What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming 5 AM4 Motherboard Review

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
When AMD shipped out their Ryzen launch review kits to a few hundred fortunate people, they randomly included one of three motherboards: the ASRock X370 Taichi, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero, and the GIGABYTE AORUS AX370-Gaming 5. Having already reviewed the ASRock model, we thought it was time to take a look at one of the other models that AMD had hand-picked for their processor launch and we settled on the GIGABYTE.

The AX370-Gaming 5 model that we are reviewing today is behind only the AX370-Gaming K7 in GIGABYTE's current AM4 motherboard lineup. Having said that, the difference between the two models comes down to only the presence of a external BCLK chip on the K7 and a different colour scheme. Everything else is identical, except the price. While the Gaming 5 retails for about $195 USD / $265 CAD, then Gaming K7 will set you back $210 USD / $280 CAD. That $15 price is largely inconsequential, but we suspect that some people will choose to spend the extra money, if only due to a preference for the K7's black-on-black colour scheme.

When it comes to hard specs, the AX370-Gaming 5 doesn't disappoint. It has a 10-phase CPU power design, eight SATA 6Gb/s ports, one full-speed M.2 slot, one U.2 port, two physical PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots with support for 2-way SLI or CrossFireX, three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, and one mechanical PCI-E x16 slot that actually operates at PCI-E 2.0 x4. One of the highlights of this new platform is the exemplary USB capabilities, and on this motherboard that is manifested in the form of four high-speed USB 3.1 ports (three Type-A and one Type-C), six USB 3.0 ports, two USB 3.0 headers, and two USB 2.0 headers, for a grand total of eighteen possible USB ports.

On the networking front, this model has two gigabit LAN ports, one is Intel-powered and the other runs off the newest Killer E2500 LAN controller, and thus supports the powerful Killer Network Manager utility. Needless to say, the aforementioned utility is the tip of iceberg in GIGABYTE's large software suite that is comprised of a over a dozen interesting applications. They have also added the little elements that we always appreciate like two physical BIOS chips with two selector switches, a debug LED display, six onboard temperature sensors, two temperature sensor headers, two high current fan headers that support water pumps, and four physical hardware buttons that can be used to power on, reset, clear CMOS, or even enable the automatic overclocking feature.

One of the truly unique aspects of this model is the AMP-UP onboard audio implementation, which features two of the brand new Realtek ALC1220 codecs. We have only seen this design once before, and the idea is that you can use headphones and speakers at the same time. If the onboard audio doesn't meet your needs, you might find the USB DAC-UP 2 feature noteworthy. Two of the USB ports and two of the USB headers that have been isolated from the rest of the motherboard in order to minimize the signal noise that gets transferred to an external USB DAC, and you can also increase the voltage to this ports in order to better power any type of power hungry accessories.

RGB lighting has apparently become a 'must-have' feature on all gaming-oriented motherboards, so it might as well be good. Thankfully, GIGABYTE's RGB Fusion implementation is the best that we have ever seen. There are RGB LEDs placed not only under the little plastic strip that covers the audio section, but under the chipset cooler, under the PCI-E x16 slots, and even around the CPU socket. There is also a cool lighting strip on the top-right edge of the motherboard near the memory slots, and even a bunch of LEDs directly in between each memory slot. There is also an RGBW LED light strip header on which you can plug an aftermarket LED light strip. All of these LEDs as well as the header are controlled using the new RGB Fusion application. These lights can be adjusted to any number of different colours and customized to create cool lighting effects.

At first glance, this GIGABYTE AORUS AX370-Gaming 5 looks to be a winner. It has almost everything that we could hope for in an upper-end AM4 motherboard. The big question is obviously going to be whether all the features have been well implemented, if it overclocks well and easily, and whether overall stability is rock solid. That's what we are going to find out today.

X370-Gaming-5_1.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Packaging & Accessories

Packaging & Accessories


Now that we have gone over the AX370-Gaming 5's features and specifications, it is time to examine the packaging and then crack open the box to take a look at the bundled accessories. Let's check it out:

X370-Gaming-5_2th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_3th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_4th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_5th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

While the basic design and typography are unmistakably GIGABYTE's, the large AORUS logo will obviously be new to anyone that isn't previously familiar with the brand. On the back of the box, you will find quite a bit of information regarding all of the interesting features that have been packed onto this model, as well as a handy rear I/O panel diagram and a full specifications list.

