Gigabyte has an Aorus party at Computex 2019

To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Gigabyte has a big presence at Computex. The company sent over a whole packet of photos of its booth, which was mostly Aorus-flavored. Unfortunately, I'm not at Computex, and if you're reading this, you're probably not either. So instead of the booth, let's talk about the new products Gigabyte has on the way. Besides the seven Socket-AM4 motherboards based on AMD's X570 chipset, there's a trio of monitors and a PCIe 4.0 SSD to talk about.

As far as the motherboards go, I'm going to skim them real quick. If you're after the nitty-gritty, the product pages are up for each model and I'll link them as we go, or if you're impatient, I made the chart above that you can check out with the salient details.  Gigabyte also helpfully provided another chart that identifies the exact components used in the construction of each board's power delivery hardware. I'm not too knowledgeable about things at the component level, so I'll let the gerbils dissect that one.

Gigabyte's fanciest X570 board is the X570 Aorus Xtreme. I probably don't need to tell you that this E-ATX monster has everything plus the kitchen sink. Triple M.2 sockets, Intel GbE-plus-Aquantia-powered 10-Gigabit Ethernet, a fancy ESS Sabre 9218 DAC, and seven USB 3.1 ports are the functional highlights of the board. The Xtreme also has dual EPS12V sockets to drive its sixteen PowIRstages, which are in turn cooled by a microfin array heatsink whose heatpipe rests directly on the hardware just like the best CPU heatsinsks. Gigabyte brags that the board uses 5-W/mK thermal pads under the aforementioned VRM heatsink, as well as between the board and its metal backplate.

The X570 Aorus Master is only a small step down from the Xtreme. The Master board has the same triple-M.2-plus-six-SATA storage configuration, but its dual LAN trades the Aquantia chip for a Realtek-powered Gigabit Ethernet to sit alongside the Intel connection. It also steps the ESS DAC down to a 9118; what difference that makes, I do not know. You lose a couple of USB 3.1 ports in the transition, but the Master has a PCIe 4.0 x1 slot that the Xtreme doesn't. It also retains the fancy backplate and VRM cooling from the Xtreme.

The next step down in Gigabyte's X570 product family is the X570 Aorus Ultra. This board, much like other "Aorus Ultra" models before it, is sort of a "premium midrange" offering. It's stripped-down compared to its more expensive siblings, but it still has more or less all the functional parts that they do: triple M.2 sockets, a fancy ALC1220-VB audio codec, and a microfin array VRM heatsink. The majority of things that it misses are overclocker niceties, like diagnostic LEDs, onboard power and reset buttons, and a rear-panel reset button. 

Gigabyte's X570 Aorus Pro comes in Wi-Fi and no-Wi-Fi versions. Otherwise, it's yet another small step down from the Ultra model, and when I say "small" step, I'm serious. They have the exact same power delivery configuration, their stat-lines in the chart above are essentially identical, and ultimately the only real difference I can find in the two boards (Ultra and Pro) is that the Pro model loses an M.2 socket compared to its cousin. There's also no grille on the chipset fan, for what that matters.

Naturally, Gigabyte has a mini-ITX board coming: the X570-I Aorus Pro Wifi. There's something about the idea of running a twelve-core, 4.6-GHz processor in a mini-ITX machine that makes me giggle. Anyway, this board makes the necessary sacrifices for the sake of miniaturization, but it's still richly-appointed. A pair of M.2 sockets are joined by a third E-key slot for the Wi-Fi card. This is also the only board in Gigabyte's lineup that includes more than one video connection, in case you should want to use it with a chip that has integrated graphics.

Gigabyte didn't send me a picture of the Elite, so here it is in the booth.

The X570 Aorus Elite is probably the most appealing model to price-conscious gerbils. Not to say that it's cheap—perhaps "uncomplicated" is a nice way to put it. Despite its positioning in the product stack, the Elite still keeps a pair of M.2 sockets and Intel-powered Ethernet, as well as S/PDIF audio output and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port for the front of the case. It does lose the ability to split the CPU's PCIe lanes and hook up a pair of graphics cards to 8 lanes, though. It also doesn't come with WI-Fi.

