Gigabyte’s X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi motherboard reviewed

AMD’s second-generation Ryzen CPUs came out just a few weeks ago, and they were accompanied by a range of brand-new X470 motherboards for high-end system builders. The X470 chipset doesn’t actually add any new features or upgrade any connectivity standards compared to X370, though. While the underlying chipset silicon might consume less power, that’s about the only tangible improvement in the Promontory chip that underpins all AM4 chipsets. X470 might be more about improving the supporting infrastructure around the AM4 socket for the potentially higher power demands of AMD’s latest chips, although even this rationale falls a little flat. AMD says all of the X370 motherboards on the market can stand up to the power demands of second-gen Ryzen CPUs.

As AMD put it to me, X470 is a “harmonized” release for second-generation Ryzen CPUs. Ultimately, companies need new products to catch builders’ attention, and the X470 name means builders are getting the fruits of a year of AMD platform refinement from the get-go, plus purportedly worry-free out-of-the-box operation with these new chips. X470 boards also get to take advantage of AMD’s StoreMI software for free. (We’ll be testing StoreMI in a separate article soon.)

For its part, Gigabyte has been continuing its practice of continuous improvement since Ryzen CPUs launched a year and change ago. The company has been closely listening to what high-end system builders want from its motherboards, and we first got a peek at the results of that feedback at CES. Gigabyte is in the midst of another restyling of its Aorus boards that puts brushed aluminum and orange accents at the forefront, and the $240 X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi is the highest-end example of that styling that we’ve seen so far.

The most evident refinement from Gigabyte is entirely practical, though. Witness the Gaming 7’s monster VRM heatsink. This cooler starts with a six-millimeter-diameter copper heat pipe that comes into direct contact with the thermal pads beneath. That pipe runs through a pair of—get this—aluminum fin stacks.

I had to dig all the way back to 2008 in our archives to find similarly-finned heatsinks as a common feature on motherboard components, and it’s something we’ve long been asking for from motherboard makers in this day and age.  AMD’s Ryzen CPUs aren’t known for being power hogs, but the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi’s VRM cooling should inspire full confidence in the board’s ability to handle day-to-day overclocks and then some.

Underneath that heatsink, Gigabyte dots the Gaming 7 with 10 International Rectifier 3553 integrated power stages. These units integrate the high-side, low-side, and driver elements of a buck converter into one chip for efficiency, and they’re rated for 40 A each. Gigabyte also grabs its favored Cooper Bussmann chokes from the parts pile as the companion for those power stages.

Professional analysis suggests this VRM is vast overkill for today’s Ryzen CPUs, but given the long projected life span of the AM4 platform, there’s no telling what future chips might demand of the socket. Today, users can likely rest assured that the Gaming 7’s power-delivery circuitry will run cool and deliver clean power even under the most extreme loads.

In another enthusiast-friendly move, Gigabyte sockets the main EEPROM chip for this board. In the event that a user screws up their particular Gaming 7’s firmware beyond any hope of recovery, Gigabyte can simply mail the user a fresh BIOS chip instead of initiating an RMA for the whole board. For as high-end as this board is, though, I find it odd that Gigabyte omitted its Q-Flash Plus feature. Q-Flash Plus allows a builder to update a motherboard’s BIOS without a CPU or memory installed, and it’s quite handy for as long-lived a socket as AM4 seems poised to be.

Gigabyte also armors the X470 Gaming 7 Wifi against handling with a small backplate that provides a nice grab point when moving the motherboard from box to case or box to bench. This backplate also serves as the mounting point for the Gaming 7 Wifi’s integrated I/O shield. Builders whose cases have large enough cutouts in their motherboard trays and tempered-glass side panels might be able to glimpse this backplate through the sides of their chassis, too.

In the memory department, the Gaming 7 offers four DIMM slots with support for AMD’s newly-uprated DDR4-2933 stock memory speeds for second-generation Ryzen CPUs. That stock speed requires at least a six-layer PCB to claim, and we’d expect nothing else from such a high-end board. Gigabyte claims the Gaming 7 will run with unbuffered ECC DIMMs for those interested in stability over performance, too.

The board will accept up to 64 GB of memory, although reaching that capacity is subject to the Ryzen integrated memory controller’s quirks regarding numbers and topologies of DIMMs. At least with a select kit of memory, though, hitting high memory speeds and low latencies on X470 is a lot simpler than it was at the advent of X370 boards. Our G.Skill Sniper X DDR4-3400 kit only needed its XMP profile enabled to hit its rated speeds and latencies without errors on the Gaming 7 Wifi.

