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MSI introduces two Z490 Unify motherboards with all-black design

MSI announced two Unify Z490 motherboards this week. These are the MEG Z490 and Z490i Unify. The motherboards have an atx and mini-itx form factor, respectively. Both models are completely black and do not contain built-in RGB LEDs.

With the Z490 Unify series , MSI uses a completely black design, without any RGB LEDs. The company has already done this with its X570 Unify motherboards for AMD Ryzen CPUs. The manufacturer already showed some Z490 motherboards last week, but the Unify models were not announced at the time. MSI did not announce a mini-itx motherboard at the time.

The Z490i Unify, which the company announced this week, is currently MSI’s only mini-itx motherboard with Z490 chipset, AnandTech writes. The mini-itx model has an eight-phase power supply and uses active cooling by means of a small fan in the cooling block. The motherboard has two ddr4 memory DIMM slots, a single pci-e x16 connector, and two m2 slots. The PCB of the smaller model consists of six layers.

In terms of connectivity, the Z490i Unify has a Thunderbolt 3 connection; the atx model does not have this. The motherboard also has a few USB 3.2 gen 2 connections with speeds up to 10Gbit / s, two USB 3.2 gen 1 ports with speeds up to 5Gbit / s and two USB 2.0 connectors. The motherboard has an Intel AX201 chip with support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. MSI also provides the Z490i Unify with 2.5-gigabit ethernet.

The atx model has a vrm design with 16 + 1 phases, and also has active cooling with a small fan. The Z490 Unify has three m2 connectors, three PCI-e slots, and four memory dimm slots. The atx variant also has a PCB that consists of ten layers.

The larger model also has three type-A USB 3.2 gen 2 connectors, two USB 3.2 gen 1 connectors and two USB 2.0 connectors. The Thunderbolt 3 connection is exchanged for a USB 3.2 gen 2 connection of type C, with speeds of up to 20Gbit / s. The atx variant also has a PS2 connector for a keyboard or mouse. Further connectivity is similar to the Z490i Unify.

The Z490 Unify motherboards are not yet on the MSI website at the time of writing, but can now be pre-ordered at a few Dutch webshops. The ATX model is for sale for 329 euros, while the mini-itx variant would cost 299 euros. It is not yet known when the motherboards will be delivered exactly.

Fashion model MSI Z490 Unify MSI Z490i Unify
Form factor Atx Mini-itx
Socket, chipset LGA-1200, Z490 LGA-1200, Z490
Working memory support 4x ddr4-4800 2x ddr4-4800
PCI-e connectors 3x pci-e x16

2x pci-e x1

1x PCI-E x16
Internal connections 3x m2 (pci-e 3.0 x4)

6x sata

2x m2 (pci-e 3.0 x4)

4x sata

External connections 1x usb 3.2 gen 1 type C (20Gbit / s)

3x usb 3.2 gen 2 type A (10Gbit / s)

2x usb 3.2 gen 1 type A (5Gbit / s)

2x usb 2.0

1x hdmi

1x display port

1x 2.5-gigabit ethernet (rj45)

5x 3.5mm audio + 1x s / pdif

1x Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbit / s)

1x usb 3.2 gen 2 type A (10Gbit / s)

2x usb 3.2 gen 2 type A (5Gbit / s)

2x usb 2.0

1x hdmi

1x display port

1x 2.5-gigabit ethernet (rj45)

5x 3.5mm audio + 1x s / pdif

Connectivity Wifi 6

Bluetooth 5.1

Wifi 6

Bluetooth 5.1

Price (upon publication) 329 euros 299 euros
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