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Shootouts

Intel Z390 motherboard shootout: Which flagship board should you get?

By Koh Wanzi - 26 Dec 2018

Test setup & features comparison table

Test Setup

This is the test configuration for our Intel Z370 motherboard shootout:

  • Intel Core i9-9900K (3.60GHz, 16MB L3 cache)
  • Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 Riing RGB Edition
  • 4 x 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3000
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition (GeForce Driver Version 417.35)
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Here’s also a list of our tested boards for easier reference:

  • ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme
  • Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme
  • MSI MEG Z390 Godlike

 

Benchmarks

The list of benchmarks we used is as follows:

  • SYSmark 2018
  • SPECviewperf 13
  • Cinebench R15
  • 3DMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

 

Motherboard features comparison table

Test motherboards compared
  ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme MSI MEG Z390 Godlike
  ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme MSI MEG Z390 Godlike
Launch SRP
  • From S$499
  • From S$739
  • From S$799
  • From S$859
Processor Support and Chipset Type
  • Supports 9th and 8th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors (Socket 1151)
  • Intel Z390 Express Chipset
  • Intel® Socket 1151 9th / 8th Gen Intel® Core™, Pentium® Gold and Celeron® Processors
  • Intel Z390 Express Chipset
  • Supports 9th and 8th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors (Socket 1151)
  • Intel Z390 Express Chipset
  • Supports 9th and 8th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors (Socket 1151)
  • Intel Z390 Express Chipset
Memory
  • Up to 64GB DDR4
  • Up to 64GB DDR4
  • Up to 64GB DDR4
  • Up to 64GB DDR4
Storage
  • 3x M.2
  • 8x SATA 6Gbps (2x by ASMedia ASM1061)
  • 2x M.2
  • 1x DIMM.2 Slot supports 2 M.2 drives
  • 6x SATA 6Gbps
  • 3x M.2
  • 6x SATA 6Gbps
  • 3x M.2
  • 6x SATA 6Gbps
Audio
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)
  • Premium Blu-ray Audio support
  • Supports Surge Protection
  • Supports Purity Sound 4
  • ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220
  • - Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
  • - Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
  • - High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
  • - SupremeFX Shielding Technology
  • - ESS® ES9023P
  • - Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback
  • Audio Feature :
  • - Gold-plated jacks
  • - Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
  • - Sonic Radar III
  • - Sonic Studio III + Sonic Studio Link
  • Realtek® ALC1220-VB codec
  • ESS ES9018K2M DAC and TI OPA1622 operational amplifiers
  • * The front panel line out jack supports DSD audio.
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for S/PDIF Out
  • 2 x Realtek ALC1220 Codecs
  • 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
  • Supports S/PDIF output
  • ESS E9018 Codec
  • Supports 6.3mm Gold-plated stereo headphone out
Networking
  • 1x Intel I219-V, 1x Intel I211-AT
  • 1x 10 Gigabit LAN Aquantia AQC107
  • 1x Aquantia AQC111C 5G LAN
  • 1x Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN
  • 1x Intel I219-V
  • 1x 10 Gigabit LAN Aquantia AQC107
  • 2x Killer E2500 Gigabit LAN controller
Rear I/O
  • 2x Antenna Ports
  • 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
  • 1x HDMI Port
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x Optical SPDIF Out Port
  • 3x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A Ports (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 4x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports (Intel® Z390) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 3x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
  • 1x Clear CMOS Button
  • HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 4x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red) (1 x Type-C+3 x Type-A)
  • 6x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 1x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 1x Clear CMOS button(s)
  • 1x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
  • 1x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
  • 5x LED-illuminated audio jacks
  • 1x AQC-111C 5G LAN port
  • 2x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R)
  • 2x Thunderbolt™ 3 connectors (USB Type-C™ ports, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support)
  • 4x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red)
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
  • 2x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1x HDMI port
  • 2x RJ-45 ports
  • 1x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 5x audio jacks
  • 1x Clear CMOS Button
  • 2x Wi-Fi /Bluetooth Antenna Connectors
  • 1x PS/2 GAMING Device Port
