Gigabyte Teases Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | September 28, 2017 - 01:31 AM |
Tagged: aorus, gigabyte, coffee lake, Z370, Z370 AORUS, RGB LED, gaming, overclocking

This week Gigabyte took the wraps off its lineup of Z370 motherboards that will support Intel’s 8th Generation Coffee Lake processors. The new lineup is comprised of five models that incorporate Gigabyte Ultra Durable technology, Dual BIOS, server grade digital power delivery, ESS Sabre DAC, a high-quality headphone amplifier, M.2 thermal guards, RGBW and Digital LED headers, and support for monitoring and control of fans and water pumps using RGB Fusion and Smart Fan 5 respectively. At the top of the lineup is the Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 which appears to have a lot to offer for enthusiasts planning a Coffee Lake build.

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The LGA 1151 socket is surrounded by an improved digital VRM setup that is rated at 60A per power phase. The board uses 10K Ultra Durable Black capacitors as well. The VRMs are cooled by large aluminum heatsinks as well as a small fan tucked away under the “thermal armor” above the rear I/O panel connectors. Using Gigabyte’s Smart Fan 5 technology, the built-in fan as well as CPU and case fans can be set to stop when the PC is idle and only spin up when needed.

Speaking of cooling, the board has eight fan/water pump Hybrid Fan headers (one is rated at 3A) and nine temperature sensors.

There are four DDR4 DIMM slots to the right of the processor socket that support up to 4400 MHz memory clockspeeds. Storage is handled by six SATA 6Gbps ports, two M.2 (PCI-E/SATA), and one smaller PCI-E M.2 slot with support for Intel’s Optane Memory technology. Expansion slots include three PCI-E x16 slots (x16/x8/x4) and three PCI-E x1 slots. Other internal headers include a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C front panel, additional USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two RGBW LED headers, two Digital LED headers, two temperature sensor headers, and one Thunderbolt 3 Add-in card header. Power, reset, OC, and Clear CMOS buttons are also included on the board to make running it on a test bench and overclocking a bit easier.

For the RGB fans, there are several lighting zones on this board including on the VRMs, on the “Thermal Armor”, around the DIMM slots, around the PCI-E x16 slots, on the Z370 chipset heatsink, and a LED strip along the right side of the board that you can customize the look of with a 3D printer.

In addition to the Z370 chipset, Gigabyte is also using ASMedia silicon for additional USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, a Realtek chip for a USB 3.1 Gen 1 hub, Intel GbE LAN and Rivet Networks Killer E2500 NIC for Gigabit Ethernet, and Realtek ALC1220 audio codec for audio.

On the audio front, Gigabyte is spicing things up a bit by pairing that Realtek ALC1220 audio codec with an ESS9018Q2C DAC, Nichicon and WIMA audio capacitors, independent analog power(LME49720), a smart headphone amp (auto-detects impedance), gold plated audio jacks, and support for USB DAC-UP 2 technology (adjustable voltage to compensate for voltage drop).

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Around back the Aorus Gaming 7 features:

  • 1 x PS/2
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type A
  • 2 x RJ45 (Gigabit Ethernet)
  • 1 x S/PDIF
  • 5 x 3.5mm audio out.

It appears that Gigabyte has packed a lot of hardware into its flagship Z370 motherboard, and with the actively cooled VRMs it should be a decent overclocker even when using water cooling for the CPU (though noise from the small fan might be an issue). Unfortunately, Gigabyte has not yet released pricing information. On the bright side, there are several models in the Aorus Z370 lineup for those that do not want the Killer networking, third PCI-E x16 slot, as many LEDs, or ESS Sabre audio where there is room to save some money to put towards a graphics card or monitor. I'll leave it up to Sebastian and Morry to determine if the audio is audiophile and CMOS placement is good enough respectively.

What are your thoughts on the Aorus Z370 lineup? Is it enough to entice you to upgrade to Coffee Lake?

