Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 7 PRO
We test the Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 7 PRO motherboard, a lovely motherboard in dark accents that resides in a high-end segment. This X299 motherboard can house Skylake-X processors and has the looks to kill. We test the platform with Spectre and Meltdown patches in place. Based on Socket LGA2066, however, the motherboard also supports Kaby Lake X procs in the form of the quad-core Core i7 7740K and Core i5 7640K.
This motherboard is intended for Intel Skylake-X processors that will be released this summer based on Socket LGA2066, however, the motherboard also supports Kaby Lake-X procs in the form of the quad-core Core i7 7740K and Core i5 7640K. We got our grubby little paws on a 10-core Skylake-X processor, as such welcome to this full review (but not thanks to Intel). Intel’s primary processor business has been releasing and refreshing quad-core processors for years now with an E type (e.g. Broadwell-E / Haswell-E) processor release every now and then. They had no rush and have been competitive and relaxed all the way for years now. Intel did anticipate Zen or Ryzen, but the AMD consumer-aimed Threadripper 16-core and Naples server segment 32-core made Intel step up its game a notch. Initially, it was expected that Intel would announce a new 10 and maybe 12-core processor based on Skylake-X architecture. With everything that has been going on, there have now been a number of announcements going from top to bottom with an unexpected quad-core Kaby Lake-X release as well as announcements that entails Intel will release 18-core processors.
Note – we test with the board all patched up to the latest Intel processors vulnerabilities (Meltdown/Spectre).
The Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 7 PRO sits in a high-end range, loaded with features like dual Ethernet jacks, AC wifi armed with RGB LEDs that can be combined with control software and all get a solid audio solution based on a Realtek 1220 codec. Storage including three M.2 SSD slots. The main slot is hidden just below the chipset heatsink. A secondary one mounts drives vertically. The PRO model board has an improved power design, there the regular Gaming 7 offers 8+1 phases, this PRO model offers a massive 12+1 phases to cope with the many-core processors and their needs in energy. It’s tweakfest as well with eight fan headers, PCIe slots that optionally can be disabled, dual-bios and onboard buttons. But have a peek first and then head onwards into the review.