The Intel Z490 Overview: 44+ Motherboards Examinedby Gavin Bonshor on April 30, 2020 10:00 AM EST
GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Ultra
Representing GIGABYTE's mid-range Aorus series is the Z490 Aorus Ultra with virtually identical aesthetics when compared with the Z490 Aorus Master. It's also a step up in spec too for enthusiasts with its direct 12-phase power delivery, with use nanocarbon fins for the and direct touch heat pipes on the heatsinks with GIGABYTE claiming it improves heat dissipation. Included in the specifications is an Intel 2.5 G Ethernet controller, Inte's AX201 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface, three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, and three full-length PCIe 3.0 lanes with support for up to two-way NVIDIA SLI and three-way AMD Crossfire.
The GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Ultra has a black and grey theme with PCIe slot armor, with integrated RGB LEDs in the rear panel cover and a large Aorus logo on the chipset heatsink. It has three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/+4, with three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, and six SATA ports. Cooling the 12-phase power delivery driven by an ISL69269 PWM controller is a nanocarbon fin array heatsink, with an 8-pin and 4-pin pair of 12 V ATX CPU power inputs. Memory support is improved over Z390 with four slots capable of running up to 128 GB of DDR4-4800.
On the rear panel is one USB 3.2 G2 20 Gbps Type-C, three USB 3.2 G2 10 Gbps Type-A, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and four USB 2.0 ports. A single HDMI video output allows users to use Intel's integrated graphics, while the three 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output are powered by a Realtek ALC1220-VB HD audio codec. For networking, GIGABYTE is using Intel's I225 2.5 G Ethernet controller, with an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface which also adds support for BT 5.1 devices.
The GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Ultra has an MSRP of $299 and is comparable with the Z490 Aorus Master in many ways, including controller set and aesthetics. The main differences come in the power delivery, with the Z490 Aorus Ultra opting for a true 12-phase setup, with the Master opting for a 6+1 design with doublers. Both are solid offerings in the upper end of the mid-range, but the Z490 Aorus Ultra is a solid offering on paper, with GIGABYTE implementing plenty of premium features at a good price point.