Top critical review
Unfortunately wish I had gone with ASUS or MSI despite the better aesthetic of this board
29 August 2018
This is a great motherboard overall, and in some areas feels extremely premium. However is in my opinion let down by some oversights that leaves a lot to be desired. For reference I ordered this motherboard after reading many, many reviews of both X370 and B350 boards and decided to go for the "best of the best" hence why I chose this board over a cheaper X370 like the ASUS prime. However this board has some issues that makes me wish I had gone for that ASUS one instead.
Firstly and most obviously, the GIGABYTE app centre is incredibly lacking, buggy and all round a pain which really doesn't feel like you're using a top of the line product. When I first installed it on top of my normal version of windows 10 which had previously been an older intel based system, it failed to install the C++ redist it required to work and so would constantly crash and just generally not work. The fix for this required me to uninstall all versions of the C++ visual studio from my computer, which in turn made many games stop working as many games install a version of this when they open for the first time (It's often what steam is doing when you click play for the first time after downloading a a game). So, not off to a good start.
I then tried to use the RGB software seeing as this is a large unique part of the board and probably why a lot of people choose this board over more mainstream options like ASUS or MSI. To put it simply, it's severely lacking and just generally seems like it was thrown together. There are only 5 preset modes, and then the other presets are greyed out for some reason I guess they are not supported for some reason even though this is their top of the line motherboard (!?) Some presets have speed sliders also which just do absolutely nothing. You can select a colour cycle but cannot control anything about it. Also just to make it clear it is impossible to control RGB parts of the motherboard separately. You choose a colour for all of them and that's it. The other insane thing is I have an RGB CPU cooler also, and for some reason you can ONLY control the colour of the whole motherboard and the CPU cooler at the same time. Meaning most of your computer HAS to be the same colour at any time. (See photos). I also have an RGB strip which thankfully I can control separately (they are plugged in to different parts of the motherboard).
HOWEVER the "advanced" settings for the lighting is also very broken. I wanted to setup two different colour cycles, one for my strip and one for the rest of my motherboard which cycle at slghtly different speeds so that over time every colour combo is displayed slowly. However, there is an issue with the custom mode where before starting to fade into any next given colour, it will for a second just switch back to blue. No matter what I tried including fully uninstalling all gigabyte apps. This is on top of the software generally crashing and also taking a second or two to apply ANY changes you make to the lighting settings. On top of this, whatever lighting profile you choose, it is not applied until roughly 10 seconds after you sign in to windows at which point all the lights suddenly switch off, then start your profile. (this is booting off an M.2 SSD which overall takes 30 seconds to get into windows in the first place)
It just feels shoddy and a huge waste on what could be such a nice motherboard.
Some positives however is that the windows fan control software is very comprehensive and useful. Can't fault it so good job on that gigabyte.
In terms of the BIOS, can't really complain, it's got everything you'd need including a similar version of the fan control software as found in windows except for some reason mouse sensitivity in the BIOS is ridiculously slow. I have tried with three different mice, two from razer and one from Logitech and all of them have exactly the same incredibly slow mouse sensitivity which makes navigating the BIOS take 3 times as long as it should. You can use the keyboard for most of it however for whatever reason the fan software has no keyboard support so it took me around 10 minutes to set my own curves for 4 fans.
Another quick thing about the GIGABYTE software. They decided to make it try and be an all encompassing software updater for the system so will in theory see when you need to upgrade chrome etc. The reality because it's so shoddy is that every 15 minutes, it will pop up that there's updates for my computer when it displays none. It's incredibly infuriating and I'm thinking of uninstalling it and losing my custom fan profiles and RGB settings just because of it. When you're paying this much for a premium motherboard, it should not feel like I'm using an old laptop from 2012 that hasn't been updated in years.
One last thing. you NEED to install the AMD chipset drivers on this motherboard. I don't know if this is true on all ryzen boards but my system was blue-screening consistently until I installed them. I have never had to install them on any of the many systems I have built (including AMD) until now but they appear to be essential as they immediately stopped my bluescreens.
And just for context, everything I've been talking about has been true both before and after a full clean windows installation.