Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme Waterforce mobo simply does everything

Many of us often build our PCs with a "less is more" concept, seeing how little hardware we need to make our work or gaming happen. There are times, however, when only more is more. For those occasions, Gigabyte's brought out its Z390 Aorus Xtreme Waterforce motherboard.

We could probably best describe this circuit slab by what it doesn't have, but here's the skinny. As I'm sure you've noticed from the pictures, the big centerpiece is the gigantic waterblock that looks like it covers most everything that's not a slot. Most importantly, the block covers the 12-phase Inernational Rectifier digital VRM that should suffice to overclock up any Coffee Lake chip to ungodly extremes.

Juicing up a CPU that way could require a ton of power, and there are extra dual eight-pin PCIe power plugs on the board for that purpose, plus another six-pin port. Speedy storage fanatics can put the three heastink-covered M.2 PCIe x4 slots to good use.

Wired networking comes courtesy of a 10-GbE Aquantia chip alongside a plain-jane Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller. If radio waves are more your thing, there's also 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi courtesy of Intel CNVi. High-end peripherals can connect to the two Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB Type-C ports, and there's also fast-charging support for quickly topping up mobile devices.

No self-respecting high-end mobo these days would be caught dead without a fancy audio setup, and the Xtreme Waterforce delivers on that front with an ESS Sabre DAC coupled with WIMA capacitors and TI op-amps. Needless to say, there are metal jackets around the PCIe and memory slots, and the multi-zone RGB LEDs also take care of lighting up the integrated I/O shield.

We couldn't spot a price tag for the Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme Waterforce just. Considering that the "regular" Z390 Aorus Xtreme goes for a double-take-inducing $550, we'd expect the Waterforce variant to ring in north of that.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 11 months ago

    Does everything, eh?

    Does it fill the gaping void in the market where a reasonably-priced, good-quality, non-RGBLED, non-G4M3RZ, standard Z390 feature-set board is notably absent?

      • Krogoth
      • 11 months ago

      There are several quality Z390 boards with none of the “1337 gamer” and LED non-sense out there.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 11 months ago

    Everything but support PS/2 keyboards :b

      • Krogoth
      • 11 months ago

      PS/2 ports have been dropped on premium-tier motherboard a few years ago. It only remains an option on budget-minded boards.

    • End User
    • 11 months ago

    Thunderbolt 3 AND 10-GbE 🙂

      • Krogoth
      • 11 months ago

      Shame that platform doesn’t have that many PCIe lanes to spare.

        • MOSFET
        • 11 months ago

        x8 GPU helps. (Not 8x GPU.) I would not actually expect to find a GTX 1060 or lower in one of these boards, though. Board of this caliber probably allows for some manual bifurcation, considering my sub-$200 Asus boards do (Z270 and X370). Although auto-bifurcation has worked fine for me in them.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 months ago

    Not worth it. It is cheaper and you’ll get better performance if you do a DIY water-cooling kit for CPU + VRM if that is your thing.

    Throwing the waterblock on the PCH is kinda silly since it barely puts out any real heat.

      • End User
      • 11 months ago

      How do you know DIY is cheaper? No price was mentioned.

      How do you know DIY will perform better? No review is available.

      Google PCH temps

        • Krogoth
        • 11 months ago

        PCH has been perfectly fine for Intel platforms since forever provided your internal chassis temperature isn’t blisteringly hot. You got bigger problems if the PCH is overheating. 40-50C loaded temperature is perfectly normal.

        DIY water-cooling is cheaper as far as money is concerned since you are doing the labor yourself and you have far better control as well. Hardcore water-coolers always have opt for DIY.

          • End User
          • 11 months ago

          There is DIY and then there is DIY: [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYLL5f_NBT8[/url<]

      • Shobai
      • 11 months ago

      Do you know if someone’s making a monoblock for the Extreme board currently? A cursory search of the usual suspects didn’t catch any hits.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 11 months ago

      A high end setup can run easily 5-$600 for CPU only. A Black ice GTX 360, mcp35x, whatever block hk3, will be close to $400 alone. Then tubing and fittings, and a rad if you don’t do pin pump top. This only saves the block and I doubt it’s superiority overa standalone high end block. This is for show, not pure performance.

    • euricog
    • 11 months ago

    Is the water inside the block ray-traced? Sure it has impact on flow, but a future patch should make water speedier!

    • End User
    • 11 months ago

    Good grief. I just bought the regular Z390 Aorus Xtreme. I freaked out when I saw this. I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with less is more. 😛

    • Neutronbeam
    • 11 months ago

    With a presumably painful price, we should just consider this an extreme case of waterboarding.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 11 months ago

      Tortuously punful.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This