Source: Gigabyte

Gigabyte's Aorus AX370 Gaming 7 will help you push that Ryzen chip to its limits

Subject: Motherboards | September 26, 2017 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: x370, gigabyte, AX370 Gaming K7, aorus

The current state of naming conventions continues to confound, AMD's X370 chipset appeared at the same time Intel offers a Z370 in a testament to the troubled mental state of PR flacks.  Ignoring that particular matter in order to focus on the technical specifications of Gigabyte's new Gaming K7, we direct you to [H]ard|OCP's review of the motherboard.  It offers six PCIe slots, two of which are 16x PCIe 3.0, support for up to 64GB of DDR4-3600MHz, both an M.2 and U.2 port and even a pair of SEx ports looking for something compatible to plug into them.  With four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, one of which is Type-C as well as 10 USB 3.1 Gen. 1 ports you are not going to have issues with peripherals.  Check out the full performance and overclocking results of this Silver Award winning board for all the details.

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"GIGABYTE’s AX370 Gaming K7 is in many ways the motherboard the AX370 Gaming 5 should have been. GIGABYTE has a habit of creating multiple SKUs with differences that are so minor that one can’t help but wonder why two separate models exist when they are almost indistinguishable from one another."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

GIGABYTE Introduces Z370 AORUS Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | September 26, 2017 - 02:13 PM |
Tagged: Z370 Ultra Gaming, Z370 Gaming 7, Z370 AORUS, Z370, gigabye

Gigabyte released some information about their new Aorus Z370 motherboards, though we still do not have full technical specifications yet.  We do know the boards will support DDR4 of up to 4400MHz and feature familar extras such as ESS Sabre DAC, Smart Fan 5 and RGB Fusion.

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The boards feature updated VRM and PWM designs which can drive up to 60 amps per power phase as well as 10K Ultra Durable Black capacitors.  Smart Fan 5 will incorporate a small fan positioned near the VRMs which can be enabled to offer airflow for water cooled systems.  M.2 Thermal Guards serve a similar purpose at a lower decibel level.  There is support for a variety of R's, G's and B's, in addition to the integrated ones there are 4-pin headers which support either 5v or 12v LED strips.

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City of Industry, California, September 25th, 2017 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, has unveiled the new Z370 AORUS motherboards based on the Intel Z370 chipset. These supercharged motherboards are equipped with a server-grade digital power design which fully support 8th generation Intel Core processors. Performance tuned, the Z370 AORUS Motherboards are compatible with memory modules rated for 4400MHz. With unique features like an ESS Sabre DAC, Smart Fan 5 and RGB Fusion, there’s no doubt why gamers turn to AORUS for the ultimate gaming motherboard.

“Following Intel‘s release of the Z370 chipset platform, GIGABYTE has designed a new, groundbreaking motherboard,” said Vincent Liu, Senior Associate Vice President of GIGABYTE’s Motherboard Business Unit. “GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS motherboards are designed for gamers who value powerful, yet highly durable motherboards. With our new digital power design, not only will Z370 AORUS motherboards unleash the power of the 8th generation Intel Core processors’ they will easily fulfill gamers’ demands.”

Designed with 14nm technology, the 8th gen Intel Core processors range from 4-Cores and 4 threads to 6-Cores and 12 threads each performing better than its predecessor. Z370 AORUS Motherboards deliver the highest video quality, 4K UHD, and uninterrupted streaming to users through the use of HDCP 2.2 Technology, a HEVC 10-bit decoder, as well as a VP9 hardware decoder.

Efficient Power Delivery
The Z370 AORUS Motherboards utilize a new VRM and PWM design which is able to drive 60 amps per power pwm.jpgphase as well as strengthen the signal between the processor and voltage regulator. Through the use of server-grade 10K Ultra Durable Black™ capacitors GIGABYTE is able to increase durability while reducing excess electrostatic charge on the PWMs, improving efficiency between the CPU. With its intricate power design the Z370 AORUS Motherboards are still able to meet the standards of the California Energy Commision (CEC) as a low power and high efficiency motherboard.

Immersive Audio Experience with an ESS Sabre DAC
Paired with an ESS Sabre DAC and the Creative Sound BlasterX 720° software the Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 offers unrivaled audio performance. This synergy of hardware and software allows users a distinct advantage in multiplayer online games. Through Scout Radar gamers can obtain visual cues to where enemies or opponents are giving them an edge in-game. For audiophiles this duo has comprehensive tools backed by leading technology and algorithms to enrich the audio experience whether users are listening to music, watching movies, or streaming.

