February 23, 2024
AORUSReviews

Z790 AORUS ELITE X WIFI7 review in Spanish

Today, we present the motherboard review Z790 AORUS ELITE X WIFI7, a key component in the recent board update Z790 in response to the debut of the processors 14th generation de Intel. Generally speaking, new motherboard launches do not usually generate great interest, however, on this occasion, AORUS has introduced significant changes to its new products. In this review, we will explore and analyze the key differences, conducting related tests to evaluate their performance.

The Z790 AORUS ELITE X WIFI7 board comes on loan from AORUS Peru for today's tests.

Table of Contents

What's new with the new line of AORUS Z790 “refresh” motherboards?

The fundamental changes brought by the new AORUS Z790 motherboard refresh are the following:

-Better power phases.
-Larger copper layers on the PCB.
-Introduction of WiFi 7.

The improvement to the power phase components is welcome, although it doesn't generate much personal excitement. The reason is quite simple: AORUS boards were experiencing no issues in the VRM (no heating) department. If there had been any drawbacks in that regard, this change could have generated some positive expectations. In any case, the modification is positive and appreciated.

The strongest argument for the new motherboards is the improvement in the copper layers of the PCB. The more layers it has, the greater the signal integrity between the processor and RAM communication, which results in an increase in the theoretical maximum frequency in the RAM memories.

In the previous generation, most AORUS motherboards had 6 PCB layers, with only the high-end models having 8 or more. With the new motherboards, all of the “refresh” motherboards have at least 8 layers.

To conclude, the most recent development and the one that most brands are promoting is the introduction of WiFi 7. This change, in the short term, is the least impactful of the three mentioned. The reason is quite simple: most WiFi 7 routers have a cost close to or even higher than the motherboard we are discussing today. Most users own a WiFi 5 router/repeater, or possibly WiFi 6, but not WiFi 7.

It is possible that in two years WiFi 7 routers will become much more affordable, but currently we place more importance on the immediate benefit compared to the long-term prospects.

Z790 AORUS ELITE X WIFI7 – Specifications

The plate Z790 AORUS ELITE X, Presents three variants on the market:

  1. Z790 AORUS ELITE X (without WiFi/Bluetooth):
    -Does not include WiFi or Bluetooth functions.-Shares all other components with the variants that incorporate wireless connectivity.
  2. Z790 AORUS ELITE X AX (with WiFi 6E):
    -Incorporates WiFi 6E technology for wireless connectivity.-Maintains the same components as the other variants, except for the WiFi module.
  3. Z790 AORUS ELITE X WIFI 7 (object of today's review):
    -It integrates WiFi 7, being the main difference with the other variants.-The other components are identical to the mentioned versions, excluding the specific wireless connectivity of this model.

It should be noted that all opinions expressed today are applicable to all three variants, with the exception of considerations related to wireless connectivity, which is exclusive to the model. Z790 AORUS ELITE X WIFI 7.

“Quality of life” changes – Small details matter

In my possession I have both the motherboard Z790 AORUS ELITE AX like its most recent version, the AORUS ELITE X WIFI 7. The most notable modification in terms of convenience focuses on the revised heatsink installation system for M.2 devices. Previously, a screwdriver was needed to mount both heatsinks.

With the new AORUS ELITE, installation no longer requires any additional tools. In other words, it is no longer necessary to use a screwdriver to remove or install the heatsink. This small but significant change is well received, as it saves a lot of time.

This improvement is part of the “ecosystem” EZ-Latch, which now benefits not only the first PCIe slot, but also both heatsinks M.2 of the motherboard.

Power phase – Z790 AORUS ELITE

The three versions of the Z790 AORUS ELITE X share the same components in the power phase. In this update, the controller has been changed to RENESAS RAA229130 in an 8+1 configuration. AORUS has abandoned signal doublers, opting for two PowerStages per signal. The PowerStage selected is the Renesas Intersil ISL99390, with a maximum rating of 90A. With 16 units assigned to the VCORE, it has a maximum theoretical power to support a load of 1440A.

For the VCCGT (iGPU), the PowerStage ISL99360 with a rating of 60A is used. Finally, for the VCCAUX, an M2904A controller is used with two NCP303160 PowerStages, both rated at 60A.

Features, inputs and outputs and revisions (yes, there is already Rev 1.1)

As of the date of this review, there are two revisions of the motherboard, Rev 1.0 and 1.1. The main difference between both models is that Rev 1.1 incorporates another wireless network adapter, the Intel® Wi-Fi 7 BE200, while Rev 1.0 uses the MediaTek Wi-Fi 7 MT7927. This change was mainly due to a delay in manufacturing the first Intel units.