X370-Gaming-5_6th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_7th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Once you flip open the box, you are greeted with two separate sections, the top half securely holds the motherboard in an anti-static bag while the bottom half contains the accessories, the documentation and the software DVD.

X370-Gaming-5_8th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_9th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_10th.gif
X370-Gaming-5_10th.png
X370-Gaming-5_11th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_12th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_13th.png
X370-Gaming-5_14th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The AX370-Gaming 5 comes with a good accessories bundle, which consists of a user manual, installation guide, driver and software DVD, AORUS sticker, rear I/O shield, four SATA 6Gb/s cables, and the useful front-panel connector so that users don't have to fiddle with individual wires when first installing the motherboard in their case. The unusual looking cable is an extension cable for the RGBW LED header that will allow users to plug in a standard 5050-type light strip.

As you might have noticed, there is also a really nice 2-way high bandwidth SLI HB bridge, two thermal probes, and even velcro straps.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
A Closer Look at the AX370-Gaming 5

A Closer Look at the AX370-Gaming 5



X370-Gaming-5_16.jpg

While we have seen similar black and white colour schemes before, the AORUS motherboards do it best thanks to their futuristic-looking and incredibly difficult to photograph MOSFET heatsinks and white plastic shroud, which features a bunch of sharp angles and edges. The overall design looks great, and it might give owners an incentive to seek out some of the many white components (case, fans, memory kits, power supplies, etc) that are available nowadays. If you aren't too fond of the white trim pieces, don't worry, you can use the cool lighting effects to basically bathe this whole motherboard in whatever colour combination that you prefer.

All the numerous buttons, connectors, and ports are easily accessible and free from possible obstruction. The two CPU fan headers are well positioned, and the six system fan headers are spread evenly across the motherboard. There is also a large amount of room between two main PCI-E x16 slots, so there won’t be any issues fitting thick dual or even triple-slot graphics cards on this motherboard. We aren't too fond of the placement of the M.2 slot since it is directly under the primary graphics card. This could be a problem because high performance M.2 solid state drives have been known to throttle themselves when running too hot, and graphics card radiate a lot of heat.

Last but not least, the AX370-Gaming 5 adheres to the standard ATX form factor (30.5 cm x 24.4 cm / 12.0-in x 9.6-in), so there are no weird sizing issues to worry about.

X370-Gaming-5_17th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_18th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_19th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_20th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

While this motherboard's VRM section can't quite compete with the overkill one found on the ASRock X370 Taichi, it still features a robust and interesting design. The AX370-Gaming 5 has been outfitted with a 10-phase CPU power design that utilizes an Infineon Rectifier IR35201 digital PWM controller and Infineon IR3553M 40A MOSFETs. While the PWM controller is actually operating in 6+2 phase mode - which is to say six phases for the cores and two phases for the SOC - GIGABYTE have doubled the two phases for the SOC, which is how we end up with a 10-phase 6+4 VRM configuration. We appreciate the fact this model also uses long-lasting Nippon Chemi-Con 10K Durable Black solid capacitors, as well as GIGABYTE's custom sealed ferrite core chokes.

The extruded aluminium heatsinks - which feature another small sheet of decorative aluminium on top - should be more than capable of cooling the aforementioned MOSFETs.

Although they are very hard to spot, if you look at the pictures very closely, you might spot the four RGB LEDs that have been strategically placed next to and even in-between the power chokes.

X370-Gaming-5_21th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_22th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_23th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_24th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The four DDR4 slots are fed by a single phase VRM, they supports up to 64GB of total system memory, and they have been certified for overclocked memory speeds of up to DDR4-3200. Make sure to check out our Overclocking Results section to see whether we were able to hit that level. By the way, unlike on most recent GIGABYTE models, the memory slots are not clipless on one side, but as you'll see in our Installation section there are no clearance issues with the back of the primary graphics card.

If you take a closer look, you will see that GIGABYTE have sandwiched rows of LEDs in between the individual memory slots. This is something that we have only seen on AORUS models, and as you will in our RGB Fusion feature test page, the effect is pretty awesome. There is also a clear plastic strip on the right edge of the motherboard that also lights up, and it is another truly unique addition that creates a visual impact.

Last but not least, there are four onboard buttons: clear CMOS, reset, power and OC, latter activates the built-in performance preset.

