Motherboards

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX Motherboard Review

A Closer Look

The Aorus Pro AX is a great looking motherboard, with a really clean layout and a design that packs a lot in, but manages to not look overly cluttered. It does pack in some RGB lighting, but it’s pretty much all matte grey and black throughout.

The CPU shouldn’t have any issues with overclocking, thanks to a competitive Direct 12 Phase Digital Power Design with 55A DrMOS. Plus, you get some pretty legit looking heat skins with a thick heat pipe joining them. They use actual fins rather than just a large block. That’s on top of a 6-layer PCB which uses 2x copper for better conductivity.

Power comes from an 8-pin header at the top, with an optional 4-pin for added voltage stability. It even comes with metal trim to armour the headers.

Moving alone, you’ll find all of the memory slots are fully armoured too.

There are three full-size PCI lanes, as well as two 1x lanes. As you can see, the top two are fully armoured, so they’ll easily support the weight of high-end GPUs.

There are two armoured M.2 mounts on offer too, plus one above the PCIe lanes without armour. I’m not sure why the top one doesn’t have a heatsink though, but if you’re buying something like the AORUS RGB 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, you won’t need one anyway.

The audio hardware is pretty robust on this motherboard too, and there’s a bank of gold capacity’s on show down here. I’m conflicted though, should they show these or hide them to keep that monochrome look intact?

The triple M.2 mounts are supported by an additional 3 x SATA slots on the right side.

If you’re the person who always forgets the rear I/O panel, you’ll be glad to see that its pre-installed. There’s a load of USB ports here too, so hooking up peripherals and storage devices should be a breeze. You even get USB Type-C, HDMI, 2.5 GbE LAN, and WiFi 6, so connectivity should not be an issue.

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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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