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Is Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro Worth It?

If you've got up to $180 to spend on a motherboard, the best options without a doubt are the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Elite or the Z390 Aorus Pro. The Pro variant costs about $10 more, coming in at $180. However, they are pretty much the same board, with the pro adding a few extra features such as two thermal guards on both M.2 slots, PCIe armour on both slots, and USB Type-C on the I/O panel. We've tested out both boards in-house, and the VRM thermal performance is exceptional, beating $300+ models from Asus. You can gigabyte z390 aorus pro review to know more about this. 

Aorus Pro is Gigabyte's newest motherboard in their lineup, and it has a lot of features to offer. It comes with the Intel Z390 chipset, an 11 phase power design for robust overclocking capabilities, dual M.2 slots for blazing-fast SSD/NVME storage solutions, 2x gigabit ethernet ports for lag-free gaming or streaming content across your network, 8+4pin ATX12V connector to support up to 600W of total power output (not including CPU), three RGB headers for LED lighting customization on your case interior or liquid cooling system bay reservoir components - just name it! This motherboard will have you covered whether you're looking to build a powerful workstation computer that can handle any workload thrown at it without. 

What is the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro?

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro is the most expensive of the four more affordable boards in this Z390 group test. Still, there are small margins at place here – its £173 price makes it only seven pounds more expensive than the ASRock Z390 Extreme4 and twelve pounds more than the Asus TUF Z390-PLUS Gaming, but not quite as cheap as the $140 MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk.

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro – Design and Features

The Z390 Aorus Pro goes some way to justifying its cost with excellent aesthetic design.

The rear IO cover, the heatsink at the top of the board and the southbridge heatsink have brushed metal and dramatic angles, and you get more RGB LEDs on this board than in any of its affordable rivals – they're in the two major heatsinks, the audio circuitry and between the memory slots.

Gigabyte's board looks good, and it ticks more specification boxes than most of its slightly cheaper rivals.

It has three PCI-E x16 slots, with one at full speed, a second is capable of 8x speed, and a third at 4x speed alongside three PCI-E x1 slots. The Gigabyte also supports dual-graphics systems from AMD and Nvidia. That's the same situation as the ASRock and a better PCI bill of health than the Asus and MSI boards.

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This is the only board in the cheaper group to offer steel strengthening on both its PCI and its memory slots, and the Gigabyte supports 128GB of DDR4 memory – twice as much as the ASRock.

If you prefer to spend serious amounts of cash on your motherboard and have a big box with drool-worthy accessories inside, then we've covered plenty of pricey Z390 boards over the last few months. However, we've seen recently from sub-£200 motherboards from Asus (TUF Z390-Plus Gaming (WiFi)) and MSI (MAG Z390 Tomahawk) that you don't need to spend too big to get a board that can cope with Intel's mighty Core i9-9900K while also sporting a few premium features such as M.2 heatsinks, USB 3.1, or high-end audio. Gigabyte aims at this segment of the market with its Z390 Aorus Pro, which comes both with or without WiFi. It's the non-Wi-Fi version on our test bench today, and it currently retails for £169.

You'll need to spend another 10 pounds to get the WiFi version depending on where you buy it from, but in the US, you're looking at just a couple of dollars, so you may as well go for it. Asus and MSI dipped under the £170 mark in fairly different ways, with MSI cutting back on audio and WiFi to offer more USB ports, including USB 3.1 support plus a generous amount of fan headers. At the same time, Asus opted for better audio and included WiFi.

On Intel's desktop Z390 chipset, there are around seven different ATX sized motherboards to choose from in the $180-200 price bracket. This not only puts pressure on manufacturers to deliver a high blend of premium features for a better price than the competition and use unique visuals like a peacock's plume to entice users. GIGABYTE's Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI is one with a $195 price tag. The Aorus brand is aimed squarely at gamers. Therefore, the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI looks to stake GIGABYTEs claim in a highly contested segment with a premium feature set at an affordable price.

You get two M.2 slots, and both have heatsinks – something that few rivals offer. The Gigabyte has the standard six SATA ports, and at the top, you have an extra four-pin CPU power connector – just like the ASRock and MSI boards. That's a boon if you want to pump extra electricity into the CPU for some overclocking.

There's normal Gigabit Ethernet, and audio comes from the Realtek ALC1220 chipset – a mainstream chip, sure, but a little better than the audio kit you'll find in the MSI and Asus boards.

You don't get a third M.2 slot on this board for a wireless card, but that's one of the only major features that's missing here but is found on rivals.

Six fan headers are scattered around the board, and they're all four-pin connectors with PWM. There are four lighting strip headers, too. You get two onboard USB 2 headers and a USB 3.1 Type-C connector for attaching to a case's front panel.

You only get one onboard USB 3.1 connector, but that still supports two USB 3.1 ports on the front of a case – and so it will be fully compatible with the vast majority of enclosures.

The rear IO has five full-size USB 3.1 ports. Two of those support the faster Gen 2 protocol, while ASRock's board only has one full-size port that uses Gen 2. In addition, you get a USB 3.1 Type-C port, five audio jacks and four USB 2 ports – so, if you want USB connectivity, this board has everything else beaten.

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro – Performance

Specifications

  • Chipset Intel Z390
  • Form factor ATX
  • CPU support Intel Socket LGA 1151-V2
  • Memory support Dual-channel, four slots, max 64GB
  • Sound Eight-channel Realtek ALC 1220
  • Networking 1 x Intel Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports 2 x M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 32Gbps/SATA 6Gbps (1 x up to 22110, 1 x up to 2280), 6 x SATA 6Gbps, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C header, 5 x USB 3.0 (2 via headers), 8 x USB 2.0 (4 via headers), 1 x LAN, audio out, line in, mic, Optical S/PDIF out
  • Dimensions (mm) 305 x 244
  • Extras RGB LED extension cables, M.2 heatsink, 2 x thermal probe cables.

The Gigabyte has an excellent specification considering its price – and it has excellent performance, too.

In Cinebench's single- and multi-core tests, the Gigabyte's scores of 210cb and 1506cb are better than all of its affordable rivals. Its Geekbench results of 6032 and 28904, similarly, almost always beat this board's key competition.

These scores don't often compete with the more expensive boards in the wider group, but they're not far short – and better than anything else at this price.

The Gigabyte bolstered its application performance with decent performance in storage and memory tests. While not class-leading here, it was never bad, and it was usually more consistent than the other boards at this end of the market.

It's great when gaming, too. Its 3D Mark Time Spy and Fire Strike scores of 7681 and 17847 are both better than any other budget board can manage. As a result, it competed with pricier boards in Shadow of the Tomb Raider – and in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, it was actually the best performer in the entire test.

You get an impressive eight four-pin hybrid fan headers with up to 24W available from each, and Gigabyte also has the best fan control both in terms of EFI and Windows software out there too, with the ability to pick from numerous temperature inputs as well as switch fans off individually in low-temperature situations. The board also sports a pair of two-pin thermal probe headers with two probes included in the box.

That does not mean you'll only see three processors in the Core 9000 range; word out on the street is that a proc like 9100, 9400 and 9500 Core series processor will be released as well. However, this specific launch invokes three processors. We'll use the eight-core / sixteen threads Core i9 9900K through our benchmark paces for this review. With this motherboard, you'll be able to tweak this proc towards at least 5.0 GHz on all eight cores.

So yeah, the Z390 AORUS Pro has seven IR Digital ISL69138 VRMs, 12 SiC634 MOSFETs and six ISL6617APhase Doublers. It has been embedded with four DDR4 DIMM slots offering 4266 MHz (OC) frequencies on the AORUS Z390 Pro. Storage includes six SATA III ports and two M2 slots. All M.2 slots have an AORUS M.2 shield to cool them, and they look pretty sweet, alright. A single Gigabit jack is embedded (Intel) lacking. However, it is WIFI (A WIFI model is available for a tenner extra which is highly recommended to opt for). The board, as stated, is positioned in that higher-end region of what is considered the mainstream desktop segment. Realtek 1220 gets supplemented by an ESS Audio DAC and WIMA filters. 

Another notable aspect is the memory with four slots allowing for up to 128 GB of DDR4 RAM to be installed; this means the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI supports the newer 32 GB UDIMMs. Speed-wise, the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI can support up to DDR4-4266 and allows for both ECC and non-ECC unbuffered memory to be used. Storage is standard for a board of this calibre with six SATA slots and two M.2 slots; both M.2 slots include their own individual heatsink. On the audio front, the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI uses a Realtek ALC1220-VB HD audio codec which offers five 3.5 mm audio jacks on the rear panel and a S/PDIF optical output.

Looking at performance and when compared to the GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Master we recently reviewed, the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI is highly competitive. The Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI delivers one of the quickest POST times we've seen and competed well with other boards in our focused computational benchmarks. Unfortunately, the flip side is negative DPC Latency performance with the worst score from any LGA1151 model tested. Regarding power consumption, the GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI isn't exactly the most power-efficient motherboard on the market. Still, it's certainly nothing to be concerned about, and overall, the performance from our test suite is positive.

Should I Buy the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro?

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The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro is a few pounds more expensive than its rivals at the affordable end of the market – but it more than justifies the cost in several areas.

It's got a solid specification, with ample PCI versatility, good onboard ports and a versatile rear IO. It looks great, with more RGB LEDs and eye-catching design than rivals.

Other boards have more SATA ports or a third M.2 connector for wireless, but those are minor issues that won't affect many people. However, when it comes to mainstream features, the Gigabyte has everything covered.

It's a better performer than its rivals, too – routinely faster in applications, much quicker in games, and more consistent in every test.

This board does cost a little more, but it's definitely worth it. Of course, if you want to save some pennies, the ASRock is better for work, and the MSI is better for gaming – but the Gigabyte is the best affordable all-rounder by some distance.

The Gigabyte is a tad more expensive than rivals at the affordable end of the market, but it justifies its cost with better features in almost every department alongside faster, more consistent performance in applications and games. A superb option for the majority of affordable and mainstream builds.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro

Gigabyte's B550M Aorus Pro is a worthy MicroATX motherboard option with a reasonable $129.99 price tag. It handles AMD's flagship 5000 series CPU and offers enough features to build your B550-based system, so long as integrated WiFi isn't a requirement.

However, the gamers have been wondering does the ASUS Prime Z390-A has WiFi? For a straight answer, no, there is no built-in WiFi configuration in this motherboard, but the users can harness connectivity and signals through an adapter. This is because you won't have to invest in additional drivers with such adapters.

It is also backward compatible with Multi-Gig(10/100/1000/2500Mbps) RJ-45 ethernet. In addition, the onboard 802.11ac WIFI module from Intel® supports Dual Band and up to 433 Mbps, 3x faster WIFI speed than 802.11n and supports BLUETOOTH 4.2.

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