Gigabyte Aorus B360 Gaming 3
GREAT PRICING WITH A FEW SACRIFICES
Gigabyte’s Aorus motherboards are continually impressing us thanks to the very good value they offer. Obviously Gigabyte is being very aggressive on price in recent times. Most Aorus boards place a strong emphasis on design and aesthetics thanks to a healthy dose of RGB lighting. We were big fans of the Aorus X470 Gaming 5 in our AMD X470 motherboard roundup, so how does this value B360 contender fare in a highly competitive marketplace?
Aorus motherboards have a history of being really loaded up with RGB lighting, with some examples overdoing it perhaps. The B360 Gaming 3 RGB implementation dials it back a notch, with just the chipset heatsink and audio PCB separation line featuring RGB lighting. The little orange accents look nice, and there’s silk screened image of the Aorus hawk. Overall it’s a good looking motherboard that looks like it should be worth more than its $185 street price.
A visual inspection of the board reveals a few little nuggets. In addition to the standard pair of M.2 slots, there’s an additional slot for an Intel Wi-Fi card. Gigabyte offer a variant of the Gaming 3 with this card included for a few bucks more. There’s also a chunky M.2 heatsink positioned above the top most PCIe slot. This position means your M.2 drive should stay nice and cool thanks to airflow that’s likely to pass over it from either a CPU cooler or towards the rear case fan. On the downside, we note the presence of push pins for the PWM heatsinks. We’d like to see screws used here.
In the quest to deliver a motherboard at a cheaper price than competing Asus and MSI products, Gigabyte has unfortunately had to sacrifice a few features. The power delivery system is nothing too fancy. It’s still adequate for non-overclocked use but it’s noticeable. It’s the only motherboard in the test that uses the older Realtek ALC892 audio controller. If analogue audio or headphone performance is vital for you, this is something you’d want to keep in mind.
The I/O area contains an adequate complement of ports as you’d expect, but it’s not the class leader in this roundup. There’s four USB 2.0 ports and just a single Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. There are three Gen 1 ports, one of which is Type-C. This should be ok for most, but an extra couple USB 3.1 Gen 1 or 2 ports would be welcome. The video outputs consist of DVI-D and HDMI ports. Rounding out the rear ports is a single Gigabit LAN port controlled by an Intel I219-V chip. There’s a set of six analogue ports, but no S/ PDIF port so you’ll need to use an alternative output if you if intend to use a digital audio signal.
The Aorus B360 Gaming 3 performed particularly well in our gaming tests, winning every test, though as always the differences between motherboards are small. It was the only board to crack 5000 points in our PC Mark test too. Overall the Gigabyte was strong in all tests. The Gigabyte UEFI implementation is simple and easy to use, and really that’s all you need for a B360 motherboard. The key features are easy to access. Given that B360 motherboards do not allow overclocking, just a few simple little adjustments are required to get your system up and running. Gigabyte has clearly tried to keep the B360 Gaming 3 at an affordable price level relative to other premium B360 boards, but this means a few things have had to be sacrificed. If these little things are not important to you, then by all means the Aorus B360 Gaming 3 will deliver very good performance and look good while doing it. Perhaps a hypothetical B360 Gaming 5 with a few extra bells at about $220 odd would be the true gem we would like to see.
“It was the only board to crack 5000 points in our PC Mark test too”
Intel B360 Chipset • Socket 1151 Support for 8th Generation Intel Core Processors • 2x M.2; 6x SATA; 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2, up to 5x USB 3.1 Gen 1, up to 6x USB 2.0 • Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN • 7.1 channel ALC-892 Audio • ATX Form Factor
$185 • www.gigabyte.com.au