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Gigabyte X670E AORUS Master

ir_cow

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Gigabyte readies the X670E AORUS Master for the PC enthusiast. Offering a robust 16+2+2 VRM configuration, DDR5 support, PCIe Gen 5 support, dual M.2 Gen 5 sockets and loads of high-speed USB ports. There is a lot to unpack. Join me as we take a closer look at Gigabyte's newest offering.

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ir_cow

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Where do I plug my rear speakers and my center channel?
When its wired to the case. You will use the case audio outputs as well. So the manual says. Idk how practical it is really
 

Pastrav

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rather it is easier just to say that these additional PCIe slots are quite literally an ongoing scam
I think this is an exceedingly personal take on things, and maybe it's worth reconsidering.
I for one am eyeing this board *precisely* because of PCIe distribution: almost all other X670 board out there split the 16 PCIe lanes of the first slot with the second (x16/0 or x8/x8) - as soon as you put anything in that second slot - regardless of what it is, main PCIe slot bandwidth get cut in half. The x8/x8 split is probably fine for dual-GPUs or GPU + M2 carrier board for multiple SSDs, but that's about it.

If you need some other PCIe peripherals (and most other cards don't need more than 4x lanes) you end up hobbling your GPU for no good reason.
The secondary slots on this one (PCIe4 x4) and (PCIe3 x2) give you an enormous flexibility with no downsides.

With regards to the whole PCIe topology on this generation of boards, yeah, I didn't expect to have to do such in-depth research about the subject and the relevant details on ALL manufacturer's websites is under an asterisk somewhere or the actual hardware manual, so the casual reader browsing the flashy 'features' page is likely going to miss it - but they ALL do this (ASRock, ASUS, MSI).
 
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If you need some other PCIe peripherals (and most other cards don't need more than 4x lanes) you end up hobbling your GPU for no good reason.
The secondary slots on this one (PCIe4 x4) and (PCIe3 x2) give you an enormous flexibility with no downsides.
Running modern GPUs in Gen4 or Gen5 x8 mode is not an issue. "Hobbling" GPU to Gen5 x8 is only a minor issue if Nvidia cards are used, as those do not support PCIe Gen5. Even then, recent testing on PCIe scaling on TPU revealed that running Nvidia GPU in Gen4 x8 mode barely influences its performance in gaming, ~2%. AMD RNDA3 GPU will run in Gen5 x8 mode. Plenty for many years.

I still think it's better to have the second slot as Gen5 x8, as it simply offers more flexibility and future-proofing for any AIC, whether you need all those lanes or not at the moment. There are several boards that offer better PCIe slot topology with less sharing of lanes, such as Asrock PG Lightening, MSI Carbon and Asus Strix.
Asrock offers four slots: Gen5 x16, Gen4 x16 wired x4, Gen4 x16 wired x1 and Gen4 x1, which is more than Aorus Master. Plus, Asrock's board has internal TB4 header and iGP HDMI output of 32 Gbps. It is ATX and cheaper too.
 
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It's interesting that the smaller brother of this board - Aorus Master B650E - has both chipset slots PCIe 4.0.

Expansion Slots

CPU:
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 5.0 (Note) and running at x16 (PCIEX16)
* The M2B_CPU and M2C_CPU slots share bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When
the M2B_CPU or M2C_CPU slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to
x8 mode.
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed,
be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
Chipset:
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0 and running at x4 (PCIEX4)
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0 and running at x2 (PCIEX2)
 
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Location of CMOS battery is a massive cons(even some MSI X670 boards fall in this category). Absolute stupid design choice placing that battery under chipset heatsink which further needs removal of M.2 heatsinks.
 

ir_cow

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Location of CMOS battery is a massive cons(even some MSI X670 boards fall in this category). Absolute stupid design choice placing that battery under chipset heatsink which further needs removal of M.2 heatsinks.
I forgot to include this. No Clear CMOS button and battery is hidden. But there is a jumper to clear it. Getting to the battery if you need to remove it isn't hard, just inconvenient.
 

DrGrossman

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I can't rise the memory voltage above 1.435 although for the last 3 bios releases it states that they add memory voltage options over 1.435V. Once I set it to 1.45v it wont post anymore. How do you set it to 1.5v ? Maybe I didn't do it from the right place (first time I have a Gigabyte board) DDR5 voltage control>VDD A0 voltage 1.45.
 
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I forgot to include this. No Clear CMOS button and battery is hidden. But there is a jumper to clear it. Getting to the battery if you need to remove it isn't hard, just inconvenient.
On my current build having to remove the chip set heatsink would take about 4 hours because of my hard-line water build. My x570s aorus master has a clear CMOS button thankfully and was 200 less expensive. These boards are premium priced and should come with the features.
 

DrGrossman

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On my current build having to remove the chip set heatsink would take about 4 hours because of my hard-line water build. My x570s aorus master has a clear CMOS button thankfully and was 200 less expensive. These boards are premium priced and should come with the features.
Funny thing; B650E have a clear CMOS button on the rear IO. I guess for X670E is more premium to use a screwdriver.
 
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Excellent review!
X670E Carbon WiFi or B650E Carbon WiFi next please.
 
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System Name My PC
Processor AMD 2700 x @ 4.1Ghz
Motherboard Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming
Cooling Zalman CNPS20X
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX Black 32GB DDR4
Video Card(s) Sapphire Radeon RX 570 PULSE
Storage Adata Ultimate SU800
Case Phanteks Eclipse P500A
Audio Device(s) Logitech G51
Power Supply Seasonic Focus GX, 80+ Gold, 550W
Keyboard Roccat Vulcan 121
No Dual-bios even for premium products.
 
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No Dual-bios even for premium products.
After bad reviews and complaints Gigabyte has started to drop their Dual Bios(unfortunately they also dropped good implementations while at it) from recent boards across both platforms. Msi seems to have added automatic dual Bios same implementation which caused headaches on Gigabyte boards.
 
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System Name My PC
Processor AMD 2700 x @ 4.1Ghz
Motherboard Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming
Cooling Zalman CNPS20X
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX Black 32GB DDR4
Video Card(s) Sapphire Radeon RX 570 PULSE
Storage Adata Ultimate SU800
Case Phanteks Eclipse P500A
Audio Device(s) Logitech G51
Power Supply Seasonic Focus GX, 80+ Gold, 550W
Keyboard Roccat Vulcan 121
What were the complaints on those implementations? Are you sure dropping doal-bios is not related to moving to 256mb bioses - prob more expensive?
 
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System Name My Surround PC
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Memory 64GB (2 x 32 GB) G.Skill DDR5-6400 CL32
Video Card(s) EVGA NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 XC3 Ultra 24GB
Storage WD SN850 2TB, 4 x 4TB HGST NAS HDD for Windows Storage Spaces
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I think this is an exceedingly personal take on things, and maybe it's worth reconsidering.
I for one am eyeing this board *precisely* because of PCIe distribution: almost all other X670 board out there split the 16 PCIe lanes of the first slot with the second (x16/0 or x8/x8) - as soon as you put anything in that second slot - regardless of what it is, main PCIe slot bandwidth get cut in half. The x8/x8 split is probably fine for dual-GPUs or GPU + M2 carrier board for multiple SSDs, but that's about it.

If you need some other PCIe peripherals (and most other cards don't need more than 4x lanes) you end up hobbling your GPU for no good reason.
The secondary slots on this one (PCIe4 x4) and (PCIe3 x2) give you an enormous flexibility with no downsides.

With regards to the whole PCIe topology on this generation of boards, yeah, I didn't expect to have to do such in-depth research about the subject and the relevant details on ALL manufacturer's websites is under an asterisk somewhere or the actual hardware manual, so the casual reader browsing the flashy 'features' page is likely going to miss it - but they ALL do this (ASRock, ASUS, MSI).
I am in the same situation in that I've literally spent hours researching all the X670E motherboards for their PCIe slot distribution. It frustrates me to no end that the manufacturers are putting all the PCIe lanes in M.2 slots and not giving us more than one PCIe x4 slot. I don't need a 4th M.2 slot but I would love to have a second PCIe x4 slot and more than 4 SATA ports for hard drives. I put the data in a spreadsheet, and I have shared it in case it helps anyone here.
On my current build having to remove the chip set heatsink would take about 4 hours because of my hard-line water build. My x570s aorus master has a clear CMOS button thankfully and was 200 less expensive. These boards are premium priced and should come with the features.
But how often do you need to replace that battery? I've only ever replaced one of them, and that was in a 10 year old system. Of the importance of things I need to access to on the motherboard, the battery is near the bottom of the list.
 
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I am in the same situation in that I've literally spent hours researching all the X670E motherboards for their PCIe slot distribution. It frustrates me to no end that the manufacturers are putting all the PCIe lanes in M.2 slots and not giving us more than one PCIe x4 slot. I don't need a 4th M.2 slot but I would love to have a second PCIe x4 slot and more than 4 SATA ports for hard drives. I put the data in a spreadsheet, and I have shared it in case it helps anyone here.

But how often do you need to replace that battery? I've only ever replaced one of them, and that was in a 10 year old system. Of the importance of things I need to access to on the motherboard, the battery is near the bottom of the list.
All being well not often but dude batteries happen.
But clearing the bios is done quiet often and if you can't get into to bios for any reason you're going to have to use the jumper, given it's stuck at the bottom right it's also going to be a PITA for anyone with a vertical GPU. Anyway the board will be a hard pass for me over priced for less features IMO.
 

ir_cow

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rather it is easier just to say that these additional PCIe slots are quite literally an ongoing scam

I think this is an exceedingly personal take on things, and maybe it's worth reconsidering.
If you just take this sentence out of context, yes I would agree. It wasn't a reference to the amount of PCIe slots, but rather the use of x16 slots when they aren't internally wired as such.

Here are some more quotes to put in back in context:
"...has adopted the illusion of using additional full x16 bandwidth PCIe slots, when in fact these are often internally wired for 1X or 4X."
"In general, these additional slots are a desirable feature, but the presentation suggest these are not only physically x16 PCIe slots, but also wired internally, thus being misleading to the average buyer."
 
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I put the data in a spreadsheet, and I have shared it in case it helps anyone here.
Great summary and really helpful.
A nitpick for DisplayPort - several boards are marked as '0' for not having traditional DP port. A few of those boards still provide DP from iGPU via USB-C ports, in two ways, either tunnelled DP 1.4 via USB SS or via Thunderbolt 4 (aka USB4). It would be good if you add DP via USB-C
Examples: Taichi X670E and B650E (TB4), MSI Ace and Carbon (USB-C), Asus Crosshair Ext. and Hero (TB4), Aorus Master (USB-C).
Also, it's worth mentioning that several Asrock boards, PG and Taichi, MSI Carbon and Gigabyte Aorus Master B650, support HDMI 2.1 FRL output from iGPU at 32 Gbps, more than ANY other HDMI port on all other boards, which support older HDMI 2.0b at 18 Gbps.
 
Last edited:

ir_cow

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This may help as well. Just know these are "up to" for the USB. Just depends how the MB splits it up, or if they spend the money to implement it. Same goes for the CPU. 16+4+4 PCIe Gen5 from the CPU. One x4 is always dedicated to M.2. Not not sure if this is a AMD requirement or not. The other x4 is often used for USB4, 10GBe or another M.2 socket. That x16 could be broken up to 4x/4x/4x/4x if a company really wanted to spend the money with redrivers.
pic_disp.jpg
 
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Not not sure if this is a AMD requirement or not.
Yes, it is, for all boards apart from B650 vanilla.
The other x4 is often used for USB4, 10GBe or another M.2 socket.
10 GbE is normally wired to chipset's PCIe 4.0 lane, rather than CPU. It would be very unusual to wire LAN to CPU. Photos of traces could tell us how it is wired.

It'd be great to see how Thunderbolt 4 chip JHL8540 (rebranded bizarelly as "USB4") is wired by different vendors, as there are traces for PCIe, USB, DP and power.
Asrock takes DP lanes directly from CPU, but Asus ProArt Creator has a well-established DP IN port that brings DP signal to TB4 ports from GPU.
As for PCIe, I am curious to see this wiring. It is PCIe 3.0 x4 for TB4, so wiring the chip to CPU Gen5 x4 would be a waste, but it might be shorter and easier.
That x16 could be broken up to 4x/4x/4x/4x if a company really wanted to spend the money with redrivers.
There is a weird solution on Aorus Master B650E. Two pairs of M.2 Gen5 drives are attached to x4 interface.

Screenshot 2022-11-02 at 01-15-44 mb_manual_b650e-aorus-master_1001_e_221017.pdf.png
 

ir_cow

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There is a weird solution on Aorus Master B650E. Two pairs of M.2 Gen5 drives are attached to x4 interface.

View attachment 268219
Yep, plus its often seen on mining MBs, though that is just 8-12 1x PCIe 3 slots.

It'd be great to see how Thunderbolt 4 chip JHL8540 (rebranded bizarelly as "USB4") is wired by different vendors, as there are traces for PCIe, USB, DP and power.
Have a spare x-ray machine laying around? :)
 
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This may help as well. Just know these are "up to" for the USB. Just depends how the MB splits it up, or if they spend the money to implement it. Same goes for the CPU. 16+4+4 PCIe Gen5 from the CPU. One x4 is always dedicated to M.2. Not not sure if this is a AMD requirement or not. The other x4 is often used for USB4, 10GBe or another M.2 socket. That x16 could be broken up to 4x/4x/4x/4x if a company really wanted to spend the money with redrivers. View attachment 268208
What does 36 in 36/20 means?
 
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What does 36 in 36/20 means?
36 - total PCIe lanes (24 CPU+12 chipset)
20 - total usable Gen5 lanes (16+4 on CPU)

This may help as well. Just know these are "up to" for the USB. Just depends how the MB splits it up, or if they spend the money to implement it. Same goes for the CPU. 16+4+4 PCIe Gen5 from the CPU. One x4 is always dedicated to M.2. Not not sure if this is a AMD requirement or not. The other x4 is often used for USB4, 10GBe or another M.2 socket. That x16 could be broken up to 4x/4x/4x/4x if a company really wanted to spend the money with redrivers. View attachment 268208
I am a bit confused by "20" number in 44/20 and 36/20. If there are in total 28 Gen5 lanes on CPU, 4 lanes are for the chipset link and 24 should be usable (16+4+4).

If AMD says "20", does this mean that another x4 Gen5 lanes on CPU cannot be used for Gen5 device?
Shouldn't it be 44/24 and 36/24, or the number "20" refers to minimal requirements?
Is there any motherboard that actually wires 16+4+4 on CPU and uses all 24 Gen5 lanes?
 

Pastrav

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If you just take this sentence out of context, yes I would agree. It wasn't a reference to the amount of PCIe slots, but rather the use of x16 slots when they aren't internally wired as such.

Here are some more quotes to put in back in context:
"...has adopted the illusion of using additional full x16 bandwidth PCIe slots, when in fact these are often internally wired for 1X or 4X."
"In general, these additional slots are a desirable feature, but the presentation suggest these are not only physically x16 PCIe slots, but also wired internally, thus being misleading to the average buyer."
You're right. I skimmed the article bleary-eyed before going to bed and should've waited until morning before commenting. Thanks for pointing that out.
 
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