Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 AM4 ATX Motherboard Review

The AMD Ryzen processor has been out for four months now, and there have been many updates to make things run a little smoother.  While many were very upset at the launch issues, we should all acknowledge that these type of issues happen whenever there is a major architecture change; we just tend to forget about them over time.  The issues at launch included gaming performance, power usage and memory incompatibility.  After the first big update that was to fix gaming performance, we took a look at the AMD Ryzen 1700X and checked how it performed against the Intel i7-7700k in a 14 Game Showdown.  We found that Ryzen had indeed stepped up and looked to perform much better than at release in a gaming environment. Ryzen Processor Overview Gigabyte has been working hard with AMD to resolve the memory incompatibility issues, when we originally tested the Ryzen 1700X our test kit, HyperX Predator 3200MHz, was only able to run at 2933MHz with manual settings.  Gigabyte Aorus says they have resolved the memory issues, so we are going to give it another shot and take a closer look at the Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard which can be purchased online for $189.99 with free shipping. The Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard includes all the features you demand on a modern motherboard.    If storage options are your main focus, the AX370-Gaming 5 includes support for up to six SATA 6GB/s drives (which includes dual SATA Express ports), a single M.2 or U.2 slots, USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2.  Networking they have you covered as well, by implementing an Intel GbE NIC and a Killer E2500 GbE NIC.  Memory support is provided by four DDR4 slots, allowing for up to 3200MHz memory in both ECC and non-ECC modules.  Audio is supported by the dual Realtek ALC1220 7.1 audio codecs with support for Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5.  Finally, the all important video options, both Quad-GPU and 3-Way CrossFire solutions are supported, as well as Quad-GPU and 2-Way SLI. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQO7-M2DdsE   Features and Specifications:
Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Specifications
CPU AMD Ryzen
Chipset AMD X370
Memory 1.4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory 2.Dual channel memory architecture 3.Support for DDR4 3200(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2667/2400/2133 MHz memory modules 4.Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules 5.Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules 6.Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
Onboard Graphics 1.1 x 1.4 HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24 Hz 2.Maximum shared memory of 2 GB
Audio 1.2 x Realtek® ALC1220 codecs 2.Support for Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5 3.High Definition Audio 4.2/4/5.1/7.1-channel 5.Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN 1.1 x Intel® GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1) 2.1 x Rivet Networks Killer™ E2500 LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
Expansion Slots 1.1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot. 2.1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode. (The PCIEX16 and PCIEX8 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.) 3.1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4) * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with all of the PCI Express x1 slots. The PCIEX4 slot operates at up to x4 mode when all of the PCI Express x1 slots are empty. 4.3 x PCI Express x1 slots * All of the PCI Express x1 slots share bandwidth with the PCIEX4 slot. The PCIEX4/PCIEX1_2/PCIEX1_3 slot operates at up to x1 mode when the PCIEX1_1 slot is populated; the PCIEX4 slot operates at up to x2 mode when the PCIEX1_2/PCIEX1_3 slot is populated. (The PCIEX4 and PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
Storage Interface 1.1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4*/x2 SSD support) 2.1 x U.2 connector * When the U.2 connector is populated, the M.2 connector becomes unavailable. 3.2 x SATA Express connectors 4.8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors 5.Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10
Multi-Graphics Technology 1.Support for NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ and 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technologies 2.Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire™ and 3-Way AMD CrossFire™ technologies
USB Chipset+ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 2 Controller: 1.1 x USB Type-C™ port on the back panel, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support 2.1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red) on the back panelAX370 Chipset: 1.2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red) on the back panel 2.6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers) 3.4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)CPU: 1.4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back panel
H/W Monitoring 1.Voltage detection 2.Temperature detection 3.Fan speed detection 4.Overheating warning 5.Fan fail warning 6.Fan speed control * Whether the fan (pump) speed control function is supported will depend on the fan (pump) you install.
Form Factor ATX Form Factor
Warranty 3 Years
[gallery ids="192376,192379,192377,192378"] The Aorus brand is Gigabyte's premier gaming brand, so for the packaging, they have a pretty nice job at making sure everything is presented very well.  The outside of the box, presents the user with the high level specifications, model and features.  As you would expect, the back of the box is where you find the bulk of the information.  Opening the box we find the motherboard has been placed in a form fitting cardboard box, while wrapped in an anti-static bag.  The packaging of the motherboard is somewhere between the typical packaging of lower end motherboards, and the high end motherboards; it does provide more than enough protection to get the motherboard to its destination safely.  Below the motherboard tray are the accessories. [caption id="attachment_192380" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 - Accessory Pack[/caption] Laying out the accessories we find many of the very common accessories, and several additional ones.  There is the typical user manual, driver DVD, user guide, and a sheet of cable tags.  There is also the standard rear I/O shield, two large Aorus branded velcro straps, four SATA cables, a solid SLI bridge, Gigabyte's quick connector, two thermal leads and a RGB LED strip extension cable. Let's move on to taking a closer look at the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard.

Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Overview

[caption id="attachment_192386" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5[/caption] If you have been following Gigabyte's Aorus Z270 motherboards, the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 looks very familiar.  With just a few small differences, it looks quite a bit like the Z270X-Gaming 7 motherboard.  In fact, even the feature set is quite similar.  This is good as now you don't  have to sacrifice the latest features for a different CPU.  Both motherboards support U.2 NVMe, M.2 NVMe, SATA Express and SATA 6Gb/s storage drives, DDR4 memory, RGB LED's, the latest PCIe graphics cards and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C.  Let's take a quick look around the motherboard to take a closer look at it. [caption id="attachment_192395" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 - AM4 Socket[/caption] In the top right corner we find a large rear I/O plastic cover which partially covers the heatsink that covers the 6+4 phase power delivery controllers with PowlRstage IC's which helps to distribute the heat.  Along the right edge is the 8-pin AUX power connector, and a four pin fan header labeled SYS_FAN1.  To the top left of the CPU socket is a LED_C1 header, which is one of two RGB LED strip headers, compatible with 5050 RGB LED strips. [caption id="attachment_192396" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 - DDR4 Slots[/caption] In the lower right corner of the motherboard, we find the typical four DDR4 memory slots, which will support up to 64GB of memory running up to 3200MHz in both ECC and non-ECC modules.  Keep in mind that Ryzen is a whole new architecture, and memory compatibilty has been an issue since it's release.  Take a look at the memory compatibility list before purchasing memory for any Ryzen based system. Each of the four DDR4 memory slots are reinforced with Gigabyte's Steel Armor plating, which is a single piece of stainless steel to provide extra support to the DDR4 slots and provides additional protection against ESD interference.  Between the memory slots are also RGB LED strips to light up the memory.  To the top right of the DDR4 slots are two fan headers, CPU_Fan (White) and CPU_Opt (Black).  Two more fan headers are located below the memory slots to the left of the 24-pin ATX power connector; these are SYS_FAN2 and SYS_FAN5_PUMP.  To the left of these fan headers are two USB 3.1 Gen 1 internal headers, which are both USB DAC-UP2 enabled, allowing for cleaner power delivery to the USB ports.  For those that like on-board power/reset buttons, those are located in the lower right corner.  The four buttons included is a large Power and Overclock button, a small black CMOS clear button and a white reset button.  Along the bottom edge of the motherboard is Gigabyte's RGB LED accent bar, which can be changed for a different look.  While Gigabyte doesn't sell different accent bars, they do provide the overlay so if you have access to a 3D printer you can design your own; you can download the overlay file here. [caption id="attachment_192397" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 - Front Panel Connectors and AX370 Heatsink[/caption] Moving along to the bottom left corner of the motherboard, we find the AX370 chipset has a rather large passive heatsink.  Below the heatsink (in this picture at least) is the normal storage drive connections.  Along the left edge, is the front panel header connectors, three 4-pin fan headers (SYS_FAN4, SYS_FAN3, SYS_FAN6_PUMP).  Then we have the large two digital debug LED.  However, between the debug LED and the fan headers are four tiny LED's which light up to provide an idea where it's at in the boot stage, these four LED's represent the CPU, DRAM, VGA, and Boot stages. [caption id="attachment_192381" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 - SATA and U.2 Connections[/caption] The storage drive connections are horizontal to the motherboard, which is both a positive and a negative.  Usually in this position it's much easier to make the connections as you don't have to worry about graphics cards potentially covering the ports.  However depending on your case some of the connections can get a little difficult to plug into; it's a Catch-22 situation.  Gigabyte has provided a large number of connections, which includes a cluster of 4 SATA 6Gb/s connections, then a pair of SATA Express, or four more SATA 6Gb/s connections.  Lastly, we have an onboard NVMe PCIe Gen3x4 U.2 connector.  Currently there aren't many options for U.2 drives, the Intel 750 is one option. [caption id="attachment_192398" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 - PCIe Slots and M.2[/caption] The main feature of the last section is the PCIe slots.  Here we find three PCIe x16 and three PCIe x1 slots.  Individually, the PCIe x16 slots run at x16 (PCIEX16), x8 (PCIEX8), and x4 (PCIEX4).  However if you use both the PCIEX16 and PCIEX8 slots then they both run at x8; and conform to the PCI Express 3.0 specification.  PCIEX4, shares it's bandwith with all three of the PCIe x1 slots, which will slow the PCIEX4 slot to x2 if you use the PCIe x1 slots; the PCIEX4 and PCIe x1 slots all conform to PCI Express 2.0.  Along the left edge of the motherboard we find two USB 2.0 headers, a TPM header, RGB LED strip header, dual BIOS switches, and the front audio header.  Situated between the main PCIEX16 and PCIEX1_2 slot is the M.2 drive slot.  Here it supports M-key M.2 drive, and all of the major lengths (2242/2260/2280/22110) for both SATA and PCIex4 drives.  Unfortunately, if you happen to be lucky enough to have a U.2 drive, the M.2 drive slot becomes disabled. [caption id="attachment_192382" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 - Rear I/O Ports[/caption] Turning our attention to the rear I/O cluster we find the usual suspects here.  Starting on the far left, is a PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse combo port, and two yellow USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, which are compatible with USB DAC's.  Next are two common blue USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and an HDMI port which supports video up to 4096x2160@24Hz and 8 channel LPCM audio.  The small red cluster is the USB 3.1 Gen 2 cluster, with a Type-A and a Type-C port.  The two Gigabit Ethernet clusters are nearly identical with a RJ-45 port, and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports; the difference between the two Gigabit Ethernet ports is that one is supported by an Intel GbE chip, while the other is the Rivet Networks Killer E2500.  Finally the audio cluster includes the common five 3.5mm plugs and one Optical S/PDIF connector. Now that we have seen what the Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard has to offer, let's take a quick look at the test setup before getting to doing any testing.

