Epic Thanksgiving Giveaway: MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO!

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review

BIOSTAR's new X370GTN motherboard provides an excellent AMD Ryzen AM4 experience in a tiny package and at a fair price.

@StevenBassiriTT
Published Wed, Jun 28 2017 8:22 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: BIOSTAR

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 73 IMAGES

Recently I have seen many people complain about the lack of Mini-ITX motherboards for the X370 platform. Part of the reason you do not see many Mini-ITX motherboards is because of AMD's X300 and A300 chipsets which are designed to take full advantage of the fact that Ryzen CPUs are full SoCs. Ryzen CPUs not only house PCI-E lanes for GPUs but also provide four USB 3.0 ports, and then four PCI-E lanes that are flexible. Those flexible lanes are almost always used to provide an x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slot, but they can also be used as two SATA ports and x2 PCI-E 3.0 for an M.2 slot.

The CPU also houses system management components, and it's one reason you see BIOS ROMs very close to the CPU rather than to the chipset as on Intel motherboards. The X300 and A300 chipsets will offer authentication for the system, and no IO, and will be significantly smaller than the X370 chipset and its offspring, making them perfect for SFFPCs. However, BIOSTAR has jumped the gun and has brought to market the only Mini-ITX X370 motherboard; the X370GTN.

Let's take a look.

Specifications

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 02 | TweakTown.com

The X370GTN Gaming features 32Gb/s M.2,USB 3.1, USB 3.0, Realtek LAN, and four SATA6Gb/s ports.

Pricing

The X370GTN Gaming costs $109.99.

Packaging and X370GTN Gaming Overview

Packaging and Overview

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 01 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 04 | TweakTown.com

The motherboard box is of solid construction and features carbon fiber streaks; the motherboard is extremely well protected inside the box.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 05 | TweakTown.com

The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, IO shield, manual, and driver DVD.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 06 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 07 | TweakTown.com

BIOSTAR offers just two fan headers, which is a reasonable amount for a mini-ITX motherboard. Most mini-ITX motherboards only feature two fan headers. BIOSTAR's fan headers are 4-pin PWM-only headers that won't control voltage (3-pin) fans, instead voltage mode fans will run full speed. PWM fans can be controlled through the UEFI or Windows. BIOSTAR's black and gray color theme has won them many fans over the past few years, including me. I really like the heat sink RGB LEDs, which allow you to choose the color of your VRM heat sink. The back of the motherboard isn't bare; the sole M.2 slot is on the rear of the motherboard.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 08 | TweakTown.com

The IO panel includes four USB 3.0 type-A ports, one USB 3.1 type-A port, one USB 3.1 type-C port, DVI, PS/2 keyboard, 1Gbit LAN, HDMI, and 7.1 gold plated audio outputs with S/PDIF out.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 09 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Like other mini-ITX motherboards, the X370GTN features a single PCI-E x16 3.0 slot routed directly to the CPU. Two SATA6Gb/s ports site above the x16 slot. A single 32Gb/s M.2 slot sits on the rear of the PCB and allows users to use the latest NVMe drives for significantly faster performance.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 11 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 12 | TweakTown.com

Two RGB LED 5050 headers are located at the top of the motherboard above the CPU socket. Between the 24-pin power connector and two vertical SATA 6Gb/s ports are the front panel headers. Below the two SATA6Gb/s ports is a USB 3.0 internal header.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 13 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 14 | TweakTown.com

Audio headers are located near the audio section of the PCB along with the CMOS battery. A single USB 2.0 internal header is located right above the PCI-E x16 slot. The single VRM heat sink is screwed to the motherboard while the chipset heat sink uses pushpins, and is very hard to remove from the motherboard.

