Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Today we venture into the world of the new extremely high-end AMD X570 motherboards, most of which cost as much if not more than their X299 counterparts, which says a lot in itself. With the X370 and X470 chipsets, costs were a bit lower since there was no PCI-E 4.0, but now with the new technology, boards cost more if they implement the new technology.
However, AMD's high-end CPUs with comparable performance to their Intel counterparts as well as this increased base cost made many motherboard vendors re-evaluate their whole "only Intel extremely high-end motherboard" practices, and they have launched some very top notch motherboards. The Xtreme is one from GIGABYTE taking aim at the extreme high-end of the market, so let's see what it has to offer.
The X570 Aorus Xtreme features three PCI-E 4.0 M.2 slots, a 10G NIC, a 2.4Gbps WIFI controller, an Intel Gbit NIC, tons of 10Gb/s USB, and high-end audio.
The X570 Aorus Xtreme costs around $699
Packaging and X570 Aorus Xtreme Overview
Packaging and Overview
Box and packaging are top-notch; they protect the motherboard and its contents. The Fan Commander is in a separate package.
The accessory package includes six braided SATA6Gb/s cables, WIFI antenna, RGB LED extension cable, addressable RGB extension cable, dB detection cable, two thermal probes, case badge, front panel header breakout cable, G-connector, driver USB stick, and two Aorus Velcro cable straps.
GIGABYTE put in eight fan headers, and that doesn't even include the extra headers you get if you install the Aorus Fan Commander! They all support up to 2A of output current, and all of the fan headers offer PWM/DC mode operation. The two circled in blue are also pump headers, so we assume they run a more aggressive profile by default.
There are two external temperature sensor headers circled in green, and a noise sensor header circled in orange. The motherboard is almost all metal with the exception of the shrouding around the IO shield. The motherboard is extremely heavy and durable, and the rear PCB shield helps strengthen the PCB. There are also two reinforced CPU 8-pin power connectors, but you only need to use one.
The rear IO panel features two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, five USB 3.1 (10Gbps) type-A ports and one type-C, clear CMOS button, Q-Flash Plus button, WIFI antenna, 10G LAN, 1G LAN, and 7.1 gold plated audio outputs with S/PDIF out.
Here we find the PCI-E slot arrangement; the first two slots are wired to the CPU at x16 PCI-E 4.0 and operate at x16/x0 or x8/x8. The bottom x16 slot is electrically x4 PCI-E 4.0 routed to the chipset. There are three PCI-E x4 M.2 slots, the top one is routed to the CPU and should be used with any PCI-E 4.0 drives, the middle and bottom slot area routed x4 PCI-E 4.0 to the chipset, but if you use a PCI-E M.2 drive in the bottommost slot will disable SATA ports 4 and 5.
All of the six SATA6Gb/s ports are routed to the chipset. Both internal USB 3.0 headers are right-angled as is the sole USB 2.0 header. If you need more USB 2.0, GIGABYTE suggests using the Fan Commander. We can also see the front panel headers are right-angled and use a breakout cable, while the addressable RGB LED header and RGB LED header are right-angled. We find a POST code display above the USB 3.1 (10Gbps) type-C internal header.
The Aorus RGB Fan Commander is a well-equipped accessory that allows you to basically expand fan and RGB LED support. It can support up to eight RGB LED fans, it can sync with the motherboard through USB and RGB headers, and it has a hub, so you get two USB 2.0 internal headers as well, which is great since the motherboard only has a single header. At the top right corner of the motherboard, we find our voltage read points, power button, reset button, addressable RGB LED header, and RGB LED header.
The motherboard features both a BIOS selection switch, and a dual BIOS disable switch. The motherboard also has OC-PEG, which is an extra power header for extra PCI-E power. The PC PEG, TPM, and HD audio headers are hidden under a plastic cover.
The heat sinks are awesome, top-notch copper finds, a heat pipe that connects the chipset to the VRM heat sink, and GIGABYTE doesn't even need a fan to cool down the chipset. The chipset can output over 10W of heat, but GIGABYTE said improvements made to the PCB and all the metal on the covers helps to dissipate that.
GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme Circuit Analysis
The X570 Aorus Xtreme shows us the goods with the heat sinks removed!
The VRM is in a 14+2 phase configuration, and it's a true 14 phase that doesn't utilize doublers, the new Infineon digital PWM controller (XDPE132G5C) supports up to 16 true phases (14+2). GIGABYTE states they gain 4% efficiency using this method. While that might not sound impressive, it's the same difference between 80 Plus Silver and 80 Plus Platinum power supplies, so it's a bigger deal than you might think.
Both the CPU VCC and SoC VRMs use Infineon's TDA21472, which is a 70A integrated power stage, and uses Infineon's latest technologies. The VRM in front of us here today might be one of the best we have ever seen, and with the heat sink and improvements in PCB copper, GIGABYTE really hit it out of the park.
The memory VRM is a single-phase controlled by an RT8120D PWM controller and PowerPAK MOSFETs in a two low-side one high-side MOSFET.
GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme Circuit Analysis Continued
X570 Aorus Xtreme Circuit Analysis Continued
Audio hardware includes a Realtek ALC1220 with enhanced front panel dB support. GIGABYTE added an ESS SABRE ES9218 DAC, with up to 130dB SNR (5 more than the X570 Master). GIGABYTE also added gold series audio capacitor and some WIMA film capacitors.
Normal Gbit LAN comes from an i211AT Intel NIC, while an Aquantia AQC107 offers 10G NBase-T LAN.