 

Expansion, I/O, and audio

The bounty of the Gaming 7 Wifi’s I/O panel starts with an integrated power button that can double as a reset switch with some firmware tweaking, as well as a Clear CMOS button. These features are handy for folks like yours truly whose systems primarily live on test benches.

The two antenna connectors poking out of the Gaming 7 Wifi’s back panel belong to an Intel Wireless-AC 9260 radio module. This high-end wireless adapter is among the first to support so-called Gigabit Wi-Fi with new access points that can support 160-MHz channel widths. Intel claims a maximum 1.73 Gbps downlink speed from compatible hardware. The 9260 module also supports Bluetooth 5. That version of the short-range wireless protocol claims greater range and higher speeds than past Bluetooth versions with compatible devices.

The stack of four USB 3.0 ports to the right of the wireless antenna connectors comes straight from the Ryzen SoC itself. The red USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A connector and the Type-C connector beneath both pull from an ASMedia 1143 controller connected to the X470 chipset. Under an Intel i211AT-powered Gigabit Ethernet jack, Gigabyte taps two USB 2.0 ports from the X470 chipset. Finally, we get two yellow USB 3.0 ports from the chipset with Gigabyte’s DAC-Up technology behind them. DAC-Up lets users adjust the amount of power available from the USB ports to compensate for issues with power-hungry devices or long cable runs.

You may be wondering where the much-touted chipset USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity from X470 went on the Gaming 7 after that rundown, and the answer is that it’s routed to the board’s single USB 3.1 Gen 2 front-panel connector. USB 3.1 Gen 2 front-panel cabling remains a rare option among cases these days, and I would have preferred it had Gigabyte hooked up this connector to the ASMedia 1143 chip that powers the Gaming 7’s back-panel ports.

The last jacks on the I/O panel come from the board’s audio subsystem. The Realtek ALC1220-VB codec on the Gaming 7 Wifi promises better front-panel mic input quality than the ubiquitous ALC1220 before it, presuming that improvement can be heard with the middling mics on many headsets.

For digital-to-analog conversion, Gigabyte taps Realtek’s ESS Sabre 9018Q2C chip. This DAC claims a 121-dB signal-to-noise ratio and a -115-dB THD+N figure. Good stuff. Gigabyte also puts Wima film capacitors and some Nichicon Gold caps in the audio path, as is typical of many of its high-end motherboards.

All that hardware lets the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 offer exceptionally crisp, tight, and well-separated sound in games and music with a pleasingly neutral frequency response. I was OK with the board’s default voicing and didn’t feel the need to EQ out any particular weirdness in the resulting audio. Analog audio suites like this one should obviate the need for any kind of discrete sound card for all but the most picky listeners these days.

The Gaming 7 Wifi’s main PCIe 3.0 slot gets its 16 lanes from the Ryzen SoC, and it can share eight of those lanes with the second RGB LED-surrounded PCIe slot on the board for multi-GPU setups or other PCIe devices. The third PCIe x16 slot is an electrical x4 slot powered by four lanes from the X470 chipset. Both PCIe x1 slots are also powered by PCIe 2.0 lanes from the X470 chipset.

The board’s first M.2 slot takes four dedicated PCIe 3.0 lanes from the Ryzen SoC, while the second shares four PCIe 2.0 lanes with the board’s bottom PCIe x16 slot. Both slots are covered by finned heatsinks with pre-applied thermal pads underneath. The first M.2 slot on the board may need that heatsink, as it’ll end up under any graphics card in the first PCIe x16 slot. The first M.2 slot supports SATA devices, but the second one does not. Although it’s nice that the board has two M.2 slots, folks planning to tap all of the bandwidth available from NVMe storage devices might find the second slot’s PCIe 2.0 lanes limiting. Those lanes provide about half of the raw bandwidth of a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot.

Gigabyte taps all six of the SATA ports available from the X470 chipset, and all six of those ports are available regardless of whether a SATA device is plugged into the board’s first M.2 slot. That’s good news for storage-hungry builders, who can theoretically populate every M.2 slot and SATA port on the board while only losing one PCIe slot.

