BIOS

GIGABYTE has a relatively basic but user friendly BIOS which features a black theme with red trim and white text. Even though it doesn’t quite have the futuristic look of other BIOS implementations, it still provides an easy to look at interface.

The initial entry screen brings a space-wasting set of menus that allow for access to all of the different settings, options and customizable features on this board. Overclocking options start from this menu, with the ability to enter frequency and voltage settings, as well as load line calibration. This board does not feature an external clock generator, so no alterations can be made to the base clock on this particular board. This board also supports XMP memory profiles.

With a basic initial BIOS, the Gaming 5 motherboard doesn’t feature separate advanced or basic modes. On the right-hand side, however, there is a panel that when clicked slides out and displays information such as CPU frequency and temperature, memory speeds and voltage, as well as the core voltage and the voltage on the +12v CPU power input.

Overall the BIOS does its job and it does it without much pizazz, but it worked during our testing.

Software

Like MSI and ASUS, GIGABYTE is known for plying end users with various amounts of flashy, albeit useful, software. With the board focusing on audio, the AX370-Gaming 5 uses the Sound Blaster X-Fi 5 audio software utility. With the inclusion of the gamer-focused Killer E2500 networking chip, the package also bundles the latest iteration of the Killer Control Center application, which uses a new interface that is easier to use than the Windows 8 mess. Also, rather useful is the GIGABYTE App Center which allows a quicker route to all of the installed GIGABYTE apps.

The GIGABYTE App Center might have little function in itself, but it offers an easy pathway to other GIGABYTE related applications, as well as access to Windows related settings and includes Windows update, Windows Firewall and power options. The App Center also allows for easy navigation to a host of installed third-party apps as well including Google Chrome.

Completely designed for audio only, the Sound Blaster X-Fi 5 software offers a range of different customizable options and pre-sets for different types of audio from music (the default profile) to real-time strategy games and driving simulators.

The Killer Control Center allows users to set speed limits on their network, as well as limiting certain applications and programs in terms of priority, giving higher priority to elements such as VOIP over downloads. This is useful for multiple different data streams coming from one device. The interface is now relatively simple to navigate and it will give you instant access to your network configurations as IP address, MAC address and your current gateway are all visible. Users can configure six different levels of priority per application, with the default for all apps being 'Level 4'.

Board Features And Visual Inspection Test Bed and Setup
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  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - link

    Seems like Gigabyte have run out of ideas to differentiate their boards from competitors, so now they're just slapping random junk on. "Oooh I know a second audio codec!"

    Why are there so few boards that don't waste money on "premium" audio? As someone who uses a USB headset, this has no value for me. Plus if I actually wanted actual premium audio, I'd pick up a discrete audio card anyway.

    It really disappoints me that the motherboard industry has degenerated to the point of "great features/connectivity, great overclocking, no useless addons like LEDs: pick one".
    Reply
  • Reginald Peebottom - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - link

    I agree the dual audio seems to be a pretty useless feature for the vast majority of users along with the killer NIC - I’d rather an Intel nic or even a Realtek and save the money.

    There’s a lot of motherboards that don’t use premium audio or NICs, if that’s what you want, but stand alone audio cards are much more of a rarity now along with stand alone NICs for home use.

    Just get the B series chipsets.
    Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - link

    B350 has 4 fewer USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen1) ports, 2 fewer SATA ports, and 2 fewer PCIe 2.0 general-purpose lanes. It also misses out on SLI support and PCIe bifurcation. So not really an option.

    Seems like to get something decent I have to look at the HEDT market or "workstation" class boards, both of which carry a price premium for removing useless gimmicky crap that nobody wants or needs.
    Reply
  • khanov - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - link

    It should be mentioned that this board has major incompatibility issues with a variety of expansion cards. Most SATA/SAS cards do not work, whether in IT or RAID mode, doesn't matter. Other common cards that don't work are some USB3.0 and 3.1 cards and some NICs. Pretty much anything with an option rom is unlikely to work in this motherboard and so far Gigabyte have been unwilling to address the issue. Reply
  • SRB181 - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - link

    Actually, it's worked with every Host bus adapter I've thrown at it. From scsi to fibre channel.
    If it's UEFI compatible, just let it boot. It takes the same time to initialize as if it loaded bios.
    To use legacy cards, set the storage boot option control, or, other pci boot device option
    to "legacy only" and they will load the card bios
    Reply
  • JTDC - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - link

    Sorry to ask such an elementary question but can one of the two slots designated as being for graphics be used for other devices? Thanks. Reply
  • khanov - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - link

    Yes, you can use one slot for graphics with 8x lanes and the other for something else with up to 8x lanes. I just tested this with an intel NIC in the 2nd slot and it works. But you need to read my comment above. This board has compatibility issues with a lot of expansion cards, so depending on what you want to plug in, it might not work in any slot on this motherboard.

    I've confirmed that these cards DON'T work in this motherboard:
    LSI 8888ELP SATA/SAS RAID card
    3Ware 9650SE SATA RAID card
    ASMedia 1061 2x SATA 3 card
    Generic USB 3.0 2-port card

    I'm willing to be a lot of other SATA/SAS card don't work either, but I don't have any more to test with.
    Reply
  • SRB181 - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - link

    I don't think you have the bios set right. Have tested it with Adaptec ASR-5405z, ASR-6805t
    (both legacy and UEFI), both sas, IBM LPE 12002 Emulex Fiber channel and HP LPE 11002
    cards (First UEFI, second legacy), and Adaptec 29329 LPE scsi card (legacy).
    I ran a lot of these cards in the 1x slots with cable adapters to 16x and they worked fine
    (just slower). About this time, I realized I could use more PCI-e lanes. Bought a Gigabyte x399
    gaming 7 to use them with. Good luck
    Reply
  • khanov - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - link

    I'm glad to hear that at least some storage adapters work with this board. I can confirm that the ones I listed do not work. I did of course have the two PCI device options (storage and other) on Legacy Only, and I've tried every other combo as well. The option roms of those cards I listed don't load in this board.

    I have been in contact with Gigabyte over this issue for more than a month, but they are unable (unwilling?) to fix it. I even offered to send them a spare 3Ware 9650SE but they were not interested.

    They did confirm the issue with the ASMedia 1061 card and offered a partial fix that only works with motherboard SATA ports set to AHCI. I would say to anyone thinking of buying this board: Check with Gigabyte that your expansion cards will work first.
    Reply
  • rsandru - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - link

    I own this board too and while I like it a lot, I can confirm Gigabyte support is complete garbage. I've been trying to have them resolve an SLI related problem since May, and gave up after several useless ticket exchanges with their support team. Next board will most certainly not be a Gigabyte... Reply

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