The evolution of the transition of Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Z-series chipsets from one digit to the next is different. If in the case of the Z390 – Z490, little new functionality was introduced in the chipset itself and its binding (in fact, the Z490 was created to support processors in the new LGA1200 socket, however, many motherboard manufacturers on this chipset have already laid the potential for working with the 11th generation of processors and PCIe 4.0 ), then when switching from Z490 to Z590 (with the same LGA1200 socket) there will be more innovations.
Yes, in general, everything is the same: only 30 high-speed ports, but at the same time up to 3 integrated USB 3.2 Gen2x2 ports (up to 20 Gb / s) were added (although each of them requires support from two USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, so there are up to 10 instead of 8 in Z490). Support for the audio path from the internal HDA channel has moved to USB 2.0 (in fact, one of the available 14 ports of this type is now always tied to this function). It is clear that the main innovation in the Rocket-Lake-S platform is introduced by the 11th generation of processors that already support PCIe 4.0 in the form of 20 lanes (and not 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, as in previous generations), so this makes it possible to freely organize M.2 slots that receive data directly from the processor, and through.
Why is it now “free” to organize such M.2, and how was it before? – The fact is that due to the same socket LGA1200 there is mutual compatibility of processors of the 11th and 10th generations on motherboards with the Z490 / Z590. Yes, if you update the BIOS on a Z490 motherboard, it will also support 11xxx processors. The only question is how this board was made. When I started looking at motherboards on the Z490 a little less than a year ago, I noticed that some already had disabled M.2 slots.
That is, the potential full-fledged work of this kind of motherboards with the 11th generation was laid a year ago. For example, the same Gigabyte has motherboards on the Z490 with an M.2 slot, which until now has not functioned. But the most important thing is that the very design of the boards already included support for the PCIe 4.0 bus through the presence of amplifiers (re-drivers). That is, you can simply buy a processor of the Core i7-11700 type and insert it into a similar motherboard, getting both an M.2 slot tied to the processor and support for PCIe 4.0 in PCIe x16 slots for video cards. Of course, the rest of the Z590 “goodies” will not be available there.
However, and vice versa, a 10xxx processor can be inserted into the motherboard on the Z590, but the M.2 slot tied to the processor will remain inoperative, and PCIe x16 slots for video cards will receive version 3.0, not 4.0.
I am only talking about certain features of motherboards for this kind of “stones”. Therefore, we move on to the subject. This board belongs to the Aorus sub-brand, that is, it is also aimed at enthusiasts, but it is not a flagship, such as the Xtreme.
Gigabyte Z590 Aorus
Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Master comes in a standard branded box (a kind of grooved surface is very pleasant to the touch). The kit is placed in traditional compartments inside.
The scope of delivery is not bad: in addition to traditional elements such as a user manual and SATA cables, there is an antenna for the built-in Wi-Fi module on a magnetic base, screws for M.2 slots, splitters for connecting backlights, and a proprietary G-Connector adapter, wires with temperature sensors, a noise detector, and bonus stickers.The “dummy” for the rear panel with connectors is already mounted on the board itself.
Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Form Factor
The ATX form factor measures up to 305 × 244 mm, and the E-ATX form factor up to 305 × 330 mm. The motherboard Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Master measures 305 × 244 mm, therefore it is made in the ATX form factor, and it has 9 mounting holes for installation in the case. Note, however, that one of the nine mounting holes is covered by a heatsink for the M.2 slot.
The reverse side is not empty, some controllers are located there, and there are power phase doublers and so on. But the textolite is processed very well: at all soldering points, not only the sharp ends are cut off, but everything is smoothly polished. On the same side, there is a nano-carbon coated aluminum plate. The plate also helps to dissipate heat from the back of the PCB through the thermal interface and ensures the rigidity of the motherboard.