Subsystem Testing

For all Subsystem Testing, an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (3.8GHz / 4.6GHz Boost) and 2x 8GB (16GB total) G.Skill Trident Z Royal (3600MHz DDR4 16-16-16-36, 1T@1.35v) memory modules running at DDR4 3200MHz speeds were used. For power, I used the Corsair RM1000i 1000watt unit. Our discreet graphics card needs were handled by an MSI RTX 2080 Super Gaming X-Trio. The CPU was cooled with a Koolance Exos 2.5 system and Alphacool Eiseblock water block.

Sound Hardware

For the integrated audio, GIGABYTE opted for the Realtek ALC889 HD Audio CODEC. This is a 5.1 channel CODEC rather than the typical 7.1 channel CODECs we are used to seeing. This is a lower end CODEC, which was in use on higher-end motherboards a few years ago. It still features dedicated audio capacitors and PCB isolation for improved sound quality. However, you won’t find any fancy OP-AMPs or anything like that. It’s as bare-bones and basic as it gets with little in the way of licensed or enabled features. It’s unfortunate, but at this price point, you have to expect that.

Audio Specifications

  • Realtek® ALC887 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1-channel

Audio – Subjective Listening

As I said, there is nothing special going on here. Naturally, I didn’t expect much in the way of audio performance. You don’t get as much volume and the sounds aren’t as rich as what I’m used to from using more expensive options. That said, the playback was clear and respectable for what it is. Gamer’s will probably opt for headphones that normally have their own CODECs, so I don’t feel like this cost-cutting on GIGABYTE’s part is a huge deal at this price.

Audio – Subjective Recording / Playback

When it comes to recording, the sample was almost inaudible with the microphone boost option disabled. When enabled, the levels were better, but there was some minor distortion present.

DPC Latency

For those who may not know what DPC is, I’ll explain. Deferred procedure calls are a function within Windows that allows higher priority tasks such as device drivers to defer lower priority tasks for execution at later times. It’s an interrupt and reassignment of sorts performed by the operating system.

DPC latency varies from board model to model and brand to brand. DPC issues show up in the form of audio dropouts and streaming video issues. Naturally, this is something that the enthusiast would want to avoid. I used LatencyMon and let it run for 10 minutes to graph the results. I have compiled a list of several systems I’ve tested over the last year and placed the results in a graph for easy reference.

LatencyMon Graph

Ordinarily, there is such a massive range on what’s acceptable, I don’t have that much to say here. While this isn’t the worst board for DPC latency I’ve ever tested, it is one of the worst I’ve seen in recent years. At 882, it’s near the dreaded 1,000u mark, which is where you can start having problems. It never crossed the line, but I had no explanation for why it was this bad either. Normally when I see this, its due to the motherboard manufacturers bundled software or something like that. In this case, disabling Easy Tune or Ryzen Master had no impact on this result.

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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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