Test Setup, BIOS & Overclocking
Along with the review sample, Gigabyte sent out a PR kit to further enhance our test experience and add some more comparison data to our X370 review series. The biggest addition to the test bench is a Corsair H110i all-in-one cooling solution. This 280mm radiator solution uses the Corsair Link software to program the LED, fan speed, and pump rate while monitoring various sensors available to the interface.
Gigabyte also teamed up with HyperX to send two Predator 2x8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM kits. This single rank SK Hynix DRAM has been reported to hit 3200MHz on this particular motherboard model, so we look forward to seeing what our Ryzen sample can drive.
Test System Configuration
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings|
|PCMark 8||Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe)|
|SiSoftware Sandra||Version 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, CryptographyMemory Bandwidth|
|DiskSPD||4k Random Read, 4k Random Write128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write|
|Cinebench R15||Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark|
|CompuBench||Version 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing|
|3D Tests and Settings|
|3DMark 13||Version 4.47.597.0Test Set 1: Skydiver, 1920x1080, Default PresetTest Set 2: Firestrike, 1920x1080, Default PresetTest Set 3: Firestrike Extreme, 2560x1440 Default Preset|
|Application Tests and Settings|
|HandBrake CLI||Version: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4|
|LAME MP3||Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)|
|Adobe After Effects CC||Release 2015.3.0Version 18.104.22.168PCMark driven routine|
|Adobe Photoshop CC||Release 2015.5.020160603.r.88 x64PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)|
|Adobe InDesign CC||Release 2015.4Build 22.214.171.124 x64PCMark driven routine|
|Adobe Illustrator||Release 2015.3.0Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark driven routine|
|Blender||Version 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render BenchmarkBMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark|
|7-Zip||Version 16.02THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"|
|Game Tests and Settings|
|Ashes of Singularity||Version 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAAHigh Preset - 3460x1920 Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 3460x1920, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA|
|F1 2015||1920x1080, 2015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainUltraHigh Preset, 16x AF3460x1920, 2015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainUltraHigh Preset, 16x AF|
|Metro Last Light Redux||Version 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High TesselationVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High TesselationHigh Quality, 3460x1920, High TesselationVery High Quality, 3460x1920, Very High Tesselation|
|The Talos Principle||Version 2672521920x1080, Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF1920x1080, Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF3460x1920, Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF3460x1920, Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF|
The “Tumbler” is still our enclosed test rig, hosting our GTX 970 GPU, OCZ RD400 M.2 drive, Corsair AX860 PSU, and various other drives. The Noctua heatsinks are taking a short break, but rest assured they’ll get their chance to go up against the H110i.
BIOS And Overclocking
I've preferred Gigabyte’s more traditional BIOS façade in previous reviews. Plain text in a logical arrangement gets my computer mojo going. This AX-370-Gaming 5 UEFI takes that same approach and tacks on a 90s futuristic motif in an attempt to modernize the interface.
Although we do appreciate the text based feel and the removal of the super-low-level Zen, the lack of descriptions, prompts for +/-, or menu selections make this UEFI pretty confusing. If Gigabyte would have provided a text overlay describing the selection methods and moved away from the 1024x768 window we'd have been much more thrilled (though that could be because I use DisplayPort).
In our attempt at overclocking memory, we are once again battling against early release UEFIs and stability issues. With the first attempt, these HyperX Predator DIMMs do not want to run anywhere above DDR4-2400MHz. Browsing to the Gigabyte support page, UEFI version F5d boasts “improve DDR compatibility,” so we download that and give it a whirl. Again, neither of the XMP SPD settings work and manually adjusting various frequencies and timings fails to improve the situation. We contacted HyperX directly and the company confirmed that this kit could hit 3200MHz on the F4 version of the UEFI. Abandoning the “improve DDR compatibility” version did in fact enable us to get to the XMP Profile2 at DDR4-2933MHz, but 3200MHz was unachievable. Our guess: this Ryzen sample just can’t play with the big boys in the overclocking department. Upon further inspection, it turns out the Gigabyte download link pointed us to release F3n, and that’s not confusing at all (/sarcasm).
Our Ryzen overclocking approach from previous reviews still applies, but with the improved cooling solution we expect to hit something higher than 3850MHz! As usual, increasing the clock multiplier to 38 results in a comfortable system setting in terms of stability and temperature. The Gigabyte AX-370-Gaming 5 lets us increase clock rates in 25MHz increments, so increasing three clicks to 3875MHz lets us launch Prime95 and run for about 10 minutes before dropping to the black screen. Increasing voltages to 1.375V lets the system run for another 30 minutes, so we make the jump to 3900MHz. Disappointment follows success when our screen goes black after an hour. Increasing the loadline setting to High, we gain 30 minutes, but still Prime95 bests our components and cooling solution. After more tinkering with settings to get 3900MHz to stabilize, the 38.75MHz multiplier is the only point at which the overclock would run overnight without fault.
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