X370-Gaming-5_25th.jpg

To the left of the 24-pin ATX power connector are two of the six 4-pin PWM system fan headers, as well as two internal USB 3.0 headers that can be used to add another four USB 3.0 ports to the front of your case. These USB headers support USB DAC-UP 2, which means that you can adjust the voltage going to the USB ports in order to better power your USB audio DAC, or just to make up for any cable-related losses. This capability is courtesy of a few dedicated power design components.

X370-Gaming-5_26th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_27th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_28th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

While the X370 chipset technically only supports four SATA 6Gb/s ports, it also supports two SATA Express ports. As a result, motherboards like this AX370-Gaming 5 can feature eight SATA 6GB/s ports without needing a third-party controller. GIGABYTE have also added a U.2 port capable of up to 4GB/s of bandwidth, which is fine, but at the moment the only compatible drive is still the Intel 750 Series. Also, since they share PCI-E lanes, if you use the U.2 port, the M.2 slot is automatically disabled.

Below the primary PCI-E x16 slot you will find the single M.2 slot. It features a full-speed PCI-E 3.0 x4 interface, theoretical maximum bandwidth of 32Gb/s, and support for SATA, PCI-E, and PCI-E NVMe M.2 solid state drives. This slot is limited to 2280 form factor drives that are 80mm long.
 
Last edited:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
A Closer Look at the AX370-Gaming 5 pt.2

A Closer Look at the AX370-Gaming 5 pt.2



X370-Gaming-5_30th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_31th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The lower-right corner and the bottom edge of the motherboard is where you will find the handy colour-coded front panel header, the CLR CMOS jumper, debug LED display, one of the two temperature sensor headers, and three of the six system fan headers. The 'pump' fan header is one of the two that can supply up to 2 amps, and is thus compatible with both high current fans as well as water pumps.

The bottom edge of the motherboard is also where you will find two USB 2.0 headers, the TPM header, the RGBW LED light strip header, the two BIOS switches, and the front panel audio header. The RGBW LED light strip header is where you can plug in any 5050 RGB LED lighting strip, and not only have it fully powered by the motherboard but also controlled by the Fusion RGB utility.

The reason that there are two BIOS switches is because one allows you to select between the primary and the backup BIOS, while the other you operate the two BIOS chips in single or DualBIOS mode. In single mode, the two chips can have different BIOS versions and/or settings, while in DualBIOS mode they will mirrors of one another.

X370-Gaming-5_34th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_35th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Ryzen processors support sixteen PCI-E 3.0 lanes for graphics purposes. These lanes are divided across two separate PCI-E x16 slots thanks to a handful of ASMedia ASM1480 PCI-E 3.0 switches. The third mechanical PCI-E x16 slot operates in PCI-E 2.0 x4 mode, but since that slot shares bandwidth with all of the PCI-E x1 slots you cannot fully use both at the same time. More specifically, it cannot run in x4 mode while any of the PCI-E x1 slots are occupied. However, if you install an x1 card in that slot, then all four slots can operate at PCI-E 2.0 x1 at the same time. Another option is that the x4 slot can actually operate in x2 mode if only the second and third PCI-E x1 slots are occupied.

In a regular single graphics card setup, the first PCI-E x16 slot will obviously operate at PCI-E 3.0 x16. In a dual graphics card configuration, the first and second slots will operate at PCI-E 3.0 x8, which will still provide ample bandwidth for even the highest-end GPUs. This motherboard supports both two-way SLI and three-way CrossFireX. Triple AMDs GPUs are supported because CrossFire can function on an x4 slot, whereas SLI cannot.

The three primary PCI-E x16 slots have been mechanically reinforced with steel covers, as well as additional anchor points. There are three RGB LEDs under the top two PCI-E x16 slots.


X370-Gaming-5_38th.gif

X370-Gaming-5_39th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_40th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Once we removed the plastic shroud that covers the audio section, we finally got a good look at the unusual Amp-Up onboard audio implementation. We also were able to reveal the six RGB LEDs that light up this area.

As you can clearly see, there are indeed two Realtek ALC1220 codecs, which is something that we have only seen once before. Each codec features an audio amplifier integrated into its package. While that audio amplifier is built-in, it can only be hard-wired towards one output. As a result, most motherboards have an added amplifier - like a Texas Instruments NE5532 or OP1652 - so they can power both the rear audio outputs and the front panel header headphone jack.

