Software & Firmware
The Z370 Aorus Gaming 5’s software suite is the same one we gave we talked about in our Gaming 7 review. App Center remains the launch point for interesting Gigabyte utilities including RGB Fusion and Easy Tune. The Gaming 5 even includes the Gaming 7’s Creative SoundBlasterX 720° audio suite.
The Z370 Aorus Gaming 5’s five lighting zones can be changed individually, but the software doesn’t support color chase or wave modes for onboard LEDs. As for Easy Tune, its automatic algorithm pushed our CPU to 4.9 GHz at around 1.42V, where it promptly thermal throttled under Prime95. Manual tuning works only after clearing auto-tune settings or else the program will lock the OS upon using its “apply” button. After rebooting to load firmware defaults, we restarted Easy Tune and played with clocks and voltage to our heart’s content.
Z370 Aorus Gaming 5 firmware uses its Classic GUI by default, which has popups on the right and bottom to show basic stats and interface options. Its M.I.T. menu is a launch point for submenus that contain most of the settings overclockers need to perform their tuning wizardry.
Among the CPU overclocking menus are a few quick setting configurations that include 4.8 GHz at 1.26 through 1.33V (1.30V fully loaded), 4.9 GHz at 1.26 through 1.36V (1.30V fully loaded), at 5.0 GHz at 1.27 through 1.38V (1.32V fully loaded). Given that the 4.8 GHz setting kept our CPU at 1.30V under load, we used it to reach our CPU’s nominal 4848 MHz limit by simply increasing its BCLK to 101 MHz.
Our memory also supported that 101 MHz BCLK, even when using the board’s DDR4-4000 setting at XMP-stock 18-19-19-39 timings. The resulting 4040 MHz data rate is a free 4.5% performance gain for this DDR4-3866 kit.
Gigabyte’s voltage settings are spread across so many submenus that we combine a few screenshots for brevity. The first of these is “Advanced Power Settings”, which includes the Load Line Calibration settings that increase baseline voltage under load to offset the drop that happens as the circuit is loaded.
We found that the “High” VCore Loadline Calibration setting, when combined with the Turbo AC/DC Load Line setting, kept the CPU core voltage of our Core i7-8700K stable at 1.30V and 4848 MHz while running 12 threads of Prime95 small-FFTs.
Our meter showed 1.352V at the memory slot when using the Z370 Aorus Gaming 5’s 1.340V setting. It’s important for us to maintain as much voltage consistency as we can when comparing memory overclocking capability, as most manufacturers add a little extra to get ahead of competitors. Unfortunately, the Z370 Aorus Gaming 5 also misreports a far lower voltage than the one we’ve manually discovered.
All eight fan headers can be switched from PWM to voltage mode as needed, or left to detect the appropriate mode on their own. Users can select from one of the factory speed profiles, or define their own. And one of those headers is even specified to support up to 3A loads.
A simplified version of RGB Fusion is found on the firmware GUI’s “Peripherals” menu, where users who don’t need as many settings can make lighting scheme changes without the need for additional software.
Switching to “Easy Mode” from the lower screen popup of Classic Mode gets users to a safe place where they can’t overclock, but can still enable auto-overclocking, XMP mode for faster memory, alter boot order, and access the “Smart Fan 5” menu described previously. Unfortunately, the overclocking profile chosen by firmware was designed for a Core i3-8350K operating at only 4.20 GHz.
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