Intel H370 and B360 Motherboard Review Feat. ASUS ROG STRIX H370-F, ASUS ROG STRIX B360-F and AORUS H370 Gaming 3
AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WiFi Motherboard - Close Up
The AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WiFi motherboard is styled in black, silver and orange accents. The PCB on the motherboard is colored dark brown and isn’t that much noticeable. This is the top B360 motherboard that AORUS offers and costs $140 US. The motherboard comes in the standard ATX form factor.
The board uses the LGA 1151 socket to support Intel Core processors. The socket is compatible with Intel’s 8th generation core family only. The socket has a protective cover on top of it that points out the exclusivity with Coffee Lake CPUs and refrains users from running a older 6th or 7th generation CPU as it could damage the socket.
Next to the socket are four DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 64 GB dual channel memory. These slots are rated to support XMP profiles up to 2666 MHz. Each slot is labeled, making it easier to install DIMMs in the proper orientation.
The AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WiFi motherboard packs a 7 phase Hybrid Digital PWM Power Design. The motherboard comes with high quality chokes, MOSFETs and capacitors that are rated to last longer than general electrical components and also makes use of a anti-sulfur design to prevent resistor shortage.
As you can see, the VRMs are getting ample cooling from the two aluminum heatsinks that will do their job pretty well. This motherboard isn’t designed to overclock at all but processors like the i7-8700K can be a bit too much for the VRMs so proper cooling is still required.
The motherboard has a large base for the PWM area and as such, heat is quickly dissipate from the heatsink by air blowing within the chassis.
The CPU is supplied power through a single 8-pin power connector. This will feed the CPU with up to 150W of power. Most Intel CPUs will be shipping with TDPs under 100W but that actual wattage can wary based on the turbo clocks.
Expansion slots include three PCI Express 3.0 x16, two PCI Express 3.0 x1 and dual M.2 slots. The board can theoretically support three-way multi-GPU (CrossFireX / SLI) however, B360 boards have fewer PCIe lanes and SLI/Crossfire won’t be the most ideal setup for such motherboards. The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCIe gen3 x4 and Intel Optane series memory. There’s also a single M.2 Socket 1 dedicated for the Intel CNVi wireless module which comes with the package. You can insert the module and attach the rear panel bracket to your casing for enhanced wireless functionality.
Gigabyte is using their patented double locking bracket on the expansion slots along with their Ultra Durable PCIe and M.2 Armor that adds a stainless shield on the sides of the PCI-e slots and additional anchor points that offer stronger grip with heavier graphics cards. These add more retention and shearing resistance by reinforcing the slots with metal plates. Aside from adding more protection, they do look really sweet.
The M.2 slots also come with Gigabyte’s latest M.2 Thermal Guard technology which reduces thermal throttling on M.2 storage devices. Only one Thermal Guard is available in the package.
The PCH is cooled off by a large metallic heatsink which runs next to the SATA ports. The PCH heat sink has embedded RGB LEDs and provide a good light show for those that are interested in RGBs trend. You can also turn off the LEDs entirely through Gigabyte’s bundled software if you are not a fan of such LEDs.
Storage options include six SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 GB/s. These can support up to six different storage devices at once. Many fan headers and jumpers can be found next to the storage ports. Do note that only two of the SATA ports are right angled while the other four face towards the top.
Do note that only two of the SATA ports are right angled while the other four face towards the top. Here, we can also see a better shot of the thickness of the PCH heatsink.
For B360 series, AORUS is using a High-Definition Audio system which is actually running off a Realtek ALC892 codec. The system features Audio noise guard for less static interference and makes use of high quality audio capacitors.
Finally, we have the I/O panel which includes the 1 PS/2 (Keyboard/Mouse) port, 1 DVI-D port, 1 HDMI port, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1 GBe LAN port and a 6 channel audio jack. All rear panel ports are situated beneath a nice AORUS I/O cover.
In addition to the I/O ports, the motherboard features the following I/O connectors internally:
- 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
- 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
- 1 x CPU fan header
- 1 x water cooling CPU fan header
- 2 x system fan headers
- 1 x system fan/water cooling pump header
- 2 x digital LED strip headers
- 2 x digital LED strip power select jumpers
- 2 x RGB (RGBW) LED strip headers
- 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- 2 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors
- 1 x front panel header
- 1 x front panel audio header
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 header
- 1 x USB 2.0/1.1 header
- 1 x S/PDIF Out header
- 1 x Thunderbolt add-in card connector
- 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header (2×6 pin, for the GC-TPM2.0_S module only)
- 1 x serial port header
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper