The Gigabyte Gaming X AX motherboard has drawn comparisons to the Z790 Aorus Elite AX due to their similarities in design and features. Built around the Z790 chipset, the Gaming X AX offers support for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory, making it compatible with Intel 12th, Intel 13th, and next-gen CPUs.
One noticeable difference is that the Gaming X AX does not have a Gen5 M.2 socket, opting instead to support up to four Gen4 M.2 sockets. This decision aligns with the board’s price point and target audience, as Gen 5 SSDs are still relatively scarce and costly.
In terms of audio capabilities, the Gaming X AX utilizes a low-end Realtek codec, the ALC897. While this may not satisfy audiophiles, the board includes high-end audio capacitors and PCB shielding to minimize electrical noise. Given that the intended audience is likely to use a USB headset, the audio component may not be a significant concern.
Visually, Gigabyte has made design improvements, replacing the Aorus orange with metallic grays and white accents on a dark PCB, resulting in an attractive appearance. However, the board does not feature built-in RGB lighting, though it does provide four RGB/ARGB headers for those who wish to add their own lighting elements.
The rear IO of the Gaming X AX offers a conservative selection of ports, including ten USB ports (two 10Gbps, three 5Gbps, and four USB 2.0 ports) and one Type-C 20Gbps port. This is a missed opportunity, considering the chipset supports ten USB 3.2 10Gbps ports.
The board comes in three variations, with differences in the WIFI controller used. It is unclear which version users will receive at retail, which may present issues for those who require a specific network controller.
In terms of performance, the Gaming X AX utilizes a 6-layer PCB, supporting DRAM kits rated up to DDR5 7600, surpassing the capabilities of competitors’ entry-level boards. Gigabyte has included custom DRAM profiles in the BIOS to allow users to easily extract more performance from their memory, though using these profiles will override the applied DRAM XMP settings.
On the downside, the load line options in the BIOS for CPU voltage settings can be confusing, with users having to choose between seemingly synonymous options. Additionally, the Gaming X AX lacks voltage offsets for the E-core clusters, leading to higher heat output and power consumption.
Overall, the Gaming X AX follows a familiar pattern of slight variations on a standard set of features. While it may not stand out in terms of audio capabilities or IO options, it offers solid performance and the ability to support high-speed DDR5 memory.
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