If you are one of those users who trusted ASUS with the Z490 platform… This may not be funny to you. And it is that the manufacturer, against its competition, has left out of the support of the “new” PCIe 4.0 to all the models of its Z490 range of motherboards for Intel’s 10 Gen and 11 Gen processors. The most obvious question is, why?
Not even Rocket Lake unlocks the restriction: NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSDs will go 50%
ASUS has completely lost the PCIe 4.0 bus train on Intel boards. While its competition does offer full or partial compatibility on motherboards with the Z490 chipset, the largest manufacturer of these components is left out.
It is true that there is no official statement regarding this restriction, and that, although the 11 Gen Intel processors have not been released, the first beta tester tests are already showing results in that direction.
For example, certain sources claim that ASUS ROG Maximus XII HERO (Wi-Fi) and ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-PLUS (Wi-Fi) motherboards under a whole Samsung 980 PRO 1TB, said unit could only operate at 50% of its maximum potential in terms of speed. That is, it was configured as PCIe 3.0 x4 and not as PCIe 4.0 x4.
If this is confirmed in all models of the brand (most likely seeing how ASUS is approaching the Z590 line) none of the buyers of these and other Z490 motherboards will be able to enjoy higher speed in their M.2 PCIe 4.0 and will stay limited to maximum PCIe 3.0 x4 speed.
Lock on M.2 and unlock on PCIe x16
However, the company did confirm that it enabled unlocking in the graphics card slots, that is, the PCIe 3.0 x16 slots go to PCIe 4.0 x16, although the truth is that only one of the slots will be able to enjoy the speed increase as such.
The problem and controversy of all this seems to be focused on the Z590 line of motherboards. And it is that the manufacturer seems to want to induce users to make the leap and buy a new model with the excuse of unlocking the speed in the M.2, since Z590 is officially enabled both in these slots for NVMe SSD and for the PCIe 4.0 x16.
Of course, the first voices of users annoyed with this decision of the company are being noticed in the main forums of the world, because there are many of them who paid a huge amount of money for models like the Maximus XII Extreme (1000 euros) for end up seeing how competitive models of 150 euros do receive support in their M.2. Controversial decision at least that could affect future sales if this is not corrected …