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Retailer Listings Expose Intel Z490 Motherboards With Inflated Prices

MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

MSI MEG Z490 Godlike (Image credit: KOMACHI_ENSAKA/Twitter)

Listings and early benchmarks involving Intel's 10th Generation Comet Lake-S processors have been popping up more frequently. Usually, that's a sign that the launch is looming. As many probably know by now, Comet Lake-S will only fit into LGA1200 socket, meaning it's time for new motherboards.

Ukrainian retailer ITbox has posted a plethora of Z490 motherboards from MSI and Gigabyte on its online store. Naturally, it's impossible to verify the accuracy of ITbox's pricing since the motherboards are not officially out yet. The motherboard prices are listed in hryvnia, which is the official currency in Ukraine, and include 20% VAT (value-added tax). For the sake of convenience, we've converted the prices over to dollars. 

It's known that computer hardware often costs a lot more outside of the U.S. Therefore, ITbox's prices could be higher than what we might expect here. For an apples-to-apples comparison, we've also used the pricing from ITbox for the previous generation of Z390 motherboards.

Gigabyte Z490 Motherboard Pricing

MotherboardPricingZ390 PricingDifference
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce$1,072N/AN/A
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme$757N/AN/A
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master$537$36945.5%
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra$409$30633.6%
Gigabyte Z490 Vision D$393N/AN/A
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Pro AX$358$23453%
Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra$318$19761.4%
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite AC$288N/AN/A
Gigabyte Z490 Vision G$277N/AN/A
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite$267$20828.4%
Gigabyte Z490 Gaming X$217$16035.6%
Gigabyte Z490 UD AC$202N/AN/A
Gigabyte Z490M Gaming X$207$15335.3%
Gigabyte Z490 UD$187$13142.7%
Gigabyte Z490M$171$13427.6%

For contrast, Gigabyte released 17 different Z390 motherboards in total. ITbox listed 15 Gigabyte Z490 models, so that's only two less than the prior generation. As usual, Gigabyte will offer different form factors, ranging from mini-ITX to E-ATX.

It appears that Gigabyte might have reworked some of the branding with the Z490 series as well. The lineup includes two new Vision-series motherboards and lacks a Designare model.

In terms of pricing, Gigabyte's motherboards show price hikes between 27.6% and 53%. Unfortunately, ITbox doesn't have Gigabyte's complete Z390 portfolio so it wasn't possible to compare all the models, especially the more luxurious models, such as the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme or Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce. For reference, the Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce debuted at $900.

MSI Z490 Motherboard Pricing

MotherboardPricingZ390 PricingDifference
MSI MEG Z490 Godlike$858N/AN/A
MSI MEG Z490 Ace$504$31759%
MSI MEG Z490I Unify$430N/AN/A
MSI MEG Z490 Unify$338N/AN/A
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi$303$26016.5%
MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge WiFi$277$19839.9%
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge WiFi$247$19129.3%
MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk$232$17135.7%
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus$202$14539.3%
MSI Z490-A Pro$192$14037.1%

MSI's Z490 offerings seem pretty consistent with last generation's Z390 lineup. Only the Mortar model is missing, but MSI could release it later. The Z490 Unify motherboards are the point of interest here. 

If you recall, MSI introduced the Unify moniker with the MEG X570 Unify, which features an all-black design devoid of RGB eye-candy. It seems that the concept might have hit it off with enthusiasts, so MSI will carry the Unify series over to the Intel side as well. Apparently, MSI will offer the Z490 Unify in the standard ATX form factor as well as mini-ITX.

As far as MSI Z490 motherboards go, ITbox's prices reveal an increase in prices between 16.5% and 59%, depending on the model. Once again, the Ukrainian retailer doesn't list the over-engineered MEG Z390 Godlike. The debut price for the MEG Z390 Godlike was $599.99.

