Image courtesy MSI
PC building is an excellent and rewarding hobby. The pace of change in the industry right now is extraordinary, with innovations in processors, graphics cards, storage and RAM ramping up performance to incredible levels. However, there is a downside. With each step in innovation there is the cost of upgrading. And all too often, a breakthrough in one component means replacing many others, especially the motherboard. That will be the case for many looking to upgrade to the latest 11th Gen “Rocket Lake” Intel Processors with support for PCIe 4.0. Unless they purchased an MSI Z490 motherboard…
All MSI Z490 motherboard owners who are looking to upgrade their CPU to an 11th Gen Intel Processor are in for a seriously good bonus – the entire range of MSI Z490 boards will support PCIe 4.0! That means double the PCIe bandwidth performance from your motherboard, for free! No need to purchase a whole new Z590 motherboard. Just download and install the latest BIOS update and it will be ready to take advantage of the expanded performance from your new 11th Gen CPU. Just to be clear, that upgraded performance applies to the ENTIRE MSI range of Z490 motherboards, even the low-end PRO series model!
This move demonstrates why MSI are one of the most highly regarded manufacturers in the motherboard and computer component markets. They have a well-earned reputation for using quality components in their products while still delivering competitive prices. As I observed in my recent review of the excellent MSI B550 TOMAHAWK. MSI have a knack for selecting the components that matter the most. Where some manufacturers only included PCIe 4.0 support on select Z490 boards (or not at all), MSI made it standard across the range. That is admirable futureproofing that shows respect for all of their customers across the price brackets. Rare indeed!
As for that PCIe 4.0 performance, it is a seriously good thing to have in your upgrade. Premium NVMe SSDs, such as the Samsung 980 PRO, are taking full advantage of the extra performance on offer to deliver incredible speed. PCIe 4.0 is also becoming more prevalent on GPUs as games become more and more graphically demanding.
According to MSI, to be PCIe 4.0 compatible, several components are necessary on the motherboard. These include PCIe 4.0-ready clock generator, lane switch, re-driver, PCIe slots and M.2 connections. All MSI Z490 motherboards were built with this complete PCIe 4.0 solution. MSI believe this provides their Z490 motherboards with the most stable design for PCIe 4.0 and unlocks the full performance of PCIe 4.0 devices. Not a bad gain from a simple BIOS update!
For those looking to build a completely new PC based around the upcoming 11th Gen Intel Rocket Lake CPUs, MSI recently released their range of Z590 motherboards.