XTREME is specifically designed for Intel’s 10th Gen. Processors and therefore this board uses Socket 1200. Around the socket there is a robust, twin heatsink VRM design which makes use of a thick copper heatpipe. The digital phase design consists of 16-phases, each with 90A stages. Later in the review we’ll see how well the thermal solution performs under stress.
Just behind the heatsinks, at the top of the board we have 2x 8-pin CPU power connectors. Both utilise solid pin connectors with metal shielding for better longevity.
Around the socket we also have the customary CPU fan headers, we should state that there are a plethora of headers across the board:
1 x Water cooling CPU fan header
4 x System fan headers
2 x System fan/water cooling pump headers
2 x Addressable LED strip headers
There are four slots for Dual-channel DDR4. Supporting modules from 2133-5000MHz (OC) and up to 128GB. GIGABYTE has equipped XTREME with their steel reinforced slots.
Immediately next to the memory there are plenty of additional features which enthusiasts will definitely find handy. There is Debug LED, OC Ignition (Boosts to a set OC via BIOS) and onboard power/reset buttons which are ideal if you have this board on a test bench.
A vast majority of the ports/headers on XTREME are facing the outer edge in a right-angled manner. This should help to create a cleaner aesthetic when system building is in process because cables can be tucked away more discreetly.
The 24-pin ATX, 5x fan headers, RGB headers and USB 3.2 Gen1 headers are all oriented in this manner. An additional USB 3.2 Gen 2 front panel header sits just behind the Gen 1 option but is top-facing.
Moving along XTREME, there are yet again more right-angled ports. GIGABYTE has provided 6x SATA (6GB/s) ports, another USB 3.2 Gen 1 front panel header and more fan/RGB headers towards the bottom edge of the motherboard.
Oddly enough there are no PCIe x1 slots on XTREME – just 3x PCIe Gen 3 X16 slots. They are each wired for 16, 8 and 4 lanes. Each have steel reinforcement for strength and underneath the covers we have 3x M.2 slots which are PCIe driven. Two can accommodate up to 22110 and the other up to 2280.
It should be noted that like other motherboards bearing the Z490 chipset, XTREME has hardware support for upcoming the PCIe 4.0 standard.
The concept behind XTREME is realised in features as seen above in the bottom left corner. The front panel audio and BIOS switch both have a removable cover to ensure a clean and minimalistic design can be adhered to.
The audio components are found in their usual spot and are based on the Realtek ALC1220-VB Codec. GIGABYTE has gone ‘all out’ with the audio solution by arming it with ESS USB DAC and a flurry of components like Anti-pop circuit, Auto impedance sensing, TXC oscillator, WIMA CAPs, OP AMPs, ESS Sabre, Separated left/right channels and isolated circuitry.
The Rear IO panel is jam-packed with ports to take advantage of. In this area we have the following:
1 x Q-Flash Plus button
1 x Clear CMOS button
2 x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R)
2 x Thunderbolt™ 3 connectors (USB Type-C™ ports, with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support)
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red)
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x HDMI port
2 x RJ-45 ports
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x audio jacks
It’s great to see that GIGABYTE has included Thunderbolt 3 support on this high-end motherboard. This is one particular feature which seems to be omitted on some motherboards we’ve looked at which are north of the mid-range.