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Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 5 Review: Big Flash, Medium Cash

How We Test

We've now tested so many Z370 boards that we're able to focus on specific market niches, such as $200-$220 ATX boards with onboard Wi-Fi. We're treating the ASRock Taichi as one of these in spite of its $226 price, simply because it's such a close match in features.The subject of today's review, Gigabyte's Z370 Aorus Gaming 5, comes in at $200.

SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 382.53

Back during the Intel X299 launch, we upgraded our test bed to handle the tremendous heat produced by the Core i9-7900X. Our award-winning Fractal Design S24 liquid cooler system sample serves the same purpose for the newer, lower-heat Core i7-8700K. Cooler Master’s HAF-XB provides an optimal layout to blow the S24’s fans sufficiently over each motherboard’s voltage regulator.

Comparison Products

All four competing boards have a broader range of overclocking settings than any production hardware can realistically use, which should lead us into a highly competitive overclocking race!

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks & Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4K Random Read, 4K Random Write128K Sequential Read, 128K Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests & Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144PCMark-driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0, 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark-driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64PCMark-driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark-driven routine
Game Tests & Settings
Ashes of the SingularityVersion 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1080, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainMedium Preset, No AFUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, Very High Quality, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF

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  • jaber2
    I don't know what to do with the third M2 slot
    Reply
  • sp5618
    First-time PC builder does this board have a thunderbolt 3rd generation 40 MB? If not what motherboards in the ATX form factor Have it? Thank you
    Reply
  • Crashman
    20951510 said:
    I don't know what to do with the third M2 slot
    Leave it empty?

    20951647 said:
    First-time PC builder does this board have a thunderbolt 3rd generation 40 MB? If not what motherboards in the ATX form factor Have it? Thank you
    Chipset limitations are butting up against the desire to extend M.2 support: These companies want a third x16 slot with four lanes, and at least two NVMe M.2 slots, but that combination uses 12 of the 30 HSIO ports. Gigabyte added another NVMe M.2 slot that kills off a couple SATA lanes when its being used, I guess they could have just left off that M.2 slot, knocked the SATA port count down to four, and included a fully-utilized Thunderbolt controller instead.

    Nearly all of these boards are designed to host a Thunderbolt add-in card in the four-lane slot, but most of those slots require you to sacrifice some other interface. Look for the Thunderbolt add-in-card header.

    On the other hand, Mini ITX has fewer slots, and several of those boards have Thunderbolt controllers to use up some of the leftover HSIO.

    Reply
  • Soda-88
    1 inductor does not equal 1 phase
    Reply
  • Crashman
    20951814 said:
    1 inductor does not equal 1 phase
    I realize that Gigabyte is using split-phase design. I've always hated counting phases because the number hasn't meant anything since companies came out with 24 low-amperage phases to compete with the six to twelve high-current phases of competitors back in the Core 2 days. I only include the easiest number because so many people don't understand what i just said.
    Reply
  • android_dev
    It's a 8+3 phase with the voltage controller being a true 4 phase on the CPU section doubled to 8 with additional mosfet drivers while the other 3 are for iGPU.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    20976842 said:
    It's a 8+3 phase with the voltage controller being a true 4 phase on the CPU section doubled to 8 with additional mosfet drivers while the other 3 are for iGPU.
    I thought the other three were for the entire system agent, including the memory controller :)
    Reply
  • android_dev
    20976876 said:
    20976842 said:
    It's a 8+3 phase with the voltage controller being a true 4 phase on the CPU section doubled to 8 with additional mosfet drivers while the other 3 are for iGPU.
    I thought the other three were for the entire system agent, including the memory controller :)

    It's another voltage controller that controls the memory VRM which is a Richtek RT8120. The CPU Core Voltage VRM uses an Intersil 95866 which is a true 4+3 phase which Gigabyte has doubled to 8+3 phase. System Agent and VCCIO use Richtek RT8120D which is 1 phase each.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    20976914 said:
    20976876 said:
    20976842 said:
    It's a 8+3 phase with the voltage controller being a true 4 phase on the CPU section doubled to 8 with additional mosfet drivers while the other 3 are for iGPU.
    I thought the other three were for the entire system agent, including the memory controller :)

    It's another voltage controller that controls the memory VRM which is a Richtek RT8120. The CPU Core Voltage VRM uses an Intersil 95866 which is a true 4+3 phase which Gigabyte has doubled to 8+3 phase. System Agent and VCCIO use Richtek RT8120D which is 1 phase each.
    I didn't mention the memory signal voltage controller, for which the components can usually be seen separated from the group of things for various CPU devices ;)
    As for the 4/8, I say split, you say doubled. But getting back to the original message, we were seeing 24+ voltage regulators on P35/P45 boards before someone else (I think MSI) came out with higher capacity parts on a 6-phase design that could do the same work at lower cost. Soon after we were frying 12 phase regulator components and not frying 8 phase components when doing the same thing, because the boards with the 12 phase regulators were using substandard parts. Then some companies put high-amp chokes on low-amp MOSFETs and I blew more boards.Then some companies put high-amp chokes AND MOSFETs on the same board and extreme overclockers blew traces surrounding the MOSFETs. Then some companies used a thicker copper layer on the PCB with higher amp parts and hollow EPS12V pins and I blew out the connector. We even had sockets without enough contact pressure on the pins blowing out. Because of this, the only way I can find the weak point is through testing. And because of that, I'm now treating "phase count" as a matter of trivia.

    Reply
  • android_dev
    20977076 said:
    20976914 said:
    20976876 said:
    20976842 said:
    It's a 8+3 phase with the voltage controller being a true 4 phase on the CPU section doubled to 8 with additional mosfet drivers while the other 3 are for iGPU.
    I thought the other three were for the entire system agent, including the memory controller :)

    It's another voltage controller that controls the memory VRM which is a Richtek RT8120. The CPU Core Voltage VRM uses an Intersil 95866 which is a true 4+3 phase which Gigabyte has doubled to 8+3 phase. System Agent and VCCIO use Richtek RT8120D which is 1 phase each.
    I didn't mention the memory signal voltage controller, for which the components can usually be seen separated from the group of things for various CPU devices ;)
    As for the 4/8, I say split, you say doubled. But getting back to the original message, we were seeing 24+ voltage regulators on P35/P45 boards before someone else (I think MSI) came out with higher capacity parts on a 6-phase design that could do the same work at lower cost. Soon after we were frying 12 phase regulator components and not frying 8 phase components when doing the same thing, because the boards with the 12 phase regulators were using substandard parts. Then some companies put high-amp chokes on low-amp MOSFETs and I blew more boards.Then some companies put high-amp chokes AND MOSFETs on the same board and extreme overclockers blew traces surrounding the MOSFETs. Then some companies used a thicker copper layer on the PCB with higher amp parts and hollow EPS12V pins and I blew out the connector. We even had sockets without enough contact pressure on the pins blowing out. Because of this, the only way I can find the weak point is through testing. And because of that, I'm now treating "phase count" as a matter of trivia.

    Hmm.. interesting, I was too young back then when you reviewed that stuff 10+ years ago now but yeah I read circuit analysis reviews of this motherboard and that's how I got the info for what I wrote above.
    Reply