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Gigabyte just picked the weirdest place to add gold to a PC

With its Z790 Xtreme X Ice gaming motherboard, Gigabyte takes flashy motherboard design to a new level with a real gold-plated CPU socket.

gigabyte z790 xtreme x ice fi

Motherboard manufacturers are no strangers to adorning their products with outlandish designs in order to attract a buyer. From the rugged camo theme of Asus’ early TUF range of motherboards to the cat-themed fun of Colorful’s Meow range, they’ll try anything once. The latest design to catch our eye is the new Gigabyte Z790 Xtreme X Ice motherboard, which includes suitably icy ‘mist aesthetics’ and an actual gold plated CPU socket.

Yes, just in the area where the last thing you want is any rogue electrical conductivity – thermal conductivity we don’t mind, but not electrical – Gigabyte has slapped one of the most electrically conductive materials on the planet. Of course, it’s not like the best gaming motherboards of the world have CPU sockets made from otherwise insulating materials but it’s a surprising addition nonetheless.

The new motherboard, revealed by Gigabyte employee Duy Manh on Facebook, also gets a “limited edition exclusive gold serial plaque” and is also joined by a GeForce RTX 4080 Super Xtreme Ice graphics card, with both products fitting into the same cool white and frosty design scheme. The graphics card also gets a plaque but doesn’t include any other gold parts.

gigabyte rtx 4080 super xtreme ice 01

A potentially perfect partner to the many white dual-chamber, dual-window cases that are so popular these days – cases such as the NZXT H6 Flow and Hyte Y70 Touch, these new Gigabyte Xtreme Ice components also include “crystalized titanium texture” areas and “iridescent craftsmanship” areas, both of which add a reflective, silvery quality to the parts.

What makes the motherboard in particular so suited to a really open view is that it features two sections that completely cover its PCB and spare sockets. On the lower half, the crystallized titanium and iridescent patterns cover all but one of the PCI-E sockets, along with the SSDs and other connections. There’s also a frosted plexiglass plate surrounding the CPU socket, further covering up any unsightly PCB, though confusingly it also covers over the gold CPU socket.

gigabyte z790 xtreme x ice 03

Speaking of which, perhaps the most amusing aspect of having a gold plated CPU socket is that with the vast majority of CPU coolers, you’re not going to be able to see much if any of the socket. Still, we applaud Gigabyte’s efforts at offering something decidedly different.

The Xtreme Ice range is set to be available in a limited edition run of 300 units and arrive in Q2 2024. We don’t have an indication of pricing yet but expect the motherboard in particular to be pricey.

If this cool white and gold look isn’t quite to your taste, perhaps a Palworld PC is more to your palette?