Top positive review
Very Good Motherboard
24 May 2018
This motherboard will run DDR4 memory over 3600 speed, which is why I bought it. I do like doing some 1080p gaming benchmarks from time to time and my previous X370 motherboard could not cut the mustard at this.
As it turned out: Ryzen 2nd Gen (like 2700X) loves DDR4-3400 memory speed with ultra-low latency sub-timings. Using a G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3866 16Gb Kit (Samsung B-dies) and recalculating it with Ryzen Dram Calculator to give me DDR4-3400 CL14 timings with extremely low latency sub-timings significantly boosted my 1080p gaming FPS scores. This memory method can improve Ryzen 2nd Gen CPUs gaming 1080p FPS scores by up to 17%.
Gigabyte's other X470 motherboards memory support ends around the DDR4-3200 speeds, but you can still get very decent 1080p FPS to score improvements at this lower speed with CL14 timings and low latency sub-timings via the Ryzen Dram Calculator.
Standout feature: clear CMOS button on the back of IO - important to wipe post memory timing records within the bios when changing DDR4 kits or simply installing memory for the first time or simply wanting to do a clean test run of different memory timings.
Reference Clock overclocking ends around 102, at 103 you get USB device error and at 104 you get SSD error after posting into the UEFI. This cannot be used with Precision Boast Overdrive, as it caused instability in Precision Boast Overdrive.
There's (12-08-18) a beta bios F4J available through Gigabyte USA forum website, page 134 (AM4 Beta Bios Thread), which uses Agesa 22.214.171.124 from AMD - 6ns improvement to memory latency, which equates to a 2.5% increase in gaming FPS 1920x1080p. I would recommend people who plan to use XMP profiles and do not intend to use manually entered subtimings for their DDR4 kit to get this beta bios.
However, these are fairly minor issues as most of FPS gains for 1080p game scores come from memory speed of DDR4-3400 CL14 with extremely low latency sub-timings. People are simply buying DDR4-3866 to DDR4-4200 Samsung B-die 16Gb kits and using the Ryzen Dram Calculator to run them at DDR4-3400 speed with CL14 primary timings with extremely low latency timings.
Conventional overclocking is pretty easy, max overclocks achievable on my Ryzen 2700X was 4.25Ghz on all cores verified with one hour of Prime 95 stress testing. Though, it is impractical to run overlocks this way with the Ryzen 2700X as it needs the CPU to stay below 82C, which is difficult without very good water-cooling. Other manufacturers do have bios options for amending the boost clocks and allow a tiny reference clock bump, which has become the prefered method currently.
This motherboards standout feature is it's integrated Audio Solution. Audio is surprisingly clean, better than £32-£45 internal sound cards. There are Windows 10 RC 1803 with the full audio software suite and you plug in the speakers and use virtual surround. This better audio quality is clear, down to the ESS Sabre chip and WIMA and Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors and TXC Oscillator. Gigabyte's two other X470 motherboards are using Chemicon audio capacitors and appear not to have ESS Sabre chip and the TXC Oscillator.
Intel GbE LAN is very fast for web browsing. I'm not using the Wi-Fi, but I reckon it will be equally effective. RGB LEDs on the motherboard, are spot on for brightness, you will not be needing sunglasses to look at your PC!
The 10 phases VRM run very cool; even when pulling 210watts during stress testing (75C) with little or no direct airflow. Installing one 140mm fan at the top position of my PC case with a tiny bit of the fan blades pulling air through the top fins of the VRM heatsink reduced temperatures by 10C (65C). Very effective, adding a tiny amount of airflow produced excellent results.
Finally, Cinebench multicore score with PB2 and XFR 240 AIO with 4 fans fitted are:
Stock Cold day: 1801 points
Stock Very Hot day: 1765 points
Overclocked to 4.2Ghz: 1901 points
Precision Boost Overdrive has to be configured like this!
You need to use HWINFO to make note of Single Core Max Boost Voltage as well.
Run Prime 95, to establish PB2 and XFR all core stock voltage for your particular CPU.
Mine was 1.226volts.
Set Scalar 6X
Run Prime 95 to establish motherboards over-the-top PBO auto voltage setting.
Mines was 1.36volts
Set the CPU voltage to "normal" mode to enable the offset.
Enter an undervolt Dynamic Vcore (DVID) voltage of -0.10000volts.
Run Prime 95 and find out new all core voltage.
Mines was 1.244volts.
The PBO all core voltage must always be above the PB2 and XFR all core stock voltage for PBO to boost the clock speed, but not so high as to trigger temperature thresholds that cause PBO to stop working.
I have tested up to -0.1875volts (unstable) and -0.1000volts (stable) will be the maximum undervolt for most people with Ryzen 2700x depending on silicon lottery. I would say -0.09375volts to -0.0800volts as being the undervolt people should look to as best realistic results.
PBO now works and in Far Cry 5, the benchmark at 1920x1080p resolution has an extra 2.91% FPS.
And, has been checked with CPU heavy CIV 6. The single core boost of 4.35Ghz does require around 1.46volts - so the undervolting room will be limited by these higher boost states.
Very good motherboard