complete with temperature sensors. Two of these slots sits among the PCIe x 16 slots. The other slot is present near the slots for memory modules, and it is only available with 44 and 48 lane CPUs.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 5 x HD Audio Jacks
  • 1 x 2.5G LAN (RJ45)
  • 1 x 1GbE LAN (RJ45)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 1 x USB BIOS FlashBack Button
  • 2 x Wi-Fi Antenna Ports
OUR TAKE
Although the design of the board overall is elegant, we feel the absent LED on the heatsink over the top is going to make many gamers frown. On the upside, the overclocking with this x299 board is exceptional. The AI does work in actuality and is not just a gimmick. With the inclusion of Wifi 6, one should expect a hefty price tag, but interestingly the price of the board remains quite reasonable. It is also worth mentioning that almost all the other boards out there with wifi 6 show no support for intel processors save the x299 ROG STRIX.
PROS

  • AI Overclocking
  • Best RGB with Aura
  • Two M2 Slots
  • Metal PCIe Slots
CONS

  • Cramped Look
  • Works better with newer processors only
 

10. ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme TRX40

Zenith II E TRX40 is another Wifi 6 motherboard manufactured by ASUS that supports AMD’s Ryzen processors. The price tag of the processor is quite hefty. As evident by the name the Zenith II is the second edition of this motherboard.

The earlier version had x399 chipset at its core. The newer version has brought plenty of improvements over the x399.

Design

The foremost thing users notice is the OLED display of the motherboard that displays the CPU temperatures and different logos. The OLED display is spacious and bright. The 1.77” OLED can also display GIFs. Hence all the useful information as well as customizable graphics are visible on this panel.

Right after taking it out of the box, buyers are taken aback right away by the premium look and feel of the product. It feels heavy to hold, thanks to the metal used for covering components and ports. The backside of the board is protected by steel plates. These plates are reliable and they can guard the motherboard against bending or breaking.

One can find integrated LEDs all around the motherboard. Users can also customize the rear panel cover, the right side of the board and the ROG logo.

Characteristics/Features

The motherboard comes with a heavy price tag. Although the price seems justified, considering the features of the motherboard. This motherboard is capable of supporting processors with 64 physical cores as well as 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes. The motherboard has more PCB layers than the usual boards as well as more PCIe drivers to support and manage these lanes.

Another feature of the motherboard is that it brings with it the PCIe 4.0 for the first time to desktops. You can use four PCIe ports for connecting. Building on this, users can attach five M.2 drives on the motherboard.

Also, there are a total of eight slots for plugging in your memory modules into the board. The support offered by the motherboard is up to 256 GB. Un-buffered ECC can be made to work as well.

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C (20Gbps)
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10Gbps)
  • 1 x 10G LAN (RJ45)
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 1 x USB BIOS FlashBack Button
  • 5 x HD Audio Jacks
OUR TAKE
Although the board features a unique and impressive feature set, its price still poses to be a problem. Besides, no support for AI Overclocking is present. On the other hand, thread rippers will work splendidly with this motherboard. The addition of 802.11ax has made the board all the more attractive. By keeping in view all the specs and features of the motherboard, it is evident that the motherboard is not meant entirely for gamers to use.
PROS

  • 5 x M.2 drives
  • OLED Display
  • RGB Lighting
CONS

  • Price
  • No AI Overclocking
Categories: Reviews