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AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WIFI Motherboard Review

  1. About the new Intel chipsets and AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WIFI…
  2. Motherboard Design
  3. Motherboard Design (Contd…)
  4. Power Delivery, Heatsink Design BIOS and Layout Overview
  5. How its tested??
  6. PCMark 8 and Memory Profile benchmark
  7. SATA Performance Testing
  8. Boot Load Timings
  9. Transfer Test
  10. Conclusion
  11. Online Purchase Links
  12. View All

Disclosure: The B360 Gaming 3 WIFI motherboard and the Core i3 8350K is loaned by AORUS

Let’s talk about the new Intel chipsets- B360 and the H370

Finally, Intel releases lower-budget chipsets for the 8th generation Coffee Lake CPUs. I am reviewing the B360 chipset motherboard from AORUS, but it makes sense to know what H370 and B360 provide in comparison with Z370. It will be more interesting to see the difference in purchase decisions as AMD Ryzen has its chipset motherboards available at good pricing with overclocking features on the B350 chipset.

Technically, you may compare the AMD A320 with the Intel B360. But it shares similarities with the AMD B350 chipset naming. Since motherboard manufacturers go over the top with gaming labelled motherboards, Intel B360 motherboards with such feature sets should be more accessible to the mass.

There are some obvious downgrades- lesser PCIe lanes, USB ports, M.2 ports for storage. But the Intel H370 and B360 chipsets have two feature sets- native USB 3.1 Gen 2 support and CNVi. Strange to see this isn’t implemented on the Z370 chipset, but it is nice to see something additional for a reasonably accessible choice. USB 3.1 Gen 2 native support ensures future-ready support, seeing that eventually many devices including smartphones will go towards Type C.

About the CNVi…

CNVi is an exciting addition. Typically, an M.2 WiFi card will be made by third-party manufacturers, or buy Intel bundled with some motherboard manufacturers. A CNVi implementation changes that as some of its functions are on the motherboard chipset. Going by the theoretical numbers, the CNVi Wireless Wave2 802.11 ac 2×2 wireless adapters provide up to 1733 Mbps data rate and supports MU-MIMO. As of now, it is unclear if CNVi compatible modules will be cheaper. It does include Bluetooth 5.0 function, therefore giving an all-rounder native support with many wireless techs, including IoT. This is more incredible as this is included in the B360 chipset.

There are variants in CNVi wireless adapters. Intel has three of them. The Wireless AC-9461 and 9462 do not support MU-MIMO and Wave 2 speeds. But you do get standard 802.11 AC speeds whose theoretical data rates are up to Mbps. The CNVi module that does include both is the Intel Wireless-AC 9560.

The AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WiFI comes with the Intel WiFi-AC 9560 CNVi module, that supports Wave 2 speeds with 2×2 AC, BT 5.0 and MU-MIMO.

Chipset Comparison

Z370
H370
B360
 H310
DDR4 Overclocking / XMP Support Yes No No No
PCI Express* 3.0 Configuration Support 1×16
2×8
1×8+2×4
1x 16 1x 16 1x 16
Independent Display Ports / Pipes Support 3/3 3/3 3/3 3/2
Memory Channels / DIMMs per Channel 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/1
Processor Overclocking Yes No No No
Integrated Intel® Wireless-AC Support (CNVi) No Yes Yes Yes
Intel® Optane™ Memory Support Yes Yes Yes No
Maximum High Speed I/O Lanes 30 30 24 14
Total USB Ports (Maximum USB 3.1) 14 (10) 14 (8) 12 (6) 10 (4)
Maximum SATA 3.0 Ports (6 Gb/s) 6 6 6 4
Maximum PCIe 3.0 Lanes 24 20 12 6 (2.0)
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology Yes Yes Yes No
Maximum Intel RST for PCIe storage Ports (x2 M.2 or x4 M.2) 3 2 1 0
Intel® RST PCIe RAID 0, 1, 5 Yes Yes No No
Intel® RST SATA RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 Yes Yes No No
Intel® RST for CPU-attached Intel PCIe Storage Yes No No No

BUT NO OVERCLOCKING!

Unlike the top two Ryzen chipsets, there is an absence of CPU and memory overclocking in its H370 and B360 chipsets. Intel does have some exclusive features, such as the CNVi native support, Optane memory and IRST.

The B360 chipset otherwise looks pretty neat for many users who wouldn’t get into overclocking, but need the feature set that mid-end chipsets would offer. It does have all six SATA III ports, adequate USB 3.0 ports and 3.1 support. For such users, a single M.2 port for primary storage provides satisfaction and therefore its future ready. The memory frequency support of up to 2666 MHz depends on the CPU. Since I have the Core i3 8350K, it has up to 2400 MHz memory support.

You can fiddle with the multiplier and the memory’s timing. But that’s it.

