Review : Aorus Z690 Tachyon Motherboard


The Aorus Z690 Tachyon:

As we said in the introduction, this is the second card in the Tachyon range that we are testing. And, along with the Z690 APEX and Z690 Unify X, the Tachyon is the third XOC Z690 card to pass through our hands. Let’s see what it has to offer against the competition.

The bundle:

A quick look at the Gigabyte Aorus Z690 Tachyon bundle to see if it’s well equipped. Alas, we find something rather modest: SATA cables, drivers CD, manual, IO shield, RGB extension cable, thermistor, sound probe….

On the paper side, the manuals are complete and we also have stickers to customise your hardware. And so, no XOC tool, no motherboard support, we would liked to have seen a CPU frame in the bundle to solve the CPUbend problem for example, or a USB key with OC tools, bios and drivers for XP / Win 7…

The architecture :

This Z690 Tachyon is built around Intel’s new Z690 chipset, and this motherboard changes its socket from LGA-1200 (Z490/Z590) to LGA-1700 . The reason is simple, the CPU size is bigger.

Above, a screenshot detailing the difference between the two sockets (source Igor’s Lab). The LGA-1700 socket has 1700 pins, compared to 1200 for the previous one. You may need to invest in a new cooling system. Some brands, like Noctua, offer an adapter for your current cooler. Make sure you ask about this, as it is often free. The Z690 chipset officially supports PCIe 5.0, offering higher storage performance than the previous generation. However, at the moment there are no components that support this standard. The other big change is the support for DDR5.

The different heatsinks:

The dimensions of the board are 305 mm x 270 mm, which corresponds to the E-ATX format. The dominant colours on the PCB are black and grey. There is a slight touch of RGB here in the Z690 chipset. Let’s start the tour with the heatsinks, of which there are five! First of all, we have the two heatsinks on top of the motherboard that cover the power supply stages. These heatsinks are massive, especially the one covering the IO.Z690 Tachyon rad vrm The third covers the chipset and has RGB lighting. The fourth and fifth heatsinks for the M.2 SSDs can also be said to be part of the chipset, as the SSDs are attached to them.

Four m.2 SSD slots :

Although the card is largely uncluttered with parts of the PCB visible, we still have all the M.2 slots cooled by heatsinks. We start with the M.2 slot connected to the CPU in 4.0 which is placed above the first PCIe slot. This is cooled on both sides. Then we have the three M.2 slots connected to the Z690 chipset, and again we have heatsinking on both sides. Technically, there are three PCIe 4.0 x4 slots and one PCIe 4.0 x4/SATA. You should not be short of storage slots.

The socket and PCIe :

The space around the socket is very clear and will be very easy to insultate for testing under Dice/LN2 . It is noticeable that the capacitors used are low profile tantalum which will help enormously when insulating. This tachyon can accommodate a maximum of two DDR5 memory modules. I invite you to read the page dedicated to DDR5 in our article on Alder Lake. And don’t forget that the Z690 chipset supports motherboards that will still run DDR4.

This Tachyon supports dual channel memory kits up to 7000 MHz+ (OC) and up to 64 GB. There are two PCIe 5.0 16x slots that will work in x8/x8 if you opt for CrossfireX – no SLI here. A third PCIe 3.0 x4 slot is also available. To power all this, the card has a 24-pin connector and two 8-pin connectors next to the power stages. And, as a bonus, a 6-pin PCIe slot for multi-GPU configurations.