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Review: GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard

We analyze the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard, which is specially prepared for AMD Ryzen processors, having the B350 chipset for these new AMD processors.


INTRODUCTION


So far we had AMD Ryzen 7 processors in the market and the arrival of the new AMD Ryzen 5 processors has brought with it a new range of motherboards that we could call the mid-high range. These new motherboards arrive with the AMD B350 chipset, a chipset that we will talk about in depth in this review, but that offers a small reduction in performance, compared to its older brother, the AMD X370. Gigabyte has presented the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard, which, as its name suggests, has the new A350 chipset for the AM4 socket.

Gigabyte offers users a motherboard with high-end features taken to the mid-range, offering very interesting features, such as overclocking. We see, for example, that the two PCIe 3.0 x16 ports are shielded, something that is imported from the highest range of motherboards. The B350 chipset offers us the possibility of overclocking the AMD Ryzen processors that we install, but this will be discrete, since it has seven power phases, only for the processor and an additional one for the RAM memories, allowing a discrete OC.

It has two other characteristics, which we could say are imported from the high-end range and which are also becoming fundamental in the mid-range. The first is the sound, which has been improved by Gigabyte to offer improved quality and performance, with an improved sound amplifier with specific capacitors for filtering and sound enhancement. The second quality feature is the RGB LED lighting through Gigabyte's own RGB Fusion system, also offering a specific connector that allows the connection of two RGB LED strips that work in synchronization with the lighting of the motherboard.

We want to thank Gigabyte for allowing us this Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard for review.


CHIPSET


The main features of the AMD Ryzen processors will directly support PCIe 3.0 x16 connectivity or two PCIe 3.0 x8 lanes. Regarding the connectivity of PCIe 2.0 lines, AMD Ryzen processors have two support for SATA 3 and one x2 NVMe, two SATA 3 ports and one PCIe x2 port or one x4 NVMe port. For USB connectivity, this motherboard supports up to four USB 3.1 Gen1 ports. The AMD Ryzen processors, we know that they will support DDR4 RAM, with a Dual Channel memory system.

AMD Ryzen also requires new chipsets and the most powerful will be the X370 chipset, which has been considered by AMD as a chipset for the enthusiast segment. The main characteristic of this chipset is to offer support for overclocking, since all AMD Ryzen processors allow the modification of the multiplier, as we well know. The X370 is currently the only AMD Ryzen chipset that supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX configurations.

The X370 offers support for expansion of one PCIe Gen3 x16 lane or two PCIe Gen3 x8 lanes and also has a PCIe Gen2 x8 port. Regarding the connectivity ports, we have that this chipset supports two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, ten USB 3.1 Gen1 ports and six USB 2.0 ports. It offers support for six SATA ports and one NVMe x2 port, although this can be modified by four SATA ports and one NVMe x4. It has support for two SATA Express ports.


ON BOARD CONNECTIVITY


Connectivity is a very important element for anyone and Gigabyte has had great connectivity for this board, having all the necessary connectors for an average gaming fan. This motherboard is clearly designed for gaming, offering a very interesting solution for those users looking for a high-performance solution for a very reasonable price. Regarding connectivity, it has SATA ports, different on-board USB connectors for front panels and even something that we could already consider essential in any self-respecting mid-high-end motherboard, such as an M.2 SSD port.

This motherboard has six SATA 6GB / s ports, for the connection of SSD units or hard drives, according to our needs. Additionally, Gigabyte has provided in this Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 an M.2 SSD connector with Socket 3 and M-key, supporting 2242/2260/2280/22110 units, which allows us to install units that offer speed read / write higher than SSD drives, which is a plus in overall performance on the computer.

It has three specific connectors for front USB ports, among which we find a USB 3.1 Gen1 connector and two SUB 2.0 / 1.1 connectors, for the front USB connectors that all current chassis have and even in case we want to install an extra USB hub in any of the bays of our team. Additionally, this motherboard has a connector for the processor fan, another for the liquid cooling fan, it has two pins for fans. It also has connectivity for the power, reset, status and charge buttons of the chassis, as well as a front sound connector.


EXPANSION PORTS


RAM MEMORY

The ADM Ryzen processors are the first to support DDR4 RAM and this Gigabyte motherboard offers us support as it could not be otherwise to these memories. The motherboard has four DIMMs with a maximum total capacity of 64GB. Logically, this motherboard offers support for Dual Channel technology, which is something to take into account when buying RAM, since to take advantage of this technology and have better performance, we must buy two modules, not just one.