Last and likely least among Gigabyte's X570 boards is the X570 Gaming X. Despite the decidedly budget-oriented nature of this board, it should appeal to a certain segment of users. After all, it's the only board among the lineup to have PS/2 ports—and a pair of them, too. It also has three PCIe 4.0 x1 slots mixed in with its dual physical-x16 slots and pair of M.2 sockets. The real letdown of this board is the lack of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, although I'm not extremely excited about the single Realtek LAN chip or that ancient ALC887 audio codec, either. Still, it should be cheap.

As you'll know if you read the chart above, all of Gigabyte's X570-based Ryzen boards support ECC memory, which is interesting. Gigabyte is proud of a few of its other features too, like Q-Flash Plus, which lets you "update the BIOS even without installing a processor, memory, graphics card, or booting up the PC." Pretty handy for boards that are likely to see at least one more round of CPU releases. All of these boards also support XMP profiles for easy memory configuration, too.

Gigabyte's new monitors are the KD25F, CV27F, and CV27Q. We know the least about the CV27Q, so I'll start with that. Gigabyte says that the CV27Q is its first "curved, tactical gaming monitor" and that the 27" display uses a VA LCD in 2560x1440 resolution with 1500R curvature. The monitor supports refresh rates up to 165 Hz as well as FreeSync 2 HDR, and Gigabyte says the CV27Q can reproduce 90% of the DCI-P3 colorspace. Not bad at all.

Gigabyte also says the CV27Q supports a 1-ms response time, but I'm a little dubious on that point because the company reports the CV27F's response time as "1ms (MPRT)." For those who don't know, MPRT is "moving picture response time," and it represents the "felt" response time of a display. When talking about gaming monitors, a response time of "1ms (MPRT)" generally means that the monitor is using blur-reduction tech—usually backlight strobing—to achieve that figure. Besides, a real 1ms response time on a VA LCD is virtually unheard-of.

Other salient specs on the CV27F include a 27" diagonal, 1920x1080 screen resolution, 165-Hz refresh rate, 3000:1 static contrast, 400 cd/m² peak brightness, and FreeSync 2 support. It also has a USB 3.0 hub built-in, VESA mounting support, and like its cousin, the ability to reproduce some 90% of the DCI-P3 colorspace. I'd show you a picture of it, but it looks virtually identical to the CV27Q above, so refer to that.

I could show you the front, but it's not interesting. Check out this wacky stand!

Meanwhile, the KD25F is not like the others. This flat (i.e. non-curved) display is 24.5" from corner to corner, and it uses a TN LCD panel. You might think, "oh, it's a budget display," but you'd be mistaken. This monitor supports a 240-Hz refresh rate, after all. More interestingly, this monitor is the second (after BenQ's XL2546) that we've seen to support blur reduction strobing at 240 Hz. Gigabyte marks this model down for a 0.5ms response time, but that's an MPRT number of course.

If you're concerned about the image quality, you probably needn't be. The KD25F's TN LCD is a true 8-bit panel that can display the full sRGB colorspace, and its backlight allows it to shine at up to 400 cd/m². Typical contrast is average for a TN LCD at 1000:1. Like the other monitors, it supports VESA mounting and has a USB 3.0 hub built-in. Just make sure you sit directly in front of it.

Finally, that SSD I mentioned. Gigabyte paired up an "all-new" PCIe 4.0 SSD controller with similarly-fresh Toshiba BiCS4 NAND flash to make what it calls, simply, the "Aorus NVMe Gen4 SSD." (Maybe it'll get renamed later.) This thing is wreathed on all sides in copper to keep it cool, and that's not that surprising when you hear that it can whip out a full 5 GB/sec on sequential reads. Gigabyte's not talking random performance, unfortunately. Gigabyte's general Computex press release claims the drive comes in an 8TB capacity, but the SSD's own info only lists 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes. We'll ask Gigabyte for clarification.

Gigabyte didn't say when any of this stuff would be available, or for how much. Sorry to get you excited with no payoff. We reckon the majority of the motherboards will be available in early July, around the time the CPUs for them are out. As for the rest of the hardware, it's anybody's guess.

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