Already at the stage of the announcement of new auxiliary components (it’s already difficult to call them chipsets, and hubs are a word that has not yet come into use), AMD specialists emphasized the complete readiness for overclocking motherboards based on the B350 mid-level bridge, and not just the top solution — X370 . Its main simplification is the refusal to support NVIDIA SLI, that is, sixteen PCI-E processor lines cannot be divided equally. We also reduced the number of supported devices with SATA and USB interfaces, you can read more about this in the review of waiting for the revolution from AMD Ryzen.

As a test sample, we chose the GA-AB350-Gaming 3, the oldest of the five Gigabyte motherboards available on the retail market. There is a decent heatsink in the area of ​​the CPU power stabilizer, a thorough approach to designing the device will also allow you to fully understand the capabilities of such products. At the same time, there are no additional controllers here, which inevitably affected the price.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

A distinctive feature of «gaming» boards is the increased attention to the sound and network subsystems, as well as special lighting. Given the not the highest rank of the product, the audio codec was not equipped with an auxiliary op-amp here, and the cFosSpeed ​​utility was attached to the regular Etherneth adapter from Realtek as a bonus. I will tell you more about the illumination a little further, now I will note the presence of two pads for LED strips.

Model Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 (rev. 1.0)
Official product page on the Web gigabyte.ua
Chipset AMD B350
Processor socket AMD AM4
Processors AMD Series: Athlon X4, A6, A8, A10, A12, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7
Memory 4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2667*/2933*/3200*(OC), 64 GB maximum
PCI slots 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x4) — B350
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x1) — B350
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 — B350
M.2 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x2 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — APU/Athlon
Integrated video core (in APU) Radeon Series: R7, R5
Video connectors HDMI 1.4, DVI-D
Number of connected fans 5x 4pin
PS/2 ports 1 (keyboard/mouse)
The port is USB 2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel, B350)
4 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel, CPU/APU/Athlon)
2 x 3.1 Gen1 (no connectors on the rear panel, B350)
5 x 2.0 (1 connector on rear panel, B350)
Serial ATA 6 x SATA 6Gb/s (B350)
RAID 0, 1, 10 (HOURS, B350)
Built-in sound Codec — Realtek ALC1220 (7.1, HDA)
S/PDIF Optical (output)
Networking Realtek 8111G (Gigabit Ethernet)
COM
TPM +
UEFI AMI UEFI
Form factor ATX
Dimensions, mm 305 x 230
Additional features Diagnostic LEDs (CPU, DRAM, VGA, BOOT), a pair of headers for connecting RGB LED strips, dedicated USB (DAC-UP 2) for connecting an external DAC, support for AMD 2-Way CrossFireX, fixing six temperature values
Retail price, $ 126

Packaging and equipment

The packaging design is no different from products built using chips from rival Intel. The presence of small icons in the lower right corner will allow you to accurately identify the belonging of the product.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The description of the main features is concentrated on the back of the box. There is also a photo of the board and a small table with characteristics.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The package included:

  • user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
  • multilingual quick installation guide;
  • disk with drivers and proprietary software;
  • «holster» for convenient connection of body connectors G Connector;
  • a plug for the body, complete with a black sticker with color and symbol designation of all sockets;
  • four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
  • five-wire extension cable for connecting the LED strip.
Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

Appearance

More than a centimeter in width, the board did not reach the ATX standard, and therefore it manages only seven points for fastening in the case. There are no auxiliary buttons on the surface, any areas for probes, an indicator of POST codes. A simplified mechanism for quick diagnostics is provided — four red LEDs, the glow of each corresponds to a specific node that is currently undergoing initialization.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The reverse side is notable for the presence of a couple of elements from the voltage regulator for the CPU, there are also RGB LEDs soldered at the insulating gaps in the area where the codec is located. Both radiators use a reliable screw mounting system.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

Cooling of the hub was well taken care of, a massive ribbed radiator was chosen. It does not have its own backlight.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The B350 can provide four SATA ports.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

Two more are implemented thanks to CPU resources.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

For high-speed and compact M.2 products, there is one free seat, dimensions — up to size 22110.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

Under the case USB sockets there are a pair of pads of the second and one of the third generations.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The appearance of the expansion slots can be misleading. Only the upper reinforced PCI-E x16 has a resource of PCI-E lanes directly from the CPU, the other works only with four coming from the hub. The third, the lowest, is completely content with a single line! Fortunately, when marking the sockets, they did not keep silent about this, it is referred to as PCIEX1_3 (the third in a row).

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The network adapter was chosen among the simplest models available today, but more attention was paid to the sound. There is a shielding cap on the codec and a group of special capacitors. As I already wrote, the gap is equipped with a backlight, and for its needs there is a block located just above the PCIEX1_1 socket. It will be most convenient to connect a processor (luminous) cooler there.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The main role in the backlight went to a special light guide, which occupies the space between two powerful RGB diodes.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

An additional pin connector for five pins is located at the bottom. It was for him that a small extension cord was prepared in the kit.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

Both chips with firmware — the main and the backup — are located closer to the processor socket. There is enough space to perform a painless installation of the CPU cooling structure.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The stabilizer is based on a seven-channel PWM controller Intersil Corporation ISL95712. It has three built-in drivers, and four more are implemented by discrete models on the board. Four channels are responsible for the processor voltage, and three are for the CPU NB (SOC) Voltage. We also used proven ON Semiconductor NTMFS4C10N power assemblies (one element for each channel) and NTMFS4C06N (two for CPU channels, one for each Uncore voltage channel). Ideologically, the scheme is a complete copy (with the exception of the PWM controller) used in the Gigabyte GA-Z270-Gaming K3, which inspires optimism.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

The radiator is also used exactly the same as that of the model indicated above. There are no problems with pressure print, as well as with the area of ​​thermal pad used. Unless, a couple of assemblies, which ended up on the back of the board, may bother.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

In my opinion, the configuration of the slots on the rear I/O panel is good for a mainstream category board. Some people may miss a symmetrical USB type C port or antenna stands for a wireless adapter, but such finesse should already be sought among more expensive products.

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3

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