  • 2x Killer E2500 Gigabit LAN
  • 5x HD Audio Connectors
  • 1x BIOS FLASHBACK+ Button
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x 6.3mm headphone
  • 1x Optical S/PDIF-Out
Internal Connectors
  • 1x TPM Header
  • 1x Power LED and Speaker Header
  • 2x RGB LED Headers
  • 1x Addressable LED Header
  • 1x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)
  • 1x CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
  • 6x Chassis/Water Pump Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
  • 1x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • 1x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • 1x 4 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • 1x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
  • 1x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector (5-pin)
  • 2x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 3 USB 2.0 ports) (Intel® Z390) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 1x Front Panel Type C USB 3.1 Gen2 Header (ASMedia ASM1562 Retimer)
  • 1x Performance Mode / Easy OC Header
  • 1x Dr. Debug with LED
  • 1x Power Button with LED
  • 1x Reset Button with LED
  • 1x W_PUMP+ 1
  • 1x W_PUMP+ 2
  • 1x WB_SENSOR
  • 2x Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)
  • 2x Aura RGB Strip Headers
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1(up to 5Gbps) connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
  • 1x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
  • 1x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
  • 6x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
  • 1x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 2 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (2 x 4 -pin)
  • 1x Thunderbolt header(s)
  • 1x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 2x 8-pin EATX 12V Power connectors
  • 1x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power connector(s)
  • 1x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
  • 1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
  • 1x MemOK! II switch(es)
  • 1x Slow Mode switch(es)
  • 9x ProbeIt Measurement Points
  • 1x Reset button(s)
  • 1x BIOS Switch button(s)
  • 1 x Node Connector(s)
  • 1x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
  • 1x Safe Boot button
  • 1x ReTry button
  • 1x System panel connector
  • 1x W_IN header
  • 1 x W_OUT header
  • 1x W_FLOW header
  • 1x Thermal sensor connector
  • 1x Start button
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector
  • 1x DIMM.2 Slot supports 2 M.2 drives (2242-22110)
  • 1x RSVD Switch
  • 8x Radiator Fan Headers
  • 1x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 2x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors
  • 1x OC PEG power connector
  • 1x CPU fan header
  • 1x water cooling CPU fan header
  • 4 x system fan headers
  • 2x system fan/water cooling pump headers
  • 2x addressable LED strip headers
  • 2x addressable LED strip power select jumpers
  • 2x RGB LED strip headers
  • 6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 3 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors
  • 1x front panel header
  • 1x front panel audio header
  • 1x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 header
  • 2x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  • 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header (2x6 pin, for the GC-TPM2.0_S module only)
  • 1x GC-OC Touch add-in card connector
  • 1x Clear CMOS jumper
  • 2x temperature sensor headers
  • 1x power button
  • 1x reset button
  • 1x Clear CMOS button
  • 1x OC button
  • 2x BIOS switches
  • 1x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 2x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors
  • 1x 6-pin ATX PCIe power connector
  • 6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 3x M.2 slots (M-Key)
  • 1 x U.2 port
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C ports
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports)
  • 2x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
  • 1x 4-pin CPU fan connector
  • 1x 4-pin Water Pump connector
  • 8 x 4-pin system fan connectors
  • 1x 3-pin Water Flow connector
  • 1x Front panel audio connector
  • 2x System panel connectors
  • 1x Chassis Intrusion connector
  • 2x 2-pin Thermal Sensors connectors
  • 1x 4-pin RGB LED connector
  • 2x 3-pin RAINBOW LED connectors
  • 1x 3-pin CORSAIR LED connector
Expansion Slots
  • 3x PCIe 3.0 x16
  • 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
  • 1x Vertical M.2 Socket with the bundled WiFi-802.11ac module
  • 3x PCIe 3.0 x16
  • 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
  • 3x PCIe 3.0 x16
  • 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
  • 1x M.2 Socket 1 connector for an Intel® CNVi wireless module only
  • 4x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
  • 1x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
Form Factor
  • ATX
  • E-ATX
  • E-ATX
  • E-ATX