Gigabyte Aorus Pro Wi-Fi

Chipset Z390
Socket LGA 1151
Form Factor ATX
DIMM slots DDR4 - DDR4 4400(OC) Max

The number one recommendation for your next gaming build based on Core i9 9900k would be Gigabyte Aorus Pro Wi-Fi. The Aorus PRO WIFI is a perfect motherboard for VRM as its CPU power phase has a Virtual VRM 12 + 1 mode with DrMOS. It causes the maximum power supply to the Processor and other power-hungry computer devices.

You also get an onboard Wave 2 Intel CNVi 802.11ac 22 Wi-Fi with an antenna that provides high-speed networking on video sharing and online GamingGaming without interruption. It can deliver speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps.

Such ports are covered with super durable protection such as I / O shield, memory armor, PCIe armor, providing a solid foundation for security and durability. The dual M.2 slots are covered by advanced thermal protection to mitigate heating problems with the SSDs.

Read More: Best Motherboards for Ryzen 5 2600

The advanced thermal system is made up of heatsink multi-cut, heat-pipe, and Smart Fan 5. The Smart Fan 5 has various sensors which allow the user to track the temperature on a long-term basis and control the fans for superior efficiency. Like other motherboards of Gigabyte Z390 Aorus, the provided BIOS software is outdated and not very user friendly.

The onboard RGB digital LEDs enhance motherboard beautification and can be controlled with the application RGB Fusion. The ALC 1220-VB audio system with 114 dB front/110 dB rear offers a quality sound experience. There are plenty of USB ports available, but they do have system booster charging.

In a 2×6+1 system operated by the Intersil’s ISL69138 78-channel PWM controller, the GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI has strong power on the overclocking front. We have had considerably improved experiences with the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI in the configuration compared to the Z390 Pro Master, especially as it has a much closer CPU VCore sensor on the Z390 Pro WIFI than a more costly Master.

The overall output while overclocking with the GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI was quite daunting. While the power supply aspect and we only managed to achieve 5.0 GHz with a 1.35 V Processor VCore, for comparison, we only required 1.30 V on the Z390 Aorus Master for the same overclock with our Intel Core i7-8700 K, but with a more aggressive LLC profile.

With a sturdy and weighty aluminum heatsink, focusing on the cooling and power distribution, the Heatsink is definitely up to the challenge. A total of eight 4-pin fan headers, which is impressive for a board costing $200, are also located around the edge of the boards PCB; this is something that a user would expect from a $400 + model GIGABYTE could conceivably slip more into the promotional materials.

Read More: Best GPU for Ryzen 5 1600

The GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI, which analyzes performance in our benchmarking suite, has its strengths and weaknesses. The positive aspects include strong numerical performance in CPU-focused tests and excellent results in our non-UEFI POST test; the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI has the 2nd fastest POST time of any LGA1151 we’ve tested so far.

While this is not a big concern, the DPC Latency output out of the box is the lowest of any LGA1151 board being tested, and the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI is not exactly power efficient either; not compared to other models that we have tried before.

Final Thoughts

The GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI sits within a highly competitive segment with a range of models in the price bracket of $180-200. In this category, GIGABYTE has three models with this model at $200, the non-Wi-Fi Z390 Aorus Pro ($190), and the GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Elite with a slightly lower price of $180. The compatible Intel 9560 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi adapter, which also offers Bluetooth 5 connectivity, is one of the critical advantages and sets it apart from the other versions of the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI.

The Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI is a massive deal at a nominal price. It is perfect for gamers and enthusiasts who like overclocking, GamingGaming, etc. The robust VRM architecture makes it a versatile motherboard for the Intel i9 9900k processor.

