Biostar Z690 GTA Racing

Visual inspection

The Biostar Z690 GTA Racing has a Tron inspired design, with a light blue line pattern applied on all heatsinks and even the PCB. This pattern is heavily influenced by the PCB traces of a motherboard. While this design is light blue, the PCB color is solid black and offers a good contrast with the light blue.

The Z690 GTA Racing is a good-looking motherboard and thanks to the aforementioned pattern, it will stand out in a gaming system.
The dimensions of the Z690 GTA Racing motherboard are: 30.5 cm x 24.4cm and it follows the ATX form factor.

 

The Z690 GTA Racing uses a 17 phase VRM system in an unknown configuration. The MOSFETs used on this VRM are made by Intersil, and have the model number: ISL99390. These are 90 A power stages and are widely used in high end motherboards.

 

The Z690 GTA Racing uses APAQ made capacitors for its VRM system. These capacitors are part of the AP-CON 10K series and are widely used in high end overclocking motherboards.

 

The power delivery on the CPU side is done through two connectors, a 4-pin and an 8-pin. As is the case with most if not all motherboards that use a dual pin setup, only the 8-pin is required for the system to work normally. The additional 4-pin connector is only needed if you are overclocking the CPU and need the extra power.

 

 

The VRM cooling is done by two separate heatsinks. The bigger heatsink, which is installed on the left of the CPU socket is a solid piece of metal with some fins cut into its surface. However, the top VRM heatsink is much better as it has actual cooling fins attached to its baseplate.

 

The top VRM heatsink of this motherboard not only features two fans for active cooling, but it has a solid copper baseplate that makes contact with the MOSFETs. This type of heatsink should be used on all motherboards, as it offers the best cooling.

 

The Z690 GTA Racing has a total of five (5) 4-pin fan headers installed around the PCB. The first three fan headers are located on the upper right part of the motherboard while the other two are on the lower left part.

All four pin fan headers can be controller through software of the Bios of the motherboard.

 

The Z690 GTA Racing can accommodate a total of 128GB of DDR4 RAM memory. The motherboard has four RAM slots placed in the standard location. The starting DDR4 frequency supported is 1866MHz, while the maximum advertised frequency is 5000MHz and above. However, the high RAM frequency is dependent on what RAM kit you have and thus, results will vary.

 

The RGB system is simple, with only the chipset heatsink and the I/O panel cover being light up with LEDs.

 

The motherboard uses a Winbond 25Q256JVEQ flash chip for its bios. This chip is installed on the lower part of the PCB, underneath the SATA connectors.

Even though the motherboard does not have a digital POST display, it does have four debug LEDs. These are used to display the status of the system and any error codes that are logged by the motherboard.

 

The Z690 GTA Racing has three M.2 sockets available, each with its dedicated heatsink for cooling the SSD. The top two M.2 sockets are PCIe 4.0 x 4 while the last M.2 socket is a regular PCIe 3.0 x4.

 

The standard storage is done using no less than eight SATA 6GBps connectors, all of them right angled.
Next to the SATA connectors, there is a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-c header. This header is used to connect the front USB Type C connector of your case to the motherboard.

 

The Z690 GTA Racing has full Wi-Fi connectivity support, however, the Wi-fi network card is not included with the motherboard. Instead, you get an empty M.2 E-Key socket and pre-routed wi-fi antenna cables.

 

The motherboard has two PCIe x16 slots and two PCIe 3.0 x1 Slots. The top PCIe slot is a 5.0 x16 Slot, while the second one is a PCIe 4.0 x16 Slot. Both x16 slots are reinforced with metal.

 

The system management is done using an ITE 8625E SuperI/O chip. This chip is responsible for sensor monitoring, fan control and so on. On the Z690 GTA Racing, this chip is installed on the lower part of the PCB, right on the third M.2 Socket.

 

The SATA connectors of the motherboard are handled by the ASMedia ASM1064 controller. This chip is installed underneath the chipset heatsink.

 

The audio system has as its center piece the Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec. For filtering, the audio system uses four Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors. As is the case with all modern motherboard, the entire audio system is isolated from the rest of the PCB to prevent interferences.

 

On the backside, we have the I/O panel.

The I/O panel is as follows (from left to right):
– 2x WIFI Antenna Ports
– 1x PS/2 Keyboard/ Mouse Port
– 1x HDMI Port (HDMI2.0)
– 1x DP Port
– 1x DVI-D Port
– 1x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-C Port
– 5x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Ports
– 2x USB 2.0 ports
– 1x LAN port
– 3x Audio Jack

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