Gigabyte AORUS Z490 Motherboard Preview

Z490 AORUS PRO AX Gaming

First up, we have the Z490 AORUS Pro AX, poised to be somewhere in the middle of the high-end gaming motherboards, without going on to the levels of the Elite, Master, or XTREME (and the cost that comes with them). As you can see, a really nicely designed box, albeit within the same theme we’ve seen from them on previous generations.

Good news for those looking at the more high-end CPUs here, with a competent looking VRM/Choke setup. It’s a 12+1 Phases Digital VRM with DrMOS. There’s a pair of big heatsinks with a thick array of fins stacked on each other, and a direct copper contact base, as well as a copper heat pipe linking the two.

There’s also an additional 4pin header to push more power to the CPU socket, which should help with overclocking stability.

That robust chunky hardware persists elsewhere too, with the M.2 shield design matching that of the VRMs, I really like the grain angle on this, it’s subtle, but really nice.

The board features their PCIe 4.0 design, offering two M.2 Gen4 bays, one exposed at the top, one below the bottom heatsink. There’s also three full-size PCIe slots, two of which are armoured, and two 1x slots for good measure.

While M.2 has great appeal, you’ll also find 6 SATA ports giving you all the points you’ll need for traditional SSDs and HDDs.

I really like the back of this board too, as it offers up a good range of USB ports, including some USB 3.2 and a USB 3.2 Type C connection. Networking comes from an Intel 2.5 GbE LAN port, as well as the Intel 2×2 802ax WiFi.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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