Gigabyte GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI mobo stuffs Ryzen into Mini-ITX

Gamers looking to pack eight cores and 16 threads into a Mini-ITX chassis will soon have another option thanks to Gigabyte's GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI AM4 motherboard. The mighty mite supports AMD's Ryzen CPUs and seventh-generation APUs, and should equally work with the upcoming Raven Ridge APUs packing IGPs based on the company's Zen architecture. The board has a pair of DIMM slots for memory and a single steel-reinforced PCIe x16 slot. This offering joins Biostar's X370GTN as the only Ryzen Mini-ITX mobos we're aware of so far.

The AB350N-Gaming WIFI is based on AMD's B350 chipset. The choice of the midrange chipset makes a lot of sense, given that the key difference between B350 and X370 is SLI support, something that's usually impossible in Mini-ITX machines thanks to the form factor's physical limitations. The two DIMM slots support regular or ECC DDR4 memory at speeds up to 3200 MT/s and with total capacity up to 32 GB.

The onboard Gigabit Ethernet port is powered by a Realtek chip, as is the eight-channel audio output. As its name suggests, the board also packs integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, both by way of Intel silicon.

In 2017, the word "gaming" in a product name is practically synonymous with RGB LED illumination, and the AB350N-Gaming Wi-Fi doesn't disappoint on this front. The board has two light zones and RGB LEDs on the back side. Two RGBW pin headers atop the board can be configured with Gigabyte's Aura software, too.

As for connecting things more grown-up than blinkenlights, the board has two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, four onboard USB 3.0 jacks, and two USB 2.0 connectors to go along with DisplayPort and HDMI video outputs. SATA or NVMe storage can be to the board's single M.2 slot. Plain SATA drives can be connected to the four ports.

Gigabyte didn't provide pricing or availability information for the GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI. Biostar's X370GTN Mini-ITX AM4 motherboard rings in at $110 and the rest of Gigabyte's B350 lineup is between $85 and $110, so we would expect the price for this model to be equally reasonable.

Comments closed
    • Kraaketaer
    • 2 years ago

    31 comments on this, and not a single one mentioning the abhorrent layout of this board? I’ve seen some bad ITX layouts throughout the years, but this one has to take the cake. 8-pin EPS behind the IO shield, squeezed behind a heatsink? 24-pin ATX, front IO and front panel connectors at the top of the board? Good luck routing cables to this thing. No thank you. I’m glad I got the Biostar X370GTN, even if the Asrock one looks better (still not out, though).

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      I was actually just thinking how good the layout was for an mITX board:

      [list<][*<]RAM slots right at the very edge for max CPU clearance. [/*<][*<]24-pin at the edge to avoid drive cage clearance issues in slim SFF/shoeboxes. [/*<][*<]SATA, USB3, front panel cables at the top edge, out of the way of the PSU spaghetti.[/*<][/list<] EPS 8-pin isn't ideal, but it never is. It's a single cable that still has to route behind the board or coma across from the top edge and keeping one thick and inflexible cable out of the CPU and case fans is easier than dealing with the spaghetti tangle in a very small case that would result in the USB3, SATA and fan cables would cause if the EPS 8-pin displaced those things to somewhere less convenient. I'm thinking of compact shoebox builds like the Silverstone Sugo SG05 and half-heights like the FTZ01. If you're using a larger case, space and cable-routing aren't really as much of an issue and the board layout really doesn't matter as much.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        I agree with Chrispy here. I think the layout is quite good, save for the 8-pin which like he mentioned is rarely convenient to place around the edge of the board considering the limited space available.

        I’m more used to seeing the 8-pin where that northbridge is. Not sure I’ve seen the northbridge up in that corner. Probably the dumb AMD CPU heatsink brackets are in the way of placing the northbridge between the CPU and the PCIe slot. Hardly Gigabyte’s fault.

    • YukaKun
    • 2 years ago

    Ok, where are the APUs for this?

    I have good expectations, AMD. Please don’t let us all down.

    Cheers!