  • Competitive computational performance
  • Affordable price range
  • Best sound quality
  • Swift onboard Wi-Fi
  • Best and solid VRM
  • RGB lighting
  • Not Power efficient
  • A direct heatsink pipe is not present
  • Missing USB Turbo Charger

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra

Form Factor ATX
CPU Support 9th and 8th Gen Intel Core Processors
Memory Type Dual-Channel DDR4
Memory DIMMs 4*DIMMs
M.2 2( M.2 Heatsink *2)

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra is yet another excellent addition from the GIGABYTE house of motherboards. The price might be lower than the Aorus MASTER, but it comes just as close in terms of performance. This Motherboard has many apps to it. Like the Aorus Master, the Z390 Aorus Ultra is designed to provide lasting results.

There are, in fact, eight total in Gigabyte’s AORUS line of Z390 motherboards. The Z390 AORUS Ultra is right in the center, offering pretty much any feature you want in a Z390 motherboard and some useful extras.

Read More: Motherboards for i7 9700K

First, you’ve got the AORUS signature style with RGB lighting on the board in multiple places plus RGB headers. There is also a 12 + 1 power-phase system with some pretty beefy VRM cooling and three integrated M.2 heatsinks. Finally, you have support for 802.11ac 22 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1 gen 2, an integrated I / O shield, and AMP-UP audio from Gigabyte.

Taking a first glance at the Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Ultra Motherboard, we can see they’ve gone for a black and silver accented all-black PCB. Usually, Gigabyte keeps the colors neutral with AORUS boards, and they let the RGB lighting do the rest. This board is no different.

Starting with the CPU socket, we have the Intel LGA1151 socket. The Intel Z390 boards support Intel Core processors of both the 8th and 9th generation. This board has a 12 + 1 power step configuration that includes both a Wireless PWM and DrMOS controller. Two heatsinks connected by a heat pipe cover the power distribution components; this heat pipe makes direct contact with the MOSFETs for the best output in cooling. 

With all the competitive environment to heat up, GIGABYTE also jumps into the public spotlight. For the past few generations of chipsets, GIGABYTE seemed to fall behind in the race for the finest motherboards mainly because of their basic BIOS, which other manufacturing companies bodied.

This time around, they took up arms to turn the tables around with their emboldening 12 plus step VRM concept via the AORUS Z390 series. We selected the GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Ultra, the middle-of-the-road, and most balanced board out of the sequence with this list.

It possesses an advanced thermal solution with heat sink engineering multi-cut connected to direct contact heat line. Also, the thermal pads add MOSFET cooling output to the heat sink. Many pro gamers and enthusiasts want this feature, which is only available on this series. The onboard WI-FI antenna module provides speeds of up to 1.73 Gbps, allowing you to enjoy smooth video streaming and a high-quality gaming experience.

Read More: Best Motherboard for Ryzen 3 2200G

The presence of 5 Smart Fan technology includes numerous temperature sensors that maintain the motherboard temperature providing stable performance. The Smart Fan 5 also enables the customers to mirror the thermal sensors at different positions by interchanging the fans’ headers and tracking each second the temperature.

This Motherboard provides no USB charging booster. The USB front is the headers of the C 3.1 GEN. They are layered with ultra-durable protection for the protection of those ports. The only concern about this Motherboard is using old BIOS. Gigabyte UEFI BIOS UI comes with a controller, but with such an advanced Motherboard is not anticipated.

Final Thoughts

Gigabyte’s Aorus Gaming Master Z390 has the functionality and Processor overclocking to justify being on the Core i9-companion shortlist of a high-end buyer. But before we can make critical decisions, we will need to look at more competing products.

  • Efficient Overclocking Processor
  • Excellent cooling and feature set of the voltage regulator
  • Comprehensive Software suite
  • Lesser overclocking power
  • The price is relatively high.


Chipset Intel Z390
Form Factor ATX
CPU Socket 1151
Warranty 3 Years

As a Core i9-9900K overclocking board with a mid-level feature set, the ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming faces intense competition from pricier competitors who aim to add value to the price difference. Asus fills some of the voids with better RGB and a more refined interface to the software. Its most significant achievement for performance-crazed players is that it overclocks as well as those pricier rivals.

One would think a popular product would be aimed at average customers, but there is nothing on average about the PC enthusiasts’ build-your-own crowd. They get a selection of boards from which low-end overclocking products start and develop from there.

