Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce is the most expensive gaming motherboard we have ever heard of, with a price around £950 that makes even the MSI MEG Z390 Godlike look like a bargain buy.
The key feature of the Z390 WaterForce is, as the name suggests, the monoblock that covers the CPU socket, VRMs, chipset and M.2 SSD slots. We are familiar with monoblocks made by specialist cooling companies such as EKWB, however this block is produced in-house by Gigabyte themselves.
In addition to that hefty piece of hardware you also get a great many accessories but even so, the price looks very steep. And that was the reason we decided against a straight review that assesses features, performance and value for money and instead chose to gather a large pile of components and build a high end gaming PC that makes the most of this glorious hardware.
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When you unpack the Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce you will see the 16-phases of VRMs and the Z390 chipset are bare, which comes as quite a shock after seeing so many motherboards with various designs of coolers and heat sinks. The explanation, of course, is that once you have installed your CPU and M.2 SSDs you then install the huge monoblock.
The motherboard is a high end Z390 design that comes with loads of features including triple graphics slots, triple M.2 slots, 10Gbe Aquantia Ethernet, Thunderbolt 3 and a host of micro buttons and fan headers. You will find both 12V RGB and ARGB headers at the top and bottom of the board.
Specification of the build:
CPU: Intel Core i9 9900k – BUY HERE
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Extreme Waterforce – BUY HERE
RAM: Gigabyte Aorus RGB DDR4 3200MHz – BUY HERE
Graphics card: Gigabyte Aorus RTX 2080 8GB Xtreme Waterforce – BUY HERE
SSD: Gigabyte Aorus RGB M.2 NVMe SSD 512GB – BUY HERE
Power supply: Gigabyte Aorus P850W PSU – BUY HERE
Case: Lian Li 011 Dynamic White Window – BUY HERE
PCIe riser: PCI Riser Accessory for Lian Li 011 Dynamic – BUY HERE
EKWB PETG 12/16mm – BUY HERE
EKWB CryoFuel Solid Cloud White Premix – BUY HERE