Motherboards aren't always the most exciting prospect for your average PC builder, but if you're willing to spend a pretty penny then you'll find plenty more, let's say, extravagant options. None more so than the line-up of Z590 motherboards for Intel Rocket Lake CPUs announced just yesterday, which really, really want your attention.
You can read all about the Intel Rocket Lake announcement right here (opens in new tab). But down below I've picked out the flagship motherboards doing everything they can to catch your eye.
First off, we've spoken about it before (opens in new tab) but it only seems fitting to mention it once more: the ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial. This is a motherboard with supreme 'look at me' energy, and comes with an EK water block ready to cool the CPU, VRM, M.2 drives, and chipset. This is truly an immense motherboard, with equally generous RGB to match.
Then there's the Z590 Taichi from ASRock. This motherboard is one of the more understated flagships of the lot. It looks lovely enough in full RGB fare, too. But it, like a few others in the ASRock Z590 line-up, comes with its own flash novelty with the hopes of swaying PC builders to its shores. That's its built-in GPU scaffolding, otherwise known as the ASRock Graphics Card Holder.
This optional rigging keeps your GPU steady from the back-rear of the card, which should help keep today's monstrous units from putting all their weight on your poor PCIe ports.
Furthermore, MSI is back with a brand new GODLIKE motherboard and it's really pushing the boat out with the Z590 design. With no more floor space to conquer, MSI is building up. The GODLIKE is donned from head to toe in shielding, heatsinks, and RGB lighting. It's surely going to be a pricey motherboard when it launches on January 27, and probably as heavy as all hell, too.
Intel's promising a 19 percent instructions per clock (IPC) boost with its latest Rocket Lake CPUs over existing 10th Gen Comet Lake chips. That seems to be paying dividends in the single-core performance racket (opens in new tab) going off early benchmarking figures, with the Core i9 11900K and Core i7 11700K looking like they lead the way in gaming for now—we'll have to ratify those numbers for ourselves before we can say anything for definite, however.
Gigabyte is bringing perhaps one of the most restrained Z590 flagships to the market, but even the Aorus XTREME isn't wholly free of some generous 'thermal reactive armor', or metal plating as it's known in the biz. With a rather subdued and sleek design, however, it's my favourite of the lot, too.
We've also heard from Colorful regarding its Z590 designs, the iGame Z590 Vulcan Q and iGame Z590 Vulcan X. These motherboards come with all the trimmings in a simple format, but that white clean-cut aesthetic is sure to win over a few folks.
All of the above offer PCIe 4.0 support with Intel's latest 11th Gen chips, which means Intel fans can make good use of the wave of PCIe 4.0 SSDs (opens in new tab) now flooding the market.
But while some of these motherboards appear to be raring to go, Intel isn't expected to have Rocket Lake on the shelves until March. Plenty of time to decide which motherboard fits best then, and don't forget that there are also those with the H570, B560, and H510 chipsets available in the near-future, too.