Having started almost all of its Z390 motherboards just some time ago, Gigabyte has brought us their Z390 Designare motherboard which was designed specifically to cater to the needs of content creators and design professionals. Gigabyte markets their motherboard as a feature-packed motherboard that is ready and fully equipped to take on the latest processors just like the Core i9-9900-K from Intel.
The brand-new Gigabyte Z390 Designare is not only a nice and sleek-looking motherboard, but it is also integrated with some of the best and most notable features that you’ll find today. Of course, we’re not going to let this motherboard slip past our testing process to see everything that this motherboard can offer us. Is it going to be perfect for a workstation setup? Will it be levelled or higher than the gaming baseplates? Is it something worth investing in?
Instead of piling up more questions about the motherboard, let’s just go ahead and take a look at the package, and see what we’re getting right out of the box.
Gigabyte Z390 Designare Review – What’s in the Box?
The exterior of the Gigabyte Z390 Designare’s package is really sleek and classy. It sports a dark and sophisticated theme which is really appealing and attractive to the eyes. On the front front portion of the package, specifically in the middle, you will see a huge image of the motherboard , while on the upper left corner, the name of the company is displayed.
The company made sure that their name would be spotted immediately, using white bold fonts to let everyone know that you have a Gigabyte product. As for the image of the Z390, you’ll notice that the motherboard has a semi-pyramid looking portion that features a nice blue LED on its side. It also sports a few interesting patterns that we think, make it appear like some cool-looking relic from the ancient times.
On the right-hand portion of the box, you’ll get to view the complete model of the motherboard together with its serial numbers, specifications, as well as other important information that you’ll need to know more about the motherboard.
When you check out the back of the package, you’ll find the description of the motherboard, as well as other important information such as its features and specifications. It’s good that the company made sure to put most of the vital details and specifications of their motherboard since it can be really useful if you’re physically scouting for motherboards.
When you look inside the box, of course, you’ll get the Z390 Designare motherboard itself which is positioned nicely and securely to prevent it from acquiring damages during transit. As for the other accessories in the box, these include a user manual, Display Port cable, a wireless network receiver, an installation CD, two packs of SATA cables, a G-connector auxiliary plug, and M.2 fixing screws.
The company included everything that you’ll need for installing the motherboard which is something that we really appreciate.
Gigabyte Z390 Designare Review
From its attractive jet-black PCB, backplate armored design, and to its stunning metallic silver heatsinks, this motherboard from Gigabyte truly exhibits an ultra-cool aesthetic that fits every design professional who wants to have a fine-looking motherboard . The way Gigabyte added some understated and subtle LEDs on the motherboard gave it a more relaxed and laid-back vibe, allowing you and every other design professional to focus on the art and work on hand.
For extra flair, you can utilize these RGB headers to install RGB light strips then play with the exclusive Ambient LED app from Gigabyte. This will allow you to sync all of the LED light strips with the motherboard’s integrated LED configuration. By allowing you to easily customize the designs and lighting patterns on the board’s configuration for RGBs, you will get to easily exhibit your own style and design.
The Z390 Designare motherboard from Gigabyte has a body that is clearly different from the other series from the company. It is designed using the ATX format with a silver and black color scheme which gives the motherboard a sleek and stunning look. This motherboard is manufactured with a nicely colored ATX 305 x 244-millimeter PCB, as well as a black plate armor that blends exquisitely with the entire motherboard .
In addition to having a durable exterior and a nicely-made design element, the display card, memory, and the M.2 slot features an improved armor design. When you look at the back portion of the Z390 Designare motherboard, you’ll get to see a ton of dense solder joints, as well as the circuit direction located on the PCB board.
This Designare motherboard makes use of twice the number of the copper circuit board’s inner layer style to further improve the processor’s power supply stability. When you see the bottom left portion, you’ll also get a glimpse of the sound separation designs used; a LED lighting design is also present, and also a USB Type-C interface which are positioned on the motherboard’s front panel and is also next to the 24-pin slot. This can be used to link the Type-C USB on the chassis.
For the rear of the Z390 Designare, we can say that it’s actually quite rich since it’s equipped with a built-in armored baffle to remove any need to set up the rear baffle within the mainframe. This saves a lot of time when it comes to the installation process, and it also decreases the I/O file that’s inserted directly.
The Z390 Designare is designed with a 2x copper PCB, or printed circuit board, and has been equipped with a robust 12 + 1 phase digital power delivery subsystem. Here, enough power is provided via an 8-pin EPS connector, as well as a secondary 4-pin connector.
The Z390 comes with a total of four DDR4 slots that allow you to cram up to a total of 64GB of memory into your system. The motherboard is suitable for ECC unbuffered DIMMs, plus DDR4 speeds that reach up to 4,266MHz and more.
Since the Z390 Designare is a motherboard that’s been tailored and designed for professionals, it features two high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports that open the area for utilizing two 4K displays. This is at 60 fps or a single 5K display. Also, you can easily daisy-chain up to a total of 12 Thunderbolt devices of any type which is pretty good, in our opinion.
