ASUS TUF Gaming Z490 Plus WiFi Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅02-06-20

Taking a look at the lower end of the market is always something we thrive on. Top of the line products are definitely fun to check out but are often out of reach to the average consumer. The Plus slots into the affordable category and is among the cheaper Intel Z490 motherboards on the market.

TUF series products always have a distinct and unique theme and Plus is no exception, it stands out as being vastly different to a lot of the motherboards available and what’s more is, it’s very appealing to the eye. Styling is one of the first areas to experience a cut-back when a manufacturer is looking to reduce the overall cost but this doesn’t seem to be the case in this instance.

Plus arrives with a good assortment of features. We get the usual native support for USB 3.2 Gen1/2 and 802.11ax, and plenty of storage via SATA or PCI Express. It won’t come as any surprise that Thunderbolt 3 ports are not found on this model but it’s encouraging to see that there is a Thunderbolt header, allowing you to utilise an adapter should you desire it.

There are a few notable omissions on Plus which may or may not be relevant – there are only two M.2 slots (whereas most motherboards have three) and for multi-GPU support AMD CrossfireX is the only option, NVIDIA SLI isn’t available. The reasoning behind this is due to cost cutting, ASUS are required to purchase a license to enable them to utilise SLI technology. Either of these missing features aren’t likely to be deal breakers.

In the performance field, Plus offers great results and the VRM/chipset cooling design holds up very well when stress is applied. Our current milestone for the 10900K overclock is all 10-cores at 5.3GHz and Plus managed to ascend to such an achievement – requiring around 1.35v, which didn’t elevate the temperatures as high as other models.

Now Plus finds itself among the cheaper Intel Z490 motherboards and as such, the pricing is: GBP £219 | USD $199 | AUD $439. So, for those on a tighter budget, this particular offering makes it possible to move over to 10th Gen. without breaking the bank.

TUF Gaming Z490 Plus (WiFi) is one of the best value for money options out there – it offers a great combo of features and still delivers strong on performance.

+ Unique visual design
+ Great at overclocking
+ VRM/chipset cooling is good
+ Performs well
+ Minimal integrated RGB lighting
+ Includes Thunderbolt 3 header
+ Features USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C for front panel
+ Uses strengthened PCI Express slots
+ Provides plenty of storage

- Lacks NVIDIA SLI support
- Lacks triple M.2 slots

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