Finally, it’s here! The Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Tachyon X motherboard has just arrived in the lab. You’re probably already familiar with its little sister, the Z790 Aorus Tachyon, which we tested a few months ago.
This Z790 Aorus Tachyon X is the 5th Tachyon to be launched, after the Intel Z590, Z690 and Z790 models we tested and an AMD B650E Tachyon version not available outside Asia. Hicookie, the famous overclocker behind this line, is doing it again, this time updating the Z790 Tachyon to include the latest Gigabyte X-series features in its design.
Priced at around €700, this Z790 Aorus Tachyon X is THE Gigabyte motherboard for those wanting to get the most out of the latest Intel 14th gen CPUs.
Thanks to Gigabyte and Hicookie for this copy.
We start with the bundle of this AORUS Z790 Tachyon X to see if it has evolved since the Z690 Aorus Tachyon. Overall, we find a fairly standard bundle with the traditional SATA cables, Wi-Fi antenna, stickers and so on.
The bundle is therefore fairly straightforward, using the same elements seen on the Z690 and Z790 Aorus Tachyon.
The various radiators :
The board dimensions are 305 mm x 270 mm, corresponding to the E-ATX format. The dominant colors on the PCB are black and gray. The design of this “Tachyon” version is still quite distinctive, even if it once again follows the design of the Z690 and Z790 tachyon. Here, only the black PCIe 5.0 slot distinguishes it from the non-X version.
Let’s start with the radiators, of which there are five!
First of all, the two radiators at the top of the motherboard, surrounding the socket. They cover the power supply stage and are connected by a heat pipe. Note that the radiator on the left has a part that covers the external connectors.
The third one covers the chipset and has a fairly large surface area, but a low height to allow easy insertion of graphics cards. It features the AORUS logo and a very slight RGB backlight.
Last but not least, we have the two M.2 slot radiators, once again in exactly the same shapes and colors as those seen on the Z690 Tachyon and, more recently, the Z790 Tachyon. This is an entirely passive system.
Socket and PCIe :
This new AORUS Tachyon X is built around the Z790 chipset and the LGA1700 socket for 12th, 13th and 14th generation Intel processors. The space around the socket is perfectly clear to facilitate isolation for the XOC. We have DDR5 and PCIe gen 5 support here. This motherboard’s memory overclocking capabilities have been upgraded, with Gigabyte announcing XMP compatibility up to 8700 Mt/s, and we’ll be testing this shortly.
Connectivity-wise, we’re pretty well catered for, with two PCIe 5.0 ports in X16 and X8 and a PCIe X16 3.0 port operating in x4. There are four SSD slots in PCIe 4.0 x4, one of which supports SATA.
Note the arrival of the more robust PCIe 5.0 UD Slot X port. And the PCIe EZ-Latch for easier removal of graphics cards.
Clocker tools :
As far as overclocking is concerned, this is a motherboard designed for this discipline at a competitive level, so it has a whole host of features on the PCB as well as BIOSes specially designed for it.
So, from left to right, starting from the top :
- Voltage points: for measuring voltages with a multimeter directly on the PCB.
- LIMP mode (the tortoise): similar to Asus ” safe Boot “, this button enables the board to be rebooted even if the parameters selected in the BIOS do not allow Boot. This avoids the need to perform a CMOS Clear to reboot and thus lose your encoded parameters. The board then reboots with default settings.
- Power button: powers up the motherboard.
- CPU Ratio Switch buttons: directly increase or decrease your processor’s multiplier or BCLK.
- The retry button: during cold tests, sometimes the OS freezes and a reset won’t restart the motherboard: the only solution is to hold down the START button for 6 or 7 seconds. The ReTry button restarts immediately.
- Clear CMOS button: deletes BIOS parameters and returns to default settings.
- Reset button: restarts the motherboard in the event of failure.
- Q-Led: displays a code corresponding to the component responsible for the boot error. It is larger than on previous versions.
- SB switch: enables or disables the Dual BIOS function.
- BIOS switch: switches between the two bios. You can choose between an overclocking bios and a more stable bios for H24 configuration.
- The TGR switch: similar to the ” slow mode ” button, it lowers the processor frequency, thus lowering the CPU temperature before launching a benchmark and increasing the chances of it passing. Activate it, the temperature drops and you return it to its original position just before launching your benchmark.
- OC_IGNITION switch: allows overclockers and DIY enthusiasts to pre-test water-cooling systems when building their computers, without having to boot the system.
Moving on to the PCB, this is designed in 10 layers, as indicated by the inscription on the bottom left of the PCB. The PCB has been revised in comparison with the Z790 Aorus Tachyon, and now includes the ” Back Drilling ” technology introduced by Gigabyte on its Z790 X range.
The power supply stage is based on a 15 1 2-phase power supply. The first controller used is a Renesas RAA2291131, which directly drives the 15 phases dedicated to the CPU. The 15 CPU mosfets are all 105A Renesas RAA220105s. The GT part is managed by 1 Renesas RAA220105 105A. The IMC and PCIe parts are managed by 2 x 70A MPS MP87992. The power supply stage is similar to that of the Z690 and Z790 Aorus tachyon.
The rear panel features the following elements. First of all, the LIMP mode (the turtle) and the button for flashing the BIOS from a USB key. As with all motherboards dedicated to the XOC, there are PS/2 keyboard and mouse slots.
But why still use this type of connector in 2023? Quite simply because some benchmarks perform better under XP (Super Pi), and using non-USB peripherals makes OS installation much easier.
Next, in terms of USB ports, this Z790 Tachyon X features three USB 3.2 gen 2 type A, four USB 3.2 gen 1 type A and one USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 type C. Then there’s the network part, with antenna supports, dual-band WI-FI and Intel 2.5GbE Ethernet socket. Audio is handled by a Realtek ALC1220-VB chip with optical output and 5 jacks.
The most interesting feature of this motherboard is the HDMI socket, which extends extreme overclocking to the Intel IGP.