Gigabyte Z690 AORUS ULTRA (DDR5) Motherboard Review

Gigabyte are well known for making high-quality PC products including of course, motherboards. So it’s no surprise that they were one of the first manufacturers, to produce and release motherboards for Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake processors. We’ve reviewed quite a few Z690 motherboards over the past few months, and it would be interesting to see what Gigabyte has to offer.

So today, we’ll be taking a look at the Gigabyte Z690 AORUS ULTRA Motherboard. It utilizes the Z690 chipset and it’s suitable for all of Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake processors on the LGA1700 socket. It features a PCIE 5.0 x16 slot with SMD technology (surface mount diode), and supports DDR5 ram with speed of up to DDR5-6200 (OC). Please take note: The DDR5 memory slot is NOT compatible with DDR4 ram.



It features a 16+1+2 Digital VRM Design and comes with an excellent Thermal Design featuring a Full Cover heat shield with Fins-Array II, for both the mosfets and M.2 connectors. For connectivity, it comes with the Intel 2.5GbE LAN, WIFI 6 support, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 TYPE-C, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 6 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 and total of 8 x USB 2.0. Other features include a 120dB ALC4080 Hi-Res Audio with WIMA caps, Gigabyte’s RGB FUSION 2.0, Q-Flash Plus, Smart fan 6, as well as a 6-layer PCB.



There’s also plenty of storage options including 6 x SATA3 ports and 4 x M.2 PCIE Gen4 slots for your SSDs, which is covered by their impressive-looking, full cover heat shield. An interesting feature is the M.2 Raid function. If you install all 3 x PCIE Gen4 SSDs together, each with 7000 MB/s, it will give you unparalleled sequential Read/Write performance of up to 21053 and 15499 MB/s respectively. Nice!



Intel Z690 Chipset

The Z690 chipset has full CPU overclocking capabilities, including P & E Core and BCLK overclocking. It also comes with 8 x DMI 4.0 lanes, up to 12 x PCIe 4.0 lanes and 16 x PCIe 3.0 lanes.

It can support DDR5 ram up to 4,800 MT/s (or DDR4 ram up to 3,200 MT/s), as well as 1 x 16 PCIE 5.0 or 2 x 8 PCIE 5.0. You also get the Intel gigabit ethernet and WiFi 6e, which comes as standard, and support for Octane memory.

Continuing with the review …

The motherboard is feature-rich and comes in a matte black finish. The weight of the board is heavier than most I’ve come across, and this is because of the Full Cover heat shield with Fins-Array II covering the I/O hood, the Mosfets and VRMs, as well as the M.2 connectors for the SSDs. Near the top of the board, you’ll find the power button, dianostic LEDs, and a bunch of fan and RGB headers. Towards the bottom, you’ll notice there’s a clear CMOS button, QFlash button and a ton of headers for extra fans, RGB, USB and audio.


I would like to thank Gigabyte for providing the review sample. This is a snippet from what Gigabyte has to say about themselves on their website:

GIGABYTE Techonology:Upgrade Your Life

A global leader in the PC industry, GIGABYTE offers a comprehensive product lineup that aims to “Upgrade Your Life.” With expertise encompassing consumer, business, gaming, and cloud systems, GIGABYTE uses research and innovation to consistently meet user needs. GIGABYTE is renowned for award-winning products including motherboards, graphics cards, laptops, mini PCs, and other PC components and accessories, and has revolutionized the PC industry with patented DualBIOS™ and Ultra Durable™ technologies. As an expert in PC technology, GIGABYTE is poised to extend our scope in business servers and cloud systems with hardware and software solutions that integrate AI and AloT applications to develop the ideal infrastructure for future prospects in 5G.

That which resonates with your life

“Upgrade Your Life” is the core essence in everything we do at GIGABYTE. We believe only technology made for you will speak to you. With a keen understanding of your needs, we have raised industry standards with game-changing DualBIOS™ technology; our patented Ultra Durable™ motherboards are designed to last and outlast, and our superior Windforce Stack 3x Cooling System exceeds all expectations.

We break new ground. We also continuously provide reliable cloud infrastructure to help businesses optimize their operations as well as to advance development and expansion in the digital realm. By combining innovation and practicality, GIGABYTE wields the technology of the future to improve your life today.


When ideas manifest into reality

We have your bases covered, starting with the motherboard. With an established reputation for trusted quality, we pushed forward with graphics cards, laptops, and mini PCs, and corporations worldwide depend on us for reliable server solutions. We have set the foundations for future forays into machine learning (AI) and deep learning. Most of all, we have always been there innovating products that will spark your creativity. From the adrenaline-pumping AORUS eSport line for enthused gamers, to cutting-edge AERO laptops for inspired artists and creators, or portable yet powerful BRIX mini PCs, with your perspective in mind, we crafted technologies that have more realistic usability to make the future both achievable and approachable.

Foretelling your future in tech

Visualize this: Shaking your phone connects you to cloud. Your city is on a 5G network integrating medical, transportation, and power services. Even your appliances are online, working to make your life easier. AI guarantees that you always have personalized entertainment options. Blockchain has reshaped the financial world, and medical marvels take place daily with the help of VR. What you’re visualizing is already approaching reality, and the world will soon rush to keep up. Now is the time to Upgrade Your Life. Our vast product range can meet your personal, business, and computing needs and prepare you for future trends and developments. Using technology, we can achieve anything we visualize, and beyond.

In harmony with the natural world

We are eager to achieve the harmony between technology and sustainability. With the faith, we transformed the roof of Headquarters into a sustainable eco-roof with more than 400 species of plants and animals inhabited in order to reach the balance between work, life and leisure. In 2017, in response to the international Trillion Tree Campaign, we launched “Make Earth Green Again” and called on the society to plant trees. We also developed and applied the world’s first pure rice husk eco-package, which not only became a sustainability milestone in technology industry, but also won international awards such as iF, Red Dot and Good Design. As a gardener of technology and sustainability, we believe that every action is a seed of anticipation and will thrive into a better future.



We’ll be testing the Gigabyte Z690 AORUS ULTRA with an Intel Core i9-12900KF (12th Gen Alder Lake) processor, along with 32GB of Thermaltake RC DDR5-4800 (overclocked to DDR5-5600), Adata Legend 840 PCIE Gen4 SSD, and a Radeon RX 6500 XT graphics card. I’m expecting more than decent performance from the above setup, and it should easily match my current setup (ASRock Z690 Tiachi + same components as above).

Unfortunately, I was not able to test the motherboard using a GeForce RXT 30-series due to chip shortage/scalpers/overpricing, so the bottleneck would come from the graphics card itself. Yes, I’m stuck with a Radeon RX 6500 XT … *sigh*

OK, let’s get busy and start by taking a look at the specifications and features in our next page.  You can buy the Gigabyte Z690 AORUS ULTRA motherboard for around USD $349.99 from Amazon –


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Erick Reyes 11 March 2023 at 11:54

Can you set the GPU normally (horizontal) without the fins to mess with it? Also, do you have a tutorial on how to update the bios? Thanks for the help!

Winston 11 March 2023 at 16:51

The GPU should be able to mount both horizontally or vertically depending on your case. For BIOS update, please check Gigabyte’s website or online tutorials on YouTube.


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