 

Firmware, fan control, and Windows software

Even with the introduction of new AMD processors and chipsets, Gigabyte hasn’t seen fit to update the basic firmware interface it’s been using across its entire motherboard lineup since mid-2016. For more perspective on that firmware, see our X99-Designare EX and Z270X-Gaming 5 reviews. The short take is that Gigabyte’s firmware is clean and straightforward-looking, but it still takes some poking and prodding to really get a grip on the range of settings it exposes to builders, and it’s not always clear how the various settings in the firmware interact.

The fact that AMD Ryzen CPUs just don’t have that many parameters to tweak for voltage and CPU frequency helps overcome some of Gigabyte’s somewhat balky user-interface design choices, and the text-field-heavy interface helps make navigating the wide menu of memory settings available from Ryzen chips simple, too.

The key things builders will want to do in the firmware for Ryzen CPUs are enabling XMP, tweaking CPU multipliers, and adjusting voltage settings for the CPU. Those tasks are simple and straightforward in the X470 Gaming 7 Wifi’s firmware, and I found it easy to get in and out of the firmware while tweaking settings for overclocking.

Folks interested in system tweaking in Windows will want to fire up Gigabyte’s Easy Tune software. Easy Tune exposes all of the voltage and frequency settings available from the board’s firmware in graphical form. Easy Tune also provides monitoring for important parameters like CPU Vcore and the various temperature sensors across the motherboard.

Even with those important duties, the utility didn’t seem to report the correct clock speed for our Ryzen 7 2700 test CPU. Instead of tracking its roughly 1.55-GHz speed at idle and with stock clocks, the utility reported a flat (and possibly spurious) 3.186 GHz from the chip at all times. All of the other parameters from the motherboard did appear to show up properly, though. If all you care about is monitoring a Ryzen CPU’s parameters in Windows, however, AMD’s own Ryzen Master utility is an excellent alternative to vendor-specific motherboard software.

Gigabyte has made universal fan compatibility a headlining feature of its Aorus motherboards. The Smart Fan 5 branding on the Gaming 7 Wifi means that each of its seven (or eight, if you count CPU_OPT) fan headers can automatically sense the type of fan that’s plugged in and control them. Two of the board’s headers can automatically detect liquid-cooling pumps, as well. The only necessary user intervention is if a builder wants to configure fan curves of their own, and that requires diving into the Smart Fan 5 interface in the system’s firmware.

Builders can set up custom fan control settings on Aorus boards through the firmware or the System Information Viewer utility in Windows. The firmware fan control interface gives builders access to practically every tweaking parameter available from the Gaming 7. Each of the board’s fans has a five-point speed curve to tweak, and Gigabyte offers three prebaked curves (normal, silent, and full speed) per fan header. The Gaming 7 Wifi still can’t calibrate minimum and maximum fan speeds in firmware, but if Gigabyte ever implements that change, Smart Fan 5 will be nearly perfect.

The firmware also lets owners choose the input one of several temperature sensors to control fan speed. Instead of relying on just one motherboard temperature sensor in an indeterminate location, the Gaming 7’s headers can respond to changes in CPU temperatures, chipset temperature, and VRM temperatures, or the signal from the included thermocouple, among other inputs. Overall, Gigabyte’s latest firmware fan control interface is excellent, and it almost negates the need for Windows software entirely.

System Information Viewer remains the way to control fans on Gigabyte motherboards in Windows, but its Smart Fan 5 Advanced mode still doesn’t let users choose the temperature source that controls each fan. For that reason alone (and because of the fact that manually finding the lowest speed each fan can run at isn’t that big a deal), I’d forgo SIV and just tweak fans in the Gaming 7 Wifi’s incredibly-capable firmware. I’ve long felt that Gigabyte’s Windows software needs a unified redesign similar to that of Asus’, and the advent of X470 does little to change that view.

 

RGB LEDs

Whatever we might think of them, arrays of RGB LEDs have become central features of most every modern motherboard. We’re long past the point where protesting the presence of these blinkenlights would be useful. They are well and truly ubiquitous, and they’re not going away. If you can’t stomach them, the answer is simple: turn them off. As reviewers, our main concern is making sure motherboard makers are making RGB LEDs easy to configure and manage across a system. Given the ranges of color, animation, and synchronization available from modern RGB LEDs, the potential complexity of lighting management is daunting, and it’s a major challenge for motherboard makers to rein in that complexity in software.

Like most recent Gigabyte motherboards, the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi comes fully clad in RGB diodes behind a range of diffusers. The fun starts at the I/O shroud, where a so-called “digital LED” individually-addressable strip sits under a stylized cover. More on that strip’s capabilities in a moment. Moving across the upper half of the mobo, three LED diffusers between the DIMM slots and a diffuser on the edge of the board will catch the eyes . Gigabyte further bedecks the audio-path shroud, the primary and secondary PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, and the chipset heatsink with threads from this board’s Technicolor dreamcoat.

The RGB Fusion Windows utility continues to run the light show on the Gaming 7 Wifi. For the unfamiliar, RGB Fusion has three paths to rave-lighting bliss. First up is Basic Mode. This setup lets lighting designers control every LED on the board at once using seven distinct animation effects. Static allows the user to set one color and brightness level for the entire board. Pulse gently illuminates and darkens the board in one color at one of three available speeds. Music blinks out a one-color light show in sync with any audio that’s playing through the Gaming 7 Wifi’s outputs. Color Cycle takes the whole board through the standard rainbow sweep that defines RGB LED lighting for many. Flash blinks every LED on and off at one of three speeds. Double Flash unsurprisingly doubles the blink rate of Flash. Random, well, randomly illuminates each of the board’s zones with different colors in an unpredictable swirl.

Switch over to Advanced Mode, and The individually-controllable zones on the Gaming 7 Wifi are broken up as follows. The digital strip atop the I/O shield is its own domain. The LEDs in between the DIMM slots are another such zone. A third region comprises the LED light bar and the chipset heatsink. The fourth zone controls the lighting in each PCIe x16 slot shroud and the audio shroud. Any zone can be assigned the Pulse, Static, Flash, Double Flash, or Color Cycle effects, or users can go hog-wild with a custom animation sequence of their own.

The Custom interface brings up an array of up to seven color stops. Users can define the transition speed between stops (anywhere from five to 30 seconds) and the duration the sequence spends on each stop (anywhere from one to 60 seconds). Each stop can have a color assigned to it, as well as a choice of Pulse, Static, or Flash animation settings. In this version of RGB Fusion, the minimum duration of each stop is now just one second, but transitions remain at a five-second minimum. The transition between stops isn’t smooth on the Gaming 7 Wifi, either. Once the time set for each stop’s duration expires, the board’s RGB LED controller harshly drops light levels to near-zero and then gradually steps them up to the next stop’s color and brightness over the amount of time specified for that stop’s transition. If you want smooth rainbows of color, it’s best to set each zone to the Color Cycle animation.

On top of those custom zones, the Gaming 7 boasts two sets of RGB LED strip headers: a pair of good old RGBW pins and another pair ready to power “digital LED strips,” or strips with individually-addressable LEDs. The Gaming 7 Wifi can control standard RGB or RGBW strips using the same array of Custom settings I described for each lighting zone above. Individually-addressable strips can use those same custom settings, or builders can assign any of up to 12 distinct animation modes that Gigabyte bakes into RGB Fusion. I won’t go into those modes here, but Gigabyte provides vivid demos of each one on this board’s product page.

 

As I’ve mentioned, the Gaming 7 Wifi has a special digital LED strip of its own built into the I/O shroud. I’ve put together a brief video of the 10 different lighting effects this strip can produce to show how it’s different from the usual fare. Some of the effects are rather subtle, while others are pretty in-your-face. The only downside to the digital LED strip is that no other LED zone on the board can truly sync to its unique effects. With that in mind, it’s better to think of this strip as an accent rather than an integral part of any other multi-zone lighting scheme possible on this board. That’s only true in Advanced Mode, though. The strip’s effects look just like any other zone on the board if you choose from the seven effects in Basic Mode.

Unlike some competing motherboards I’ve used, Gigabyte also provides some rudimentary control over the Gaming 7 Wifi’s RGB LEDs in firmware. The UEFI lets builders choose solid-color lighting for the whole board, as well as the pulse, flash, and color cycle animations. The RGB Fusion Windows utility remains the best place to tweak RGB LEDs, but for those who’d rather just set and forget some basic single-color lighting across the board, the firmware stands ready.

Overall, RGB Fusion isn’t quite as tweakable as Asus’ Aura software, but it’s far superior to MSI’s Mystic Light utility. I didn’t have any trouble setting up a lighting arrangement I enjoyed. Folks who aren’t down with the blinkenlights can always disable them for good in the firmware, and that’s that.

