Gigabyte had several motherboards on display at CES including an AMD AM4 motherboard with an unreleased AMD 400-series Promontory chipset! The stealthily displayed AORUS branded motherboard was spotted by Steven Burke over at Gamer’s Nexus who then jumped at the opportunity and started taking it apart! The AORUS X470 Gaming 7 WiFi appears to check all the boxes for a high-end gaming focused motherboard and should allow enthusiasts eyeing a Ryzen or Zen+ (Ryzen 2000 series) processor to push it as far as possible.
We went hands-on with the AORUS X470 Gaming 7 WiFi
The X470-based motherboard features a six layer PCB and improved CPU power delivery in the form of a 10+2 power phase (doubled 5-phase for CPU plus 2 phases for memory) with VRMs that are cooled by a hefty copper heat-pipe and aluminum fin stack. Gamer’s Nexus reports that Gigabyte is using hardware from International Rectifier in the form of IR 3599 drivers, IR 3553 MOSFETs, and a IR 35201 PWM controller. For those interested in how motherboard VRMs and power phases works, Buildzoid has several great introductory videos on Youtube that are worth watching.
Other overclocking friendly features include an external clock generator, diagnostic LED readout, power and clear CMOS buttons on the rear IO panel, dual BIOSes, and various hybrid fan headers for air and water cooling. Gigabyte reportedly rates the motherboard at 4,000+ MHz memory overclocking which is good news for Ryzen and Ryzen 2 users since memory speeds have a big impact on performance.
The AORUS X470 Gaming 7 WiFi feeds the AM4 socket with both an 8-pin and 4-pin ATX power connectors. To the right of the processor socket sits four DDR4 DIMM slots and the accent LED along the right edge. Expansion is handled by three PCI-E x16 slots (two are wired to the CPU for graphics), two PCI-E x1 slots, and two M.2 slots that sit under black head spreaders. There are six SATA ports in the right corner. While the heatsink is covering the audio chipset, whichever solution they are using (likely Realtek as it does not appear this is a Killer-equipped board) has high end WIMA and Nichicon caps and also supports USB DAC-UP technology.
Rear I/O includes two antenna connectors for the built in Wi-Fi chipset, power and clear CMOS buttons, four USB 3.0 ports plus two more USB 3.0 ports that support USB DAC-UP, two USB 3.1 ports (one Type-C and one Type-A), a RJ45 connector (likely Gigabit Ethernet), and six audio outputs (one S/PDIF and five 3.5mm analog outputs).
It is interesting to finally see a 400-series motherboard and for Gigabyte to give AMD its Gaming 7 treatment. Also comforting is that while the new 400-series boards will offer slight connectivity benefits, users that bought into Summit Ridge and X370/B350/A320 boards aren’t missing out on too much and may actually get multiple CPUs out of one motherboard for a change. The 400-series chipsets allegedly enable a bit more bandwidth for devices hanging off of the chipset thanks to the upgrade from PCI-E 2.0 (5GT/s) to PCI-E 3.0. With this upgrade, a M.2 drive connected through the chipset would be able to hit its full speeds. While the chipset’s eight PCI-E 3.0 lanes could in theory support two nearly full speed M.2 NVMe drives, the PCI-E 3.0 x4 link between the chipset and processor would ultimately bottleneck things. At least a single drive can hit its full speeds though and bring Ryzen systems up to three total PCI-E M.2 drives running at full speed.
Oh, and did I mention there is RGB? Yep, Gigabyte has hooked the X470 Gaming 7 WIFI up with RGB LEDs around the PCI-E x16 slots, DIMM slots, over the chipset, and under the accent overlay in the top right corner. All things considered, the RGB is pretty tame in this model, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion.
What are your thoughts on Gigabyte’s upcoming motherboard and on the 400-series motherboards in general? Are you ready for Pinnacle Ridge?
Actually functional VRM-cooling?
Those lunatics at Gigabyte must’ve gone off the deep end!
“The 400-series chipsets
“The 400-series chipsets allegedly enable a bit more bandwidth for devices hanging off of the chipset thanks to the upgrade from PCI-E 2.0 (5GT/s) to PCI-E 3.0. With this upgrade,”
That PCIe 3.0 from the chipset, is nice for AMD’s new 400 series chipsets and I’d hope that any Zen+/Vega based APUs under any Zen+/Ryzen#### branding will see laptops benefit with better USB 3.1 Gen2 bandwidth options and maybe even TB3.
GamersNexus goes into greater detail on the board’s Breakdown in that video so that and the Buildzoid info is nice to have, thanks for the links. GN and Buildzoid probably can not wait to get their hands on an actual review sample board for their usual tweaking and power subsystems testing that they do a lot of work on.
GN focuses more on the hardware side of things and that information is always good to have.
I’d like to find a good source of information on what these new AMD X400 series chipsets/laptop Variants of the X400’s more PCIe 3.0 resources will do for Laptops and maybe more laptops with standard offerings for USB 3.1 Gen2 and even TB3 on any AMD laptop offerings.
Then there is the new USB 3.2 standard(1) also that makes use of 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 channels in a link aggregated arrangement to get 20Gb/s of bandwidth via a USB Type-C cable with the necessary complement of wires avable in the certified Type-C cable’s pin-out and on the device’s MB(USB 3.2 controller chip).
Maybe now that AMD has its chipset issues for the Zen/Zen+ processors ironed out there will be more motherboard form factor options sooner from the MB makers this time around for more mini/micro form factor and small case designs for the Ryzen Desktop APU SKU based home systems builder market.
From Anandtech on USB 3.2:
“The new specifications will retain the USB 3.1 physical layer data rates and encoding techniques. The doubling of bandwidth is achieved by going in for a two-channel operation (current USB 3.1 Gen 1/2 devices use only one ‘super-speed’ channel).The use of two channels is possible only if a certified USB 3.1 Type-C cable is used to connect the host and the device.”(1)
“USB 3.2 Update to Bring 20 Gbps Bandwidth: USB 3.1 Type-C Cables Compulsory”
Nice board hopefully it works
Nice board hopefully it works as good as it looks and the spec’s listed. For anyone already on the x370 platform the PCI-E 3.0 from the x470 chip set almost makes it a worth while upgrade from the x370 platform.
I got my fingers crossed that the new x470 & the Ryzen+ CPU’s work well together and they totally have ironed out the memory problems. Yes I know they did a good job doing a lot of that on the x370 but I am hoping this new x470 has that taken care of and any other little pesky problems as well. I am thinking of finally upgrading my i7 2700K@5.0Ghz to a new Ryzen+ 8/16 setup this year.
I never did the first round of Ryzen’s because of the platform problems at the start and I could not see myself going from 5.0-5.1Ghz down to 3.8-4.0Ghz and losing gaming performance. The hope is these new Ryzen’s will actually OC to 4.5-4.7Ghz at least and they should then be able to make up the rest of the performance in games with the better IPC over Sandy Bridge.
From the first round of Ryzen x370 boards I was really eyeing up the Gigabyte K7 board now this board will be go to if it works well.
When will this bullshit LED
When will this bullshit LED craze end? I’m planning a new build this year and it’s getting harder each year to avoid this shit.
I just put black electrical
I just put black electrical tape over all the LEDs 🙂
If you don’t like the leds,
If you don’t like the leds, turn them of in the bios. I wish they would fix the current gaming k7 before they came out with another though. Been waiting 2 weeks for an RMA number to fix my x370 gaming k7 after another crappy bios update bricked it.
I have the AB350, which I am
I have the AB350, which I am not happy with.
I’m looking forward to an upgrade…