Today we will be presenting the Z490 AORUS Master from Gigabyte! There is always a bunch to cover when doing a motherboard review. These reviews tend to be very long and contain a ton of information. We always try and test every aspect of the board, even storage speeds. Each board has its limitations and it a good idea to test each part and relay that information to you guys. Now your mileage may vary, of course due to chip quality and and a plethora of other things. But this will give you a solid base to start with. The Z490 came out and was intended to only serve Intel 10th gen processors. Thankfully Gigabyte has updated their bios to actually support 11th gen. I don’t deny, It was a sigh of relief when I first heard this. Yes we will be slapping a 11900K in this motherboard and see what its capable of and if the Z490 chipset has any limitations with the 11900K. We will also be following up with a review of the Z590 Vision G from Gigabyte. This will be a great apples to apples comparison of the boards. We will be using the identical hardware for the review. That will be perfect to see if their are any performance gains comparing the two! So be sure to stay tuned and keep checking back in the next few weeks. On the next few pages we will began to cover every small detail of this motherboard. Then further in the review we will throw in some testing. Lets continue and get to the good stuff!
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. Even with minimal visibility, the falcon pinpoints its prey and patiently anticipates the perfect moment to swoop in for the kill. The falcon with its laser sharp gaze dominates the darkness of night in the same manner that AORUS Core Lighting illuminates the vast AORUS ecosystem.
I would like to thank Gigabyte for providing this review samples! Without their support this review would not happen. So a big Thank You goes out to GIGABYTE! Let us see what they have to say about themselves on their website:
About AORUS – Enter the Falcon
AORUS, a premium gaming brand powered by GIGABYTE, delivers a full spectrum of gaming products ranging from gaming laptops, motherboards, graphics cards, mechanical gaming keyboards, to many other gaming hardware and gears, offering the most extreme gaming experiences for enthusiasts worldwide!
Team Up. Fight On.
AORUS shares the same passion with gamers who devote their heart and soul to gaming. With AORUS, the pinnacle of our hardware excellence, we are committed to bring a wide array of gaming innovation that delivers ultimate performance and exemplifies the PC’s capability for bringing gamers unprecedented delights.
AORUS will continue to take parts in global gaming events, connecting with the community and actively listening to gamers’ desires in order to create marvelous products that meet gamers’ genuine needs.
We are looking to team up with gamers in their quest for gaming, to challenge the limits without fear, and to fight on as we rise to the ultimate glory!
Lets move on the next page and see what the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master packaging beholds!
- Z490 AORUS MASTER motherboard
- Motherboard driver disc
- User’s Manual
- Quick Installation Guide
- Four SATA cables
- One antenna
- Two RGB LED strip extension cables
- One noise detection cable
- Two thermistor cables
- One G Connector
- This 100% digital controller, new Tantalum Polymer Capacitors Array, and additional 8+8 Solid-pin CPU Power Connectors offer incredible precision and stability in delivering power to the motherboard’s most power-hungry and energy-sensitive components, allowing enthusiasts to get the absolute maximum overclocking performance from the new 10-core 10th Gen. Intel Core 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, 4 DIMMs
- Intel 2.5 GbE LAN
- 3x M.2 AORUS Next Generation Thermal Guard
- Intel WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 2×2 with AORUS Antennas
- AMP UP Audio ALC1220-VB2 with ESS Sabre ES9118 Rear Audio DAC
- Memory Storage Capacity: 10000 Tb
- Support for 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 processors/Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® with the most recent bio update!
- Support for 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 processors/Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1200 package
- L3 cache varies with CPU
- Intel® Z490 Express Chipset
- Intel® Core™ i9/i7 processors:
Support for DDR4 5000(O.C.)/4933(O.C.)/4800(O.C.)/ 4700(O.C.)/ 4600(O.C.)/ 4500(O.C.)/ 4400(O.C.)/ 4300(O.C.)/4266(O.C.) / 4133(O.C.) / 4000(O.C.) / 3866(O.C.) / 3800(O.C.) / 3733(O.C.) / 3666(O.C.) / 3600(O.C.) / 3466(O.C.) / 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2933 / 2800 / 2666 / 2400 / 2133 MHz
- Intel® Core™ i5/i3/Pentium®/Celeron® processors:
Support for DDR4 2666/2400/2133 MHz memory modules
- 4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 128 GB (32 GB single DIMM capacity) of system memory
- Dual channel memory architecture
- Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
- Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules
- Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer to “Memory Support List” for more information.)
- Integrated Graphics Processor-Intel® HD Graphics support:
- 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2160@30 Hz
* Support for HDMI 1.4 version and HDCP 2.3.
- 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2160@30 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 512 MB
- Realtek® ALC1220-VB codec
* The front panel line out jack supports DSD audio.
