Gigabyte Debuts Very Expensive Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce Motherboard

Gigabyte has launched its Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce with a jaw-dropping price tag of $900 (~£711.99).

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce is an E-ATX motherboard carved from an eight-layer 2x copper PCB (printed circuit board). It comes with an over-the-top 16-phase digital power delivery subsytem for overclocking the latest 8th- and 9th-generation Intel Core processors. The processor draws its power from a pair of 8-pin EPS power connectors. The motherboard has its own OC area with an array of different buttons, switches and a numeric diagnostics panel. Overclocking enthusiasts will be happy to know that the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce comes with two BIOS chips. There's also a header to connect Gigabyte's OC Touch Panel, which is purchased separately.

As the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce is built for watercooling enthusiasts, the motherboard is equipped with an all-in-one (AIO) monoblock that cools both the power delivery subsystem and the Z390 Platform Controller Hub (PCH). As expected, the motherboard features controllable RGB lighting all over. There are eight hybrid fan headers, eight temperature sensors, and two temperature sensor headers, as well as two addressable LED strip and two RGB LED strip headers. Consumers can control all the fan headers through Gigabyte's included Smart Fan 5 software or purchase the optional Aorus RGB Fan Commander accessory.

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce Specs

Outfitted with a total of four DDR4 memory slots, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce can house up to 64GB of ECC (error-correcting code) or non-ECC memory. The motherboard's memory support reaches up to 4,400MHz. The available storage options include six conventional SATA III ports and three high-speed M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 ports with their respective heatsinks, which Gigabyte calls Thermal Guards. The motherboard supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 arrays and Intel Optane drives.

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce has three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. There is support for two-way Nvidia SLI and three-way AMD CrossFire configurations. Gigabyte even included a 6-pin PCIe power connector on the motherboard itself to provide multi-GPU configurations with some extra juice. Gigabyte provides an HDMI 1.1 port and two Intel Thunderbolt 3 connectors for video output.

Wire internet connectivity on the motherboard consists of a Gigabit Ethernet port from the Intel controller and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port from the Aquantia AQC107 controller. Gigabyte didn't specify the model of the Intel controller. Adherent to the Z390 chipset, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce sports the Intel 9560 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5 combo that's capable of delivering up to 1.73 Gb/s of throughput.

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

The audio system on the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce is based on the Realtek ALC1220 codec. Gigabyte implemented a few other add-ons, such as a NEC TOKIN UC2 relay, Savitech SV3S1018A headphone impedance sensor, TXC Oscillator and ES9018K2M Sabre Reference DAC.  The motherboard has five gold-plated analog audio jacks and an optical S/PDIF out connector for connecting audio devices. In terms of USB ports, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce brings four USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports and two USB 2.0 ports.

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce will be available at Newegg on December 21.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.