Gigabyte & AORUS are announcing their brand new and feature-packed Z690 motherboard lineup which comprises 22 products ranging from extreme high-end designs to entry-level and sub-$200 US designs.
Gigabyte & AORUS Unleash 24 Brand New & Feature Rich Z690 Motherboards For Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs
Just like every generation, Gigabyte is focusing on a few key principles that will define its Z690 line's dominance.
These features include:
Better VRM Design:
- Up To 20+1+2 Phase, 105A Smart Power Stage, All ATX 16+ Phase
DDR5 Xtreme Memory Design:
- Ultra Durable SMD DDR5 Armor, Shielded Memory Routing, DDR5 Auto Booster, DDR5 XMP Booster, XMP 3.0 User Profile
- Fins-Array III, Thermal Guard III, Fully Covered Heatsink, All 6L 2x Copper PCB and Above
Faster Storage & Graphics Interface:
- Full PCIe 5.0 Hardware Design, Ultra Durable SMD PCIe 5.0 Armor, Up To 4x PCIe 4.0 M.2
- Thunderbolt 4, 10 GbE LAN, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, Front USB Type-C, All 2.5GbE and Above, WiFi 6E
As you can see, Gigabyte has a lot of new features to talk about so let's talk about the new VRM design that they are offering this generation. Gigabyte is going with a fully direct Digital VRM design that will comprise up to 20 VCore Phases (105A Power Stage), 1 VCCGT Phase (105A Power Stage), and 2 VCCAUX Phases (70A DrMOS). All ATX motherboards will be configured with a 16+ phase VRM design. Just like the previous generation, Gigabyte is using Tantalum Polymer Capacitors for higher efficiency and lower voltage while maintaining lower temperatures. Gigabyte has shown overclock data where they have achieved up to 8 GHz frequencies on LN2 cooling with their top-tier Xtreme design.
Moving over to DDR5 memory, Gigabyte has said that their motherboards are designed to support up to DDR5-8000 overclocked DIMMs out of the box in dual-channel mode. Furthermore, the brand new Xtreme memory design on Z690 motherboards includes DDR5 SMD DIMMs and the Shielded memory routing to minimize all noise and electrical interference to achieve higher performance. It also looks like Gigabyte has two modes for DDR5 voltages, a secure mode where the PMIIC will be locked at 1.1V and a Programmable mode which unlocks Native DDR5 voltage control & increases the overall memory overclocking performance and capability.
Gigabyte also features a new feature known as DDR5 Auto booster which can automatically increase native DDR5-4800 to 5000 Mbps with the click of a button within the BIOS. The same function is also included to boost XMP profiles that are validated by memory makers. So rather than sticking to the default XMP profiles, you end up with slightly faster XMP 3.0 specs for a free performance.
One of AORUS's & Gigabyte's strongest suites over the last few generations has been their cooling designs on motherboards. The Z690 series takes it to the next level with Fins-Array III. The new heat sink solution has almost double the per-fin surface area with extended fins and an increase of more than 900% in total. The heat sinks themselves are NanoCarbon Coated to enhance thermal radiation and have shown to be 10% cooler than the standard design.
Underneath these massive heat sinks is the Direct-Touch Heatpipe II solution which will comprise 8 mm heat pipes and feature a narrow gap design to dissipate heat more effectively. The same is true for M.2 heatsinks which are receiving a huge upgrade in the form of M.2 Thermal Guard Xtreme which features an extended fin design and even dual Heatpipe on top-tier Z690 boards.
Obviously, we can't move on without mentioning some features such as PCIe 5.0 where Gigabyte is offering up to two Gen 5.0 slots (x8 / x8 mode). The slots come with an SMD Iron Claw that reduces overall signal degradation while the multi-point stainless steel pins increase the overall durability of the slots. You also get up to 4 PCIe 4.0 x4 slots, Thunderbolt 4 support, 20 Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 ports, and USB Type-C front panel headers on all Z690 motherboards, The top motherboards are outfitted with 10 GbE Aquantia LAN ports while you will find 2.5 GbE networking as a standard on all Gigabyte Z690 motherboards. There's also WiFi 6E support with brand new Antennas and you will find a new HEX ESS ES9080A 8x8 channel DAC line driver on the high-end designs.
Coming to the motherboards themselves, there are 24 in total which are listed below (Note: Most motherboards will be hitting retail outlets today while the rest are planned for retail launch later so we will be adding them as they appear):
- Z690 AORUS Tachyon (TBD)
- Z690 AORUS Xtreme WaterForce (TBD)
- Z690 AORUS Xtreme (TBD)
- Z690 AORUS Master ($469.99 US)
- Z690 AORUS Ultra (TBD)
- Z690 AORUS Pro ($329.99 US)
- Z690 AORUS Pro DDR4 (TBD)
- Z690 AORUS Elite AX (TBD)
- Z690 AORUS Elite AX DDR4 ($269.99 US)
- Z690 AORUS Elite (TBD)
- Z690 AORUS Elite DDR4 (TBD)
- Z690M AORUS Elite AX DDR4 (TBD)
- Z690M AORUS Elite DDR4 (TBD)
- Z690I AORUS Ultra ($289.99 US)
- Z690I AORUS Ultra DDR4 (TBD)
- Z690 AERO G (TBD)
- Z690 AERO D (TBD)
- Z690 AERO G DDR4 ($289.99 US)
- Z690 AERO D DDR4 (TBD)
- Z690 Gaming X (TBD)
- Z690 Gaming X DDR4 ($229.99 US)
- Z690 UD AX (TBD)
- Z690 UD AX DDR4 (TBD)
- Z690 UD AC (TBD)
- Z690 UD (TBD)
- Z690 UD DDR4 ($199.99 US)
You can find the detailed specifications of these Z690 motherboards below: