Gigabyte Z390 Designare Review: A Motherboard For Creative Pros

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Gigabyte Z390 Designare Motherboard: Simple, Clean, and Packed With Capability

Today we are going to take a look at Gigabyte’s Z390 Designare motherboard, one of the company's more recent Socket 1151-based boards for Intel's 8th and 9th Generation Coffee Lake-based processors. This board has a lean and mean look about it, even menacing in a way, with its mostly black aesthetic with silver highlights scattered about. Its VRM heatsink even carries a yin-yang motif, with the black sink at the top and silver to the left of the CPU socket.

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This color palette provides a clean, sharp look with its M.2 slot sharing the same light and dark offset and the PCH sink providing a final accent. The board carries a bevy of features targeted at creative professionals. Among them is dual Intel Thunderbolt 3, across the board’s USB Type-c connections on the back I/O. This same port supports USB 3.1 and Mini-DisplayPort connections as well. On top of this, the Z390 Designare offers a wealth of connectivity options for high-performance storage devices, displays, and more, which we will dig into shortly.

Other top-end features include, support for DDR4 memory at up to 4266MHz+, support for multiple, full-bandwidth NVMe storage solutions (M.2, and PCIe slot connections), and dual Intel Gigabit LAN, The board has customizable RGB LEDs underneath and across the top of the motherboard as well, to add a bit of flare and liven up its dark PCB.

Gigabyte Z390 Designare Motherboard
Specifications & Features

CPU: Intel 8th & 9th Gen processors - LGA1151
Chipset: Intel Z390 Chipset
Multi GPU: Supports NVIDIA 2-Way GPU SLI Technology 
Supports AMD 2-Way CrossFireX Technology
Memory: 4 x DIMM, Dual-Channel DDR4 up to 4266MHZ+ OC
Audio: 8-Channel 120dB SNR HD (via ALC1220-vb) w/ Built-in Rear Audio Amp
Connectivity: LAN: Dual Intel GbE LAN
Slots: 3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 (x16/x8/x4)
2 x PCIe 3.0 x1 Slots
Storage: 2 x M.2 x4 supports both SATA & PCIE mode (May disable specific SATA ports)
6 x SATA3 6Gb/s port(s)
USB 3.1: 2 x USB Type-C With full Thunderbolt 3 support
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type A Ports (Red)
6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A Ports (2 x Via Internal 20-Pin Header)
1 x USB Type C USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (Via Internal header)
USB 2.0: 4 x USB 2.0 ports (2x via internal header)
Form Factor: ATX 13.8" x 10.6"
Price: $269 Currently At Amazon

We tested the Gigabyte Z390 Designare with an Intel Core i9-9900K processor, coupled to a 32GB kit of Corsair Vengeance 3200MHz DDR4 memory.


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Gigabyte simplified the packaging with this board, opting for a dark, clean look, just like the PCB. The packaging features a close-up shot of the VRM and embedded IO cover, with a lighted-v pattern.

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Within the accessories kit for the Gigabyte Z390 Designaire, we find:

  • 2x Manuals
  • Installation DVD
  • Mini DP to Full Size DP Cable (For Thunderbolt Input)
  • 4 x SATA Cables
  • M.2 Mounting Hardware
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Antennae
  • G Connector (Front Panel Quick connector)

This accessory setup is more than adequate and allows for pretty much everything we can think of that would be needed even for a well-appointed content creation rig with plenty of storage attached.

Next, we will take a walk around the board, get a good look at the UEFI BIOS environment, and then checkout the benchmarks before buttoning things up. Let’s get going...

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