Intel simply launched the highly-anticipated Intel Raptor Lake i9-13900K processor (alongside a pair lesser i7 and i5 CPUs). For particulars on the CPUs, take a look at our critiques. However briefly, the brand new flagship processor brings extra E-cores to the desk, will increase clock speeds, and has different notable enhancements. And as with most new CPU generations, the chips arrive alongside a brand new chipset, Z790 this time round, which incorporates native assist for the brand new processors, a PCIe 5.0 slot and M.2 socket, further USB connectivity together with the brand new USB 4 (40 Gbps), improved energy supply, and an up to date aesthetic. Under, we’ll cowl all the main points on the Z790 Aorus Grasp and attempt to get reply the query of whether or not a Z790 board (or at the very least this board) is value shopping for when so many Z690 boards are already accessible that additionally assist Raptor Lake CPUs.
Gigabyte’s web site lists 10 Z790 motherboards at launch, which covers all kinds of ATX-size SKUs and value factors. You’ll discover acquainted branding, together with the Aorus branded Grasp and Elite, an Aero board (Aero G) for creatives/productiveness, and the extra budget-conscious UD (Extremely Sturdy) boards. Z790 additionally helps DDR4 on some fashions, and also you’ll discover a few choices for these as effectively. At present lacking are any Micro-ATX or Mini ITX boards, however we hope to see these and the flagship Excessive/Excessive Waterforce down the highway. Costs vary from $169.99 (opens in new tab) for the UD DDR4, as much as $499.99 (opens in new tab) for the Aorus Grasp.
New Platform and Gigabyte product stack particulars apart, the brand new Z790 Aorus Grasp gives all of the goodies from the brand new platform. You get a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot, a PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket, extra sturdy energy supply, 14 USB ports together with three 20 Gbps Kind-C ports, a ten GbE port and an up to date look, with the black-on-grey theme transferring up the product stack a bit (the Z690 Grasp was black). Examined efficiency on our Aorus Grasp blended in with our two different examined Z790 boards, so there aren’t any points there. We don’t anticipate it to alter a lot with extra datasets, however it’s nonetheless early within the life cycle of this platform.
Under, we’ll dig into the main points of the board and see the way it compares to the competitors. As time goes on, we’ll evaluate extra boards and add to the listing, giving us a greater concept of how every board performs. Earlier than we get into the main points although, we’ll begin by itemizing the specs from Gigabyte’s web site.
Specs: Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Grasp
|Voltage Regulator||23 Section (20x 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) DisplayPort (v1.2)|
|USB Ports||(2) USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C (20 Gbps)|
|(7) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)|
|(1) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Kind-C (5 Gbps)|
|(4) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|Community Jacks||(1) 10 GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(2) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(1) v5.0 (x16, x8 w/gadget in M2C-CPU socket)|
|(2) 3.0 (x4, x1)|
|DIMM Slots||(4) DDR5 8000+(OC), 128GB Capability|
|M.2 Sockets||(1) PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) / PCIe (as much as 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (as much as 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (as much as 110mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (as much as 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe + SATA (as much as 110mm)|
|Helps RAID 0/1/5/10|
|SATA Ports||(4) SATA3 6 Gbps (Helps RAID 0/1/5/10)|
|USB Headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2×2, Kind-C (20 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Fan/Pump Headers||(10) 4-Pin (CPU, Water cooling CPU, System, System/Water)|
|RGB Headers||(2) aRGB (3-pin)|
|(2) RGB (4-pin)|
|Diagnostics Panel||(1) Debug LED|
|(1) POST LEDs|
|Inside Button/Change||Energy and Reset buttons|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||(1) Killer E3100G (2.5 GbE)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Killer AX1690 Wi-Fi 6E (2×2 ax, MU-MIMO, 2.4/5/6 GHz, 160 MHz, BT 5.3)|
|USB Controllers||(2 every) RealtekRTS5487, RTS5411|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC1220-VB (ESS ES9118 SABRE DAC)|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / DTS:X Extremely|
Contained in the Field of the Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Grasp
Together with the motherboard, Gigabyte consists of a number of equipment meant to get your system up and operating with out a journey to the shop or ordering further elements on-line. The Aorus Grasp’s accent stack consists of all the fundamentals, however not way more. Under is a whole listing of the included equipment.
