Joined on 05/09/05
Don't listen to the haters
Pros: This board is the board to get if you are building a non-SLI micro-atx gaming PC (you'll need the DFI if you want SLI). Great performance for a LAN-box if you are going cheap with LGA 775.
Cons: It would be nice if the PCI xpress x16 slot was not in the middle of the PCI slots. If it was on the top, airflow would be a little bit better. But, it works. Not a big deal.
Overall Review: You might think that getting the G45 over the less expensive G31/33/35/41/43 would be a waste in a gaming PC that won't even use the onboard video. But that'd be wrong. The key is that the G45 has the Intel ICH10R south bridge my friends. You need a good south bridge for gaming prowess. This thing will run 1033 nicely.
Many great qualities, just be careful with the SSD riser
Pros: - It's the only Z690 ITX DDR4 board available right now at the Intel 12th gen launch - Cheaper than DDR 5 mobo, and DDR4 RAM is cheaper as well - XMP loads and works great with my DDR4 3600 RAM (g.skill F4-3600C18D-32GTZN)
Cons: - This is really important. If you are going to remove the SSD riser card (the manual calls it the "GC-Z690I BTB PLUG") to access the lower m.2 SSD slot, PULL OUT THE FRONT AUDIO DONGLE first (the manual calls it the "F_AUDIO (Front Panel Audio Header") ! Without doing this there is almost no wiggle room for the back of the SSD riser card to get out and it could break! The motherboard manual should tell you to do this but it doesn't! Page 24, step 2 specifically. - The only PDF included with the BIOS download implies you have to do a lot of crazy stuff to update the BIOS. No... just extract the Z690IAULTRADDR4.xxx file to a fat32 USB drive, go into the BIOS, press F8 for Q-Flash, and select the aforementioned file.
Overall Review: This is actually a lovely board and made my build perfectly possible with the RAM I wanted, in the form factor I wanted, and at a reasonable price, especially by today's standards. I also like the RGB lights built into this thing. Seems to be a good performer at my RAM's XMP profile, karhu ram test finds no errors.
Windows 7 64-bit luvs this thing
Pros: Windows 7 installed this without any hunting Ralink's website at all. Ping times and bandwidth are as fast.
Cons: None, although I haven't had it very long yet.
Overall Review: The Windows 7 64-bit RC did not come with the driver on the disc, but found it immediately as an "Important Update" when I connected via ethernet.