Gigabyte's Ryzen motherboards are home, home on the range

The Ryzen hype Snowpiercer is moving on fast and Gigabyte's getting on it, right on the heels of Asus and ASRock. The company has announced a total of five Ryzen-ready mobos: two Aorus-branded models based on the X370 chipset, and three Gigabyte-labeled takes on the B350 chipset.

Starting from the top, the Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming K7 is a full-blown ATX affair with all the bells and whistles Gigabyte could slap atop it. The board can take in four DDR4 DIMMs with speeds up to 3200 MT/s, and two graphics cards in SLI or Crossfire configurations. There are a total of eight SATA ports on tap, two of them in SATA Express flavor. The onboard PCIe M.2 is complemented by a U.2 connector. Thanks to a combination of the X370 chipset and an ASMedia controller, you'll find a total of 10 USB connectors on the back panel: six USB 3.0 ports, three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and a single USB 3.1 Type-C connector. This top-end model has Gigabyte's "Turbo B-Clock Tuning IC," offering fine-grained control over base clock frequencies.

The excess doesn't stop here, either. For networking purposes, the Gaming K7 has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, courtesy of Intel and Killer adapters. Gigabyte also chose to double down on audio, since it added two Realtek ALC1220 chips—one for the back panel, and another for the front-panel jacks. If that wasn't enough, the Gaming K7 also comes with Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5 software. Multi-zone RGB LED lighting, metal-reinforced RAM slots and PCIe slots complement the package. We don't have any word yet on pricing or availability for this top-shelf model, but don't count on it being cheap.

Drilling down the lineup, there's the Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5. This model is nearly identical to the Gaming K7, except it has fewer lighting zones and doesn't come with Gigabyte's Turbo B-Clock IC. The black paintjob is replaced with stormtrooper white, too. Newegg has this board up for preorder for $194.99, and says it'll be around on March 2.

The Gigabyte-branded set of mobos starts with the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3. This board has most of the accoutrements present in the Aorus board just above. There are six SATA ports on offer, but no SATA Express or U.2 connectors. Audio output is handled by a single Realtek ALC1220 chip, and a Realtek Gigabit Ethernet controller handles networking duties. The USB ports also get a little trim off the top. There are two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, but no Type-C connectors. On this model, only the PCIe x16 slots have metal reinforcement. You can preorder the GA-AB350-Gaming 3 for $109.99 at Newegg, and it's supposed to arrive on March 2.

Let's move on to the Gigabyte GA-AB350M-Gaming 3. This microATX motherboard is similar to its full-sized brother, but has no onboard RGB LED lighting, and the audio chip gets a downgrade to a Realtek ALC887. The PCIe x16 and DIMM slots are all plastic, too. This board is pretty affordable as far as a new release goes: $94.99 for a preorder at Newegg, and it's set to come on March 8.

The most sedate mobo in the lineup is the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming. Contrary to the previous offering, this is a full-grown ATX motherboard. It's almost identical to the Gaming 3 model, save that it has one more PCIe x1 slot and no VGA port. I'm afraid that makes it totally impossible to plug your gaming rig to the school's projector. Newegg will let you preorder one of these at $99.99, and it'll start shipping on March 8.

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