With Intel launching its new H370, B360 and H310 chipset and new 8th gen Intel Core processors, users now have more affordable options when it comes to building an Intel Core processor powered PC.
In this review, we’ll be taking a good look at the first H370 to arrive at our test lab, the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 from Gigabyte. Unlike the Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 we’ve previously reviewed, the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 is actually based on the Cannon Lake PCH which comes with native USB 3.1 Gen2 support. In short, the H370 has pretty much all the features of a Z370 and some extras which are missing – of course, minus the overclocking capability.
We’ll keep the introduction simple at this point, let’s move on with the review and see what kind of features and performance can we expect from the Gigabyte H370 AORUS Gaming 3 when it comes to gaming performance.
So, let us start off with the packaging. AORUS made its first appearance as one of the gaming motherboards from Gigabyte in the previous generation Z270 release. The packaging get’s better in this generation – in my opinion, which gives a more distinctive appearance and identity to the brand itself.
Unlike its Z370 counterpart, the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 doesn’t come with much accessories included. A user’s manual, drivers CD, pin for system panel connector installation, SATA cables, standoff screws for M.2 SSD and a rear IO shield – that’s pretty much it!
Although the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 doesn’t come as fancy as its Z370 counterpart, the some of the aesthetics element and feature is retained; i.e RGB overlay, VRM and PCH heatsink, thermal guard heatsink for M.2 SSD, etc.
On closer look, we can see that the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 features an 8+2 power phase design, which ensures stable power delivery for both K and non-K SKU of Intel’s latest 8th Gen Core processors. Other than that, the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 also features an 8-pin 12V CPU power socket to ensure sufficient power is supplied to the CPU.
A total of 4 DIMM slot can be found on this board, each equipped with RGB lighting and metal covers that provide the slot with extra protection against tearing damage. Since overclocking is not possible on this board, it will only support DDR4 memory with speed of up to 2666MHz only. As the memory speed is capped at 2666MHz, installing any DDR4 memory kit with rated speed above 2666MHz is not recommended.
If you’re looking into something which is more personalized, the acrylic piece located next to the 24-pin socket of the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 can be replaced with a custom designed piece in the same shape.
For the PCIe slot region, you’ll find the thermal guard and PCIe slots that come in the similar fashion as the DIMM slots. The metal cover has been something pretty common on most of the motherboard nowadays, providing extra protection against tearing damage. As for the thermal guard, it’s basically a heatsink for NVMe SSD that helps to dissipate heat better and prevents thermal throttling for high-speed NVMe SSD.
Despite having 2 PCIe slot for graphics card, the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 supports only AMD Crossfire for multiple GPU configuration. If you’re planning for a dual GPU configuration for NVIDIA graphics card, you might want to look at the higher-end Z370 options, i.e the Z370 AORUS Gaming lineup.
Moving on to the options for the storage drive, the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 supports a total of 6 x SATA drives, Intel Optane Memory, or 2 x M.2 drives in RAID configuration.
The H370 AORUS Gaming 3 features a pretty decent onboard audio, the ALC1220 120dB(A) SNR HD Audio with Smart Headphone Amp. It will automatically detect the impedance of your headphone and apply necessary optimization for the best experience with your headphone.
As for the rear IO, you’ll find a PS/2 keyboard mouse combo port, 4 x USB 2.0 ports (black), 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports (blue), USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A and Type-C port (red), DVI-D port and HDMI 1.4 port for video output, Gigabit Ethernet port and audio jacks.
To be honest, we never really liked the UI design since the X99. Gigabyte could have just gone straightforward with the advanced settings by placing the basic options in one single screen and have its advanced options located at the bottom for easier navigation. Though, it’s just a matter of personal preference as it will still get the job done at the end of the day.
Gaming Performance Test
|Test Bench Configuration|
|CPU Cooler||Raijintek Orcus 240|
|CPU||Intel Core i5 8600|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition|
|Memory||G.Skill Trident Z RGB (2666MHz at 14-14-14-34)|
|Primary Hard Drive||Plextor M9PeG 512GB|
|Power Supply||be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W|
|Chassis||Cooler Master Test Bench V1|
Moving on to the gaming performance test, we’re having a controlled environment here to keep the result as consistent as possible – everything runs on the stock configuration, no overclocking involved. We’ve selected a few AAA titles for the test, which the result is populated in the graph below.
Do note that both the CPU and memory speed are capped at 4.3GHz and 2666MHz in this test and better result can be achieved with higher memory and CPU speed.
With the controlled environment, we can see that the performance difference from both motherboards isn’t really that significant.
For those who don’t really overclock their system, the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 actually comes as a more affordable choice that packs both the aesthetics and features which is both available and not available on a Z370 motherboard.
At the price of RM589, you’ll still get most of the essential features for gaming needs, a reasonable amount of RGB lighting and personalized options, support for the latest USB 3.1 Gen2 standard, as well as NVMe SSD (single or RAID) and Intel Optane Memory. Given if you have no interest in overclocking both your CPU and memory or having an SLI configuration on your system, you could spend that extra hundred bucks on better components instead of features that you don’t really need.
If you’re one of those users who prefers to have SLI instead of CrossFire because NVIDIA GeForce cards are obviously better at this point, or overclock your CPU and memory for better performance, you might want to stick with a Z370 motherboard.
- Support for USB 3.1 Gen2
- Support for AMD CrossFire
- Support for Intel Optane Memory
- Support for 2 x M.2 SSD in RAID
- M.2 SSD heatsink included (thermal guard)
- Still comes with a PS/2 keyboard mouse combo port
- Metal covers on DIMM slot and PCIe slot to prevent tearing damage
- Good aesthetics, both design and personalization options (RGB lightings, overlay)
- Higher memory speed support (2666MHz instead of 2133 or 2400)
- Doesn’t support NVIDIA SLI
- Memory speed is capped at 2666MHz
- Could use more USB 3.0 ports, only 2 x USB 3.0 port is provided