With Intel 12th Gen Core processors announced, it’s time for motherboard vendors to announce what they’ve been working on. In Gigabyte’s case, its Z690 line-up will consist of 14 motherboards for different customers, ranging from a basic user up to a hardware enthusiast looking for the very best for their new build.
Starting at the bottom of the hierarchy in the Z690 line-up, there’s the UD series. This series will consist of the Z690 UD DDR4, Z690 UD and the Z690 UD AX. As their name implies, only the latter two will support DDR5, leaving the first as the only DDR4-compatible solution for basic users. All of these models will come with a 16 1 2 digital VRM phase design cooled by MOS heatsinks with 5W/mK thermal pads and support for PCIe 5.0. It’s also worth mentioning that only the Z690 UD AX has built-in WiFi connectivity.
Each of these motherboards features 3x M.2 PCIe 4.0 interfaces, 6x SATA III ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort and a 2.5G LAN port. As for USB connectivity, there are a total of 17x USB ports, including a USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen2x2 port and a USB-A 3.2 Gen2 port. Moreover, all models support Q-Flash Plus to update the BIOS without needing to have the CPU installed. The Z690 UD DDR4 will come at £184.99, the Z690 UD at £189.99 and the Z690 UD AX for £209.99.
Moving to the Gaming series, there’s the Z690 Gaming X DDR4 and the Z690 Gaming X. Both have a lot in common, including the 16 1 2 VRM phase design and a fully covered MOS heatsink with 5W/mK thermal pads and the included 2x enlarged M.2 thermal guards for M.2 PCIe SSDs. None of these motherboards come with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Like the UD motherboards, the Gaming ones also have 6x SATA III ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort and a 2.5G LAN port and support Q-Flash Plus technology. In addition, each has 4x M.2 PCIe 4.0 interfaces and is equipped with the Realtek ALC1220 audio codec. USB port configuration is exactly the same as the UD series, but instead of featuring a USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port, it’s a USB-C 3.2 Gen2 port. Both Gigabyte Z690 Gaming X motherboards will hit the market at £199.99.
For now, the Aero series only features the Z690 Aero G motherboard, but more may come in the future. Aimed at creators, it uses a 16 1 2 digital VRM phase design cooled by 2x large MOS heatsinks with a direct–touch heatpipe and 5W/mK thermal pads and comes with a couple of enlarged M.2 thermal guards for M.2 PCIe SSDs. Audio is handled by the Realtek ALC4080 codec.
Supporting WiFi6 and featuring a 2.5G LAN port, the Gigabyte Z690 Aero G motherboard’s connectivity makes creators’ life easier. With 4x M.2 PCIe 4.0 interfaces, 6x SATA III ports, an HDMI 1.4 port and a USB-C port with DisplayPort alt. mode. Additionally, there are also 17x USB ports, including a USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port, 2x USB-C 3.2 Gen2x2 ports and 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen2 ports. The Z690 Aero G motherboard’s MSRP is set at £249.99.
Lastly, there’s the Aorus series, which includes the Z690I Aorus Ultra, the Z690 Aorus Elite DDR4, the Z690 Aorus Elite Ax, the Z690 Aorus Pro, the Z690 Aorus Ultra, the Z690 Aorus Master, the Z690 Aorus Xtreme and the Z690 Aorus Xtreme Waterforce. Although they all belong to the same series, their specifications differ a lot from one another.
For example, the Z690I Aorus Ultra is the only ITX motherboard in the line-up, featuring a 10 1 2 digital VRM phase design cooled by Gigabyte’s Fins-Array II system, with a multi-layered PCH, a heatpipe, 9W/mK thermal pads, and an aluminium baseplate. Unlike the rest of the lineup, this ITX board only has 2x memory slots. However, despite its reduced dimensions, it supports WiFi6, 2.5G LAN connectivity. Additionally, it features 2x SATA III ports, 2x M.2 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort and 15x USB ports, from which one is a USB-C 3.2 Gen2x2 ports, another one is a USB-C 3.2 Gen2 port, and 3x are USB-A 3.2 Gen2 ports. The MSRP of the Z690I Aorus Ultra is set at £279.99.
Both Z690 Aorus Elite DDR4 and Elite AX motherboards are very similar, but while one supports DDR4 memory, the other has WiFi connectivity and supports DDR5 memory. Both have a 16 1 2 VRM phase design fully covered by MOS Heatsink with 5W/mK pads, 2x enlarged M.2 thermal guard heatsinks, 4x M.2 PCIe 4.0 interfaces, 6x SATA III ports and the same USB configuration as the Gaming X boards. There’s also an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort and the Realtek ALC1220-VB2 codec. The Z690 Aorus Elite DDR4 will come at £229.99, and the Z690 Aorus Elite AX at £249.99.
The Z690 Aorus Pro, the Z690 Aorus Ultra, the Z690 Aorus Master are the final steps to the flagship Xtreme motherboards. Jumping from the Z690 Aorus Pro to the Z690 Aorus Ultra, the main difference is in the cooling, where the latter uses 9w/mK pads and better heatsinks for the SSDs. Everything else is more or less the same, including the 16 1 2 digital VRM phase design paired with Fins-Array II system, 4x M.2 PCIe 4.0 interfaces, 6x SATA III ports, 2.5G LAN port, WiFi6, Realtek ALC4080 codec and DisplayPort. Both boards share the same USB layout, featuring 20x USB ports (4x USB-A 3.2 Gen2 ports and 2x USB-C Gen2x2 ports). The Z690 Aorus Pro will cost you £289.99, and the Z690 Aorus Ultra is about £319.99.
The Z690 Aorus Master is like an enhanced Aorus Pro, featuring a 19 1 2 digital VRM phase design cooled by Fins-Array III system with NanoCarbon coating, a baseplate, a direct–touch heatpipe II, 9 W/mK pads and a 10G heatsink. It also comes with 2x enlarged M.2 thermal guard heatsinks for the SSD, but it also comes with an extra standalone heatsink included. LAN connectivity is made through the Aquantia 10G port, and audio is handled by the Realtek ALC1220 audio codec and optionally by the included Sabre 9118EQ DAC. It also has one more M.2 PCIe 3.0 interface and 2x extra USB ports (USB-C 3.2 Gen2 and USB-A 3.2 Gen2). Gigabyte’s Z690 Aorus Master MSRP is set at £429.99.
The Z690 Aorus Xtreme and Xtreme Waterforce E-ATX motherboards sit at the top of the pile. Both boards are exactly the same with one key difference: the Waterforce model comes with an integrated waterblock. Both boards use a 20 1 2 digital VRM phase design cooled by the same system as the Aorus Master board. Moreover, each has 4x M.2 PCIe 4.0 interfaces, 10G and 2.5G LAN ports, WiFi6 connectivity, 2x Thunderbolt ports, and 21x USB ports (10x USB-A Gen2 and a USB 3.2 Gen2x2). The MSRP of these boards has not been announced yet.
KitGuru says: Gigabyte has an extensive range of motherboards ready for Intel’s latest processors. Are you thinking of upgrading?
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