Since this particular motherboard has two codecs it obviously doesn't need a separate amplifier, but another advantage is that instead of merely being able to output audio to the speakers or the front panel header's headphone jack, it can do both simultaneously. While this might sound cool - pardon the pun - we still can't really wrap our heads around needing to use the headphones and speakers at the same time. Lastly, we would have liked to see EMI covers on both of the codecs, but failing that at least there is the familiar PCB isolation line to help protect the audio signal.

X370-Gaming-5_43th.jpg

The AX370-Gaming 5 has a very good assortment of rear I/O panel ports. Starting from left to right, there is a combo keyboard/mouse PS/2 port, two USB 3.0 ports, two more USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-A and USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-C ports, two gigabit LAN ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen. 2 ports, five gold-plated analog audio jacks and one S/PDIF output.

The two yellow USB ports support USB DAC-UP 2, which means that they have been isolated from the rest of the motherboard in order to minimize the signal noise that gets transferred to your external USB DAC. You can also increase the voltage to this port in order to better power your DAC, or just to make up for any cable-related losses.

The HDMI output is of no use with Ryzen processors, but it will come in handy for anyone planning to use an upcoming 7th Generation A-Series APU, which this motherboard supports.

X370-Gaming-5_44th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_45th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_46th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_47th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Once we removed the upper plastic shroud, we got to take a peek at the various controllers powering the rear I/O ports. There is a highly compatible Intel I211-AT gigabit LAN controller, a gaming-oriented Killer E2500 gigabit LAN controller, a ASMedia ASM1143 controller is used to provide the USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports, and there are both ITE IT8792E and IT8686E. These last two are responsible for fan control, temperature and voltage monitoring, the PS/2 port, as well as expanding some overclocking features.

X370-Gaming-5_48th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_49th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The rear of the motherboard is largely devoid of any additional ICs or components. All of the heatsinks and the plastic shrouds are attached with metal screws, which is what we expect from a quality motherboard like this one. While the PCB isolation line that surrounds the audio sub-system is quite visible, there are no LEDs mounted on the rear of the motherboard, they are all on the topside as we mentioned above.
 
Last edited:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation


In the Hardware Installation section we examine how major components fit on the motherboard, and whether there are any serious issues that may affect installation and general functionality. Specifically, we are interested in determining whether there is adequate clearance in all critical areas.

X370-Gaming-5_60th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_61th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

While we have never really encountered any clearance issues when installing an all-in-one liquid cooler - like this Corsair Hydro H110i - you will want to be careful on what side you place the hoses since they can get pretty darn close to the memory modules. By the way, the mounting hardware for the Hydro basically just clips and screws onto the stock plastic brackets that come pre-mounted to all AM4 motherboards.

X370-Gaming-5_62th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_64th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

As mentioned in the previous section, this motherboard has a wide open CPU socket area and low profile MOSFET heatsinks, so installing any type of cooling on this motherboard should be a breeze. No matter what mounting hardware your cooler comes with this motherboard can handle it without any clearance issues. This also seems like a fantastic motherboard for LN2 pots, since it would be so easy to do a fantastic insulating job.

X370-Gaming-5_65th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_66th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_68th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_69th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

When we occupied the memory slot nearest to the CPU socket, even when using standard height memory modules our Prolimatech Mega Shadow's fan clips still made the tiniest bit of contact with the heat spreaders. Thankfully, it didn't actually prevent installation of either the memory or the clips. When we swapped in very tall G.Skill Trident Z memory modules, there were clearance issues even in the farthest memory slots, and it did prevent the installation of the fan clip on one side. The solution is obviously to find another way hold the fan in place, or to mount it on the other side of the heatsink, both of which are less than ideal.

X370-Gaming-5_70th.gif
X370-Gaming-5_71th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Due to the expansion slot layout, there is a pretty decent gap between the DDR4 memory slots and the back of the graphics card, so there is no need to take out the GPU before installing/uninstalling memory modules. The 24-pin ATX power connector and the 8-pin CPU power connector are both ideally placed, so that makes assembling and disassembling the system just a tad easier.

X370-Gaming-5_72th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_73th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_74th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_75th.jpg

X370-Gaming-5_76th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

This motherboard will easily hold one or two dual-slot graphics cards without difficulty. The cards will obviously extend past the motherboard length-wise, but that second card will thankfully not overhang any of the headers at the bottom edge of the motherboard. The gap between the first and second graphics card is wide enough that slim non-metallic object can easily be used to reach the second card's PCI-E slot release clip.

