Although Intel has not made any official announcements, several sources suggest that we are getting closer and closer to launching its 10th-generation Comet Lake-S desktop CPUs. Those interested in purchasing one of the next processors will need a new motherboard with an LGA 1200 socket.
Tom's Hardware has identified the lists of different Z490 motherboards on the Ukrainian retailer ITbox'swebsite. The publication has converted prices from the Ukrainian hryvron into dollars giving us an idea of what we might expect.
ITbox lists fifteen Gigabyte Z490 motherboards ranging from $171 for Z490M to $1072 for Z490 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce. Compared to the Z390 versions of these motherboards, the price difference ranges from 27% to a whopping 60%: the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra costs $318 while the Z390 version sells for $197.
It's a similar story for the Z490 motherboards listed by MSI, which range from $192 to $858 for MEG Z490 Godlike. The smallest price jump between the generations is 16%: the Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi is priced at $303, while its predecessor is $260. The most significant difference is for the MEG Z490 ACE, which at $504 is 59% more expensive than the equivalent Z390 card.
It's not unusual for a new generation of hardware to be more expensive than its predecessor, but some of these Z490 prices seem more expensive than expected.
Support for PCI Express 4.0 may be the cause
Among the various changes to run PCIe 4.0, manufacturers must implement more PCB layers to ensure signal integrity, which explains why Z490 motherboards are thicker than the previous generation of Z390 offerings. Ultimately, the design, along with the expensive PCIe re-timers and re-drivers, is probably one of the factors that contribute to increasing the cost of the motherboard.
Earlier this month, information regarding Core i9-10900K, Core i7-10700K and Core i5-10600K emerged online, revealing some specifications of the incoming chips, including a seemingly very high demand for energy consumption.