AMD Ryzen AM4 Test Platform

[caption id="attachment_193584" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370 Gaming 5 Aorus AX370 Gaming 5 Test System[/caption] We will begin the testing phase of the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard by first installing a fresh copy of Windows 10 64-bit v1703, all drivers, utilities and tools will be updated to the latest version before we start performing any tests. Let's take a brief look at the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 test system.
AMD Ryzen Test Platform
Processor AMD Ryzen 1700X Click Here
Motherboard Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Click Here
Memory HyperX Predator DDR4 16GB Click Here
Video Card EVGA GTX 970 SC Click Here
Hard Drive Intel Pro 2500 180GB SSD Click Here
Game Drive Sandisk Ultra II 480GB SSD Click Here
Game Drive Kingston Predator 240GB M.2 Click Here
Cooler Thermaltake Contac Silent 12 Click Here
Power Supply Corsair CX 750M Click Here
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit Pro v1607 Click Here
In addition to installing the latest version of Windows 10 and drivers, we will also update the motherboard firmware to F5, which was released on April 10, 2017.  There is now a new beta BIOS, version F6g which includes additional fixes, and updates the AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture (AGESA) to 1.0.0.6. [caption id="attachment_195282" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 AIDA64 CPUID[/caption] In our previous tests with the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard, the F5 UEFI wasn't stable for running the memory kit at it's full speed, we were limited to running at 2933MHz.  The first thing we noticed is that the latest version of F5 has resolved the incompatibility of the memory.  When we booted it up, we were able to enter the UEFI and select the XMP 1, running the system at 3200MHz.  We are happy to say that the system booted without any issues or requiring any manual setting of the memory kit.  This is a great step in the right direction, and shows that both Gigabyte/Aorus and AMD are dedicated to getting the system to be stable.  In addition, a G.Skill Trident Z 3200MHz DDR4 that was totally unbootable previously, now successfully boots at 3200MHz as well. Something that I noticed is that the CPU was running with a multiplier of 35, while the UEFI shows a CPU multipler of 34.  Nothing drastic, just a little observation. [caption id="attachment_195347" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 AIDA64 CPUID UEFI F6g[/caption] Next we installed the Beta BIOS F6g.  While we don't expect the DDR4 to become unstable again, we wanted to verify.  Thankfully the system continued to boot with the memory using the XMP 1 3200MHz profile. Medit Kit [caption id="attachment_192383" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 - Media Kit[/caption] Included with the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard, was a HyperX Predator DDR4 3200MHz 2x8GB memory kit, and an AM4 compatible Thermaltake Contac Silent 12 CPU cooler. [caption id="attachment_192385" align="aligncenter" width="645"]HyperX Predator 3200MHz DDR4 HyperX Predator 3200MHz DDR4 - 2 x 8GB[/caption] The HyperX Predator 3200MHz DDR4 kit has a black aluminum heat spreader with a new design.  Each module is rated to run at 3200MHz with default timings of 17-17-17.  It also has two XMP settings, that lower the timings to 16-18-18- and 15-17-17.  This kit is available now (with part number HX432C16PB3K2/16) for $163.99 with free shipping. [caption id="attachment_192384" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Thermaltake ContacSilent 12 Thermaltake Contac Silent 12 CPU Cooler[/caption] To cool the AMD Ryzen processory, Aorus sent along the Thermaltake Contac Silent 12 CPU cooler.  This tower cooler is 153mm tall (6inches), and uses 4 U-shaped copper heatpipes that come into direct contact to the CPU.  Included with the Contac Silent 12 is a single 120mm Thermaltake fan (model TT-1225), which is rated for 74.33CFM @ 28.8dBA.  Included is one set of fan clips, installation clips for AM4, and an Intel 1151 bracket.  While only one set of fan clips is included you could install a second fan on the other side of the heatsink.  This cooler will cost you $24.99 with free shipping.