About the AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WIFI…

Looking at the native features Intel provided, it enables its partners to make feature-rich motherboards with a better accessible pricing than the Intel Z370 counterparts. This is needed as Intel will have to compete with AMD effectively in some form. Armed with the new features, AORUS B360 Gaming 3 Wifi takes advantage while maintaining a conservative appearance.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging is nicely done. All the contents are kept below with the WiFi module and its antennas as special add-ons. It mentions all the features and additions at its back. It does mention specification of the motherboard.

AORUS does provide a front panel header shell to make it easier to install all the front panel wires. I am a little disappointed to see a norm to have a couple of SATA cables. It wasn’t too long when we got all six SATA cables for all six Native SATA ports. The M.2 wireless module, the antennas and its required screw+ standoff and packed separately.

Specifications

 CPU
  • Support for 8th Generation Intel® Core i7 processors/Intel Core i5 processors/ Intel® Core i3 processors/ Intel Pentium processors/ Intel® Celeron processors in the LGA1151 package
  • L3 cache varies with CPU

(Please refer “CPU Support List” for more information.)

Chipset
Intel B360 Express Chipset
Memory
  • 4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory
  • Dual channel memory architecture Support for DDR4 2666/2400/2133 MHz memory modules
  • Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
  • Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules
  • Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules* To support 2666 MHz or XMP memory, you must install the 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5 processor.

(Please refer “Memory Support List” for more information.)

Onboard Graphics
Integrated Graphics Processor-Intel® HD Graphics support:

  • 1x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200 @ 60 Hz
    * The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
  • 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2160 @ 30 Hz
    * Support for HDMI 1.4 version and HDCP 2.2.

Maximum shared-memory of 1 GB

Audio
  • Realtek® ALC892 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
  • Intel® GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
    * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
    * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_2/PCIEX1_3 slots. The PCIEX4 slot operates at up to x2 mode when the PCIEX1_2 or PCIEX1_3 slot is populated.
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x1 (PCIEX1_3)
  • 2 x PCI Express x1 slots (PCIEX1_1, PCIEX1_2)
    (All of the PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 1 connector for an Intel® CNVi wireless module only (CNVI)
    * B360 AORUS GAMING 3 WIFI includes the GC-CI22M_A CNVi wireless module.
    * The CNVi connector shares bandwidth with the USB 2.0/1.1 port on the back panel (the one below the LAN port). When a Wi-Fi module is populated in the CNVi connector, the USB 2.0/1.1 port becomes unavailable.
 Storage
Chipset:

  • 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2A_32G)
  • 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 SATA and PCIe x2 SSD support) (M2P_16G)
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
    * Refer to “1-7 Internal Connectors,” for the installation notices for the M.2 and SATA connectors.Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
 Multi-Graphics Technology
  • Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire™ and 2-Way AMD CrossFire™ technologies
USB
Chipset:

  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red) on the back panel
  • 1 x USB Type-C™ port on the back panel, with USB 3.1 Gen 1 support
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
  • 6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
  • 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 connectors1 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
Back Panel Connectors
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  • 1 x DVI-D port
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red)
  • 1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 1 support
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 6 x audio jacks
I/O Controller
 iTE®I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring
  • Voltage detection
  • Temperature detection
  • Fan speed detection
  • Water cooling flow rate detection
  • Overheating warning
  • Fan fail warning
  • Fan speed control

* Whether the fan (pump) speed control function is supported will depend on the fan (pump) you install.

BIOS
  •  2x 128 Mbit flash
  • Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
  • Support for DualBIOS™
  • PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
Unique Features
  •  Support for APP Center

* Available applications in APP Center may vary by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also vary depending on motherboard specifications.

  • 3D OSD
  • @BIOS
  • AutoGreen
  • Cloud Station
  • EasyTune
  • Fast Boot
  • Game Boost
  • ON/OFF Charge
  • Platform Power Management
  • RGB Fusion
  • Smart Backup
  • Smart Keyboard
  • Smart TimeLock
  • Smart HUD
  • System Information Viewer
  • USB Blocker
  • USB DAC-UP 2
  • V-Tuner
  • Support for Q-Flash
  • Support for Xpress Install
 Bundle Software
  • Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
  • cFosSpeed
 Operating System
 Support for Windows 10 64-bit
 Form Factor
 ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 22.5cm

Specification Overview

Do note the difference in its ATX form factor measurement. While the standard layouts are 33.5 cm x 24.4 cm, this is has a shorter length of 22.5 cms. This isn’t the first motherboard to do as you can find a handful of them online, dating back to AMD 970 chipset era. Unfortunately, most PC cases do not have that one mounting hole in its midsection.

The notable point of this motherboard is the inclusion of USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type A and C port, marked in red. As you would expect, eventually newer tech trickles down to value-class chipset motherboards. You’ll also notice the absence of any RAID assist utility since Intel B360 chipset does not support RAID.

Since this chipset supports it, the AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WiFi has bundled with a CNVi wireless module This is nice to see in a non-enthusiast labelled chipset as in reality a lot of people wouldn’t splurge on motherboards for gaming, but wouldn’t mind spending a bit more on added features.

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