Gigabyte Aorus Gam­ing 7


PC & Tech Authority - - REVIEWS -

T he fi­nal board to hit our test bench also proved to be the most ex­pen­sive. We’re sure Gigabyte will have cheaper oer­ings in the fu­ture, but we were quite sur­prised that this was the most aord­able board they had at the time of the roundup, at 50% higher price than the Asus board. But just be­cause it’s vastly more ex­pen­sive doesn’t al­ways means this is a thor­ough­bred.

Aorus has re­ally gone to town with the RGB light­ing on this board, with the me­mory mod­ules, PCIe lanes, I/O cover and bot­tom heat­spreader all lit up like a Christ­mas tree. It calls its light­ing so­lu­tion ‘RGB Fu­sion’, and is com­pat­i­ble with most RGB prod­ucts on the mar­ket. If you’re look­ing for bling, look no fur­ther.

Con­sid­er­ing this is a stan­dard ATX board, Aorus has crammed an aw­ful lot of PCIe x16 lanes onto it – a to­tal of five in fact, all steel re­in­forced. The price for this is that there are no other PCIe lanes, but you can still run a PCIe x4 prod­uct in a PCIe x16 lane. There are three M.2 slots, but only one comes with a heat spreader.

Given the high price, we ex­pected to see more than the de­fault eight SATA 3 slots. Over­clock­ers will make use of the on-board power, re­set, OC mode and ECO mode but­tons, but we had ma­jor is­sues get­ting over­clock­ing to work with the in­cluded soft­ware, EZTune. It only al­lows a max­i­mum speed of 4.7GHz, but even when we set this, the board stuck at 4.34GHz max­i­mum dur­ing our stress tests. Once again it seems Turbo Boost Max 3.0 isn’t work­ing cor­rectly with this board yet, as it should at least hit 4.5GHz au­to­mat­i­cally. Speak­ing of which, we tried to re­in­stall the spe­cial TBM3.0 driv­ers on each and ev­ery board, but en­coun­tered the er­ror mes­sage you can see in the pho­tos. Yet check­ing the Task Man­ager, this ser­vice was run­ning at all times.

Gigabyte of­ten uses the Cre­ative Sound Blaster chipset on its high­end prod­ucts, so to see the stock ALC1220 codec was dis­ap­point­ing. How­ever, it does still in­clude Gigabyte’s ‘Amp-Up’ fea­ture which al­lows the user to change the amp to their lik­ing.

Net­work­ing is pro­vided Killer’s dual Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net Killers’ Dou­bleShot Pro ports, along with Killer’s AC 1535 802.11ac Wi-Fi. As for USB, the usual plethora of dier­ent op­tions are pro­vided. On the rear I/O port there’s a sin­gle USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C, along with four USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type A ports and an­other four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A ports. An­other eight USB ports are avail­able via in­ter­nal head­ers.

If you want Thun­der­bolt sup­port, you’re go­ing to have to pay ex­tra for the op­tional Thun­der­bolt card, which has a ded­i­cated in­ter­nal con­nec­tor. Given the ex­cel­lent fan sup­port on Z270 boards, the X299 seems to lack the same flex­i­bil­ity. For ex­am­ple, on this board, only one header sup­ports a 3A wa­ter pump, while there are four ba­sic sys­tem fan head­ers and twin wa­ter cool­ing pump head­ers of lower am­per­age.

Given the high price, we ex­pected per­for­mance to be top notch, but as our bench­marks show, this board gen­er­ally came in the last half of the pack. It even failed to com­plete the PCMark 8 home bench­mark, de­spite us unin­stalling and re­in­stalling the bench­mark sev­eral times. We tried run­ning this at least five times, but it would al­ways hang on the first pass, an is­sue none of the other boards had. It was also around 40% slower in the min­i­mum frame rate test in Tomb Raider than the MSI Car­bon, a board that is $170 more aord­able.

To be frank, we’re not sure why Gigabyte is charg­ing so much for this mother­board. Com­pared to the likes of the ASRock, it’s miss­ing many ex­tra fea­tures, and per­for­mance is noth­ing to write home about. Con­sid­er­ing the lack of ex­tras, av­er­age per­for­mance and ex­tremely high price, this is one of those rare oc­ca­sions when Gigabyte swings and misses.

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