 

Overclocking

 We haven’t much explored Ryzen overclocking in detail on TR, but in contrast to recent Intel platforms and playing with the choices among fixed, adaptive, and offset voltage control that they offer, tuning AMD’s recent chips is a relatively straightforward process. As soon as a user changes multipliers or voltages in the firmware, Ryzen chips—including second-gen Ryzen chips—enter an “OC mode” that locks the processor into its highest-performance P0 power state. This mode means that AMD’s Precision Boost and XFR schemes are disabled, leaving your chosen multiplier as the peak—and only—operational state of the processor.

It’s possible to perform P-state overclocking on some Ryzen motherboards for a proper voltage-and-frequency-scaling curve between idle and peak loads, but it’s not the primary or most refined method for pushing Ryzen chips to their limits just yet. Fixed all-core multipliers and voltages are the orders of the day for mainstream Ryzen overclocking.

The loss of Precision Boost and XFR means that builders also need to be able to achieve all-core speeds that are close to or in excess of the single-core Precision Boost speed for a given chip to make Ryzen overclocks really worth it. Trading away some single-threaded performance for an increase in the all-core speed of their chip might be worth it to users whose workloads are primarily multithreaded, but it’s not a great compromise to make for general PC usage.

Although our review of the Ryzen 7 2700 is still in progress, I figured that chip would prove an ideal candidate for overclocking on the X470 Gaming 7 Wifi. If overclockers are going to toss out the stock cooler and Precision Boost mojo of Ryzen CPUs to begin with, it’s not worth spending the $30 extra on the peak performance characteristics of the highest-end Ryzens. Our experience has shown that Ryzen CPUs all overclock about the same, so it’s much more worthwhile to invest the money saved from a lower-end part in a better cooler to take full advantage of the soldered integrated heat spreader available on every Ryzen.

For folks used to one-click overclocking routines from Intel motherboards, the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi will prove a rude awakening. The firmware itself doesn’t have any CPU-specific overclocking profiles that one might try out. Gigabyte’s Easy Tune Windows software provides only one pre-baked overclocking profile that’s so conservative that it may as well not exist at all, and the iterative automatic overclocking capability in Easy Tune is greyed out entirely on this board. Setting an all-core multiplier in firmware isn’t difficult at all, to be fair, but newbies hoping for any kind of helping hand from the Gaming 7 Wifi will be left wanting.

That left manual tuning to try, so I got down to it. With the Ryzen 7 2700 in the X470 Gaming 7 Wifi’s CPU socket, I set out to achieve a Blender-stable overclock from the chip using the publicly-available Classroom benchmark file. From prior experience with second-gen Ryzen overclocking, I knew that 4.2 GHz to 4.3 GHz would be about the peak of the chip’s performance, and that it would probably take anywhere from 1.4 V to 1.425 V to get there.

While those voltages are close to the 1.45 V that AMD informally offers as the maximum before the long-term life of its chips is placed in jeopardy, we have a massive EK Predator 240-mm CLC for our Socket AM4 systems that takes full advantage of the heat-transfer potential of AMD’s soldered heat spreaders. Even with those high voltages, we can keep the chip far away from its potential throttling limits, as we’ll soon see. A hot chip and high voltages make me more uncomfortable than higher voltages alone.

Ultimately, the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi had no issues taking our particular Ryzen 7 2700 to its limits. The chip proved Blender-stable at 4.2 GHz on all of its cores with a 1.425 V Vcore setting in the firmware. Attempting to push the CPU above 4.2 GHz proved fruitless at voltages I would consider reasonable. Even at 4.25 GHz, the chip immediately froze up if I asked it to ray-trace the Classroom workload. Under our EK Predator 240-mm liquid cooler, the Ryzen 7 2700 didn’t exceed 68° C under our Blender load, so it’s likely we got better than 99% of our chip’s potential out with our testing setup.

Gigabyte’s revised VRM heatsink delivers extremely impressive cooling performance under that load, too. Even in the low-airflow environment of our test bench, the board’s power-delivery thermal sensor never topped 72° C. That’s an impressively low temperature for a VRM with only the barest of indirect cooling. In a typical case, Ryzen overclockers should be able to push their chips with absolute confidence that the Gaming 7 Wifi’s power delivery won’t let them down. I can only hope that Gigabyte plans to bring similar VRM heatsinks to its other enthusiast-grade motherboards soon for Intel and AMD platforms alike.

