Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
GIGABYTE has several boards available with every new chipset launch. The top end has always been their Aorus Xtreme, which is one that carries the highest-level feature set along with new features they may test out for future implementation down the stack.
This sort of feature deployment does mean that the cost will undoubtedly be much higher than you may be used to seeing for the platform, and that shows true here with several top-end boards. If you want to live on the razor's edge, it will cost you, but GIGABYTE and a few others are willing to fill that need.
Here we see the Z490 Aorus Xtreme, which we are looking at today, and I must say it has a lot going on. Sporting an OC rating of up to 5000MHz on DDR4 is no easy feat, and GIGABYTE is stating this on a 4-DIMM board. I am working on getting a good set of DIMMs so that I can try and validate these sorts of claims, but admittedly you will need a very good CPU/IMC even to come close to this.
The I/O on the board is also stuffed form the back I/O with its integrated I/O shield to its onboard expansion headers allowing for several additional high speed I/O. The Wi-Fi is Intel AX, of course, while the wired LAN is both Intel 2.5Gb and Aquantia 10Gb.
Being a top-end board, you know GIGABYTE is going to bring the A game with the VRM solution, and they did not disappoint. The only thing that needs to be said here is 16-phase 90A power stages. If you want insane amounts of excess, well here you go, I would love to see anyone try even to make this VRM notice it is being pushed.
The board is primarily covered by the M.2 shields and aesthetic shielding, so we get a clear shot of the expansion slot situation. There are three x16 (mechanical) slots, which are x16 electrical to the top slot, but drops to x8/x8 with two cards in place. The bottom slot is x4, and from the PCH, it shares with the M.2 PCH slot. The slots are stated as PCIe 3 standards. However, it's a weird conflict as their marketing labels them as PCIe 4 ready for when the rumored Rocket Lake chips come to market, which is said to support the new standard.
The price of the GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Xtreme is a cool $799.99 at the time of writing, and eight hundred dollars is a tough pill to swallow for a HEDT board, let alone a mainstream platform. However, if you want the absolute best that GIGABYTE's engineering team can make, then it's the adage of you gotta pay to play.
Let's take a look at the GIGABYTE marketing for the board next, and I will provide some of my thoughts on it.
Last updated: Jun 3, 2020 at 04:05 pm CDT
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Motherboard Features and Marketing]
- Page 3 [Packaging and Accessories]
- Page 4 [GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Xtreme Overview]
- Page 5 [PCB and Circuit Analysis]
- Page 6 [BIOS/UEFI and Software]
- Page 7 [Test System and Configuration]
- Page 8 [WPrime, SuperPi, Cinebench, and AIDA64]
- Page 9 [Handbrake, Blender, POV-Ray, CoronaRender, 7-Zip, and WebXPRT]
- Page 10 [Unigine and UL Benchmarks]
- Page 11 [System I/O Benchmarks]
- Page 12 [Clocks, Overclocking, Thermals, and Power Consumption]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]