The Bottom Line
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
The second part of our GIGABYTE Z490 coverage continues with the Vision D, a competing solution to the Z490 ProArt we had in the lab a few weeks back. Formerly, the Designare lineup, Vision D continues the goal of delivering top-tier connectivity with 2.5Gbe, Wi-Fi 6, and Thunderbolt 3, all integrated into one platform.
We kick off motherboard specifications starting with the Intel LGA1200 socket and behind it the Z490 chipset. This platform is compatible with an entire range of processors from 10th Gen Core i3 to Core i9 and even Pentium Gold and Celeron. Memory support includes speeds up to DDR4400 with overclocking and 2933MHz in JEDEC timing mode. Four slots support 32GB DIMMS offering a peak capacity of 128GB.
Audio is next in line with the ALC1220VB Codec supporting 8 channels and DTS:X Ultra. Networking is two part, one being 2.5Gbe powered by the Intel i225 with a second Intel Gbe controller for backup. Wi-Fi 6 is included on this platform with the AX201 from Intel offering Wi-Fi 6 and BT5.1 connectivity.
PCIe expansion starts with three full-size slots, the top two having 3 slot spacing for larger GPUs. Electrically, these slots work out x16, x8, and x4 top to bottom with a fourth x1 slot sliding in between the last two. Three m.2 slots are made available, the bottom m.2 sharing bandwidth with the bottom x16 slot. Thunderbolt 3 is on this platform, integrated on the rear I/O with a Titan Ridge 7540 controller.
The Z490 Vision D carries an MSRP of $299.99 with a three-year warranty. Current pricing can be found below.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging is a bit different with the Vision D, full white box gold lettering is quite abundant.
The box's back is quite busy, with full specification on the left and hardware overviews to the right.
Unboxing, we have SATA cables and RGB extensions along with Wi-Fi antenna and user manual.
AORUS Z490 Overview
The Vision D is certainly an attractive board, brushed aluminum being a large part of the design across the VRM and chipset heat sinks. The back of the board is mostly blank, a few random ICs and no VRM doublers in use on this platform.
Along the bottom and up the right side, we have USB 2.0 headers, fan connections and front panel. Additional power is available via 6pin VGA followed by SATA and USB 3.2 headers.
Further up the board, we again see the USB 3.2 headers and 24pin power. Debug LED at the top of the board along with fan connections.
Across the top, you will find ARGB and RGB headers, along with 8 and 4-pin CPU power connections/
Rear I/O includes two USB 2.0 at the top split by HDMI and DP connections to another four USB 3.2 Gen 2 in red and two Gen 1 ports in blue. The yellow ports are USB-DAC Up, which have adjustable voltage control.
PCB and Circuit Analysis
Power design includes 13 (12+1) SIC651A 50A power stages and the ISL69269 PWM controller. The image on the left also shows the Thunderbolt controller and Realtek controller below it.
The chipset is mostly alone under the heat sink.
Super I/O from ITE sits near the audio components that include the ALC1220 and WIMA caps below.
UEFI, Software and Test System
Vision D has one of the most unique EFI colorways to date, full white and Gold throughout. The layout is very similar to the AORUS lineup with easy mode offering a dashboard overview for the motherboard that includes CPU and memory speeds, installed drive, and cooling in the middle.
Running through the BIOS, you have Tweaker for overclocking CPU and memory, while the setting menu gives you access to all the basic functionality such as storage, USB, and thunderbolt settings on this platform. Smart Fan 5 can auto tune your fans so they are more efficient in operation.
Sabrent has been a fantastic vendor to work with over the last year, and they continue to support AMD and Intel motherboard testing with their Rocket4 Plus built on the Phison E18 platform.
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i9 10900K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: ADATA XPG 2x16GB Spectrix (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: EKWB Quantum Power 360 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Sabrent Rocket4 Plus NVMe 4.0 (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM750 (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
WPrime, Cinebench and AIDA64
WPrime is a leading multi-threaded benchmark. In our setup, we will manually set the number of cores for the CPU under test. The ROG Maximus Extreme 12 is our baseline motherboard for all charts Z490.
The Vision D managed a time of 2.31 seconds for 32M. 1024M ended at 59.14 seconds.
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU
Cinebench brought in the expected 540 point in single thread, multi-thread touched 6454, the quickest to date.
Realbench uses both video and photo workloads to benchmark your CPU. In these workloads, we see heavy multitask finish in 33.9 seconds with Image and Encoding at 21.4 and 28 seconds, respectively.
Unigine and UL Benchmarks
PCMark is a benchmark from UL and tests various workload types to represent typical workloads for a PC. Everything from video conferencing, image import, and editing, along with 3D rendering, are tested.
The overall score for the Vision D came in at 7486 in standard PCMark10 testing.
Breaking down the workloads, we see a peak at 11695 with Digital content.
Superposition from Unigine is a DX12 based benchmark. We test with the 720p LOW preset as this removes all but the most basic GPU loading, with all of the FPS coming from the CPU.
In this scenario, Vision D brings 260FPS on par with every previous board.
Moving over to 3DMark, Time Spy shows an overall score of 10787 with a score breakdown coming in the form of 10109 in graphics and 13410 in CPU.
Firestrike brings in 22670 overall, 25994 in graphics, and 27194 Physics/CPU.
Shadown of the Tomb Raider
Running through Tomb Raider, average FPS tops 190 for 1080p, 165FPS at 1440p, and 100FPS at 4K.
System I/O Benchmarks
Storage with CrystalDiskMark
Storage tests are all handled by our Sabrent Rocket4 Plus NVMe 4.0 SSD for internal testing and our WD_BLACK P50 for external testing.
USB-C on the Vision D touched 1069 MB/s read and 960 MB/s write.
Our Rocket4 Plus picked up 3567 MB/s reads and 2700 MB/s write on the Vision D.
Random performance 4KQ1 touches 78 MB/s reads and 168 MB/s write.
Networking with iPerf
Testing the 2.5Gbe wired connection, we have 2080Mbps. Optionally we picked up a full 949Mbps testing the adapter at gigabit speeds.
Wireless testing showed equal performance to past motherboards; 1429Mbps with the AX200.
Power Consumption, Thermals, and Final Thoughts
System power consumption for the AORUS Master idled at 111 watts. Under CPU load in Cinebench, we recorded 429watts, and last, gaming showed 399 watts in Tomb Raider.
CPU temps were in line with past motherboards, Vision D idled at 25c with the full load during testing showing a peak of 62c.
Consumer motherboards that focus on creative professionals such as photographers, podcasters, or even vloggers are extremely niche product markets with only a few vendors dedicating a board or two to the cause. ASUS obviously has the ProArt; we reviewed that solution last month. GIGABYTE has chosen to offer two solutions, very similar hardware platforms with the cheaper Vision G removing the integrated Thunderbolt 3 option in favor of AIC headers.
Vision D is all the bells and whistles, the top dog of Z490 creation platforms with integrated Thunderbolt 3, 10Gb/s USB 3.2 along with legacy blue port and USB 2.0 for your keyboard mouse arrangement. GIGABYTE has also included the unique ability of adjustable voltage DAC-UP ports, yellow on the rear I/O.
Add to this basic functionality of 3x m.2 slots for storage with another 6x SATA ports for legacy HDDs along with proper 3slot spacing of the PCIe connections, and you could put together a rather powerful machine with this motherboard.
What We Like
Motherboard Layout: Proper slot spacing and port arrangement make this board a strong option for creators.
Connectivity: Connectivity is quite strong, even more so than the AORUS Master, with integrated Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.2 in both Gen1 and 2 formats along with dedicated USB-DAC UP.
Price: At its MSRP of $299, there isn't a better connected motherboard on the market.
What Could Be Better
Power Delivery: While this board isn't a designed overclocking board, power delivery for CPU is average for Z490 platforms.
Vision D is a step above all other Z490 "prosumer" platforms with top notch connectivity and rather low initial cost.