One behavior from the Gaming 7 did raise my eyebrow during my overclocking efforts. The board exhibited more variance in processor voltage than I would have liked (at least according to software monitoring), and its load-line calibration profiles didn’t offer granular enough compensation to comfortably iron out that wrinkle. (Load-line calibration is a method of compensating for lower-than-expected voltages on the processor’s primary  when the chip is under heavy load.) Despite the 1.425 V fixed value and third-most-aggressive “High” load-line calibration level I set in the firmware, the motherboard indicated in software that it was delivering anywhere from 1.392 V to 1.440 V to the CPU throughout our stress testing. Our chip was never unstable in Blender as a result of these apparent swings, but other X470 motherboards in the TR labs haven’t demonstrated that kind of variance.

Attempting to tighten up the processor’s voltage delivery with more aggressive load-line calibration settings didn’t prove fruitful. I tried the board’s second-most-aggressive setting, “Turbo,” to see if it held Vcore closer to the desired value, but that setting pushed voltages toward the 1.440 V range and higher more often than I would have liked, even if I backed off the fixed voltage setting in the firmware a bit to compensate. I ultimately contented myself with the board’s behavior at High LLC and 1.425 V, but overclockers chasing the last MHz from a given Ryzen CPU might have more trouble establishing a Vcore that’s both reliably close to their set value of choice and not well in excess of that value. If Gigabyte made the compensation behavior of the Turbo LLC setting on the Gaming 7 just a bit less aggressive, I feel like it would go a long way toward tightening up delivered CPU voltages and making the board a more willing partner in the overclocking dance.

 

Conclusions

Gigabyte’s X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi pulls together all the right ingredients for a high-end Socket AM4 motherboard. With its future-ready Wi-Fi adapter, massive (and effective) VRM heatsink, an equally beefy 10-plus-2-phase VRM underneath, and a superb audio subsystem, this board is more than ready to support the all-around work-and-play prowess offered by AMD’s second-generation Ryzen CPUs. Its wide range of RGB LEDs and associated lighting tricks provide all the flash that today’s enthusiasts might want, too.

 An integrated I/O shield, a socketed BIOS chip channeled into a dual-EEPROM arrangement, and bench-friendly controls on the rear panel make this board easy to live with whether it’s on a test bench or inside a case. About the only quality-of-life feature the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi is missing is Q-Flash Plus, Gigabyte’s method of updating a board’s firmware without a CPU or memory. Q-Flash Plus is a useful feature for a long-lived socket like AM4, and I’m a little sad it’s missing from this board.

Overclocking our Ryzen 7 2700 on the Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi was straightforward, if not necessarily the most newbie-friendly process. Automatic overclocking through Gigabyte’s Easy Tune utility is nonexistent, and the board’s adaptive voltage capabilities didn’t prove capable of bringing our chip anywhere near stability. Setting fixed voltages and clock speeds through the firmware is a simple process using Gigabyte’s firmware interface, at least, and AMD’s Ryzen Master software goes a long way toward making detours through any motherboard firmware unneccessary for overclocking at all outside of settings like load-line calibration.

I still believe Gigabyte could stand to revamp its firmware interface with a focus on better exposing the range of settings available from a given platform and explaining how they interact. As an experienced user of Gigabyte boards, I know what to do in order to get from point A to point B, but builders new to Gigabyte products may find the company’s present firmware interface frustrating without some Googling.

Even if some of its finer settings are balky, Gigabyte’s firmware still provides unique touches like quick RGB LED settings and comprehensive access to its fine-grained fan control options. The Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi has a whopping eight fan headers, all of which support a selection of temperature inputs and automatically control three- or four-pin fans. If Gigabyte added a fan-speed calibration routine to its firmware, its fan controls would likely be the finest in the industry.

At $240 right now, the X470 Gaming 7 Wifi comes in at a remarkably low price for its feature set, and it’ll satisfy builders of all stripes. It’s an incredibly full-featured board, and it’s great as a foundation for stock-clocked second-gen Ryzen performance or for experienced overclockers who want all the tools needed to help them in manually extracting the most from their CPUs. I’m happy to call it TR Recommended.

