The GIGABYTE H370N-WiFi

One of the motherboards we were sampled early was the GIGABYTE H370N-WiFi. This is GIGABYTE's latest mini-ITX motherboard, and in this case using the H370 chipset - traditionally GIGABYTE's H-series mini-ITX boards implement additional features, such as HDMI 2.0, and in this case, Wi-Fi.

The initial viewing of the board is one implemented more in function than overall style. The four-phase power delivery has a heatsink, the CPU is powered by an 8-pin 12V header, and the full length PCIe slot is shielded. GIGABYTE has two full-length DDR4 slots on this model, using double sided latches, and there are four SATA ports on the right hand side of the board out of a possible six that the chipset supports.

For storage, we get an M.2 2280 slot that sits above the chipset heatsink on the front, and another on the rear:

The two key parts on this motherboard that are going to be a little interesting start with the HDMI 2.0 implementation.

Here GIGABYTE is using the MegaChips MCDP2800 chip as an LSPCon to enable HDMI 2.0 from the processor. This is fairly common for HDMI 2.0, although due to the added LSPCon cost, we still only see it on a few motherboards - mostly GIGABYTE boards.

The other thing to note will be the Wi-Fi implementation. As the H370 chipset will support a native wireless solution, it all comes down to which companion RF model GIGABYTE has chosen. A quick look in the device manager shows this:

Here Intel is using the AC-9560, which is Intel's 2x2 802.11ac Wave 2 (160 MHz) solution - the high cost one.

Another feature on the new motherboards will be the USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) support. Here we see GIGABYTE not bothering with the fastest USB 3.1 implementation - all the ports here are USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) standard - even the port being enabled via a Type-C redriver. This means that this board could be seen as just a refresh of the 200-series version, with only the chipset changed to support the new processors. The motherboard does not have additional front panel headers for 10 Gbps either, meaning that this board uses exactly zero of the four that the chipset supports.

Elsewere on the board we spot the dual NICs, powered by Intel I219-V and Intel I211-AT controllers.

 

The audio, despite being a 3-plug stack, is powered by the Realtek ALC1220 codec.

In our box with the board, aside from the usual CD/manual/IO shield, we also got two SATA cables and a pair of Wi-Fi antenna. Nothing overly complex.

New Optane Branding: Core i9+, Core i7+, Core i5+ Intel Spring 2018 Slide Deck
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  • HStewart - Saturday, April 07, 2018 - link

    A lot of this dependent on how the OS is written and how designed of system. Having two different systems is typically better than a single system - because even though systems has advance in number of cores. The major limiting factor is IO on systems

    You can always get by with one PC but you will still be single threaded with IO for example disk storage. Yes applications can be multithread in designed but when it finally goes to write it to storage - the problem is that area must be handle serially eventually. Similar aspects happen in video - but todays video maybe handle some what especially if more than one monitor is involved.
    Reply
  • Nozuka - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    wow their lineup is such a mess now... Reply
  • close - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    And the mess doesn't stop there:
    "It is worth noting that the 35W TDP value is only valid when the CPU is at its base frequency, which in this case is 2.4 GHz"

    So... a meaningless figure. Might as well go with "0W TDP... but only valid when completely off".
    Reply
  • euskalzabe - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Yup! Reply
  • goatfajitas - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Yeah, that chart on page 1 says it all. The 8th gen is a huge mess. Fortunately for Intel, most of their customers only know "i7 = best" and buy it anyhow. Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    I know all about that. Last year we bought a round of thin and light laptops where the users were stamping their feet and insisting they needed i7's. At first I tried hard to explain to them that in the 7th gen mobile "U" cpu's there was practically no difference (and definitely no difference they would notice) between an i7U and an i5U. We bought the i5's and they were P.O'd but they wouldn't have been happy no matter what we gave them. I was very sorely tempted to order a set of Intel i7 Inside stickers to put on them - you can actually buy them on Amazon:) Reply
  • Icehawk - Thursday, April 05, 2018 - link

    My manager just didn’t understand why I said buying an i7 laptop doesn’t solve our performance problems - we aren’t ordering the 4 core model, not sure why our vendor hasn’t tried to upsell at least. Yes, I want some fries with that dammit. Reply
  • Chaitanya - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Stupid marketing of i7+ , what's next brainfart from this marketing team? Reply
  • goatfajitas - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Actually the issues were process related and continued delays on 10nm parts... The marketing is a BS reaction to try and sell more parts and "slap some lipstick on that pig". Most of their customers don't know or care about the differences, they just want the current "i5" or "i7" part and buy it. Reply
  • nukunukoo - Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - link

    Here's to hoping for a surprise 6-core, 32GB Macbook Pro this year... Reply

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