Question 3770K desktop died, might upgrade to a 9700K. Availability of Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Master/Ultra/Pro motherboards?


Oct 5, 2002
This was (still most of the parts of) my old desktop that died recently:

My old 3770K desktop died, everything seems to point to the motherboard having kicked the bucket.

The motherboard was an Asus p8z77-v Deluxe, and near-impossible to find for any reasonable cost these days. I was only able to find a few for around $225 or so on ebay..... shipping from China. Or one for $175 with $500 shipping.... from Russia.

Even going one step back with the Pro Wifi costs about $175-$200. So needless to say, that's not an option considering I can get a brand new modern board for that. Issue though is that since I want to try to recover the Intel RAID the system had (the drives themselves are fine) so I am stuck with Z-based Intel chipsets to even hope to attempt that. Building a new Zen 2 or 3 system would have been pretty expensive (Not to mention not let me recover my raid), but I noticed that the 9700K CPUs are on sale for $200 at Microcenter. Yeah, the 9700K is a generation (soon about to be two) old, but they are still more than a capable CPU for now, and would be quite an upgrade from my 3770K while costing much less than a Gen 10 or upcoming Gen 11 Intel or Zen2 and impossible-to-find Zen3 would, and I can re-use the case (yeah I know it's external ports are a little outdated), GPU, PSU, drives, and most of my existing hardware.... other than the RAM. Issue with the 9700K's age though is that this means the motherboards for that CPU are somewhat old and not as available either.

From what I was able to gather the Gigabyte Aorus Z390 line are some of the best motherboards for that series of CPUs, though some of the higher-end models are hard to find without paying far too much, but I don't think I would need to go for the higher-end models to get something similar to my current board.

The Master version of the board as much as I would want it is out of the question, sold out everywhere unless I want to pay far too much or get it secondhand, so I was looking at the Pro Wifi and the Ultra. A fairly big price difference, $180 for the Pro and $250 for the Ultra. I wanted to check to make sure if there wasn't any major differences I missed. From what I understand what the Ultra has over the Pro WiFi is a third NVME socket (though using it halves the bandwidth to the last PCIe port), a Serial port header, and a POST code display.... and that's about it? I don't really care about the third NVME or the Serial header, the only thing I would miss is the POST code display as that can be useful in diagnosing POST problems. (I wish it had on-board power and reset buttons too like my current board has, also useful for testing without plugging it into a case first, but only the Master apparently has that).

So is that really the only difference between the Pro WiFi and Ultra for $70 more? If so, paying $70 just for wanting the POST display would likely not be worth it. Any other opinions on replacing the 3770K/Asus p8z77-v Deluxe with a 9700K/Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Pro Wifi? The Pro Wifi, Ultra, and Master all seem to have a similar setup and placement of PCIe ports as my current board too, since another worry was if I would be able to fit all of my cards in there, especially since my cooler would block the top PCIe X1 port on that board.