As we've already mentioned in the introduction the Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 3 motherboard
comes with a great looking design. The PCB has a matte black
finish and the heatsinks feature covers showing the Aorus logo. As it's currently the trend there is a cover in place hiding away the I/O connectors. Apart from that the PCH received RGB backlight. The heatsinks have
been shaped nicely and the whole product is really good looking. The layout
has been well thought and there are plenty of useful features, like two headers to attach external USB 3.1 ports for instance, eight SATA 6Gbps ports and two M.2 Gen 3 x4 slots.
The Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 3 comes with a digital 8 phase power design regarding the CPU. The CPU power design is controlled by an IR35201 dual-loop multi-phase buck controller, which has 8 output phases. Every single phase is backed up by an IOR 3556 driver from International Rectifier as well as one inductor. The IOR 3556 MOSFETs are capable of dealing with up to 50A output current per phase, which makes the power design of this board highly capable. On each side of the CPU socked the four DIMM slots, VCCSA, IO, DDR VRM, DDR VPP VRM and VCCIO are controlled by IR35204 3+1 phase digital PWM controllers. Overall this board has been equipped with at very high-quality power design and we're suprised to see such an expensive implementation already Gigabyte entry-level AORUS motherboard.
This board has been equipped with a total of eight DIMM-slots. Officially supported is everything up to DDR4 4266 (O.C.). There is engough space between the DIMM-slots and the CPU socket which means that you wont encounter compatibility problems with big coolers even when you choose to install RAM with big heatspreaders. Also supported are Xtreme Memory Profiles (XMP) in version 2.0. However the memory configuration will depend to the CPU that you are going to use. If you will install a Skylake-X CPU then you can install up to 128GB in quad-channel, otherwise with a Kaby Lake-X CPU you can use only four banks in dual-channel up to 64GB.
The PCH as well as the current converters are being held at adequate
temperatures using passive heatsinks. The heatsink for the current converters are made from
one aluminium block. The
PCH heatsink is
simple and flat. The cooling blocks have been very well made and they're firmly attached to the board to provide enough pressure on the component. The aluminium blocks are entirely black with grey sheet metal covers, overall resembling a very nice looking design. Regarding the whole Skylake X VRM temperature topic our point of view is that as long as either an 8-core or a 10-core CPU (7820X or 7900X) is not overclocked the VRM is going to be kept at temperatures, which are perfectly withing the tolerances. The individual phases are specified to operate with temperature of up to 125°C and this value was never reached during our testing. If you do use an 8- or 10-core Skylake X CPU and you want to overclock and you prefer to keep the temperatures low we'd recommend a full-cover water block.