- ESS ES9118EQ DAC chip
- Support for DTS:X® Ultra
- High Definition Audio
- Support for S/PDIF Out
- Intel® 2.5GbE LAN chip (2.5 Gbit/1 Gbit/100 Mbit)
Wireless Communication Module
- Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201
- WIFI a, b, g, n, ac with wave 2 features, ax, supporting 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band
- BLUETOOTH 5.0
- Support for 11ax 160MHz wireless standard and up to 2.4 Gbps data rate
* Actual data rate may vary depending on environment and equipment.
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
* The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode.
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
- Support for NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ and 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technologies
- Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire™ and 2-Way AMD CrossFire™ technologies
- 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2P_SB)
- 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2A_CPU)
- 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2M_SB)
- 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
* Refer to “1-9 Internal Connectors,” for the installation notices for the M.2 and SATA connectors.
- Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
- M.2 connectors support up to ASPM L1.2 PCIe power management protocols.
- 2 x USB Type-C™ ports, with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support (1 port on the back panel, 1 port available through the internal USB header)
- 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red) on the back panel
- 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
- Chipset+2 USB 2.0 Hubs:
- 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
- 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
- 2 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors
- 1 x CPU fan header
- 1 x water cooling CPU fan header
- 4 x system fan headers
- 2 x system fan/water cooling pump headers
- 2 x addressable LED strip headers
- 2 x RGB LED strip headers
- 3 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors
- 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- 1 x front panel header
- 1 x front panel audio header
- 1 x USB Type-C™ header, with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support
- 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 header
- 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
- 1 x noise detection header
- 2 x Thunderbolt™ add-in card connectors
- 1 x Trusted Platform Module header (For the GC-TPM2.0 SPI/GC-TPM2.0 SPI 2.0 module only)
- 1 x power button
- 1 x reset button
- 2 x temperature sensor headers
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
- 2 x BIOS switches
Back Panel Connectors
- 1 x Q-Flash Plus button
- 1 x Clear CMOS button
- 2 x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R)
- 1 x HDMI port
- 1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support
- 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red)
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
- 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
- 1 x RJ-45 port
- 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
- 5 x audio jacks
- iTE® I/O Controller Chip
- Voltage detection
- Temperature detection
- Fan speed detection
- Water cooling flow rate detection
- Overheating warning
- Fan fail warning
- Fan speed control
* Whether the fan (pump) speed control function is supported will depend on the fan (pump) you install.
- Noise detection
- 2 x 256 Mbit flash
- Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
- Support for DualBIOS™
- PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
- Support for APP Center
* Available applications in APP Center may vary by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also vary depending on motherboard specifications.
- Fast Boot
- Game Boost
- RGB Fusion
- Smart Backup
- System Information Viewer
- USB TurboCharger
- Support for Q-Flash Plus
- Support for Q-Flash
- Support for Xpress Install
- Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
- XSplit Gamecaster + Broadcaster (12 months license)
- Support for Windows 10 64-bit
- ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
- Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors’ website or 3rd party website.
- Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.
* The entire materials provided herein are for reference only. GIGABYTE reserves the right to modify or revise the content at anytime without prior notice.
* Advertised performance is based on maximum theoretical interface values from respective Chipset vendors or organization who defined the interface specification. Actual performance may vary by system configuration.
* All trademarks and logos are the properties of their respective holders.
* Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage and therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount.
Now lets move on to the next page and take a closer look at the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master!
A Closer Look
- 90A Smart Power Stage for Each vCore Phase
- High Current Capacity MOSFET
- Tantalum Polymer Capacitors Array
- Lower Temperatures
- Improved Transient
AORUS is offering a tested and proven platform that ensures proper compatibility with profiles up to 5000MHz and beyond. All users need to do to attain this performance boost is to ensure that their memory module is XMP capable and that the XMP function is activated and enabled on their AORUS motherboard.
Now lets move on to the Bios of the Z490 AORUS Master!
- New User Interface
- All new EASY MODE shows important hardware information in one page including CPU clock, Memory, Storage, Fan.
- My Favorites
- Add constantly used items into the favorite menu for quick access.
- Storage Information
- Show all kinds of storage information including SATA, PCIE and M.2 interface.
- List all changes before saving and exiting bios. Quickly review overall settings modification.
- Intuitive Load Line Curve
- Clearly show each loadline calibration setting in an intuitive curve graph.
GIGABYTE RGB Fusion APP
Don’t just make your PC shine, make it a work of art that friends will envy. With the GIGABYTE RGB Fusion mobile app users can watch as they control the lighting within their gaming PC. This gives users ease of access as they try and adjust colors and speeds for different modes, all this can be achieved away from the keyboard and monitor of their PC
GIGABYTE’s EasyTune is a simple and easy-to-use interface that allows users to fine-tune their system settings or adjust system and memory clocks and voltages in a Windows environment. With Smart Quick Boost, one click is all it takes to automatically overclock your system, giving an added performance boost when you need it the most.
