Gigabyte's 'Next-gen' Intel motherboard shows off the new Arrow Lake CPU socket for the first time alongside AMD's X870E

Gigabyte has both Intel and AMD's next generation of motherboards on display at its VIP suite during Computex. The Gigabyte X870E Aorus Extreme is the least mysterious—the new chips are out in July and it only makes sense that the motherboard for AMD's Ryzen 9000-series Granite Ridge chips are already finished. More mysterious were the Intel boards.

With the processors and socket redacted with white tape it's almost impossible to know what this new "Next-gen Z Aero G" could possibly be. Almost, but because I think collectively we're bordering on the verge of genius at times, the PC Gamer hive mind has got together, and we think this might actually be a Gigabyte Z890 motherboard.

How on earth did we work that out, eh? Well, Gigabyte couldn't tell us on pain of being told off by Pat.

But the clues are... Gigabyte slapped a massive Intel badge on the socket, and it's well, obviously an Intel socket. Then there was the fact that stamped into the CPU retaining clip are the letters "LGA 1851" which just so happens to be the number of pins in the new Intel CPU socket. 

The "Next-gen" bit in the name card beneath the board was the next clue because the next generation of Intel motherboards will be the Z890s that Intel's Arrow Lake chips will slot into. 

Sherlock Holmes, me. And with those powers of investigation I also managed to encourage the socket protector off to get a good look at that new socket. And what a view it is. All those 1851 pins in all their one-errant-thumb-and-you'll-kill-them-all glory.

Next to it was another, equally mysterious "Next-gen Z Aorus Elite X Ice" board. But what can it all mean?

Your guess is as good as mine.

What I will say though is that Gigabyte Ice range of boards and that white Aero board, do look rather lovely. I'm definitely into the more restrained look of the Aero G, with its clean lines and simple styling. Though if you're not into the cold white look then Gigabyte also has the classic black finish for its "Next-gen" boards, too.

Aside from the AMD X870E boards, Gigabyte also had its reverse connector boards back in action again. It was the first to release under the Project Stealth guise, before legal issues in the US put a halt to that until an agreement had been come to with the patent holder.

And it's now looking good. A host of case manufacturers I spoke to at Computex where fully behind the reverse connection thing, making sure to tool up in order to support the new designs from Gigabyte as well as MSI and Asus.

So, it looks like it's here to stay.


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Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.