The underdog rises
Gigabyte has been on a roll with its new AM4 motherboards, now that AMD’s Ryzen CPUs are out in full swing. In our last issue, we had the chance to review not just the Ryzen 7 1800X CPU, but also the enthusiastlevel top-tier AORUS AX370Gaming 5 motherboard. This issue, we’ll be reviewing Gigabyte’s highperformance AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard, along with AMD’s more budget-oriented Ryzen 5 1500X.
Out of the box, the color of the AB350-Gaming 3’s PCB
actually looks a bit dull, albeit a bit glossier than the AORUS AX370-Gaming 5. Ports-wise, the AB350Gaming 3 has just four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and two USB 3.1 Type-A ports located in its rear I/O. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll see that Gigabyte has actually given the motherboard a fair bit of attention. It has high-end audio capacitors and components soldered onto the board, and the two main PCIe 3.0 slots have been reinforced with a metal shield to prevent the board from
At less than RM600, the AB350-Gaming 3 is a Ryzen board that’s bang for your buck.
being damaged by excessively heavy graphics cards.
It’s even got an M-Key M.2 connector, meaning that you can install an NVMe-based SSD, allowing you to take advantage of lightning-fast transfer speeds and loading times. And despite its relatively humble design, those of you who like having PC components breathe, pulsate, or have static light, will be happy to know that the board is fitted with Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion LEDs.
The motherboard’s physical features and traits notwithstanding, we can now move on to the more important part of this review: its performance. As mentioned in the first paragraph, we tested the motherboard with the Ryzen 5 1500X, one of the four Ryzen 5 CPUs.
On PCMark 8’s Creative and Home Accelerated tests, the motherboard and CPU combination managed to score 6,782 and 4,257 points, respectively. On Cinebench R15, the CPU’s four-cores and 8-threads was actually outpacing Intel’s own Core i5-7600K CPU between an approximate six and 10 percent.
If we’re to be frank, gaming on the AB350-Gaming 3 was relatively average, if not adequate for gamers looking for a midrange desktop PC build. Between display resolutions of 1,440p and Full HD running on our NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, games like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands and Total War: Warhammer, we were actually getting frame rates between 50 and 80 fps. Bear in mind, this test was conducted with each game’s graphics setting cranked up to the highest setting available.
While the CPU is on par with its direct competitor, it’s only so because of the motherboard.