Gi­ga­byte X470 Aorus Gam­ing 7 WiFi

SUPPLIER www.awd-it.co.uk

Custom PC - - CONTENTS - ANTONY LEATHER

We look at one of the first moth­er­boards to use AMD’s new X470 chipset.

It’s clear from our test­ing that AMD’s new CPUs of­fer great per­for­mance and value for money, but you’ll need an X470 motherboard to take full ad­van­tage of them. We’ve man­aged to get hold of Gi­ga­byte’s X470 Aorus Gam­ing 7 WiFi just be­fore we went to press, and it’s a stun­ning-look­ing motherboard. Gi­ga­byte has tweaked its colour scheme a lit­tle, but it’s still ob­vi­ously an Aorus-branded board, with splashes of or­ange, which is also the de­fault colour for the board’s ex­ten­sive RGB light­ing.

As usual, the light­ing stretches to ev­ery cor­ner of the PCB, in­clud­ing the PCI-E and DIMM slots, PCH heatsink and I/O shroud. Gi­ga­byte is also now fol­low­ing in Asus’ foot­steps with a multi-LED light­ing strip above the

I/O panel too, which can cre­ate rain­bow ef­fects by con­trol­ling each LED sep­a­rately.

At £223 inc VAT, it’s rel­a­tively pricey for an AMD main­stream board, but it looks set to re­tail for around £10 less than Asus’ new Crosshair VII Hero, which we’ll be test­ing next month. Gi­ga­byte has upped the ante with fea­tures too, and the board is bristling with but­tons, ports and switches. It has a con­sid­er­able count of eight 4-pin Gi­ga­byte Hy­brid Fan Head­ers, with the abil­ity to switch off sys­tem fans at loads, and sup­port for ei­ther fans or wa­ter­cool­ing pumps, with a max­i­mum out­put of 24W.

It’s slightly an­noy­ingly that there’s no on-board re­set but­ton, but you do get a power but­ton on the rear I/O panel, along with a clear-CMOS but­ton, with the PCB sport­ing an LED POST code dis­play plus switches for flit­ting be­tween its two on-board BIOS chips. You get a pair of 2-pin ther­mal probe head­ers with a pair of probes in­cluded in the box as well, plus a pair of RGB LED con­nec­tors. It should be good for overclocking too. It has a 10+2 power phase de­sign and an ex­cel­lent cool­ing ar­range­ment, with two large heatsinks con­nected via a heat­pipe, plus there’s an ad­di­tional 4-pin power con­nec­tor for the CPU.

Both of the board’s M.2 ports are equipped with large heatsinks too, with the top slot pro­vid­ing both SATA and PCI-E M.2 SSD com­pat­i­bil­ity. How­ever, you’re likely to be bet­ter off plac­ing your PCI-E SSD in the lower slot any­way, as the top slot will sit di­rectly un­der your graph­ics card.

That’s because Gi­ga­byte has cho­sen to place one of the board’s two 1x PCI-E slots above the graph­ics card, while there’s also a third 16x slot at the base of the board, which is lim­ited to four PCI-E lanes. Mean­while, the board’s six SATA 6Gbps ports will be enough for most peo­ple, with motherboard man­u­fac­tur­ers clearly pre­fer­ring to fo­cus on next-gen stor­age these days. The box also pro­vides a mag­netic aerial for the board’s on-board 802.11ac Wi-Fi adap­tor, which sup­ports the 160MHz ver­sion of this stan­dard for data speeds up to 1.73Gbps.

AMD’s X470 chipset can also sup­port USB 3.1 Gen 2, and on the X470 Aorus Gam­ing 7 WiFi, you get USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports on the rear I/O panel, but there’s a header for USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 case ports as well, which are start­ing to ap­pear on some mod­els such as Cor­sair’s Ob­sid­ian 500D.

Mean­while, the rear panel of­fers the full ar­ray of au­dio out­puts plus plenty of USB ports. You get nine Type-A ports in to­tal, with six USB 3 ports, in­clud­ing two ded­i­cated ports for USB DACs that pro­vide iso­lated ad­justable power. It’s also good to see the on-board au­dio sport­ing the ALC1220 au­dio codec, along with an ESS SABRE 9018Q2C DAC.

The light­ing stretches to ev­ery cor­ner of the PCB

Per­for­mance

Gi­ga­byte’s EFI still feels quite dated com­pared with MSI and Asus’ re­cent ef­forts, but its Smart Fan 5 sec­tion is ex­tremely de­tailed and fairly easy to use. From here, you can con­trol each fan’s speed curve, plus switch off any fan un­der cer­tain tem­per­a­tures. You’re also able to change the tem­per­a­ture

in­put of the sys­tem fans to dif­fer­ent points on the motherboard, in­clud­ing the ther­mal probe header.

It was fairly easy find­ing the limit of our Ryzen 7 2700X us­ing the EFI, though, which turned out to be 4.25GHz with a vcore of 1.425V. At stock speed, the sys­tem man­aged a sys­tem score of 201,613, which rose to 206,878 once over­clocked. Ashes of the Sin­gu­lar­ity didn’t see a boost, though, likely because this all-core fre­quency is slower than the max­i­mum XFR2 boost fre­quency.

Mean­while, power con­sump­tion sat at 68W idle at stock and over­clocked speeds, ris­ing from load amounts of 220W to 292W at stock and over­clocked. Mem­ory com­pat­i­bil­ity is good too – the board had no prob­lems reach­ing 3466MHz by overclocking a set of 3200MHz mem­ory. It pushed our Sam­sung 960 Evo M.2 SSD to its lim­its too, reach­ing a 3,382MB/sec read speed and 1,867MB/sec write speed.

Fi­nally, the Gi­ga­byte’s au­dio per­for­mance dis­played the typ­i­cal ex­cel­lence we ex­pect from the Real­tek ALC1220 au­dio codec, with a noise level of -112.6dBA and dy­namic range of 111.8dBA, mea­sured us­ing RightMark’s Au­dio An­a­lyzer soft­ware.

Con­clu­sion

While the ex­ten­sive RGB LED light­ing might not be ev­ery­one’s cup of tea, the X470 Aorus Gam­ing 7 WiFi looks ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic when not il­lu­mi­nated too. It has a hefty set of fea­tures and will par­tic­u­larly ap­peal to en­thu­si­asts want­ing to kit out their PC with an ex­ten­sive, tweak­able cool­ing sys­tem. Its EFI might still lag be­hind the com­pe­ti­tion, but the X470 Aorus Gam­ing 7 WiFi also trumps its pre­de­ces­sor – the AX370-Gam­ing K7 – in a number of ar­eas. It of­fers more in the way of next-gen stor­age sup­port, as well as heatsinks for both its M.2 SSDs, a more elab­o­rate CPU power cir­cuitry cool­ing sys­tem and more CPU power phases too.

We’d only had a quick look at other X470 moth­er­boards when we wrote this re­view, and we’ll be delv­ing into those boards in depth in next month’s Labs test, but with solid CPU and mem­ory overclocking abil­i­ties, a tonne of fea­tures and su­perb aes­thet­ics, the Gi­ga­byte X470 Aorus Gam­ing 7 WiFi is al­ready an ex­cel­lent foun­da­tion for a shiny new 2nd Gen Ryzen CPU.

1 Both of the board’s M.2 ports come equipped with large heatsinks 2 The multi-LED strip above the I/O shroud can cre­ate rain­bow ef­fects 3 The power cir­cuitry has two large heatsinks, linked with a heat­pipe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.