GIGABYTE Joins AM4 Mini-ITX Club with GA-AB350N-Gaming Wi-Fi Motherboardby Anton Shilov on July 3, 2017 11:30 AM EST
- Posted in
- Mini ITX
GIGABYTE has announced its first Mini-ITX motherboard for AMD’s AM4 processors. The GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI (or simply AB350N-Gaming) Mini-ITX is based on AMD’s ‘performance-class’ B350 chipset and provides modern features like USB 3.1 Gen 2, support for PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs, Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity and even LED lights and controls. In addition, the motherboard can support large CPU coolers such as AMD’s Wraith Max.
The GIGABYTE GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI runs AMD’s ‘performance’ B350 chipset that is very similar to the flagship X370, but has some minor differences for market segmentation. B350 still fully supports overclocking of CPUs with an unlocked multiplier, but it should be noted that it cannot take advantage of the XFR feature of the Ryzen X processors.
Given the fact that the AB350N-Gaming WIFI is a Mini-ITX motherboard, the vast majority of its owners are not going to need a PCIe 3.0 x1 slot for add-in-boards, whereas the PCIe 3.0 x16 for a graphics card is handled by the CPU. DRAM space is limited, so one DIMM per channel here.
Speaking of overclocking and CPU support in general, the motherboard comes with an advanced all-digital six-phase VRM that uses an International Rectifier controller, IR PowIRstage ICs and solid-state capacitors. The VRM can support all existing AMD Ryzen processors as well as AM4 APUs and has reportedly been designed to have headroom for overclocking. Furthermore, the GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI comes with 4-pin hybrid fan headers that are specified to liquid cooling systems. As for DRAM, GIGABYTE claims that the motherboard supports up to 32 GB of ECC or non-ECC memory running at up to 3200 MT/s when overclocked.
|GIGABYTE's Mini-ITX Motherboard for AMD Ryzen|
|CPU Support||CPUs in AM4 form-factor
AMD Ryzen and AMD A-series APUs
|Graphics||PCIe 3.0 x16|
|Memory||Two DDR4 DIMM slots|
|Ethernet||Realtek 8111 GbE controller|
|Display Outputs||1 × HDMI 1.4 for APUs
1 × DisplayPort 1.2 for APUs
|Storage||4 × SATA 6 Gbps
1 × M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
7.1 channel audio
|USB||4 × USB 3.0 Type-A (+ 2 through internal header)
2 × USB 3.1 Type-A
2 × USB 2.0 (+ 2 through internal header)
|Other I/O||802.11ac Wi-Fi 1x1 (Intel AC 3160)
|MSRP||$150 ~ $160|
Like many other Mini-ITX motherboards, the GIGABYTE GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI is equipped with one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, one M.2 slot for PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA SSDs, as well as four SATA ports. When it comes to networking, the mainboard comes with a GbE port enabled by a Realtek controller (with cFosSpeed network traffic management app that aims to reduce network latency) as well as an 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2 module from Intel. As for other I/O, everything seems to be pretty typical here: the motherboard has two display outputs (DP 1.2, HDMI 1.4), two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 headers, two USB 3.1 connectors (both Type-A) as well as a 7.1-channel audio sub-system powered by the Realtek ALC1220 codec. Finally, for users to make things look 'beautiful', the Mini-ITX AM4 mainboard has six RGB LEDs, as well as two 5-pin onboard headers for other RGB/UV LED strips.
GIGABYTE’s GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI is the fifth Mini-ITX motherboard in the industry that supports AMD Ryzen processors. The product will compete against ASRock’s X370 Gaming ITX/ac (as well as its B350-based brother) as well as Biostar’s Racing X370GTN and Racing B350GTN. Biostar’s motherboards do not have Wi-Fi (but have a DVI-D output), but GIGABYTE’s product is the only one that lacks USB-C (but has two USB 3.1 Type-A connectors). In the end, users are going to have five options (with their own strong and weak sides) to choose from and the only question is their actual availability timeframe because right now none are available.
GIGABYTE did not announce pricing or arrival date for its AB350N-Gaming WIFI motherboard. Common logic tells me that an AMD B350-based motherboard should cost less than an AMD X370-powered platform, but in reality, pricing will depend on supply, demand and willingness of resellers to capitalize on a nearly exclusive product. Ian says that in a perfect world, we'll have a round-up of said boards. Timeframe unknown.
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Sergio526 - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - linkI disagree. This board will work with the upcoming Raven Ridge APUs that feature Vega graphics (and the already mentioned Bristol Ridge which has competent gaming capabilities). I've always considered "Gaming" to mean that it will play games fine at at least medium settings. As of the last couple of years, the highest end Intel Iris based chips meet that criteria. Enthusiast is the top end of the consumer equipment (or prosumer not requiring ECC memory). Running 4K on ultra settings while encoding and streaming at the same time.
robco - Monday, July 3, 2017 - linkThat's a nice board. If only I could actually buy a gaming video card...
ToTTenTranz - Monday, July 3, 2017 - linkWhy are none of these motherboards coming with HDMI 2.0?
Rather, what's the point in not including HDMI 2.0, given the licensing price seems to be exactly the same and Raven Ridge APUs *should* support HDCP2.2 encryption?
Mr Perfect - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - linkMaybe it's limited by the APU? At the moment, it's only the A series APUs that are out and those only support 1.4a. http://www.amd.com/en-us/products/processors/deskt...
Maybe when a Zen APU gets dropped in the board it can utilize 2?
Alistair - Monday, July 3, 2017 - linkCreate one with 2 x M.2 slots and I'm sold ;)
LogitechFan - Monday, July 3, 2017 - linkNot possible with crapAMD chipsets. Even if they do something like Asus Z270i Strix, one M.2 port will not be tubo speed and the other one is not (look at all X370 ATX boards, same limitation on all of them with 2xM.2, which are only a few and all are from ASSrock). Thus if you want to run them in raid 1 for instance, you will need to forget about turbo speeds and just have it at the slower speed of the second port. Typical crapAMD with its B-grade garbage for affordable prices. The only thing they are good for is making a splash.... and then you wait and buy a new intel :D
barleyguy - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - link:rolls eyes:
barleyguy - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - linkB350 supports XFR, AFAIK. This is the first article I've ever seen saying otherwise, and I have seen my 1500x run at 3.9 Ghz on a B350 board without manual overclocking.
Valantar - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - linkThere seems to (still!?) be a lot of confusion about XFR - people saying it only works on X SKUs or X370, neither of which are true.
Ian Cutress - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - linkIf you look at the slide linked to in the piece:
Taken from AMD's press deck.
Additional: OK, now I've reread it. It says that the X370 doubles the range of XFR. I'll update the post.