Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master Preview
When AMD released the first generation of Ryzen processors and the attendant chipset we spoke a lot here at OC3D about how pleased we were to find AMD back with a product range that was a genuine return to form. Instead of attempting to keep updating the ageing AM3 platform they made wholesale changes with the introduction of the AM4 socket and a much more modern chipset with all the features that you could demand.
We clearly weren’t the only people impressed by this massive upgrade to the AMD range as the Ryzen CPUs and Zen architecture sold in droves. Such was the rampant popularity of it that we quickly saw the release of the updated Ryzen processors, the 2nd generation, along with the X470 motherboards that introduced yet more features that hadn’t quite been squeezed onto the X370 release schedule.
The hardware world never stands still for long though, and since the launch of the Ryzen 2nd Generation there have been a few new technologies given the green light to hit the market, and with the release of the 3rd Generation of Ryzen processors comes a new chipset, the X570, which is so up-to date that it comes with a lot of elements yet to find their way onto Intel platforms.
As you would expect all the major manufacturers are gearing up with their X570 product launches, and whilst we can’t go into too much detail before the full launch in early July, we knew that we just had to bring you a glimpse at what you could expect.
The first motherboard we’re casting our eye over is the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master. The second from the top model in the Gigabyte X570 range – the Extreme is the only one above it – it has everything that is new with the latest X570 platform. Naturally there is support for the 3rd Generation of Ryzen processors, but elsewhere we find big improvements in available bandwidth. The headline feature has to be the inclusion of PCI Express 4.0. This is the latest update to the high bandwidth connectivity that has made all of our lives easier and our PCs faster, and in this case the PCI Express 4.0 standard now ups the transfer rate to a massive 16 Gb/s of unencoded data per lane, double that of the current PCI Express 3.0 format. The PCI Express 4.0 will also form the underpinnings of the new AMD Navi graphics cards which should be releasing around the same time.
All this extra bandwidth is particularly beneficial to us thanks to the massive rise in M.2 drives as the core component in all modern systems. Nobody could have predicted how fast the M.2 format would overtake the SATA SSD drives we’d only just got used to, but there is no replacement for blistering speed when it comes to the adoption of new technologies and the M.2 drives are extremely fast. This does take up PCI Express lanes though, so there is always a finite limit to how many you can use in conjunction with your graphics card(s), so there is always a balance to be found to ensure that one isn’t crippling the performance potential of the other. Now with even more bandwidth available this should be less of an issue and we should see speeds swiftly ramp up.
Elsewhere the X570 Aorus Master also has the latest WiFi format in place, the 802.11ax, which massively improves the speed of the wireless connection potential. Assuming of course you have the hardware necessary to take advantage of it. A 802.11ac 1×1 connection has a maximum speed of 433 Mbps, the 802.1ax 2×2 on the Master supports 2400 Mbps. This need for the networking infrastructure also true of the Realtek 2.5 GbE LAN port which is significantly faster than a 1 Gb connection we’re used to and perfect if you’ve got a high bandwidth home network waiting to be taken advantage of.
It isn’t only the PCI Express and Networking that have seen improvements, as the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master updates the USB to 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, and even the famous Gigabyte RGB Fusion has seen a revision, now sporting a 2.0 suffix. Let’s take a look at it in the flesh.
Keeping all your components cool is a vital part of any modern system. As the core counts and clock speeds ramp up through the roof in recent years, so has the need to dissipate all that generated heat. Not only is it beneficial to the longevity of your processor and motherboard, but the least amount of heat soaking into your case also helps your graphics card and M.2 drive to perform to their highest. As you would expect from a motherboard entitled Master, the X570 Auros Master has plenty of hybrid fan headers as well as lots of temperature monitoring points to ensure that your system is as cool and stable as can be. Gigabyte have also brought their silent technology to the X570 platform with noise monitoring cables ensuring that you aren’t compromising your hearing when thermal demands are low.