We switched to a retail model of Intel's Core i9-7900X for motherboard testing with our last review and found that it needed far less voltage to get to our 4.6GHz target. At around 1.15V, this seems to dish out enough heat to give our all-in-one liquid cooler something to think about with all 10 cores under maximum load, so we're simply here to identify the lowest voltage required to get to 4.6GHz. In this case, it turned out to be 1.16V - a little higher than we saw on the Asus Prime X299-Deluxe, but not as much as the 1.17V needed by the MSI X299 SLI Plus, and all three of these boards were tested very recently with the latest EFIs.
We've seen some variation in a few results over the last few weeks since the X299 launch, but the X299 Aorus Gaming 3 was on the money for most of them. Power consumption was less at stock speed than the MSI board thanks to the latter defaulting to enhanced turbo mode and adding an extra 300MHz to the all-core boost as well as the stock power consumption. The Gigabyte board was second only to the Asus Prime X299-A here and was equally power frugal once overclocked, too.
The audio performance was practically identical to the other boards on test, which isn't surprising given they all use the same codec, and you simply wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them through a set of decent speakers or headphones. While the X299 Aorus Gaming 3 lacked an M.2 heatsink, it actually came top of the table for SSD speed using our Samsung 960 Evo, albeit by just a few megabytes a second. Differences in performance elsewhere were marginal as you can see in all the other performance graphs.
The X299 Aorus Gaming 3 does lack a few features compared to the competition, namely a USB 3.1 header, M.2 heatsink, and some physical overclocking and testing tools, but ultimately it raises the bar in other areas, especially with fan control and other software, and offers a solid platform for overclocking too. It's reasonably good looking, has a decent layout, and overall it competes well against the competing boards and is particularly well-suited to those that like to tinker.