- About the new Intel chipsets and AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WIFI...
- Motherboard Design
- Motherboard Design (Contd...)
- Power Delivery, Heatsink Design BIOS and Layout Overview
- How its tested??
- PCMark 8 and Memory Profile benchmark
- SATA Performance Testing
- Boot Load Timings
- Transfer Test
- Online Purchase Links
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.
|DDR4 Overclocking / XMP Support||Yes||No||No||No|
|PCI Express* 3.0 Configuration Support||1×16|
|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|
|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.
(Please refer “CPU Support List” for more information.)
|Intel B360 Express Chipset|
(Please refer “Memory Support List” for more information.)
|Integrated Graphics Processor-Intel® HD Graphics support:|
Maximum shared-memory of 1 GB
Internal I/O Connectors
Back Panel Connectors
|iTE®I/O Controller Chip|
* Whether the fan (pump) speed control function is supported will depend on the fan (pump) you install.
* Available applications in APP Center may vary by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also vary depending on motherboard specifications.
|Support for Windows 10 64-bit|
|ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 22.5cm|
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.