Gigabyte Launches Z390 AORUS Xtreme Waterforce Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | December 14, 2018 - 07:04 PM |
Tagged: Z390, water cooling, gigabyte, aorus

Gigabyte’s Aorus brand is planning to make its flagship Z390 Aorus Xtreme motherboard even more extreme by pairing it with a RGB LED-lit perspex monoblock that covers the processor and PCH areas. The aptly named Z390 Aorus Xtreme Waterforce is an E-ATX form factor motherboard for 8th and 9th Generation Intel Core processors (LGA 1151) that comes packed with overclocking features and a plethora of I/O and expansion options.

Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme Waterforce Motherboard.png

The Z390 Aorus Xtreme Waterforce is powered by two 8-pin CPU power connectors, a right angle 24-pin ATX, and a six pin PCI-E input for extra PCI-E slot power delivery. The LGA 1151 socket sits front and center up top with four DDR4 memory slots off to the right of it. Power delivery is handled by a 16 phase PowIRStage digital VRM. Below the CPU sit three PCI-E x16 slots (which run at x16/x8/x4), two PCI-E x1 slots, and three M.2 slots with heatspreaders. There is also a mini PCI-E slot but it comes with an Intel wireless card pre-installed. Additional expansion options include six SATA 3 ports. The Gigabyte motherboard includes 10 sensor points and eight hybrid fan headers. It also supports Smart Fan 5 and RGB Fan Commander software tools as well as support for external RGB LED strips and addressable LEDs via headers (RGB Fusion). The Aorus board also supports OC Touch which offers physical buttons and switches for adjusting overclocks without needing to go into the UEFI BIOS.

Audio duties are handled by the Realtek ALC1220-VB codec along with ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC, LME 49720 dedicated analog power delivery, Ti OPA1622 Op amp, and several WIMA and Nichicon audio capacitors. The reported 127 dB SNR audio also supports “Amp Up” which can automatically adjust to various headphones. Networking on the Z390 Xtreme Waterforce is handled by Intel (CNV1) for 802.11ac Wave 2 2x2 wireless and Gigabit Ethernet and by Aquantia for the 10 GbE.

Rear I/O on the flagship motherboard shouldn’t disappoint with:

  • 2 x SMA antenna connectors (Wi-Fi)
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3 40 Gbps
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 5 x Analog audio
  • 1 x S/PDIF audio

The Aorus All In One Monoblock is the star of the show though as it is what differentiates it from the normal Z390 Aorus Xtreme board. The monoblock uses standard G1/4” threads and uses dense copper fins to help heat transfer to the water loop. Water flows over the CPU, VRM, and PCH areas to keep everything nice and cool even when overclocking. According to Gigabyte there is a leak detection circuit that will shut down the PC if a leak in the waterblock/loop is detected to protect your components. The downside to the monoblock is, of course, the added complexity to the build process, it certainly looks nice though so some enthusiasts may well find it worth it.

Gigabyte has not yet released pricing or availability information, but it’s going to come at a premium price. The Z390 Aorus Xtreme (sans waterblock) has a MSRP of $549.99, for example, and the addition of the Aorus RGB monoblock could add another $50 to $100 to that price.

The reviews on this board and the monoblock should be interesting. While it may be expensive, I'm sure that some watercooling enthusiasts will find uses for it in all-out "cool all the  things" builds!

Source: Gigabyte

MSI's new Z390; Ace in the hole or jumping the shark?

Subject: Motherboards | December 11, 2018 - 06:19 PM |
Tagged: msi, Z390, Intel, MEG Z390 ACE

MSI's MEG was the cream of the crop for Threadripper, even though it carried a significant price.   Now we have a chance to see how this design works on Intel, as MSI have the MEG Z390 ACE for under $300, to pair with a processor such as the i7-9900K.   MEG sports an enhanced backplate, as you can see from the picture below, for those who like to insert a lot of extras into their motherboard. 

As for general performance, stability and overclocking?  Check out [H]ard|OCP's review to see why the board was sporting Gold once it was unstrapped from the bench.

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"The MSI Enthusiast Gaming lineup expands once again with two Z390 offerings for Intel’s latest 9000 series CPUs. The MEG boards offer a blend of quality, features, with power delivery, and overclocking in mind. MSI has certainly raised the bar for its products over the last few years. So our expectations for the ACE motherboard are high."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP
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.

02-board-box.jpg

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

03-board.jpg

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The Z390 AORUS Pro features a matte black PCB, armored rear panel assembly, 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.

04-board-flyapart.jpg

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!

AORUS offers a smokin' hot Z390 at a decent price

Subject: Motherboards | November 20, 2018 - 01:49 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, Z390 AORUS Pro WiFi, Z390, Intel

If you were lucky enough to score a new 9th generation i9 chip from Intel you are probably looking for a Z390 board to stick it in.  For those that do not want to take the opportunity to spend $500-600 on a motherboard, Gigabyte's Z390 AORUS Pro WiFi is worth consideration as it usually costs less than $200.  Bjorn3D took a look at the board to see what was removed to lower the price by such an amount and to check out those sexy VRMs.

