GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS GAMING 7
The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 is the company’s flagship Intel Z370 motherboard. That said, the laundry list of features reads more like that of a balanced all-rounder rather than that of an enthusiast-oriented model.
For instance, there are no auxiliary power connectors for the CPU or an LN2 mode switch for serious overclocking. You also won’t find things like DIP switches to disable select PCIE or DIMM slots when you’re troubleshooting or tweaking your system.
However, what the board does have is a solid selection of core features that will prove far more useful to a wider swath of users. This decision is reflected in the fairly reasonable $435 price tag, and you get everything you need, plus a little icing on the top.
This means decent storage expansion and connectivity options, in addition to customizable LEDS, a beefed-up onboard audio solution, and a total of eight fan headers, including a high amperage header that outputs up to 3A.
The topmost M.2 socket is also equipped with its own heat sink, which is particularly important given how close it is to heatgenerating components like the CPU and GPU.
But while this board may lack certain features for more extreme overclockers, that doesn’t mean it’s a slouch either. It is equipped with an 8+2-phase power design for the CPU and IGPU, and uses Intersil’s latest digital PWM and Smart Power Stages to supply up to 60A for each of the eight phases for the CPU Vcore.
You also get all the essential buttons. However, it’d have been nice to see the CLR_CMOS button located at the rear I/O instead, as it’d make troubleshooting a lot easier once you’ve completed your build. You’ll find a one-click OC button in the same area for a quick and hassle-free overclock. Finally, the board also has a couple of nice features that tend to slip under the radar. This includes an ESS Sabre 9018 DAC for onboard audio and a second Ethernet port powered by the Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet controller. You can also replace the overlay at the top right with your own 3D-printed design, which will change the lighting pattern of the LEDS underneath.