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We just got our hands on the fanciest GPU and motherboard you can buy

With real gold plating and forged titanium panels, Gigabyte's Xtreme Prestige products are as impressive in the flesh as their specs imply.

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When Gigabyte launched its Xtreme Prestige lineup a few weeks ago, we weren’t entirely sure what to make of the extravagantly decorated graphics card and motherboard. But, having got our hands and eyes on the real deal, we can’t help but be impressed, even if we’re still not sure why you’d put forged titanium on a computer component.

The specs and designs of these products are so premium that Gigabyte is clearly taking aim at the top end of the market. The Aorus GeForce RTX 4080 Super Xtreme Ice 16G especially stands out, as it’s the fastest clocked card in its class, making it a natural candidate to be one of the best graphics card you can buy.

Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 4080 Super Xtreme Ice 16G

Looking a little closer at the Aorus GeForce RTX 4080 Super Xtreme Ice 16G, you’re first struck by its sheer size. Even though we’re mostly used to big high-end graphics cards these days, their heftiness can still be surprising, and this Xtreme model is even larger than most other RTX 4080 Super cards.

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Measuring 357mm long, 166mm tall, and 75mm thick – that’s fully three PCIe slots wide – it’s a behemoth in every way. There’s no way you could describe this card as Nvidia SFF-Ready.

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The other factor that really struck us about this particular card is that it’s signed by the big man himself, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia – written in gold, of course. We hate to imagine how much that little gold scrawl will have added to the value of this card.

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Now we get onto the real defining features of this card, with its gold and titanium touches. The gold is most prominent, being featured on the serial number plate that sits perfectly in position on the rear corner of the card, where it should be visible whatever your case’s graphics card configuration.

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As for the forged titanium, this is an interesting addition. The use of titanium at all just adds a luxury factor, of course, as it’s such an expensive material that’s difficult to work with. However, while the hammered finish here looks and feels quite cool, there’s a slight dullness and subtleness to the finish that means it doesn’t actually stand out that much from a lot of angles.

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Had the whole card’s fan shroud been finished in this material, it would’ve been a different matter. Imagine a whole forged titanium version of the slick-looking AI TOP GPU that Gigabyte was also showing off and is shown below. Now that would be cool.

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So would we want or recommend this card? Well, we’re still yet to test it, although we’re quite sure its performance will be in the top bracket for an RTX 4080 Super, and that card is already our top pick in terms of bang for buck for a high-end card. We’re also sure that the massive cooler keeps the GPU cool and quiet. However, with an asking price of $1,800, you’re paying a big premium over a normal 4080 Super card. Now, maybe if they all came with Jensen’s signature…

Gigabyte Aorus Z790 Xtreme X Ice

Moving on to the motherboard, the Z790 Xtreme Ice has a design that’s dominated by three elements: the frosted plastic cover, the forged titanium, and the massive screen over the I/O plate. The graphics card also had a screen on its top edge but it’s a much smaller one.

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With the board not plugged in, the potential dazzling delights of the screen weren’t on show, with it instead just being an obvious blank space on the board. Likewise, we’re sure there are plenty of LEDs shining forth from under all that frosted plastic when the board is powered on.

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However, even when unplugged, the titanium cover that blocks off the entire lower section of the board, other than the GPU slot, is super prominent here. Again, as with the graphics cards, it would be really cool to see a full cover made of this stuff, but at least here you get a decent-sized plater of it. However, there’s still a chance it would sink into the background a little once it’s installed in a case.

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Even up close, it wasn’t clear how the frosted plastic cover for the CPU section doesn’t just get in the way of the vast majority of CPU cooler installations. Clearly this is a board aimed at high-end water-cooled setups but that’s still a very limited amount of space for a waterblock.

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It’s a shame, as it’s a neat effect and one that several motherboard manufacturers could try. Forget having clever BTF hidden cable motherboard and case designs, you could just hide all the unsightly bits with a frosted cover. Done.

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Speaking of hidden cables, the main sockets on this board all sit on its edge, which should make for easy installation in most conventional, non-BTF, cases. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a neater line of power, SATA, USB, and more headers on a motherboard.

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As you might expect with all the coverings for the board, the graphics card slot uses an offset release mechanism, with a button towards the back of the board unhooking the GPU retainer. That’s not a unique feature, but it’s absolutely the sort of premium but useful feature we’d hope to see on a board of this price.

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As for whether this board is worth buying with your hard-earned cash, it’s clearly a natural fit for if you like the graphics card, but otherwise it’s a little trickier to justify. The GPU has a roughly 30% markup over typical RTX 4080 Super cards, but this board costs as much as 10x the price of some Z790 boards.

Still, that’s the nature of some flagship products. They exist to be fun outlandish options for those that fancy them. And if we had the cash we’d certainly be tempted to pop this Xtreme Ice setup in an amazing white fish tank case, such as the Hyte Y70.

For more of what we’ve seen on the show floor at Computex 2024, including Corsair’s new Custom Lab peripherals and AMD’s new Zen 5 CPUs, check out our Computex news hub.