Beat the Heat with Smart Fan 5 with Fan Stop Technology
Smart Fan 5 has been a sought after feature for gamers and PC enthusiasts. As it continues to evolve Smart Fan 5 has incorporated features like Fan Stop Technology which allows fans to actively shut off to reduce ambient noise when thermal thresholds are not met. With the flagship Z370 AORUS Gaming smart fan.jpg7, Smart Fan 5 introduces active cooling. Active cooling integrates a unique fan positioned near the VRMs for systems built with AIO liquid coolers where airflow is not present. These technologies allow for users to prolong the life of their gaming pc and squeeze the limits of performance from their Motherboard through the use of overclocking.

Other technologies that can be found on Z370 AORUS Motherboards are M.2 Thermal Guards which cool down those next generation form factors for storage. AORUS Thermal Guards reside on M.2 slots ensuring that gamers and power users will receive the most optimal transfer speeds from their top of the line storage devices.

Show Your True Colors with RGB Fusion and Digital LEDs
RGB Fusion is more powerful than ever, now with support for Digital LEDs in either 5v or 12v, RGBz370 aorus gaming 7.jpg Fusion can be customized with individually addressable LED strips, arrays, and even matrices. The Z370 AORUS Motherboards offer RGB Pin Headers on both the bottom and top of the board to ensure convenience for modders and the everyday PC builder. With a 4-pin header that can be reconfigured to be compatible with almost all RGBW strips on the market, RGB Fusion is the most versatile platform for all RGB accessories.

 

Source: Gigabyte
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

With the release of Intel Z270 chipset, GIGABYTE unveiled its AORUS line of products. 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 Z270X-Gaming 8 is one of two "enhanced" boards in the AORUS, factory-customized with a Bitspower designed VRM hybrid water block. The board features the black and white branding common to the AORUS product line, with the rear panel cover and chipset featuring the brand logos. The board is designed around the Intel Z270 chipset with in-built support for the latest Intel LGA1151 Kaby Lake processor line (as well as support for Skylake processors) and Dual Channel DDR4 memory running at a 2400MHz speed. The Z270X-Gaming 8 can be found in retail with an MRSP of $399.99.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE integrated the following features into the Z270X-Gaming 8 motherboard: four SATA III 6Gbps ports; two SATA-Express 10Gbps ports; two U.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 32Gbps ports; two M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 32Gbps capable ports with Intel Optane support built-in; two RJ-45 GigE ports - an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC and a Rivet Networks Killer E2500 NIC; a Rivet Networks Killer 802.11ac 2x2 Wireless adapter; four PCI-Express x16 slots; two PCI-Express x1 slots; Creative® Sound Core 3D 8-Channel audio subsystem; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI video ports; Intel Thunderbolt 40Gbps support; G-Chill hybrid VRM water block (designed by Bitspower); and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE partnered with Bitspower in designing the integrated cooling solution for the Z270X-Gaming 8 motherboard. The integrated VRM hybrid block, dubbed G-Chill by GIGABYTE, can operate with or without coolant. The block itself consists of a nickel-plated copper base plate, an acrylic top plate, a metal overplate, and a plastic cover to give it a unified appearance with the rest of the board components. The inlet and outlet ports are sealed with port covers by default, and are G1/4" threaded for use with any after-market water fittings currently available.

Continue reading our preview of the GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 8 motherboard!

Colorful Reveals Custom Eight Slot Motherboard For Cryptocurrency Miners

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | September 14, 2017 - 02:13 AM |
Tagged: password cracking, mining, gpgpu, cryptocurrency, colorful, ai

Colorful recently unveiled an interesting bare-bones motherboard focused on cryptocurrency miners and other GPU heavy workloads with its main feature being eight double spaced PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots. The non-standard form factor Colorful C.B250A-BTC PLUS V20 motherboard measures 485mm x 195mm (approx. 19.1 x 7.7 inches) and offers a no-frills setup that is ready for miners to attach to open racks. The motherboard is based on Intel’s LGA 1151 socket and B250 chipset.

