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GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Gaming 7 PRO Motherboard Review (Page 3)

By: Steven Bassiri from Nov 30, 2017 @ 11:15 CST
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Circuit Analysis

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The X299 Aorus Gaming 7 PRO reveals some beautiful stuff with the heat sinks removed.

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The motherboard has changed from a true 8-phase PWM controller and VRM with 50A power stages to a 12 phase (6 doubled correctly to 12) with 60A power stages. That is more than doubling the output capability of the MOSFETs. The new Intersil ISL69138 true digital PWM controller from Intersil is in a 6+1 phase configuration. The last +1 is for the VCCSA and is on the far right side. Each power stage uses an ISL99227 Smart Power Stage, which is rated 60A, has internal current and temperature sensors, and offers double-sided cooling capacity (bottom through PCB and top through a metal area).

The inductors have changed, however, from 76A CooperBussman model to a 51A model (can go higher if needed but with a lot of core loss) high current power inductor. So we went from 76Ax8 (608A) to 51x12 (612) inductor current capability, but increased power stage capability to help reduce temperatures.

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Intersil's ISL6617 are used as phase doublers, they are such simple chips that have been around for like eight years, and they do a solid job. Minor rails, such as the VPP and VCCIO also get the Smart Power Stages and use Intersil's ISL69133, which offers X+Y=4 for PWM rails instead of X+Y=7 as with the ISL69137. Here we see one phase for DDR VPP and one for VCCIO. Another single phase can be found right near the bottom of the other four DIMMs, and that must be DDR4 VPP for the other set of four DIMMs.

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Each memory VRM uses an ISL69133 4 phase (can be 2+2 or even 3+1) digital PWM controller along with two 60A Intersil ISL99227 smart power stages, the same as the CPU.

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