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Gigabyte unveils new Aorus Z370 motherboards for Intel’s 8th-generation CPUs

By Koh Wanzi - 28 Sep 2017

Gigabyte unveils new Aorus Z370 motherboards for Intel’s 8th-generation CPUs

Gigabyte has six new Intel Z370 boards.

Gigabyte has revealed several new Intel Z370 motherboards, firing the first salvo in what will soon be a deluge of Z370 boards.

You’ll need a Z370 board in order to use Intel’s latest 8th-generation processors, as the 200-series motherboards will not work with the new Coffee Lake chips.

So far, Gigabyte has a total of six Aorus Z370 ATX boards:

  • Z370 Aorus Gaming 7
  • Z370 Aorus Gaming 5
  • Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming
  • Z370 Aorus Gaming 3
  • Z370 Aorus Gaming K3
  • Z370 Aorus Gaming WiFi

On top of that, Gigabyte also revealed three new Z370 boards in its Ultra Durable series – the Z370XP SLI, Z370 HD3P, and Z370 HD3 – for those who don't need the gamer-oriented focus of the Aorus boards.


Z370 Aorus Gaming series motherboards

Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7

The flagship Gaming 7 features server-class digital power design, which comprises both digital PWM controllers and Smart Power Stage controllers.

According to Gigabyte, these digital controllers help make power delivery more precise, and also enable the voltage regulation components to run cooler and more efficiently.

It also supports overclocked DDR4 memory up to 4,133MHz, the same as the Gaming 5 below it, while the rest of the Aorus line-up officially supports only up to DDR4-4000.

One interesting feature is the presence of a dedicated fan underneath the I/O cover, which supposedly helps keep the VRM components running cooler.

The Gaming 7 features a small fan underneath the I/O cover. (Image Source: Gigabyte)

M.2 expansion options have been bumped up on the Gaming 7 and Gaming 5 as well (all the boards have six SATA 6Gbps ports), and both now feature three M.2 sockets for triple PCIe SSDs in RAID. The topmost socket on the Gaming 7 also comes with an M.2 Thermal Guard, which looks to be a heat shield similar to MSI’s M.2 Shield.

It’s always been doubtful how well these so-called heat shields work, but it’s still something new Gigabyte is throwing in this time around.

Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 5

Another point of differentiation among the boards is the number of PCIe slots they have and their support (or lack thereof) for NVIDIA SLI. The Gaming 7, Gaming 5, Ultra Gaming, and Gaming WiFi all feature three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and support up to 2-way SLI.

Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming

However, the Gaming 3 and Gaming K3 only have two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, and because all 16 lanes from the CPU goes to one slot while the other only gets four lanes from the chipset, SLI will not work here.  

The Gaming 7 is also the only board here to offer dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, thanks to the combination of an Intel GbE LAN chip and Killer E2500 controller.

However, it lacks Wi-Fi support, which the Gaming 5 board has, in the form of a modest 1x1 Intel Wireless-AC 3165 module. In fact, it’s one of the only two boards to offer Wi-Fi connectivity in the existing Z370 line-up – the other being the Aorus Gaming WiFi – so you don’t have that many options if wireless connectivity is a must.

When it comes to I/O options, the Gaming 7 eschews USB 2.0 ports entirely in favor of five USB 3.1 (Gen 1) ports. It also has USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A and Type-C ports at the rear, a feature shared across all the Z370 Aorus boards.

Gigabyte has worked to offer more features on even its lower-end boards, and all the boards announced so far support dual BIOS, which can help with recovering from failed overclocks or corruption of the primary BIOS.

Furthermore, the RGB Fusion software has been upgraded to support digital LEDs, so you’ll be able to play with more customization options, especially if you hook up an external digital LED strip with individually addressable LEDs. Multiple onboard lighting zones are also supported, and you now have access to fine-grained adjustments like different color stops of varying durations.

Gigabyte RGB Fusion

Another new addition is something Gigabyte calls Smart Fan 5, a fan control software that lets you set the CPU fan to run in semi-passive mode as well. This works much in the same way as existing semi-passive fans on GPUs – once the CPU temperature rises above a certain threshold, the fan will start spinning.

Smart Fan 5 lets you set the CPU fan to spin down below a certain temperature threshold.

Z370 Ultra Durable series motherboards

But if all that bling is simply not to your taste, there's still Gigabyte's Ultra Durable series boards. The top model here is the Z370XP SLI, which as its name suggests, supports up to 2-way NVIDIA SLI. 

Gigabyte Z370XP SLI

The board offers a total of six SATA 6Gbps connectors, two M.2 sockets, and USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A and Type-C ports at the back. It also has dispensed with USB 2.0 connectors entirely on the rear I/O, going instead for six USB 3.1 (Gen 1) ports. 

That's plenty of ports to go around, and in keeping with its Ultra Durable name, it features things like steel-reinforced PCIe slots for heavy graphics cards, dual BIOS, and an anti-sulfur design on the board's resistors that reportedly protects them against chemical changes that can result from sulfur compounds in the air. 

Having said that, these features are also found on the Aorus boards, so the Ultra Durable models are really more accessible and down-to-earth models for budget-conscious users. 

They'll likely be priced lower than their Aorus counterparts, and we'll update as soon as we have news on local pricing and availability.

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