There have been a lot of motherboards hitting the market, but very few come close to challenge the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS XTREME. This motherboard is one of the high-end aside from the XTREME Waterforce motherboard which sits at the top of Gigabyte’s list. With the recent release of Intel’s 10th Generation Processors, the partners have been keen to come up with the most innovative designs for a position in the market and the support for PCIe Gen4.
Intel Z390, B460, Z370, and Z270 Chipset Comparison
|Max PCH PCIe 3.0 Lanes||24||24||24||24|
|Max USB 3.1 (Gen2/Gen1)||6/10||?||6/10||0/10|
|Max SATA Ports||6||6||6||6|
|Memory Channels (Dual)||2/2||2/2||2/2||2/2|
|Intel Optane Memory Support||Y||?||Y||Y|
|Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST)||Y||?||Y||Y|
|Max Rapid Storage Technology Ports||3||?||3||3|
|Integrated WiFi MAC||Wi-Fi 6||Wi-Fi 6||Wi-Fi 5||N|
|Intel Smart Sound||Y||?||Y||Y|
|Integrated SDXC (SDA 3.0) Support||?||?||Y||N|
|Max HSIO Lanes||30||?||30||30|
|Intel Smart Sound||?||?||Y||Y|
Table Courtesy of Anandtech
- Supports 10th Gen Intel® Core™ Series Processors
- Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
- Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
- 16 Phases Digital VRM Solution with 90A Smart Power Stage and Tantalum Polymer Capacitors Array
- XTREME MEMORY with SMT DIMM and Shielded Memory Routing
- Thermal Reactive Armor with Fins-Array II Heatsink, Direct Touch Heatpipe II and NanoCarbon Baseplate
- Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 Onboard
- Exclusive ESSential USB DAC
- Onboard Intel® WiFi 6 802.11ax 2T2R & BT 5 with 2X AORUS Antenna
- 127dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with High-End ESS SABRE 9018K2M DAC, LME 49720 and OPA1622 OP-AMP, WIMA Audio Capacitors
- AQUANTIA® 10GbE BASE-T LAN and Intel® 2.5GbE LAN with cFosSpeed
- Triple Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards II
- USB TurboCharger for Mobile Device Fast Charge Support
- RGB FUSION 2.0 with Multi-Zone Addressable LED Light Show Design, Support Addressable LED & RGB LED Strips
- Smart Fan 5 Features Multiple Temperature Sensors, Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP and Noise Detection
- Q-Flash Plus Update BIOS without Installing the CPU, Memory and Graphics Card
In terms of pure aesthetics, the Gigabyte Z490 XTREME Motherboard is easily one of the most pleasing ones out there.
Initially, you are greeted by its clean layout due to the design where the inputs, USB F-Panel, and other ports don’t appear anywhere on the board. The heatsink blends nicely into the heatsink, and the randomly placed capacitors are nowhere in sight. Gigabyte markets this board to have “Triple Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards II”. All three of the full-sized PCIe lanes are fully armoured. The only part you’d be able to see would be the red capacitor from the audio hardware.
Rear I/O Ports:
- Q-Flash Plus Button
- Clear CMOS Button
- Wi-Fi Antennae Connectors
- 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports (supports USB 3.2 Gen 2)
- HDMI port
- 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports
- 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports
- 2x USB 2.0 ports
- Analog 7.1ch audio with gold connectors
- Optical SPDIF port
- 2.5Gb RJ45 Intel LAN port
- 10Gb RJ45 Aquantia LAN port
On the upper left, we spot the CPU inputs close to the heatsink. If you look to the left side of the CPU inputs, you’d spot a fan header which would be quite difficult to place fans into.
On the other side, we have a handy power control setup on the Z490 Aorus Xtreme motherboard. Also present is the BIOS debug LEDs with the main power and reset buttons just beside that.
All the usual switches are also available, allowing you to flip the BIOS and turn on/off various hardware features. One of the things that is great about this motherboard is that they’ve hidden some of them under shrouds.
Since this is the first motherboard to hit the studio, we currently still do not have comparisons but we will build it as we go.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND CONCLUSION
The Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme is priced at P43,500. The motherboards at this range all sport amazing VRMs and are able to overclock the i9-10900K to great limits. With that said, it would come down to aesthetics and features considering performance and pricing are so close together.
Gigabyte’s VRM on the Z490 Aorus Xtreme is the epitome of overdoing it. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since the VRM cooling is outstanding and comparing to other boards that do no support an active cooling fan. While the PCIe 4 is not yet present, we are aware that by the time is it, the possibility of more graphic cards and SSDs to utilize the faster interface would be available.
The aesthetics on the Z490 AORUS Xtreme motherboard features are undeniably exquisite. The Z490 Aorus Xtreme motherboard not only has a great design but readily available Thunderbolt 3 ports.
The Z490 Aorus Xtreme motherboard is near perfect as far as features go. The price is a bit on the steep end but those looking for a great level of detail and feature will definitely want to get this on their gaming rigs.