CPU & Motherboards

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XTREME LGA1200 Motherboard Review

To measure power draw, we hook-up our power meter on another system via USB. Our power meter is capable providing a chart of power the watts currently being consumed by the unit plug into it. We take the average of 15 minutes idle and 15 minutes load to show our power daw. Our load test is SuperPI 12K. A power virus scenario which you will never encounter on regular use. This is a worst-case scenario but is lighter on power than our previous AIDA64 stress test which is an AVX test, which draws more power than normal. The raw data from app is gathered and we get our results.  Temperatures are also captures during this time.

Various configurations will play a factor on how much you are consuming and the same applies to our test. We try to keep our test bench uniform at all times (same memory, graphics card, board if possible, etc). All tests are done with the motherboard or CPU on out-of-box settings as indicated in our Test Setup page with only XMP applied.

When tested on motherboards, this shows how motherboard companies tune their BIOS to affect performance which in turn affects power draw and temperatures.


As you can see in our workload benchmarks, the AORUS boards have a distinct performance advantage over the ASUS motherboards and that’s due to power limits. We’ve discussed in details about TDP and how removing that limit can potentially increase performance but in return for great power draw and CPU temperatures. GIGABYTE has decided to ship their boards with power limits turned¬† off and will allow CPUs to run at their boost without limits. Here we have the Z490 AORUS XTREME on stock settings running a Prime95 12K stress test. As you can see, we’re getting a throttled 4.7Ghz on the CPU clock because our 10900K is running at 99*C under a 360mm AIO.

On short bursts, this can relatively be safe like quick render bursts and so on but for extended periods, will require better cooling or otherwise, a manual overclock to hopefully override the aggressive voltage the motherboard may be using. That said, this is what shows the the difference between performance and thermals/power draw between ASUS and GIGABYTE.


GIGABYTE is running basically double the TDP rating of the 10900K which exposes the limits of this CPU which in turn pushes temps and power draws to very high levels. We’re comfortable running the CPU at 90*C but 99*C is already past my limit for a 4.9Ghz processor.

Thermal Images

Due to the power increase, this board’s VRMs runs a bit higher but is still far from alarming.

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BossMac Suba

Owner and lead reviewer for Back2Gaming. More than 10-year of corporate IT experience as well as consumer IT journalism. His extensive skill set and experience in communicating complicated technical details into easily understandable bits. He's been with you since dial-up and the ISA slot. His favorite animal is the scapegoat.

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