X370-Gaming-5_77.jpg

The eight 90-degree SATA ports and the single U.2 port are obviously accessible no matter how many and what type of graphics cards are installed.

X370-Gaming-5_78th.gif
X370-Gaming-5_79th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Installing an SSD in the M.2 slot is a trouble-free affair. You will need to remove any dual-slot graphics card installed in the primary PCI-E x16 slot, but otherwise it is an easy installation job.
 
Last edited:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
UEFI Explored

UEFI Explored


For this new generation, GIGABYTE have actually gone back to a dual mode UEFI. They have revived the more GUI heavy mode - now known as Easy Mode - which should give more novice users an easy way to visualize and alter some of the most common settings using only their mouse. The more feature-rich and text heavy Classic Mode has been refreshed, and while it is also mouse-friendly, it is easy to navigate with a keyboard and it caters to power users very well.

X370-Gaming-5_81th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_82th.gif

X370-Gaming-5_83th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_84th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Easy Mode makes good use of the graphical user interface (GUI) and was designed to be used with a mouse. It obviously does not have all the functionality of the Classic Mode, but it is not meant to. It simply gives novice users an easy way to visualize and alter some of the most common settings. The CPU temperature, CPU Vcore and system temperature readouts are oviously handu. The EZ OC feature allows users to decide whether they want their system to be optimized for maximum performance, energy efficiency, or just a mix of both. You can also enable your memory kit's XMP profile for this page. The Boot Sequence manager is a welcome addition, just in case the system tries booting off of the wrong storage device. Last, but not least, the Smart Fan 5 feature gives users full manual or preset-based control over all of the systems fans. It allows users to set temperature warnings, and even has it's own temperature monitoring section that highlights the impressive six temperature sensors that have been integrated onto this motherboard.

If you're confused about what the keyboard shortcuts are, just hit the ALT key and a useful pop-up will show you what the options are.

X370-Gaming-5_86th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

When compared to the previous generation, the UEFI BIOS has received a fairly significant aesthetic overhaul. It has a more modern looking and less flat design, but we wouldn't necessarily say that it's better...just different.

The first page that you are presented when you enter the Classic Mode is the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) section. It has been broken down into five main sub-menus and Smart Fan 5. This is where enthusiasts who enjoy overclocking should expect to spend 99% of their BIOS time.

While the old Current Status sub-menu has disappeared, if you drag the mouse cursor to the left side of the screen, a pop-out will appear that which contains a convenient overview of some useful system information, like CPU frequency, BCLK, CPU temperature, CPU core voltage, memory frequency, memory size, memory voltage, and some additional system voltages.

X370-Gaming-5_87th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_88th.gif

X370-Gaming-5_89th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_90th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

When you open the Advanced Frequency Settings sub-menu, you are greeted with all the essential system clock control options that a serious overclocker needs: base clock frequency, CPU multiplier, and memory multiplier.

The Advanced CPU Core Settings sub-menu is where you can enable or disable the various CPU-specific settings like Core Performance Boost, Cool&Quiet, SVM Mode, C-State Control, SMT Mode, and Downcore Control. This is also where you can set the core clock multiplier.

X370-Gaming-5_91th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_92th.gif

X370-Gaming-5_93th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_94th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

As its name suggests, the Advanced Memory Settings section is where you will find all the memory-related settings. Within this section you can select the memory multiplier, change the performance profile, monitor the memory voltage, and obviously tweak the memory timings. Each memory channel has its own section, within which you can alter the primary and secondary timings. It has every memory setting that an enthusiast or overclocker will need to fine-tune their memory modules.

X370-Gaming-5_95th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_96th.gif

X370-Gaming-5_97th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_98th.gif

X370-Gaming-5_99th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_100th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Advanced Voltage Settings sub-menu is where you can adjust the primary and secondary system voltages. We wish there were more drop-down menus in this section. We like the fact that you can see what the current voltages for every option, since you don't have to force yourself to remember that information.

We also like the fact that there are granular Load-Line Calibration (LLC) options for both the CPU Vcore and SOC voltage.

The PC Health Status section has been stripped down a bit compared to the last version, namely since all the temperature readouts have been relocated, but it is a useful place to check on all of the system voltages.