One of the highlights of this motherboard is that it is the very first motherboard to make use of a Display Port input for external graphics cards. And as a result, owners of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 20-Series can link the graphics card Display Port 1.4 output to the Z390 Designare’s Thunderbolt.
As for the connectivity of the Z390 Designare from Gigabyte, the I/O offers two USB 2.0 slots, a single P/S 2 slot, plus a single Display Port output via external display card, three-screen outputs, 2 USB 3.1 Gen slots, 2 antenna ports, two Thunderbolt TM 3 slots, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 slot, two RJ45 slots, an S / PDIF fiber output socket plus an audio input slot. Additionally, it can also support a 7680 x 3840 60Hz and an HDMI 1.4.
The motherboard also comes with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as a Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Wave 2, plus a Bluetooth 5 combination. For its audio, the Z390 Designare utilizes the Realtek ALC-1220 VB codec which includes an optical S / PDIF out connector and dive audio jacks.
Gigabyte also ensured that the PCIe x16 slots are sent in a setup that readily supports x16 | x0 | x4 configurations. And its 3rd x16 length slot can be set to utilize the PCIe controller of the CPU by circumventing the PCH’s restricted bandwidth. Selecting this specific setting causes the third slot to take four lanes from the second; however, it sets up a perfect arrangement for one graphics card and two PCIe 3.0 x4 drives.
12 + 1 Phase Power Design
The Z390 Designare makes use of0 the 12+1 phases of CPU power design which includes the Dr-MOS and digital PWM Controller. The completely digital controller, plus extra 8 + 4 Solid Pin CPU Power Connectors provide superior precision when it comes to bringing power to the most power-draining components of the motherboard. This allows you to experience optimum performance from the latest 9th Generation Intel Core processors.
NVIDIA QUADRO Professional Graphics
The Quadro 3-Dimensional Workstation Professional Graphics Solutions by NVIDIA is specially built for designers, artists, and engineers. Over a hundred professional applications are also powered by the GPUs of NVIDIA Quadro. Professionals trust these to bring the best out of their work using applications including Avid Media Composer, Adobe Creative Cloud, Dassault Systems, Autodesk Suites, CATIA and SOLIDWORKS, PTC Creo, Siemens NX, and a lot more.
Dual Thunder Bolt 3 – The Fastest Single-Wire Connection
The Thunder Bolt 3 is powered by Intel’s exclusive Thunder Bolt controller and is available over two USB Type C connectors on the motherboard’s back I/O. The latest Thunder Bolt 3 protocol offers an exceptional single-wire x that reaches up to 40 Gbps. This incredible increase in bandwidth also comes with support for a variety of protocols including USB 3.1 and Display Port 1.2. This is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0, giving you endless possibilities.
Bluetooth 5 + Integrated Intel Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5 brings 4x range over Bluetooth 4.2, which has a transmission is faster. The next generation of Intel Wireless solution allows for wireless Gigabit performance and supports 802.11 ac Wave 2. This also delivers smooth streaming of videos, enhanced gaming experience, and less connections dropped. Additionally, speed rates go up to 1.75 Gbps – this is twice the speed of the previous generation.
The Newest Realtek High-Definition Audio Codec
ALC1220 120dB(A) SNR High-definition Audio with Smart Headphone Amp instantly detects the impedance of your head-worn audio device. This prevents problems including distortion and low volume. With the latest VB series audio controller, you can clearly stream your voice with front and rear microphone SNR up to 110 and 114 dB(A).
High-End Audio Capacitors & WIMA
The motherboards of Gigabyte feature a combination of exclusive audio capacitors and WIMA FKP-2 capacitors. The audio capacitors are built for top-notch audio equipment and it uses the latest technology to deliver clear high frequencies and rich sounds. The WIMA capacitors are utilized in Hi-Fi systems, making this the excellent onboard sound solution for the most demanding audiophiles.
USB DAC-UP 2: USB Port + Adjustable Voltage & Dedicated Power Design
Gigabyte now features the USB DAC-UP 2 to deliver clean and low-noise power. This technology also allows for compensation for voltage drop. With that, accessories and peripherals of gamers and VR pioneers will not experience power deficiency and any other problem with connectivity. Gaming Gear utilizes huge amounts of power, as well as firm requirements, USB DAC-UP 2 is ready for the challenge – it can definitely handle heavy loads without any issues.
The Best Surge Protection & LAN Static-Electricity
Motherboards from Gigabyte utilize ICs with ESD resistance levels that are thrice of traditional ICs. This helps improve the protection of the motherboard and its components against possible damages caused by static electricity. Gigabyte motherboards also have special anti-surge ICs that keep your PC and motherboard protected from any surge in power delivery that may happen. This helps ensure that your PC is ready to deal with possible inconsistent delivery of power
Smart Fan 5
The Smart Fan 5 lets your gaming PC can stay cool even when it continuously delivers excellent performance. It also allows you to interchange the fan headers for these to reflect various thermal sensors at different spots on the motherboard. Aside from that, more hybrid fan headers that support both Voltage mode and PWM fans have been introduced for your motherboard to be more liquid cooling-friendly.
Save Power with just a Single Click
It is a CEC requirement for PCs to consume only a certain level of power when in off, stand-by, or idle mode. Since Gigabyte motherboards come with high power efficiency, hardware components, as well as fine-tuned BIOS, the Z390 Designare can consume lower power levels when on idle mode. The motherboard also complies with the power consumption requirements of the CEC 2019 or the California Energy Commission.
Dual Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Software
Sporting dual Intel GbE LAN ports, powered by professional network traffic management software helps improve latency on your network and produces low ping times to ensure that you stay ahead of the game.
Support for 9th and 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 processors/Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1151 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
Intel® Z390 Express Chipset
4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory
Support for 11ac 160 MHz wireless standard and up to 1.73 Gbps data rate
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
2 x PCI Express x1 slots
1 x M.2 Socket 1 connector for an Intel® CNVi wireless module (CNVI)
1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2M)
1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2P)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
Support for NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ and 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technologies
Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire™ and 3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire™ technologies
Chipset+Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 Controller:
2 x USB Type-C™ ports on the back panel, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
1 x USB Type-C™ port with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, available through the internal USB header
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red) on the back panel
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports available through the internal USB header
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back panel
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x PEG power connector
2 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
1 x water cooling CPU fan header
2 x system fan headers
1 x system fan/water cooling pump header
1 x RGB LED strip header
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 header
1 x USB 2.0/1.1 header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
Back Panel Connectors
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x DisplayPort In port
1 x HDMI port
2 x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red)
2 x Thunderbolt™ 3 connectors (USB Type-C™ ports, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support)
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2 x RJ-45 ports
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x audio jacks
iTE® I/O Controller Chip
Fan speed detection
Water cooling flow rate detection
Fan fail warning
Fan speed control
2 x 128 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
Support for APP Center
Platform Power Management
System Information Viewer
USB DAC-UP 2
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
The Gigabyte APP Center Software
Gigabyte APP Center is the starting point for most company applications. The version of the Z390 is different compared to the Z390 Aorus Master in terms of the RGB Fusion which has been changed to the Ambient LED app; this has less choices of color schemes and is not compatible to the RGB DIMM.
For Gigabyte Easy Tune, this comes with a programmed 5.20GHz overclock that hits the CPU core voltage to 1.280 Volts for a single-threaded load, 1.30 Volts for two threads, and 1.50 Volts under four threads. The non-AVX blend mode is light enough for continuous 5.20 GHz, loading up to 16 threads.
On the Advanced CPU OC menu from Easy Tune, you can do manual overclocking. After to the Advanced Power menu of the board we used 4.89GHz and setting the CPU’s VCore Load line Calibration to Turbo Mode. If this extra voltage stabilization feature was not present, the system would’ve crashed while we were tweaking some overclocking controls.
When it comes to the static icon of Easy Tune, this opens the company’s Hardware Monitor overlay; this can be found on the right portion of the screen. The Easy Tune icon is basically a link and Hardware Monitor is part of the System Information View application. When you click the Return icon, you will be opening that program.
At the first run, the System Information View launches a fan tuning algorithm and modifies fan profiles. You can also manually do the fan tuning, just like system alert settings.
By default, the Z390 Designare motherboard firmware opens to the company’s MIT menu, specifically in the Advanced Mode; however, it can be switched from Easy Mode via the popup menu or by pressing on the F2 key. You’ll see a right side pop-in menu that will display the basic system status which is present from all of the primary menus.
The AFS or Advanced Frequency Settings sub-menu include graphics ratios, CPU BLCK, CPU-Upgrade programmed overclocks for the 8th gen processors, XMP memory profile selections, CPU clock ratio, plus the manual memory ratio selections. Extra controls are displayed via the Advanced CPU Core Settings button.
The Gigabyte Z390 Designare motherboard is optimized for workstations, designers, as well as enthusiasts. With its simple design, the motherboard offers highly durable components, excellent connection, as well as superior cooling. One of the things that we have to highlight here is the incorporation of the Thunderbolt 3 connector.
This allowed us to connect high-performance external graphic cards and storage devices. Plus, we were also able to take advantage of the large bandwidth. It is also incorporated with two Gigabit LAN connections and a Wi-Fi connection at great connectivity levels.
The Z390 Designare from Gigabyte is the excellent motherboard for designers. It greatly reduces the waiting time during transmission and it also comes with three PCIe x 16 slots. We really liked that it supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLITM technology, NVIDA Quad-GPU SLI, as well as AMD Cross-Fire technologies.
With that, the motherboard is able to use multiple game or graphics cards to enhance productivity. Two sets of M.2 slots are also present; plus, it also supports PCIe x4 / x2 and SATA interface SSD.
There is also a 6 SATA 6 Gbps slot that you can utilize to create RAID 0 / 1/ 5 / 10 disk array technology. It’s not only interface transmission that’s important for designers, but they also need hard disk storage. As for the 1-phase power supply design, this helps the processor power supply maintain its stability. All in all, the Z390 Designare is a great product.
If you need a high-performance motherboard, we highly recommend you the Z390 Designare from Gigabyte.