Gigabyte’s X299 Aorus Gaming motherboard only supports Kaby Lake-X

From top to bottom, all of Intel's Core X-series processors use the same LGA 2066 socket, so in theory you could start your high-end desktop (HEDT) build with a relatively affordable Kaby Lake-X chip and upgrade to beefier Skylake-X CPU down the line. In practice, it won't always be that straightforward, as evidenced by Gigabyte's X299 Aorus Gaming motherboard—apparently it won't play nice with Skylake-X.

Right there on the motherboard's product page in big, bold letters at the top, Gigabyte states in no uncertain terms, "Supports Intel Core i7-7740X and Core i5-7640X (4 cores) processor only." Clicking on the Support tab and expanding the CPU support list reveals the same thing.

By limiting support to just two processors, Gigabyte is essentially cutting off the upgrade path to a higher end CPU with a big roadblock. Perhaps a future BIOS update could knock it down, but anyone eyeing up this board should assume that it's for a one-off build.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you approach your build. If you're the type who typically upgrades your CPU and motherboard at the same time, then this is no big deal.

As far as features go, this is otherwise a fleshed out motherboard, albeit with four DDR4 DIMM slots (supporting up to 64GB of DDR4-4133 RAM) rather than eight (Kaby Lake-X only supports dual-channel memory configurations). It has three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and two PCIe x1 slots, and can accommodate two M.2 NVMe or SATA SSDs and up to eight SATA 6Gbps drives.

The rear I/O panel contains the following connectors: 

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red)
  • 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (5Gbps)
  • 1 x RJ-45 port (GbE LAN)
  • 6 x audio jacks

There are also headers for additional USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 2.0 ports.

Other amenities include Intel Optane Memory support, RGB lighting, a dual BIOS configuration in case something goes terribly wrong, and an onboard amplifier for headphones.

Pricing information is not available at this time. That's a shame because it's arguably the most important detail here, considering this motherboard only supports two processors.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).