Gigabyte Z490I AORUS Ultra Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 5 days ago
A Closer Look
I do love mini-ITX motherboards, especially when they cram in so much hardware into such a tiny space. It’s certainly an impressive technical achievement and AORUS has still managed to make everything look amazing too. It’s obviously had to cut down on the phases a bit, but you do still get a Direct 8 Power Phase design, with a 90A Smart Power Stage, Tantalum Capacitor Array and a 10-layer PCB! That’s bloody impressive and should be more than enough to feed the top Intel chips what they need.
A lot of the potential comes from the rather impressive VRM heatsinks. Rather than solid blocks, they’re much more like traditional cooling fins and are stacks in such a way that your airflow should cool them really well. Plus, there’s a C shaped heatpipe linking the top, left and bottom heatsinks.
If that wasn’t enough, the whole thing screws through to a rear backplate, which adds strength, but also just more protection and heat dissipation in general.
Power is fed from a single 8-pin header in the left left of the board.
That lower heatsink offers up TWO M.2 mounts, with one stacked on top of the other, plus the additional heat shield and heatpipe there.
Tucked into the bottom row, you’ll find a full-size PCIe slot with Ultra Durable Armour.
Finally, you’ll find their Solid Pin Power Connectors with Metal Shielding on the 24-pin, just like they have on the 8-pin. There’s also a bank of RGB running down the right side of the box as seen in our header image.