AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming Motherboard Overview
Gigabyte has gone with a mainly black design on the AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming. One thing that is really cool is that there is a large AORUS logo that goes across the board. Besides that you have a black PCB with mostly black accents. There is a little read accent on the rear I/O, but most of your color on this board is going to come from the RGB LEDs, which we will cover a little later in this review.
If we start thing off at the CPU socket we have the Intel LGA1151 socket, but of course the new one that supports Intel’s 8th Generation “Coffee Lake” processors. From the looks of it we have a 7 phase power design and we can see the 8-pin EPS connector at the top left of the board. The power delivery components are covered by two large aluminum heatsinks. To the right of the top heatsink you’ll find two 4-pin fan headers for your CPU fans.
Moving over we have our four DDR4 DIMM slots. These slots support DDR4 memory up to 4000 MHz. Each slot is metal-reinforced and also includes RGB LED lighting. At the top edge of the board you will find your RGB LED header, 4-pin fan header, 24-pin ATX power connection, internal USB 3.1 header, and USB 3.0 header. You will also notice an acrylic overlay that will light up with RGB lighting. Gigabyte provides 3D files for you to print your own customized overlay if you wanted to.
Coming down the edge of the board you’ll find your Thunderbolt header and four SATA 6GB/s ports, which are at a 90-degree angle.
At the bottom of the board is where you’ll find the rest of your headers and connections. So from left to right you have HD audio headers, RGB LED header, TPM header, two USB 2.0 headers, two 4-pin headers, front panel headers, and two more SATA 6GB/s ports. One thing I didn’t mention is that this board supports digital LED strips, where each LED on the strip is addressable. You can use either 12v or 5v strips and up to 300 LEDs.
At the far edge of you’ll find the audio solution, which is Gigabyte’s AMP-UP audio. It is on its own PCB layer, completely isolated from the rest of the components on the board. It features LC1220 120dB SNR HD Audio with a Smart Headphone Amp. The Smart Headphone Amp automatically detects impedance of your head-worn audio device, whether earbuds or high-end headphones to provide optimal audio dynamics—preventing issues such as low volume and distortion. You can also see the Hi-Fi grade WIMA FKP2 capacitors and audio grade Fine Gold capacitors.
As far as expansion slots on the board you have three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots and three PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots. The top two x16 slots have Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable PCIe Armor, which is a one-piece stainless steel design. Both slots also feature RGB LED lighting. The top slot will run at x16 speeds with a single card installed, but if you have two cards installed they will both run at x8 speeds.
In between the top two PCI-Express slots you have two M.2 slots. These slots are both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 slots (32 GB/s). The top slot supports longer 110 mm M.2 solid state drives, while the bottom slot supports the normal 80 mm M.2 solid state drives.
Finally come to the rear I/O we have a combination PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports (DAC-UP 2 ports), DVI, two USB 3.1 (1x Type-A, 1x Type-C), two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, and your audio connections. USB DAC-UP 2 continues to provide clean, isolated and low-noise power while adding the ability to compensate for voltage drop. Virtual reality pioneers and gamers alike can rest assured that their expensive accessories and peripherals will not encounter connectivity or power deficiency issues with the AORUS USB DAC-UP 2. Ethernet on this board is powered by Intel by the way.