Gigabyte continues to flesh out its line of Z390 motherboards designed around Intel's latest chipset. The total number of Z390 motherboards in Gigabyte's stable now stands at a dozen, with the addition of the Z390 Designare and Z390 Aorus Xtreme. Both are high-end motherboards with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, but they're aimed at different audiences.
Let's start with the Z390 Aorus Xtreme. This one stands as Gigabyte's top-shelf Z390 motherboard and has a price tag to match—$549.99 MSRP (ouch!). That price will put it out of reach of the typical mainstream shopper, and certainly those looking for a bang-for-buck solution, with Gigabyte seemingly targeting enthusiasts and overclockers who wouldn't think twice about plunking down for a Core i9-9900K.
Pricing aside, the Z390 Aorus Xtreme brings the goods. It has a 16-phase digital IR VRM design and a "state-of-the-art thermal design for optimized power and thermal management." In plain speak, it's built for overclocking, and particularly for those who push the limits of what a CPU is capable of delivering.
Core features include four DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of RAM, Intel Optane Memory support, three reinforced PCI Express x16 slots, two PCIe x1 slots, three M.2 connectors, six SATA 6Gbps ports, and copious USB 3.1 and 2.0 connectivity. It also boasts onboard 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5, and dual LAN ports, one of which is powered by an Aquantia 10 Gigabit LAN chip.
"The Z390 Aorus Xtreme is our flagship and tailored for overclockers, gamers, and those wanting the best of the best when it comes to the Z390 platform," Gigabyte says.
Gigabyte has a different audience in mind with its Z390 Designare, and specifically content creators who need "connectivity, stability, and large data transfers." Those same traits should apply to the Z390 Aorus Xtreme, but the Z390 Designare costs less than half as much—it has a $269.99 MSRP.
The Z390 Designare sports a 12+1 power phase design. That's not on the level of the Z390 Aorus Extreme, but still pretty robust. It also features the same number of DIMM slots, reinforced PCIe x16 slots, and SATA 6Gbps ports, and has one less M.2 connector.
Rear I/O connectivity is pretty generous here as well, with a mix of USB 3.1 and 2.0 ports, and USB-C. It also offers onboard 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 for wireless connectivity. For wired connections, it wields dual Intel GbE LAN ports.
Both of these motherboards should be available to purchase soon.