The middle mark with respect to overclocking capabilities and features was their standard, and it has traditionally been priced about 2⁄3 of what a reasonably-equipped Core i9-9900K board would cost. Welcome to Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming, the $240 (£220) popular gaming board.

The architecture and design are one of the best features of the ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming motherboard. The Z390-E is mostly black and grey, with a lot of RGB from the back panel cover. The motherboard’s bottom half has 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots which operate on x16/0/0, x8 / x8/0 and x8 / x8 / x4. This Motherboard allows the construction of NVIDIA 2-way SLI and AMD 3-way CrossfireX gaming rigs and gives you the option of creating a solid single-card or beastly multi-GPU device. Expansion cards such as dedicated sound cards and RAID controllers also have 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots.

One of the best features of motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming is its architecture and design. The STRIX Z390-E follows a primarily black and grey color scheme with plenty of RGB that appears from the back panel cover. The motherboard’s bottom half has 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots which operate on x16/0/0, x8 / x8/0 and x8 / x8 / x4.

This Motherboard allows the construction of NVIDIA 2-way SLI and AMD 3-way CrossfireX gaming rigs and gives you the option of creating a solid single-card or beastly multi-GPU device. Expansion cards such as dedicated sound cards and RAID controllers also have 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots.

Under the large VRM heatsink is a solid 10-phase configuration and that is more than capable of providing an Intel Core i9-9900K processor overclock of say 5.2GHz. The components provide the reliability and performance of using the DrMOS power stages. The CPU derives power from a single 8-pin 12V power supply.

2 x M.2 slots support storage, each having their Heatsink and 6 x SATA 6Gbps SATA ports in total. This board supports the 0, 1, 5, and 10 RAID arrays.

As for the memory output, ASUS set the bar, and the Z390-E STRIX is no different. The ASUS Z390-E allows DDR4 memory with speeds up to 4266MHz and enables dual-channel memory mode to be used due to the Z390 chipset.

Final Thoughts

Everything from the 2 x M.2 slots that both have heatsinks, the 10-phase Digi+ VRM, the 4266MHz DDR4 memory support, and the excellent stylings render the ROG STRIX Z390-E a sure-fire winner with us. Suppose you’re looking to create a high-quality gaming system, and you’re planning to opt for an Intel Processor. In that case, the Z390-E GamingGaming is a great motherboard that not only sits in the mid-range but dominates it overall!

  • Support for 4266MHz memory … Fast!
  • Looks fantastic; the excellent color scheme in grey and black.
  • A fine example of a superb Z390 midrange motherboard
  • Strong BIOS with lots of functions to overclock
  • A little more expensive than the mid-range ASRock, MSI, and GIGABYTE versions


Chipset Intel Z390 Chipset
Form Factor E-ATX
Graphics Interface 4x PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots
Memory Support 4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4

The MSI MEG Z390 Godlike is an Intel Z390 motherboard with significant high-end architecture. Also, it is one of the most expensive Z390 motherboards you can purchase at the moment. It’s about forty dollars higher than the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Extreme’s main competitor, $935, which is a massive sum of money for a motherboard.

Of course, it still has the Intel Z390 chipset and the LGA 1151 socket – so how does this board explain its skyrocketing cost? We are going to explore its reasons.

For starters, the key specification is rammed. The four steel-bolstered memory slots fit a powerful DDR4 128 GB, and you are getting three M.2 slots, all with their heatsinks. The reliable storage options continue elsewhere: six SATA ports are available, and even a U.2 port.

Four PCI-E x16 slots are open, and all have steel supports. The top slot runs at a maximum of 16x speed, and 2 slots will run at 8x speed. The MSI supports two-GPU Nvidia SLI and quad-GPU AMD CrossFire, which should be enough for everyone. It is possible to use dedicated buttons at the bottom of the board to allow or deactivate PCI slots to adjust bandwidth priorities.

However, running three or four graphics cards in this machine is not realistic, since that configuration limits bandwidth to a stagnant 4x speed. Even you just get one PCI-E x1 port, since there are too many PCI-E x16 and M.2 connectors, but many can readily support this compromise.

