GIGABYTE GA-AB350 Gaming 3 Review

👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅26-06-17
Conclusion
The GIGABYTE AB350-Gaming 3 helps make the case for why you shouldn't rule out building a competent gaming system on a B350 chipset motherboard. It provides all but one (a single USB 2.0) of the natively afforded USB ports directly/expandable, which is enough to suit most peoples needs, though we would have liked to have seen the full 14 native USB ports to have been made accessible, to which some would have liked to have seen a USB Type C port. Another attractive aspect of this motherboard is the flexible storage options, some people might require 6x SATA ports, and have no real need for an M.2 drive, and despite the speed advantage of an M.2 PCIe SSD, a SATA SSD still provides great performance, and better Price-Per-Gigabyte.



Amongst its features, we are happy to see the Dual BIOS which is normally a God-send for those that update their BIOS regularly, though we would liked to have seen switches/jumpers enabling manual selection. For some, the RGB LED lighting could be a primary attraction, something that is supported by the inclusion of the RGBW LED header extension cable. As LED lighting can be a love/hate for many people, there is nothing to fear as the LED lighting can be switched off. Despite that, as this motherboard does feature RGB lighting, it would have been more appealing to have a more neutral colour theme rather than the use of red PCIe and memory slots.

There is a lot to like about the GIGABYTE AB350-Gaming 3 and it makes an interesting alternative to the similarly priced MSI TOMAHAWK B350. It is supported by a huge list of dedicated software useful for gaming and general home use alike, though GIGABYTE has opted to stick with supplying default Realtek audio drivers as opposed to the more comprehensive Nahimic 2 software supplied by MSI. Arguably these features fade into obscurity in regards to outright performance.

The bottom line is, GIGABYTE have certainly ticked many boxes with the AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard, making it a great choice that is well worth your consideration. In fact, if SLI is of no concern, it could even be a wiser choice when compared to some of the cheaper X370 options available.

The AB350-Gaming 3 is a strong, affordable motherboard capable of creating an attractive, high-performance gaming machine.

Pros
+ Solid performance
+ M.2 socket 32 Gb/s (up to 110mm)
+ Surround RGB Lighting + Customisable LED Overlay
+ 2x RGB LED headers (1x AMD RGB Fan header, 1x additional LED header + included LED strip extension cable)
+ Dual BIOS
+ 'Ultra Durable' Metal Shielded PCIe slots + Anti-sulfur resistors
+ 2x USB 3.1 Gen2
+ Realtek ALC 1220
+ DAC UP USB with adjustable voltage (1x Rear, 2x front)
+ 2x 2A/24W fan/pump headers

Mediocre
+- Neutral colouring would be preferred
+- No USB Type C port
+- non-standard ATX size

Cons
- Only allows for CPU Voltage offset in BIOS
- Would have preferred an Intel LAN solution

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