Gigabyte Z390 Designare Review: A Motherboard For Creative Pros

Gigabyte Z390 Designare BIOS, Power Consumption and Overclocking

Gigabyte’s Visual BIOS is hit and miss. It has a cool enough aesthetic in easy mode, and makes it pretty easy to find most information someone would quickly need, without fiddling through the advanced mode menus. There is even an easy OC option, which will auto overclock the CPU a little on each speed bin in most cases, as long as you have a halfway decent cooler. But lets face it, we're not here for an auto OC, we want to see what this board can really do.


Here you can see in the peripherals section the previously-mentioned PCIe switch, which can enable the bottom PCIe X4 slot to use either DMI or CPU lanes. If you choose CPU lanes the 2nd slot will drop to X4 as well so SLI will not be possible.


The Advanced section is where most tweakers will likely find themselves. Gigabyte offers most everything you will need all within the M.I.T. menu here.


We found that the Z390 Designare achieved a 5.0GHz overclock on all 8 cores with out 9900K without even trying, but then we decided to push a little further.

We dialed the CPU clock ratios up to 53, and had a goal to not exceed 1.325 Vcore just to ensure we had plenty of thermal headroom. Luckily, we have a pretty solid chip and we were able to dial it in at 1.31VCore at 5.2GGHz as you can see below. Our CPUz reading shows a float up to 1.32VCore, which is was verified with our DMM to be 1.316VCore (Loaded) and 1.304 (unloaded). This board surprised us with its very light voltage float and overall tight voltage regulation, even under heavy load.

Here we see the POVRay result at 5.2GHz, which is solid as this app has a tendency to hit the CPU pretty hard.


Here we see system load measured at the wall. This is with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti on board as well.

gb z390 power1

Now as you can see, the ASUS boards pull a little more power, and that could be a result of some of the ROG features and extra components which have to be powered. The Gigabyte board gets away with a pretty paltry power sipping experience, hitting as low as 66 Watts idle at desktop.

Now that we've done some Overclocking and found our stable frequencies, lets get to the benchmarks.

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