Gigabyte today announced the release of its four new ITX motherboards, the Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS, Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS DDR4, Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE, and Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE DDR4. It’s been a while since Gigabyte launched its Intel Z690 chipset motherboards for the latest Intel 12th Gen Core processors and we’re finally seeing some new addition to the ITX form factor segment.
Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS and Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS DDR4
Starting off with the Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS, it’s packed with all the essential features you can expect on an Intel Z690 chipset motherboard, notably the support for DDR5 memory modules, PCIe 5.0 devices, and of course, the Intel 12th Gen Core processors. For the network connectivity, the Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS is equipped with an Intel Killer Wi-FI AX1690 6E controller with DCT (Double Connect Technology) and Intel 2.5GbE LAN for the ultimate high-speed internet experience.
Gigabyte also equipped the Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS with a pretty beefy 10+1+2 phase power design consisting of a series of Smart Power Stages that can hold up to 105A each. The cooling solution for the VRM is the Fins-Array II heatsink which is commonly found on higher-end AORUS motherboards, and capable of cooling the VRMs more effectively than a generic metal block heatsink.
The Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS DDR4 on the other hand, is almost identical to the Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS, except that it supports DDR4 memory modules.
Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE and Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE DDR4
For users who want a balanced budget-functionality option, Gigabyte also announced two budget-friendly SKUs, the Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE and Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE DDR4. It’s basically a lower-cost option for users looking forward to getting on the Intel Z690 and 12th Gen Core processors hype train, but there’s a catch you might want to look into before making your decision.
Despite having similar specifications as the Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS and Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS DDR4, the LITE SKUs seems to have a major downgrade on the Wi-Fi and PCIe connectivity.
Instead of a slight downgrade from PCIe 5.0 to PCIe 4.0, the LITE SKUs are getting the much slower PCIe 3.0, which can be an issue for newer graphics cards with PCIe 4.0 support that doesn’t go very well with older PCIe. As for the Wi-Fi connectivity, the LITE is getting a Wi-Fi 6 instead of Wi-Fi 6E. It’s slower than Wi-Fi 6E alright, but personally, I think Wi-Fi 6 is still plentiful for most use cases and it’s not as severe as the downgrade on the PCIe.
Price & Availability?
Although Gigabyte did state that the Z690I AORUS ULTRA PLUS and Z690I AORUS ULTRA LITE are already available in the market, we have yet to receive any update on the local pricing and availability in Malaysia from Gigabyte.