Gigabyte continues to experiment with the positioning of its motherboards using the Aorus gaming sub-brand. The release of a new generation of products using the Intel Z370 hub has increased the range of such devices, now even younger models with a small digital index are included in such a team. Today we’ll take a look at a mid-range model equipped with a powerful VRM unit that will hopefully allow us to safely explore its overclocking capabilities. Additional bonuses include a pre-installed wireless network adapter, special software for the sound subsystem, and a set of two thermal sensors with the ability to connect to a device. Their indicators can be used during the adjustment of the cooling systems.
Due to the fact that the model belongs to the gaming segment, special attention is paid here to the backlight, which literally every area on the surface is equipped with, you can also use two different types of LED strips. Overclockers can use the POST code indicator and a simpler option for diagnosing the system status — four LEDs soldered next to it. More details about the possibilities are set out in the table with characteristics.
|Model||Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0)|
|Official product page on the Web||gigabyte.ua|
|Processor socket||Socket 1151|
|Processors||Core i7, Core i5, Core i3 (Coffee Lake-S)|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2666/2800*/3000*/3200*/3300*/3333*/3400*/3466*/3600*/3666*/3733*/3800*/3866*/4000*/4133 *(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16+x0, x8+x8)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)
3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1
|M.2||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2230/2242/2260/2280/22110)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel HD 630|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4|
|Number of connected fans||8x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel (A and C), ASM3142)
7 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel, Z370)
6 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, Z370)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z370)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z370)|
|Built-in sound||Codec — Realtek ALC1220 (7.1, HDA)|
|S/PDIF||Optical (output), on-board connector (output)|
|Networking||Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2)
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||Thunderbolt header, POST indicator, Diagnostic LEDs (CPU, DRAM, VGA, BOOT), 2x Thermal sensor connector, a pair of digital LED headers, a pair of RGBW LED headers, support for AMD 3-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2- Way SLI|
|Retail price, $||272|
Packaging and equipment
The box is medium in size, the design style has not changed significantly. All details about the product were moved to the back side.
There is a photo of it, a schematic layout of the ports on the rear panel, a small table describing the main features. Many small images describe the essence of the main differences from competitors. I want to highlight the organization of cooling systems management: eight devices can be connected, there are nine temperature indicators to monitor their effectiveness.
In addition to the board, the box contains:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
- «holster» for convenient connection of body connectors G Connector;
- two external thermocouples (with a drop-shaped compound at the end);
- five-wire extension cable for connecting LED strip;
- anodized plug for the housing with a one-color symbolic designation of all sockets. The reverse part is pasted over with noise-absorbing material;
- remote Wi-Fi antenna with the possibility of fixing the position, equipped with a stand with a built-in magnet;
- double hard bridge for organizing SLI.
Light up everything! Apparently, the developers were guided by such a slogan when designing the board. There are built-in elements in the PCH cooler and VRM heatsinks, a visor over the I / O ports glows, PCI-E, DRAM slots are also equipped with intricate light guides, the area near the main power socket is also worthy of attention. In addition, there are separately soldered LEDs on the board, for example, in the area of the CPU voltage regulator. However, there are no various buttons or position switches. The size of the product corresponds to the ATX format, there are nine holes for case screws.
The reverse side of the board is practically free from electronic components. Screws were used to fix massive structures — radiators and a plastic decorative lining.
All the backlighting on the board is made up of multi-color RGB diodes. On the PCH cooler, the series logo and the area above will be lit. The construction area is considerable, there were no problems with temperature.
There are three M.2 sockets, two of them have no limit on the form factor of installed units, and the bottom one can mount a device no larger than the 2280 type.
All six slots SATA longitudinal type, powered by Intel Z370.
There are four pads for USB body cables: two for version 2.0, one for symmetrical type 3.1 Gen 1, and one more for a regular, transverse type of the same generation.
Sixteen PCI-E processor lanes can be distributed equally among the glowing sockets. The lower one, of the usual type, works with a hub.
The sound component is curiously implemented. There is only one codec from Realtek and two types of special capacitors. There are no operational amplifiers this time. But it is impossible not to note a huge area without any elements. Everything is explained quite simply — on the older boards of this series there is a special implementation with the inclusion of an external DAC in the circuit and the equipment necessary for this.
The diagnostic unit consists of four red LEDs and a POST code indicator. At the bottom of the product there are two pads for tapes with LEDs of different types.
There are a couple more at the top of the board. Next to it is a window where the highlighting of the XMP inscription will notify you of the active status of this technology. For addressable LED strips, it is possible to choose between two types of effective voltage (5 and 12 volts) by changing the position of the jumper.
Problems when installing a CPU cooler can be added by a visor hanging over a rather squat VRM heatsink. However, in our case, nothing prevented the cooler. Both of these elements are equipped with luminous areas.
The construction of the converter circuit has been wandering from one model to another for more than the first generation, a similar one can be observed in the Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 7 and GA-Z170X-Gaming 5 models. Intersil Corporation ISL95866 is used as a PWM controller, it already has three drivers, and four more pieces are collected with discrete elements soldered on the board. Six transistors work in pairs for the three voltage channels of the integrated GPU, and another sixteen form a 4×4 combination for the CPU voltage, that is, their number is doubled compared to the previous three. All pairs are based on ON Semiconductor NTMFS4C06N and NTMFS4C10N models.
A pair of radiators is connected by a heat pipe. A ribbed surface is noticeable in the upper part, but everything is covered with a decorative overlay on top, which serves the purpose of creating greater efficiency as part of the illumination system. The seriousness of the approach to this issue can be assessed by the area of the textolite, which participates exclusively in this event, fixed on the visor. There were no problems with thermal pads, their area is sufficient.
The rear panel is quite consistent with the spirit of the times. Relative to the previous generation, there has been a replacement: the second Ethernet network output has changed to a pre-installed wireless adapter. There are many USB ports and they are all of different generations, there is also a symmetrical one. Two digital video outputs, five for audio and one optical — the set is quite decent. Although “unused space” is also noticeable, it will not work to call complaints justified in this case.