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Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 7 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte’s UEFI with the X299 series matches the same style introduced with the Z270 chipset. It’s quite a significant change over previous generations of Gigabyte motherboards (Z170, X99) but has now settled to become the new norm for the company. A reflective thought of the day is the fact Gigabyte has actually reduced its UEFI resolution from 1920×1080 to 1024×768 as time has gone on, many Gigabyte Z97 motherboards boasted full HD.

There is a typical Easy Mode page to start which gives frequently accessed options like XMP, Boot Order and various monitoring statistics. Entering into the classic mode (F2) changes the layout to give a wider array of options arranged via a horizontal tabbed structure with nested tabs within each section.

A design quirk with Gigabyte’s UEFI is the fact many BIOS screens have significant amounts of blank space and the user has to point the mouse to the right or bottom of the screen to reveal additional information in the blank space. Convention is that this kind of information is usually permanently displayed, and for good reason – because it’s not intuitive to have to retrieve it via a mouse hover-over.

 

 

M.I.T, Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker, is the section of the Gigabyte UEFI where the performance tuning parameters are found. In here you will find power, voltage, turbo and frequency settings for the CPU, DRAM and chipset.

The setup is functionally fine but the fact the user has to keep tabbing back and forth between the various menus of the M.I.T makes the tweaking process a little tiresome, though KitGuru’s Luke Hill prefers this segmented and focused design so clearly there is an element of personal preference at play.

Gigabyte should still consider a more user-friendly layout that involves less menu management. This could be done by simply presenting more options on each main tab with less nested sub-menus.

The fact you have to hover over the help window on the right, that explains the user options for each parameter, takes some getting used to because it is convention that this permanently displays in all UEFI environments from major vendors.

The Gigabyte Q-Flash BIOS update utility sits in its own UEFI environment, separate from the main UEFI, and is a rather tidy implementation. One of the novel aspects of it is an ability to choose between two different UEFI flash modes – one which updates the Intel ME and one which doesn’t (Intact and Fast, respectively).

Gigabyte’s Smart Fan 5 utility is a visual GUI that can be brought up through the M.I.T tab. From within here you can set predefined fan speed profiles or create your own, set the temperature hysteresis between fan speed changes and pick a temperature input for the fan curve to follow.

System tab contains only BIOS version information, language, time and date settings.

The BIOS tab delivers the main boot options and should probably be renamed to Boot, or something similar.

Peripherals and Chipset tabs contain all options pertaining to other hardware on the motherboard that isn’t the CPU or DRAM. USB, NVMe, LAN, Audio, LED, PCIe bandwidth sharing, SATA and a number of miscellaneous troubleshooting and compatibility settings are found in these two tabs.

The Power tab has some obscure power settings that might be better integrated into one of the other sections. Save and Exit contains boot override settings, which should probably be integrated into the BIOS tab, and the load and save function for BIOS settings. We also noticed there seemed to be no summary of changes made in the session upon exit, which isn’t particularly user-friendly.

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