It also has one USB 3.1 Type-C port, three USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Type-A port, and several USB 2.0 ports on the rear I / O side. This Motherboard uses some of MSI’s most expensive audio and network controllers and has Wi-Fi and RGB lights built-in. There are four PCIe x16 slots, and this Motherboard helps you to mount several AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

The MSI is much better in applications – and here better than the rival Aorus board – and its features lend themselves to innovative work and productivity rather than GamingGaming. This is because this board provides better overclocking options for storage, audio, and entry-level – along with more PCI-E x16 slots.

If you want to create a high-end gaming console, then with the Gigabyte, you’d be better off. But the MSI is the better choice if you want a strong computer for innovative applications or other productivity tools.

That was all about this motherboard standard specifications, and now going towards the drawbacks we’ve found in it. No wonder this Motherboard has set incredible features, but this one is still expensive to any Intel Coffee Lake processor.

It’s an E-ATX motherboard, and you’ll need a complete tower casing for it; else, compatibility issues may arise. This Motherboard is best for Intel i9 9900k, but only if you can afford it; else, we have some cheap choices with the same features package.

  • Excellent onboard additions for enthusiasts
  • Individual status LEDs for CPU, RAM slots, and GPU
  • 18 Phase Power Design VRM.
  • Superb audio and storage capabilities
  • Incredible application performance
  • Ample PCI connectivity
  • Expensive product
  • Storage performance could be improved.

Asus Rog Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)

Socket LGA 1151
Chipset Intel Z390
Form Factor ATX
DIMM slots (4) DDR4
Warranty 3 Years

ROG Maximus XI Hero’s $290 (£260) price is competing directly versus feature-packed boards like the 10GbE-equipped Taichi Ultimate and Firewire 3-equipped Designare, but rather its feature set is comparable to boards costing around 10 percent less. It overclocks marginally better than most of those competitors and faces just the same amount of price criticism previously reserved for the Z390 Aorus Master from Gigabyte. Buyers who swear by Asus and Gigabyte can choose between them based on features alone, whereas those who do not have a brand preference can find better offers elsewhere.

A Maximus is still the fourth-from-top model in Asus’ highest-end Republic Of Gamers series, although its siblings have fewer features. For instance, we also get a pair of PCIe x16 slots that support SLI in x8 / x8 mode, together with refinements to the voltage regulator and firmware advances to help with the all-important overclocking mission. Yeah, and the heat spreaders for M.2 SSD: We just get two of those.

Memory reliability was pretty decent for performance but not top tier. I’ve seen higher clocks on other boards out of this memory pack. However, ASUS gets many points for the precautions and aids it has placed in place to make the process of overclocking easier and less stressful. CPU overclocking is okay but failed to equal the best overclock I’ve seen on this 9900 K. Dropping 100 MHz short at 5.1 GHz all-core at 1.385 V.

ASUS has plenty of tweaking built into these boards to keep even the most obsessive enthusiasts engaged, with one of the industry’s most robust BIOSs.

When it comes to onboard functionality and networking, the Asus can’t quite compete with its key ASRock competitor. However, it still has a decent enough specification for the overwhelming majority of builds. You can also save money by ditching wireless, and in testing, it’s consistently better than the ASRock. For all types of systems, it is an efficient and well-balanced choice.

To obtain the same ranking, the Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero is performing very well against Gigabyte’s closest competing models. Enthusiasts of both brands can make up their minds based on differences in features while seeking value can look for even better deals.

  • Exclusive features of extra value by Asus
  • Class-leading efficient Motherboard
  • Great at Overclocking
  • Under certain circumstances, a little pricier.

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme

Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151
Form Factor ATX
Warranty 3 Years

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Extreme is among the priciest motherboards for an Intel Z390 machine that you can buy. It will set you back a massive $550 in the US and £500 in the UK – making it more costly than many of the processors, GPUs, and other components you might end up installing into a system. Can that be worth too much, presumably? To find out more, read our analysis of Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme.

