Articles

GIGABYTE Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi AMD Ryzen Mobo Review

Author:Daniel Dobrowolski

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

GIGABYTE’s flagship X470 motherboard is a gorgeous piece of hardware, packed with features and bristling with options. It fully supports AMD's Precision Boost 2 technology for new Ryzen processors. This motherboard has overclocking in mind with its design and of course has plenty of Frag Harder Disco Lights, should that be your thing.
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Motherboard Overclocking Software

GIGABYTE includes its APP Center and EasyTune software with the X470 Gaming 7 WiFi. This software package has been around in its current form for a couple of years now. It's been updated somewhat recently, but these changes are primarily cosmetic. The APP Center serves as a common launcher for multiple GIGABYTE applications. There are many applications included with the X470 Gaming 7 WiFi, however, we will keep our coverage limited to just a few of these. Specifically, EasyTune, RGB Fusion, and SIV. The last one is an obvious acronym which stands for System Information Viewer. This actually makes very little sense, you get into the application as the name implies a very simple function which is the least of what the application is used for.

While I take issue with many of the bundled software suites that come with most motherboards, I have very few issues with GIGABYTE’s software suite. In my opinion, GIGABYTE offers one of the most intuitive and easiest to use software packages. When we compare software across the industry, or obvious pros and cons to every manufacturer’s approach. ASUS has a very comprehensive and complex software with many features. In contrast, GIGABYTE’s software package is much more streamlined but lacks the more complex features. The obvious con to this is a lack of functionality. On the other hand, this is a software package with almost no learning curve.

ASUS, MSI, and ASRock place all their functionality into a single application or interface. This is the one area where I think GIGABYTE gets things wrong by splitting the functionality between EasyTune and SIV. While I’m generally okay with the fan control is being separated from performance tuning, I don’t like the fact that power related settings and general system information aren’t a part of EasyTune. I think all these functions save for RGB control should be part of a single software package, whether they work from a common launcher alongside other applications or not.

Because tuning can cause damage to hardware, EasyTune provides a standard legal warning when you first launch it. You can let this run every time or check a box which prevents it from ever being shown again. Like other applications of this sort, the software has some basic PC health information. This is displayed at the bottom of the application window and is ever present. This information can be minimized or expanded as desired. The application can be navigated by categorical tabs at the top of the application window. The categories are named in such a way as to make them easier to understand and thus ease navigation.

Automatic overclocking can be performed from the smart boost tab at the top of the application window. This gives you three preset profiles to choose from and one auto tuning profile. In my experience, the auto tuning function can’t go past the max value of the highest of the presets making it redundant. In this case, our OC preset only takes our CPU to 3.9GHz which borders on useless. The Advanced CPU OC menu allows for manual performance tuning. This menu is simple and easy to use while providing a range of adjustments to choose from. However, this menu is quite basic compared to AMD’s Ryzen Master software or the UEFI BIOS. One thing I do like is that any changed setting is highlighted showing what was changed at a glance. This menu only really allows for the adjustment of the host bclk and CPU ratio, along with selected voltages. All settings feature a slider and or a drop-down menu to choose from.

The Advanced DDR OC menu is even more basic allowing for multiplier and XMP profile settings. No voltages or timing values can be adjusted here. Frankly, it’s almost like motherboard manufacturers don’t even try anymore given that AMD’s Ryzen Master and Intel’s XTU are so much better. The advanced power menu doesn’t do much either wasting a ton of screen real estate. Essentially, all you have is a CPU and SOC vCore load-line calibration setting here. An oddly unrelated feature is the gaming hotkey menu which allows you to create and use keyboard macros using any keyboard, whether it possesses this feature or not.

GIGABYTE’s SIV utility has a confusing name which is something I touched on earlier. This menu stands for "System Information Viewer" but that’s only a small part of what the tool does. The software is responsible for fan speed and PC health monitoring. The utility does attempt to perform auto-tuning on system fans when you first start it whether you wanted it to or not. I find this somewhat annoying, but it is a process that’s easily cancelled and can be performed later. The system information portion of the application is reasonably informative but perhaps not as verbose as I would like. Especially not for a utility that derives its name from this feature. The Smart Fan 5 Auto tab allows you to choose from four standard fan speed presets. The Smart Fan 5 Advanced menu is relatively comprehensive as it offers smart and RPM fixed modes and highlights your fan’s capabilities for a given zone. An auto fan stop feature is provided and some motherboards allow for the ability to change the speed in which a fan ramps up its speed or reduces it to make the audible noise generated by such fans less intrusive and annoying.

The "System Alert" tab provides the user with warning thresholds that can be manipulated with various sliders. The ranges provided are shown on opposite ends of the slide and anything changed is highlighted so you know that the value is no longer the default. Lastly, PC health data is useless if wiped from the system after a crash or hard lock of the computer. Therefore, a recording feature was added to SIV some time ago which allows you to record and review data later on after such a crash has occurred. This greatly aids in the troubleshooting effort, and other manufacturers offer similar functionality in some of their software packages.

RGB Fusion

The RGB Fusion software is purpose built for managing RGB LEDs on GIGABYTE motherboards and other peripherals which are compatible with RGB Fusion. There are two RGB LED headers as well as surround RGB LED lighting all over the motherboard. There is a swappable LED overlay on the front of the motherboard which can be replaced with different versions for different effects or designs. GIGABYTE even provides files and information for 3D printing your own on the motherboard product page. GIGABYTE states that the motherboard can support controlling upwards of 300 LEDs. Various effects are supported including color cycling, static colors, waves, double flashing and a demo mode. Multi-zone light shows are also possible.

The software is rather easy to use and understand. A color wheel and direct RGB values can be set making this quite versatile. You can set the colors for individual zones. Profiles can be set and saved or reloaded at will. The advanced mode allows you to synchronize the LED colors and lighting effects with compatible hardware. An intelligent mode allows for color changes or effects to occur at specific times or alter the color scheme based on specific criteria such as the CPU temperature.