With the release of Intel's 10th generation desktop processors (Comet Lake-S) looming ever closer, MSI has announced a pair of new Z490 models, the MSI MEG Z490 Unify and MSI MEG Z490I Unify. With a clear focus on design, the MEG Z490 Unify and Z490I Unify both carry an all-black aesthetic with no integrated RGB LEDs with some exciting features.

Starting with the MSI MEG Z490 Unify, it follows the ATX form factor and has a wave of features. This includes a solid-looking 16-phase power delivery with Intersil 90 A power stages with are doubled and is controlled by an ISL69269 PWM controller operating in an 8+0 configuration. Some of the main features include three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots working at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/+4, with two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. There are six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays, while the board supports up to 128 GB of DDR4-4800 across its four slots. On the rear panel plenty of high-speed connectivity including a single USB 3.2 G2 20 Gbps Type-C, and three USB 3.2 G2 10 Gbps Type-A ports, as well as a Realtek ALC1220 HD codec handing the boards audio and a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 G Ethernet port, and connectors for the Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface.

The smaller mini-ITX sized MSI MEG Z490I Unify features a 10-layer PCB which is impressive for a board of its size. It has a direct 8-phase power delivery with 90 A power stages, and an Intersil ISL69269 PWM controller regulating the power to the CPU. Looking at the features, it includes dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, four SATA ports, and a single full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, which MSI is stating that it is ready for PCIe 4.0. The rear panel includes a single Thunderbolt 3 Type-C input, with a DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI video output pairing, and benefits from a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec. For networking, there is a single Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 G Ethernet port, and connectors for the Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface, which also has support for BT 5.1 devices.

It looks as though MSI enjoy success with its debut of the Unify series on the X570 chipset, and has made the non-RGB themed range a prominent series in its already stacked arsenal. MSI hasn't officially stated when both the MEG Z490 Unify and MEG Z490I Unify will hit retail shelves, with a price of $270 for the mini-ITX model, and $300 for the ATX.

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Source: MSI

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  • Koenig168 - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    MSI, please make an X570 version of the MSI MEG Z490I Unify. That is one gorgeous looking board.
  • Dragonstongue - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    they already make an x570 version of the unify.. where have you been? .. they did MEG, then MEG ACE, then after flack took the "best of both worlds" and made the stripped down "all business" no RGB BS x570 Unify.. so, therefore, they do not need to make one, they already have own LOL

    as far as others saying IO cover not needed, true, but dead false as well.. you want to protect those sensitive ports from damage, the cover, helps to protect them, isolate from the case you put the board into, (provided case does line up properly) helps to ensure you dont bend the little connectors which are quite easy to break

    some people IMO do not directly word out properly / pay attention to what they say (myself included)

    Fan for most modern boards is NEEDED as they have lots of power that flows through them, active cooling is far less cost then big hunks of metal that need much much more fins to get enough surface area to properly cool all the hot components properly, many x570 (among other motherboards) have proven, cheap out on the cooling, and boards (among other things) die far too quickly then they should be

    if you have to have cooling @#$ do it properly board makers, do not just list "supported" when it truly cannot handle the product (CPU or whatever) in the first place

    smoking hot mosfet/VRM/capacitors cause cheap out on the cooling design, is stupid as oh hell, folks pay for these things, an extra few $ matters for folks yes, so does potentially saving hundreds (if not thousands) when boards "go poof" even under stock conditions.. let alone "auto" controlled voltages which surpass safety levels
  • firewrath9 - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    >X570I unify
    some people IMO do not directly word out properly / pay attention (yourself included included)
    X570I or ecks-five-sevendy EYE is ITX not ATX. MSI does not make a ecks-five-sevendy-EYE. I've made it easier for you to read
  • firewrath9 - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    he said x570 version of z490-eye unify -> X570i unify
  • nerd1 - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    IO shield looks really tall and I am worried of cpu heatsink clearance.
  • ingwe - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    I gotta say; these look really nice to me. I criticize poor aesthetic design a lot so glad to see MSI doing something that is more simple and elegant. Might not be for everyone but these are tempting to me.
  • Samus - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    Why are mainstream motherboards now $300 when a few years ago you could get very good ITX and mATX boards for $90?
  • Rookierookie - Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - link

    You're not happy with the ~$150 X570 motherboards out there because?
  • boozed - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    Remember when motherboards were just motherboards?
  • Lord of the Bored - Monday, May 11, 2020 - link

    I remember when motherboards were green, and if you bought a cheap one the cache was fake.

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