Gigabyte Readies Aorus Z790 X Gen Motherboards For Intel's Raptor Lake Refresh

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Gigabyte has unveiled a new series of “Z790 X Gen” Aorus motherboards aimed at supporting Intel’s upcoming 14th-gen Raptor Lake Refresh processors. The new boards feature several upgrades over their non-X counterparts, including enhanced DDR5 frequency support, better M.2 mounting, improved VRM cooling, and more.

Raptor Lake Refresh is the codename of Intel’s next generation of desktop CPUs, featuring a “tuned-up” version of Intel’s Raptor Lake CPU architecture. Based on what we know about Raptor Lake Refresh, Intel will not be releasing a motherboard chipset generation to complement the new chips — i.e. Z890, H870, and B860. Instead, Intel and its partners will be repurposing current 700-series chipsets to support Raptor Lake Refresh at the factory and in the form of BIOS updates for existing motherboards. We can’t officially confirm this yet, but Gigabyte’s new Z790 motherboard refresh makes it seem very likely this will be the case.

The list of Aorus motherboards getting the “X Gen” treatment includes the new Z790 Aorus Pro X, Z790 Aorus Elite X WiFi 7, Z790 Aorus Elite X AX, Z790 Aorus Elite X, Z790 Aorus Master X, and Z790 Aorus Xtreme X (Gigabyte’s flagship motherboard).

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Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Pro X

Gigabyte’s new X boards gain access to two new DDR5 upgrades that enhanced the reliability and performance of DDR5 memory modules installed on the board. One is a new DDR5 XMP Auto Booster feature that allows users to effortlessly boost DDR5-5600-rated XMP kits to 6000MHz with the click of a button. The other is a new technology Gigabyte dubbed Back Drilling that reportedly enhances signal integrity, boosting frequency headroom and reliability.

Gigabyte has also integrated its EZ-Latch M.2 mounting system into the Z790 X Gen motherboards, to simplify the installation of M.2 SSDs. Compared to traditional solutions, Gigabyte’s new installation mounts don’t require any screws, allowing users to latch SSDs in place similar to PCIe graphics cards. Gigabyte has also integrated a new EZ-Latch Click system into its boards that introduce screwless installation for M.2 heatsinks.

Speaking of cooling, Gigabyte has also improved the cooling potential of its VRM heatsinks and M.2 cooling designs in some of its Z790 X Gen motherboards. The Aorus Xtreme X and Master X get access to Thermal Armor Fin-Array heatsinks equipped with a specialized nanocarbon coating that reportedly improves (or optimizes) thermal performance by 10%. To improve system temperatures, the boards are also gaining I/O ventilation that can reduce system temperatures by up to 7°C according to Gigabyte. Both boards also come with Gigabyte’s M.2 thermal guard PCIe Gen 5 SSD coolers.

Gigabyte has added extra reinforcement to its new motherboards as well, which improves the durability of the PCIe slot(s), memory slots, and M.2 slots. The backplate has been upgraded to feature a nanocarbon coating too, and the x16 slot(s) are equipped with an inner lining rubber strip that protects graphics cards from PCB scratches.

For additional detail on Gigbyte's upcoming boards, refer to the company's press release, and stay tuned to HH as we get closer to the launch of Intel's 14th Gen desktop processors.