Here are key points about the GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Gaming 3.
Solid Quality: When I speak of quality on this motherboard I am pretty much referring to the VRM quality of the CPU. It's top notch, and actually quite similar to that of the Gaming 7 and Gaming 9, which cost hundreds more. The only thing you will need to do is get some decent airflow in your case or on a test bench to help keep the heat sink cool.
Unexpected Fan Frenzy: I expected many fewer fan headers than on GIGABYTE's high-end boards, but the Gaming 3 has a whopping eight fan headers, all of which are PWM/DC mode hybrid, and one that even offers up to 3A. You also get the two temperature input headers in case you have external temperature probes.
RGB Support: The X299 AORUS Gaming 3 doesn't have that many built-in RGB LEDs, but it still offers two RGBW headers that can work as normal RGB headers. It also has that 12v or 5v digital RGB LED header, which is one of the cooler RGB features. GIGABYTE did maintain RGB LEDs in the PCH, and for the two PCI-E slots, so they kept it lit up on the bottom.
Fixed Lane Allotment for 44 and 28 lane CPUs: Quick switches can add latency, especially when going down multiple layers, and the good news is that the Gaming 3 is the first motherboard I have seen without any quick switches for these lanes. This is decent news for 44 and 28 lane CPUs, but not so much for 16 lane CPUs.
Ouch for a 16 lane CPU: CPUs with only x16 PCI-E 3.0 are hardwired to the PCI-E slots at x8/x4. That means even with a single GPU, you can only run it at x8 instead of x16, and that is because of the lack of PCI-E switches and the way PCI-E lanes are routed on this platform. It also means you can't run SLI on an x16 lane CPU.
Digital RGB and ThunderBolt 3 headers look identical: Read the manual, so you don't plug into the wrong header.
The motherboard is built for Skylake-X, and that can be seen through the PCI-E allotment. While it can run a Kabylake-X CPU, I wouldn't recommend it, as GIGABYTE has other options in this price range that could support better PCI-E allotment for those x16 lane CPUs.
The motherboard, while just under the $300 mark, is actually on the mid to low-end when it comes to X299 motherboard prices. However, it retains many of the high-end features of not only the platform but also GIGABYTE's more expensive X299 offerings.
The GIGABYTE X299-AORUS Gaming 3 is an excellent value proposition for someone with a Skylake-X CPU who doesn't want to spend over $300 on a motherboard, but also wants to maintain relatively high-performance features, looks, and performance.
Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST
The Bottom Line: GIGABYTE's X299 Aorus Gaming 3 is an Intel X299 motherboard with high-end features but a more reasonable price tag. Overall, it's a well-balanced Skylake-X motherboard.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X299-AORUS Gaming 3 Overview]
- Page 3 [GIGABYTE X299-AORUS Gaming 3 Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [GIGABYTE X299-AORUS Gaming 3 Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [VRM and System Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]