- (2) SATA cables
- Wi-Fi antenna
- PC Speaker
- 4-pin RGB extension cable
- (2) temperature sensors
- Person Information
- Gigabyte Stickers
Design of the Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Grasp
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The Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Grasp doesn’t look considerably totally different than the Z690 Aorus Grasp. The place the last-gen Z690 sports activities an all-black look, the Z790 Grasp sports activities a black-and-grey theme with a black 8-layer PCB and black VRM heatsinks. The gray accents come from the heatsinks and shrouds protecting the M.2 sockets, chipset, and audio on the underside half of the board. Hailing from the premium mid-range phase, all slots (Reminiscence and PCIe) are additionally strengthened.
Gigabyte selected the much less is extra methodology for RGB right here, with the one implementation situated above the IO cowl. From under, it lights up the Aorus falcon define, the Aorus motto (Staff Up, Struggle On), and a novel design ingredient. Total, the Aorus Grasp has a premium design and could be an excellent centerpiece in your new construct.
Zooming in on the highest half of the board, we’ll first concentrate on the VRM heatsinks. They’re heavy and have plenty of floor space to dissipate warmth with what Gigabyte calls a “Fins-Array III” configuration with a flowery NanoCarbon coating. Gigabyte connects to 2 giant hunks of metallic along with an 8mm heatpipe that shares the thermal load between them. In addition they use an environment friendly 12 W/mk thermal pad between the MOSFETs/Chokes to take away the warmth from the parts. Above the socket are two 8-pin EPS connectors (one required) to feed the processor energy.
Additionally discovered on this space are the primary two (of 10) 4-pin fan/pump headers. All followers output as much as 2A/24W, so that you shouldn’t run into any points on the ability aspect of issues. In case you’re inclined, operating your total water cooling system and followers is well achieved on this board. In most configurations, you received’t have to piggyback gadgets on headers as a result of there are such a lot of and every able to greater than the fundamental 1A/12W output we’re used to. The headers additionally detect if the gadget is PWM or DC, or you possibly can manually choose it from the BIOS. The worst case is that you simply’d must manually set it within the BIOS or Gigabyte’s App Heart software program.
To the appropriate of the socket space, we run into 4 strengthened DRAM slots able to supporting as much as 128GB of RAM and speeds listed to an unbelievable DDR5-8000(OC). After all, reaching these speeds falls beneath the ‘your mileage could fluctuate’ mantra, however the different comparable boards (by value) listing as much as DDR5-7600 (others DDR5-7000). The system didn’t have any points with both of our reminiscence kits, however we’re solely working with the max specification of the platform (DDR5-5600) and a ‘candy spot’ of DDR5-6000. Above the DRAM slots are three extra fan headers (the remainder are situated throughout the underside edge).
If the minimalistic RGB strategy isn’t sufficient, you’ll discover the primary two (of 4) RGB headers alongside the highest proper edge. On this case we see one in all every, a 3-pin ARGB and a 4-pin RGB. The opposite two headers are additionally discovered on the underside fringe of the board. Moreover, we run into the ability button and Debug LED. Persevering with down the identical edge, we spy the 24-pin EPS connector, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 (10 Gbps) headers, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) entrance panel header. Final however not least, Gigabyte put in a PCIe EZ-Latch (sq. button) to assist unlock the highest PCIe slot, as the big M.2 heatsink doesn’t enable easy accessibility to the standard locking mechanism.
