GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370 Gaming 5 Motherboard Review
- GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370 Gaming 5 Motherboard Features
- Closer Look
- Test Setup and Overclocking
- [Testing Method]
- Conclusion – TL:DR
GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370-Gaming 5 Motherboard Review. Today we examine what the GA-AX370-Gaming 5 can achieve, now after a look at a few X370 boards, the bar is already set very high, can this offering from GIGABYTE topple the rest?
Feature-wise, it’s packed to the brim, offering every storage option you can imagine, GIGABYTE has implemented many epic additions such as dual audio codecs, dual NIC’s and their legendary dual BIOS system.
RGB is available and can be expanded upon with strip lights direct from the board. USB connection types? It has them all….
Pricing of the GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370 Gaming 5 in the UK is £181.29 & US $ 194 99 (correct on day of review)
GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370 Gaming 5 Motherboard Features
- Supports AMD Ryzen™ & 7th Generation A-series/ Athlon™ Processors
- Dual Channel ECC/ Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
- Fast 4 USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-C™ and Type-A
- 2-Way CrossFire™/SLI™ Multi-Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable™ Design
- NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 U.2 Connector
- Ultra-Fast PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with PCIe NVMe & SATA mode support
- Creative® Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5 support
- Dual ALC 1220 with Front & Rear 120dB SNR HD Audio with Dual Smart Headphone Amps
- Killer™ E2500 Gaming Network + Intel® Gigabit LAN
- USB DAC-UP 2 & 4 Front USB 3.0 Ports with Adjustable Voltage
- RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show design
- Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
- Smart Fan 5 features 9 Temperature Sensors and 8 Hybrid Fan Headers
- 2 External Thermistors Headers with 2 Included Thermistors
- GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
- APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
Packaging is sleek and minimal. The front is dominated with an Aorus logo, with feature set listed below. On the reverse, we have a good breakdown of these, in clear and easy to digest text
The Bundle is decent, you’ll find additional wires for the RGB headers, Quick connectors for the chassis and SLI bridge.
We start our tour with a top down view, to absorb what’s on offer. Look familiar? it ought to… as we’ve seen this style on the Z270 boards launches some months ago, and this sadly annoys some users. It shouldn’t…the idea is easy enough to understand, why segment or separate the AMD or Intel camp? It looks great on Z270, why shouldn’t AMD fans have the same?
A large white shrouding dominates the black PCB, while we’ve almost come to expect them on such boards, this implementation is sleek as hell. The board has a real sense of power and class.
Likewise, the X370 chipset is tamed with an over the top, and dramatic heatsink. Sporting the AORUS logo
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with all of the PCI Express x1 slots. The PCIEX4 slot operates at up to x4 mode when all of the PCI Express x1 slots are empty.
- 2 x Realtek® ALC1220 codecs
- Support for Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5
- High Definition Audio
- Support for S/PDIF Out
- 2 x SATA Express connectors
- 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
[M.2 / U.2]
- 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4*/x2 SSD support)
* Actual support may vary by CPU.
- 1 x U.2 connector
* When the U.2 connector is populated, the M.2 connector becomes unavailable.
[Other ports/ Features]
Along the motherboard base, you’ll find plenty of headers and the actual placement of everything is neat and well thought out.
Finishing up our tour of the board, looking at the I/O which consists of:
- 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
- 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
- 1 x U.2 connector
- 1 x M.2 Socket 3 connector
- 2 x SATA Express connectors
- 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- 1 x CPU fan header
- 1 x water cooling CPU fan header
- 4 x system fan headers
- 2 x system fan/water cooling pump headers
- 1 x front panel header
- 1 x front panel audio header
- 1 x S/PDIF Out header
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 headers
- 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
- 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
- 1 x CPU cooler LED strip/RGB LED strip extension cable header
- 1 x RGB (RGBW) LED strip extension cable header
- 2 x temperature sensor headers
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
- 1 x power button
- 1 x reset button
- 1 x Clear CMOS button
- 1 x OC button
- 2 x BIOS switches
- 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
- 1 x HDMI port
- 1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
- 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red)
- 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
- 2 x RJ-45 ports
- 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
- 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
Test Setup and Overclocking
Proudly Powered by our Dimastech Mini V1.0 Test Bench
|AMD Ryzen 7 1800X|
|Memory:||16GB Kingston Kingston Predator 16GB DDR4 PC4-24000C15 3200MHz Quad Channel Kit|
|Video Card:||GTX 1080|
|PSU:||Bitfenix Fury 750G|
|Hard Drives:||SSD – Crucial M550 |
M.2 – Kingston M.2 HyperX Predator 240GB
|OS:||Windows 10 X64|
A quick note on DDR4 frequency, launch reviews showed some issue with 2966 and above, on this product and many others. Without has been addressed, and in time will mature further and perform better
We’ve spent the last few years taking for granted, the simple overclocking that intel allows with K series processors.
Now on Ryzen, With XFR in the mix, is it worth it and is it easy? The short in is yes
For this test, we use a simple approach and maxed the vcore, and aimed for the best speed. Our CPU peaked at 4.0Ghz on all cores, which seems to be fairly common.
Exactly what we achieved on the flagship motherboard, from ASUS and MSI, with the latter retailing for a fair bit more!
Our test method uses a large variety of software to determine the results and product award. For your viewing, these are broken down into the following categories
- General System
- CPU & Memory
- Storage & USB
- Audio &Networking
We start with a broader view of general system performance and then break it down, as we delve deeper with sub testing, where we can examine key areas.
PC Mark 8
PCMark 8 from Futuremark. PCMark 8 is designed to test the performance of all types of PC, from tablets to desktops. With five separate benchmark tests plus battery life testing, PCMark 8 helps you find the devices that offer the perfect combination of efficiency and performance. It’s the complete PC benchmark for home and business.
The first test we run is PCMark 8, as we’re also able to gauge an all-around score. This test is heavily affected by all internal components rather than focusing on just one.
Impressive start for the board establishing itself right on the heels of a flagship product.
Keep in mind these scores are listed in minutes, with literally no difference between the higher end AM4 X370 boards, but another solid result.
Cinebench is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.
Cinenbench really shows the strength of the Ryzen architecture and its mass amount of processing power
Not quite what we expected, but upon closer inspection the difference on AM4, @ 3000Mhz is tiny.
Its been no secret, many publications have reported lower than anticipated 1080P results, and our finding echoes exactly that. AMD has since published, with time for changes to roll out, enchantments to compilers and software to catch up; these numbers will improve across the board.
I’d suggest following AMD on social media; they’ve recently announced and shown, clear gains in some titles (since launch) on their blogs in the form of community updates.
We are confident in time this will translate across other titles, and the gap will close between them and Intel.
Fantastic performance, matching the flagship scores from ASUS and MSI
[GAMING 1440P /AKA 2K]
Once we increase to 1440P the gap narrows this is where Ryzen begins to shine
Very strong scores on AM4, with the Gaming 5 again just missing the top spot
Top of the charts in Write, but doesn’t manage to repeat the victory, in the read test. Once again the difference is almost nothing
We don’t have any USB 3.1 (Gen2 ) devices at the time of testing, so will be focusing on 3.0/3.1 only. Be sure to understand the actual difference between USB 3.0/3.1 Gen 1 & Gen 2. As it’s something that not all brands have explained clearly.To measure speeds we use AS-SSD, with an SSD inside a USB 3.0 Caddy from Startech
The Kingston SSD has a theoretical limit of 499MB/s Write, when hooked up internally to an SATA 6GB/s port. Overheads and such we accept that some degradation occurs when used over USB 3.0/3.1
The AM4 platform has had upgrades in all areas, including USB and the numbers speak for themselves
Using the inbuilt network test for Performance test 8. The method is to install the software on two machines, that are on the same network.
One acts as a client and the other as a server, a designated amount of data is sent across and then the min, Avg, and max transfer speeds are outputted.
GIGABYTE have installed dual NIC’s sadly one is from Killer. While the difference between Killer and Intel NIC’S aren’t massively significant, we’ve found the latter to the best all rounder. We tested the Intel port, and it performed great
We use RightMark Audio Analyzer, connecting “Line out” to “Line in” with a 3.5mm cable.
|Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB|| |
|Noise level, dB (A)|| |
|Dynamic range, dB (A)|| |
|THD, %|| |
|THD + Noise, dB (A)|| |
|IMD + Noise, %|| |
|Stereo crosstalk, dB|| |
|IMD at 10 kHz, %|| |
|General performance|| |
No comprised on audio, here in quality.excellent according to the Audio analyser The new codec delivers amazing audio.
Conclusion – TL:DR
So then conclusion time, The gap between Intel and AMD, has been too wide, for too long. I’m not just talking raw performance, but visually, and of course feature wise too. The AM3 platform was way past its retirement date. It’s a fantastic time to be an AMD fan once again. The boards from GIGABYTE are beautiful, and this model, in particular, will surely please the masses. It ticks all the boxes for me, in the visual department with a super clean PCB, crisp shrouding and a practical lighting solution.
Visually, you either care, or you don’t, but GIGABYTE has taken no chances here, with a minimal but yet bold design. I find no single area for change or improvements. Features here are near identical to the flagship boards from the other brands. But this is a good 50-60 pounds less. Unless you plan to do some serious LN2/benchamrking runs, this is the logical choice for a higher end AM4 system.
The performance was solid, again no weak areas to mention. Great numbers in all subtests, while this board and many others had a wobbly start, as I’ve talked about in another review, DDR4 has since been addressed. GIGABYTE and AMD are actively working to improve DDR4 frequency, and stability at the top end. With out digressing too much, its out of their hands, and solely down to AMD to iron out the bugs. We had no issue benchmarking at 3000Mhz
The amount of x370 boards at launch, was/is fantastic, but does put the consumer in a tough spot when it comes to making a choice. If you want a feature rich board, with stunning visuals, and without the top tiered pricing seen elsewhere, the GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370-Gaming 5 is the perfect choice
Thanks to GIGABYTE for sending out the sample for this review.