  • InvalidError
    Those prices are getting ridiculous if not outrageous.
    Reply
  • AlistairAB
    InvalidError said:
    Those prices are getting ridiculous if not outrageous.

    We need basic overclocking with B or H series boards. Intel is behind without overclocking, but Z390's successor is too expensive. Gigabyte has some cheaper ones though compared to MSI.
    Reply
  • Deicidium369
    AlistairAB said:
    We need basic overclocking with B or H series boards. Intel is behind without overclocking, but Z390's successor is too expensive. Gigabyte has some cheaper ones though compared to MSI.
    And what. other than benchmarks, does all those "extra" cores that AMD piles on used for? Intel owns the IPC crown - every few months before a new next super AMD release they crow about the IPC gains - but when the product get to testing, it doesn't perform. - No increased IPC and barely reaching promised clocks. All AMD has been putting out are small incremental changes, usually using extra cache - since that is needed for their homebrew knockoff.

    Enjoy the time in the sun - Comet Lake is the LAST Skylake based desktop - Later this year there will be Rocket Lake with the Golden Cove +30% IPC and the likely similar Willow Cove IPC gains... and we will really start to see the PCIe4 cards flourish - since there will more than just a niche novelty entry with PCIe4.
    Reply
  • Deicidium369
    InvalidError said:
    Those prices are getting ridiculous if not outrageous.
    They passed up ridiculous the moment they became available without a CPU to use with them
    Reply
  • AlistairAB
    Deicidium369 said:
    And what. other than benchmarks, does all those "extra" cores that AMD piles on used for? Intel owns the IPC crown - every few months before a new next super AMD release they crow about the IPC gains - but when the product get to testing, it doesn't perform. - No increased IPC and barely reaching promised clocks. All AMD has been putting out are small incremental changes, usually using extra cache - since that is needed for their homebrew knockoff.

    Enjoy the time in the sun - Comet Lake is the LAST Skylake based desktop - Later this year there will be Rocket Lake with the Golden Cove +30% IPC and the likely similar Willow Cove IPC gains... and we will really start to see the PCIe4 cards flourish - since there will more than just a niche novelty entry with PCIe4.

    I don't want extra cores, you aren't reading what I wrote, I want clock speed. The point is if you buy a 9600k and stick it in a B or H motherboard, it performs BADLY vs the Ryzen 3600X because you can't get the free and easy 4.9ghz OC you get with a Z motherboard. It's 3.7 Ghz base clock is pretty bad vs. an easy 4.3ghz Ryzen all core clock. The expensive Z motherboards and the locked chips is the main reason Intel is falling behind, not the CPUs themselves which are great by themselves, the whole package is bad.

    Imagine if you could run the i3-9100f at 4.8ghz on an H310 motherboard? Domination. Instead you lose 20 percent performance for no reason.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    "Gigabyte released 17 different Z390 motherboards "

    17? Count them. What a waste of resources.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    These Are european prices, so They differ a lot from USA prices.
    New iPhone se $399 in USA 480€ r more in europe...
    But who knows. Maybe Intel have to increase mother board prices to compensate ”low” cpu prices?
    All in all I Expect this to be just europe vs USA prising difference. Or riple of AMDx570 prices toward Intel platforms...
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    Unlike US stores , all European stores add VAT to the online Price showed.. and in Ukraine it is 20%

    you need to subtract 20% ..

    Dont worry the prices are okay ,you just dont know the difference between Europe sites and US sites ...

    US sites add Taxes LATER , European sites show the prices with Taxes included.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    InvalidError said:
    Those prices are getting ridiculous if not outrageous.

    these prices are with 20% VAT taxes included. Sadly tomshardware are making huge mistakes lately with new guys posting ...
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    hannibal said:
    These Are european prices, so They differ a lot from USA prices.
    New iPhone se $399 in USA 480€ r more in europe...
    Ukraine is russia or independant by now but they are not part of the european union so I would guess prices there are even higher than just normal european prices.
    Reply