Gigabyte’s App Center is a central launch point for most of the firm’s included software, with added functionality including a few shortcuts to Windows settings and a software downloader with updater. When using the updater, be careful to assure that any unwanted freeware is manually deselected.
Gigabyte @BIOS allows users to update or save firmware from within Windows, and even includes a utility to change the board’s boot-up splash screen.
Gigabyte EasyTune worked well for changing clocks and voltage levels, but its automatic overclocking program only pushed our 3970X to 4.0GHz at 1.38V. We can do better manually.
Clicking the little heart monitor icon in the lower-right corner of EasyTune brings up a Hardware Monitor menu on the right edge of the screen. We split that and put the halves side-by-side so it would fit into this image box.
Hardware Monitor is part of Gigabyte’s System Information Viewer, so that clicking its return icon brings us here rather than back to EasyTune. After running a fan optimization test upon first use, users can choose a fan profile, configure their own, set system alarm levels, and log many of the stats displayed in Hardware Monitor.
Gigabyte RGB Fusion lighting control software worked with its board, our memory, and our graphics card, for the most part. While many of the settings operated synchronously between all components, the program could not address wave (rainbow wave) mode on our DRAM unless we set these items asynchronously, and reverted to the former synchronous setting (or turned memory LEDs off) when we switched from the memory menu to another menu with memory set to “default” (rainbow wave). That still leaves a bunch of non-wave lighting patterns to choose from.
TRX40 Aorus Xtreme firmware defaults to its Easy Mode interface, but remembers the chosen UI from which the user last saved so that if you leave from Advanced Mode, you’ll return to Advanced Mode.
The Tweaker menu from advanced mode let us set a stable 4.20 GHz CPU clock at 1.35V under load, but the way we got there was a little convoluted: After first setting “High” VCore Loadline Calibration within the CPU/VRM Settings of Advanced Voltage Settings, we gradually dropped the CPU VCore setting from 1.35V to 1.325V until it no longer overshot our desired voltage.
The reason we didn’t try a lower VCore Loadline Calibration setting is that every time we adjusted the Loadline or CPU multiplier, the board would reset CPU voltage to stock. And, it wouldn’t show that change in settings, so we were left guessing, reconfiguring it, and rechecking it at the next boot.
The TRX40 Aorus Xtreme has a complete set of primary and secondary memory timings to play with, along with advanced controls and even a menu that displays SPD and XMP configurations. We reached DDR4-4200 at 1.352-1.354V on our voltmeter, though getting there required us to set 1.34V within the Tweaker menu and it was displayed as 1.356V by firmware.
The generically named Settings menu includes a very limited PC Health page plus Smart Fan 5 settings. Having said that, the Smart Fan 5 popup can be accessed from any menu simply by pressing the keyboard’s F6 function. Six of the fan’s headers can be controlled independently here, using the tuner’s choice of PWM or voltage-based RPM control.
The System Info tab includes a Plug in Devices menus that shows the location of each detected device, and a Q-Flash menu for updating firmware. Checking the status of devices here can help one determine whether a device that dropped out of windows did so due to a Windows fault, or a hardware fault.
|Frequency and Voltage settings||Gigabyte TRX40 Aorus Xtreme||Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme||MSI Creator TRX40|
|BIOS||F3 (01/20/20120)||0602 (11/18/2019)||1.10 (11/18/2019)|
|Reference Clock||80-200 MHz (10 kHz)||40-300 MHz (0.2 MHz)||80-200 MHz (50 kHz)|
|CPU Multiplier||8-64x (0.25x)||22-64x (0.25x)||8-64x (0.25x)|
|DRAM Data Rates||1333-2666/5000/6000 (266/66/100 MHz)||1333-2666/5000/6000 (267/66/100 MHz)||1600-2666/5000/6000 (267/66/100 MHz)|
|CPU Voltage||0.75-1.80V (6.25 mV)||0.75-1.70V (6.25 mV)||0.90-2.10V (12.5 mV)|
|CPU SOC||0.75-1.80V (6.25 mV)||0.70-1.50V (6.25 mV)||0.90-1.55V (12.5 mV)|
|VDDP||0.70-9.998V (10mV)||0.70-V (1 mV)||-|
|DRAM Voltage||1.00-2.00V (10 mV)||0.50-2.15V (10 mV)||0.80-2.10V (10 mV)|
|DDR VTT||0.375-0.833V (4 mV)||Offset -600 to +600 mV (10mV)||Offset -600 to +600 mV (10mV)|
|Chipset 1.05V||0.80-1.50V (20mV)||0.70-1.40V (6.25 mV)||0.85-1.50V (10 mV)|
|CAS Latency||8-33 Cycles||5-33 Cycles||8-33 Cycles|
|tRCDRD/RDCWR||8-27 Cycles||8-27 Cycles||8-27 Cycles|
|tRP||8-27 Cycles||8-27 Cycles||8-27 Cycles|
|tRAS||21-58 Cycles||8-58 Cycles||21-58 Cycles|
Gigabyte’s TRX40 Aorus Xtreme takes on the top contenders from previous reviews, which include the $850 ROG Zenith II Extreme from Asus, MSI’s $700 Creator TRX40, and ASRock’s TRX40 Taichi. Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G, Toshiba’s OCZ RD400 and G.Skill’s Trident-Z DDR4-3600 feed AM’s Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. Alphacool’s Eisbecher D5 pump/reservoir and NexXxoS UT60 X-flow radiator cool the CPU through Swiftech’s SKF TR4 Heirloom.
The TRX40 Aorus Xtreme achieved a solid overclock for both our CPU and DRAM, but still came up a little shy compared to the ROG Zenith II Extreme. Memory data rate showed the largest difference, but only at a mere 66 MHz.
Gigabyte didn’t need that extra 66 MHz of data rate to rule the ROG Zenith II Extreme in memory bandwidth, and we might even be willing to recommend the board to overclockers had it not reset our CPU voltage every time we changed the CPU multiplier.
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