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"The board we are testing today carries the AORUS branding which has been earmarked as the Gigabyte gaming brand. But now the Aorus Master and Extreme boards which are targeted at Extreme users muddies the waters a bit as normally you will see an extreme OC board with the LN2/Force moniker."

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Source: Bjorn3D

Gigabyte Launches Flagship AORUS Z390 XTREME Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | November 7, 2018 - 09:53 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, aorus, Z390, Intel Z390

Gigabyte is launching a new flagship Z390 chipset-based motherboard under its AORUS brand. The aptly-named Z390 AORUS Xtreme ratchets up the aesthetics, power delivery, connectivity, and the RGB Fusion to prepare for Intel’s newest 9th Generation Core processors including the eight core Core i9 9900K.

Z390-AORUS-XTREME-Rev10-wBackPlate.png

The AORUS Xtreme uses a 16-phase Digital IR power phase design that can self-balance to reduce clocks of VRM controller and heat generated by the various phases especially under heavy overclocking scenarios. Gigabyte continues to include its Fins-Array heatsinks though they have been upgraded to four direct touch heatpipes to help cool the VRM areas. There is also a massive backplate and coating on the underside of the PCB to help dissipate heat though in practice it’s likely more for aesthetics than anything. The LGA 1151 socket is paired with four DDR4 DIMM slots. Sitting below the processor are three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, two PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots, and three PCI-E 3.0 x4 M.2 (or SATA) slots with Thermal Guard heatsinks. Further, there are six SATA 6 Gpbs ports in the bottom right corner. As far as power delivery, the board has two 8-pin CPU power connectors, a right-angle solid pin 24-pin ATX connector, and a 6-pin PCI-E connector to provide auxiliary slot power for graphics cards.

The flagship motherboard includes Aquantia 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, Intel CNVi 802.11ac 160 MHz 2x2 Wi-Fi, ALC1220-VB codec for audio (along with ESS SABRE DAC, Ti Burr-Brown OP Amps, and “studio grade” capacitors), and AORUS’ RGB Fusion LED controller which along with Smart Fan 5 can handle eight fans, eight digital LED strips, and eight RGB LEDs. Overclocking can be done via BIOS, Windows app, or OC Touch.

Rear I/O includes two Wi-Fi antenna connectors (Gigabyte includes a 4 dBi dual antenna with magnetic base), four USB 3.1, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps), one 10 GbE, one 1 GbE, one HDMI video output, and six audio outputs (five gold plated analog jacks and one S/PDIF optical out).

This extreme motherboard comes packed with just about everything an enthusiast could ask for, but be prepared for an extreme price of $549.99 MSRP.

Source: Aorus

MSI announces two new motherboard families, the ACE and GAMING EDGE

Subject: Motherboards | October 26, 2018 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: msi, gaming edge, ace, Z390, lga1151

MSI have added two new families of motherboards to their product lines, with the first two models using the Z390 chipset.

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The ACE sports a 12+1 power phase layout and supports DDR4-4500 if you can get your hands on it. The motherboard will have a familiar array of features including Shield Frozr M.2 heatsinks, Mystic Lighting and one touch overclocking with Gaming Boost.

ace.png

The Gaming Edge series sports many of the same features, adding impressively sized VRM heatsinks and 8+4 pin CPU power for enhanced stability for overclockers.  The onboard Intel WiFi uses CNVi wave 2 technology to offer wireless transfer speeds up to 1.73GHz.  It also introduces MSI's Dragon Center which offers a unified interface to contol applications like GAME MODE, VOICE BOOST and LIVE UPDATE.

edge.png

MEG Z390 ACE - ACE YOUR ENEMY
MEG Z390 ACE is built to win. Outplay any opponent, crush entire teams, and come out on top of every match with a motherboard designed for the world’s best players. MEG Z390 ACE introduces the ACE name to the MEG series, a segment of enthusiast grade motherboards that includes the renowned GODLIKE motherboards from MSI. MEG series motherboards are designed for PC hardware enthusiasts keen on extreme performance and advanced technology features.

MEG Z390 ACE is designed to empower users with incredible potential and dazzle onlookers with its striking appearance. Mystic Light Infinity, an innovative infinity mirror lighting zone, shows millions of colors across 29 dynamic effects. An aggressive 12+1 power phase layout guarantees reliable operation with compatible Intel processors even when overclocked. Up to three high performance NVMe solid state drives can be added with the Triple Turbo M.2 arrangement for blazing fast storage transfer speeds. With a host of other features – Pre-Installed I/O Shielding, Audio Boost HD, Core Boost, DDR4 Boost with Steel Armor, Game Boost dial, Dual Front USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C – make your every play GODLIKE and ACE your enemies.