Value Added Software

Tucked inside the user guide is the software and driver DVD.  If you have seen any of Gigabyte's latest motherboards, this installer will be extremely familiar to you.  This is the same installer and toolset that we have looked at in the past. [caption id="attachment_195293" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Value Added Software[/caption] Here Gigabyte has made it easy to install all the necessary drivers, and many extra applications to get your system up and running to it's fullest potential.  The first option is to install various software and drivers.  Here you can pick and choose which you want to install.  Some of the non Gigabyte specific software included is Google Drive, Google Chrome, and Norton Internet Security.  If you scroll below the software, you'll find the drivers that are included on the DVD.  You can install specific drivers, or install everything with a single click.  Keep in mind that drivers are most likely out of date, so you are always better off getting the latest drivers from the motherboard support site; which can be found here. [caption id="attachment_195292" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 Gigabyte Tools[/caption] The next important tab is the Gigabyte specific software, which is very familiar if you have used Gigabyte motherboards and their tools.  Like the other software and driver tab, you can install just the tools you want to install.  While we only selected a few tools to install, there are a large number of them you can choose. [gallery ids="195439,195438,195437,195436"] Any of the Gigabyte specific tools you choose to install, gets installed into their App Center.  It is a nicely laid out screen giving you easy access to the tools.  Not only does it give you options for the Gigabyte apps that are installed, it also allows you a place  to change some Windows settings, similar to Control Panel.  In the upper right corner is a little down arrow button, this button is their Live Update menu, here it'll make it easy for you to check the motherboards support site and get the latest software and drivers; along with installing additional Gigabyte apps that are not installed. [caption id="attachment_195397" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 RGB Fusion in Windows[/caption] [caption id="attachment_195396" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 RGB Fusion Peripherals[/caption] The RGB Fusion app within Windows is much more powerful than the one within the UEFI.    Here you can do individual color schemes for the six LED zones, plus one for the RGB LED strips.  On the latest version of the app there is a new section for Peripheral Devices LED.  This allows you to control the RGB LEDs on various peripherals, assuming they are compatible with Gigabyte's system. [gallery ids="195401,195398,195399,195400"] While you can do your overclocking withing the UEFI, there is also the Easy Tune application which will allow you to do it within Windows.  There are several preset modes , which will get you running quickly, or you can do the "Auto Tune" which will reboot your system several times to try finding the best overclock.  If you want to do some fine tuning within Windows, you can use the sub-menu's which provide a small range of options to do your overclocking.  The CPU sub-menu for example, provides a way to adjust the CPU Ratio and do some Voltage adjustments.  While the DDR sub-menu allows you to enable the XMP profile, or manually select the memory frequency.  Finally, the Advanced Power sub-menu, provides just two Voltage options, the Loadline Calibration for the CPU Vcore and VCore SOC.

