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Gigabyte Z490 Motherboards Are Seemingly Ready For PCIe 4.0

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce (Image credit: VideoCardz)

News outlets VideoCardz and BenchLife have leaked images for various upcoming Z490 motherboards from Gigabyte. More importantly, the evidence suggests that while the motherboards support the PCIe 4.0 interface with Intel chips, the functionality isn't accessible yet.

Intel's original plan was to finally bring PCIe 4.0 support on this generation of motherboards. Sadly, the chipmaker ran into some problems with the Comet Lake chipset and just decided to abandon the idea completely.

According to Gigabyte's alleged marketing materials, the company's Z490 motherboards have limited PCIe 4.0 support. The limitation is probably due to the fact that the high-speed PCIe 4.0 lanes are coming from the processor alone since the chipset doesn't provide any. While the Z490 motherboards have the necessary infraestructure for PCIe 4.0, there isn't an Intel processor on the market that can supply the lanes. As a refresher, Comet Lake-S processors are still on the PCIe 3.0 standard, meaning you will have to wait for the next wave of processors, probably Rocket Lake-S, to get PCIe 4.0.

The biggest issue with the whole chipset fiasco was that many motherboard vendors had already laid out their designs with PCIe 4.0 functionality in mind so it was likely too late to make any last-minute changes. This is why some manufacturers, such as Gigabyte, have motherboards with certain PCIe 4.0 limitations. At the end of the day, the consumer is the one that has to pay the price, literally.

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Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Pro AX

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Pro AX (Image credit: VideoCardz)
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Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra (Image credit: VideoCardz)
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Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master (Image credit: VideoCardz)
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Gigabyte Z490 Vision D

Gigabyte Z490 Vision D (Image credit: BenchLife)
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Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra

Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra (Image credit: BenchLife)

Among the ingredients to get PCIe 4.0 working, manufacturers need to implement a higher number of PCB layers to ensure signal integrity, which explains why Z490 motherboards are thicker than the prior generation of Z390 offerings. Ultimately, the design, along with expensive PCIe re-timers and re-drivers, is likely one of the contributing factors that increase the cost of the motherboard. Early listings show that Z490 motherboards are relatively more expensive than their predecessors. Basically, you're paying the PCIe 4.0 tax.

It's uncertain if Gigabyte is the only manufacturer to roll out Z490 motherboards that are geared for PCIe 4.0. We suspect that the several other brands will offer similar designs, although they might not explicitly advertise it. Rest assured that we should only see PCIe 4.0 on Z490 motherboards. The more budget-oriented motherboards, such as B460 or H410 should be safe and might not suffer from significant price hikes.

At any rate, it doesn't seem wise to jump on the Z490 Comet Lake bandwagon. On the motherboard side, you're paying extra for a feature that isn't readily available. On the processor side, you'll need to upgrade to a new processor to enjoy a feature that you already paid for, whether that be in the next six months or a year.

  • Makaveli
    Hilarious paying for PCIe 4.0 and you can't even use it.
    Reply
  • tiggers97
    This is interesting considering the rumours we heard earlier that 10th gen was supposed to include PCIe4, but was dropped. But I thought the reasons were more motherboard related than CPU? That the CPU 10th gen could support it? Guess not, or maybe there is a relationship with the die size? (14nm vs 10ish)? Hence why AMD was able to implement already? (7nm).

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-gets-the-jitters-plans-then-nixes-pcie-40-support-on-comet-lake
    Reply
  • hannibal
    So these would be maybe same level as AMD b550 motherboards, without ability to use pci 4.0.... They should be dirt cheap in that case...
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    What a key selling /advertising feature! "Mainboard's PCI-e 4.0 ready!" (And in microfont: requires PCI-e 4.0 capable CPU)
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    Makaveli said:
    Hilarious paying for PCIe 4.0 and you can't even use it.

    No more hilarious than paying for it on an X570 and with increased cost of PCI-e 4.0 NVME , using it, and, other than CrystalDiskMark sequential nunmbers, not really seeing any real world differences...or, worse yet, it being slower by 1/4 second in timed storage transfers compared to a 970 EVO... :)
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    mdd1963 said:
    No more hilarious than paying for it on an X570 and with increased cost of PCI-e 4.0 NVME , using it, and, other than CrystalDiskMark sequential nunmbers, not really seeing any real world differences...or, worse yet, it being slower by 1/4 second in timed storage transfers compared to a 970 EVO... :)

    lmao speak for yourself boss.

    An Asus Prime X570-P cost $149USD crazy expensive.

    a PCIe 3 Samsung 970 Evo 1TB cost $212 USD

    a PCIe 4 Corsair MP600 1TB cost $199 USD

    And then you pretend to know what other people do on their systems laughable.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    mdd1963 said:
    No more hilarious than paying for it on an X570 and with increased cost of PCI-e 4.0 NVME , using it, and, other than CrystalDiskMark sequential nunmbers, not really seeing any real world differences...or, worse yet, it being slower by 1/4 second in timed storage transfers compared to a 970 EVO... :)
    Only in this case one will probably need to pay a lot more than a X570.

    There are benefits to PCI-E 4, though not from a SSD standpoint. For many years, I never feel that the supposedly fast SSDs are any faster. The response time had hit a snag since the old SATA3 SSDs, and manufacturers are just selling you a "faster" SSD based on sequential read/ write speed that will not benefit most people. The only SSD breakthrough is probably is the Micron 3D XPoint, though it cost significantly more and draws a lot of power.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    admin said:
    VideoCardz and BenchLife leak images of Gigabyte's Z490 motherboards with evidence that they support PCIe 4.0 devices.

    Gigabyte Z490 Motherboards Are Seemingly Ready For PCIe 4.0 : Read more
    I actually doubt PCIE4 will come with the incoming 10xxx series Intel chips. The motherboard makers are probably trying to make the board more future proof for the 11xxx series. Its the same when motherboard makers are able to provide PCIE4 features to X470 boards via a BIOS update.
    Reply