Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming Motherboard Review

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Intel’s Coffee Lake was released not even a year ago and it already feels like the standard enthusiasts Intel motherboard, unless you stuck to your Z270 you only just bought! With no backwards compatibility with Skylake or Kaby Lake CPUs, Intel forced you to upgrade to the Z370 if you wanted a piece of the new 8700K for example. You can count on PC enthusiasts to flame about this, and also find a way to actually make the new CPU’s work on Z270 motherboards, it’s all been a bit cynical.

The motherboard manufacturer may have had to roll with the Intel punches, but they wouldn’t have been smarting too much, there’s another reason for someone to buy one of their products.

We purchased this motherboard for review, so this is not a sponsored article.

CPUSupport for 8th Generation Intel Core™ i7/i5 /i3 processors in the LGA1151 package
ChipsetIntel Z370 Express Chipset
Memory4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory
Dual channel memory architecture
Supports DDR4 2133 to 4000(O.C.) MHz modules
Supports ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 modules (non-ECC mode)
Supports non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 modules
Supports Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) modules
Graphics1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of [email protected] Hz
The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of [email protected] Hz
Support for HDMI 1.4 version and HDCP 2.2
AudioRealtek ALC1220 codec. High Definition Audio. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out
LANIntel GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots
(All of the PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
Storage Interface1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 PCIe x4/x2 SSD)
1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors. RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
Connectors1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x CPU fan header
1 x water cooling CPU fan header
3 x system fan headers
1 x system fan/water cooling pump header
2 x digital LED strip headers
2 x digital LED strip power select jumpers
2 x RGB (RGBW) LED strip headers
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
2 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 1 support
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 header
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x Thunderbolt™ add-in card connector
1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
Back Panel Connectors1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x HDMI port
1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red)
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x RJ-45 port
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x audio jacks (Center/Sub Out, Rear Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)

This is revision 1.0 of this motherboard, and there is a version 2.0, just not a revision 2.0 of this motherboard. The Aorus Z370 Ultra Gaming 2.0 is identical to the original in all respects other than it replaces the 7-phase CPU VRM of the original with a new 11-phase setup that uses stronger ferrite-core chokes, and Gigabyte is also including one M.2 SSD heatsink for the upper M.2-22110 slot.

So why bother with the rev. 1.0? The new 11-phase setup may help with whine under load and also some overclocking, but that’s the only real specification difference. There’s still plenty of rev 1.0 on sale, and now possibly a few on the second-hand market. There’s also a new BIOS revision, F10, which possibly has support for Intel’s next generation of 8 core CPU’s, without needing to update your motherboard. We’ve also been benching with this motherboard for a while, so let’s give it an official outing.

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