UEFI Overview

As we have said several times already, the Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard is quite similar to Gigabyte's other gaming motherboards.  This is also the case for the UEFI screens, this isn't a bad thing, it makes it easy to know where to find specific features you want.  For most, you will only need to know a few of the menu options to get the most out of the system [caption id="attachment_195348" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI System Information[/caption] There are two UEFI modes, the classic view provides the most options for customization.  The system screen is the first one you get to see, which provides just a quick overview of the motherboard, specifically giving you a place to find the model, and BIOS information.  Here you can also change the date and time if you have a need. [caption id="attachment_195288" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI MIT (AKA Overclocking Options)[/caption] Probably the most frequently used menu option in the UEFI will be the M.I.T. menu, here you will find the options to overclock the CPU and memory, along with adjusting the voltage, checking the overall system health and a few other little options. [caption id="attachment_195284" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI Advanced Frequency Settings[/caption] [caption id="attachment_195283" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI Advanced CPU Core Settings[/caption] The Advanced Frequency Settings, is a quick one stop shop to doing some simple overclocking.  The CPU Clock Ratio can be easily adjusted, allowing you to doing a very quick and easy overclock.  The memory can also be quickly overclocked here, or you can enable the XMP profiles.  There is a sub-menu here, the Advanced CPU Core Settings, this allows for enabling or disabling several CPU features such as the AMD Cool&Quiet, Core Performance Boost (shut down un-needed CPU cores, providing a boost to CPU clock speeds), SVM Mode (Secure Virtual Machine - similar to Intel-VT), Global C-state control (allows idle cores to remain at C-state to use less power), SMT Mode (Simultaneous Multi-Threading, similar to Intel HyperThreading) and Downcore Control (disable CPU cores). [caption id="attachment_195285" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI Advanced Memory Options[/caption] [caption id="attachment_195287" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI Memory Sub Timings[/caption] If you want to do some fine tuning on the memory, you'll find this in the Advanced Memory Settings menu.   Within the Memory Sub Timings sub-menu you can adjust the individual timings. [caption id="attachment_195286" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI Advanced Voltage Settings[/caption] Once you are done with doing simple overclocking, if you want to push the system a little further you might have to adjust the voltages.  This is easily done in the Advanced Voltage Settings menu.  Here you can adjust the CPU and DRAM voltages, we will adjust the CPU voltage once we hit our overclock limit going to a maximum of 1.45V. [caption id="attachment_195290" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI Smart Fan 5[/caption] Within the UEFI there are a few useful tools, Smart Fan 5 is useful to adjust the performance of the fans to your specific needs.  You can select each individual header, and set the specific fan speed or temperature mode.  This kind of fine tuning of the fans can make it easy to get a very quiet system, or if you prefer to keep it cooler, ramp up the fan speeds to keep it as cool as possible. [caption id="attachment_195289" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI RGB Fusion[/caption] The RGB functions on the motherboard can be adjusted either within Windows or in the UEFI with the RGB Fusion tool.  The UEFI implementation is much more limited in what you can adjust, but it does provide a nice interface to make some quick adjustments.  The color wheel provides a pallet of 16.8 million colors, which can be assigned to a specific mode. [caption id="attachment_195349" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370 Gaming-5 UEFI Easy Mode[/caption] The other UEFI mode is the Easy Mode, here you can't do the fine tuning like you can within the Advanced / Classic mode, but for the average user, you can adjust a lot of the key features.  The memory XMP setting can be selected, booth order can be adjusted, and even overclocking can be done with the EZ OC tool.

