Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master Review
Gigabyte have really turned things around since the introduction of their Aorus range, and the Master demonstrated how they could flex their muscles are some time in the wilderness. Suffice to say having seen the specifications and motherboard of this latest Z690 model we don't think that they've regressed. It is a beast both in size, weight and specifications.
Whenever there is a new product range to look at there are models which suit those of you with limited funds, and models for those who want to extract the maximum from their shiny new setup. Unquestionably as the second highest model in the Gigabyte range - assuming you count the Xtreme and Xtreme Waterforce as the same model - the Z690 Aorus Master is aimed squarely at those who want the best they can get. It's the Gigabyte equivalent to the MSI MEG Unify or ASUS ROG Maximus Formula. Beefy power phases, plenty of cooling, all the features, the Aorus Master promises to deliver much.
As always we'll take a look at the specifications and motherboard itself in our famous close up pictures before we delve into the performance aspect and find out if the Aorus Master continues Gigabytes recent run of good form.
There might be a model above the Master in the Gigabyte Aorus range, but that doesn't mean that this is a motherboard lacking in features anywhere. Plentiful USB ports, DDR5, PCI Express 5.0, M.2 slots aplenty as well as a serious PCB on which they're mounted. Usually high end PCBs have 6 layers, this has eight. Then again with 105A 19+1+2 power stages there is a lot of juice to look after and keep cool.
These power phases are one of the key reasons why the Master is, in our opinion, the second highest model Gigabyte do on the Z690 chipset. 105A + 105A + 70A for the relevant phases match the Aorus Xtreme, whilst the Aorus Tachyon and Aorus Ultra have 105A + 60A + 70A. The Master also has more storage slots, with two extra SATA ports an 1 PCIe 3.0 M.2 more than the Xtreme models.