X370-Gaming-5_101th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_102th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Smart Fan 5 feature in the Classic Mode is exactly the same as in the Easy Mode, which is to say that it gives users full manual or preset-based control over all of the systems fans. It also allows users to set temperature warnings, and even has its own temperature monitoring section that highlights the impressive seven temp sensors that have been integrated onto this motherboard, as well as two external sensor headers.

X370-Gaming-5_103th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_104th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The Miscellaneous Setting sub-menu is one that we have actually never used before. The Max Link Speed is just a way to switch between PCI-E versions - ostensibly for older PCI-E cards that are having compatibility issues in newer slots - and the 3DMark01 Enhancement setting is just to improve scores in that awesome old benchmark.

X370-Gaming-5_105th.gif
X370-Gaming-5_106th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The System Information section displays the motherboard model name, BIOS version, allows users to set the BIOS language, and set an administrator password.

The BIOS Features section is where you can select the boot device priority, enable/disable the full screen logo, select Windows 10 features, Boot Mode, and more.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
UEFI Explored pt.2

UEFI Explored pt.2



X370-Gaming-5_107th.gif
X370-Gaming-5_108th.gif

X370-Gaming-5_109th.gif
X370-Gaming-5_110th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Peripherals section is where you can enable or disable some of the onboard devices, like the audio controller, the RGB LEDs, or even the USB DAC-UP functionality. Having said that, there is surprisingly little here since similar functionality has been integrated in various other sections, like the following Chipset section.

X370-Gaming-5_111th.jpg
X370-Gaming-5_112th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Chipset section is where you can enable/disable the IOMMU virtualization feature, the SATA mode, and also a list of the SATA devices that are plugged in.

X370-Gaming-5_113th.gif
X370-Gaming-5_114th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Power section contains the numerous power management settings linked to the various power-saving sleep modes. The Save & Exit section is pretty self-evident, however you can also save or load BIOS profiles from within this area.

X370-Gaming-5_115th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

This last screenshot is of the Q-Flash Utility which is accessed via the F12 key. Since Q-Flash is built right into the BIOS, and it can read files directly from a USB flash drive, BIOS flashing is a simple and quick procedure. Remember that your USB flash drive must be formatted in the FAT16/32 file system in order to be supported by Q-Flash, otherwise the utility won't allow you to update the bios or save the existing bios to a flash drive.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Included Software

Included Software



APP Center

X370-Gaming-5_116th.gif

The APP Center utility is a new centralized hub for all the in-house utilities that GIGABYTE bundles with their motherboards. It permanently resides in the notification area/icon tray in the right corner of your screen. Not only does it give you one location from which to open or even uninstall all motherboard-related pieces of software, but it also contains a Live Update feature that lets you know if the there's a new version of the software available.


EasyTune

The sleek EasyTune system management utility has been refocused towards its core functions of automatic overclocking and real-time tweaking of system frequencies, timings and voltages. As a result, EasyTune has been stripped of its monitoring and fan control duties, and that functionality has been transferred to the new System Information Viewer tool that can apparently handle these tasks with much lower latency.

X370-Gaming-5_117th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

As in previous versions, the Smart Boost section is arguably the most interesting part of this utility. Primarily this is because it contains this motherboard's single automatic overclocking feature, which is the OC preset. Enabling that preset is super simple; you just click on the icon, the system reboots, and the overclock is applied. You can see the result of that overclock preset in our Overclocking Results section.

X370-Gaming-5_118th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

It should be noted that at the bottom of the utility there is an information strip that can be expanded by the click of a button. It displays information on CPU and DRAM frequency, real-time voltage and temperatures measurements, as well as CPU and case fans speeds. You can also set safe thresholds for voltages, temperatures and fan speeds as well as setting alerts to warn you of any serious fluctuations.

X370-Gaming-5_119th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Advanced CPU OC section is where you can manually adjust the CPU multiplier, as well as tinker with all the important system voltages. Regrettably, at least for now, the BCLK setting is greyed out so there is no way to adjust that frequency on this motherboard given its lack of a BCLK chip.

X370-Gaming-5_120th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Advanced DDR OC section of the EasyTune app is where you can adjust the memory multiplier and enable/disable the memory kit's XMP profile. Hopefully, in the future, you will also be able to tweak a number of primary and secondary memory timings.

X370-Gaming-5_121th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

While the Advanced Power tab is usually where you would find options for selecting the number of VRM power phases and switching frequency, there aren't actually any settings available to use yet on this platform. Instead, you can only adjust the Load-Line Calibration (LLC) setting for the CPU and SOC voltage.