Surprisingly, the heat sinks and shields are screwed onto the motherboard.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Circuit Analysis

Circuit Analysis

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 15 | TweakTown.com

Removing the heat sinks doesn't reveal too much since most of the motherboard is already revealed.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 16 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 17 | TweakTown.com

The VRM is in a 4+3 phase configuration. It's controlled by an Intersil ISL95712 PWM which offers 4+3 phase operation with integrated drivers. It offers two integrated drivers on the four phase rail and one on the three phase rail. To drive the rest of the phases, BIOSTAR uses three ISL6625A drivers, which are labeled "5AZ". Each phase uses a dual N-Channel MOSFET so that you won't see discrete high-side and low-side MOSFETs. Instead, you get a single package. The Nikos (UNKIC) PK612DZ are the dual N-Channel MOSFFETs; they are rated for roughly 50A.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 18 | TweakTown.com

Two Sinopower N-Channel MOSFETs are driven by a single phase Richtek PWM with an integrated driver, providing enough power for two memory DIMMs.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Circuit Analysis Continued

X370GTN Gaming Circuit Analysis Continued

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 19 | TweakTown.com

The Realtek ALC892 audio codec is used to provide HD audio to the rear IO and front panel header. A sense amplifier, some audio capacitors, and a physical divide in the PCB helps to improve audio quality.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 20 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 21 | TweakTown.com

A Realtek RTL8118AS is the NIC that provides Gbit LAN on the motherboard. BIOSTAR uses a Pericom Pi3EQX USB 3.1 repeater and an ASMedia ASM1543 type-C controller to facilitate proper signaling of AMD's USB 3.1.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 22 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 23 | TweakTown.com

An ELAN eKTF5832 provides RGB LED control and features. The main SuperIO on the motherboard is an ITE IT8613E, and it provides PS/2, voltage monitoring, and fan control.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 24 | TweakTown.com

A single Winbond 128Mbit/16MB ROM holds your BIOS.

BIOS and Software

BIOS

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 25 | TweakTown.com

BIOSTAR's BIOS is not the worst thing about the motherboard, but it is also not the best. They have made some changes to the way you overclock, and actual improvements over previous BIOS versions for their X370 line. It is easier to overclock with custom P-States now.

There is still the hardware limitation for DC mode fan control, but you still get PWM fan control over the few headers the motherboard features.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 26 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 27 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 28 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 29 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 30 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 31 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 32 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 33 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 34 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 35 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 36 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 37 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 38 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 39 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 40 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 41 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 42 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 43 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 44 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 45 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 46 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 47 | TweakTown.com
BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 48 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 49 | TweakTown.com

Software

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 50 | TweakTown.com

BIOSTAR's software suite includes Racing, which includes LED control, HW monitoring, and some audio features. FLY.NET is a network control application, and BIOSTAR also offers BIOS Update and eHot-Line.

Test System Setup

Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 51 | TweakTown.com

The X370GTN has the same built in LEDs in the VRM heat sink that I am a huge fan of. It's a really nice touch that I still haven't seen any vendor integrated LEDs into heat sinks to allow users to customize heat sink color do it better.

CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks

CINEBENCH R15

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 52 | TweakTown.com

wPrime

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 53 | TweakTown.com

AIDA64 FPU

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 54 | TweakTown.com

AIDA64 Memory

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 55 | TweakTown.com

ScienceMark

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 56 | TweakTown.com

HandBrake

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 57 | TweakTown.com

SuperPi 32M

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 58 | TweakTown.com

3DMark: Fire Strike

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 59 | TweakTown.com

3DMark: Cloud Gate

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 60 | TweakTown.com

ResidentEvil 6

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 61 | TweakTown.com

The X370GTN shows us that it can perform just like the larger ATX sized motherboards. Its CPU, memory, and graphics performance is in line with other X370 motherboards, and it offers more of the latest AEGIS microcode from AMD. While the motherboard only has two DIMMs, its memory performance isn't limited since the motherboard still offers dual channel memory operation.

System IO Benchmarks

CrystalDiskMark SATA6G:

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 62 | TweakTown.com

CrystalDiskMark M.2:

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 63 | TweakTown.com

ixChariot Network Throughput:

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 64 | TweakTown.com

The X370GTN has very solid M.2 and SATA storage numbers, and that isn't too hard to foresee because the length of the traces is low, so signals don't have to travel long distances. Network performance is decent; it's what we have come to expect from a Realtek Gbit NIC.

Audio RMAA 5.5:

I disable all audio features, set the correct bitrates, and then test the audio with a loopback test.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 65 | TweakTown.com

Sound Judgment by Ear: Good, the audio solution doesn't use the latest codec, so we can't expect crazy scores, but overall performance is decent. There are five ratings for audio: 1. Problems, 2. Okay, 3. Acceptable, 4. Very good, 5. Excellent

Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption

System power is measured at the wall with an AC power meter.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 66 | TweakTown.com

Note on Thermal Images: In the temperature section, we use our Seek thermal imaging camera to capture the surface temperatures of major components on the board. I look at the VRM and then all other things that light up the screen. If there is something to worry about, then I will state it. Otherwise, I will just show the hotter running parts of the board for fun. Unless some component is over 80-90C, then there isn't anything to worry about.