      • Vhalidictes
      • 2 years ago

      This is already a perfect fit for Ryzen because you only want to use 2 DIMMs anyways.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      OEM’s have access to “7th generation” also known as Bristol Ridge APUs, they fit in AM4 sockets. Its a little surprising that they never made it into retail, but perhaps they are still trying to sell out the stocks of older models of Dozer APUs. Seems like they would have sold a few anyway, due to the new AM4 platform if nothing else.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 2 years ago

        You can find the A12-9800 on eBay if you must have a Bristol Ridge APU today and cannot wait for Raven Ridge.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 2 years ago

          Would be kind of cool to get one, just cause.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 2 years ago

      Gigabyte lists Bristol Ridge APUs on their CPU support list, but I’m still going to wait for Raven Ridge.
      [url<]https://www.gigabyte.com/Ajax/SupportFunction/Getcpulist?Type=Product&Value=6332[/url<]

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    Horray!!!

    [Add] That’s a lot of ICs below the socket.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    I’d buy this board just to make myself feel good knowing my computer is actually powered by a real SoC. And a very strong x86 SoC at that.

    Ryzen is really well thought out.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    I like the brave little PCIe [s<]silver sticker[/s<] slot reinforcement! /s I mean, sure - I guess it's technically feasible that someone will buy this to install a triple-slot, triple-fan, full-length 1080Ti into this board, completely unsupported in a flimsy but huge full-ATX case and then moan that their 6lbs graphics card ripped their PCIe slot over whilst they were towing it to a LAN on a castor trolley via the potholed cobbled side-street. On the other hand, I think the Darwin Awards should apply to purchases, not just life choices.

    • short_fuze
    • 2 years ago

    How about, ITX with 4 to 8 M.2 slots? Hang ’em off a riser card even.

    That may sound quite silly to those of you who understand the technical hurdles, but those extra PCI lanes that AMD is throwing into the pool could make for a really nice tiny little VM speed demon.

    • TheMonkeyKing
    • 2 years ago

    It’s been months since Ryzen appeared. Has it matured, meaning microcode and on-board BIOS?

      • Ethyriel
      • 2 years ago

      It’s getting better, but the latest AGESA 1.0.0.6 has had trouble getting out of beta BIOS’ for most motherboards. And for those that have, there seem to be quite a few problems. Personally I’m hoping for a low end Threadripper with 8C/16T and lower clocks so I can throw more memory channels at it. This is for a virtualization lab, though, so I don’t know how many people a part like that would appeal to.

    • Anovoca
    • 2 years ago

    Yay, Ryzen M-ITX party of two.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 2 years ago

      Party of three?

      Biostar actually offers [b<]two[/b<] mini-ITX socket AM4 motherboards. [url<]https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=118885&p=1341603#p1341603[/url<]

    • hungarianhc
    • 2 years ago

    So this is cool… It supports ECC RAM. I could put a Ryzen CPU in here and 32GB of ECC RAM to be my next FreeNAS box. Only four SATA ports, though…

      • Ethyriel
      • 2 years ago

      Yup, give me dual Intel NIC’s and 6 SATA ports please. A second M.2 slot would be nice, too, one for L2ARC another for ZIL.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        While they’re at it, they can throw on one of those “management processors” like they had on the big server MZ31-AR0, that way you get a VGA port without an APU!

      • Spunjji
      • 2 years ago

      Grab yourself a second-hand ex-server SAS card with a pair of ports on it, break them out to 4x SATA each. Reeeeesult!

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 2 years ago

    Is it possible to run something like this headless so I can throw a 10G NIC in there and use this as a NAS/Plex Server?

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. I wish it had an Intel NIC onboard to help with that, but if you’re going to buy a 10G NIC anyway that probably doesn’t matter to you.

      • davidbowser
      • 2 years ago

      Out of curiosity, are you streaming 4K or just future-proofing with 10G? I only have 1080p x264 movies running over 1G and 802.11ac, but I have only had to downgrade streaming speed on a couple of devices with old wifi (g? maybe).

        • DragonDaddyBear
        • 2 years ago

        1Gbps maxes out at 100MBps, slower than a typical mechanical hard drive. So a file transfer alone will max out the connection. That would cause issues with my HDHomerun DVR. Complicating things more is my NIC being shared on a VM that also is my router. I’d like to go to a lower power setup, like the x1700, eventually and reuse my Node 304, which could house 6 3.5″ drives.

          • davidbowser
          • 2 years ago

          I think I see where you’re going, but I haven’t hit it yet. I run HDHomerun with cablecard and 4 streams to my Plex DVR (physical linux box) and so far (crossing fingers) server bandwidth has not cropped up as an issue (playback devices over wifi can be ornery). I rip BD and DVD on my desktop and then SCP files to the Plex box while the kids are watching stuff, and so far it has been smooth for me.

          What 10G switches are you looking at? The only reasonable one I have seen so far, and what I am keeping an eye on is the UniFi 16XG. It only has 4 RJ45 ports, but it meant to be an aggregator.

          [url<]https://www.ubnt.com/unifi-switching/unifi-switch-16-xg/[/url<]

            • DragonDaddyBear
            • 2 years ago

            None yet, lol. If I could find a used one with fiber I’d go that route for my server but even those are expensive. Everything is still pretty spendy. If the new chip works out (some company, I forget who) then we’ll see it down to about $15 USD a port pretty soon, with 2.5Gps and 5Gbps speeds (I forget the IEEE spec). But, If I’m lucky I’ll be rebuilding in a year or so.

          • colinstu12
          • 2 years ago

          Well.. 125MB/s theoretical.

          On my own network I can easily achieve speeds of 113-118MB/s though.

            • DragonDaddyBear
            • 2 years ago

            You’re right. I was just being lazy. You CAN get more but I consider 100MBps more of a baseline for speed.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Impressive, but I still need The ThreadRipper in mini-ITX.

    Just Because.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      If it fits a threadripper, might as well go all the way to full epyc.

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        EIGHT MEMORY CHANNELS!
        128 PCIe LANES!
        NO ROOM FOR ANY OF THEM ON THE BOARD!

        This. Changes. EVERYTHING!

          • RAGEPRO
          • 2 years ago

          Epyc post sir. I lol’d hard.

            • Redocbew
            • 2 years ago

            Now I’m picturing chuckula throwing everything off his desk in one swipe.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 2 years ago

          I wonder if the 4 memory channels which are exposed on the threadripper socket will map a single channel for each die on epyc, or concentrate it into two of the dies.

          Seems to me that there isn’t a lot of reason for AMD to prevent people from running epyc on modest motherboards if the socket is in fact the same. Whether or not its a good idea is left up to the buyer.

          Maybe they could get 4 SO-DIMMS onto mini-ITX. 🙂

            • chuckula
            • 2 years ago

            [quote<]I wonder if the 4 memory channels which are exposed on the threadripper socket will map a single channel for each die on epyc, or concentrate it into two of the dies.[/quote<] It's mapping into two channels on two dies or else Threadripper would only be a dual-channel part and half of the DIMM slots wouldn't be connected to anything (and you don't want that).

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            How confident are you that they can’t just run the traces a bit longer distance, so that two dies can reach pins which are usually spread around 4 dies? There is already some wiggle room for where DIMMs go on the motherboard.

          • DPete27
          • 2 years ago

          I bet you could do it with lay-flat SODIMMs. Possibly half on the front and half on the back of the board. Why not?!!!

      • wiak
      • 2 years ago

      the threadripper socket is soo small on a itx board

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Someone is probably going to try, just because they can – Probably Asrock because they’re bonkers.

      Yo dawg, I heard you liked riser cards for things that there wasn’t enough space on the board for, so I bought you some riser cards for your riser cards…..

      • juzz86
      • 2 years ago

      Mate the socket is as big as ITX, where will all the DIMM go?

    • Redocbew
    • 2 years ago

    Yay! This is one of the boards I’ve been waiting for before I start looking seriously at a Ryzen upgrade. Let all my(very small) brethren rejoice.

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