Intel’s tiny socket with the most sophisticated feature set imaginable, the Z390 Aorus Xtreme bigs-up. But even with HyperX Predator RGB DDR4-2933, a memory configuration issue was encountered on a different Gigabyte board; considering its overclocking-friendly architecture; we ran into a problem with overclocking configuration.

Overclockers must search about which memory kits were successful with Z390 Aorus Xtreme by its users before splashing out this otherwise attractive Motherboard for them.

Coming to the design factor, indeed, the Gigabyte board has a more outrageous physical design than the MSI product, which is no surprise given it is undoubtedly aimed at programmers.

The north and south heatsinks and rear IO shield are made of lighter metal and a camouflaged version of the M.2 heatsink trio. They are all coated with perspex, and the M.2 heatsinks, the Southbridge, and the rear IO cover are fitted with RGB LEDs. Also, lighting is built in the audio cover, and you’ll get 4 onboard connectors to add light strips.

The board’s back is protected with a large metal slab that makes the Aorus heavier and thicker than the MSI-and almost every other Motherboard. The metal cover allows Gigabyte to mount a plastic band of RGB LEDs that stretch all over the board’s right side.

The Gigabyte is built explicitly for high-end gaming and tweaking builds-thanks to its PCI options, extra overclocking accessories, and high-end networking. It has immense power in these regions. Its rear IO, too, is well packed, and the entire board looks fantastic. However, it’s not quite as good with apps, audio, or storage, so the rival MSI board is great for innovation and performance.

If you’d like to create a high-end gaming Machine with plenty of RGB LEDs – or if you want a board to overclock and customize – then the Gigabyte is a decent choice that has excellent features to justify its price. But if efficiency is critical, or if you want to manage an innovative process or other resources for productivity, then the MSI is better.

  • Latest Thunderbolt 3 controller with dual Type-C ports
  • Handy OC touch controls with six supplementary fan ports
  • Beats competitor for success in GamingGaming
  • Lots of high-end features to tweak
  • Magnificent connectivity at the rear
  • Solid colorful interface
  • Not outstanding with applications
  • A bit less storage and flexibility with PCI


Form Factor ATX, 24.4cm x 30.5cm
CPU Socket Intel LGA 1151 v2
Chipset Intel Z390
Memory DDR4, 4 DIMMs

The MSI MEG Z390 ACE is built to be a high-end competitor charged with connectivity and functionality, leading to bold design decisions being taken by MSI. One of those is removing the integrated graphics to enhance board space for networking and CPU VRMs; MSI believes the overclocking audience demands.

However, MSI has tunnel vision on VRMs; MSI has gone all out on connectivity with a robust eight USB 3.1 10Gbps ports, three M.2 slots, four RGB headers, and wireless networking technologies.

Settings for troubleshooting and overclocking have also been generously incorporated. A simple CMOS key, onboard LEDs for diagnosis, debug code reader, BIOS flashbacks, and VRM monitoring sensors all come in.

MSI achieved all of the above while also coming onto the market for many of its competitors at a lower or equivalent price point. MSI seems to have pulled it off on paper, so let’s find out how the MEG Z390 ACE holds up to scrutiny.

The MSI Z390 ACE did well with manual overclocking on the overclocking side of things but unreasonable at the upper end of the Game Boost profiles. In our testing, we reached 5.0 GHz, as shown manually. There is plenty of headroom available on this board for users looking to drive their 8th and 9th generation processors past 5.0 GHz, but maintaining core temperatures as low as possible is the most significant factor in achieving that. Users with a 9900 K will see better performance with thermal interface material based on the default solder.

The MSI Z390 ACE is one of two MEG Z390 enthusiastic-specific versions targeted at the market’s highest end. The other model in question is the MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE ($600), which sits at the top of the Z390 product stack of MSI for a considerable price. The Z390 ACE fills the void of a solid set of features between the Z390 GODLIKE and the MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC ($230). With a suggested retail price of $290 and a mix of features and aesthetics, MSI looks to various business areas for woo customers.

