Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Ultra Review: Ports and Value Aplenty

The best Z690 board for around $349

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

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.


Gigabyte’s Aorus Ultra BIOS is much like the previous generation and matches the Aorus Pro and Master we reviewed previously. It starts in an informational EZ Mode that displays system information with 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 would enable page up/down functionality, but the BIOS is easy to read, and it’s not too hard to find what you’re looking for outside of that.


On the software side of things, Gigabyte’s primary tool is the App Center. This application is a central repository for all its applications, some 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 (to control RGB lighting) and last but not least, SIV (for 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 found its tools helpful.

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 we used is as follows:

Test System Components

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUIntel Core i9-12900K
MemoryKingston Fury DDR5 5200 CL40 (9KF552C40BBK2-32)
Row 2 - Cell 0 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 G.Skill sent us a DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for launch day testing.

Benchmark Settings

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Synthetic Benchmarks and SettingsRow 0 - Cell 1
ProcyonVersion 2.0.249 64
Row 2 - Cell 0 Office Suite, Video Editing (Premiere Pro), Photo Editing (Photoshop, Lightroom Classic)
3DMarkVersion 2.20.7290 64
Row 4 - Cell 0 Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R23Version RBBENCHMARK330542
Row 6 - Cell 0 Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
BlenderVersion 2.93.1
Row 8 - Cell 0 Full benchmark (all six sub-tests)
Application Tests and SettingsRow 9 - Cell 1
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Row 11 - Cell 0 Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Row 13 - Cell 0 Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Row 15 - Cell 0 Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 21.03-beta
Row 17 - Cell 0 Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
Game Tests and SettingsRow 18 - Cell 1
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

MORE: Best Motherboards

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard

MORE: All Motherboard Content

Joe Shields
Motherboard Reviewer

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.

  • Tom Sunday
    The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Ultra is a mid-range Z690 board $349.99 price. [/customquote said:

    There should be no politics mentioned in any of the tech forums anywhere. But for me politics starting to now gravely hit my pocketbook and interfering in my dreams of tech upgrades and notions. All I can say for the man on the street like me…"no more money for Best Buy, B&H, Newegg or Amazon, etc." Unfortunately gas prices here in LA are still going up! Today premium goes for $6.86 per gallon. Most all my driving is done now out of sheer necessity. Most people have no choice other than driving themselves to work and sitting on the freeway. When you pay to pay more money to drive, you have to take the money from somewhere else. For most ‘lower food-chain’ guys like me savings do not exist. Charging the cost of all your gas on credit cards does and many of us now will opt to pay only their credit card minimums. Where does this leave the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Ultra? I dare not to say! But I do know that reality bites and my tank again is getting low!
  • sycoreaper
    Spec section you put DDR4 but the box at the top has DDR5 printed on it.