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CES 2021: New Aorus Z590 motherboards have arrived

Hot on the heels of the Intel 500-series chipset announcement, Gigabyte has unveiled its latest Aorus motherboards based on the Z590 chipset. Six boards have been announced, including the Aorus Master, Aorus Extreme and diminutive Aorus Ultra.

Starting with the Z590 Aorus Extreme, this motherboard boasts a whopping 20+1 phase ‘true power’ design, using 100A DrMos stages. There’s also an 8-layer PCB a dual 8-pin EPS power connectors. Gigabyte also highlights the use of LAIRD 7.5W/mK thermal pads, which it claims can offer ‘4x the heat dissipation compared to traditional thermal pads’. The board also uses a NanoCarbon baseplate and its three M.2 slots use an enlarged ‘M.2 Thermal Guard II’. Connectivity includes 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports, 10GbE LAN and WiFi 6E.

Then there’s the Z590 Aorus Master, this time using a true 18+1 phase design, with 80A stages and a 6-layer PCB. The VRM is therefore slightly less powerful than the Aorus Extreme, yet the Master still boasts LAIRD 7.5W/mK thermal pads and three M.2 slots with M.2 Thermal Guard II. There’s no Thunderbolt port here, but there is a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port, as well as 10GbE LAN and WiFi 6E.

As for the Z590 Aorus Pro AX, here the VRM is reduced to a 12+1 phase design, with 90A stages. We can also note regular WiFi 6 AX200 support, while LAN tops out at 2.5GbE. The Pro AX still offers support for 3x M.2 slots, once more with Thermal Guard II heatsinks, while there’s also a new ALC4080 audio codec.

Arguably the most interesting of the bunch is the Z590I Aorus Ultra, as this is the Mini-ITX version. Despite its obvious size limitations, it still sports a 10+1 phase VRM, with 90A stages. Memory is of course limited to just two DIMM slots, while there’s also two M.2 slots – one fed by the CPU, the other (on the back) by the chipset. The Audio codec remains with the last-gen ALC1220, while we can also note 2.5GbE LAN and 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port on the rear I/O.

Lastly, we come to the Z590 Aorus Elite and Aorus Elite AX. As the name implies, the key difference between these two is the inclusion of WiFi on the AX model, and they are otherwise identical, with a 12+1 phase VRM using 60A DrMOS stages. There’s also three M.2 slots, but no mention of Thermal Guard II, suggesting the cooling may not be the same as the other boards. LAN once more tops out at 2.5GbE but there is still a single USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port on the rear I/O. The Elite does lose a couple of USB 3.2 ports compared to the Aorus Pro, however.

Gigabyte hasn’t specified an on-sale date, but we would expect these boards to hit the market in the coming weeks.

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KitGuru says: The Aorus Extreme is clearly the top-end option, but which would you be most interested in buying for an 11th Gen Rocket Lake system?

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