Motherboards

The AORUS Z370 Gaming 7 Motherboard Review

Redefining the Mid-Range Motherboard

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Introduction

Originally founded in 2014, the AORUS branding was reserved for GIGABYTE’s high-end gaming laptops and gaming peripherals. However, at CES 2017 GIGABYTE unveiled their AORUS branded line of motherboards and graphics cards, replacing their G1 GAMING line. AORUS motherboards first appeared with the launch of Intels 7th generation Core Processors. Now, less than a year later, Intel has introduced their line up of 8th generation Core Processors. The 8th generation is the first time their mainstream platform features a hyperthreaded, hex-core processor with the Core i7 8700k. Although the 8th generation uses the same LGA 1151 socket as the past two generations, the 8th generation Core Processors are not backwards compatible with Z170 or Z270 motherboards. So, with this generation comes yet another chipset on the LGA 1151 socket, Intels new Z370 chipset.

In this review, we’ll be looking at the AORUS Z370 Gaming 7 from Gigabyte. They did an excellent job with the Z270 line-up of AORUS boards, and with Z370, I’m personally expecting more of the same. But if you’re currently running a 7700k on a Z270 motherboard, is upgrading to Z370 something you really want to consider? Since the 7700k only launched in January, is it worth the 700 plus dollars the 8700k and a new board will cost? We tested the AORUS Z370 Gaming 7 with the 8th generations flagship Core i7 8700k to try and answer these questions the best we can, to try and help you make an informed decision. So, lets see how well the AORUS Z370 Gaming 7 held up to our suite of benchmarks.

Review Sample Provided by: Gigabyte
Product Name/Link to Website: Aorus Z370 Gaming 7
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

 

Specifications

  • CPU
    1. Support for 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors in the LGA1151 package
    2. L3 cache varies with CPU

    (Please refer “CPU Support List” for more information.)

  • Chipset
    1. Intel® Z370 Express Chipset
  • Memory
    1. 4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory
    2. Dual channel memory architecture
    3. Support for DDR4 4133(O.C.) / 4000(O.C.) / 3866(O.C.) / 3800(O.C.) / 3733(O.C.) / 3666(O.C.) / 3600(O.C.) / 3466(O.C.) / 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666 / 2400 / 2133 MHz memory modules
    4. Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
    5. Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules
    6. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

    (Please refer “Memory Support List” for more information.)

  • Onboard Graphics

    Integrated Graphics Processor-Intel® HD Graphics support:

    1. 1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2304@60 Hz
      * Support for DisplayPort 1.2 version, HDCP 2.2, and HDR.
    2. 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2160@30 Hz
    3. * Support for HDMI 1.4 version and HDCP 2.2.

    Maximum shared memory of 1 GB

  • Audio
    1. Realtek® ALC1220 codec
    2. ESS9018Q2C chip
    3. Support for Sound BlasterX 720°
    4. High Definition Audio
    5. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
    6. Support for S/PDIF Out
  • LAN
    1. 1 x Intel® GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
    2. 1 x Rivet Networks Killer™ E2500 LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
  • Expansion Slots
    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
      * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
    2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
      * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode.
    3. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
      * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the M2P_32G connector. The PCIEX4 slot operates at up to x2 mode when a PCIe SSD is installed in the M2P_32G connector.
    4. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
      * The PCIEX1_3 slot shares bandwidth with the SATA3 1 connector. The SATA3 1 connector becomes unavailable when the PCIEX1_3 is populated.

    (All of the PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)

  • Storage Interface

    Chipset:

    1. 2 x M.2 connectors (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2M_32G) (M2A_32G)
    2. 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2P_32G)
    3. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
    4. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
      * Refer to “1-9 Internal Connectors,” for the installation notices for the PCIEX4, M.2, and SATA connectors.

    Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

  • Multi-Graphics Technology
    1. Support for NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ and 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technologies
    2. Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire™ and 3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire™ technologies
  • USB

    Chipset+2 ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 2 Controllers:

    1. 1 x USB Type-C™ port with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, available through the internal USB header
    2. 1 x USB Type-C™ port on the back panel, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
    3. 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red) on the back panel

    Chipset+Realtek® USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub:

    1. 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports available through the internal USB header

    Chipset:

    1. 5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back panel
    2. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports available through the internal USB headers
  • Internal I/O Connectors
    1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
    2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
    3. 1 x CPU fan header
    4. 1 x water cooling CPU fan header
    5. 4 x system fan headers
    6. 1 x 3 Amp fan/water cooling pump header
    7. 1 x system fan/water cooling pump header
    8. 2 x digital LED strip headers
    9. 2 x digital LED strip power select jumpers
    10. 2 x RGB (RGBW) LED strip headers
    11. 3 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors
    12. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
    13. 1 x front panel header
    14. 1 x front panel audio header
    15. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
    16. 1 x USB Type-C™ header, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
    17. 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 header
    18. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
    19. 1 x Thunderbolt™ add-in card connector
    20. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header (2×6 pin, for the GC-TPM2.0_S module only)
    21. 1 x power button
    22. 1 x reset button
    23. 1 x Clear CMOS button
    24. 1 x OC button
    25. 2 x temperature sensor headers
  • Back Panel Connectors
    1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
    2. 1 x DisplayPort
    3. 1 x HDMI port
    4. 5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
    5. 1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
    6. 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red)
    7. 2 x RJ-45 ports
    8. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
    9. 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
  • I/O Controller
    1. iTE®I/O Controller Chip
  • H/W Monitoring
    1. Voltage detection
    2. Temperature detection
    3. Fan speed detection
    4. Water cooling flow rate detection
    5. Overheating warning
    6. Fan fail warning
    7. Fan speed control
      * Whether the fan (pump) speed control function is supported will depend on the fan (pump) you install.
  • BIOS
    1. 2 x 128 Mbit flash
    2. Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
    3. Support for DualBIOS™
    4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
  • Unique Features
    1. Support for APP Center
      * Available applications in APP Center may vary by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also vary depending on motherboard specifications.
      3D OSD
      @BIOS
      AutoGreen
      BIOS Setup
      Color Temperature
      Cloud Station
      EasyTune
      Easy RAID
      Fast Boot
      Game Boost
      ON/OFF Charge
      Platform Power Management
      RGB Fusion
      Smart Backup
      Smart Keyboard
      Smart TimeLock
      Smart HUD
      System Information Viewer
      USB Blocker
      USB DAC-UP 2
      V-Tuner
    2. Support for Q-Flash
    3. Support for Xpress Install
  • Bundle Software
    1. Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
    2. XSplit Gamecaster + Broadcaster (12 months license)
  • Operating System
    1. Support for Windows 10 64-bit
    1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
      Form Factor

Key Features

  • Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
  • ASMedia 3142 USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-C™ and Type-A
  • Front USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C™ Header
  • Multi-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable™ Design
  • 121dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with ALC1220 & High-End ESS SABRE 9018 DAC with WIMA audio capacitors
  • Sound BlasterX 720°, the top-of-the-line audio engine solution for 4K gaming and entertainment
  • Killer™ E2500 Gaming Network + Intel® Gigabit LAN
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone Digital LED Light Show design, support digital LED & RGB LED strips
  • Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • Triple Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and Thermal Guard
  • USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
  • Precise Digital USB Fuse Design for Stronger Protection
  • Anti-Sulfur Resistors Design
  • Ultra Durable™ 25KV ESD and 15KV Surge LAN Protection
  • Lightning-Fast Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 AIC Support
  • APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities

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Paul Malfy

I started building computers in 1994. I studied journalism and computer science in college. I love gaming but hardware is my true passion. Especially video cards.

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