Saving its best for last, Gigabyte has announced today the arrival of its flagship Z390 Aorus Xtreme overclocking-centric motherboard. The motherboard manufacturer designed the product with one mission in mind: help PC enthusiasts squeeze all the performance out of Intel's latest 9th generation Core processors, more specifically, the Intel Core i9-9900K.
Credit: GigabyteThe Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme is dressed in black with chunky, stylish heat sinks lit with the company's RGB Fusion lighting. The rear of the E-ATX motherboard is protected by an aluminum base plate with a nanocarbon coating to improve thermal conductivity. The Z390 Aorus Xtreme has the necessary stuff to enable Core i9-9900K owners to defy Intel's turbo policy. It's equipped with with a sturdy 16-phase power delivery subsystem built on top of an eight-layer 2x copper PCB (printed circuit board) for enhanced overclocking. The processor draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors. There's a neat area on the motherboard called OC Touch Panel, which features a plethora of buttons and switches to provide on-the-fly tuning.
Being on the high end of the spectrum, the Z390 Aorus Xtreme comes with all the dressings and more. The four DDR4 memory slots allow users to run up to 64GB of RAM, and Gigabyte guarantees support for DDR4 speeds up to 4,266MHz and beyond as long as the processor's IMC (integrated memory controller) is up to the task. Storage options include six SATA III ports and three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots with passive heat sinks. Expansion-wise, the motherboard has three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and therefore supports two-way SLI and three-way CrossFire graphics card configurations. The x16 slots are accompanied by a pair of PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. Both the memory slots and PCIe 3.0 x16 slots are safeguarded with stainless steel shielding to prevent PCB distortion.
The motherboard alone features eight 4-pin fan headers and eight temperature sensors. Nevertheless, Gigabyte also includes a fan controller, which the company has dubbed the RGB Fan Commander, that adds eight more fan headers and various RGB LED headers to the mix. Users can control the aforementioned headers and sensors through Gigabyte's renewed Smart Fan 5 software.
Credit: GigabyteThe Z390 Aorus Xtreme provides different means for its owners to connect to the internet. The motherboard carries two Ethernet ports: a Gigabit port based on the Intel I219-V controller and a 10 Gigabit port from the Aquantia AQC107 controller. And for those who fancy wireless networking over a cable connection, the Z390 Aorus Xtreme comes equipped with a 2x2 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth 5 combo. On the USB front, the motherboard is decked out with two Thunderbolt 3 ports with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, four USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports and two old school USB 2.0 ports.
Although the motherboard's audio system is based on Realtek's ALC1220 codec, Gigabyte has added a few pieces to spice things up, such as an ESS ES9018K2M Sabre DAC (digital-to-analog converter), Texas Instruments OPA1622 SoundPlus audio operational amplifier and audiophile-grade Japanese Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors and German WIMA capacitors.
Gigabyte hasn't revealed the Z390 Aorus Xtreme's pricing or availability.