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GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Master (Intel X299) Motherboard Review (Page 2)

By Steven Bassiri from Apr 3, 2019 @ 10:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: AORUS

Packaging and Overview

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GIGABYTE's box and packaging are decent and get the job done.

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The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, two thermistor cables, RGB extension cable, addressable RGB LED extension cable, Aorus logo stickers, WIFI antenna, G-Connector, M.2 screws, Velcro cable ties, DVD with drivers, and manuals.

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GIGABYTE put eight fan headers on this motherboard. The two in red seem capable of 2A of power while the rest might be 1A. One of the right fan headers is occupied by the hidden VRM cooling fan. All fan headers are hybrid headers that support PWM and DC operation modes. The two headers circled in green are for two external temperature probes that are included in the package. Overall the motherboard has a white and silver color theme, and the back of the motherboard has a metal back plate that will stabilize the PCB and cool the back of the VRM.

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The IO shield offers a clear CMOS button, a power button, WIFI antenna, six USB 3.0 ports (white is for QFlash Plus), 2.5G LAN, 1G LAN, USB 3.1 typeA, USB 3.1 type-C, and gold plated audio with S/PDIF out.

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With a 44-lane CPU the PCI-E will be x16/x0/x16/x8 or x16/x8/x8/x8, and with a 28-lane CPU they operate at x16/x0/x8/x0. The M.2 slots all have heat sinks, and the top one is connected to the CPU and always is at x4 PCI-E 3.0, SATA M.2 drives are not supported and VROC key is required for RAID. The other two M.2 slots support both x4 PCI-E 3.0 and SATA M.2 drives, with the middle one disabling SATA3_0 if a SATA M.2 drive is used and the bottom one disabling four SATA ports if any drive is installed (SATA3 ports 4-7).

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There are eight SATA6Gb/s ports on this motherboard, all from the PCH, some of which share lanes with the bottom two M.2 drives. There is also a PCI-E power connector for extra PCI-E power. There is a USB 3.1 type-C header and a USB 3.0 header right under the 24-pin power connector.

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At the top right corner of the motherboard we have two CPU power connectors, an addressable RGB LED header with jumper for voltage selection, and an RGB LED header. There is a Thunderbolt 3 GPIO header and a VROC header just above the front panel headers.

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In the bottom middle of the motherboard we find another addressable RGB LED header with voltage selection jumper, an RGB LED header, a BIOS selector switch, a dual BIOS disable switch, a reset switch, and a POST code display. The USB 3.0 internal header at the bottom of the motherboard supports USB TurboCharge, which supports QuickCharge. There are two USB 2.0 internal headers at the bottom of the motherboard.

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The VRM heat sink has one fan that cools down the actual copper fin heat sink, which is a big improvement over previous X299 motherboards. All the heat sinks are screwed into the motherboard.

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