In the motherboard diagram, you see that one M.2 is directly connected to the processor, using PCIe Gen 4. The other M.2s work through PCIe Gen 4 and are connected through the chipset. As for connectivity, the WiFi/Bluetooth controller is supplied by MediaTek, while the board uses a popular 2.5G LAN adapter, the Intel I225-V.

Z790 AORUS ELITE X Diagram

As for USB connectivity, the motherboard offers four USB 2.0 ports, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (two Type A and one Type C), as well as three USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. With a total of four M. 2, the board includes a front USB connector, as well as a Type C connector. In addition, it has four DEBUG LEDs, several fan ports and the distinctive feature of motherboards: the flashing option without having to have a processor installed ( QFlash Plus).

Z790 AORUS ELITE X – Unboxing

Tests - What change does the board bring compared to its predecessor?

Carrying out benchmarks on motherboards, although considered common by some, seems to make little sense to us. Differences between models tend to be minimal, unless there are locked parameters, such as power limiters, which can be easily unlocked manually.

The only situation that could generate a significant change in performance is some problem at the BIOS level, although these types of incidents are quite unusual. Despite this, we will carry out a test of CBR23 to comply with the plate evaluation process.

The test of VRM are more relevant, although currently, there are few models that present problems in this regard, and they are generally observed in entry-level motherboards with very low prices.

Improvements to RAM overclock potential (XMP)

According to AORUS advertising, when comparing the Z790 AORUS Elite with the Z790 AORUS Elite X, a theoretically significant change stands out in terms of RAM overclocking.

RAM support for Z790 AORUS Elite AX (2022)

RAM support for Z790 AORUS Elite X Rev 1.0 and 1.1 (2023)

According to the information provided, the Z790 AORUS Elite X motherboard (and its variants) boasts a theoretical boost of 666 MHz compared to its standard counterpart. We assume that the main reason behind this improvement lies in the increase to 8 copper layers on the PCB, which could have improved the signal integrity for the RAMs, possibly through changes in the routing of the lines towards the DIMMs.

So, I decided to carry out a practical test to verify if with the change of motherboard, using my Intel Core i9-13900K processor, it would be possible to use the XMP profile of some G.Skill 7200CL34 (2x16GB) memories that I have.

Z790 AORUS Elite X - Testing G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB 2x16GB 7200CL34

I ran an internal test this year to determine the stability of the Intel Core i9-13900K processor with high-frequency RAM, specifically the G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB 2x16GB 7200CL34. I used the latest BIOS available for the board Z790 AORUS Elite AX, which at that time was the F6. I even received internal assistance from GIGABYTE to manually tune the motherboard (over and above using the XMP profile) to achieve that frequency stably.

Unfortunately, after a week of extensive testing and adjustments at various voltages, I was unable to stabilize the memories at 7200 MT/so even to 7000 MT/s. They only worked without problems at 6800 MT/s. There were two possible explanations:

-The processor had an unfavorable fate in terms of silicon (IMC).
-The motherboard was not competent enough to achieve the desired results.

For a long time, I was left uncertain as to what the reason behind this result was. However, by getting a new board that theoretically has improved RAM support, I will finally be able to clarify why.

After four days of stressing the processor with the same RAM, which could not be achieved with the Z790 AORUS Elite AX, it worked without problems with the Z790 AORUS Elite X.

Z790 AORUS ELITE

Result - Cinebench R23

VRM Temperatures - CBR23 - Stress Test

Software – GIGABYTE Control Center – Year and a half later, does not offer substantial improvements

GIGABYTE Control Center emerged as an improvement over the AORUS Control Center present on the brand's laptops, and is also presented as the successor to the GIGABYTE APP Center on desktop PCs. However, after more than a year, it hasn't seen much improvement and is lagging behind what competitors like Armory Crate are offering.

GIGABYTE Control Center

The first problem occurs when entering the software for the first time, where a tutorial window appears with the instruction: “Press to start the tutorial.” Next to this, there is a button that says “skip”, but clicking anywhere does not start any tutorial. This editorial error should be corrected, indicating: “Click on the symbol ? to start the tutorial”. Also, instead of saying “skip”, you should say “CLOSE”.

In reality, closing the window using the “skip” button and pressing the ? icon starts the tutorial, which, in fact, does not provide much help, since the software is so simple that it is easy to understand without the need for a tutorial.

In short, maybe GIGABYTE should remove all the tutorial help since it's redundant.

When launching the software for the first time, you are presented with the option to install end-user drivers. At first, this seems positive, right? However, the way GIGABYTE implements it is not ideal. When installing drivers, they include all download options, which often contain unnecessary programs that we do not want to install.

