Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX Review

Gary Baker

Gary Baker

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August 15th 2020

Intel officially launched a new generation of Comet Lake S tenth-generation Core desktop processors in the second quarter of this year. With the increase in power consumption and current, the original LGA 1151-pin motherboard power supply can no longer restrain power consumption such as Core i9-10900K Behemoth, therefore, the new tenth-generation Core products use the latest LGA 1200 pins to distinguish them from LGA 1151 products. Of course, the main purpose of this is to allow motherboard manufacturers to launch motherboard products that can withstand higher current and power consumption. With the pin upgrade, the corresponding chipset has also been updated.

Rocking Review has got Gigabyte’s latest generation Z490 AORUS PRO AX motherboard. This motherboard uses 12-phase digital power supply. Tantalum capacitors can bring more stable current and more powerful power supply guarantee.

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As the latest generation of Gigabyte motherboard products, Z490 AORUS PRO AX finally added the suffix AX, which means it supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 network.

Next, let's take a look at the specific experience of Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX.

Exterior

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX is an ATX motherboard, which is equipped with the latest generation of Z490 chipset, supports Intel's tenth generation Core desktop processor, and the interface is upgraded to LGA 1200.

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX is an ATX motherboard, which is equipped with the latest generation of Z490 chipset, supports Intel's tenth generation Core desktop processor, and the interface is upgraded to LGA 1200

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The build-in heat dissipation copper pipe can quickly transfer heat.

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS PRO AX uses the second-generation direct-touch heat pipe for heat dissipation, and the cooling fins are upgraded to shark gills. This is basically the same design as some CPU or graphics card radiators. The built-in heat dissipation copper pipe can quickly transfer heat to improve heat dissipation. effectiveness. The IO baffle part has the iconic logo of the AORUS series, and it also focuses more on game elements. The Slogan of Team up fight on will light up with the body.

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX motherboard CPU is next to the memory slot. Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX single memory supports up to 32GB, and the four memory slots support XMP memory with a frequency exceeding 4800Mhz. The outside of the memory slot is also protected by metal armor.

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The most conspicuous part of the south bridge is undoubtedly the M.2 interface under the CPU. This M.2 interface is obviously not for The tenth generation Core Duo service, the prompt next to it also tells us that this position is reserved in the future, it is estimated that it is supported by the 11th generation Core product. There are 3 PCIe 4.0 x16 slots and 2 M.2 slots (one of which is under the heat dissipation armor) and 1 PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. This part of the M.2 slots has heat dissipation armor. Users can assemble heat-dissipating armor as needed. In order to increase the structural strength of the slot, two of the PCIe 3.0 x16 slots have alloy armor to avoid the situation that the graphics card is too heavy to crush the slot.

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX has relatively rich internal interfaces. In addition to 3 M.2 and regular PCIe slots, it has 6 SATA 3 interfaces, 1 USB Type C slot that supports USB 3.2 Gen 1, and 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 slot, 2 USB 2.0/1.1 slots, 1 Thunderbolt expansion slot, 1 security encryption module slot, these slots can be easily expanded according to needs. In addition, there are plenty of fan slots and light strip slots, which are convenient for players who love toss to decorate their consoles.

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On the back of the IO interface, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX cancels the old PS/2 interface and replaces it with 4 USB 2.0 interfaces, as well as 3 USB 3.2 Gen 1 interfaces and 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 interfaces. There is also a USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface in the form of USB Type-C. On the audio and video interface, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX has 1 HDMI interface, 1 digital optical output interface and 5 audio interfaces. For network connection, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX has 2 SMA antenna ports and 1 RJ45 network cable port.

Overall, We saw that this motherboard uses a lot of heat dissipation armor to ensure that the core components on the motherboard get effective heat dissipation. At the same time, as an indispensable lighting for game products, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX also includes among them. Next, let's take a look at the BIOS operating experience of Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX.

BIOS Experience

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The overall BIOS of the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX motherboard is still very simple, and the simple mode is turned on by default, which is convenient for users who do not know the BIOS settings. Enter the BIOS to see the motherboard and hardware related information, including the motherboard model, RAM frequency and capacity, storage device conditions, boot sequence, fan information, etc. Users can make simple adjustments as needed. The XMP memory overclocking options can be adjusted by default.

In the advanced mode, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX provides many more adjustment items, including complete memory and CPU overclocking. Users can adjust the relevant BIOS settings according to actual needs. CPU overclocking can be easily achieved either through BIOS or software. In the settings tab, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX provides platform power management, IO interface management, miscellaneous settings, fan settings and other options. Users can adjust related settings according to their actual needs, including common settings such as LED lighting and RAID. 

The system information displays the basic hardware information of the device, and the boot settings are closely related to us. At this stage, the device boot is basically on top of UEFI, so before using the new device, you must enable the CSM support option and enable UEFI support. In this way, the device can be started smoothly. One thing to note is that Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX only supports FAT32 format U disk device screenshots in BIOS mode. If it is a larger capacity exFAT format, screenshots cannot be successfully taken.

