Board Features

The GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Master is a high-end ATX motherboard targeted at gamers and enthusiasts with a variety of features and controllers. Highly notable features include triple M.2 with all of them supporting NVMe drives and each coming equipped with its own M.2 heatshield. The single LAN port is controlled by an Intel I219-V 1 Gbe PHY and GIGABYTE utilizes the CNVi on the Z390 chipset with an Intel 9560 802.11ac 1.73 Gbps capable Wi-Fi adapter. Users looking for a solid onboard audio solution will appreciate the Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec with an assisting ESS Sabre 9118 digital to analogue converter. Up to two-way NVIDIA SLI and three-way AMD CrossFire multi-graphics cards configurations can be used on the Z390 Aorus Master due to three full-length PCIe 3.0 ports (x8/x8/ or x8/x8/x4).

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Master ATX Motherboard
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price $290
Size ATX
CPU Interface LGA1151
Chipset Intel Z390
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
Supporting 128 GB
Dual Channel
Up to DDR4-4400
Video Outputs 1 x HDMI 1.4
Network Connectivity Intel I219-V Gigabit
Intel 9560 802.11ac 2T2R
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC1220-VB
ESS 9118 DAC
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 or x8/x8)
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
3 x PCIe 3.0 x1
Onboard SATA Six, RAID 0/1/5/10
Onboard M.2 2 x PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA
1 x PCIe 3.0 x4/x2
USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) 3 x Type-A Rear Panel
1 x Type-C Header
USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) 2 x Type-A Rear Panel
1 x Header (two ports)
USB 2.0 4 x Type-A Rear Panel
2 x Header (four ports)
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
2 x 8pin CPU
Fan Headers 1 x CPU (4-pin)
2 x CPU/pump (4-pin)
4 x System (4-pin)
IO Panel 3 x USB 3.1 G2 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 G2 Type-C
2 x USB 3.1 G1 Type-A (AMP-UP)
4 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x Network RJ45 (Intel)
5 x 3.5mm Audio Jacks (Realtek)
1 x S/PDIF Output (Realtek)
2 x Intel 9560 Antenna Ports
1 x Power/Reset button
1 x Clear CMOS button

On the rear panel, GIGABYTE has equipped the Z390 Aorus Master with four USB 3.1 G2 ports; three Type-A and one Type-C. Also present is two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports which double up with GIGABYTE’s DAC-UP 2 technology for audio enthusiasts, as well as four USB 2.0 ports. Users can add an additional USB 3.1 G2 Type-C port, two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports and four USB 2.0 ports due to internal headers. GIGABYTE also has support for fast DDR4-4400 memory and supports the 32 GB UDIMMs which means the Z390 Aorus Master can house up to 128 GB of system memory.

Test Bed

As per our testing policy, we take a high-end CPU suitable for the motherboard that was released during the socket’s initial launch, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the processor maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

While we have been able to measure audio performance from previous Z370 motherboards, the task has been made even harder with the roll-out of the Z390 chipset and none of the boards tested so far has played ball. It seems all USB support for Windows 7 is now extinct so until we can find a reliable way of measuring audio performance on Windows 10 or until a workaround can be found, audio testing will have to be done at a later date.

Test Setup
Processor Intel i7-8700K, 65W, $300,
6 Cores, 12 Threads, 3.7 GHz (4.7 GHz Turbo)
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Master (BIOS F8e)
Cooling be quiet! Silent Loop 240mm AIO
Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Gold PSU
Memory 2x16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2400
Ran at DDR4-2666 CL16-18-18-35 2T
Video Card ASUS GTX 980 STRIX (1178/1279 Boost)
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1TB
Case Open Benchtable BC1.1 (Silver)
Operating System Windows 10 RS3 inc. Spectre/Meltdown Patches

Readers of our motherboard review section will have noted the trend in modern motherboards to implement a form of MultiCore Enhancement / Acceleration / Turbo (read our report here) on their motherboards. This does several things, including better benchmark results at stock settings (not entirely needed if overclocking is an end-user goal) at the expense of heat and temperature. It also gives, in essence, an automatic overclock which may be against what the user wants. Our testing methodology is ‘out-of-the-box’, with the latest public BIOS installed and XMP enabled, and thus subject to the whims of this feature. It is ultimately up to the motherboard manufacturer to take this risk – and manufacturers taking risks in the setup is something they do on every product (think C-state settings, USB priority, DPC Latency / monitoring priority, overriding memory sub-timings at JEDEC). Processor speed change is part of that risk, and ultimately if no overclocking is planned, some motherboards will affect how fast that shiny new processor goes and can be an important factor in the system build.

Hardware Providers for CPU and Motherboard Reviews
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix

New Test Suite: Spectre and Meltdown Hardened

Since the start of our Z390 reviews, we are using an updated OS, updated drivers, and updated software. This is in line with our CPU testing updates, which includes Spectre and Meltdown patches. As we are in the process of testing more Z390 boards, that data will be added in future reviews however at this point we only have Z370 on the old testing as a reference.

BIOS And Software System Performance
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • El Sama - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    Comes with a solid VRM, unlike Asus fake Phases VRM.
  • TelstarTOS - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

  • gavbon - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    It's a solid power delivery; nothing wrong with using doublers and GIGABYTE are very clear in their marketing too. I wish all the vendors followed this practice!
  • sonny73n - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    I went to Gigabyte website for this board and saw that they claim it’s a true 12 phase VRM.

    But Anandtech says “the GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Master is highly competitive with its power delivery design (doubled six-phase)”.

    So Gigabyte bullshit AGAIN. I hope your wish won’t come true.
  • iohlighi - Monday, March 25, 2019 - link

    There's a difference between using doublers, which are additional components to split a phase into two phases, and just adding two of each component to a single phase which is what people are referring to with asus here. With doublers, they are indeed out of phase with each other as needed to be considered a phase. The downside of doublers vs dedicated phases without doublers is there is no load/temp balancing between the two doubled phases because the controller sees it as just one.
  • JlHADJOE - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    A properly doubled 6-phase *is* a true 12-phase.

    If the output of the PWM is A B C D E F, then a Gigabyte puts a doubler on each PWM output, and an output stages on each of the doubler's outputs, so the final result becomes something like A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 D1 D2 E1 E2 F1 F2. Each sub-phase is a proper time slice.

    ASUS on the other hand is sneaky and simply wired two output stages to each of the PWM's four output channels on their boards, so A B C D from the PWM simply becomes AA BB CC DD.
  • sonny73n - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    I’ve seen more fake phases VRM from Gigabyte than any others. Even tho Gigabyte claims this board has 12 true phases, I wouldn’t believe them. And sure Gigabyte boards can OC to 5Ghz but core voltage would be 1.5v, temp will be more than 100C and crash as soon as your game loads.

    Go to Newegg for buyers’ reviews. Gigabyte customer service as well as OCing ability are horrible.
  • sonny73n - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    Sorry not all Gigabyte boards are as bad as I said. It’s only about 90% of them and this is not silicone lottery.
  • JlHADJOE - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    Gigabyte's Z390 Aorus line is legit (unlike their previous Z370 series). Buildzoid took a very in-depth look at this board and the VRMs get his seal of approval.

    Linked timestamp is at start of VRM analysis
  • shaolin95 - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    nonsense...talking BS without actually researching. Go cry home Asus fanboy

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now