For example, why install programs like Norton Internet Security? If you are not careful and simply install everything, you will end up downloading things that are not useful to the user (bloatware). Other software we consider bloatware includes cFosSpeed, Smart Backup, and Intel XTU. If the user wanted to install these programs, there would be no problem, but they should not be set as default options.

I found a bug with the software (the most recent version) and this particular model. Despite having installed the wireless network and Bluetooth drivers through the program, it never recognizes that the installation has been successful. In Control Panel, the drivers are indeed installed, but the software fails to detect it correctly.

RGB Fusion continues without necessary changes

Whether you agree or not, RGB is something that is on the minds of several users and is a relevant aesthetic aspect for most. Therefore, the motherboard manufacturer's RGB software becomes crucial. RGB Fusion is the utility that allows you to modify the colors of the different devices that your PC can customize.

Despite the years that have passed, RGB Fusion has not undergone any significant evolution at all.

RGBFusion

The changes in RGB Fusion have been mainly aesthetic and functional, although they have been minimal. Users have the option to choose between full RGB sync or customize each component to their liking. However, the option “sync all” It is considerably limited to 7 modes and offers no customization options. Software development in the area of ​​RGB has been notably poor and has lagged behind what the competition offers.

RGBFusion

In customization mode, although there are more effects, unfortunately, the ability to create a user's own effect is not provided.

Fan Control and Performance Tool

These two modules already existed previously in the APP Center de GIGABYTE. Fan Control is responsible for controlling the different fan headers on the board, either in manual mode or easily synchronizing in modes such as Silent, Normal y Full Speed.

In the tab Performance, Four options are presented. The two most relevant are CPU, where processor voltages and multipliers can be modified, and DDR, which now allows you to change the “memory strap” from the RAMs directly from the operating system. Although this option is new and welcome, it is far from optimal. GIGABYTE could consider allowing users to adjust timings manually, as long as a GRAN WARNING indicating that modifying these parameters can generate instabilities.

Final analysis – Finally a good AORUS board at a still affordable price, if the RGB software doesn't matter to you

My final opinion on the Z790 AORUS Elite X motherboard (and its variants) is positive, representing an improvement over the Z790 AORUS Elite AX. Although the change may seem insignificant to some, the addition of two extra layers of copper on the PCB has made a difference. This improvement allowed the Core i9-13900K to run smoothly at 7200 MHz CL34 without the need for manual intervention, something the Z790 AORUS Elite AX couldn't achieve even with manual adjustments to voltages and other options.

From another perspective, this board offers similar performance in terms of RAM overclocking to the Z790 AORUS MASTER (year 2022) at a much more affordable price. This makes higher-cost models, such as the PRO X and MASTER X series, somewhat irrelevant, as the Z790 AORUS Elite

Although WiFi 7 is a welcome addition, we don't consider it essential for most users, as WiFi 7 routers are typically more expensive than the board itself. I mention this, since it is the workhorse of the “refresh” of all the Z790 boards that have been launched with Intel's 14th generation processors.

For those looking to save a few extra dollars, the AX version of the board or the non-WiFi/Bluetooth option may be wise decisions.

We can't recommend the board if RGB customization and robust software are priorities, but for the rest of the features, we give the Z790 AORUS Elite X WiFi7 the platinum award for its improvement over its predecessor y its excellent performance at a competitive price. Although the software experience is less than optimal, its value for money makes it stand out. However, it would have deserved a gold award if it were a Pro X or MASTER as it would not justify paying more for an inferior software experience.

In conclusion, I recommend the Z790 AORUS Elite X Wi-Fi7 for those whose use of RGB software is limited or no. An additional tip: avoid installing GIGABYTE Control Center if possible.

Final score – Z790 AORUS Elite
  • performance
  • overclock
  • VRM
  • Software
  • Price
Overall
3.9

Summary

La Z790 AORUS Elite offers a better experience over its predecessor and is superior to several boards Z790 of the 2022. It is a good choice for users looking for high RAM frequencies without breaking the bank, if ARGB software is not the priority.

Pros

-Low VRM temperatures.
-Good performance.
-Better DRAM overclock than several 790 Z2022 boards.
-Its price is quite acceptable, considering that it offers similar performance/overclock compared to several boards with double the price or more.

Cons

-The software works most of the time (there are reports from users with a negative experience) but it is behind the competition in versatility and RGB options.

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Fernando

Very good review, and I have one question, can Windows 11 be installed on these boards or do I have to buy the TPM separately? Because I understand that WIFI 7 only works with Windows 11, although I personally prefer Windows 10.

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