Hardware Test

First, let's take a look at the AORUS APP Center, the tool for the motherboard of Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX. The related drivers provided by Gigabyte are still on the CD. In addition to the drivers, users can also choose the official Gigabyte AORUS management tool to manage the hardware. Users can adjust related settings according to their needs, and many functions are basically similar to those in BIOS settings.

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For users, the most commonly used are undoubtedly EasyTune and RGB Fusion 2.0. These two tools are used for overclocking and adjusting motherboard or related hardware RGB lighting. First, let's take a look at the relatively simple RGB Fusion 2.0. This tool can change the RGB lighting of the motherboard or related hardware according to user needs. These hardware devices include motherboards, fans, memory, graphics cards, etc.

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EasyTune is an APP for overclocking. There are three modes by default, namely energy-saving mode, default mode and overclocking mode. Users can configure related documents in advance according to their needs. This application can also overclock the memory at the same time, the usage method is basically the same as Intel's official overclocking software XTU.

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Here we manually overclock the Intel Core i7-10700K processor. This processor has a base frequency of 3.8GHz and a turbo frequency of up to 5.3GHz. It uses an 8-core 16-thread design, a three-level cache of 16MB, and a TDP of 125W. . In fact, we see that Intel continues to polish the 14-nanometer road further and further. Many people originally thought that the i9-9900KS is already the limit of 14-nanometer, but we see that the new 10th generation Core all-core 5.0GHz basically does not have any problem.

Before overclocking, Rocking Review used Cinebench R15 and Cinebench R20 to test this processor. At the default frequency, i7-10700K R15 single-core score is 205cb, multi-core score is 2025cb; R20 single-core score is 487pts, multi-core score It is 4865pts.

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We use the EasyTune tool of Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX to overclock the i7-10700K. To be conservative, we will set the frequency to 5.3GHz for 1 core, 5.2GHz for 2 cores, and 5.0GHz in other cases. Then use Prime 95 this abnormal level roaster software and Furmark to roast the CPU, memory and graphics card at the same time.

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Under the strong pressure of Prime 95, the i7-10700K full-core quickly ran to 5.0GHz. At this time, the CPU power consumption was close to 180W. With such a huge amount of calculation, the i7-10700K was very stable without a blue screen. However, after five minutes of intensive calculations, the temperature wall of the i7-10700K reaching 100 degrees cannot continue to calculate, so the CPU actively reduces the frequency to 4.5GHZ or less, and the CPU power consumption is close to 200W at this time.

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In fact, as far as the CPU is concerned, being able to pass Prime 95 basically means that the overclocking is successful. This also allows us to see that the tenth-generation Core is really good, and it can easily achieve full-core 5.0GHz.

Next, we are going through Cinebench R15 and Cinebench R20 to see how much improvement overclocking brings to the i7-10700K. In the R15 running points, the single-core score of the i7-10700K after overclocking was 218cb, and the multi-core score was 2092cb; in the R20 running points, the single-core running score was 515pts and the multi-core score was 4939pts. Compared with the pre-overclocking points, the i7-10700K has an increase of about 5% for single-core and 3% for multi-core after overclocking.

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With the support of the new Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX, the i7-10700K can easily overclock the full-core 5.0GHz. For a performance behemoth like the i9-10900K, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX can also suppress it. As a game-focused motherboard product, what is the stability and actual performance of Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX after overclocking? Let us continue the test through the game running points.

For the game evaluation of Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX, we all tested several 3A masterpieces currently on the market under 4K conditions, and the tests were all carried out at the highest picture quality by default or manual adjustment. Here, Rocking Review has selected four games from "Far Cry: New Dawn", "Assassin's Creed: Odyssey", "Red Dead Redemption", and "Tomb Raider: Shadow" for testing.

In 4K image quality, game presets or manual adjustment of the highest image quality performance, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX with i7-10700K+RTX 2080Ti running sub-frame rates (both average frame rates) are as follows:

GameFrame per second
Far Cry: New Dawn94
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey62
Red Dead: Redemption26
Tomb Raider: Shadow69

The test data basically reached the level of fluency recommended by the game, and after overclocking the full-core 5.0GHz, there was no blue screen or power outage during the game test.

Our Verdict

The Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX motherboard, as the new mount of the tenth generation Core Duo, obviously has a stronger power consumption tolerance. Compared with the previous generation products, Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX has a strong control over power management. This control Power allows performance behemoths like i9-10900K to be restrained.In addition, BIOS adjustments make it easier for ordinary novice users. The reservation of the Thunderbolt 3 slot, the faster PCIe 4.0 slot, and the new M.2 expansion planned for the future all let us see the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX motherboard is a forward-looking plan for the future. If you want to buy a brand new game console for yourself, then Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX with a brand new tenth generation Core processor is definitely a good choice.

Thank you for reading. Keep supporting us and we will produce more high quality reviews.

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