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Gigabyte’s Aorus Master BIOS is much like the previous generation and matches the Aorus Pro we reviewed previously. It starts in an informational EZ Mode that displays system information with limited functionality. You can enable XMP profiles from here, access Smart Fan 6 for fan control, Q-Flash, or the Advanced Mode.
When working in the Advanced portion of the BIOS, major headers are listed across the top, with sub-headings below. Everything is easy to find, but many common functions for overclocking are located in separate sections, so you have to bounce around a bit compared to other BIOS layouts. I still wish the company would enable page up/down functionality, but the BIOS is easy to read and it’s not too hard find what you’re looking for outside of that.
On the software side of things, Gigabyte’s primary tool is the App Center. This application is a central repository for all its applications, Windows settings, and other third-party software. Simply download the applications you want, install them, and an icon shows up on the screen. We installed @BIOS (BIOS flashing utility), Easy Tune (overclocking/system tweaking), RGB Fusion 2.0 (to control RGB lighting) and last but not least, SIV (for monitoring). The Gigabyte website has many other helpful applications, including USB charging, LAN, and more that aren’t covered here. Overall, I like App Center’s small footprint and found its tools helpful.
Test System / Comparison Products
As of October 2021, we’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied. We kept the same Asus TUF RTX 3070 video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver to version 496.13. Additionally, our game selection was updated, as noted in the table below. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted. The hardware used is as follows:
Test System Components
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12900K|
|Memory||Kingston Fury DDR5 5200 CL40 (9KF552C40BBK2-32)|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||GSkill Trident Z DDR5 5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)|
|CPU||Asus TUF RTX 3070|
|Cooling||MSI MEG Coreliquid S360|
|PSU||EVGA Supernova 850W P6|
|Software||Windows 11 64-bit (21H2, Build 22000.282)|
|Graphics Driver||NVIDIA Driver 496.13|
|Sound||Integrated HD audio|
|Network||Integrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)|
EVGA supplied our Supernova 850W P6 power supply (appropriately sized and more efficient than the outgoing 1.2KW monster we used) for our test systems, and GSkill sent us a fast and good-looking DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for launch day testing. MSI and Asus also sent launch day kits.
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings||Row 0 - Cell 1|
|Procyon||Version 2.0.249 64|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Office Suite, Video Editing (Premiere Pro), Photo Editing (Photoshop, Lightroom Classic)|
|3DMark||Version 2.20.7290 64|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets|
|Cinebench R23||Version RBBENCHMARK330542|
|Row 6 - Cell 0||Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||Full benchmark (all six sub-tests)|
|Application Tests and Settings||Row 9 - Cell 1|
|LAME MP3||Version SSE2_2019|
|Row 11 - Cell 0||Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)|
|HandBrake CLI||Version: 1.2.2|
|Row 13 - Cell 0||Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)|
|Corona 1.4||Version 1.4|
|Row 15 - Cell 0||Custom benchmark|
|Row 17 - Cell 0||Integrated benchmark (Command Line)|
|Game Tests and Settings||Row 18 - Cell 1|
|Far Cry 6||Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON|
|F1 2021||Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HBAO+, RT Med, TAA + 16xAF, Bahrain, FPS Counter ON|
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Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.
I can't believe $470 is considered "upper mid-range". Still seems INSANELY high end price to me. If $500 for a motherboard is mid range, it's time to move to laptops.Reply
Would have been nice to have seen the exposed M.2 sockets.Reply
> "Upper Mid-range pricing ($469.99)"Reply
I vehemently reject your framing of the pricing this way. I don't know if manufacturers are pressuring publications to use the 'framing effect' or similar cognitive bias to steer consumers towards thinking they need to spend this much (and thus buying their higher margin products), but I think I am far from alone in rejecting this premise.
I'm sure much of the cost can be justified by the major factors that are well known (high inflation and its causes, new tech cost, etc.), but in the end I think the framing is still manipulative and the price far too high.
A $470 motherboard is firmly in the high end segment. The market speak used in the intro to convey this as "upper mid range" is disgustingReply
CPU prices are stable and performance is increasing but motherboard pricing is going crazy. Why?Reply
An article on the drivers of these insane price increases would be interesting to me.
None of the boards make sense for a i5-12600k.
Typo in the specs table; the board uses DDR5 not DDR4. Gave me a pause when I saw a $470 board using DDR4.Reply