Features and Motherboard Layout
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
Intel X299 Gaming motherboard with RGB Fusion, Digital LED strip support, Dual M.2, 120dB SNR ALC1220, Intel Gaming LAN, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C/A
- Supports Intel® Core™ X-series Processor Family
- Quad Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 8 DIMMs, DDR4333+(OC)
- Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
- ASMedia 3142 USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-C™ and Type-A
- 3-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable™ Design
- Server-Class Digital Power Design
- ALC1220 120dB SNR HD Audio with Smart Headphone AMP and WIMA audio capacitor
- RGB FUSION supports Digital LED and RGBW Light Strips
- Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
- Dual Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 interface
- NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 U.2 support by optional adaptor
- Intel® GbE LAN Gaming Network with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
- Anti-Sulfur Resistor Design
- Ultra Durable™ 25KV ESD and 15KV Surge LAN Protection
- Lightning-Fast Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 AIC Support
- GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
- APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
The X299 AORUS Gaming 3 motherboard features a black colored PCB with black colored heat sinks cooling various on board components and black plastic overlays accenting the rear panel shroud, the VRM heat heat sink, and X299 chipset cooler. The AORUS series logo is emblazoned on a chrome and black plate covering the chipset heat sink with an additional board series logo on the rear panel cover. The board was designed with an ATX form factor for compatibility with most standard-sized enclosures, while providing more than enough surface area for its integrated components.
GIGABYTE designed the X299 AORUS Gaming 3 with a total of 9 digital power phases for the CPU power system, providing sufficient power for any compute tasks thrown its way.. The CPU VRMs are cooled by a large cooler to the right of the socket.
The board supports a total of two PCIe x4 M.2 slots, one to the sandwiched in between the CPU socket and the primary PCIe x16 slot, and the other in between the primary and secondary PCIe x16 slots. The M.2 slot by the CPU supports M.2 cards up to 80mm in length, while the other supports cards up to 110mm in length. Both M.2 ports a keyed with an M-key slot devices with standard SSD, PCIe x2, and PCIe x4 type M.2 drives supported. Notice how GIGABYTE placed the CMOS battery directly underneath the M.2 slot located in the PCIe slot area, conserving space so that the board remains uncrowded in other areas. However, the placement of this M.2 slot and the battery can become challenging should you need to access either with a card seated in the primary PCIe x16 slot. Note that the secondary M.2 port (by the CPU socket) and SATA ports 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 all share bandwidth. The named SATA ports are all disabled with an M.2 drive seated in that port.
The board houses a otal of eight DIMM slots, split into dual sets of four above and below the CPU socket. All DIMM slots where designed with metal reinforcement brackets to better secure the DIMMs in place. Quad Channel memory mode is active with modules placed in slots 1 / 3 or 2 / 4 in both the upper and lower slot sets. The primary slots in both sets are DIMM slots 1 / 3. There are two USB 3.0 headers to the lower left of the lower DIMM slots.
The Intel X299 chipset is covered by a low profile black heat sink with an overlay stamped with the AORUS brand logo. Just below the chipset heat sink and to the left of the SATA port block are the Thunderbolt header and the Intel VROC header. An Intel VROC Key can be plugged into the VROC header to unlock the chipset's VROC (Virtual RAID on CPU) functionality. The Intel VROC function allows for RAIDing of M.2 drives sitting on the board's PCIe bus – installed in the three integrated ports as well as those installed to PCIe M.2-capable add-in cards; In addition to the to PCIe x4 M.2 slots, the board was designed with eight SATA III ports. Several of the SATA ports and the secondary M.2 port share bandwidth. As a result, the left side SATA ports (SATA ports 4 / 5 / 6 / 7) are automatically disabled with any M.2 device seated into the secondary M.2 slot (located by the CPU socket).
The board contains a total of five PCIe slots – five PCIe x16 slots. The PCIe x16 slots support the following bandwidth configurations depending on the processor in use:
- 44-lane processor – PCIe x16 slots 1 / 3 / 5 support x16, x16 / x16, or x16 / x16 / x8. PCIe x16 slot 2 supports an x4 maximum.
- 28-lane processor – PCIe x16 slots 1 / 3 support x16, x16 / x8. PCIe x16 slot 2 supports an x4 maximum. PCIe x16 slot 5 is disabled.
- 16-lane processor – PCIe x16 slots 1 / 3 support x16, x16 / x4. PCIe x16 slots 2 / 5 are disabled
With this board, GIGABYTE offers support for connecting multiple RGB and RGBW LED strips to the board using either of the RGBW 12V headers located to the upper left of the fourth PCIe x16 slot. Additionally, GIGABYTE provided an RGB LED connection just below the ATX12V power connector and to the upper right of the lower DIMM slot set. Connecting an RGB / RGBW LED strip to the RGBW 12V header synchronizes the LED strip color and activity with that of the motherboard's integrated LEDs. In the screencap, an RGB cable is connected to the RGBW 12V header. Notice that the board has four integrated RGB zones (in addition to the RGB headers) – integrated into the rear panel cover, lining PCIe x16 slots 1 and 3, integrated into the underside of the boards audio separator line, and underneath the AORUS logo integrated into the chipset heat sink.
The X299 AORUS Gaming 3 board contains the following ports integrated into its rear panel: a PS/2 hybrid keyboard / mouse port, sox USB 3.0 ports (blue), two USB 3.1 10Gbps ports (red) – one Type A and one Type c, an Intel I219-V GigE RJ-45 port, and six analogue audio outputs.