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Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Review

Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Review

Manufacturer: Gigabyte
UK price (as reviewed): £205 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $195 (ex Tax)

Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 ReviewWhile we were hoping that AM4 boards would be able to compete on even terms with their Intel-based counterparts, we were actually surprised just how similar the two platforms turned out to be. Thankfully, in physical terms, there are very few differences. You get the ability to power a PCI-E NVMe M.2 SSD, USB 3.1 support and nearly all the features you could expect from a premium mid-range motherboard.

That's exactly what Gigabyte has done with the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5, which is practically identical to its Z270 Gaming 5 board. You get a generous smattering of RGB lighting, ample cooling for the CPU power circuitry and PCH, steel-plated DIMM and PCI-E slots and the signature white I/O panel shroud, too.

It's a good-looking board, for sure, and it also costs around £20 less than the Intel equivalent and as you'll see, it sports many of the same software features. At £200 almost on the dot, it costs a big chunk less than the Asus Crosshair VI Hero as well.

So, what exactly do you get for your cash? Well, the board is certainly fully-loaded with all the usual modern features. There's a decent amount of hybrid fan headers with one dedicated for AIO liquid cooler pumps - eight in total, which is likely to be enough to control all your system's fans. There's a pair of USB 3 headers, but with a pair of USB 3.1-Type A ports and six USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel, there's clearly enough for most of us, although a few less than the Asus board.

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There's a handy eight SATA 6Gbps ports, although for some odd reason, Gigabyte hasn't just included this rather pointless connector, but a U.2 port as well. Given how M.2 has taken over in the PCI-E SSD stakes, we'd much rather see a lower price (and would much more likely encourage anyone going for a super-fast SSD to go for an M.2 drive). Thankfully, while there are one or two slightly pointless inclusions, the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 does have other features you'd expect at this price.

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You get the full complement of testing and overclocking tools, with power, reset and CMOS clear buttons all grouped next to the DIMM slots along with an OC button, which appeared to bump the all-core frequency of our Ryzen 7 1700 up to 3.2GHz from 3.0GHz. There's also an LED POST display at the bottom of the PCB, just along from the dual BIOS switches.

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The DIMM slots are steel-plated for a strong attractive finish and are inset with RGB LED strips, which combined with the acrylic strip on the edge of the PCB and numerous lights elsewhere, allow the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 to give lavishly-decorated Christmas trees a run for their money. While some cheaper boards, especially those from MSI, lack dual CPU fan headers, it's good to see that Gigabyte includes a pair here, so if your dual-fan cooler lacks a splitter cable, you can use these handily-located headers and tap into Gigabyte's excellent fan control section in the EFI or similarly good Windows software.

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The single M.2 port supports both SATA- and PCI-E-powered M.2 SSDs, so whether you just want to reduce cable clutter and go for an M.2 SATA SSD, which incidentally are pretty much the same price as their 2.5in counterparts these days, or to slap in a Samsung 960 Evo, the choice is yours with the 110mm of space the slot provides. Sadly, it is located right under the primary 16x PCI-E slot, so getting at the SSD will mean removing your graphics card - an especially painful task if your system is water-cooled.

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Another snag we found is that unlike the Crosshair VI, the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 lacks the dual AM3/AM4 mounting holes; only AM4 coolers are supported so you'll need to make sure you have the correct adaptor for your existing cooler or obtain an AM4-compatible cooler if you're building a new system, at least, if it isn't able to make use of the plastic mounting points.

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The rear panel sports gold-plated audio connectors for the onboard Realtek ALC1220 audio, which pairs with Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB - Creative's OEM audio software suite - and the board also offers dual LAN ports; one from Intel, another in the form of a Killer 2500. There's no WiFi, though, but it's rare to find it on boards less than £200 these days, with rare exceptions such as the Asus ROG Strix Z270G Gaming. Other notable inclusions are dual RGB LED headers - as if you need any more illumination – adjustable-voltage USB ports and several temperature-measuring headers with a couple of extra-long probes included in the box.

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Specifications

  • Chipset support AMD X370
  • Form factor ATX
  • CPU support AMD Socket AM4 (Zen/Ryzen)
  • Memory support Dual-channel, 4 slots, max 64GB
  • Sound Realtec ALC1220
  • Networking Intel Gigabit Ethernet, Killer E2500 Ethernet,
  • Ports 1 x M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4 32Gbps/SATA 6Gbps (up to 110mm), 8 x SATA 6Gbps via AMD X370, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 10 x USB 3.0 (4 via headers), 4 x USB 2.0 (4 via headers), 2 x LAN, audio out, line in, mic, Optical S/PDIF out
  • Dimensions (mm) 305 x 244
  • Extras RGB LED extension cables, isolated audio circuitry, steel-plated PCI-E slots