Pros: PowIRStages , Post Code LED, clear CMOS button +power/reset button, thermal sensor headers, extensive memory support , Intel LAN , ALC1220
Cons: no BCLK generator chip , PoWIRStages could be upped to 50A or 60A, RGB fusion is not for everyone , VRM heatsink is garbage , BIOs options need work
The IR3553 power delivery (it's 6 of them for CPU and each is rated 40A) is decent but it could be stronger given the price tier. 50A or 60A PowIRStages could be used instead.
Has a Post Code debug LED, clear CMOs button , power / reset button
Has more than 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports.
Has thermal sensor headers
Has dual ALC1220 with audio shielding , amp
Has Intel LAN
Ability to use PWM or 3 pin DC fans on every header , ample fan headers ---- can be controlled in BIOS along with fan curves
USB DAC UP - marketing speak for ability to increase voltage to USB ports (applicable for VR headsets and such)
F6F BETA BIOS dated May 29th has memory dividers up to 4000MHz , allowing Infinity Fabric to operate faster (I was able to boot at 3333MHz , 16-18-18-38 1.35V on a kit of EVGA DDR4 3200MHz Hynix based RAM but my Windows PE had an error at one point so I reverted back to DDR4-3200MHz)
IR3553 PowIRStages are held back by VRM heatsinks that have a hole in the middle (obviously they were designed for a heatpipe in the middle). There should have been a better heatsink design with more surface area, even if it did not have a heatpipe on it. (see Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5) The plastic I/O shield does not help this either.
* VRM temp per hwinfo64 is 65 Celsius in open air (no case) with Ryzen 7 1700X running True Spirit 140 Power @ 700RPM after 4 hours of AIDA64 stability test (it levels out after about one hour)
* VRM temp per hwinfo64 is 60 Celsius in open air (no case) with Ryzen 7 1700X running True Spirit 140 Power @ 850RPM after 1 hour of AIDA64 stability test , ambient temp ~23°C
* VRM temp per hwinfo64 is 73 Celsius in open air (no case) with Ryzen 7 1700X @3.925GHz @ ~ 1.344V dynamic voltage cooled by True Spirit 140 Power @ 1100RPM after 30 minutes of AIDA64 stability test (at 1 hour in it is also this VRM temperature), ambient temp ~27°C
Lack of advanced BIOs options such as p-state overclocking. "Advanced memory timings" consists of CAS latency , tRCDRD , tRCDWR, tRP, and tRAS. "Advanced CPU core settings" consist of CPB (core performance boost), Cool & quiet, SVM mode, global c-state control, downcore control (disabling cores).
--> Where is PWM switching frequency , current limit (even my Z77 board has this), spread spectrum option, , C6 state on/off control , offset voltage overclock
* Update with F6F BETA BIOs (AGESA 1.0.06) added more memory timing features & higher dividers than 3200MHz (i.e. up to 4000MHz) but nothing for CPU p-states
M.2 NVMe slot is located under GPU. Why this was done is baffling.
RGB fusion is not for everyone, it is useless if you have a closed case without a window
No wifi slot
Voltage check points are not a listed feature but the "coupons" are supposedly voltage read points. The voltages for each "coupon" should be labeled in the manual (i.e. coupon 1 = V_??? , coupon 2 = V_????, coupon 3 = ???? , coupon 4= ????).
I would have preferred a Displayport instead of HDMI port but this is a non-issue given that Ryzen has no iGPU and HDMI is more common among "gamers".
VALUE for money
The problem with this board is some features tacked on have little use for people that are not looking inside their case or running a server. These features are likely hiking up the price.
* Dual LAN
* RGB LEDs throughout
* SATA express / U.2 .... hardly anyone uses these
Gigabyte would have a great motherboard in every way if they stripped off the LEDs, upgraded both the VRM components and the heatsink, removed the Killer LAN, increased BIOs options, etc.
Was purchased for $56 after combo deal with Ryzen 7 ; given the alternative boards I'd value this at maybe $160-170. At the $190 they ask it's bit higher than what it ought to be.
Validation in Windows 10 PE on an old monitor: http://valid.x86.fr/k4e9yd