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GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Pro Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

With the release of Intel's lastest consumer-oriented chipset, the Z390, GIGABYTE has unveiled its own Z390 motherboard lineup. We got our hands on one of these new boards, the mid-range GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Pro.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The Z390 AORUS Pro features a matte black PCB and an integrated rear panel shield. In keeping with its previous AORUS series board designs, GIGABYTE spread RGB LEDs throughout the board's surface, which are configurable via a Windows applet. The board offers support for the latest Intel 9th generation processors (as well as maintaining support for the 8th generation processors) and Dual Channel DDR4 memory via the Intel Z390 chipset. The Z390 AORUS Pro can be found at retail at an MRSP of around $190.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The following features have been integrated into the board: six SATA III 6Gbps ports; two M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 32Gbps capable ports; an RJ-45 port featuring an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; a Realtek ALC1220-VB Audio CODEC; an integrated HDMI video port; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

To power the board, GIGABYTE integrated a 13-phase (12+1) digital power delivery system into the Z390 AORUS Pro board's design. The digital power system was designed with an IR Digital PWM Controller and DrMOS ICs, high grade choke, and all-metal long-life capacitors. The power circuitry and board trace design works together to give the board excellent overclockability when used in combination with Intel 9th generation processors.

Continue reading our review of the GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Pro motherboard!

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

From the GIGABYTE-provided PCI-Express lane and assignment breakdown, you can clearly see some of the refinements that went into the board design as well as the power enhancements offered through the Intel Z390 chipset. The CPU provides the PCIe lanes for the primary and secondary PCIe x16 slots, while all other devices and ports are supported via the Z390 chipset. This includes the tertiary PCIe x16 slot, all PCIe x1 slots, the two M.2 ports, the SATA ports, the Intel GigE controller, and all USB ports and headers (including the USB 3.1 ports).

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The board's rear panel contains the following integrated ports: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports, an Intel I219-V RJ-45 GigE port, an HDMI video port, and both digital and analog audio ports. All ports are clearly labeled for easy identification via the integrated rear panel sheild. Also notice the armor enclosing the rear panel assembly giving it a sleek look, as well as protecting the sensitive ports.

Technical Specifications (Courtesy of GIGABYTE)

CPU Support for 9th and 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 processors/ Intel® Core™ i7 processors/ Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/ Intel® Pentium® processors/ Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1151 package
L3 cache varies with CPU

(Please refer to "CPU Support List" for more information.)

Chipset Intel® Z390 Express Chipset
Memory 4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR4 4266(O.C.) / 4133(O.C.) / 4000(O.C.) / 3866(O.C.) / 3800(O.C.) / 3733(O.C.) / 3666(O.C.) / 3600(O.C.) / 3466(O.C.) / 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666 / 2400 / 2133 MHz memory modules
Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

(Please refer to "Memory Support List" for more information.)

Onboard Graphics Integrated Graphics Processor-Intel® HD Graphics support:
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@30 Hz
* Support for HDMI 1.4 version and HDCP 2.2.

Maximum shared memory of 1 GB

Audio Realtek® ALC1220-VB codec
* The back panel line out jack supports DSD audio.

High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN Intel® GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
* The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode.

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots

(All of the PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)

Storage Interface Chipset:
1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2A)
1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2M)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
* Refer to "1-8 Internal Connectors," for the installation notices for the M.2 and SATA connectors.

Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

Multi-Graphics Technology Support for NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ and 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technologies
Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire™ and 3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire™ technologies
USB Chipset:
1 x USB Type-C™ port with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support on the back panel
1 x USB Type-C™ port with USB 3.1 Gen 1 support, available through the internal USB header
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red) on the back panel
5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (3 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)

Chipset+USB 2.0 Hub:
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)

Internal I/O Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x CPU fan header
1 x water cooling CPU fan header
4 x system fan headers
2 x system fan/water cooling pump headers
2 x digital LED strip headers
2 x digital LED strip power select jumpers
2 x RGB LED strip headers
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
2 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 1 support
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 header
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x Thunderbolt™ add-in card connector
1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header (2x6 pin, for the GC-TPM2.0_S module only)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
2 x temperature sensor headers
Back Panel Connectors 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x HDMI port
1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red)
3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
1 x RJ-45 port
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x audio jacks
I/O Controller iTE® I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring Voltage detection
Temperature detection
Fan speed detection
Water cooling flow rate detection
Overheating warning
Fan fail warning
Fan speed control
* Whether the fan (pump) speed control function is supported will depend on the fan (pump) you install.
BIOS 2 x 128 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
Unique Features Support for APP Center
* Available applications in APP Center may vary by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also vary depending on motherboard specifications.
  • 3D OSD
  • @BIOS
  • AutoGreen
  • Cloud Station
  • EasyTune
  • Easy RAID
  • Fast Boot
  • Game Boost
  • ON/OFF Charge
  • Platform Power Management
  • RGB Fusion
  • Smart Backup
  • Smart Keyboard
  • Smart TimeLock
  • Smart HUD
  • System Information Viewer
  • Smart Survey
  • USB Blocker

Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install

Bundle Software Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
cFosSpeed
Operating System Support for Windows 10 64-bit
Form Factor ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

November 28, 2018 | 10:05 AM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

Unfortunately, GIGABYTE did not integrate direct RGB LED control into this board's UEFI.

The ability to switch off LED's in the UEFI is nice though. Not having to run a buggy app that requires administrator privileges and installs firewall exceptions (looking at you MSI) is a pleasant change.

December 14, 2018 | 01:20 AM - Posted by Rene (not verified)

The Z390 AORUS Pro features a matte black PCB, armored rear panel assembly, and an integrated rear panel shield.
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