  • Features for extreme overclocking.
  • Excellent built-in audio.
  • Sturdy power supply to drive Core i9-9900 K to its limits.
  • Black and Silver Color Scheme
  • AC Wireless Onboard
  • No video outs for integrated graphics.
  • It’s expensive even for a board with Z390.

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon AC

Socket LGA 1151
Chipset Intel Z390
Form Factor ATX
Video Ports DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4
DIMM Slots 4 , DDR4

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon is now presented; this board featuring several impressive features is the middle-high end of the lineup of MSIs. The Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon is no different, with the black and white color scheme adopts the Carbon lineup’s usual style. The dragon appears on the Southbridge too.

This board not only uses Intel’s latest Z390 chipset, which provides compatibility with 8th Gen Intel Core CPUs, as well as the recent 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K. We also see a pre-installed rear IO shield, significant Processor, SLI and CrossfireX power delivery, M.2 NVMe storage, and Audio Boost 4 sound output.

The MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC has been updated with two USB ports to 10 GB / s (from 5 GB / s) compared to the Z370 model that it replaces and removes two 5 GB / S ports. The rise in USB 3.1 Gen2-spec ports is because of the Z390’s built-in controller, and the lack of rear-panel ports can be due to the inclusion of a Gen2 front-panel connector missing from the previous board.

Many other I / O improvements include a factory-installed I / O shield and an empty space between the Gigabit Ethernet port and audio jacks, behind which lies an empty Key-E / CNVi slot for the Wi-Fi module -AC model. This board is replacing DisplayPort and HDMI outputs for integrated video, five analog jacks, and one digital optical audio output from the previous generation’s MSI platform.

The new M.2 heat spreader configuration of the MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC makes sense since the lower M.2 slot is possibly heated (from the nearest graphics card) higher than the upper slot (that is above the first graphics card slot). However, heat for the second M.2 slot should only be a concern when a second graphics card is mounted.

However, the addition of a second card from the upper slot (x16 / x0 to x8 / x8 conversion) in this x16 slot robs half the CPU-based PCIe lanes. CrossFireX also supports dropping in a third graphics card but not SLI, as the lower x16-length slot only gets four lanes from the chipset.

The bottom edge of The MPG Z390 Gaming Pro is loaded with headers. Here you can find front-panel audio, one (of two) standard RGB LED headers, a Jrainbow (digital/addressable) header. Furthermore, three (of seven) PWM fan connectors, a legacy COM port link, chassis intrusion, two double-port USB 2.0 headers, a Thunderbolt add-in card header, a beep-code speaker connector, and an Intel standard front-panel LED / button header. The TPM header is mid-board by the RTC battery, and the front panel USB 3.1 Gen2 header is situated along the front edge between two USB 3.0 headers. Next to the second RGB strip header in the board’s upper front corner is a Corsair LED header, between two more of its fan headers.

  • Great at CPU overclocking
  • Reasonable price for gaming enthusiasts
  • Voltage regulator temperatures are optimal
  • Lesser USB ports than competing models
  • Memory overclocking is not ideal.

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390

Form Factor Micro ATX
Chipset Intel Z390

If you’ve been thinking of a Z390 platform for your next build, then possibilities are you’ve already considered the fact it won’t be inexpensive and chose to chase the fastest speed of the clock. Let begin by looking at one of the most ‘premium’ available Z390 motherboards – the ASUS Maximus XI Gene. The Gene is the MATX variant of the ROG Maximus range and is available again after the lineup has been removed for some time. All I can say about it is welcome back, mate, you have been missed.

Considering the price of performance CPUs such as the Intel i9-9900K, it makes more sense that 9th Gen Intel system developers would like to get the best out of the experience, and those who buy this platform will go for long-lasting top performance. This is where the Maximus XI Gene for the MATX type factor rigs comes in for the ASUS ROG.

For enthusiasts and extreme gamers, the ASUS Maximus boards have always been the top-shelf selection. These boards have always been extravagant in terms of features, efficiency, and aesthetic design. While in terms of price, they are still expensive.

