Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 ‘Coffee Lake’ Motherboard Review

How We Test

This is the second motherboard in our Z370 review series, and we’re including the data for two of the Core i7-8700K’s predecessors in addition to the previously-reviewed MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming. Those predecessors are the four-core Core i7-7700K that the six-core Core i7-8700K replaces, and the six-core Core i7-7800X that features additional PCIe lanes and DDR4 channels at a similar price.

SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 382.53

Back during the X299 launch, I upgraded my 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 Celsius S24’s fans sufficiently over each motherboard’s voltage regulator.

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613
Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0
Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21
CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write
128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMO
OpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8
Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
Blender Version 2.68a
BMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02
THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144
PCMark driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64
PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64
PCMark driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)
PCMark driven routine
Game Tests and Settings
Ashes of SingularityVersion 1.31.21360
High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAA
Crazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, Rain
Medium Preset, No AF
xUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64
High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AF
Very High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252
Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF
Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF

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22 comments
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  • karma77police
    The best Z370 motherboard out there is ASRock Extreme 4 for $159.
  • AgentLozen
    But does it have LED lighting?
  • KittenKisses
    Where are the asrock Z370 reviews?
  • AcesB
    >But does it have LED lighting?
    LOL!
    I'm still wondering why there so many people obsessed with LED decoration. Some PC is fancier than a Christmas tree! It's a good time to be an LED manufacturer or just sell it.
  • Lucky_SLS
    Looking at the specs, I feel that the best bang for buck z370 is the Asus tuf plus gaming for 150 bucks.
  • mixacias63
    I need a motherboard that has Thunderbolt 3 within the motherboard. They removed that feature with upgrade. I don’t need the lights. I need Thunderbolt 3
  • hixbot
    I'm waiting Z370 mobo with 10GBE.
  • Mr5oh
    Not to mention the built in LEDs in everything never match each other which is very aggravating... Another thing I find aggravating is when they starting cutting out rear USB ports. My latest motherboard is a high end motherboard and it has multiple spots to hook up front USB ports, but how many cases really have more than 2 front USB ports. Not to mention who wants things plugged into the front of their case? Am I the only want who runs out of rear ports and find's USB hubs unreliable or slow, no matter what brand? D-link, Anker, (all powered hubs) doesn't seem to matter, either they put my devices to sleep and don't wake them when needed, or they don't successfully transfer files during large transfers.

    I haven't had enough USB ports since my Haswell build... (Currently using a GA-270X Gaming 7 Board and 7700K)
  • Crashman
    2571322 said:
    I need a motherboard that has Thunderbolt 3 within the motherboard. They removed that feature with upgrade. I don’t need the lights. I need Thunderbolt 3
    Best comment yet! I don't need Thunderbolt 3 but I can at least understand that as a legitimate need.
    33750 said:
    Not to mention the built in LEDs in everything never match each other which is very aggravating... Another thing I find aggravating is when they starting cutting out rear USB ports. My latest motherboard is a high end motherboard and it has multiple spots to hook up front USB ports, but how many cases really have more than 2 front USB ports. Not to mention who wants things plugged into the front of their case? Am I the only want who runs out of rear ports and find's USB hubs unreliable or slow, no matter what brand? D-link, Anker, (all powered hubs) doesn't seem to matter, either they put my devices to sleep and don't wake them when needed, or they don't successfully transfer files during large transfers. I haven't had enough USB ports since my Haswell build... (Currently using a GA-270X Gaming 7 Board and 7700K)