System Information Viewer
GIGABYTE System Information Viewer is a central location that gives you access to your current system status. Monitor components such as the clocks and processor, set your preferred fan speed profile, create alerts when temperatures get too high or record your system’s behavior; these are the possibilities of the System Information Viewer.
The GIGABYTE @BIOS app allows you to update your system’s BIOS from within Windows using a simple and slick graphical user interface. @BIOS can automatically download the latest version from the GIGABYTE servers or you can update your BIOS from a file on your computer. @BIOS also allows you to save your current BIOS to a file, recover your previous BIOS from an image and backup your BIOS to an image.
Now lets move on to the next page and check out the new Intel i9 11900K!
Intel Core i9 11900K
Features and Specifications
- Product Collection 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 Processors
- Code Name Products formerly Rocket Lake
- Vertical Segment Desktop
- Processor Number i9-11900K
- Status Launched
- Launch Date Q1’21
- Lithography14 nm
- Use Conditions PC/Client/Tablet
- Recommended Customer Price $539.00 – $549.00
- # of Cores 8
- # of Threads 16
- Processor Base Frequency 3.50 GHz
- Max Turbo Frequency 5.30 GHz
- Intel® Thermal Velocity Boost Frequency 5.30 GHz
- Cache16 MB Intel® Smart Cache
- Bus Speed 8 GT/s
- Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Frequency 5.20 GHz
- Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 Frequency 5.10 GHz
- TDP 125 W
- Configurable TDP-down Frequency 3.00 GHz
- Configurable TDP-down 95 W
- Embedded Options Available No
- Datasheet View now
- Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 128 GB
- Memory Types DDR4-3200
- Max # of Memory Channels 2
- Max Memory Bandwidth 50 GB/s
- ECC Memory Supported No
- Processor Graphics ‡Intel® UHD Graphics 750
- Graphics Base Frequency 350 MHz
- Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency 1.30 GHz
- Graphics Video Max Memory 64 GB
- Execution Units 32
- 4K Support Yes, at 60Hz
- Max Resolution (HDMI) 4096×2160@60Hz
- Max Resolution (DP) 5120 x 3200 @60Hz
- Max Resolution (eDP – Integrated Flat Panel) 5120 x 3200 @60Hz
- DirectX* Support 12.1
- OpenGL* Support 4.5
- Intel® Quick Sync Video Yes
- Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology Yes
- Intel® Clear Video HD Technology Yes
- Intel® Clear Video Technology Yes
- # of Displays Supported 3
- Device ID 0x4C8A
- OpenCL* Support 3.0
- Scalability 1S Only
- PCI Express Revision 4.0
- PCI Express Configurations Up to 1×16+1×4, 2×8+1×4, 1×8+3×4
- Max # of PCI Express Lanes 20
- Sockets Supported FCLGA1200
- Max CPU Configuration 1
- Thermal Solution Specification PCG 2019A
- Intel® Thermal Velocity Boost Temperature 70 °C
- TJUNCTION 100°C
- Package Size 37.5 mm x 37.5 mm
- Intel® Deep Learning Boost (Intel® DL Boost) Yes
- Intel® Thermal Velocity Boost Yes
- Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Yes
- Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
- Intel vPro® Platform Eligibility Yes
- Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology Yes
- Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) Yes
- Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) Yes
- Intel® VT-x with Extended Page Tables (EPT) Yes
- Intel® 64 Yes
- Instruction Set 64-bit
- Instruction Set Extensions Intel® SSE4.1, Intel® SSE4.2, Intel® AVX2, Intel® AVX-512
- Idle States Yes
- Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology Yes
- Thermal Monitoring Technologies Yes
- Intel® Identity Protection Technology Yes
- Intel® Stable Image Platform Program (SIPP) Yes
- Intel® Gaussian and Neural Accelerator 2.0 Yes
Security & Reliability
- Intel® AES New Instructions Yes
- Secure Key Yes
- Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX)No
- Intel® OS Guard Yes
- Intel® Trusted Execution Technology Yes
- Execute Disable Bit Yes
- Intel® Boot Guard Yes
Now that we have all the details covered. Lets move on to what we have been waiting for and put this setup to the test!
