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Review: Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3 motherboard

We review the impressive Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3 motherboard, which has been developed to support the best Intel Bains Falls processors, with support for Quad Channel DDR4 and multi-graphics card configurations.

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INTRODUCTION


Intel has launched its new family of processors, the Intel Basins Falls, processors with the best Intel technology and based on the 14nm FinFET. These new Intel processors have two architectures, the most basic is the Kaby Lake-X with which it will have two processors and a more powerful one that will be made up of seven Skylake-X processors. These new processors arrive with the Intel X299 chipset and therefore new motherboards will arrive with this chipset and the new LGA 2066 socket and among these new motherboards we will find the Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3.

Gigabyte, continues to bet heavily on the motherboard market and in this case has presented what to date is the most incredible motherboard they could have developed. This motherboard has innovative technologies from Intel, exclusive elements that Gigabyte itself has wanted to incorporate into the system, such as its M.2 Thermal Guard, to dissipate the heat generated by the M.2 SSD hard drives, RGB LED lighting in several zones, even on top of the chipset, with a methacrylate engraving that can be replaced by one that we can design ourselves, high definition sound and the best connectivity in the world.

This is a masterpiece within the Gigabyte Aorus family and it has been developed with the best components, but also, it is designed to house the latest of the latest hardware. It has eight DIMM sockets for DDR4 memory, thinking about the Quad Channel that Intel Basins Falls supports, it has five PCIe 3.0 x16 ports to connect graphics cards, all shielded and with individually customizable RGB LEDs, a large number of ports for SATA and USB, the latter integrated into the motherboard and in the I / O panel area. Without further ado, let's get into flour.


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CHIPSET


Before we start looking at other things, we must focus on the chipset, which is the center of this new motherboard. This chipset has been developed by Intel for the Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X processors, thinking about the premises that we have before us some processors designed for heavy tasks, supporting several motherboards, it has a large amount of connectivity, a lot of RAM memory and Above all, a lot of overclocking, because we already know that overclocking is essential in a current chipset and motherboard, since it allows us to enhance the system.

This chipset has the characteristic of offering us PCIe 3.0 lanes, which have a x1, x2, x4 configuration. This clearly indicates that the twenty-four extra lines that this chipset gives us are designed for M.2 SSDs, additional network cards, M.2 drives per PCIe x1 port and all kinds of expansion cards, leaving the processor PCIe 3.0 lines for graphics cards, clearly.

In addition, this chipset offers us USB 3.0 / 2.0 ports, up to a maximum of fourteen no less, being able to choose between ten USB 3.0 or fourteen USB 2.0, that will depend on the manufacturer. An important aspect is the compatibility with SATA 6Gbps ports, supporting up to eight of these drives and also natively supports, without the need for other elements and keys, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 configurations.

This chipset also has exclusive Intel technologies such as compatibility with Intel Optane, Intel virtualization technology for I / O, Intel Rapid, high definition sound, Standard Manageability and Intel Rapid for storage through PCI ports. All these technologies are combined with Intel VROC, an innovative and exclusive technology from Intel, which we will talk about next, but that really cuts the hiccups.


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INTEL VROC


Intel Virtual Raid On CPU or Intel VROC technology has been presented at Computex 2017, held very recently in Taipei and is a technology that allows RAID configurations of up to ten M.2 SSD units directly in the processor, so which achieves an improvement in performance and a significant reduction in latency. Intel offers the compatibility of this technology until recently unknown, for the first time in the Intel Basins Falls and promises to be a technology that leaves their mouths open to locals and strangers.

As we mentioned, this technology accelerates the read and write speeds of up to ten drives configured in RAID. This technology offers native support for RAID 0, but, through a special key that will be paid, we can have support for RAID 1, 5, 10 configurations, although this key or key, which is clicked directly on the motherboard (this plate base has support for this key), it will not be in common use, since it will be sold independently.

This technology does not interfere at all in the RAID configurations that the chipset offers us, they are two completely different technologies. VROC, therefore, is a solution for those who opt for an Intel HEDT range to configure their Workstation and require a lot of storage capacity, as well as high speed file transfer, such as editing and retouching professionals. photographic, for 4K video editing, game programmers, etc.


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ON BOARD CONNECTIVITY


This Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3 has great connectivity internally, both for connecting hard drives and connectivity for external ports. As we have already mentioned, the chipset allows us to have a maximum of ten USB 3.0 ports and fourteen USB 2.0 ports, but this motherboard has two USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors integrated into the motherboard, each one supporting a set of two USB ports. 3.1 Gen 1 and also has two USB 2.0 / 1.1 connectors integrated on the motherboard, each of these connectors supporting two USB 2.0 / 1.1 ports. It also integrates a Thunderbolt port on the motherboard, something essential today in high-end motherboards.

