GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Master (Intel Z390) Motherboard Review (Page 2)

| Oct 22, 2018 at 10:00 am CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Packaging and Overview

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The box is much like previous Aorus motherboard boxes. Packaging is high-end.

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The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, SLI HB bridge, two thermal probes, digital RGB LED extensions, RGB LED extension cable, G-connector, two Aorus Velcro straps, WIFI Antenna, case badge, stickers, DVD, and manual.

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GIGABYTE has upped the number of fan headers to eight, all of them being flexible hybrid PWM or DC mode headers. The headers circled in red are 1A headers, while the two circled in blue are rated up to 2A. There are two external headers that will accept external temperature sensor readings.

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The motherboard has a sleek metal and black aesthetic, and the lights are tastefully done. The motherboard also features a shield that covers the entire backside of the motherboard and actually cools the VRMs from the backside.

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The rear IO panel features clear CMOS button, power button, WIFI antenna, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 DAC-UP, HDMI, three USB 3.1 type-A, one USB 3.1 type-C, Gbit LAN, and 7.1 gold-plated audio with S/PDIF out.

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The PCI-E layout is as follows, x16/x0/x0, x8/x8/x0, the last x16 slot is wired to the PCH and shares x4 with one of the M.2 slots. The x1 slots are routed directly to the CPU. All M.2 slots have heat sinks.

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The bottom M.2 slot shares x4 with the last x16 slot. The middle x4 M.2 slot shares x2 PCI-E with two SATA6Gb/s ports, so you either disable those ports or run M.2 at x2 instead of x4. There is a USB 3.0 internal header with the latest in Quick Charge technology; it has the proper hardware to support many different charging modes, some with higher voltages. It supports Quick Charge for both Android and Apple, but with Android, it's up to 18W QC 3.0, and it supports Apple Fast Charge. The USB 3.1 type-C header is also present just below the memory DIMMs.

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There are six SATA 6Gb/s ports, and a Thunderbolt 3 GPIO header can be found right next to them. At the top right corner of the motherboard, we find our RGB LED header and out digital RGB LED header with voltage selection jumper. An OC button and an OC button header are also found in this corner.

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At the bottom of the motherboard, we find a reset button, a POST code display, and two USB 2.0 headers. Over to the left, we find a single BIOS mode switch, a dual BIOS selector switch, a digital RGB LED header (with voltage selection jumper), and an RGB LED header.

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On this motherboard, you get dual 8-pin power headers, and the heat sinks are absolute beasts. Direct touch heat pipes, optimized heat pads, and dual fins and block produce one of the best VRM heat sinks we have seen on a Z390 motherboard.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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