We have been using this motherboard in the Madshrimps lab for some months now, serving as our main testing platform for the Kaby Lake launch articles. The AORUS range is a nice evolution from the previous Gaming series by the Gigabyte brand, especially regarding aesthetics these boards are again a huge step forward. It all just looks more elegant and professional versus previous releases. One thing we have learned over the years that more and more attention goes out to how a board looks. Even for some this is way more crucial then the onboard specs, to either buy or not this motherboard. A hardware purist could care less about how the board looks, though a number of compromises have been made to satisfy also the needs of the ever changing Gaming community.
One of the hot features is RGB, one of them trends from last year where most motherboard manufactures had almost no real innovations besides integrating the RGB function anywhere they could. This allows more customization by the end user by choosing different colors, blinking patterns. All this eye candy can either be controlled in the BIOS, by software in the Operating System or even via your favorite Smartphone. AORUS and CORSAIR have teamed up to allow the end user to also include the RGB control with the CORSAIR Vengeance RGB memory modules. Baptized as RGB Fusion it should allow for the most feature packed and fully lighting system on the market till date. And we must admit it is impressive how many settings one can adjust to make your PC light up the entire neighborhood. If you want to try it out, plz go to the following page and have a ball. Myself I just disable this madness as soon as possible in the bios.
Luckily for this old dog there is more to this motherboard than just some fancy RGB feature set. A 12-phase Digital Power design based on 4th gen. IRdigital power controllers and 3rd gen. PowIRstage ICs. A single 8 pin connector is provided at the top of the motherboard, no need for a dual version anyway for daily setups. In fact not even for them Extreme LN2 ready mobos. The marketing people will try to convince you otherwise, just nod your head and smile at them when they tell a 2 x 8 pins is better for your needs. To avoid corroded pins or bad contact all AORUS motherboards are equipped with a 15 microinch thick gold plated CPU socket.
The four memory slots are protected by what is labeled as Ultra Durable Memory Armor. A one piece of steel shield to prevent PCB distortion, twist plate bending to avoid any possible ESD interference. While many manufacturers have their own version of this I don't even see the whole point in all this besides adding one more thing to the spec list. Really PCB bending when installing memory DIMMS, must be a seriously flaw in your design or some serious end-user abuse involved. Rant aside, the AORUS Gaming series have been tested for XMP memory compatibility of more than a 1000 kits. Validation of 4133MHz and beyond has been validated, a bold claim that we will test on the next pages.
The 24 pin ATX Power connector is located at the usual position near the DIMM slots. The latter are of course RGB enhanced. Same as the little lexan plate which adds another nice RGB touch to the Gaming 7 motherboard. The OC Button, an ECO button and power on.off button are completed with a Reset and Clear CMOS button.The OC button loads the most optimized Gigabyte Overclocking configuration for your hardware. Our CPU ran at 4.7Ghz 1.3Vcore rock stable. While enabling the ECO button Power-Saving features are enabled to reduce overall power consumption.
On the left we find two USB 3.0 connectors for the front panel. Fan headers are positioned all over on this Gaming 7 board, in fact a whopping total of 8, from which two are read to handle 24W water pumps. For your monitoring pleasure 7 Temperature sensors are installed with an added two connectors for external monitoring; all this can be controlled and monitored via the included Smart Fan 5 software utility.