GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS Master Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅14-12-21

We’ve recently had a selection of Intel Z690 boards in for review which occupy the mid-to-upper end of the market, of the assortment, MASTER is the costliest of the bunch – but is it worth it?

Answering that question will largely depend on what you’re seeking to achieve. If you’re looking for almost every conceivable feature that Z690 has to offer, then yes you should certainly consider MASTER. In fact, we would go as far as to say that it betters the likes of the ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI that we have previously reviewed, and yet both models are around the same price-point. MASTER offers way more in terms of USB connectivity, M.2 storage and additional perks which system builders are looking for.

While not a huge issue, it should be noted that this board is E-ATX and it may not fit into all cases. By increasing the width of MASTER, we can host even more features and attributes – more specifically up to 5x M.2 slots and additional front panel connectivity.

Pricing for MASTER is not for a faint hearted. This model comes in at GBP £450 | USD $470 | AUD $900 and while it does have a lot to offer, it’s still a substantial sum of money, especially when you need to factor in DDR5 and a new CPU for any 12th Gen. upgrade.

MASTER performs very well, in our overclocking test we managed to push out 12900K to an all-core 5.1 GHz overclock. The VRM and chipset thermals were also very encouraging. Of the boards we’ve tested, MASTER came out as one of the better options in this regard.

If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles you should consider the Z690 AORUS MASTER – it excels in all areas and is a top-pick!

+ Pleasing design
+ Good RGB lighting features
+ Offers a total of 5x M.2 slots
+ Provides 10G Ethernet
+ Abundant supply of USB on back/front panel
+ Solid VRM configuration w/ good thermals
+ Overclocks easily
+ Performs very well
+ PCIe 5.0 X16 slot
+ Up to 10 fan headers
+ Support for Thunderbolt 4 add-in device

- Expensive!

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