GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 Motherboard Review (Page 2)

| Oct 19, 2017 at 12:29 pm CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Packaging and Overview

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The box for the Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 uses similar box art as GIGABYTE's Z270 AORUS products. Packaging is done well; the motherboard sits in a separate box, so it's well protected during shipment.

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The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, IO shield, two temperature probes, RGBW extension cable, G-Connector, IO shield, AORUS Velcro cable straps, M.2 screw kit, SLI HB bridge, driver DVD, and manual.

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The Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 has a whopping eight fan headers, all of which are hybrid PWM/DC mode headers. GIGABYTE didn't state the current capability of all headers; I assume it's 1A or 1.5A per each header. However, we know that the header circled in yellow is a H_AMP header and supports up to 3A. All headers can use any of the built-in temperature sensors around the motherboard as a reference, and that includes the two external temperature headers (you get the temperature probes in the package), I circled the headers in green.

While we do get eight headers on this motherboard, one of them is already occupied, and that header is circled in orange and is connected to the VRM cooling fan that kicks in around 90C (so it almost never comes on). The back of the motherboard is clear of any components other than some doublers we see on the rear of the VRM section. GIGABYTE's aesthetics are a bit different this round, there are touches of white and black, and many of the "silver" seems to be panels of brushed aluminum material.

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The rear IO panel features PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse, five USB 3.0 ports (two yellow are DAC-UP ports), USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, Intel LAN, Killer LAN, and 7.1 channel gold plated audio jacks with S/PDIF out. We can also get a glimpse of the VRM cooling fan, and the included IO shield has vents to supply air to the fan.

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The PCI-E layout is simple, the first two large reinforced and RGB infused PCI-E x16 slots operate at x16/x0 or x8/x8. The bottom x16 slot gets its bandwidth from the PCH and shares bandwidth with the bottommost M.2 slot (M2P_32G). There are three PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots, the bottommost slot shares bandwidth with the SATA3_1 SATA connector. The motherboard has three M.2 slots; the top slot has an M.2 cooling shield attached to it.

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There are two other M.2 slots found on the motherboard, and they have some sort of shield reinforcing them. There are six SATA6Gb/s ports. I went ahead and mapped out on my own, how all 28 HSIO ports of the PCH are being utilized, and I came up with this: 12 (M2, x4 slot included) + 2(NICs) + 6 (SATA and one x1 slot) + 6 (USB -5 rear (no hub) 2 internal (through 1:2 hub)) + 2 (x1 slots).

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We find an internal USB 3.1 type-C header and a USB 3.0 internal header sitting right next to each other, right below the 24-pin connector. The VRM uses a single 8-pin power connector, and we can see the single Sys_Fan_2 port is occupied by the VRM fan. The VRM fan never turned on during my testing, as it's designed to only operate at temperature above 90C (as per GIGABYTE). I am sure you could customize it if you want.

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Overclocking features are present, including clear CMOS button, reset button, power button, and an OC button. However, at the top of the motherboard, we also get some tasty RGB LED headers. Both a dual voltage (jumper voltage selection) digital RGB LED header and an RGBW header are found on the top right corner of the motherboard. We also get a diffusion panel on the right edge of the motherboard and can be customized with many different patterns.

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In the lower right corner of the motherboard, we find a ThunderBolt 3 GPIO header, clear CMOS header, EC temperature input header, front panel headers, and three system fan headers. A POST code display can be found on the bottom of the motherboard header two USB 2.0 internal headers and a TPM header.

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We also get a 12v/5v (jumper selection) digital RGB LED header near an RGBW header for LED strips located at the bottom of the motherboard. The heat sinks and the IO panel shield all have built-in RGB LEDs. The VRM heat sink is designed well for our uses, and we can see the small VRM fan when we remove the shield over the IO panel.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

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.

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