AORUS Master Z390 Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 12 months ago
How Much Does it Cost?
The Aorus Z390 Master Intel 1151 motherboard is available at the time of writing as a pre-order. However, it’ll be listed as for sale at the time we publish this review. Prices may change between then and now. However, at £275.76, it is one of the more expensive models, but rightly so. This board packs a lot of premium features, build quality, and performance. For such a high-end model, I actually think it’s priced fairly competitively. It may yet prove to be one of the most popular high-end Z390 motherboards I would think too.
Aorus really know how to make a great motherboard, and the Master is easily one of their best to date. It still borrows heavily from the design elements on models that came before it. However, I’ve grown to love its almost over the top aesthetic. If anything, Aorus made this one even more extreme looking and stuck in more lighting, more brushed aluminium, more chrome. It’s a motherboard that makes a statement, but it backs up that “hardcore” look with some pretty grown-up features and respectable performance.
When it comes to unleashing the power of the new flagship i9-9900K, I think this is one of the best options on the market. There are higher specification boards, but the prices go up like a rocket, and the law of diminishing returns comes into play. The Master has more than even most enthusiasts will ever need. The dual 8-pin CPU headers, the Direct Touch heatsinks, and the sturdy power delivery with 12 Phases IR Digital VRM and PowIRstage, make it a joy to work with while overclocking. Furthermore, it ensures you’ll be able to maintain that OC longer, even while stressing your system.
What this motherboard lacks (not a lot), it certainly supports. You already have built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, as well as Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed. Plus, there are plentiful USB connections, including, but not limited to, USB 3.1 Gen 2, and Type C. The big selling point is the three M.2 mounts, each with their own brushed aluminium heatsink/shield. With this you can add SSDs or Optane drives for exceptionally fast storage configurations; not forgetting the six SATA 6Gbps ports also.
Audio options are as good as they get for motherboards too. I’m a big fan of the ALC1220 chipset and its audio capabilities. However, backing that up, the Master has the ESS Sabre 9118 DAC with WIMA Audio Capacitors. If you’ve got your high-end speakers and headphones, this motherboard has no issues powering some mighty fine audio hardware.
Should I Buy One?
This is easily one of the most comprehensive Z390 motherboards hitting the market this week. It takes what we love about Z370, and just nips and tweaks a few bits to make it the best it can be. Great connectivity, RGB customisation, aesthetics, and class-leading build quality. Most importantly of all, it’s got one of the better power and component cooling configurations; perfect for getting the big overclocks out of the new 9th Gen CPUs.