Do you like puzzles? Review of the Gigabyte Z690I Mini-ITX Aorus Ultra motherboard

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The Mini-ITX format is compact, but does not offer much space for connectors or components. Gigabyte did a great job, squeezing maximum functionality into a small space.

The dimensions of the motherboard are only 17 × 17 centimeters, which is great if you want the smallest possible computer. But what can fit in such a small space without limiting performance or cooling? The limitation to one PCIe slot or two RAM slots is a matter of course, two slots for M.2 SSD are solid. Everything more advanced requires a very clever design.

If there is something without compromise on the motherboard, it is about cooling the power cascade. It surrounds the processor from three sides and is very sophisticated. Not only in terms of cooling capacity, but also in terms of function. The section between the processor and the PCIe slot is two-story and can be disassembled. It has slots for M.2 SSD. An even bigger surprise is that you come across an HD Audio cable there. This is typically a connector, but there is no space left, so the audio is in the heatsink and a cable is used as the audio output, to which another cable from the computer case is connected.

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Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Mini-ITX Motherboard

One must love jigsaw puzzles, or if you want to remake anything, you have to get there first by disassembling another part. Sometimes it is necessary to do a processor heatsink, other times a graphics card. In addition, when fully wired, cable concentrations increase significantly, which can cause even more confusion – but that’s the fate of small-format motherboards and compact PCs.

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