Energy supply on the Z790 Aorus Grasp consists of a 23-phases, with 20 devoted to Vcore. Energy comes from the EPS connector(s) onto a 20-channel Renesas RAA229131 PWM controller. From there, it strikes to the 20x 105A Renesas RAA22010540 SPS MOSFETs to deal with the processor. The VRMs have loads of functionality to assist the flagship Intel Core i9-13900K with out fear.
Beginning with the audio part on the underside left of the board, hidden under the shroud, is a Realtek ALC1220-VB codec and some gold Nicihicon and pink WIMA capacitors devoted to the audio bits. With a premium mid-range class board, I wish to have seen the Realtek 40xx sequence codec applied, because the competitors does. Nonetheless, most individuals discover the last-gen codec greater than acceptable. So except you’re an audiophile with high-end gear, I doubt you’d discover a distinction–or if built-in audio was in any respect a difficulty, you’d in all probability use a sound card or an exterior DAC, anyway.
Three PCIe slots are in the course of the board, all of that are strengthened to stop shearing (and a few EMI mitigation). The highest slot (main for graphics) will get all of its sixteen lanes of PCIe 5.0 bandwidth from the CPU if nothing is populating the M2C_CPU socket. The underside two full-length slots each run at PCIe 3.0 speeds, with the higher one operating a most of x4 and the underside x1.
Specs apart, if a tool plugged into the PCIe 5.0 socket (regardless if it’s a 4.0 or 5.0 gadget), the PCIe x16 5.0 slot operates at 5.0 x8 mode. With the quantity of PCIe 5.0 lanes accessible on this platform (16), that’s a certainty if there’s a PCIe 5.0-capable M.2 socket in use. However for these involved about efficiency losses due to PCIe bandwidth for graphics playing cards, bear in mind PCIe 5.0 x8 is equal to PCIe 4.0 x16. In different phrases, you received’t lose efficiency with this technology of graphics playing cards (or doubtless the following) whereas operating at 5.0 x8 speeds.
The Aorus Grasp has 5 complete M.2 connections on board, with two linked on to the CPU. We talked about the PCIe 5.0-capable socket earlier and there’s a PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) socket linked as effectively. Each maintain as much as 110mm modules. The three remaining sockets all run as much as PCIe 4.0 speeds, with slot M2M-SB capable of run SATA-based M.2 modules. Gigabyte now makes use of a fast latch mechanic on all M.2 sockets, so we don’t must fumble round with the tiny screws – a pleasant worth add.
Skipping over the Aorus-branded chipset heatsink, the appropriate fringe of the board holds 4 SATA ports, whereas two extra fan headers are under that. Simply previous the Thunderbolt header are the Standing LEDs that gentle up throughout the POST course of. If there’s a downside, the LED the place the issue lies (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot) stays lit. This coupled with the Debug port within the higher right-hand nook, enables you to dial in an issue earlier than booting into your OS of alternative.
Throughout the underside of the board are a number of uncovered headers. You’ll discover the standard, together with further USB ports, RGB headers, and even a header for temperature probes. Under is a whole listing from left to proper.
- Entrance panel audio
- 3-pin ARGB header
- 4-pin RGB header
- Noise sensor
- System Fan 3 header
- (2) USB 2.0 headers
- Reset button
- System Fan 4/5
- TPM header
- Clear CMOS header
- System panel header
The Rear IO comes with a pre-installed IO plate that sports activities a black background with gray labels and Aorus branding within the higher left nook. Nevertheless, the grey-on-black doesn’t make for straightforward studying in low-light conditions. One of many first belongings you’ll discover listed below are the copious variety of USB ports – a mind-blowing 14 in complete, with three of the USB Kind-C selection. The remainder of the Kind-A ports are a mixture of 10 Gbps (x7) and 5 Gbps (x4). The Clear CMOS and Q-Flash+ buttons and the Wi-Fi antenna headers are on the left aspect. There’s a single DisplayPort for built-in video output and the 2-plug analog plus SPDIF output for audio. Final however not least is the ten GbE Aquantia port.
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