The ASUS Maximus XI Gene is an enthusiastic Micro ATX (mATX) motherboard built around the four M.2 Intel Z390 chipset, with four SATA 6Gbps, DDR4 4800MHz support, and DIMM modules with double power. It also has gigabit LAN, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, dual M.2 expansion card with ASUS ROG DIMM.2, USB 3.1 Gen 2, and RGB lighting controls with Aura Sync.

In terms of the color scheme, this is a good looking board and relatively agnostic layout. The black base design, glossy black RGB areas, and gunmetal grey heatsinks can fit with whatever color lighting/cabling a system builder may want to use.

Someone needs to remind the Maximus XI Gene that it’s a Micro ATX board because its Gene leaves most full-size ATX Z390 motherboards in its dust when it comes to specifications. The Maximus XI Gene is mainly intended for enthusiasts or passionate gamers who want a top-shelf gaming platform in a Micro ATX form factor where a complete ATX board is not suitable.

This board is also ideal for enthusiastic overclockers who want the mATX form factor to be a more portable platform or something a little extra.

  • Headers facing down for cooler graphic clearance
  • Features dual M.2 adapter card attached to the CPU
  • Includes two M.2 drives with PCH connectors, plus an x4 card
  • S1220A CODEC audio with SupremeFX enhancements
  • Open-ended PCIe x4 slot
  • A little expensive
  • No legacy support for SATA M.2 although it has only four SATA ports

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

CPU Support 9th and 8th Generation Intel Core i9,i7,i5,i3 Pentium and Celeron Processors
Package LGA1151
Chipset Intel Z390 Express Chipset
Memory 2 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32GB of system memory Support up to DDR4 4500(O.C)

For Computer enthusiasts, Mini-ITX motherboards have always been an interest. These components of small form factors have always opened up possibilities for PC developers who want a powerful machine without the extra bulk. Unlike in the past, where Mini-ITX systems served only a very niche market, this type of Motherboard is now receiving recognition from the marketplace. It is also common to see producers of motherboards include Mini-ITX products in their product lineups. ASUS released its latest ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING Mini-ITX motherboard to introduce the new Intel Z390 chipset to attract gamers who want to create a powerful mini PC.

You get the standard four SATA 6Gbps ports, and next to them is a USB 3.1 Type-C header if you have a case that supports it, and for some reason, Asus has only supplied the rear panel with a USB 3.0 Type-C port so that you won’t get speed boost or power. Twinned with an underside mounted port is the topside, heatsink-equipped M.2 port, and both support either PCIe x4 3.0 SSDs or SATA 6Gbps range.

There’s no doubt that motherboard manufacturers are finally offering some versatility, so if you want to combine fast storage for Windows and games with a cheaper SATA M.2 SSD for your files, ridding your bunch of unsightly, airflow-impeding cables in the process.

Although not Maximus Impact, the ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming is probably the best mini-ITX board we’ve seen since Asus departed a few years ago with its integrated I / O shield, massive VRM heatsink, and well-equipped pair of M.2 docks.

Ever since, the ROG Strix boards that stepped in to deliver a more mid-range replacement have not offered the kind of wow-factor we were looking for, but here things are a little different.

With their Core i9-9900 K strong overclocking, excellent audio efficiency, a fair amount of I / O ports, an integrated I / O shield, and adequate onboard cooling, this is perhaps the most appealing mainstream mini-ITX board out there. It’s the closest popular mini-ITX board we’ve seen in terms of features to the legendary effect, so we can only hope that Asus can continue down this path in the future. Although the offer from Gigabyte is just as overclockable and much better value for now, if you want to create the ultimate mini-ITX PC with your mainstream Intel Processor, that’s the board you must have.

  • Great overclocking potential at this price
  • Includes PCI steel Armour
  • Great quality audio with the SupremeFX S1220A
  • Recommended for SFF builds.
  • High OC memory modules are supported
  • No support for SLI and Crossfire.
  • Issues with ASUS Aura RGB Lights