Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Ultra Motherboard Review

Final Thoughts

With another new chipset we have another series of AORUS boards from Gigabyte and I think the Z690 AORUS Ultra has many features that people are looking for on the Z690 platform, at a pretty palatable price too. When it comes to Alder Lake you are going to want stable power delivery and with this board you have 16 phases for the CPU with 105A power stages so a total of 1680A for the CPU. You won’t have any issues running a high-end Core i9-12900K chip on this board. Keeping the power delivery components nice and cool are two heatsinks which make use of Gigabyte’s Fins-Array II louvered-stacked design which increases surface area by 300% compared to traditional heatsinks, and also improves thermal efficiency with better airflow and heat exchange.

You are going to get PCI-Express 5.0 support on the top PCI-Express slot, which is nice to see, but there are no PCIe 5.0 M.2 slots on this board (most Z690 boards don’t offer PCIe 5.0 M.2 support). When it does come to M.2 support you are going to get four PCIe 4.0 slots, which is quite a lot for a mainstream board. All of these slots have heatsinks on both the top and bottom so rest assured your drives will not thermally throttle. You are also going to get USB 3.2 gen 2×2 support on this board, both by header as well as a USB Type-C connection on the rear I/O. Talking about the rear I/O you have a total of 13 USB ports! Which is quite impressive so if you are like me and have a ton of USB devices, Gigabyte has you covered!

I’ve said this multiple times in this review, I am not a fan of the overall design of this board. The large blocky 2nd heatsink just doesn’t look all that good to me and I don’t like that most of the bottom of the board isn’t covered. I really think the previous generation design looked better, but to each their own. I also found it weird Gigabyte used two different screw sizes for the top and bottom M.2 heatsinks. The ones on the bottom were so small we had to go out and get a bit that would work on them and like I mentioned Gigabyte does not include a screwdriver with this motherboard.

At the end of the day you are getting quite a lot of value with this board and I feel Gigabyte really focused on the features most people really care about. Right now you can pick up this motherboard for $329 at our favorite online retailer, which is a great price! Overall ThinkComputers gives the Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Ultra Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.

Pros:
– 16 Vcore phases with 105A power stages
– USB 3.2 gen 2×2 support
– 13 USB ports on the rear I/O
– Four M.2 slots
– Great VRM cooling
– Power and reset buttons on the board

Cons:
– Not the biggest fan of the new design
– 2nd M.2 heatsink uses TINY screws which you likely won’t have a screwdriver for

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