Back in July, we reported how ASUS was severely lacking PCIe Gen 4.0 support on its Z490 lineup of motherboards, a highlight feature of the Intel Rocket Lake Desktop CPUs. Fast forward to 2021 and we can finally confirm this as our sources have got the chance to test out several ASUS Z490 boards with a Rocket Lake CPU.
ASUS Z490 Motherboard Buyers Won't Be Able To Utilize PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSDs To Their Fullest Potential Even When Running An Intel Rocket Lake Desktop CPU
You can definitely get some more insight on ASUS's dire situation in this detailed post but in short, ASUS missed out big on the PCIe Gen 4.0 bandwagon with its Z490 motherboard lineup whereas all other major AIBs implemented proper Gen 4.0 support on their Z490 motherboards. Our source got their hands on several ASUS Z490 motherboards and tested them with Intel's Rocket Lake CPU. The motherboards include:
- ASUS ROG Maximus XII HERO (Wi-Fi)
- ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-PLUS (Wi-Fi)
For testing purposes, a Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB SSD was used and during the tests, the drive was only able to run at half of its maximum potential. At the same time, PCIe Gen 4.0 functionality for GPUs was operating normally and that much has been confirmed by ASUS themselves. The tests can be compared to the MSI Z490 Gen 4 implementation which we reported last month. You can see that when paired with an Intel Rocket Lake CPU, the MSI Z490 motherboard unlocks the full potential of the NVMe drive, offering some insane speeds that are faster than the custom NVMe drive found on Sony's PS5 console.
With that said, ASUS did launch their Z590 motherboard lineup which is more fine-tuned for Intel Rocket Lake Desktop CPUs and should offer full PCIe Gen 4.0 support (not limited to just GPUs like Z490). ASUS also officially lists down 11th Gen CPU and PCIe Gen 4.0 support but that's limited to a single PCIe x16 slot.
But users who bought ASUS's Z490 motherboards to couple them with Intel Rocket Lake CPUs for Gen 4.0 compatibility would be left disappointed as they can't fully utilize their brand new CPUs & will have to purchase an entirely new platform to get proper support.