This motherboard offers support, as we have commented, to DDR4 RAM memories, offering support to the frequencies of 2133/2400 / 2667MHz, but also with the AMD profiles we can raise the frequency to 2933 / 3200MHz, these frequencies being the maximum supported of native way. Gigabyte on this motherboard offers support for 1Rx8 / 2Rx8 ECC DIMMs, although these memories will work in non-ECC mode and regarding non-ECC support it offers support for 1Rx8 / 2Rx8 / 1Rx16 DIMMs.

Something very interesting about this board is the support of the modules. We have on the one hand that it supports 1Rx8 / 2Rx8 ECC UDIMM memories, yes, working in non-ECC mode and it also supports 1Rx8, 2Rx8 and 1Rx16 non-ECC UDIMM memories. Surely some of you will not know what this means and we will explain it to you. ECC memories are memories with Error Correction Code, which means that they can correct errors by means of an additional chip that detects and corrects 1bit errors and 2bit error detection. These ECC memories are more expensive and of course, our board, even if they have this extra memory chip, does not take them into account as such and they act as non-ECC memories. Typically these ECC memories are 15-20% more expensive and are intended for servers, above all.

Regarding the 1Rx8, 2Rx8 and 1Rx16 values, this means that this motherboard supports DDR4 RAM memory modules with eight memory chips on one side (1Rx8), eight memory chips on each side (2Rx8) and sixteen memory chips on one side (2Rx16). Normally all those on the market are of one of these three configurations, it would be very rare to find a DDR4 memory that was of another type of configuration, so we should not have problems in this regard.

PCI PORTS

Regarding the expansion ports, this Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard has three PCIe 3.0 x16 connectors, two of them shielded. The first of them, the PCIEX16 works in x16 format and the PCIEX4 works in x4 format, which allows this motherboard to have 2-Way CrossFireX support, but does not offer support for 2-Way SLI configurations. The last of these PCIe x16 ports is the PCIEX1_3 which works in x1 format. Additionally, the motherboard offers two PCIe x1 ports, which is designed to install expansion cards such as capture cards or WiFi cards.


I / O PANEL


We now turn to the I / O panel of this Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard, which is very complete and offers us high-quality solutions and a connector that all Gigabyte motherboards have. The first one that catches our attention is the PS / 2 connector for keyboard or mouse indistinctly, although it is quite curious that all manufacturers continue to include it on motherboards, despite the fact that it is a completely obsolete connector. Some claim it's because they have less latency for peripherals, but the real reasons, who knows.

This motherboard has several USB ports for peripherals and other devices, among which four USB 3.1 Gen1 ports and two SUB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports in red color stand out, in addition, it has a USB 2.0 / 1.1 connector which has DAC-UP 2 technology, which reduces electrical noise in this type of connectors, offering an ideal solution to charge smartphones and delicate peripherals that require a very pure electrical voltage, due to the delicacy of its components.

As video outputs, the Gigabyte motherboard has a DVI-D and HDMI port. The motherboard has a Gigabit Ethernet network port. Regarding sound, this motherboard has an improved Realtek ALC 1220 120dB SNR HD high quality sound chip and is accompanied by Chemicon capacitors, which are among the best, to offer a purer signal and without electrical noise. Regarding the connectors, we have S / PDIF optical sound output and it has sound connectors that offer support for systems up to 5.1 high definition.


CONCLUSION


Gigabyte has wanted this Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard to be an ideal solution for a wide range of users, both for those who bet on the high-end AMD Ryzen processors and for the rest of the ranges. The AMD B350 chipset offers us the versatility of having a great solution for a gaming team with high-end features, for a very moderate price and the possibility in the future, if we so wish, to overclock the processor a little.

The reality is that the differences between the mid-range and high-end are becoming more and more subtle. This motherboard will have a less aggressive design, the DIMM slots will not have shielding and due to the chipset it does not support an NVIDIA 2-Way SLI (something that few use), things clearly not very relevant, since if we go to which is really important, has it all. It has several PCIe 3.0 x16 connectors, it has several PCIe 3.0 x1 ports, it has a good number of SATA 6Gbps ports, front USB 3.0 connectors and an M.2 SSD connector.

This Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard more than meets what any average gaming fan could look for and need in a motherboard. Quality is guaranteed, as Gigabyte is one of the most important companies in the motherboard market. The extras of the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3, such as the RGB LED lighting, make it ideal for those who want a large dose of customization or who are going to show it off to friends or at the Lan Party. Without a doubt, for us, it is a great choice as a base for a gaming equipment based on AMD Ryzen processors.

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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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5 comments

  1. With what I read and contrasting information from other high-end motherboards, the truth of the brand itself I see this with a level of finish and performance very closely with respect to them. A very interesting option for those who dispense with so many options that the X370 boasts.

  2. Oct 4, 2017 & this board still doesn't reach 3200 Mhz with corsair ram ……… disappointing.

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