Gigabyte has sent KitGuru two motherboards – the Z790 Aorus Pro X and the Z790 Aorus Master X. The X means they are Z790 refresh motherboards and they are intended for pairing ideally with a brand new 14th gen processor. We also have the Core i9 14900K, Core i7 14700K and Core i3 14600k processors from Intel. The thing is, KitGuru did not review those processors at launch and we explain exactly why in the video on this page.
We're going to take a quick look at the Z790 Aorus Master X before we dive rather more deeply into this Z790 Aorus Pro X. And my thinking here is fairly superficial. The Pro X is cheaper. And it's white, and that's quite rare in ATX motherboards. However, the Master X has a lot to say for itself. It's an expensive motherboard priced between 550 and 600 here in the UK.
It's E ATX and it's fully loaded with features. In the package you get relatively few accessories. You've got an antenna for the Wi Fi, two SATA cables. And a couple of temp sensors, and also one of those handy little gadgets that you can use to connect up the front panel headers to your case and then plug the block directly to the motherboard in one go, rather than fiddling the little wires into place.
That's it. It's all about the motherboard. The first point to note is that the SSD covers are tool free. Clearly the layout is about the primary graphics slot and a whole load of M.2s, but you do have two expansion slots down bottom. At the top of the board, hidden in the corner as we can see, we have a pair of EPS connectors. On the side we have the main power connector. Across the top we have a few fan headers, LCD postcode debug display, USB C, two USB 3. 2s, quick release for the graphics card, laid down SATA connectors, more fan headers, and across the foot of the board USB 2.0. And even more fan headers.
Essentially the Master X is a fully loaded board. If you want to see more details, check out the video above.
Moving on from the approximately £600 Master X motherboard, we're going to move to the significantly cheaper Aorus Pro X.
This is ATX rather than eATX, but it shares a number of features with the Master X. However, there are also some significant differences. So for one thing, it's ATX in form factor, much more convenient when you're doing a PC build, because most cases support ATX. Also, it is white in colour. You may have noticed in recent case reviews I've done, I've used both of these motherboards primarily because I wanted to use the latest processors But also because there are times when a white motherboard really pops in a build as opposed to the usual black or in this case – Black, grey and blue.
The Pro X is an 8 layer PCB, supports up to DDR5 8266 and it has quick release covers on the M. 2, so the top M. 2 is Gen 5. And then we have four more M. 2s which are Gen 4. 1, 2, 3, and then the 4th goes on top of the Wi Fi 7 card. On the IO we have plenty of USB. We have the antenna connection points for the Wi Fi 7.
The Ethernet is 5 gigabit, where the Master X was 10 gigabit. However, 5 gigabit is plenty fast enough. We have a substantial heatsink on the VRMs. It's an 18 plus 1 plus 2 configuration. 18 times 90. The other 360 amps. So while you might think this motherboard is all about the aesthetics, quite clearly the hardware is substantial.
Moving around the board, at the top we have two EPS connectors, various fan headers, main power. The usual USB for front panel connection, various fan headers. This is interesting. This USB C is called Sensor Panel Link. Gigabyte has included this connector on two of its refresh boards, funnily enough the two that are white in colour, and the idea is it's so you can connect a secondary display inside your case.
We saw something similar with a Corsair Liquid Cooler I looked at relatively recently. The idea there apparently was that the connection point was for an LCD that's going to go on the pump body. But whether the display is on the cooler or near the cooler, the principle is the same. I think we can expect to see more of these USB C connectors during 2024, and hopefully we're going to see cases that have an LCD as part of the design, rather than an addition you have to plug in yourself.
Moving down the board. laid down SATA, front panel headers, loads of connection points for USB and also for fan headers. It's white in colour, it's ATX, it's reasonably cheap and it's loaded with hardware. If you watch the video on this page you will see all the tests I ran, including some interesting results in synthetic benchmarks as well as some gaming tests.
Gigabyte have released some other new boards including the Xtreme X at £1,049.99 and the Tachyon X priced at £649.99. See the range at Overclockers UK HERE.
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KitGuru says: The Gigabyte Aorus Master X and ProX are two fantastic motherboards targeting the enthusiast audience. If you are looking to build a new Intel system they deserve some serious consideration.