Gigabyte Aorus H370 Gaming 3 WIFI review

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Final Words & Conclusion


Intel has waited a long time before releasing a more affordable chipset for the 8th generation (Coffee Lake) processors. The H370 series is going to be as fast as a Z370 chipset, there's no doubt about that. Since it is as fast, Intel needed to cut away and limit some stuff, being tweaking options, a fixed DDR4 memory frequency at 2667 MHz and smaller chipset limitations in the form of four less PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes. In the end though, if you are savvy with one graphics card and one full speed M.2 SSD, you are still at the same perf level as a non-tweaked Z370 platform, that fixed 2667 MHz memory speed really isn't that dramatic for anything with an Intel chip. Pair it with, say, a Core i5 8600 (non-K model), and you'll have an incredibly fast gaming rig. So if all this sounds good to you, the reality will be that Gigabyte has got a mighty fine offering with the H370 Aorus Gaming 3 WIFI.

Performance & tweaking

We have had a good look at the H370 motherboard, all with the latest BIOS, the H370 felt solid overall. Paired with the right processor you can get marvelous performance, again, the Core i5 8600 (review) I find to be a tremendous sweet spot! Even with the cut-off on DDR4 memory frequency, you need to realize Intel has been able to refine their memory controllers, pop in anything XMP 2.0. So yes, CPU performance based on this chipset, the baseline we cannot complain about. SATA3, USB 3.x, and NVMe also reveal proper performance. 


Power consumption

We actually tested both the 8600 non-K and 8700K on this motherboard but used the 8700K as the baseline test, and yeah, a six-core, twelve threaded proc equals a 95 Watt TDP processor. With the system at idle with a GeForce GTX 1080 installed / 16 GB memory / SSD and the H370 motherboard, I hovered at roughly 35~40 Watts in IDLE. That's just impressive, the load values are okay as well, fairly similar for both procs. When we stressed the processor 100% we reach roughly 150 Watts with the 6-core 8700K part. When we game we hover at ~250 Watts with the GeForce GTX 1080, but obviously that factor is dependent on the type of graphics card you use of course and, sure, most games certainly do not utilize the six CPU cores. Overall I have no worries here.


DDR4 Memory

For Coffee Lake (8th Gen Intel procs) DDR4 may be clocked a notch faster at 2400 MHz as per Intel reference, there is, of course, a hard lock at 2667 MHz. We always say, volume matters more than frequency. A 3,200 MHz kit, for example, is more expensive, does offer better bandwidth but the performance increases in real-world usage will be hard to find compared to a cheaper 2677MHz kit. Unless you transcode videos over the processor a lot. On an Intel platform, as always, my recommendation is to go for slower clocked DDR4 memory with decent timings, but simply get more of it. Don't go for 8 GB, get yourself 16 GB. 

Final words

Gigabyte's H370 Aorus Gaming 3 is a really nice motherboard that offers a bit more of a value proposition at a price of under 139 USD/EUR. Truth be told though, Z370 can be spotted for under 100 EUros/USD as well. That is the reality at the moment. The motherboards offer every bit of performance the Z370 chipset can offer, yet have some features sliced away like limited memory frequency support, four fewer PCIe lanes and tweaking limitations. But combined with what the Core i5 and i7 (Coffee Lake) have got to offer, that's plenty enough for a high-end system. You get just one full x16 PCIe slot, dual M.2 (here again only one full speed), Gigabit LAN and (optional) WIFI, USB 3.0/3.1, but still a proper six SATA3 ports. Looks and design are good as well, once powered on you can alter the LEDs which bring in a very refined and personalized look and feel. Tweaking was the biggest limitation, but we also understand that most people do not overclock at all. And that's where H370 can make a lot of sense. I feel that the H370 Gaming 3 will offer good value for money and offers plenty enough performance and features for the 95% of you guys out there, if you do have more advanced overclocking aspirations, desires and needs, your Coffee Lake platform needs to be Z370. Certainly recommended.

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