Colorful C_B250A-BTC PLUS Mining 8 slot motherboard.jpg

The majority of the board is taken up by eight PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots where the top slot is wired directly to the CPU and is electrically x16 while the rest are wired to the B250 chipset and are x1 slots. There are 16(!) PCI-E power connectors (eight 6-pin and eight 8-pin) for providing power to the GPU and two 4-pin ATX power connectors for powering the CPU and single SO-DIMM slot through what looks to be six power phases. Notably, there is no 24-pin power connector on this board to make it easier to use multiple power supplies and share motherboards between power supplies (though it’s not clear how Colorful plans to control turning all these power supplies on/off at the same time). Beyond the PCI-E slots there is not much to this motherboard. Internal I/O includes the 1151 socket for Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs, a single DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, one SATA port, one M.2 slot, and six fan headers. Around back are two USB ports, one HDMI video output, and a single gigabit ethernet port.

The board is a no-frills design that should be quite appealing for miners but also as an easy way to jump into GPGPU projects (AI research, rendering, machine learning, password cracking, etc.). The 2-slot spacing allows air cooled (hopefully blower style) cards to be installed without needing to find and test quality PCI-E riser cables. There is no word on pricing yet, and while it should be on the cheaper side based on the features and hardware it’s packing as it’s a custom design aimed at mining it may actually come out at a hefty premium for the convenience it offers them. On the bright side, it might have decent resale value to factor into the ROI calculations for the other non-mining applications I mentioned (a mean password cracking rig!). A neat board in any case, and as I mentioned previously it is interesting to see the new designs and configurations the mining craze has enticed manufacturers into exploring.

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Source: TechPowerUp

Threadripping on MSI's new GAMING PRO CARBON AC

Subject: Motherboards | September 13, 2017 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: amd, msi, X399, Threadripper, GAMING PRO CARBON AC

MSI have added a GAMING PRO CARBON AC motherboard to their X399 offerings for AMD's ThreadRipper.  The exceptional socket makes the ATX board look a little disproportionate compared to previous members of this motherboard family but there is still a lot of space on the board.  There are four PCIe Express x16 Gen 3 slots along with two 1x slots, three M.2 ports and an impressive array of USB ports including two USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-C ports, a single USB 3.1 Gen. 3 Type-A and nine USB 3.1 Gen.1 Type-A ports.  The Guru of 3D provides benchmarks and overclocking results in their full review.

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"Let's check out another Ryzen Threadripper motherboard. We review the one from MSI as they have released their X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. The board is stylish, comes with very subtle LED effects and obviously offers everything you need from quadruple x16 PCI-Express slots, triple M2 SSD slots, quad-channel memory and some really supreme AC WIFI."

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Source: Guru of 3D

AORUS would like you grab a Coffee and take a guess

Subject: Motherboards | September 11, 2017 - 03:17 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, aorus, Z370, Intel, coffee lake

Obviously this is neither raven nor writing desk, instead it is confirmation we will see a new Z370 motherboard arrive soon, October 5th being the expected end of term.  While the picture below is from AORUS' official Twitter feed; in this rare case the social media platform is a reliable source, there have also been a few leaks about AORUS' Z370 lineup.

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The models include the Aorus Z370 Gaming K3, Z370 Gaming 3, Z370 Gaming 5, Z370 Gaming 7 and Z370 Ultra Gaming with no Gaming 9 model announced as of yet.  You can expect quad channel memory support as well as at least two M.2 ports and support for Intel Optane on these ATX boards when they arrive for sale.

 

Source: Twitter
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ECS

Introduction and Specifications

For Intel’s Z270 chipset ECS has a pair of motherboard options, with the ATX Z270-LIGHTSABER and mini-ITX Z270H4-I. We have a look at both of these offerings today.

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The Z270-LIGHTSABER tries to live up to that name with customizable LED lighting around the board, which is controlled through the system setup. It boasts a 14-phase power delivery and all solid caps, and offers simplified overclocking through the ECS MIB X interface and Intel XMP 1.2 and 1.3 memory support. Additionally the LIGHTSABER offers comprehensive storage options with a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot (Intel Optane is supported), U.2 port, and a full complement of SATA III ports. There is also a Killer E2500 NIC, and premium audio with a dedicated TI headphone amp, among the other features.

