I highly urge readers to read through our review of the Core i9 10900K and Core i7 10700K before reading these motherboard reviews to get an idea on how the processors place themselves and how much value a board holds for this release.
Let’s break it down for the ASUS ProArt Z490 Creator 10G:
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Talking about performance, in terms of actual CPU performance, ASUS ships this board with power limits enabled, meaning your 10th-gen Comet Lake CPU will run on their rated TDP. In our case 125W for the Core i9 10900K and as you can see in the charts, this affects the CPU by limiting clock speeds to 4.1/4.0Ghz on all-core loads especially in prolonged CPU-only benchmarks. This is not ASUS’ limitation and you can freely remove the power limit but that decision is yours to make and while its not dangerous, per se, unless cooling is considered, then your CPU may deteriorate a bit more quickly. That said, in itself, the motherboard does not limit the CPU in any way and ASUS did a fine job going with a default power limit versus junking voltages to bump power out of the box.
Build quality is superb in this board and while we certainly feel that a built-in I/O shield would’ve been a nice little extra, it’s a nitpick I can probably let go once the system is buiilt. The aesthetics on this board are subdued but bold and the lines manages to capture the eye in a way that’s hard to put in words. The overall look is simple yet not overdone compared to more mainstream boards like ASUS’ Prime line which is struggling if the series style is straight or curves. There is no shroud to deal with in this board making the M.2 heatsinks stand on their own. The aesthethic benefit of a shroud is nice to have but this board is pure and clean just the way I like it.
In terms of extras, much like with the Maximus XII Extreme and our dislike of having the Thunderbolt3 card as an extra instead of being built in, the same goes for the ProArt Z490 Creator 10G. Having Thunderbolt3 connectivity is nice and offers a lot of options in terms of high-speed bulk storage thanks to the numerous direct-attached NAS devices out there. With 40Gbps of bandwidth per line, there’s a lot of options there which is why video professionals go with solutions like this versus a faster NAS. The option for 10G is there though with the Hyper 10G LAN card, and while ASUS should’ve just built this thing in, it’s a nice extra but not as readily usable as Thunderbolt3. Despite the cost of Thunderbolt3, it’s easier to implement and use whereas 10G LAN requires a new network which is why its not a plug and play solution your home or office has at least CAT6a cables as well as compatible routers already setup which is not a cheap option and obviously will also need 10G devices on the network particularly storage. Still, 10Gbps vs 40Gbps, I’d rather go with a DAS storage array. While the 10G card makes it optional, I do hope ASUS is keen on making a non-10G variant of this package without the 10G card to improve pricing.
We’re not sure how much ASUS prices this board and this review will be updated post-launch after we hear back from them about pricing. We’re estimating around a premium $500 /Php25k mark and while it is premium, the 10G and Thunderbolt do add up cost to this board and Z490 is a pricey affair already. Still, from a professional standpoint, Thunderbolt3 commands it especially if your workflow revolves heavily around larger files.
As it is, the ProArt Z490 Creator 10G works as a functional, foundation for Intel-based creators. Again, barring the argument of AMD is better at creator scenarios, we’ll assume the user has their reason to go for this board. The ASUS ProArt Z490 Creator 10G is a versatile, robust and most importantly stable platform for creators and professionals and we’d love to see more from ASUS.
ASUS backs the ProArt Z490 Creator 10G with a 3-year warranty. We give it our Editor’s Choice Award!