Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master, DDR5 And 19 105A Power Stages
A Great Overclocker, If Your Alder Lake CPU Can Keep It’s Cool
There is a lot of options available to you if you pick up Gigabyte’s Z690 AORUS Master, including three PCIe x16 slots, two 3.0 and one 5.0, the ubiquitous half dozen SATA 6 Gb/s ports and a total of five M.2 sockets, four of which are PCIe Gen4 x4 and one limited to PCIe Gen3 x4. The backplate offers an impressive array of USB ports including two Type-C ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 one a Gen 2, as well as nine Type-A, of which five are 3.2 Gen 2 and four 3.2 Gen 1. As for networking, Intel has provided both 10 GbE LAN and Wi-Fi 6E AX210; as you might expect, fitting all this onto the board means it is an E-ATX board.
TechPowerUp’s overclocking testing on a Core i9-12900K, which they warn may not be good for long term life as we are not yet that familiar with Alder Lake’s tolerances, was fairly impressive and limited mostly by temperature but also by their comfort with the voltages applied. They took the P cores up to 5.0GHz with 1.35V for Prime95, with the system able to POST and run at 5.2GHz under lesser workloads. The E cores quickly hit 100C and started throttling when both the E cores and Ring Cache were set to 4.0GHz at 1.35V.
Gigabyte chose to limit some of the extras seen on other Z690 boards, such as an LCD screen, which has kept the price to a comparably low MSRP of $490. If you do pick it up, TPU suggests you update the BIOS as soon as possible; they encountered some challenges with the BIOS the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master shipped with.
Gigabyte is packing heat with the Z690 Aorus Master. This motherboard is designed for Intel's 12th Gen Core and boasts a massive 20-phase VRM using 105 A power stages. Built for connectivity, the Z690 Aorus Master has features like PCIe 5.0, DDR5, Wi-Fi 6E, 10 GbE LAN, and five M.2 sockets to round out the experience!