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GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Gaming 7 PRO Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2066 in Motherboards | Posted: Nov 30, 2017 5:15 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Packaging and Overview

 

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GIGABYTE sent this motherboard to me in a white box, as the motherboard has not been launched yet, and they sent along a driver DVD, and an RGB lit IO panel.

 

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There are eight fan headers, all of them are flexible PWM/Voltage mode headers. One of the headers is already occupied by the VRM fan. The blue headers are all identical and should offer 1A of power. The headers circled in red is designed to facilitate water pumps, I assume that means it runs 100% in both PWM and voltage modes by default. Two EC sensor headers allow you to attach the two EC temperature sensors so that you can use those for fan header reference.

 

 

The RGB LEDs built into the motherboard are very well done, no longer does bright light shine into your eyes, instead it is diffused evenly. The back of the motherboard is surprisingly bare considering the amount of hardware built into it. GIGABYTE has removed the metal backside bracket behind the VRM and has changed the high amperage header to a normal system fan/pump header.

 

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The IO panel offers RGB LED lighting; you just need to plug in the IO shield. You get four USB 3.0 ports (white one supports USB Flashback functionality as well), a USB 3.1 type-C port, four USB 3.1 type-A ports, Intel LAN, Killer LAN, WIFI antenna, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, and 7.1 gold-plated audio ports with S/PDIF optical. The two DAC-UP ports have been changed to normal USB 3.0 ports.

 

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There are two x4 slots among the x16 slots. The top one (2nd slot down) is routed to the CPU and shares all of its bandwidth with the M2M_32G slot. The second x4 slot looks like it's routed to the PCH (4th slot down), but it doesn't seem to share bandwidth with anything. A 44 lane CPU offers 2-way SLI at x16/x16 and 3-way at x16/x16/x8, which is better than the Gaming 9. A 28 lane CPU offers 2-way at x16/x8 and 3-way at x8/x8/x8. A 16 lane CPU only offers up to 2-way CrossFireX at x8/x4, as the other x4 is routed to the first x4 slot/M.2 connector, which is worse than on the Gaming 9. All three M.2 slots get GIGABYTE's M.2 thermal guard heat sinks, which is better than the original gaming 7 and like the gaming 9.

 

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There are eight SATA6Gb/s ports on the motherboard, some of them share lanes with the M.2 slots. M.2 slot M2Q_32G shares all of its bandwidth with four SATA ports. The motherboard offers both a USB 3.0 internal header as well as a USB 3.1 type-C internal header. There are also multiple boot LEDs located on the motherboard.

 

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The motherboard has two 8-pin connectors at the top center of the board. The system fan header located in the upper left corner is already occupied by the VRM fan, and it has a different curve than the other headers by default. The header for the IO panel shield's RGB LEDs is located right behind the IO area. An RGBW header is located in the top right corner of the board near three fan headers and an EC temperature input.

 

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A Clear CMOS button is located below the bottom M.2 slot, between a VROC port and ThunderBolt 3 GPIO port. Another USB 3.0 internal header is located to the right of a POST code display. The motherboard also offers integrated power and reset buttons as well as ECO and OC buttons. Two USB 2.0 internal headers are located at the bottom of the board.

 

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We find another RGBW header near the HD audio header, and the digital RGB LED header has been altered so that voltage can be selected at 5V (default) or 12v depending on the position of the jumper located above it. GIGABYTE also added a new VRM heat sink; it offers more surface area, a fan, and improved thermal performance.

 

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Heatsinks are quite beefy and make solid contact with the motherboard.

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