Performance and Benchmarking
For our test rig we paired the card with an Intel i9 11900K (Rocket Lake), Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master motherboard and 16GB of Aorus RGB DDR4-4800 memory. All tests are conducted using default speeds on CPU, Card, and RAM unless noted otherwise
|CPU||Intel i9 11900K (Rocket Lake)|
|Cooling||Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master|
|Ram||Aorus RGB DDR4-4800 16GB (2×8)|
|HDD||Samsung 960 EVO 250GB PCIE M.2 SSD|
|PSU||Antec Signature Series 1000W|
|VGA card||EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming|
We would like to thank Futuremark for providing the 3DMark software for use in this testing.
3DMark is arguably the most popular graphics card benchmarking software known to the world. For more than a decade, users have been using the software made by Futuremark to make and break world records and to also test overclocks. The latest version simply known as 3DMark includes several tests for DirectX 9, 10, 11 and 12 hardware. This version also supports cross-platform benchmarking including smartphones and tablets (Android and iOS) this time around. We used the Fire Strike Ultra, and Time Spy benchmarks (all at default settings). I will let the numbers do the talking.
3DMark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spy is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built “the right way” from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With its pure DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.
Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today.
PCMark 10 is the latest in our series of industry standard PC benchmarks. Updated for Windows 10 with new and improved workloads, PCMark 10 is also faster and easier to use. PCMark 10 features a comprehensive set of tests that cover the wide variety of tasks performed in the modern workplace. With express, extended, and custom run options to suit your needs, PCMark 10 is the complete PC benchmark for the modern office and an ideal choice for organizations that buy PCs in high volumes.
Unigine 2 – Superposition (1080p Extreme)
Extreme performance and stability test for PC hardware: video card, power supply, cooling system. Check your rig in stock and overclocking modes with real-life load! Also includes interactive experience in a beautiful, detailed environment.
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more. CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X).
ATTO Disk Benchmark
ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware software to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage.
CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software.It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed, select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill), provide theme support and Multi-Language support.
I was able to hit an easy 5.0Ghz on all cores with ease and the temps were not terrible while running Cinebench20. I will note 5.1 was not stable with 1.4v and half the time it would go into a boot loop.
This was somewhat of a struggle. I am not really sure whay I wasnt able to reach anything above the speeds below. I tried just about every VCCIO and SA voltages and could never get anything better. I was a little disappointed when XMP in dual channel wouldn’t run. I even tried 4133MHz ram and also never achieved anything over 4000MHz. I am disappointed but the results are satisfactory. If you skim through the supported memory list you will see that the max single memory configurations is 4800MHz and the highest Dual channel configuration is 4000MHz (just a different brand). I will definitely know more if this was a chipset limitation with the 11th gen when I review the Z590. Nothing I tried worked over those speeds.
The gaming benchmarks were almost negligible when I was overclocked. The CPU score was higher but the over score was not really impacted.
The Cinebench20 score was higher at 5897 vs a 5799 vs stock settings.
Now lets move and see the Conclusion and Verdict!
Conclusion and Verdict
Now that we have covered everything lets cover a few of my final thoughts. If I was pairing a new motherboard with my new 11900K would I go with this Z490 or the Z590. First off there is a 100 price difference between the two. So if my main objective is to save some money then yes I would choose this everyday of the week. What’s even better if you are slowly upgrading and want to start out with a 10th gen and want to catch these new 11th gen chips later down the road then this is the perfect route to go. It absolutely fantastic this board supports both 10th and 11th gens. This board is hefty. There is armor on the back side and the majority of the front is cover with heat shields. The overall look is sleek and smooth. The overall style is a Ten. Performance is were its supposed to be. I just wish I would of had a little more head room with my RAM. This could be some many things, even the chip itself could have a lower end memory controller. I wont be really sure until I try other motherboards. With that being said the RAM hit the speeds that Gigabyte listed in the support list so I cant be to bummed by not getting a 5100MHz speed out of my ram. Remember stay tuned because I will be moving directly to a Z590 right after this review is completed!
This mother board is loaded with useful features. The most used and most important in my opinion is the CMOS button. This is the most handy button especially if you are trying to overclock or are having compatibility issues. The board has great cooling and everything you could ask for. Yes, even RGB.
I have heard a lot about the new 11th gen and get asked the question, Why Intel what’s the point? Not everything about the new 11th gens are a waste. They still provide a decent improvement over the 10th gens and honestly they had no other choice. I am not a fan boy either way I actually have a 3700X system and an Intel (now with the 11900K).
AMD obviously holds the CPU crown. And they have had the accelerator pushed to floor and it doesn’t appear that they are letting up anytime soon. The worst thing that could of happened was Intel not release the 11th gen when they did and give AMD the opportunity to ease off the push. We as consumers want both companies trying as hard as they can all the time. If Intel falters AMD may ease off and we as consumers will suffer. I love seeing a back and forth between the two. We as consumers are seeing a battle for that top spot and we benefit with great hardware. Competition is great.