UK price (as reviewed): £161.48 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): £156.71 (exc. tax)
With an enviable reputation for producing excellent mini-ITX motherboards for Z270 and Z370 Intel chipsets, Gigabyte has yet again completely changed the styling with it's mini offering, which now comes under the Aorus brand. Retailing for around £160, it sits mid-way between MSI's MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC and the usual lavish and pricey option from Asus - a change this time round seeing as its predecessor, while excellent all-round, was one of the cheaper options out there.
This makes it around £30 dearer than the MSI board depending on where you shop, which is a reasonable amount even at this price tag. It's fairly evident, though, that the Z390 I Aorus Pro WiFi hasn't reigned in the features quite as much as MSI to keep the price low. You get reasonable cooling for the six-phase power circuitry plus a large M.2 heatsink that sits atop a PCH heatsink - the M.2 heatsink of course being absent on the MSI board.
There's a smattering of addressable RGB lighting down one side of the board with both four-pin 12V and three-pin addressable RGB LED headers on the PCB. The trio of fan headers are grouped at the top of the board, which shouldn't pose too many issues for tidying cables, as these can be tucked under the board or into routing holes in the motherboard tray.
You get the usual four SATA 6Gbps ports, and both the top side and underside M.2 ports support both PCIe and SATA-powered SSDs for added flexibility. The board has a pair of USB Type-C ports, with the header on the PCB limited to USB 3.0 speeds. However, the Type-C port on the I/O panel is fully-fledged USB 3.1 as is the Type-A port above it.
The rear panel isn't particularly well-equipped with USB Type-A ports in general, though, with an additional four USB 3.0 ports meaning there's just five in total, but this should be enough for most. Gigabyte has used Intel-powered Ethernet along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and unlike the MSI board, you get ALC1220 audio with the full complement of ports including an optical output.
October 14 2021 | 15:04