Gigabyte GA AB350 Motherboards Reviewed Old

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Gigabyte GA AB350 Gaming & GA AB350 Gaming 3

Motherboard Review

For AMD Processor

With Recommendations for CPU, CPU Fan, RAM, Videocard and HDD

 

 

 

Introduction

Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 Motherboard

This review is on the Gigabyte GA AB350 Gaming and GA AB350 Gaming 3 motherboards. Unless otherwise stated, all specifications apply to both boards. These boards are known as budget boards because they are meant for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money. They also come with several features of interest to gamers, making their purpose clear – to provide gaming on a budget. I will also recommend internal PC components in each of the following categories: CPU, CPU Fan, RAM, Videocard and HDD. The components I recommend will be those that I feel provide a good balance between performance and price.

 

CPU Socket: AM4

GA AB350 motherboards come with an AM4 socket. The AM4 socket supports both Ryzen and A-series AMD processors. If you’re planning on gaming, I recommend a Ryzen processor. Ryzen chips are more powerful than those from the A-series and the Ryzen 5 gives you the most bang for your buck. Ryzen processors use the Zen microarchitecture. The Ryzen 5 processors are AMD’s alternative to Intel’s i5 chips.

 

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Processor

Recommended CPU: Ryzen 5 1600X

The 1600X is the top Ryzen 5 chip and is often compared to the former flagship of Intel’s i5 series – the 7600K. The 1600X is priced lower than the 7600K making it a less expensive mid-range alternative to the Intel processor. The 1600X has six cores and 12 threads, two more cores and three times as many threads as the 7600K. This means it has an advantage when performing tasks that can make use of more than four cores. In fact, according to UserBenchmark (http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/) the 1600X outperforms the 7600K on multi-core tasks by 81%. It also has a power consumption of 95 watts.

The 1600X operates at a base clock of 3.6 GHz and, like all Ryzen processors, is unlocked, allowing consumers to overclock. If you’re interested in overclocking, you should be able to overclock a 1600X to roughly 4GHz. The 1600X is available at a good price from Amazon.com. Six cores, 12 threads and a competitive price make the 1600X a worthy alternative to the i5-7600K.

 

Noctua NH D15 SE-AM4 CPU Air Cooler

Recommended CPU Cooler: Noctua NH D15 SE-AM4

The thermal limit for Ryzen processors is 70 degrees Celsius. When you overclock a Ryzen, the temperature increases quickly. If you plan to overclock a Ryzen 5 you need to get a high-end CPU air cooler. I recommend the Noctua NH D15 SE-AM4. Noctua is one of the most respected names in the PC cooling market and the NH D15 SE-AM4 is one of the best air coolers available.

 

 

 

 

 

Chipset: B350

The B350 is identified by AMD as a “mainstream” AM4 chipset. Unlike the A320 chipset, the B350 supports overclocking and is aimed at gamers who plan to use only a single videocard. Whether or not the B350 supports multiple videocards seems to be a subject of debate. There are many websites claiming that the B350 chipset supports multiple videocards. The following statement is from AMD:

“Only AMD’s X370 and X300 chipsets [and now X470—ed.] support two PCIe 3.0 x8 graphics card slots with direct access to the processor. If multi-GPU setups are used on other socket AM4 chipsets, they will not have the same PCIe 3.0 bandwidth, and those configurations are not officially supported.”1

1https://www.pcworld.com/article/3175005/computers/amd-ryzen-motherboards-explained-the-crucial-differences-in-every-am4-chipset.html

To find my source of the above statement from AMD, click the above link to load a page from PCWorld’s website (pcworld.com). Scroll down almost half-way to the section entitled “B350 and B450 Motherboards”. AMD’s statement appears soon after the start of the section.

 

I do not recommend the use of any product for any purpose not supported by the manufacturer. In this case “the manufacturer” refers to the manufacturer of the chipset – not the motherboard. Gigabyte created the motherboard but AMD is the manufacturer of the B350 chipset and states clearly in the above statement which chipsets support multiple videocards – X300, X370, X470 – the B350 is not one of them. I am, therefore, promoting these motherboards as boards intended for use with single videocards only.

 

Memory: DDR4 Dual Channel

Both GA AB350 motherboards support up to 64GB of DDR4 dual channel memory. Keep in mind that the amount of memory your computer has is much more important than the speed of your computer’s memory. Also, remember that you should always buy DIMMs (memory modules) in pairs. If you can afford it and you plan on playing fairly new games, you should get a 16GB kit (2x8GB). If you find that memory too expensive or you plan on only playing games that are several years old, you should buy an 8GB kit (2x4GB). Supported speeds in MHz are: 2133, 2400, 2667, 2933 and 3200. Whether or not you can use memory faster than 2667MHz may depend on your CPU and whether or not you’re overclocking.

 

Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 Memory

Recommended Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 8GB Kit / 16GB Kit

I recommend the Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 2400 MHz 16GB Kit (2x8GB) or the Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 2400 MHz 8GB Kit (2x4GB). Both these kits give you good value for your money. Kingston doesn’t make memory in the fastest speeds available from some other manufacturers but that memory is much too expensive. Kingston makes reliable memory at a very good price.

