Gigabyte GA AB350 Motherboards Reviewed

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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.

 

Recommended CPU: Click here

 

Recommended CPU Cooler: Click here

 

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.

 

Recommended Memory: Click here

 

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

 

Recommended Video card: Click here

 

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.

 

Recommended HDD: Click here

 

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.

 

Click here to read a review of the Gigabyte Z370P D3 Motherboard with an Intel LGA 1151 revision 2 CPU socket.

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