Comments closed
    • gogogogg
    • 1 year ago

    Does anyone who have this mobo is able to enable TCP Checksum Offload on the NIC’s settings on W10’s Device Manager? In my case, the settings are set to Disabled by default, and once I change them to something else, they are reverted to Disabled. I got in touch with Intel’s support and it seems to be a Gigabyte problem according to their reply:

    [url<]https://communities.intel.com/message/549991[/url<]

    • astrotech66
    • 1 year ago

    I got this board a couple of weeks ago to replace the Asus Prime X370-Pro that I got a year ago. I was having some occasional weird power issues with the Asus board and I wanted another M.2 slot as well, so I decided to upgrade. So far it’s running great, except that I can’t get the RGB Fusion software to run.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 1 year ago

      If you brought your Windows installation over from the Asus board and had any Asus software installed you may ultimately need to reinstall Windows to get everything working with the Gigabyte software. I ran into this exact issue while reviewing this board and only a reinstall fixed it.

        • astrotech66
        • 1 year ago

        Thanks for the reply 🙂

        I ultimately ended up doing a fresh Windows install because I borked my attempt to clone my old system drive to my new M.2 drive, so there shouldn’t be any Asus software around. I tried installing the RGB Fusion app first without going through the Gigabyte App Center, uh … app. I uninstalled it and then installed App Center and then installed RGB Fusion using that. No luck … uninstalled it and reinstalled it again but still no luck. I’ll keep trying. Until then, all the lights on the motherboard are on with the default Gigabyte orange color.

        • astrotech66
        • 1 year ago

        Fixed it … the setup program tries to install MS Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable (x86) before installing the RGB Fusion application. The first time I tried it, the C++ install failed, but I told it to continue the install of the RGB app, which would then fail on startup. I went back and uninstalled the MSVC++, then let the setup program reinstall it, successfully this time, then install the RGB app. Now it works.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    Well, the RGB isn’t really for me, but the rest of the board looks solid enough to make up for it to an extent. Not gonna pay $240 for a motherboard where its biggest “feature” is something I’d disable and the chipset’s biggest feature (split x16 lanes for dual graphics) is also a non-starter. But for some people, this board would be just the ticket.

    I do like the outboard power and clear CMOS switches. Included Wi-Fi is nice, and it saves a USB port. Gigabyte’s fan controls have gotten to be pretty good in recent years and I like the four-stop custom controls on my B350 Gaming 3.

    • Ryhadar
    • 1 year ago

    Nice review, thanks! Was looking at this board or the 5.

    • DPete27
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<] As soon as a user changes multipliers or voltages in the firmware, Ryzen chips—including second-gen Ryzen chips—enter an "OC mode" that locks the processor into its highest-performance P0 power state. This mode means that AMD's Precision Boost and XFR schemes are disabled, leaving your chosen multiplier as the peak—and only—operational state of the processor.[/quote<] Uhhhh, no thanks. I'll stick with Intel then.

      • enixenigma
      • 1 year ago

      As was also stated in the article, it is possible to do P-State overclocking on Ryzen. As an owner of a X470 Gaming 5 Wifi (and the AB350 Gaming 3 prior), I have my 1700X P-State overclocked to 3.9GHz and all of the available power saving measures enabled. It isn’t the most intuitive process (I think Gigabyte hides it far away from the other OC options in a seemingly-innocuous ‘AMD CBS’ screen on purpose), but it is possible.

      EDIT: Precision Boost and XFR are disabled for P-State OCs, of course.

        • DPete27
        • 1 year ago

        Good to know. Thanks!
        That’s a lot harder than it needs to be, but at least the option is there for the tech-savvy.

          • Spunjji
          • 1 year ago

          Yeah, this still bugs me a little about Ryzen. The flip side is that their boost tech seems to get 95% of the performance from their CPUs already, so the best bet might actually be some very careful base clock tweaking.

    • UberGerbil
    • 1 year ago

    Ok, I actually watched the lighting video (“Hey, that’s annoying. Wait, this mode is more annoying. Wait, this mode is [i<]even more[/i<] annoying.") I remain convinced I would, if I owned this thing, turn every LED off. But I have two questions regarding the video: 1. In the seemingly-steady modes (like G and K) is the flicker an artifact of the video or is that really how it looks to the eye? 2. What happened to Mode C?

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 1 year ago

      The flicker is how it looks. The light strip isn’t compatible with Mode C, whatever it is.

      • Inkling
      • 1 year ago

      I too was wondering about C. Don’t blame them for dropping it, though, since C is procedural and won’t support classes or objects.

        • UberGerbil
        • 1 year ago

        I assumed they had to omit Mode C because after investing so much on LEDs they were unable to include [url=https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/pic-archive/equipment/transponder-requirements<]an altimeter[/url<].

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