GIGABYTE H370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI Motherboard Review
Introduction and Motherboard Layout
For the launch of the Intel H370 chipset motherboards, GIGABYTE chose their AORUS brand to lead the charge. The AORUS branding differentiates the enthusiast and gamer friendly products from other GIGABYTE product lines, similar to how ASUS uses the ROG branding to differentiate their high performance product line. The H370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI is among GIGABYTE's intial release boards offering support for the latest Intel consumer chipset and processor lines. Built around the Intel H370 chlipset, the board supports the Intel LGA1151 Coffee Lake processor line and Dual Channel DDR4 memory running at up to 2667MHz speeds. The H370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI can be found in retail with an MRSP of $139.99.
The HS370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI motherboard features a black PCB with black and chrome colored heat sinks covering all the necessary board components. The AORUS series logos are emblazoned on the chipset heat sink and the rear panel cover. Further, a large rendering of the logo is silk-screened in the upper left quadrant of the board. The ATX form factor provides more than enough surface area to house the integrated features, as well as giving the board compatibility with most available consumer enclosures.
The board's back is completely free of components, posing no problems with case mounting or mounting the CPU backplate.
GIGABYTE designed the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI motherboard with a 10-phase digital power system in an 8+2 configuration. The CPU VRMs are passively cooled by dual aluminum heat sinks above and to the upper right of the CPU socket.
The board's 8-pin ATX12V power connector is located to the upper right of the CPU socket, in between the two VRM heat sinks. There is also a 4-pin system fan header in close proximity to the ATX12V connector.
The board has a total of two integrated PCIe M.2 slots, one sandwiched in between the CPU socket (slot M2M_32G), and the other in between PCIe x1 slot 1 and the secondary PCIe x16 slot (slot M2M_16). M.2 slot M2M_32G supports M.2 cards up to 110mm in length and running with full x4 bandwidth, while the other supports cards up to 80mm in length running with only x2 bandwidth. GIGABYTE chose to integrate a cooler into the M2M_32G slot's design. Both M.2 ports are keyed for M-key slot devices with standard SSD, PCIe x2, PCIe x4, and Intel Optane type M.2 drives supported. Note that the two M.2 slots can be used in a RAID array.
The integrated M.2 cover plate / cooler integrated into M.2 slot M2M_32G is a thin aluminum plate with factory-installed thermal tape. It fits snuggly over the installed M.2 device to passively cool the upper portion of the SSD's PCB. In previous reviews, we found these type of passive coolers work more effectively with even the slightest airflow over them. Otherwise, you should expect no more than 10C or so in temperature reduction.
The board has a total of four DIMM slots with Dual Channel memory mode active with modules in slots 1 / 3 or 2 / 4. The board supports up to 64GB of memory running at a maximum speed of 2667MHz. The slots are reinforced with a metal cage that sits in between and around the slots, giving the whole construction additional support and strength. Further, GIGABYTE placed a line of RGB LEDS in between the inner edges of the DIMM slots, giving the whole thing a ground-effects style look when powered.
Directly below the DIMM slots are a USB 3.0 header, the 24-pin ATX power connector, a 4-pin fan header, a 5-pin RGBW LED header, a 3-pin LED header, and an LED power select jumper. The CPU and CPU_OPT 4-pin fan headers are to the upper right of the DIMM slots. The 5-pin RGBW LED header supports both standard 4-wire RGB and 5-wire RGBW strips, while the 3-pin header supports single colored LED strips. The LED power select jumper allows you to specify the voltage supplied to the LED headers, switchable betwen 5V and 12V. Directly below the CIMM slots (and along the board's edge) is an illuminated strip that comes with a switchable plastic element. GIGABYTE included two samples with our board, the default being the tribal pattern. They also included a customize element with the AORUS logo and our site name.
The Intel H370 chipset is covered by a low profile black heat sink with a chrome overlay stamped with the AORUS brand logo. The chipset sink has RGB LEDs below its surface, illuminating the AORUS logo with the board powered. In addition to the two PCIe x4 M.2 slots, the board was designed with six SATA III ports. Additionally, there is a USB 3.0 port to the right of the chipset heat sink.
The board contains a total of six PCIe slots - two PCIe x16 slots and four PCIe x1 slots. The PCIe x16 slots can be used in x16 / x4 mode. The primary and secondary PCI x16 slots are reinforced with steel overlays for additional slot strength when using the board in a vertical orientation. The CMOS battery and M.2 x1 port are located below PCIe x1 slot 3. The M.2 x1 slot supports M.2 accessory cards that are 30mm in length, like a WIFI card.
The board's integrated audio components are located just above the PCIe ports with the AMP-UP Audio logo stamped into the surface of the audio chipset. The audio subsystem lives on an isolated PCB to minimize line-noise and distortion caused by other integrated components. The PCB separator line illuminates according to the color scheme configured through the Windows RGB Fusion applet. The front panel audio connector is located to the lower right of the audio PCB, along the board's upper left edge.
GIGABYTE integrated support for connecting RGB and single color LED strips directly into the board using the RGB LED and single color LED headers located in the upper left and lower right quadrants of the board. The 5-pin RGBW header in the upper left of the board supports standard RGB and RGBW LED strips while the 3-pin LED header supports single color LED strips. The jumper just above the 3-pin LED header controls the voltage supplied to the LED headers, supporting both 5V and 12V strips. Connecting an RGB LED strip to any of the headers synchronizes the strip color and activity with that of the motherboard's integrated LEDs. The board is shown with an external RGB strip connected to the header in the board's upper left quadrant. Notice that the board has multiple integrated RGB zones (in addition to the RGB header) - in the rear panel cover, around the CPU VRM heat sinks, integrated into the underside of the board's audio separator line, in the Z370 chipset, in between the DIMM slots, and in the strip along the lower edge of the board by the DIMM slots. The board is pictured with both the default strip element and the custom strip element installed below the DIMM slots.
In the upper left of the board are the front panel audio header, a 5-pin RGBW LED header, a 3-pin LED header, the LED power jumper, and the CMOS battery just below PCIe x1 slot 3. The header labeled LED_C1 is an LED debug header used for factory board validation.
Along the board's middle left edge are the serial port header, the USB 2.0 header, and the Thunderbolt C header. Just above the chipset is the M.2 x1 port, used for M.2 PCIe x1-style accessory cards like the included 802.11AC WIFI card.
In the lower left quadrant of the board are the Thunderbolt C header, the trusted module port header, a system fan header, the front panel header, and system status LEDS. The status LEDS light up during system initialization if there are issues with the CPU, PCIe x16 slots, DRAM, or general drive-related boot.
The board contains the following integrated ports in its rear panel assembly: a hybrid PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports (black), two USB 3.0 ports (blue), two USB 3.1 10Gbps ports (red) - one Type A and one Type C, an Intel I219-V GigE RJ-45 port, DVI-D and HDMI video ports, and five analogue audio output ports. Surprisingly, all USB ports (including the USB 3.1 ports) are controlled by the H370 chipset.
|Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
|How product was obtained:||The product is on loan from Gigabyte for the purpose of this review.|
|What happens to the product after review:||The product remains the property of Gigabyte but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.|
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