All systems will act differently, so I will look for commonalities, such as how far from the VRM the heat spreads through the PCB and the difference in temperature between the front side and backside of the PCB. Keep in mind, the majority of the heat from the VRM goes into the PCB as it is a giant soldered on copper heat sink. A larger difference in temperature between the back and front of the PCB points towards a more effective heat sink.

Thermal Testing at Stock Speeds:

The image on the left is always at idle, and the image on the right is at load. During ALL TESTS, fans above the VRM that cool the CPU cooler's (Corsair H110i) radiator are turned on to high (12v).

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 67 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 68 | TweakTown.com

Full frontal.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 69 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 70 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 71 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 72 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the back of the VRM.

The X370GTN's thermal performance is acceptable, but I wouldn't try any hardcore overclocking because the motherboard only features four phases. The motherboard will allow you to overclock, but if you do, it's important for you to ensure active airflow around the VRM. The VRM is small, and that isn't BIOSTAR's fault, the motherboard is tiny, and it has been traditionally very difficult to fit everything into a Mini-ITX motherboard.

Anything under 60C is great, 60-80C is acceptable, and anything above 80C is a bit worrisome (if at stock).

What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

Here are key points about the BIOSTAR X370GTN.

What's Hot

Mini-ITX + X370: For many months the X370GTN has been the only Mini-ITX X370 motherboard on the market, and it continuously sells out. The motherboard offers the latest AMD X370 platform features such as M.2, USB 3.1, SATA6Gb/s, and USB 3.0. While the X300 chipset is meant to be used for Mini-ITX Ryzen motherboards, the X370 chipset offers a lot more IO and makes more sense for an enthusiast product.

RGB Headers and Heatsink: I am a huge fan of the way BIOSTAR does their RGB LEDs built into their VRM heat sink, and they used the same method on the VRM on the X370GTN. You can basically choose the color of the VRM heat sink. The motherboard also features two RGB LED headers located at the top of the motherboard, for easy access for heat sink coolers or LED strips located at the top of the case.

High-End Features: BIOSTAR made sure to include M.2, four SATA6Gb/s ports, USB 3.0 internal header, USB 2.0 internal header, rear USB 3.1, and rear USB 3.0 in this tiny mini-ITX motherboard. I had assumed that perhaps one of these high-end features might be lost going from ATX to mini-ITX, but the truth is that it didn't happen, and you still get all the premium features the X370 chipset has to offer.

Extremely Affordable: At just over $100, the X370GTN is a really excellent value considering it features the X370 chipset and all of its features.

What's Not

Cuts Here and There: The lower-end audio chipset and the average NIC are to be expected at the $100 price point. However, we also find that the VRM, while it uses more integrated parts, only gets a 4-pin CPU power plug, limiting it to 150W. So while the motherboard is enthusiast, it's also limited by the size constraints of the motherboard.

Final Thoughts

The BIOSTAR X370GTN has been the only X370 mini-ITX motherboard on the market since launch, and it has garnered a large number of supporters and fans on the forums and other AMD communities. It's a solid offering, and while its BIOS is kind of rudimentary, you can still attain the same type of overclocks you would on an ATX motherboard. That being said, its small VRM and 4-pin power connector limit your total power budget, so don't expect to overclock an 1800X to 4.1GHz on all cores without active VRM cooling.

BIOSTAR X370GTN Gaming Motherboard Review 73 | TweakTown.com

The X370GTN offers all the best features of the X370 platform without the high price of other X370 motherboards and with the benefits of the mini-ITX platform.

If you are looking for a really nice, stylish, and loaded X370 motherboard in a tiny package, the X370GTN is an excellent choice.

TweakTown award
Performance89%
Quality89%
Features97%
Value96%
Overall93%

The Bottom Line: BIOSTAR's X370GTN offers an excellent AMD Ryzen AM4 experience in a tiny package and an extremely reasonable price.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

Newsletter Subscription

Similar Content

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles