Monday, August 7th 2017

GIGABYTE Intros Aorus X299 Gaming Motherboard for Kaby Lake-X Processors

Intel created quad-core "Kaby Lake-X" processors for its latest HEDT platform as they provide an affordable entry to the segment, with a potential to upgrade to larger 6-core, 8-core, 10-core, 12-core, 16-core, and even 18-core processors. The two "Kaby Lake-X" SKUs launched are merely adaptations of the Core i7-7700K and i5-7600K for the LGA2066 socket, as they feature just 256 KB of L2 cache per core (and not 1 MB per core of "Skylake-X"), just a dual-channel DDR4 controller, even though the socket supports quad-channel memory; and just a 16-lane PCIe (while the platform supports up to 44 lanes). While the Core i7-7740X and i5-7640X are priced more or less on par with their LGA1151 twins, motherboards on this platform aren't cheap, with the cheapest LGA2066 motherboard priced a little over $200. GIGABYTE senses an opportunity in all this, in launching the Aorus X299 Gaming. This LGA2066 motherboard only supports the i7-7740X and i5-7640X, and no other LGA2066 Core i7 or Core i9 chip.

Built in the ATX form-factor, you could be mistaken for thinking the Aorus X299 Gaming to be a mainstream-desktop motherboard based on the Z270 chipset, were it not for the unmistakable LGA2066 socket. The board features four DDR4 DIMM slots, all towards the east of the socket, and so it only supports up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory. On boards with four DDR4 slots, yet quad-channel memory support, you typically find the memory slots split in groups of two, on either sides of the CPU socket. This "Kaby Lake-X" specificity carries over to even the PCI-Express slots, where there's only one slot with full x16 wiring, the second slot only features x8 wiring, while the third slot is x4. You can use up to two graphics cards in multi-GPU, where the first and second x16 slots configure as electrical x8/x8.
Keeping in mind that the board will only cater to 112W TDP "Kaby Lake-X" chips, GIGABYTE went easy on its electricals. The board draws power from a 24-pin ATX, and only one 8-pin EPS. Power is conditioned for the CPU using an 8-phase VRM with high-current chokes. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The rear I/O lacks any display connectors, and gives you the feel of being on a high-end desktop platform, which lacks onboard graphics. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 gen 2.0 ports (both on the rear panel), and ten USB 3.0 ports (six on the rear panel, four by headers).

You get a high-grade onboard audio solution, which combines a Realtek ALC1220 8-channel HDA CODEC (120 dBA SNR), with ground-layer isolation, gold-plated audio jacks, and WIMA and Nichicon audio-grade capacitors. The sole networking option is a gigabit Ethernet interface, driven by an Intel i219-V controller. The board features a number of RGB LED headers driven by GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software. Available now, we expect the board to command a sub-$200 price.
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8 Comments on GIGABYTE Intros Aorus X299 Gaming Motherboard for Kaby Lake-X Processors

#1
XiGMAKiD
Typo on CPU socket cover, LGA2011-3 instead of LGA2066
Posted on Reply
#2
Dimi
"and so it only supports up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory"

Who can even afford 128 GB right now? lol I mean the cheapest 128GB kit is $1055!

Thats more than a 7900x currently going for $899 at Mircocenter (unfortunately sold out)

These are horrible times for people needing a lot of ram.
Posted on Reply
#3
tvamos
What's the point? MoBo just for these two CPUs denies only thing these have - upgrade path to i9 CPUs. Soon every manufacturer will do the same and stop supporting 7640X and 7740X on full X299. Intel really lost their heads.
Posted on Reply
#4
Dj-ElectriC
This is a motherboard complimenting something that shouldn't exist.
Posted on Reply
#5
gdallsk
A useless motherboard for a useless CPU, this whole combo reeks of useless to me.
Posted on Reply
#6
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
tvamos said:
Intel really lost their heads.
This was gigabytes decision, not Intels.

Still though this was a bad decision. If anything board OEMs shouldnt worry about the work arounds needed to support the lesser CPUs
Posted on Reply
#7
claylomax
Typo:

The two "Kaby Lake-X" SKUs launched are merely adaptations of the Core i7-7700K and i5-7600K for the LGA2066 socket, as they feature just 256 KB of L2 cache per core (and not 1 MB per core of "Skylake-X"), and just a 28-lane PCIe

Kaby Lake X only has 16 pcie lanes.
Posted on Reply
#8
lgustavomp
Solaris17 said:
This was gigabytes decision, not Intels.

Still though this was a bad decision. If anything board OEMs shouldnt worry about the work arounds needed to support the lesser CPUs
But labeling a quad core as HEDT is an intel decision, a really bad one btw. Sounds like a bad joke.
Posted on Reply