I was in the same situation as you !
I did not read the full thread and I didn't realize the link between the uefi/bios firmware and the Intel ME one. Now it's a little bit clear.
Hopefully, the USB flashback feature saved my life.
Now, we just have to wait from ASUS to do something... but I fear that they will leave this card in the abyss of oblivion ! Like so many others...
Aaaannnd then it drops.
New BIOS 2601 (2022/06/10 )
No mention of microcode updates however.
ROG STRIX Z490-I GAMING BIOS 2601
1. Improve system performance
2. Improve DRAM compatibility
I have a similar problem but much worse i guess with a z490 e gaming. I updated my bios to the version 2601 and i also had the restart loop. After i turned off my pc (pressed the power button while it was in the loop) now it seems it doesnt turn on anymore.I noticed that i keep power button pressed for like 15 sec and i press it again the pc tries to open for like a sec(the fans lights up and it sends a signal to the screen since it goes off from power save and it shows no signal detected. I tried to remove battery , reflash to original version of bios (was 0607) but the problem remain the same. Any ideea of what is happening or what shuld i do ?