It’s all well and good for us to recommend you the best Intel 11th Gen motherboard but like with all the components you buy for your PC, there are a few key areas you need to consider before buying. With the new 11th-gen Rocket Lake CPUs featuring support on the LGA 1200 socket, this means older generation motherboards are also viable options but are they best for the job? In this section, we are going to go over a few of these key areas in detail to help you understand more about the motherboard you want to buy.
What Budget Do I Need For Intel 11th Generation?
For PC builders without deep pockets, the budget is often the first port of call. Your budget requirements can bring limitations as to what motherboard you choose at the end of the day, which in some cases could leave you without the features you were hoping to get.
For the best motherboard pairing with an 11th gen CPU, we are mostly going to be focusing on the standout chipset – Z590. This chipset brings a premium to the table as it is by far the best for Intel CPUs, meaning you are already likely to need more cash at your disposal than an AMD builder. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone, as many budget-focused builders will know but you can still expect to spend anything from $100+ on a motherboard.
While this can’t be said for all motherboards, generally, a higher price brings in more features like PCIe 4.0 support and better VRMs.
An important thing to consider with a motherboard is its form factor. Motherboards are available in a variety of sizes, so you need to ensure it is going to fit inside your case. If you have already decided on a case then just check its specifications to see what mobo you can install inside.
Above you can see the sizes that are available to most consumers and ideally you will want to go for an ATX sized board. ATX is the most common size and there are a greater number of cases that support this size. Don’t let that sway you but sometimes smaller sized motherboards will lack features.
The range of sizes goes from EATX boards, which are designed for PC enthusiasts who require that extra power and set of features all the way down to Mini-ITX boards, which are perfect for smaller form factor builds.
For gamers on a tight budget, mATX size boards are often a cheaper alternative to budget ATX boards, offering savings that could go towards a better CPU or GPU.
The socket on a motherboard is the physical slot that holds your CPU in place. You need to ensure your motherboard socket type matches the CPUs but as we are dealing with 11th gen Intel processors, we only need to concern ourselves with the LGA 1200 socket. All motherboards for both Intel’s 10th and 11th gen CPUs use this socket, so you can rest assured that our selections above are 100% compatible with the new Rocket Lake CPUs.
One of the most important factors when buying a new motherboard is the chipset. The chipset is mostly responsible for what features you are going to get, whether that’s PCIe, overclocking support, or the USB generation. We see the H510, H570, B560, and Z590 chipsets coming out to support Rocket Lake processors, with Z590 being the most premium.
Z490 Vs Z590
Intel introduced the LGA 1200 socket and Z490 chipset back for the 10th-gen Comet Lake processors and many Intel fans worried that they may not see support for future processor launches. Well, not to worry, it has been announced that some Z490 motherboards are going to support 11th gen Intel CPUs, with Gigabyte already confirming this. So even though Comet Lake processors will only support PCIe 3.0, some Z490 motherboards are set to get an upgrade to 4.0.
What about the Z590? Well, these motherboards as we have seen share the same LGA 1200 socket and will come in with native PCIe 4.0 support. These boards will also provide an additional x4 PCIe lanes, giving you a total of x20 lanes. The Z590 chipset will also feature x8 DMI support, working only with the new 11th gen CPUs.
Another area we see the Z590 excel over its predecessor is with connectivity. The Z590 will feature USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (Type-C, 20 GB/s) support for up to three ports and will support 10 USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10GB/s) ports, where the Z490 can only support six.
The Z590 is also going to see the latest iteration of wireless networking with Wi-Fi6E, and thunderbolt 4 slots. Both chipsets offer similar levels of performance but to get the most out of your 11th gen CPU, the newer Z590 is the way to go.
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