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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro Review: Mid-Range, Full-Featured

Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro has a good mix of the right features and good performance for $329.99.

Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Gigabyte)

Firmware

Gigabyte’s Z690 BIOS layout, like other boards, is remarkably similar to Z590. It 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. When working in the Advanced portion of the BIOS, major headers are listed across the top, with sub-headings below. Everything is easy to find, but many 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 enabled page up/down functionality, but outside of that, the BIOS is easy to read and find what you’re looking for.

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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(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 a slew of other helpful applications, including USB charging, LAN, and more that aren’t covered here. Overall, I like App Center’s small footprint and found its tools helpful.

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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(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)

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.

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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: EVGA)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: EVGA)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: EVGA)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: Gigabyte)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: GSkill)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: GSkill)
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Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro

(Image credit: GSkill)

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settingsc
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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  • wifiburger
    this model also supports DDR4, I wish the review also included DDR4

    Some are saying DDR4 overclocking is really bad on Gigabyte Z690 boards.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    The rambling that matters: 4Uux-qGheBkView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Uux-qGheBk

    Also, a "mid range" $330 motherboard... What a crazy time, geez.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • BILL1957
    wifiburger said:
    this model also supports DDR4, I wish the review also included DDR4

    Some are saying DDR4 overclocking is really bad on Gigabyte Z690 boards.
    They are making a ddr4 version of the PRO board but it is not the same board the ddr5 is on. As of now all mb's on the market are ddr specifi EITHER DDR4 OR DDR5 and the memory standard must be chosen at the time you purchase your mb.
    Reply
  • Udyr
    Yuka said:
    Also, a "mid range" $330 motherboard... What a crazy time, geez.
    My thoughts exactly. I would have added this as an "against": "Expensive for a mid range"
    Reply
  • BILL1957
    Udyr said:
    My thoughts exactly. I would have added this as an "against": "Expensive for a mid range"
    Most good mid range boards have been floating around the $300 mark for a while.
    You do have to remember these boards are all premium z690 chipset boards.

    The cheaper lesser chipset boards will not release until q1 2022.

    These boards seem to be up about 40-50 dollars over previous boards.
    Whether that is because of the new tech or for months we have been hearing about copper prices and raw material prices going up by double digit increases and so has the cost of shipping so these price increases may partly be because of that as well.

    I bought one of these boards and it is equivalent to the boards I usually buy for my builds and still in roughly the same $300 give or take price range as well.
    Reply
  • Udyr
    BILL1957 said:
    Most good mid range boards have been floating around the $300 mark for a while.
    You do have to remember these boards are all premium z690 chipset boards.

    The cheaper lesser chipset boards will not release until q1 2022.

    These boards seem to be up about 40-50 dollars over previous boards.
    Whether that is because of the new tech or for months we have been hearing about copper prices and raw material prices going up by double digit increases and so has the cost of shipping so these price increases may partly be because of that as well.

    I bought one of these boards and it is equivalent to the boards I usually buy for my builds and still in roughly the same $300 give or take price range as well.
    I understand, but in previous generations all these "premium" so called "mid range" were $150-200 and high end were $200+, with enthusiast level boards going for $350+
    Reply
  • BILL1957
    Udyr said:
    I understand, but in previous generations all these "premium" so called "mid range" were $150-200 and high end were $200+, with enthusiast level boards going for $350+
    I paid $300 in the fall of 2020 for my ROG strix -e z490 mb for my 10 series build and that board and this board are pretty comparable .
    So I am going to have to disagree with you on the mid range prices.
    The top end extreme boards continue to go up way above what used to be considered a top end board pricing but what I consider to be mid level is still mostly in the same ball park of a $300 price point.
    Reply
  • Udyr
    BILL1957 said:
    I paid $300 in the fall of 2020 for my ROG strix -e z490 mb for my 10 series build and that board and this board are pretty comparable .
    So I am going to have to disagree with you on the mid range prices.
    The top end extreme boards continue to go up way above what used to be considered a top end board pricing but what I consider to be mid level is still mostly in the same ball park of a $300 price point.
    2020 was yesterday and prices were already on the rise. I'm talking about pre-pandemic/crazy high prices.

    You don't have to agree with me. The price history is out there, and I'm sure that's what @Yuka referred to as well.
    Reply
  • LolaGT
    Yes, this is anything but mid-range priced, by $100 at least.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    BILL1957 said:
    I paid $300 in the fall of 2020 for my ROG strix -e z490 mb for my 10 series build and that board and this board are pretty comparable .
    So I am going to have to disagree with you on the mid range prices.
    The top end extreme boards continue to go up way above what used to be considered a top end board pricing but what I consider to be mid level is still mostly in the same ball park of a $300 price point.
    It is only the generation after PCIe3 that is priced ridiculously high from top to bottom due to needing more layers on the motherboard PCB.

    My Asus Crosshair VII Hero WiFi (X470) was ~$300 (maybe a tad more) and that was top dog with Zen2 launch days. The same board for X570 jumped almost $100, but still under $400 in most places. So, at least on the AMD side, prices are not as bonkers as Intel's. The only 2 exceptions from the X570 chipset are the "Godlike" and EVGA motherboards, which are niche IMO.

    EDIT: I went to double check my memory and there's one version from Asus which is $700+, so there's 3 exceptions XD

    Regards.
    Reply