Regarding hard drive connectivity, it has two M.2 SSD socket 3 connectors to connect storage units and allows up to eight SATA 6Gbps drives. As we have already explained, this motherboard has support for Intel VROC, the connector being located in the lower right corner. This connector is for the 'key', which will allow us to make the Virtual RAID in the processor with up to ten units, directly.

The ventilation of these computers is essential and for this Gigabyte has implemented a large number of connectors throughout the motherboard. We have a four-pin connector for the processor fan, four connectors for fans, one that can be used for a fan or a water pump, a 3A connector for a fan or a water pump, as well as two sensors for temperature. The motherboard has an LED extender connector, so that the RGB LED strips synchronize with the motherboard and buttons for overclocking, something essential in this type of high-end motherboards.


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EXPANSION PORTS


Regarding the expansion ports of this impressive Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3, we can see that it has eight DDR4 RAM DIMM sockets, due to the fact that the Intel Skylake-X processors offer Quad Channel support, which allows higher system performance. We see that these sockets are fully shielded, but unlike other Gigabyte solutions, in this case RGB LEDs have not been implemented together with these connectors. How could it be otherwise, the RAM memory sockets offer support for Intel's XMP technology.

The point that interests us the most is that of the PCIe 3.0 x16 ports, of which we see five of these, two shielded and three unshielded. We must emphasize that this motherboard allows Quad SLI / CrossFireX configurations, as long as the processor has 44 PCIe lines, being the first one that has so many lines, is the Core i9 7900X, which is the processor that has ten cores and twenty threads processing. The two shielded PCIe x16 ports and RGB LEDs stand out, I feel these LEDs, digital, so we can control each of these completely independently. On this aspect there is not much more to add.


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I / O PANEL


The Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3 has a large number of connections, which allows this motherboard to be very versatile in the field of connecting external devices. The first thing we find is a PS / 2 port for keyboard or mouse, indistinctly. It differs from other motherboards in that it does not have video connectors, since Intel Basins Falls processors do not have integrated graphics cards, therefore, video connectors are a completely unnecessary element.

Regarding the USB ports, this motherboard has six USB 3.0 ports in blue. Thanks to the ASMedia driver, this motherboard has a red USB 3.1 Type-A port and a Thunderbolt 3.1 compatible USB 3 Type-C port. Finally, it has audio connectors, which supports 2.0 / 2.1 / 4.1 / 5.1 configurations. /7.1, according to our needs and mic input, but, it does not have an S / PDIF connector for digital sound, which is a shame. It has a Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by an Intel chip that will offer us great performance. The I / 0 panel area is simple, but well stocked with connectors.


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CONCLUSION


Gigabyte has wanted this Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3 motherboard to be the simplest to accommodate the new Intel Kaby Lake-X and Intel Skylake-X processors, but it is not a bad solution, far from it, since it has everything that we could lose to a quality motherboard and it will surely come with a reasonable price. This we could say that it is more well thought out for the Kaby Lake-X and the first three Skylake-X processors, up to the i9 7900X, leaving the other four Skylake-X processors for their older sisters, which will be more powerful.

The design of the chipset is great and it has digital RGB LEDs, which, as we have mentioned when we have touched on the PCIe lines, allows individual and personalized configuration of these LEDs. We see that the chipset heatsink takes up a lot of space and we are dealing with a powerful chipset developed by Intel that needs good cooling, although its design has been very well cared for. The overclocking capability is another of the strengths of this motherboard and the new Intel, supporting and offering a good dose of overclocking, which is great.

Without a doubt, we are facing an extremely complete motherboard, which does not lack absolutely any detail, it even has Intel VROC, Thunderbolt, a large number of USB ports (both for the front panel and in the I / O panel), in addition of a large number of SATA ports and even two M.2 SSDs to be able to develop a RAID through chipset. As always, we liked this Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3 motherboard and it is that Gigabyte's products are of very good quality and it shows that they take care of all the details.

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Robert Sole

Director of Contents and Writing of this same website, technician in renewable energy generation systems and low voltage electrical technician. I work in front of a PC, in my free time I am in front of a PC and when I leave the house I am glued to the screen of my smartphone. Every morning when I wake up I walk across the Stargate to make some coffee and start watching YouTube videos. I once saw a dragon ... or was it a Dragonite?

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