There are four Pericom PI3EQX USB 3.1 (10Gbps), on the rear of the motherboard with another two topside for the rear USB 3.1 (10Gbps). There is also a Realtek type-C controller, the RTS5441.
An RTS5423 is a USB 3.1 (10Gbps) hub, but it seems to be providing four USB 3.0 ports for the two internal headers. On the rear IO, we have four USB 2.0 ports, and these come from a GL850S hub.
There are two 128Mbit BIOS ROMs on the motherboard, these are there for redundancy, and a BIOS USB recovery chip is implemented to allow BIOS flashing without CPU support. The SIO is the IT8688E, which is supplemented.
Two IT8795E embedded controllers expand fan control and monitoring of the system. An ITE IT8297 is a microcontroller responsible for offering RGB LED support for addressable headers.
Multiple Pericom PI3EQX16 re-drivers enhance PCI-E 4.0 signaling, while four PI3DBS switch PCI-E 4.0 between the first and second slot. There is also an IDT PCI-E 4.0 clock generator used to manage PCI-E 4.0 bus speed.
BIOS and Software
The UEFI BIOS has been revamped in regards to layout and organization. It's much easier to access all the settings you need on fewer pages compared to GIGABYTE's previous UEFI's. Fan control is present in GUI form, although you get more settings if you use GIGABYTE's software applications. Overclocking settings are all present, and so are all system settings. You can also access AMD's internal menus as well in case you can't find what you are looking for in the general UEFI.
Software includes APP Center, @BIOS, AutoGreen, Cloud Station, EasyTune, Fast Boot, Game Boost, RGB Fusion, Smart Backup, Smart keyboard, Smart Survey, System Information Viewer, USB Blocker, and USB TurboCharger.
Test System Setup
Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
- Cooler: Wraith Prism Cooler - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: G.Skill TridentZ Royal 16GB (2x8GB) 3600MHz
- Video Card: RTX 2080 Ti - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - Boot Drive: Corsair MP600 2TB
- Storage - USB Drive: Corsair Voyager GS 64GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 900D - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair RM1000i - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
- Monitor: ASUS PA328 ProArt 32" 4K - Buy from Amazon
- Keyboard: Corsair K70 LUX - Buy from Amazon
- Mouse: Corsair M65 PRO RGB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Headset: Corsair VOID RGB Wireless - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Network: ASUS XG-U2008 10Gbit Switch
There are RGB LEDs both under the IO shield cover, but also under the audio cover and the chipset. They look nice, but they aren't super flashy.
Overclocking this motherboard was straightforward. XMP worked without a hitch, we used 1.425v with Turbo level LLC, and we were able to pull off a nice 4.3GHz overclock on all cores without throttling. We didn't require any extra airflow around the VRM; the whole motherboard acts like a giant heat sink.
CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks
3DMark: Fire Strike
3DMark: Cloud Gate
AMD's UEFI is pretty closed off, so when we set settings all the same, we see similar performance levels, especially when we ensure all power limits are similar. Overall, there were no performance issues.
System IO Benchmarks
ixChariot Network Throughput:
Storage and network performance are excellent.
Audio RMAA 5.5:
Sound Judgment by Ear: A very solid audio implementation, we give it an Excellent rating. There are five ratings for audio: 1. Problems, 2. Okay, 3. Acceptable, 4. Very good, 5. Excellentâ€ƒ
Power consumption is slightly higher than on other motherboards, but that could be because of the 10Gbit NIC.
What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts
Best in Class VRM: The new Infineon digital PWM controller (XDPE132G5C) supports up to 16 true phases (14+2), and it's really a game-changer when it comes to this whole debate over whether or not vendors should use doublers, but it's also a pricey part. Infineon's TDA21472, are also quite pricey, and support up to a huge 70A of current. Together in a 14+2 phase configuration, with improved heat sinks and PCB, GIGABYTE offers one of the most powerful VRMs on the market.
10G LAN and Networking: A lot of mid to high-end X570 motherboards offer 2.5Gbit LAN from a Realtek controller, but in this case, we get an Aquantia 10Gbit NIC, which also supports 100Mbit, 1Gbit, 2.5Gbit, and 5Gbit LAN. We also find the new Wireless AX WIFI controller capable of up to 2.4Gbps speeds, and a 1Gbit NIC from Intel.
Aorus RGB Fan Commander: With a $700 price tag the X570 Aorus Xtreme better come with some bells and whistles, and in this case it does. We find that the motherboard has an expansion unit that can support up to eight RGB LED fans (either normal RGB or addressable), offers two extra temperature inputs, and acts as a USB 2.0 internal header hub.
It's not a small board: From its weight to its stature, the Xtreme is one tough motherboard. However, it's a bit wider than other motherboards, and on top of that all of the connectors on the right edge area right-angled. That means buyers will need to use a case with enough room to plug things like their 24-pin power connector and internal USB 3.0 headers.
The X570 Aorus Xtreme is very expensive, with a price tag that makes it more expensive than the CPUs that it's compatible with. However, it's not alone; there are a few other high priced, extremely high-end motherboards.
The Xtreme offers an excellent VRM, a special low loss PCB to better support PCI-E 4.0, and is one of the only X570 motherboards without the need for active chipset cooling, which is something a lot of people have complained about since fan longevity is a thing.
Overall, we are impressed with this motherboard, it has everything you might want in a high-end X570 motherboard with the quality, durability, and performance to take your Ryzen processor to its Xtremes.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a motherboard that has everything but the kitchen sink with quality and durability to back it up, give the X570 Aorus Xtreme a look.