Motherboard Layout & PCB Features

The layout of the GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X is surprisingly well thought out. Granted, layouts are easier on motherboards with fewer integrated features. That said, there are still issues that can arise on boards at any price. This one avoids issues with CMOS battery placement or poor connector placement. Connectors are well thought out and I can foresee few if any issues in most builds.

The GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X has four fan headers. One of which is for dedicated water cooling use. There are two connectors near the CPU socket, right where you would expect it. There is another one near the rear I/O panel area which is common place. This one is often used for rear exhaust fans in many system chassis. There is also a final connector right next to the 8-pin CPU power connector. All of the fan headers are 4-pin and controllable via DC or PWM modes. There are also six onboard temperature sensors for monitoring.

Additionally, lighting enthusiasts will find 5x RGB LED headers of varying types located at different points around the PCB. There are 3x standard RGB LED headers and two addressable RGB headers. There are no water flow sensor headers or external temperature sensor connections here. You will not find onboard power, reset or other controls or even voltage checkpoints on the PCB. You don’t even get the usual diagnostic or POST code LED display. That’s probably the only thing I take issue with. You don’t even get basic troubleshooting LED’s. These are not unexpected sacrifices, but on the surface, it almost seems like GIGABYTE cut too much out of the design.

GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X Motherboard

The PCB is actually rather thick and sturdy-feeling. One thing GIGABYTE motherboards often impress me with is their build quality. To that end, GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable feature isn’t so much a single feature, but a collection of design elements designed to make the motherboard more robust and well….durable.

The GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X has it’s Q-Flash BIOS feature, which allows the flashing of the BIOS without a CPU or even RAM is installed in the system. It features solid pin power connectors that allow higher sustained voltage and thus, higher heat. The motherboard also features steel reinforcement which it refers to as “Ultra Durable PCIe Armor.” It’s all marketing speak for a metal brace on your primary PCIe x16 slot. However, due to the board’s price point, you only get this on the primary PCIe x16 slot.

Power Delivery

GIGABYTE’s X570 Gaming X features a digital VRM with 10+2 phase power utilizing lower RDS(on) MOSFETs. It features 10 phases for vCore and 2 for SOC voltage. In truth, this is a 5 phase design employing ISL6617 phase doublers which support both interleaving and current balancing. These doublers are what allow the native 5 phases to reach a 10+2 phase configuration. This isn’t as beefy a design as its upper echelon offerings but this is a more than capable design that can power your 3950X with ease. The board features an ISL6974 7 phase voltage controller running in 5+2 phase mode.

You will also notice that there is only one 8-pin CPU power connector. Given that this can supply around 380w of power, it’s enough for even the 3950X.

The heat sinks that cover the MOSFETs are rather beefy and aesthetically pleasing. They look like they are from a higher-end motherboard. They do not feature heat pipes but work rather well. Under full load and some time to allow for heat soak, the one to the right of the CPU socket only hit 111F while the one behind the CPU hit temperatures of 119F. This was even while running a 3950X overclocked, so not bad for a motherboard in this price point.

Memory Support

GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X Motherboard

There are 4 288-pin DDR4 DIMMs supporting up to 128GB of memory in a dual-channel configuration. The DIMM slots are not color-coded to denote dual channel operation, but there are visible markings on the PCB which help denote the proper installation configuration. The slots utilize two locking tabs for memory retention.

GIGABYTE designed the memory subsystem with a daisy chain topology which is normal for X570 motherboards. It also uses a single phase power configuration, but it matches the configuration of several higher-end boards so this shouldn’t be an issue.

Expansion

The chipset is situated in the usual location in the bottom right-hand corner of the motherboard’s PCB. It is cooled by an active heat sink and fan. This is standard on most X570 motherboards. As is the case with others on the market, the fan is a smart fan which only operates when thermal conditions warrant it. You hear the fan initially on startup but it quickly shuts down when the OS loads. I’ve been running an AM4 setup myself and I never hear the fan even when I’m gaming, encoding video or anything else. In our testing, the X570 Gaming X was no different.

The heat sink and fan are thin enough that they don’t create any issues with the installation of expansion cards. You will also find 6x SATA 6Gb/s ports for traditional SATA devices directly in front of the chipset cooler.

The expansion slot area is well thought out. I like the placement of the M.2 slot above the primary PCIe Express slot. The expansion slot area does support Crossfire in both Quad-GPU and 2-Way configurations. The expansion slot area features 2x PCIe x16 slots and 3x PCIe x1 slots. This allows for a x16/x0 or a x16/x4 configuration. The PCIe x1 slots are all PCIe 4.0 compliant depending on your installed CPU’s PCIe controller.

Back Panel I/O

GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X Motherboard

As you can see, the I/O panel is rather empty. There aren’t too many ports here and this is where you can see the evidence of the GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X’s budget origins. You get 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and 2x USB 1.1/2.0 ports. There are dedicated PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports as well as an HDMI connection for AMD’s APU’s as the standard processors lack the iGPU feature. We also have a single RJ-45 LAN port and three audio jacks.

Despite being rather inexpensive, GIGABYTE chose to integrate the I/O shield which I can appreciate. However, there is no optical output and the audio jacks aren’t gold plated, nor do they have the usual additional connections for analog output or input. You get a single microphone input, line-in and a line out. It’s a no-frills setup, but it’s generally well-executed.

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10 Comments

  1. Very nice review. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of building an AMD system and was looking into this board. I doubt I’ll do it, but if I did I would no doubt heavily consider this board. This review only backs my thinking up.
  2. It was a surprisingly good motherboard. Low end boards are a bit of a double-edged sword for me. They are relatively easy to test as they have less integrated hardware, but at the same time they are often quirkier, not as well made, etc. GIGABYTE really did a good job cutting the fluff without making it horribly cheap like some other brands usually do.

    That’s not to say the VRM is excessively beefy, but it’s good enough and can more than handle higher end CPU’s like the 3900X and 3950X if need be.

  3. Nice review Dan.

    I don’t like the x570 boards having the tiny cooling fan on the chipset. Those things always fail or become noisy over time. I would prefer a proper beefy heatsink if needed.

    GB is not my favorite brand but they are in my top 3. Their bios implementations have always been wacky and different from everyone else’s.

  4. Nice review Dan.

    I don’t like the x570 boards having the tiny cooling fan on the chipset. Those things always fail or become noisy over time. I would prefer a proper beefy heatsink if needed.

    GB is not my favorite brand but they are in my top 3. Their bios implementations have always been wacky and different from everyone else’s.

    I would agree that the tiny fans tend to fail/get noisy over time, but then again, I’ve had an MSI X570-A Pro sitting next to me for the past 6 months as a test bench and the fan very very very rarely runs to the point it’s fairly moot to have it. The only time it has run is when I had a video card in it that was exhausting its heat down onto the heatsink – other than that, it’s been off the whole time. Thermal images show it to be about 110-120 degrees F when under load.

  5. Very nice review, looks like a good motherboard for a Ryzen 3600 build keeping the costs down while allowing for later upgrades to much higher end CPUs.

    The Spec chart looks wrong, it has 3x PCIe 3.0 16x slots as listed, not sure of the rest either, Quad CrossFire support?

  6. I would agree that the tiny fans tend to fail/get noisy over time, but then again, I’ve had an MSI X570-A Pro sitting next to me for the past 6 months as a test bench and the fan very very very rarely runs to the point it’s fairly moot to have it. The only time it has run is when I had a video card in it that was exhausting its heat down onto the heatsink – other than that, it’s been off the whole time. Thermal images show it to be about 110-120 degrees F when under load.

    That’s been my experience as well. If it does run I can’t hear it.

  7. I have had good luck with the B450 boards so far. I wouldn’t mind checking this board out for a new Linux box. As for the chipset fan, I still have a Swiftech block that can replace the fan.

    Not that it’d bug me much to leave the fan.

    Aww, Realtek lan, meh

  8. Nice review Dan.

    I don’t like the x570 boards having the tiny cooling fan on the chipset. Those things always fail or become noisy over time. I would prefer a proper beefy heatsink if needed.

    GB is not my favorite brand but they are in my top 3. Their bios implementations have always been wacky and different from everyone else’s.

    The chipset coolers would have to actually run for that to happen. As I said in the review, you hear it when you first power the system on and that’s about it. I’ve been running the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE since before X570 came out for CPU reviews and general testing. I never heard its fan beyond initial startup. I dusted the thing off after so many months and now its in my personal PC not making any noise either.

    All the other X570 motherboards I’ve tested have the active chipset cooling and they all work the same way. I wouldn’t worry about them. This isn’t the days of the old chipset coolers that ended up clapped out or seized by dust or bad bearings in short order. The X570 chipset itself can reach temperatures of 50c and the chipset fans still won’t turn on.

    The problem with going to a beefier heat sink is surface area. You can’t make them thicker or they’ll prevent expansion card installation. Spreading them out like the old days doesn’t work as well anymore as you have to leave room for M.2 slots. It’s one of the many issues that result from M.2 being an absolutely retarded form factor for desktops. Of course, you can spread it out some and then use heat pipes to help cool them. You can even connect the heat pipe to the MOSFET coolers if you wanted to. But all of those things are costlier than adding a simple chipset fan and writing some firmware to make sure it only turns on when its absolutely necessary.

    As for GIGABYTE, I like their build quality and most of their more modern designs. They tend to overbuild most of their motherboards which is better than the alternative. Even though the X570 Gaming X is pretty cheap, its still well made. GIGABYTE cut costs precisely where I think they should have. When some other companies cut costs, they do it at the VRM’s and that’s not a good approach.

    As for the GIGABYTE UEFI, it’s different, but so is everyone else’s. Everyone does their own thing for better or for worse. This is one area where I think ASUS is the undisputed king. Everyone else is on a sliding scale of worse than ASUS on UEFI implementation. That said, MSI and GIGABYTE’s stuff works pretty well even if it is different. I guess, I have gotten used to them all by reviewing so many of them. I can see where they could all improve, but it gets the job done and you generally don’t spend a lot of time in the UEFI past your initial tuning phase of a system build.

    If I could change anything about GIGABYTE’s UEFI, it would be the horrendous red/orange colors. I hate them.

  9. Very nice review, looks like a good motherboard for a Ryzen 3600 build keeping the costs down while allowing for later upgrades to much higher end CPUs.

    The Spec chart looks wrong, it has 3x PCIe 3.0 16x slots as listed, not sure of the rest either, Quad CrossFire support?

    Thought I fixed that chart. (EDIT: I’ve fixed it now.)

    However, the GIGABYTE X570 Gaming X does indeed support both 2-Way and Quad-Crossfire technologies. Quad-Crossfire is the use of two dual-GPU graphics cards. Since there aren’t any newer cards that feature dual GPU’s, it’s a legacy feature at this point but it is on the spec sheet.

    I have had good luck with the B450 boards so far. I wouldn’t mind checking this board out for a new Linux box. As for the chipset fan, I still have a Swiftech block that can replace the fan.

    Not that it’d bug me much to leave the fan.

    Aww, Realtek lan, meh

    I currently work in IT and I’ve been doing so for more than two decades now. Believe me when I say, I’m not a fan of Realtek LAN. That said, it tested very well here and to be honest, it’s not surprising given the price point.

  10. No, you are right, it’s expected for the price, I am always of Realtek and Linux. I am still considering the board. I can always get an Intel network card if there are issues
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