The Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming should be regarded as GIGABYTE’s go-to motherboard for Z370. It sits in a mid-tier position, boasting a wealth of features which should satisfy novice and avid gamers wanting to get the most out of their new Core i7-8700K.
Gigabyte officially replaced their G1-Gaming line up with the AORUS brand with the launch of Intel’s Z270 chipset. Originally designated for their high-end laptops, the AORUS name is now branded on Gigabyte’s graphics cards and motherboards. Now, less than a year later, Intel has launched their 8th generation of Core processor’s and their all new Z370 chipset. Although the Z370 chipset is still sporting the same LGA 1151 socket, the Z370 chipset only supports the new 8th generation of Core processors. So, if you plan to upgrade to the 8th generation, it will require a new motherboard.
Feature wise, as we showed in our preview, the Ultra Gaming covers a huge amount. The fantastic audio capabilities are only matched by the tremendous amount of lighting options that include the all-important RGBW headers which allow us crystal clear whites on our LED strips as opposed to the slightly blue hue you normally get from mere RGBs.
In fact the only things we can see which are missing are a heatpipe connecting the VRM heatsink to the main backplate heatsink, only two PCI Express slots with the steel armour, and no heat spreaders on the dual M.2 slots. Of course the big question is how does it perform?
The board features the same DIMM slot lighting as on more premium boards in the Aorus range, and it's the cheapest one to do so. You also get two RGBW headers as well as two three-pin headers that can power 5050 digital LED strips. There are three fan headers around the CPU socket - handy for powering roof or rear case fans and CPU cooler fans, although there's no hi-amp header, and the dedicated AIO pump header is the other side of the DIMM slots. All of the fan headers can operate in PWM or voltage modes plus Gigabyte's excellent EFI and software fan control allows you to change fan speed according to different thermal inputs - not just the CPU.
Despite the lower price tag, you still get a header for USB Type-C front panel ports on the board - something MSI's more expensive Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC lacks - although you should note that here it is limited to USB 3.0 speeds (AKA USB 3.1 Gen 1) rather than true USB 3.1 (Gen 2). You also get the usual six SATA 6Gbps ports. The rear I/O panel is fairly well populated, too; there's no Wi-Fi, but you get seven Type-A USB ports, with one of these being USB 3.1 and four USB 3.0. There's also been no corner cutting with the audio either, as you get the usual Realtek ALC 1220 audio codec along with a smart headphone amp and dedicated USB port for DACs that Gigabyte claims compensates for voltage droop when using long cables.
- Supports 8th Gen Intel Core Processors
- Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
- Intel Optane Memory Ready
- ASMedia 3142 USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-C and Type-A
- Front USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C Header
- Multi-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable Design
- ALC1220 120dB SNR HD Audio with Smart Headphone AMP and WIMA audio capacitors
- Intel GbE LAN Gaming Network with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
- RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone Digital LED Light Show design, support digital LED & RGB LED strips
- Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
- Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
- Dual Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 and SATA interface
- USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
- Lightning-Fast Intel Thunderbolt 3 Add In Card Support
- APP Centre Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
To view full Specifications visit the website: