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Intel B460 vs Z490: which is best?

In August of 2019, Intel introduced its 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs. At the same time, they unveiled a fresh new socket and Chipset combo.

According to long-standing practise, each generation of an Intel socket and chipset is capable of supporting two succeeding series of CPU releases. Therefore, both the B460 and the Z490 are compatible with 11th generation Rocket Lake CPUs (with BIOS upgrades).

Today I’m going to discuss the variations in features between the two different chipsets and compare and contrast the two.

Which of these two, the B460 or the Z490, is the better choice for you? To provide you with a concise overview, the B460 is designed for midrange gaming rigs that do not include Intel CPUs from the “K” series.

If the model number ends with a “K,” it indicates that the clock multiplier of the chip may be changed via the BIOS, allowing the chip to run at a faster speed.

Overclocking is only possible with Z490 motherboards and motherboards only. Game enthusiasts who want to get the most out of their gear and achieve peak performance are the ones that often make use of these mods.

Everything You Need To Know About Motherboard Chipsets

When Intel introduced its 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs back in August of 2019, they also announced the availability of a fresh new socket and Chipset combo at the same time. As has been customary, each iteration of an Intel socket and chipset may accommodate two successive series of CPU releases. Therefore, the B460 and Z490 are likewise compatible with the 11th generation of Rocket Lake CPUs (with BIOS upgrades).

Today I will discuss the differences between the two chipsets and compare and contrast their respective feature sets. Which of these two, the B460 or the Z490, should you get? To provide you with a concise overview, the B460 is intended for usage in midrange gaming setups that do not use Intel CPUs from the “K” series. If you notice a “K” at the end of the model number, it indicates that the clock multiplier of the chip may be adjusted in the BIOS so that it can be overclocked.

Overclocking is only possible with motherboards that include the Z490 chipset. Game enthusiasts who want to squeeze every last drop of performance out of their system are the ones that commonly make use of these mods.

Intel’s H, B, and Z Chipsets- What They Represent

The H-series chipset is the least expensive and most basic among those that are used in budget motherboards. B-series motherboards are often found in low- to mid-range computer systems aimed towards casual users and light gamers. The Z-series chipset is the most feature-packed chipset available, with capability for overclocking the CPU as well as the RAM.

Motherboards from the H-series are highly recommended for usage in HTPCs, home media servers, streaming machines, and other similar applications. Invest in a motherboard from the B-series if you are looking to build a respectable gaming system without breaking the bank on an unlocked CPU. And for those who are really dedicated to their gaming, the Z490 is the way to go.

The maximum RAM speeds on H-series boards will be lower than those on other series. In addition to this, you will need to make due with a reduced number of PCIe lanes and USB ports. In addition, there are no more than four SATA ports available. You are able to run a locked i7 CPU on an H410 board, but if you use a 10-core i9 10900, you will be pushing the limitations of the board since these inexpensive boards have relatively few power phases.

The greatest memory speed that B-series boards can support is not too far behind that of Z-series boards, however these boards do not enable memory overclocking. In a configuration known as 1×16, the maximum number of PCI Express lanes that may be used is 16. In comparison to the Z490, you have a reduced number of USB ports.

Now, let’s talk about the Z490, which has support for as much as 24 PCIe lanes and 10 USB 3.2 ports, of which up to 6 may be USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. The H410 and B460 chipsets do not have the capability of supporting integrated wireless LAN technology, however the Z490 chipset does. At long last, you have access to overclocking for both your central processing unit and your RAM, allowing you to squeeze the absolute most performance out of your gear.

Overclocking Your Processor

Every processor has something called a base clock speed, and the default for most is 100 MHz. After that, a clock multiplier is applied on top of it in order to bring this up to the rates that were requested. Consider the following scenario: your computer’s CPU has a clock speed of 4 gigahertz, which indicates that it employs a multiplier of 40 (100 megahertz times 40 is 4000 megahertz, or 4 gigahertz).

When using a locked CPU, you will not be able to change the multiplier value. Only unlocked chips, which let the user to make changes to the multiplier, voltage, and other settings, are capable of overclocking. Overclocking is the process of modifying the clock rates of a computer’s components so that they operate at a faster rate than the factory-default clock speeds.

You will see an improvement in performance as a result of this, albeit the higher heat and power consumption will come at your expense. To be able to take advantage of that greater performance, you will need a cooler that is of a higher quality. Even locked chips will bring you within 5 to 10 percent of the performance of an unlocked chip, since current central processing units (CPUs) are quite sophisticated with the boost algorithms they use, and this is the case in general.

The Turbo Boost technology developed by Intel allows for particular cores’ clock speeds to be increased automatically and in brief bursts, with the amount of increase being determined by factors such as thermal headroom, power limit, programme load, etc. However, if you want to properly test the capabilities of the silicon, you may pull an additional 10 to 25 percent of performance out of it. Naturally, this is dependent on the chip that you obtain (the silicon lottery) as well as the application that you are executing.

