The Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master supports 10th and 11th Gen Intel Core Series Processors 14 Phases Digital VRM with 90A Smart Power Stage Next Generations VRM Cooling Fins Array and Direct Touch Heatpipe with Nanocarbon coating NanoCarbon Baseplate Shielded Xtreme Memory Design with Tantalum Polymer Capacitors Array Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4. In the dark, starless night, the falcon strikes fear into the heart of its prey.

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GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS MASTER: PCB Review – Steve’s Hardware

The motherboard has a very neutral aesthetic appeal, with a nice black and gunmetal color theme. Most of the motherboard’s shields are actually made of actual metal instead of the typical plastic we see most of the time. There are eight fan headers located on the motherboard, including two pump headers that probably operate at full speed by default, and a CPU_OPT header. There are also two external temperature sensors circled in green, and there are included temperature probes that you can stick in a GPU or near an exhaust or intake vent in the case.

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We kick off motherboard specifications starting with the Intel LGA1200 socket. This platform is compatible with an entire range of processors from 10th Gen Core i3 to Core i9. This board’s power design is thoroughly overkill, even for the enthusiast overclocker, offering a doubled seven-phase design for the Vcore with Intersil ISL99390 stages at 90A each. SOC is powered by a single Vishay SIC651 50A stage and Intersil ISL69269 PWM controller behind it all.

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The GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Master is a very capable board for overclocking with its solid 14-phase power delivery for the CPU. It uses premium 90 A power stages, with adequate VRM cooling, which we saw in our thermal testing. The GIGABYTE performs better in this regard than most Z490 models we’ve tested, and when it came to testing the overclocks, we saw very tight VDroop control. There are plenty of potentials to unlock with the Z490 Aorus Master, not just for the CPU but also in memory, with official support for DDR4-5000 memory. 

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In this review I’ll be going over the Z490 Aorus Master motherboard for the latest generation of Comet Lake processors.  For those who do not know, Aorus is the gaming brand under Gigabyte that combines features from many of the previous product lines together to create a super motherboard for the aspiring gamer, weekend overclocker and system builder looking for a universal platform to handle it all.

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The GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Master is different. It does have a solid feature set but lacks excessive options or features that drive the price up too much. It’s not an inexpensive solution, but among Z490 motherboards, it offers no compromises on the performance side while being relatively reasonable in the price department. It is a solution ideal for the gamer or the overclocking enthusiast.

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Both Q-Flash and a dual BIOS have been included, providing a redundant safety net for ambitious overclocking. The Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master also offers a full coverage aluminium backplate for added rigidity and additional VRM cooling. All of the features are in order, so let’s see how the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master stacks up against the competition.

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Despite the absence of PCIe 4.0 support, the Daisy Chain memory layout on the Z490 AORUS Master is still something that is worth taking note of, especially if you like to tweak with your memory settings. Such design gives users a better advantage in memory overclocking, notably on 2x8GB memory kits as compared to the T-topology layout on the  Z390 AORUS Master.

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