LAS VEGAS, NV -- We spotted Gigabyte's new AORUS X470 Gaming 7 WiFi motherboard here at CES 2018. These new motherboards will debut in the April timeframe alongside AMD's new Zen+ 2000-series desktop APUs. As promised, AMD will continue to support the AM4 platform until 2020. That means that the new 12nm Zen+ processors will drop into both 300- and 400-series motherboards and the first-generation Ryzen processors are also cross-compatible.
AMD's Ryzen processors, which offered more cores for lower prices, took the enthusiast market by storm last year, but AMD's 300-Series chipsets were one of the biggest attractions. Motherboards armed with the capable chipset are less expensive than the Intel alternatives, and as part of AMD's standard value proposition, support overclocking at every price point.
Now AMD has new 12nm Zen+ processors headed to market with the new X470 chipset in tow. AMD has made a host of improvements to the forthcoming 400-series motherboards, which will be less expensive than the 300-Series models and also have lower power consumption, improved memory performance, and better power delivery.
The X470 motherboards should support up to DDR4-4000 after overclocking, which is a solid improvement over the 300-Series motherboards. AMD's Ryzen processors benefit greatly from increased memory frequencies because the Infinity Fabric runs at the same speed as the system memory. That boosts performance in memory-sensitive applications, like gaming.
The 6-layer Aorus Gaming is the first 7-Series AMD motherboard from Gigabyte, so it comes outfitted with the premium features we expect from a high-end motherboard. Gigabyte cools the beefy 10+2 power phase with a 6mm copper heatpipe that makes direct contact with both sides of the VRM layout. Gigabyte bulked up the cooling solution with efficient aluminum fins over the VRMs. The fins also have another advantage: AMD's bundled heatsinks blow down on the motherboard, so the fin alignment should catch some of the extra airflow. The board features both 8-pin and 4-pin ATX power connectors.
We're told the chipset is similar to X370. One M.2 slot connects directly to the CPU while the other hangs off the chipset. Both M.2 slots also feature hefty black heatsinks, but one supports up to the M.2 22110 form factor while the other is M.2 2280. We also see the switches for the single/dual BIOS and a debug LED. Gigabyte also tells us the board features an external clock generator.
The three full-length x16 slots are electrically PCIe 3.0 x16, x8, and x4. There are also two x1 slots. The board comes with RGB lighting around the PCIe and DIMM slots, chipset heatsink, the front edge of the motherboard, and the shroud that covers the voltage regulators and rear I/O panel.
The rear I/O shroud houses six USB 3.0, one USB 3.1 Type-A, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. We also see the standard 3.5mm and optical audio outs and an RJ45 Ethernet port. There are also connectors for the integrated 2x2 WiFi alongside the rear power and clear CMOS buttons.
X470 motherboards feature the same socket as 300-Series motherboards. The chipset is also similar, so there shouldn't be the same rapid-fire BIOS updates we encountered after the initial Ryzen launch. AMD tells us to expect X470 motherboards to arrive with the 2000-Series Ryzen processors in April.