Expensive vs Cheap Motherboards

The basic clock speed of a CPU is always 100 MHz and is always present. Next, a clock multiplier is applied on top of this to get the speeds up to the levels stated. If your CPU has a clock speed of 4 gigahertz, for instance, this indicates that it is using a multiplier of 40 (100 megahertz times 40 is 4000 megahertz, which is 4 gigahertz).

Locked processors prevent you from changing the multiplier value in any way. It is only feasible to overclock unlocked chips, which are chips in which the multiplier, voltage, and other settings may be altered. When you overclock your computer, you may adjust the clock rates of individual cores so that they operate at a faster rate than the factory-default clock speeds.

You will see a gain in performance as a result of this, but at the expense of greater use of heat and electricity. This indicates that you will need a cooler that is of a higher quality in order to take advantage of that increased performance. Even locked chips will perform within 5 to 10 percent of an unlocked chip if they are exceedingly sophisticated, as is the case with current CPUs and the boost algorithms they use. This is the case regardless of whether the chip is unlocked or not.

The Turbo Boost technology from Intel is capable of automatically increasing the clock speed of certain cores in the computer in brief bursts, with the amount of increase being determined by a variety of factors such as thermal headroom, power limit, programme load, etc. However, if you want to fully push the silicon to its limits, you may extract anywhere from ten to twenty-five percent more performance. This, of course, is dependent on both the chip that you wind up with (the silicon lottery) and the application that you’re using.

How Many CPU Generations Will A Chipset Last?

It varies, but in general, Intel will release two generations of processors that are compatible with a given socket and chipset before moving on to a new socket and chipset combination. As an example, the B460 and Z490 motherboards are capable of accommodating both 10th and 11th generation Intel CPUs. You will need to upgrade the BIOS in order to make use of the new 11th generation CPUs.

When using AMD, you may find that each socket and chipset provides you with a longer lifetime. For instance, AM4 first appeared on the market in 2017, and the process of phasing it out won’t begin until 2021. You can fit four generations of CPUs onto a single socket. Although it is true that the most recent Ryzen 5000 series CPUs cannot be used with a B350 motherboard, this just indicates that AMD chipsets are designed to endure for two generations, just like Intel’s. Because the vast majority of individuals upgrade their CPU after five years, you don’t need to be concerned with the chipset’s expected lifetime.

B460 vs Z490 | The Final Answer

Everything is dependent on the particular processor you want to utilise and the particular way you intend to use it. Want a low-cost PC on which you and your children may engage in cooperative gaming? You should go with a basic H410 or B460 motherboard and couple it with an i5 10400 processor. You won’t experience any glitches when doing activities such as editing photographs and videos, playing games, or streaming movies. You won’t be adversely affected by the RAM speed restriction of 2933 or 3000 MHz, and given that you’ll be using a low-end video card, you probably won’t need a large number of PCI Express lanes either.

Now, for those who play video games and create content: B460 or Z490? It’s simple: if you want to overclock, you should acquire a Z490 motherboard, but if you don’t want to overclock, you should get a B460 board and call it a day. You’ll discover that Z490 motherboards feature more power phases, which is one reason why they are superior for high-end CPUs like the i9-10900k. Whereas boards with a B460 socket are more suited for locked versions of the i5 and i7 CPUs.

Simply said, you shouldn’t purchase an unlocked chip such as the i7 10700k with the intention of pairing it with a B460 motherboard since doing so will restrict you from overclocking. The choice of CPU should come first, followed by the selection of an acceptable motherboard. Z490 is your only option if you wish to use more than one graphics card at the same time.

Video Guide

Can I use AMD processors on my Intel motherboard?

You cannot do it under any circumstances. Both CPUs have highly diverse architectural designs, and even the physical sockets they utilise to attach to the motherboard are different from one another. Both the hardware and the firmware are completely unique to each device.

Do I need to overclock my processor if I mainly play esports games?

Do you absolutely need to? Almost certainly not. Would you be interested in that? Given that a faster CPU clock helps with frames per second (FPS), the answer is yes, very certainly. Is it nonetheless worthwhile to invest in a more costly motherboard and CPU given the options available to you? You’ll be the one who has to make a decision about it.

Are more expensive motherboards better for overclocking?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Premium motherboards often come equipped with a greater number of power supply phases, which enables users to achieve higher overclocks. Additionally, they are more long-lasting and are able to manage heavy coolers (especially those giant air coolers like the Noctua NH-D15).

Conclusion

People who are interested in upgrading an older personal computer or purchasing a new one regularly debate the relative merits of the B460 and Z490 processors. It is true that the 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs are now available, which renders both of these chipsets obsolete. In addition, if you purchase a motherboard that is a B460 or Z490 series now, your ability to upgrade in the future will be severely restricted.

Despite this, there remain a large number of chips from the 10th and 11th generations in stock. In addition, the costs associated with acquiring one of them are rather affordable. The performance of 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs will leave gamers who aren’t seeking for the absolute cutting edge in CPU technology quite happy. The Intel 10th generation CPU is not as quick as the Ryzen 5000 series, but it will exceed the Ryzen 3000 series when it comes to gaming tasks.

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