X370-Gaming-5_122th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The Hotkey tab is where you can elect to save one or two settings profiles. This is will become more useful as more adjustable settings are unlocked.


System Information Viewer

In order to make the utility more responsive, all the monitoring and fan control duties were stripped from EasyTune and transferred to a new application, the System Information Viewer. This might seem like a step backwards since usually the aim is to consolidate as many features as possibly into one program, but GIGABYTE claims that by doing this they have managed to greatly reduce the deferred procedure call (DPC) latencies that could interfere with EasyTune's primary functions, i.e. real-time tweaking and overclocking.

X370-Gaming-5_123th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The System Information tab is pretty straightforward, it really just shows some very basic information regarding the system clocks and a few details about the system's CPU, memory, and motherboard.

X370-Gaming-5_124th.gif

X370-Gaming-5_125th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

In this new implementation, manual and automatic fan control options have been split into two separate tabs. Smart Fan Auto is where you find four standard fan speed presets, while Smart Fan Advanced is where you will find the auto-calibration feature and where you can manually fix fan speed or have it vary based on temperatures.


X370-Gaming-5_127th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The System Alerts tab is where you will find the Hardware Monitor, which display some basic system frequencies, a bunch of system voltages, system temperatures and fan speeds. We would like to see some additional voltage readouts, for the System Agent and Ring Bus for example. System Alerts, is as its name implies, is also where you can set system temperature or fan speed limits, and if those thresholds are crossed you will be alerted.


X370-Gaming-5_129th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

The Record tab is fairly self-explanatory, it is where you can enable and adjust settings related to recording the various system voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Included Software pt.2

Included Software pt.2



RGB Fusion

X370-Gaming-5_130th.gif

The RGB Fusion application allows users to control the RGB LEDs that are placed under the little plastic strip that covers the audio section, under the chipset cooler, under the PCI-E x16 slots, near the CPU socket, lighting strip near the memory slots, and even the bunch LEDs that are directly in between each memory slot. The LEDs can be adjusted to any number of different colours and customized to create cool lighting effects, like fading in and out, syncing with your music, cycling through all of the colours, flashing on and off, flashing sections randomly, or even just displaying one static colour. Definitely check out our Fusion RGB feature test page to see what the lighting effect looks like.


@BIOS

X370-Gaming-5_131.gif

If you don’t want to bother formatting a USB flash drive to FAT16/32 in order to use the Q-Flash feature in the BIOS, you can simply use the @BIOS utility to download the latest version directly from GIGABYTE's servers and flash from within Windows.


Smart Backup

X370-Gaming-5_132.jpg

Smart Recovery 2 is kind of like Windows Restore/Apple Time Capsule function, where you can roll-back system settings to a previous working status. Users can select just about any day, week, or month to roll-back from, without having had to manually tell the program to create a backup flag.


Smart TimeLock

X370-Gaming-5_133.jpg

Smart TimeLock is a feature all kids will despise, as it allows parents the ability to schedule time limits for their children to use the PC. Parents or administrators can even make different usage time rules for weekdays and weekends.


USB Blocker

X370-Gaming-5_134.jpg

If you're building a computer that will be used in a public setting, or you simply don't trust your friends/roommates/family. Once you set up a password, USB Blocker will allow you to prevent certain devices from functioning when plugged into your system's USB ports. All you need to do is set a password in the utility and select which kind of devices to block.


Fast Boot

X370-Gaming-5_135.jpg

The Fast Boot utility basically streamlines the bootup process, and starts loading the operating system immediately instead of waiting around to see if you want to access the BIOS. It makes entering the BIOS impossible, but that is easily fixed by just clicking on the "Enter BIOS Setup Now" button.


Cloud Station


X370-Gaming-5_136.gif


The new Cloud Station utility is a function-rich program if you take the time to learn about it and install the associated GIGABYTE Cloud Station mobile app (available on Android & iOS) on your smartphone or tablet.