Overclocking

There are two methods to overclocking on the Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard.  First, within the UEFI you can manually adjust the Core Clock Ratio in .25 increments.  Second, you can use the EZ Tune application within Windows to test it.  In addition, with both methods there are both an automatic mode and a manual tuning mode.  There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when trying to get a maximum overclock.  The quality of your components, their maximum capabilities, your skill and how much patience you have. For those that are new to overclocking, Gigabyte has a nice document that walks you through overclocking the Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard.  It covers the basics of overclocking, but also covers stability testing, thermal evaluation and some sample benchmark results.  For those that are more experienced overclockers, they have a short section to help you push your system a little further.  You can find the Gigabyte AM4 Overclocking guide here; be sure to sign up to be notified of revisions. [caption id="attachment_195284" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 UEFI Advanced Frequency Settings[/caption] For our overclocking, we will focus on the manual settings within the UEFI.  For this, we will start increasing the Core Clock Ratio from the default 34 in 1.0 increments until we get a failure to boot.  From there, we will then drop it down .25 until we find the best possible overclock without increasing the voltage.  For this portion of the overclocking test, we will leave the voltage setting on Auto.  After we find the maximum overclock on this mode, we will then try pushing the overclock further by increasing the voltage up to a maximum of 1.45V. [caption id="attachment_195393" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 CPU Clock Ratio 39.5[/caption] For our first overclock, we were able to successfully boot with a Core Clock Ratio of 39, but failed at 40.  Following our previously stated methodology, we found that we were able to boot with a Core Clock Ratio of 39.5 but that was the limit. [caption id="attachment_195394" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 CPU Voltage 1.39375[/caption] Adjusting the voltage to 1.39V we were able to get a stable overclock of 40.0 but no further.  Taking the Core Voltage to 1.45 we were able to boot at 40.5 Core Clock Ratio, but it wasn't 100% stable.  So we will take the overclock back to 1.39V and a Core Clock Ratio of 40.0 for our testing.   [caption id="attachment_195395" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Maximum Overclock with CPU Core Clock Ratio 40[/caption] So we were able to take the Ryzen 7 1700X  from it's base clock speed of 3.4GHz with a turbo of 3.8GHz to running at 4.0GHz on the Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard.  That comes to a 15% boost over the base clock speed, and a 5% boost over the turbo clock speed.  Let's get to doing some testing and see if that truely provides a good boost in performance.

General Performance Testing

SiSoftware Sandra CPU Arithmetic Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 SiSoftware Sandra Memory BandwidthAorus AX370-Gaming 5 Maxon Cinebench R15Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 PCMark 8 Advanced HomeAorus AX370-Gaming 5TotuSoft LAN Speed TestAorus AX370-Gaming 5 Legit Reviews General Performance Benchmark Analysis:  For those applications which take advantage of the multiple cores and extra threads, the Ryzen processor takes a commanding lead.  For example, in SiSoftware Sandra CPU Arithmetic benchmark, the Gigabyte Aorus AX370 Gaming-5 motherboard with the AMD Ryzen 1700X processor was around 40% faster, while in Cinebench R15 it come close to 60% faster!  In those that doesn't take full advantage of the cores (such as PCMark 8), it tends to fall behind.  In PCMark's case the Ryzen system was between 25% and 30% slower then the Intel Z270 systems. Taking a look at the results from SiSoftware Sandra Memory Bandwidth test, we see that even while running the memory with the XMP profile 2 at 2933MHz it still performed very well.  Once it was running XMP profile 1, or 3200MHz the scores went up as you would expect.

Gaming Performance Testing

Futuremark 3DMark Time Spy Aorus AX370-Gaming 5Rockstar Games: Grand Theft Auto V Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Codemasters: Dirt Rally Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Eidos: Thief Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 CD Projekt: Witcher 3 Aorus AX370-Gaming 5Legit Reviews Gaming Performance Analysis:  It's a sad fact that most games do not take advantage of the extra CPU cores on processors and do not do very well for Hyper-Threading.  If they did, we would be able to see a big difference between the Intel based test systems and the AMD Ryzen test system.  Previously, we took a look at the Intel i7-7700k and the AMD Ryzen 1700X gaming performance in a 14 Game Showdown.  In that test, we ran the game at a lower quality setting that we normally do.  In this test, we increased the graphics quality typically to the highest possible. In each of these games, the Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 with the AMD Ryzen 1700X  came in either in the middle of the results, or at the bottom of the pack.  AMD has stated that the Ryzen doesn't really shine at the lower resolutions, but is designed more for VR and higher resolutions.  So the results here do not really surprise us.  However, if you take a look at the scores, there isn't a huge difference in performance, with between 1% and 2% difference in each of the games we tested this time.