For its part the Z270H4-I packs many of the same features as its ATX cousin, though this mini-ITX motherboard only provides a 6-phase power design, and does not feature the LED lighting or dedicated headphone amp of the Z270-LIGHTSABER. It does provide the same full PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot with Intel Optane support, and while the Z270H4-I does not have a Killer NIC it replaces this with a pair including an Intel I-219V and Realtek LAN. The Z270H4-I also supports M.2 wireless cards and includes an optional pair of wireless antennae.

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I installed my Core i7-7700K in both motherboards and in addition to some baseline benchmarks I tried out some casual overclocking and will provide general usage impressions with both boards.

Continue reading our review of the ECS Z270-LIGHTSABER and Z270H4-I motherboards!

Asus Launches B250 Expert Mining Motherboard With 19 PCI-E Slots

Subject: Motherboards | August 24, 2017 - 12:30 AM |
Tagged: mining, LGA 1151, Intel, cryptocurrency, b250, asus

Asus recently took the wraps off of a monster ATX form factor motherboard aimed squarely at crypto currency miners. The aptly named Asus B250 Expert Mining motherboard is based on Intel's B250 chipset and features an impressive 19 PCI-E slots! The board is based around Intel's budget chipset and is paired with an LGA 1151 socket for Intel Skylake or Kaby Lake CPUs. There are also two DDR4 memory slots and four SATA 6 Gbps ports.

Asus B250 mining motherboard with 19 PCI-E slots.jpg

The B250 Expert Mining motherboard is powered by a single 8-pin CPU power connector driving a 6-phase DIGI+ VRM, three (!) 24-pin ATX12V connectors, and three Molex power connectors. The top 24-pin drives the first seven PCI-E slots (including the single PCI-E x16 slot) while the other two 24-pin connectors are responsible for powering 6 of the remaining PCI-E x1 slots each.

Asus claims that the upcoming motherboard has several mining focused features including a tuned BIOS tweaked to improve mining efficiency, a splash screen at startup that shows the state of each PCI-E slot at-a-glance at each boot (Asus Mining Expert software) as well as voltage stabilization capacitors for each GPU slot.

With this motherboard miners will be able to hook up to 19 graphics cards to each motherboard which reduces the number of complete systems they need to build and maintain improving ROI time, increasing power efficiency, and reducing maintenance costs. At the time of writing there is a bit of hiccup with this plan though as miners will not be able to fully take advantage of all 19 slots for graphics cards. First off, miners will have to use Linux and even then they will be limited to a maximum of eight graphics cards from AMD and eight graphics cards from NVIDIA (if they can even get that working reliably...). Not all hope for an uber mining motherboard is lost though as Anandtech reports that AMD is working on a driver update slated for release later this year that will enable miners to use all 19 slots for their graphics cards.

Asus has not yet released pricing, but I would expect it to come at a hefty premium considering it offers the highest number of PCI-E slots on a standard motherboard so far. Asus has reportedly already begun sampling the B250 Expert Mining board to partners and it should be available at retail soon.

Even if you are not into the crypto currency mining scene, it is intriguing seeing the response to miners from the hardware manufacturers with new focused product lines.

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Source: TechPowerUp

What difference is it 2 you? X99 versus X299

Subject: Motherboards | August 17, 2017 - 03:18 PM |
Tagged: X99, Intel X299, Intel

There has been a trend recently in which we see rather lacklustre improvements in Intel's CPUs and chipsets which have changed the reaction of many to new releases.  When a new chip drops enthusiasts no longer immediately switch to a diet of pot noodles so they can upgrade ASAP, instead they are more likely to have to squint to see the performance difference an upgrade would provide.

[H]ard|OCP recently took a look at the differences offered between the modern X299 chipset and the three year old X99 chipset.  The new X299 chipset offers full PCI-Express 3.0 support, 24x HSIO lanes and up to 24 PCIe lanes but the small number of systems with multiple GPUs seems to be decreasing instead of increasing so perhaps those extra lanes are merely nice to talk about but are never used.  Read through the article for a look at what the differences are, and if you feel there is a compelling reason to upgrade or if X99 is good enough to last until the next generation of Intel chipset arrives.

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"New processors and another socket means a new chipset. Intel's X299 Express chipset replaces the venerable and X99 Express Chipset and updates it's HEDT platform to match it's mainstream offerings and then some. This chipset promises to be the most versatile and feature rich Intel has released to date, but is it really an improvement?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP