Today, we have our Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review to discuss one of its current offerings for content creators. The AERO line from Gigabyte is known for its cutting-edge creator and gamer notebooks. But recently, the line also began producing motherboards perfect for said users.
Generally, motherboards under the AERO line provide a unique aesthetic appeal and plenty of distinct features geared towards content creators. However, Gigabyte ensures these still maintain top-notch components for efficiency.
In this Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review, let us look at the Z790 AERO G. We will discuss its design, features, functions, specs, and what it can offer.
Our motherboard arrived for review and ships in a minimalist white box. In front, it features the phrase Creator Motherboard at the centre.
The box appears similar to the packaging of Apple products. Plus, it is entirely different from the former Designare creator brand of Gigabyte. Nonetheless, the packaging is still eye-catching, and we love its minimalist and clean look.
Inside the box, you will find the Z790 AERO G with a few inclusions as the following:
AERO WiFi 6 antenna
DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable
Two SATA 6GB/s cables
Fan noise level mic
A warranty card
One VisionLINK guide
Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review – Design and Functionality
We will begin our Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review by looking into its design and functions.
The Z790 AERO G belongs to the creator-oriented AERO series and is the only member of the Z790 family. Generally, other vendors only add a new design to their gaming motherboards, but the Z790 AERO G offers more. It provides unique and efficient features to enhance the experience for creators.
The Z790 AERO G has a unique appearance plus a sleek, clean aesthetic. It features silver heatsinks contrasting against a black PCB and does not have flashy lighting.
The motherboard boasts an attractive black PCB consisting of eight layers. These have silver-accented heatsinks that are strategically for optimal cooling.
These heatsinks are sandblasted for a distinct texture, while the VRM and M.2 heatsinks feature shallow mitre cuts. These help increase the surface area while enhancing their functions and appearance.
The heatsink is unadorned, but it has the AERO branding. However, it does not have integrated RGB lighting. Instead, you can opt for other options or add external strips via the existing RGB headers.
On the top left portion, you will find EPS connectors for powering the CPU. AERO works with an 8-pin connector and a 4-pin one that is optional. The VRM heatsinks surrounding the socket work efficiently while looking flashy.
We love how its sandblasted, matte finish and silver shade contrast with its black PCB. So overall, it blends nicely with almost any chassis.
To the right of the socket, above the DRAM slots, you will find two of the eight 4-pin fan headers. These headers support pulse width modulation (PWM) and direct current (DC) fans. Each can output up to 2A at 24W.
It provides enough power to handle multiple fans on a single header and most pumps. However, be aware of the power requirements of your fans and pump to avoid header overloading.
The same area also houses the first two RGB headers, with one 3-pin ARGB and one 4-pin RGB header. You can manage the controls of these headers via the Gigabyte RGB Fusion application and Control Center. You can find the other six RGB headers across the bottom edge of the motherboard.
Moving down the right edge, you will see the 24-pin ATX connector that powers the motherboard. It also comes with more 4-pin fan headers. A front-panel USB 3.2 Gen1 header and a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 header are also present.
We can also see the EZ-debug LEDs that illuminate during the POST process. So, for example, if the system hangs in a specific area, the LED for that section remains lit to help pinpoint the issue.
The audio section of the motherboard is located at the bottom left and is visible to all. It has a Realtek ALC1220-VB codec and dedicated audio capacitors.
Note that the last generation flagship-class codec does not have an integrated digital audio converter or amplifier. Nonetheless, it should suffice for all, even the most discerning listeners.
For the audio processing needs of an average content creator, the Z790 AERO G has everything necessary. Additionally, with DSD support, music listeners have better options for hardware DSD decoding. However, for those prioritising audio experience, it is best to invest in an external DAC or a sound card.
Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Expansion Slots
This motherboard comes with three full-length PCIe extension slots. Its top slot links via the CPU while working as your PCIe 5.0 x16 slot.
The ones at the bottom connect via the chipset. So, those on top allocate the PCIe 4.0 x4 bandwidth and the base PC Ie 3.0 x4 slots.
Do note that the PCIe 5.0 and M2CCPU slot share bandwidth. And once you install a device in the M.2 socket, the graphics slot will work in x8 mode. However, you will not notice any performance loss with the current generation cards.
The motherboard has four DDR5 DIMM slots that support up to 32GB of memory. This results in a total capacity of up to 128GB/s.
GIGABYTE claims that the Z790 AERO G can support speeds up to DDR5-7600 through overclocking. However, this may vary depending on the configuration.
Intel processors typically offer higher overclocking potential than AMD processors. And achieving these speeds should be feasible with the proper memory kit.
The Z790 AERO G comes with high-speed storage options in M.2 sockets. The fastest one is labelled M2CCPU, which supports PCIe 5.0 x4. A massive heatsink conceals this and is present above the top PCIe slot.
This socket connects to the CPU and is the only PCIe 5.0 socket on the motherboard. The second socket (M2ACPU) also connects to the CPU but works at a maximum of PCIe 4.0 x4 (64GB/per second). Therefore, it does not affect the PCIe lane count or availability.
The other sockets connect to the chipset and run up to PCIe 4.0 x4 speed. The top three sockets (M2ACPU, M2CCPU, and M2QSB) can hold up to 110mm modules. The bottom two can accommodate up to 80mm modules.
Additionally, the Z790 AERO G supports RAID in modes 0, 1, 5, and 10. It also features screwless M.2 latches on all except one of the sockets, making installation/removal convenient.
The rear I/O shield of the motherboard provides numerous elements for your needs, and these include the following:
Two USB 2.0 ports
Four USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (5GB/s)
WiFi 6 antenna
USB 3.2 Gen2 (10GB/s) + DisplayPort Type-C port
HDMI 2.0 Out
Two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A (10GB/s)
USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20Gb/s) Type-C
Key Features of the Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard
Our Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review will also look into the key features of this motherboard. These elements will help determine whether this product is an ideal motherboard.
Have Easier and Convenient Connections
Link to the VisionLINK port to seamlessly transfer data and video, plus power charge using one USB Type-C cable.
DisplayPort Alternate Mode + USB Power Delivery
VisionLINK has data transfer functions, 60W for charging, and a DisplayPort Alternate mode for your videos. With the USB PD (Power Delivery) Profile 4 design, the motherboard can deliver up to 60W power. It is a specification to handle increased power while allowing devices to fast-charge via USB connection.
The feature in USB Type-C is the Alternate mode. It allows standard connectors to carry non-USB data and USB signals, such as video signals.
Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard M.2 Thermal Guard III
The M.2 Thermal Guard III offers an optimised thermal solution for PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSD support. It effectively prevents thermal throttling during high data transfer or heavy workloads.
With its advanced thermal design, the M.2 Thermal Guard III ensures that all heat-producing components operate optimally at stable temperatures. These include the VRM and up to 5 M.2 SSDs
Smart Fan 6
The Smart Fan 6 from Gigabyte provides simple management. It guarantees that your system stays quiet and prevents heating under varying workloads.
Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard PCIe 5.0 x16 Slot
The Z790 AERO G supports the current PCIe 5.0 graphics/accelerator card.
PCIe 5.0 Design – For Fast and Robust Level
The motherboard features the PCIe 5.0 x16 slot and M.2 socket for optimising large and multitasking workloads. Also, it is ready for the current PCIe 5.0 graphics card/storage devices.
PCIe 5.0 M.2 Storage for Faster Speed and Added Space
The motherboard has a full-speed PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot. In addition, it has five onboard M.2 slots for data-intensive activities and creative work without extra setups.
The Z790 AERO G supports the new PCIe 5.0 SSD with type 25110 M.2 slots. Plus, these offer high-power M.2 PCIe 5.0 SSD solutions.
Say Goodbye to Waiting with Increased Network Speeds
The AERO motherboards are known for offering the best connectivity with Intel 2.5GbE. It provides a quick boost to your network, faster data transfers, and smoother video editing experiences.
WiFi 6E to Boost Productivity
WiFi 6E is the extended standard of WiFi 6. It uses a dedicated 6GHz band, providing a spacious spectrum for new devices and a brand-new frequency to transfer data. Plus, it can download massive files faster and conduct AR/VR experiences, boosting creativity with reduced drop connections.
High-speed USB 20Gbps
The Z790 AERO G uses USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, which offers flexible connectivity and high-speed transfer of massive files.
DDR5 – Increased Speeds for Instant Responsiveness
DDR5 memory provides unprecedented speed and performance. These are ideal for content creation, AI training, and other bandwidth-intensive applications.
Compared to DDR4, DDR5 offers at least 1.5x more bandwidth. So, it is ideal for those working with 4K video, audio samples, and multitasking.
In addition, DDR5 enables faster file compression with a 36% improvement in performance. This optimisation results in a more seamless experience when sharing your creative work.
This section of our Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review will share details on the product specifications. The list can help you better determine if the motherboard can work with your system.
Form Factor: ATX Form Factor measuring 30.5 x 24.4cm
Memory: 4x DDR5 slots with max128GB and up to DDR5 7600 OC support
WiFi: Intel WiFi 6E AX211
LAN: Intel 2.5GbE LAN chip
Audio: Realtek ALC1220-VB CODEC
CPU: LGA1700 | support for the 13th and 12th Generation Intel Core, Celeron, and Pentium Gold Processors
Operating System: Windows 11 64-bit and Windows 10 64-bit
Hands-on with the Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard
Our Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review will focus on using the product. But before we share its performance and user experience, we will discuss its BIOS and the Gigabyte Control Centre.
The BIOS has a distinct theme featuring a white background with black, light blue, and grey colours. Like most motherboards, the first page of its BIOS displays Easy Mode. This section shows many details about the system, like CPU, storage, and RAM.
On the right side of the interface, you will find buttons that access other features. These include Advanced Mode, Smart Fan 6, and Q-Flash functionality.
The Advanced Mode is a comprehensive menu that allows you to adjust the boot sequence and memory speed. Plus, you will find the standard configurations with main headings across the top. These include Tweaker, Settings, System Info, Favourites, and Boot.
The Tweaker tab has all the essential options for adjusting and overclocking your system. Also, you can manage voltages, timings, RAM speed, and CPU overclocking options.
In Settings, you will find several subheadings where you can configure I/O ports and adjust the platform power. Another section displays the system information where you can monitor the health of your PC. Finally, it has options for enabling/disabling integrated graphics and audio or configuring NVMe, SATA, USB, and network hardware.
The BIOS is also where you control the fans via Smart Fan 6. You can manually set the fan speeds or adjust the curve using the chart.
Overall, the Gigabyte Z790 AERO G BIOS has a logically laid out interface, making it user-friendly. What makes it better is it has comprehensive options to tweak, including overclocking settings.
Unlike other BIOS, it does not have the settings for RGB. Instead, it is in the Control Centre, which we will discuss next in our Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review.
Gigabyte Control Centre is the utility software used for the theZ790 AERO G. It houses Windows-based control and monitoring over fans, RGB lighting, and performance & overclocking. This lightweight app matches the black and orange colour scheme of AORU.
Just like the BIOS, Gigabyte Control Centre has a user-friendly interface. On startup, it polls the driver and software versions and downloads necessary updates if you approve it.
The home screen of Gigabyte Control Centre is a landing page that shows the connected hardware you can configure. It also indicates the functions you can do for each hardware, like RGB Fusion and Fan Control.
RGB Fusion is a software utility within Gigabyte Control Centre for customising lighting. Here, you can choose from eight LED effects and configure options like the speed and brightness of the lights.
Fan Control is another software utility within GCC, and it offers three options: Full-speed, Normal, and Silent. You can manually adjust these by making custom curves.
GCC also has settings for overclocking, but it only lets you adjust memory speed and CPU voltage. Due to the limited options, you will likely prefer tweaking from the BIOS for granular control. The BIOS also has an OC button for automatic configuration if manual overclocking is intimidating.
Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review Summary
The Z790 AERO G from Gigabyte is another high-performing motherboard from Gigabyte. This creator-optimised motherboard delivers outstanding graphics, impressive connectivity, high-speed storage for 3D rendering & video production, and reliable computing performance.
Its features will likely attract all users, especially creators. It has five M.2 sockets, the latest flagship audio solution, VisionLINK, WiFi 6E, and a 2.5GbE network. Aside from that, its signature black-and-silver colour scheme offers a more premium look for your build.
During our product test for this Gigabyte Z790 AERO G Motherboard Review, we enjoyed the performance of our PC. It worked excellently for rendering, video editing, gaming, and other demanding tasks. In addition, we did not see any issues like lagging or thermal throttling since its features worked as promised.
Overall, the Z790 AERO G is an exceptional motherboard, and we highly recommend it to creators. It is also ideal for gamers, multitaskers, and enthusiast PC builders due to its high-end features, specifications, and versatility. With its elegant design, this motherboard will suit most builds.