The HomeCloud feature allows your mobile devices to access files on Gigabyte-powered system from a Wi-Fi or cellular network. The Remote function turns your mobile device into a remote keyboard and mouse from which you can control and navigate your PC. Remote OC gives you basically all the functionality of the EasyTune and System Information Viewer utilities on your mobile device. As a result, you can remotely overclock, tweak, monitor, or even shutdown your system. Auto Green is actually potentially pretty neat, it automatically suspends the system if you and your Bluetooth-paired smartphone walk more than 10 meters away. Obviously, you will need to bring your own Bluetooth adapter since this motherboard doesn't lacks that particular connectivity option. As its name suggests, the HotSpot utility can turn your internet connected system into a Wi-Fi hotspot, assuming you have a W-Fi adapter or card installed.


3D OSD


X370-Gaming-5_137.gif


The 3D OSD utility is a useful in-game overlay that displays real-time hardware information like frame rates, temperatures, CPU and GPU load and frequencies.


USB DAC-UP 2


X370-Gaming-5_138.gif


The USC DAC-UP 2 utility gives users full control over the USB DAC-UP port. This is to say that not only can you totally disable the power to that port if you so choose, but you can also increase the voltage output in order to compensate for any cable-related loses. They have also provided identical control over the two USB 3.0 headers, which means that four additional USB ports can benefit from this functionality.


V-TUNER


X370-Gaming-5_139.gif


V-Tuner is a useful utility that GIGABYTE have bundled with their graphics cards for many years. It gives overclockers full access to their graphics card's key voltages and frequencies. It also allows the power energy aficionados a way to place a hard limit on the GPU's power consumption. By the way, yes, 'Tuning' is still misspelled despite the fact that we told them about this error years ago.


Color Temperature

X370-Gaming-5_140.gif


The new-ish Color Temperature app gives users an option to tune down the amount of blue light that their monitor outputs. Blue light can cause eye fatigue, and exposure to it late at night can also interfere with your body's sleep patterns. It is a thoughtful addition.


Killer Network Manager

X370-Gaming-5_141th.gif

Click on image to enlarge

The Killer Network Manager is the software control interface for the Killer E2500 network processing unit (NPU) that is installed along with the drivers. This utility provides users with a lot of control and monitoring capabilities over every application that is accessing the network. It displays CPU usage, NPU usage, ICMP and UDP average ping, and the network utilization of every system process and program. This tool also allows you give priority to certain applications, and throttle or block others to free network resources for other applications. It is your one-stop tool for monitoring and controlling all network traffic.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Test Setups & Methodology

Test Setups & Methodology



For this review, we are going to be testing the performance of the GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming 5 four configurations: default settings @ DDR4-2133, default setting @ DDR4-3200, automatic overclocking settings, and manual overclock settings. The components and software are the same across all five configurations, and aside from manually selecting the frequencies, timings, and voltages in the manual overclock configuration, every option in the BIOS was at its default setting.

AMD Ryzen AM4 Test Setup​
X370-Gaming-5_142.png

For all of the benchmarks, appropriate lengths are taken to ensure an equal comparison through methodical setup, installation, and testing. The following outlines our testing methodology:

A) Windows is installed using a full format.

B) Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed.

C) To ensure consistent results, a few tweaks are applied to Windows 10 Pro and the NVIDIA control panel:
  • UAC – Disabled
  • Indexing – Disabled
  • Superfetch – Disabled
  • System Protection/Restore – Disabled
  • Problem & Error Reporting – Disabled
  • Remote Desktop/Assistance - Disabled
  • Windows Security Center Alerts – Disabled
  • Windows Defender – Disabled
  • Screensaver – Disabled
  • Power Plan – High Performance
  • V-Sync – Off

D) All available Windows updates are then installed.

E) All programs are installed and then updated, followed by a defragment.

F) Benchmarks are each run three to ten times, and unless otherwise stated the results are then averaged.


Here is a full list of the applications that we utilized in our benchmarking suite:
  • 3DMark Vantage Professional Edition v1.1.3
  • 3DMark11 Professional Edition v1.0.132.0
  • 3DMark 2013 Professional Edition v2.3.3693
  • AIDA64 Engineer Edition v5.80.4098 Beta
  • Cinebench R15 64-bit
  • FAHBench 1.2.0
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • HEVC Decode Benchmark (Cobra) v1.61
  • LuxMark v3.1
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • PCMark 8 v2.7.613
  • SuperPi Mod v1.9 WP
  • Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark v1.0.0.0
  • WinRAR x64 5.50
  • wPRIME version v2.10
  • X3: Terran Conflict Demo v1.0
That is about all you need to know methodology wise, so let's get to the good stuff!
 

Latest posts

Twitter

Top