Along with the launch of Intel’s 10th Generation Core CPUs to the market, GIGABYTE has also announced their new Intel Z490 AORUS motherboards. These motherboards will now support the LGA 1200 socket, rendering support only for 10th Generation Intel Processors only. Gigabyte Intel Z490 Motherboards are designed with emphasis on improved cooling due to the nature of the new chipset and processor architecture. Some motherboards in the line-up will feature up to 16-phase digital power design, therefore their new FinsArray II heat-sink design will ensure cooling for each phase to up to 90 amps. Daisy Chain routing with anti interference design to improve memory overclocking and stability. Some of the launched GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Motherboards feature top of the line audio, extensive I/O and integrated I/O shield.
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With the increase in core count and stock frequencies will likely lead to higher power consumption since in order to accomplish hitting 5.3GHz across all cores, a TDP of over 200W might be required. As mentioned earlier, GIGABYTE Z490 motherboards feature a 16-phase digital power design in which each phase can hold up to 90 amps with its Smart Power Stage design, or a 12-phase direct power design paired with highly durable DrMOS power stages to deliver 1440 Amps, both of which provide the best power balance. Solid power pin connectors on the GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS motherboards ensure that the power delivery is stable while reducing excess heat during overclocking to prevent throttling. The addition of Tantalum Polymer capacitors improves the transient response of the VRM between high and low loads, increasing the stability of the processor reducing user’s worries when overclocking failures happen.
With the Z490 motherboard line-up from GIGABYTE starting with the GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS PRO, to the top of the line GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Xtreme Waterforce model, each succeeding model offer more features than the last. In an effort to make reading easier, I’ll compile the features in a list.
Power and Cooling
- FinsArray II Technology – redesigned stack fin heat-sink which has 3x the surface area of conventional heat-sinks and introduces re-shaped fins for improved heat dissipation.
- Direct-Touch Heatpipe II Technology – features a larger 8mm (diameter) heatpipe with shorter distance and increased contact area with the heat-sink.
- LAIRD 7.5W/mK Thermal Pad – offers 4x heat dissipation compared to traditional cooling pads.
- Metal Backplate – adds extra sturdiness and rigidity to the Motherboard. The nanocarbon coating quickly dissipates heat away from the backside components of the PCB
- Single-slot 32GB capacity – each slot can now support a single stick of 32GB memory
- Daisy Chain Memory Routing – provides stable overclocking performance thanks to memory circuits embedded in the PCB, reducing electromagnetic interference. This leads to a maximum of 4800MHz of overclocked memory speed.
- SMT Memory DIMM – Surface Mount Technology for DIMM slots utilize surface adhesion technology that these are soldered on to the boards seamlessly fixed onto the PCB. This reduces signal interference of the PCB and memory wiring. (Z490 AORUS XTREME model)
- Thermal Guard II – provides protection for M.2 NVMe drives by cooling both sides of the drive. This prevents the drives from overheating; therefore affecting performance.
I/O and Connectivity
- Flexible I/O Shield – Select Z490 AORUS motherboards will come with an I/O Shield pre-installed. No more need to attach it on the case (or forgetting to, or losing it if changing cases). This provides additional protection to the rear I/O.
- USB 3.1 Gen2 slots
- 2.5Gb Ethernet / 10Gb Ethernet – Powered by Intel
- QFLASH / Clear CMOS buttons – provides an easy way to troubleshoot systems or update BIOS without the need of a processor
- WiFi 6 802.11 a/x – Wireless internet powered by Intel allows for super fast WiFi speeds for select AORUS Z490 motherboards (all except Z490 AORUS Elite)
- ALC 1220-VB audio engine and WIMA FKP2 studio-grade audio capacitors
- ESS SABRE DAC
- DTS：X® Ultra
- ESSential USB DAC / ESS SABRE ES9280C PRO – for Z490 AORUS XTREME motherboards, this audio feature allows the use of a USB slot (Type C) as a replacement to the audio jack as sound output.
Aesthetics and other Features
- RGB Fusion
- Smart Fan 5 Technology
- USB Turbo Charger
- Revamped GIGABYTE BIOS layout
- Q-Flash Plus – allows maintenance of the motherboard without the need to install CPU/RAM/GPU.
Z490 AORUS Motherboard Lineup
Currently, no information on availability yet on our shores