GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS Review

Gigabyte was one of the first producers to produce Z690 motherboards to support Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs. The Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Pro, a multi-device with a plethora of capabilities and good technological characteristics, is one of the most fascinating models they have in stock. We examined it for a few days and will tell you all we discovered about it in this analysis to make a well-informed decision about whether you should buy it. Without further ado, let’s get started:

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Verdict

When building a new personal computer with one of Intel’s 12th gen CPUs, the Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Pro is one of the most acceptable options. It includes all the features you want, excellent technological characteristics, and fair pricing.

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Benchmarking revealed that the performance of this motherboard is comparable to that of many more expensive choices. As a result, our conclusion is straightforward: The Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Pro is the best buy and a superb option for gamers, experts, and computer enthusiasts in general.

Pros 

  • Based on the outstanding Z690 chipset from Intel.
  • DDR5 RAM is supported.
  • It features a large number of USB ports.
  • It’s quite well-made.
  • It includes fast Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6.
  • Plenty of fast M.2 and SATA discs can be easily accommodated.
  • Provides PCI Express 5.0 (GPU) and PCI Express 4.0 functionality (M.2).
  • Up to 90A of power can be supplied via the VRM (excellent for overclocking).

Cons 

  • The main drawback to this motherboard is that it does not have any built-in LED lighting. But, from our viewpoint, that is not critical.

Hardware specifications and design

The Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Pro board is aimed at players who want something mid-range but filled to the brim and reasonably priced. That is, at the time of writing, this board is one of the few moderately priced ones based on the Z690 chipset available. For less than $500, it offers a plethora of options and functionality.

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Design

The design will be discussed first because it is the first thing you will notice when you receive it. The primary colour of the motherboard is black; however, most of its heatsinks are grey. Contrasting with the milder tones of grey on the top VRM heatsink and the plate containing the M.2 slots are the I/O and PCB panel, both black.

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Despite the existence of RGB connectors, the mainboard lacks RGB LEDs built-in. Some little Aorus statement on the panel which protects the I/O board is the single thing that illuminates up by default.

The slightly elevated, dynamically cooled VRM is among the hardware components that attract notice (Voltage Regulator Module). It can supply up to 90A, so you can safely overclock your processor.

The CPU receives electricity from the motherboard through a standard 24-pin ATX main power connector on the upper side and two extra (8-pin and 4-pin) sockets on the top-left side.

Hardware

The motherboards employ the new LGA1700 socket since it is built for Intel Alder Lake CPUs or 12th gen Core Processors if you like. This means you have three alternatives when posting this review: Number 1 is Intel Core i9-12900K and KF, Number 2 is Intel Core i7-12700K and KF, and the last is Intel Core i5-12600K and KF. However, Intel is expected to release new CPU types in the spring of 2022.

One of the most excellent features of Intel’s new CPU family is that, in addition to DDR4, it also supports DDR5 RAM. It has four DDR5 DIMM slots that accommodate up to 128GB of memory. The mainboard supports XMP 3.0, which allows you to quickly modify RAM module speeds up to 6200MHz, depending on your RAM modules. You may decide to go one step beyond and overclock your RAM.

Connectivity

The I/O panel has a variety of USB and other connectors, including four USB 3.2 Gen 1 connections, four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports (the red ones), two SMA antenna connections (2T2R), one USB Type-C port with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 capabilities, four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and one DisplayPort.

The next component is the motherboard’s interior input/output connections and headers. You might be interested in knowing what’s on the menu, so here is the lengthy list: 

  • 1 front panel audio header
  • 1 front panel header
  • 1 noise detection header
  • 1 Trusted Platform Module header
  • 1 USB 2.0/1.1 header
  • 1 USB Type-C header with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 support
  • 2 addressable LED strip headers
  • 2 RGB LED strip headers
  • 2 system fan/water cooling pump headers
  • 2 temperature sensor headers 
  • 2 Thunderbolt add-in card connectors
  • 4 system fan headers 

The board also includes the following built-in keys and jumpers: 

  • Clear CMOS jumper.
  • Power button and reset button
  • Q-Flash Plus button
  • Reset jumper

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro DDR4 memory compatible?

The Pro also has a lot of storage space, with three PCIe 4.0 x4 M. 2 slots, one PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and six SATA ports that enable RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Four memory slots in the upper proper corner support DDR4-5000 and have a combined capacity of up to 128 GB.

Is Bluetooth available on the Aorus Z690?

The wireless solution supports 802.11ax, providing gigabit wireless performance, seamless video streaming, a better gaming experience, fewer lost connections, and rates up to 2.4Gbps*. Bluetooth 5 also boasts 4X the range of Bluetooth 4.2 and a faster connection.

Conclusion

The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro is a real Alder Lake sweet spot, offering a superb price-to-quality ratio and a well-rounded feature set. Features like Thunderbolt 4, a fifth M.2 slot, or 10G LAN would incur high additional costs that are difficult to justify. Most gamers will be pleased with the standard Wi-Fi 6, 4x M.2 slots, a powerful VRM, and an abundance of USB connectors. And for $330, you’ll save a few dollars for more valuable items like DDR5 RAM or a better GPU.

The Aorus Pro is an excellent, sturdy mid-range board with these critical features at reasonable pricing. It doesn’t feel exactly at its best in BIOS yet, but it’s come a long way from its pre-release state, and many boards can say the same. The platform is still in its infancy. We’re happy to suggest the Aorus Pro for your 12th Gen setup once you’ve obtained the latest BIOS.

Mathew Robinson
Mathew Robinson is an IT professional who has worked for 5 years in gaming PC industry. He has completed his MSc from Australia in advanced manufacturing and has a good grip in his field. He currently works on websites related to computer components to provide valuable information to buyers.