Power and Temperature

Using our P3 Kill-A-Watt meter, we monitored the power usage between each of the test systems throughout all phases of testing.  During each test, we kept track of the highest reading, which is presented below.  To obtain the idle readings, we allowed each test system to sit at the desktop with no applications running for 30 minutes.  We will have the test systems set to use the Balanced power plan, while the AMD test system uses the AMD Ryzen Balanced Power Plan. [caption id="attachment_195503" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Power Consumption[/caption] In this round of testing, while sitting idle Gigabyte Aorus AX370 Gaming-5 motherboard used more power than most of the Z270 motherboards we have tested, with the exception being the Gigabyte Aorus Z270X Gaming-9 motherboard.  Once we put the system under a load it once again was pulling more power than all of the Intel Z270 based motherboards, the difference between the Ryzen and the lowest Intel Z270 motherboard was only 18W, not much to be too concerned about. To track the temperature readings, we will use AIDA64 and HWMonitor to track the temperature while running multiple benchmarks simultaneously and in a look for 30 minutes.  Something else to keep in mind, while we generally use a liquid cooler for testing, we were specifically asked not to use a liquid cooler, but to use the Thermaltake Contac Silent 12 cooler for all testing.  Plus we have not been able to get the Ryzen bracket for the Corsair H105 cooler we typically use. [caption id="attachment_195504" align="aligncenter" width="645"]Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 Temperature Readings[/caption] Even though we were required to use an air cooler for thermal testing, the AMD Ryzen 1700X system was still considerably cooler during all the testing we performed.  Even as we overclocked the processor, it still remained pretty cool, coming in just 3C hotter then the hottest Intel Z270 motherboard which used the Corsair H105 water cooler.  

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Gigabyte is well known for making some of the best motherboards regardless of the chipset.  We can't hold Gigabyte responsible for the limitations or issues that are clearly related to the processor.  When an issue is found, Gigabyte works hard on the offending component to find a resolution.  For example, when we first took a look at the AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard, the memory slots would not work above 2933MHz.  Through multiple UEFI updates they have resolved the issue and now two different memory kits run great at 3200MHz. One of the recent "features" on gaming motherboards is the inclusion of RGB LED's.  On the AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard there are six RGB LED zones which are individually addressable.  In addition, if you want to light up your system more, you have the option to connect two RGB 5050 LED strips.  We have seen these features on their other modern motherboards with RGB Fusion.  However, on the AX370-Gaming 5 they have now included the option to control the RGB lighting on select peripherals.  This feature might be backwards compatible to their other modern RGB Fusion motherboards, but don't take my word for that. So, how did the Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard perform.  As we all know, if an application is designed to take advantage of the extra cores and hyperthreading capabilities, then the AMD Ryzen processor really shines, we saw this in the benchmarks such as Cinebench and SiSoftware Sandra CPU Arithmetic.  However, for those that don't care about that and just want to game.  The AMD Ryzen and the Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard performed rather well; typically within a few percentage points of the highest scores. The Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard is feature packed, including support for a wide range of storage devices that includes the latest M.2 and U.2 drives.  Video is supported up to Quad GPU SLI and Quad GPU Crossfire.  If you are looking to build a system based on the AMD AM4 platform, the Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard would be a perfect starting point.  It is easily purchased online for $189.99 with free shipping which of course includes Gigabyte's 3 year warranty.  If AMD's past history continues, you can look at using this motherboard through multiple CPU upgrades over that 3 years, and quite possibly even longer. LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line:  The Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard is a great starting point for your AMD AM4 system.  The AMD Ryzen processor might not perform as well as the Intel processor in single CPU focused applications, but the AMD Ryzen outperforms the current Intel processors when you start doing multi-tasking and using applications that are multi-threaded.