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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4 Review: Budget Board for Creators

A well-rounded board for Creators, with plenty of storage and a low price

Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4
(Image: © Gigabyte)

Firmware

Like other boards, Gigabyte’s Z690 BIOS layout is similar to Z590. Since this is an Aero board, the BIOS has a white background with grey/black writing for contrast and readability. The BIOS starts with an informational EZ Mode that displays system information and has limited functionality. You can enable XMP profiles from here, access Smart Fan 6 for fan control, Q-Flash, or the Advanced Mode. Major headers are listed across the top when working in the Advanced portion of the BIOS, with sub-headings below. Everything is easy to find, but many of the common functions for overclocking are located in separate sections, so you have to bounce around a bit compared to other BIOS layouts. I still wish the company would enable page up/down functionality, but the BIOS is easy to read and find what you’re looking for.

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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Software

On the software side of things, Gigabyte’s primary tool is the App Center. This application is a central repository for all its applications, Windows settings, and other third-party software. Simply download the applications you want, install them, and an icon shows up on the screen. We installed @BIOS (BIOS flashing utility), Easy Tune (overclocking/system tweaking), RGB Fusion 2.0 (control RGB lighting) and last but not least, SIV (monitoring). The Gigabyte website has many other helpful applications, including USB charging, LAN, and more that aren’t covered here. Overall, I like App Center’s small footprint and find its tools helpful.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Test System / Comparison Products

As of October 2021, we’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied. We kept the same Asus TUF RTX 3070 video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver to version 496.13. Additionally, our game selection was updated, as noted in the table below. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted. The hardware used is as follows:

Test System Components

CPUIntel Core i9-12900K
MemoryKingston Fury DDR5 5200 CL40 (9KF552C40BBK2-32)
GSkill Trident Z DDR5 5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)
GPUAsus TUF RTX 3070
CoolingMSI MEG Coreliquid S360
PSUEVGA Supernova 850W P6
SoftwareWindows 11 64-bit (21H2, Build 22000.282)
Graphics DriverNVIDIA Driver 496.13
SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: EVGA)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: EVGA)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: EVGA)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: GSkill)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: GSkill)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: GSkill)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4

(Image credit: GSkill)

EVGA supplied our Supernova 850W P6 power supply (appropriately sized and more efficient than the outgoing 1.2KW monster we used) for our test systems, and GSkill sent us a fast and good-looking DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for launch day testing. MSI and Asus also sent launch day kits.

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
ProcyonVersion 2.0.249 64
Office Suite, Video Editing (Premiere Pro), Photo Editing (Photoshop, Lightroom Classic)
3DMarkVersion 2.20.7290 64
Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R23Version RBBENCHMARK330542
Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
BlenderVersion 2.93.1
Full benchmark (all six sub-tests)
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 21.03-beta
Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
Game Tests and Settings
Far Cry 6Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON
F1 2021Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HBAO+, RT Med, TAA + 16xAF, Bahrain, FPS Counter ON

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