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Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 review: A solid all-rounder enthusiast motherboard

By Koh Wanzi - 2 Jan 2018
Launch SRP: S$435

Temperature, power consumption & overclocking

Temperature, power consumption & overclocking

 

Temperature

We measured the temperatures of the VRM and PCH heatsinks after running 40 loops of the 3DMark Fire Strike Stress Test. You’ll naturally want lower temperatures since it shows that the respective heatsinks are doing a more effective job of dissipating heat.

That said, the Gigabyte board recorded the lowest VRM temperatures, but the highest PCH numbers. The board does come with a fan under its I/O shield for the express purpose of lowering VRM temperatures, so it’s good to see this paying off in practice.

 

Power consumption

To test power, we ran the energy-01 viewset in SPECviewperf 12.1 and recorded the peak power consumption. Idle power consumption was recorded after the system had idled at desktop for a while.

The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 fell somewhere in the middle of the pack. It uses a 10-phase power design for both the CPU and iGPU, the same as the ASUS and MSI motherboards.

Still, even though it consumed marginally more power than the latter two, it did better than the ASRock board. The ASRock Z370 Taichi has 12 phases dedicated to both the CPU and iGPU, so it should in theory have better power efficiency and better power regulation. As a result, it’s to the Gigabyte board’s credit that that wasn’t the case.

 

Overclocking

In order to assess the respective overclocking performance of the boards, we first tweaked the CPU multiplier ratio and raised the voltage accordingly. After ascertaining that the achieved clock speed was stable, we then proceeded to increase the BCLK value to get smaller overclock increments.

The table below shows the clock speeds we achieved, along with the CPU vCore, multiplier, and RAM frequencies. We've also included the respective BIOS versions of the boards for those who are keen to know such details.

Overclocking Results
Model BIOS version Maximum CPU Core Ratio Achieved BCLK (MHz) Vcore (V) RAM frequencies (MHz) Maximum Overclock Achieved (GHz)
Gigabyte Aorus Z370 Gaming 7 F5h 50 104 1.38 2,678 5.2
ASRock Z370 Taichi 1.30 50 101 1.38 2,626 5.05
ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero 0802 50 103 1.38 2,678 5.15
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC 7B45vA2 50 102 1.38 2,652 5.1

The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 enabled us to achieve the highest overclock here, and we were able to push the CPU to a high of 5.2GHz. Having said that, it’s important to note that this didn’t necessarily mean the absolute best performance, as the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero squeaked ahead in Cinebench R15, despite managing a top speed of “only” 5.15GHz.

I also had to play with the LLC levels of the board to get it to perform at its best, eventually settling on the High setting. In a nutshell, LLC, or Load-Line Calibration helps reduce Vdroop, which is the drop in CPU voltage as load increases. This means a less stable vCore, which doesn’t bode well for overclocking stability, and a higher LLC level helps combat that.

Finally, I’d have preferred to see settings for the CPU, DRAM, and voltage located on the same page in the BIOS settings, as opposed to sequestering each of them under a different header.

But overall, the Gigabyte board’s performance shows that it is clearly one of the best Intel Z370 motherboards you can get if you intend to overclock, far outclassing its MSI and ASRock counterparts.

 

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8.5
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8.5
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Excellent overclocking performance
Plenty of customization options and support for addressable LEDs
Good selection of features for its price
The Bad
No onboard Wi-Fi
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