Question New Mobo: Z490 vs B460 vs H470


Jan 7, 2012
I'm doing a new build from my 11 year old Z68 Asrock Extreme. It has served me well. And although i don't think i'm a complete noob at this, these motherboards change too often to keep track.

Whats the difference and what should i look for?

I'm thinking Fractal Design Meshify Mini with a MIcroATX motherboard. Some gaming- but mostly working from home with two montors and CNBC going all day.

Personally I would go Z490 even if you do not get a K CPU as in the future you could drop in something like a 10600K/10700K and this would allow overclocking in the future so you can push the CPU just like you did with i5-2500K and there is a lot of headroom in the Intel 10th Gen!!!. Secondly it would allow for faster RAM and as RAM is so cheap at the moment, some DDR4 3200 sub $70 odd for 2 x 8GB 16GB in total would be a nice addition, again for longevity and finally the Z490 motherboards predominately from Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock are all ready for next gen Rocket Lake S CPU's and for Gen 4 PCIe so an upgrade path is there should you ever go for a better CPU...The lowest price Z490's are around $130 and even a cost effective one at the low end will do the job..

As you seem to be someone who keeps your system going for a long, long time (A good thing mind you!), get the best you can now...As an Intel user myself (and a more than happy one!) it is only fair to mention Ryzen as well, as the price to performance is excellent especially at the Ryzen 3600 level....Intel still takes it on the gaming front but Ryzen is close but cheaper and you may get more bang for your buck,,,
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B boards were originally intended for small business use. The onboard headers tailored more towards storage use, lack of multiple fan headers, even the factory software was setup more for raid/fast cache storage with smaller SSDs etc.

H boards were originally intended for the average homeowner. Grandma's web surfer, HTPC, 10 year olds gaming habits etc. They came with most of the bells and whistles that you'd find on the Z boards, but performance wasn't really intended to be anything more intensive than plug and play.

Z boards were originally intended for Enthuziasts. Overclocked, boundry pushers, gotta-have-its but no idea what it does type ppl. Z boards have everything in the bios unlocked and available for tweaking, tinkering, bluescreening etc. As long as the cpu supports such.

Today, it's all about the Bells and Whistles. B has minimal, it's a serviceable mobo that usually has just enough to cover most ppl actual needs. H has almost everything, but tweaking is limited to lowering, not raising beyond stock. Z is king, if it's a Bell or Whistle, it has it. The more expensive the board, the more it has.

Nobody Needs more than a B. Most ppl prefer more. Some ppl insist on the more from a Z.

If you never intend on any OC or uber performance tweaks, a B or H is fine. If you have a locked cpu, B or H is fine. If there's Any consideration or deep thoughts or flipping coins about OC, get a Z. It's better to pay a little more up front, just in case, than have to replace the mobo later when bitten by the OC bug and a pocket full of regrets.
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