Intel Rocket Lake Core i9-11900K 8 Core Desktop CPU Review Ft. MSI MEG Z590 ACE, ASRock Z590 Steel Legend, AORUS Z590 PRO AX Motherboards



Intel Core i9-11900K

30th March, 2021
Type CPU
Price $539.00 US

Conclusion - The Z590 Motherboards

We had three Z590 motherboards to test, the MSI MEG Z590 ACE, ASRock Z590 Steel Legend WiFi 6E, and the AORUS Z590 PRO AX. Each motherboard comes in at different price categories with the MSI model retailing at over $500 US, the AORUS model retailing at around $300 US, & the ASRock model retailing at around $200 US. The Z590 family is the last to feature the LGA 1200 socket and use DDR4/PCIe 4.0 solutions with the Z690 family coming out later this year moving forward with a new socket (LGA 1700) and also supporting new technologies such as DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 protocol.

Following is the rundown of the motherboards we tested:

ASRock’s Flagship Z690 Aqua OC Motherboard Joins The Thousand-Dollar Club, Costs $1399 US

Z590 Motherboards Conclusion

Motherboard NameMSI MEG Z590 ACEAORUS Z590 PRO AXASRock Z590 Steel Legend WiFi 6E
Motherboard Price$541.50 US$289.99 US$211.99 US
Motherboard CategoryEnthusiastMainstreamBudget
ProsPowerful VRM Design With 19 Phases & 90A MOSFETs
Great For Extreme Overclocking
Great BIOS With Several Tuning Options
Good VRM Cooling Performance
Impressive Storage Performance With Gen 4 NVMe
Quad M.2 Slots With Shield Frozr Heatsinks
Great VRM cooling with heat pipe implementation
Triple PCIe Gen 4 x16 Slots
Metal Shielded DDR4 Slots
Up To 5600 MHz DDR4 Memory Support
MSI Mystic Light RGB LEDs Look Great
Dual Thunderbolt 4 Ports (+ 2 Mini DP Ports)
Intel WiFi 6E + 2.5G LAN
Audio Boost 5 With Realtek ALC4082 Codec
Total of 9 USB 3.2 Gen 2/1 Ports (Internal/External)
Easy Access Clear CMOS & BIOS Flash Buttons on I/O plate
Pre-Installed I/O Plate
Very Well-Designed & Comes With backplate, Pre-installed I/O plate with I/O Cover
Impressive Features For Its Price ($289.99 US)
Packs 13 Phase VRM with 90A MOSFETS
Great For Extreme Overclocking
Great BIOS With Several Tuning Options
Great VRM Cooling Performance
Fins-Array II Cooling Solution with Aluminum-fin heatsink
Futuristic Looks & Less Flashy Design
Quad M.2 Slots With Thermal Guards II heatsinks
Metal Shielded DDR4 Slots
Up To 5400 MHz DDR4 Memory Support
Intel WiFi 6E + 2.5G LAN
AMP-UP Audio with ALC4080 Codec
Q-Flash support (update BIOS without CPU)
Total of 12 USB 3.2 Gen 2/1 Ports (Internal/External)
Pre-Installed I/O Plate with I/O cover
Powerful VRM for its price
14 Phase Dr.MOS with 50A MOSFETs
Good overclocking capabilities
Good BIOS with all the necessary tuning options
Triple M.2 slots with 2 Hyper M.2 heatsinks
Nice Arctic Camo touch
Up To DDR4-4800 MHz Memory Support
WiFi 6E + Killer 2.5G LAN
XXL Aluminum heatsinks covering the VRMs
13 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (Internal/External)
Comes with ASRock's Graphics Card holder
ConsVery High Price (Aimed at Enthusiasts)
Only Six SATA III Ports
CMOS Battery is hard to access
Only Single LAN Port
Only Six SATA III Ports
No Debug LED
Only Single LAN Port
Only Single LAN Port
Only two PCIe x16 slots
BIOS could use a redesign
ConclusionThe MSI MEG Z590 ACE is an insanely well-built & premium motherboard that is targeted towards enthusiasts. If you want the best overclocking performance and feature set in terms of I/O, then look no further as this is the board to get if you're willing to pay the high price.AORUS retains a well-balanced motherboard with great overclocking capabilities, a handful of features, IO, and an impressive design on its AORUS PRO motherboards while retailing at under $300 US.The ASRock Z590 Steel Legend has all the necessary features of a high-end Z590 board & comes with a sleek arctic camo theme which would go great with white PC builds. For budget Z590 builders, the Steel Legend from ASRock at $211 US is a great option!

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