Top positive review
Great motherboard. Linux compatible.
21 March 2019
I use Linux, specifically Ubuntu, as my only operating system. I recently built a new i9 9900K workstation and chose the Designare Z390 for the motherboard. I couldn't be happier with it!
First of all, everything (I care about) on the motherboard works with Ubuntu 18.04.2 and 18.10 which are the current LTS and interim releases at the time of writing. WiFi, both Ethernet ports, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt, Audio and the rest all work. No messing about required, and what we expect from modern Linux these days. What you are not able to do is configure the RGB on the motherboard, those tools do not exist for Linux (yet). Thankfully, I am not a fan of RGB and deliberately chose a motherboard that didn't light up like a Christmas tree ;-) The default lighting for the Designare Z390 is a subtle blue glow. About as tasteful as it gets.
I am a developer and routinely build large applications inside virtual machines and containers. So I/O and CPU performance are important to me. I love that both M.2 NVME slots are connected to CPU PCIe lanes and the GPU still has 16 CPU connected PCIe lanes available. This configuration does reduce the usable SATA ports on the motherboard to 3 from 6 however. I appreciate the inclusion of decent heat shields for both the M.2 slots.
The Designare Z390 does offer some overclocking features in the BIOS but not everything that something like the Z390 Aorus Master offers. That said, I have managed to achieve a permanent all core CPU overclock of 5.1Ghz thanks to the excellent VRMs (power delivery) on this motherboard. I have Thunderbolt enclosures, so being able to use those with this motherboard is also great.
I've currently got 64GB RAM (16GB DDR43200 x4) installed. The XMP profile was correctly picked up, after selecting it in the BIOS, and I even have the memory on a permanent DDR4 3600 overclock, I couldn't go higher than that though. Since buying the motherboard in January a BIOS update has been released that adds support for 32GB DIMMS, meaning it is now possible to support 128GB RAM on this motherboard.
The Designare Z390 is at the heart of an all-round performance workstation which meets my demands as a developer, content creator and sometime gamer.