MEG Z390 ACE - ACE YOUR ENEMY
The MPG GAMING EDGE family clears a path with cutting-edge designs, stylized with sharp lines and a holographic heatsink surface that can split and refract light. The first generation of the MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE family includes products in ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX form factors. MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE AC and MPG Z390M GAMING EDGE AC are forged for mainstream gaming performance while the MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC is designed for powerful small form factor systems. A Core Boost optimized VRM layout with an Extended Heatsink drive high-end Intel processors even under the harshest conditions. The fastest storage devices are supported by the inclusion of Twin Turbo M.2 and Intel Turbo USB 3.1 Gen2.
Integration of the CNVi wave 2 Wireless solution from Intel introduces Wi-Fi transfer speeds up to 1.73GHz. Pristine 7.1 surround sound audio is achieved through the use of premium audio components mounted onto an isolated circuit.

Stay sharp with the MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE family.

 

Source: MSI

ASUS ROG STRIX B360-I Gaming, a small motherboard at a small price

Subject: Motherboards | October 25, 2018 - 02:01 PM |
Tagged: asus, ROG Strix, B360-I Gaming, lga1151, RGB, mini-itx

For someone looking to build a small system for a reasonable price and doesn't want or need to put effort into tweaking it, this ASUS ROG Strix motherboard is a decent choice.  The chipset simply doesn't support overclocking which also means less to break when investigating the UEFI.  With the small size, single PCIe 16x slot and two DIMM slots it will not satisfy a power user, but a build for a friend or family member who has fairly basic needs it might be perfect. 

[H]ard|OCP provides a full review here.

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"It seems there is a new mini-ITX motherboard model every time you turn around. We’ve often looked at the higher end of the spectrum on these little power houses. This time we switch gears and look at a more budget oriented option than we are used to, how does this $128 motherboard hold up to its more expensive brethren? "

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

MEG in the centerfold! A peek at MSI's new Z390 Godlike motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | October 9, 2018 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: msi, meg Z390 godlike, Z390, Intel

We are currently limited to unboxing and showing off Z390 motherboards; no performance reviews yet.  MSI's MEG was the queen of X399 motherboards so it will be interesting to see if they can replicate their success on the Z390 chipset. As you can see below there are a large amount of features; those metal shields cover the three M.2 ports with a U.2 hidden away as well, with the option to add another pair of M.2 with an adapter.  For PCIe you have four 16x slots as well as a 1x, so you know you are going to have a fair number of PCIe lanes available on the chip and motherboard. 

TechPowerUp has more in their preview here.

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"MSI pulled out all the stops for their massive, EATX-sized MEG Z390 Godlike motherboard, which comes with three M.2 slots, full RGB support, and an adapter to add two more M.2 NVMe slots. You also get an OLED screen that can display pre-programmed stats and messages."

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Source: TechPowerUp
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Preview and Technical Specifications

Introduction

02-board-box.jpg

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

03-board.jpg

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

With the release of Intel's lastest consumer-oriented chipset, the Z390, GIGABYTE released the details of their Z390 board line. GIGABYTE's initial sampling to PC Perspective was their Z390 AORUS Pro motherboard, featuring a matte black PCB and an armored rear panel assembly and an integrated rear panel shield. In keeping with their previous AORUS series board designs, GIGABYTE spread RGB LEDs throughout the board's surface, configurable via the Windows applet. The board offers support for the latest Intel 9th genation processors (as well as maintaining support for the 8th generation processors) and Dual Channel DDR4 memory via the Intel Z390 chipset.

Board Features

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

  • Supports 9th and 8th Intel® Core™ Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
  • 12+1 Phase Digital VRM Solution with DrMOS
  • Advanced Thermal Design with Screw mounted Heatsinks and Heatpipe
  • ALC1220-VB Enhance 114dB(Rear)/ 110dB(Front) SNR in Microphone with WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • Intel® Gigabit LAN with cFos Speed
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show design, support Addressable LED & RGB LED strips
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • Front USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ Header
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save the Power as Easy as One Click

04-board-flyapart.jpg

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

05-board-profile.jpg

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.

06-pwr-plane.jpg

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

07-cpu-power-circuitry.jpg

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

To power the board, GIGABYTE integrated 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 its excellent overclockability when used in combination with the Intel 9th generation processors.

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

Feast your eyes on ASRock's complete Z390 lineup

Subject: Motherboards | October 5, 2018 - 04:31 PM |
Tagged: Z390, socket 1151, Intel

Here's a fresh leak for Friday, grabbed before they are inevitably taken down.  Pop over quickly for a closer look.  Click on the pictures to be able read them.

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Click through for the rest!

Source: ASRock