 

 

Expansion Slots

Both boards have 1 PCI Express x16 slot running at x16 and 1 PCI Express x16 slot running at x4. The AB350-Gaming 3 even adds a third x16 slot as shown below.

 

AB350 Gaming

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4

3 x PCI Express x1 slots

 

AB350 Gaming 3

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x1

2 x PCI Express x1 slots

 

EVGA Geforce GTX 1050 Ti Video Card

Recommended Video card: EVGA Geforce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming

A 4GB card will let you play many modern games. Other 4GB cards are faster but they cost a lot more. Many are over $300. The GTX 1050 Ti provides excellent value with low power consumption. The reason for the low power consumption is the ACX 2.0 cooler. EVGA’s ACX 2.0 coolers use 4x less power than some competitors. The less power the fan draws, the more power there is for overclocking. This is good news for those who want to overclock their videocards.

The GTX 1050 Ti is built using the Pascal microarchitecture which means the card comes with Nvidia GPU Boost 3.0. GPU Boost 3.0 automatically overclocks the card when necessary. For those not interested in overclocking, the GTX 1050 Ti Gaming from EVGA provides great bang for your buck. For those who are into overclocking the card is an even better value.

 

Audio

High-end Audio Capacitors

Both boards use high-end Chemicon audio capacitors to create realistic sound effects in games.

 

Audio Noise Guard

The AB350 Gaming comes with an audio noise guard which improves the quality of the audio by preventing electromagnetic interference.

 

B350-Gaming

The GA AB350 Gaming comes with the Realtek ALC887 audio codec.  It supports 2, 4, 5.1 and 7.1-channel good quality, high definition audio.

 

B350-Gaming 3

The GA AB350 Gaming 3 comes with the Realtek ALC1220 audio codec. It supports 2, 4, 5.1 and 7.1-channel high definition audio. The ALC1220 provides 120dB SNR (Signal-to-noise ratio) giving gamers excellent quality, high definition audio.

 

Storage Interface

Botha GA AB350 boards come with 1 M.2 connector for an SSD and 6 SATA connectors.

 

WD Black 2TB Performance HDD

Recommended HDD: WD Black 2TB Performance Hard Drive

When it comes to hard drives, I recommend Western Digital. 2TB is a lot of space and the WD Black 2TB Performance Hard Drive is a fast drive available at a good price. It spins at 7200 RPM and has a 64MB cache. Keep in mind that 2TB is the pre-formatted capacity. As with any drive, you will lose space when you format it. For a 2TB drive you will lose 150-200 GB leaving you with 1.8TB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USB

The GA AB350 motherboards come with the newest version of USB: 3.1 Gen 2. See below for the complete USB specs for both boards.

 

GA AB350 Gaming

USB 3.1 Gen 2

2 Type-A ports on the back panel

 

USB 3.1 Gen 1

4 ports on the back panel

2 ports available through the internal USB header

 

USB 2.0

2 ports on the back panel

4 ports available through internal USB headers

 

GA AB350 Gaming 3

USB 3.1 Gen 2:

2 Type-A ports on the back panel

 

USB 3.1 Gen 1

4 ports on the back panel

2 ports available through the internal USB header

 

USB 2.0

1 port on the back panel

4 ports available through internal USB headers

 

Overclocking

EasyTune is Gigabyte’s overclocking software. It runs inside Windows and allows users to improve system performance by adjusting the speed of the CPU and/or memory. “Smart Quick Boost” lets a user give his computer a performance boost with just one click.

 

Cooling

The cooling systems for the GA AB350 Gaming and Gaming 3 consist of temperature sensors, fan headers and monitoring software. Both boards have 6 temperature sensors placed at various positions (CPU, video card slot, northbridge, etc).  The AB350 Gaming has 4 fan headers, also placed at various positions. The Gaming 3’s cooling system is a step up as it has 5 headers; 3 support only fans and 2 support either fans or water pumps. The monitoring software is called “Smart Fan 5” and allows the user to monitor all the temperature sensors and control the speed of any fan connected to a motherboard fan header.

 

Conclusion

The Gigabyte GA AB350 Gaming and GA AB350 Gaming 3 are motherboards aimed at users looking for gaming on a budget. Although these are considered budget boards they have some modern features including USB 3.1 Gen 2, high-end Chemicon audio capacitors and Smart Quick Boost with 1-click overclocking. Spending a lot of money on a gaming motherboard is not necessary. With either of these boards, a user can play any game he wants and with the advanced cooling system he can be sure that the board is well protected.

 

 

4 Responses

  1. Florence Ki

    Wow… thanks for the insight. This really helps me as I was planning to buy a budget desktop for my son. The only question I have is do I have to follow these exact parts for this computer build to work? or can I customize however way I want and it will still work. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks in advance.

    • admin

      Thank you for your comment. The internal parts I mention are just recommendations that I feel give good value. For example, if you plan to play games you need at least 8GB of memory and a videocard so I recommend 2 products but you can buy memory and a videocard from any manufacturer you want. The same goes for all the other parts. They’re just recommendations.

  2. John

    First things first: Thank you for taking the time to write this article and investigating this so closely, i mean you went for a deep dive on this one. Motherboard are a tricky area and i believe people don’t spend enough time choosing the right Motherboard so thank you for helping other people understand this and helping them make a choice 🙂

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