    We really need to ditch the notion that USB 2.0 should be removed from the I/O panel, since most people are using at least two such devices. Anyone who says "but USB 3.0 supports those devices too" is probably missing the point on resource allocation: USB 2.0 doesn't even require HSIO.
  • James Mason
    8708 said:
    2571322 said:
    I need a motherboard that has Thunderbolt 3 within the motherboard. They removed that feature with upgrade. I don’t need the lights. I need Thunderbolt 3
    Best comment yet! I don't need Thunderbolt 3 but I can at least understand that as a legitimate need.
    33750 said:
    Not to mention the built in LEDs in everything never match each other which is very aggravating... Another thing I find aggravating is when they starting cutting out rear USB ports. My latest motherboard is a high end motherboard and it has multiple spots to hook up front USB ports, but how many cases really have more than 2 front USB ports. Not to mention who wants things plugged into the front of their case? Am I the only want who runs out of rear ports and find's USB hubs unreliable or slow, no matter what brand? D-link, Anker, (all powered hubs) doesn't seem to matter, either they put my devices to sleep and don't wake them when needed, or they don't successfully transfer files during large transfers. I haven't had enough USB ports since my Haswell build... (Currently using a GA-270X Gaming 7 Board and 7700K)
    We really need to ditch the notion that USB 2.0 should be removed from the I/O panel, since most people are using at least two such devices. Anyone who says "but USB 3.0 supports those devices too" is probably missing the point on resource allocation: USB 2.0 doesn't even require HSIO.


    No way anyone needs thunderbolt-3 on a desktop PC.
    Thunderbolt 3 is two things, USB-C and Displayport 1.2 combined, with a 40GBps transfer speed.
    So unless you're plugging your Macbook pro into a dock connected to a 4k monitor or 2, you don't need Thunderbolt 3.
    The motherboard has a DP 1.2 port on it, and a USB C port.
    You DO NOT need both of those combined on a DESKTOP motherboard.
    AND no CPU/APU could provide that amount of graphical power anyways, so there's no reason for anything better to be on the mobo.
  • Crashman
    1536795 said:
    8708 said:
    2571322 said:
    I need a motherboard that has Thunderbolt 3 within the motherboard. They removed that feature with upgrade. I don’t need the lights. I need Thunderbolt 3
    Best comment yet! I don't need Thunderbolt 3 but I can at least understand that as a legitimate need.
    33750 said:
    Not to mention the built in LEDs in everything never match each other which is very aggravating... Another thing I find aggravating is when they starting cutting out rear USB ports. My latest motherboard is a high end motherboard and it has multiple spots to hook up front USB ports, but how many cases really have more than 2 front USB ports. Not to mention who wants things plugged into the front of their case? Am I the only want who runs out of rear ports and find's USB hubs unreliable or slow, no matter what brand? D-link, Anker, (all powered hubs) doesn't seem to matter, either they put my devices to sleep and don't wake them when needed, or they don't successfully transfer files during large transfers. I haven't had enough USB ports since my Haswell build... (Currently using a GA-270X Gaming 7 Board and 7700K)
    We really need to ditch the notion that USB 2.0 should be removed from the I/O panel, since most people are using at least two such devices. Anyone who says "but USB 3.0 supports those devices too" is probably missing the point on resource allocation: USB 2.0 doesn't even require HSIO.
    No way anyone needs thunderbolt-3 on a desktop PC. Thunderbolt 3 is two things, USB-C and Displayport 1.2 combined, with a 40GBps transfer speed. So unless you're plugging your Macbook pro into a dock connected to a 4k monitor or 2, you don't need Thunderbolt 3. The motherboard has a DP 1.2 port on it, and a USB C port. You DO NOT need both of those combined on a DESKTOP motherboard. AND no CPU/APU could provide that amount of graphical power anyways, so there's no reason for anything better to be on the mobo.
    Or maybe you found a Thunderbolt 3 external drive enclosure? Or maybe you want to daisy-chain your monitor and other external devices together. I'm not here to judge, if the man says he needs it his point will be considered valid until he says something that negates it.
  • jn77
    Yep, its 2017, not 1999. there should be 2 10GBE network ports on all motherboards and there should be at least 4 USB Type C connectors also.
  • gasaraki
    Pretty weak review. The Tech Report review was way more detailed on everything, like the VRMs etc. This review just has general info I can look up myself.
  • Crashman
    138134 said:
    Pretty weak review. The Tech Report review was way more detailed on everything, like the VRMs etc. This review just has general info I can look up myself.
    That's because I'd rather not say anything than write stuff that's being fed to me. We all know that different voltage regulator components for example have different capacities, and that having a 60A part and a 45A part in series limits the total ampacity to 45A. The kicker is, I'm the one who's not afraid to say that I can't always find the weakest link in a circuit: Many other "experts" will try to improve their credibility by speaking only about the parts they can see.

    What you'd really like to have is failure mode testing. You might not have thought of that yet, or maybe you have.
  • Darkbreeze
    Thomas, now that enough time has passed for some thorough testing on a variety of Z370 boards, can you comment as to whether you've noticed a trend on Z370 VRM temperatures as evidenced by this recent disclosure on the Aorus Ultra gaming? To your knowledge is this an issue across the entire Gigabyte Z370 family or only on this one board? Have you tested this board yourself yet and can you verify this IS in fact a problem?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjbzTHcaHO0
  • Crashman
    1696453 said:
    Thomas, now that enough time has passed for some thorough testing on a variety of Z370 boards, can you comment as to whether you've noticed a trend on Z370 VRM temperatures as evidenced by this recent disclosure on the Aorus Ultra gaming? To your knowledge is this an issue across the entire Gigabyte Z370 family or only on this one board? Have you tested this board yourself yet and can you verify this IS in fact a problem? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjbzTHcaHO0



    The next Gigabyte review to be published is Mini ITX so its results might not be as useful.
  • Darkbreeze
    So, it seems there IS a marked increase on VRM thermals with the Gigabyte boards than on competing Z370 motherboard brands. And looking at that it sure looks like there is a serious issue with the average temps on Z270 as well, for all brands. I was away for about a year, up in the mountains on a secluded jobsite doing reforestation so I may have missed that entire scenario.

    Was this true? Was there a serious problem with VRM overheating on the entire Z270 lineup? Can you comment (allowed) on your opinion as to whether this is still only an issue on Gigabyte boards, select Gigabyte boards or where does the truth lie on this? Please feel free to PM me if you are limited in what you can say here. Thanks.
  • Crashman
    1696453 said:
    So, it seems there IS a marked increase on VRM thermals with the Gigabyte boards than on competing Z370 motherboard brands. And looking at that it sure looks like there is a serious issue with the average temps on Z270 as well, for all brands. I was away for about a year, up in the mountains on a secluded jobsite doing reforestation so I may have missed that entire scenario. Was this true? Was there a serious problem with VRM overheating on the entire Z270 lineup? Can you comment (allowed) on your opinion as to whether this is still only an issue on Gigabyte boards, select Gigabyte boards or where does the truth lie on this? Please feel free to PM me if you are limited in what you can say here. Thanks.

    Z270 was a different game because we only had four-core CPUs. We're testing Z370 with 6-core. And you know how when you cross over a certain point things just seam to climb endlessly until they don't, like if you added an slice of pie every day to your lunch...

    Thus far it appears they're all running hot. We tested an MSI board that was far cooler, but its power consumption was also down by 40W, so we suspect it was being throttled when running Prime95 small-FFTs.
  • Darkbreeze
    That makes sense, but what doesn't is the fact that on that chart I'm seeing higher average VRM temperatures than even the Gigabyte Z370 board you looked at, despite the fact that it only had four cores instead of six. What's that saying? Was the problem that bad on Z270 and if so how come I'm not seeing that translated into the articles on Z270 I've been reading trying to play catch up on the platform changes I missed out on while I was out of touch so to speak.

    And does this ACTUALLY mean that in reality, even on the Z370 boards that are running 6 core chips, we're actually seeing LOWER overall average VRM temperatures than what was averaged on Z270 with four cores?
  • Crashman
    1696453 said:
    That makes sense, but what doesn't is the fact that on that chart I'm seeing higher average VRM temperatures than even the Gigabyte Z370 board you looked at, despite the fact that it only had four cores instead of six. What's that saying? Was the problem that bad on Z270 and if so how come I'm not seeing that translated into the articles on Z270 I've been reading trying to play catch up on the platform changes I missed out on while I was out of touch so to speak. And does this ACTUALLY mean that in reality, even on the Z370 boards that are running 6 core chips, we're actually seeing LOWER overall average VRM temperatures than what was averaged on Z270 with four cores?


    Voltages regulator temperatures can be impacted by undersized components (including the heatsink). Some boards did better than others. I'm seeing higher temperatures on average with the Z370 because I'm testing similar regulators (not much changed) with a six-core processor.
  • Darkbreeze
    Thank you Thomas for the information.