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The case against buying Gigabyte Z390 motherboards

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pastrychef

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Reason #1
For those who intend on using IGPU only, many (most? all?) Gigabyte Z390 motherboards require framebuffer patching before the motherboard video out ports will work. These fixes may prove to be a bit daunting for beginners. It's just an issue that can be completely avoided by choosing a different brand of motherboard.

I don't know if this affects other Gigabyte 8th/9th gen motherboards.

I have not seen motherboards from other brands require these framebuffer patches.

For those who already have a Gigabyte motherboard, the fix is here:



Reason #2
The CNVi ports on Gigabyte motherboards will not work with macOS compatible Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cards
. This is especially important for ITX users who will need the lone PCI-e slot for a graphics card.

As far as I know the CNVi ports on motherboards from other brands do not have this limitation.



Reason #3
MSR is locked (aka CFG locked)
. This isn't exactly a deal breaker because macOS can run with MSR locked but Asus has MSR unlocked OOB...



Again, there are fixes for Reason #1 and #3. But by choosing motherboards from different brands, you won't have to go through the trouble of applying these fixes.

There's no workaround that will make the CNVi ports on Gigabyte motherboards work with macOS compatible Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cards. No other motherboard manufacturer has this limitation. Idk why Gigabyte screwed its users by doing this.

All three issues can be avoided by just choosing a different brand.
 

Jamesbond007

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Then should the Buyer's Guide on this site be updated to reflect the fact that Gigabyte Z390 boards have certain issues and those affected should choose a different brand?

Personally I have no problem with them since none of the issues you mentioned affect me.

How about motherboards based on other chipsets (H370 / B365 / B360 / H310)? Are they affected by the same issues?
 

pastrychef

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Then should the Buyer's Guide on this site be updated to reflect the fact that Gigabyte Z390 boards have certain issues and those affected should choose a different brand?

Personally I have no problem with them since none of the issues you mentioned affect me.

How about motherboards based on other chipsets (H370 / B365 / B360 / H310)? Are they affected by the same issues?

I have no say in what's listed on the buyer's guide...

I don't know about the other 9th gen motherboards from Gigabyte. I haven't encountered enough users who post about them...

I know for sure that if I were to put together an ITX system, Gigabyte would not be an option for me due to Reason #2. In my opinion, it's an absolute deal breaker.
 

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I would suggest that a warning/note be placed next to the Z390 I Gigabyte board. If using a dGPU with that, the only options left for Wifi/BT is two USB ports for Wifi and BT or alternately, one of the M.2 slots could be adapted. Not the best options. Many people don't have an ethernet jack in the wall or a router nearby to plug into.
Screen Shot 31.jpg
 
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UtterDisbelief

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Reason #1
For those who intend on using IGPU only, many (most? all?) Gigabyte Z390 motherboards require framebuffer patching before the motherboard video out ports will work. These fixes may prove to be a bit daunting for beginners. It's just an issue that can be completely avoided by choosing a different brand of motherboard.

I don't know if this affects other Gigabyte 8th/9th gen motherboards.

I have not seen motherboards from other brands require these framebuffer patches.

For those who already have a Gigabyte motherboard, the fix is here:



Reason #2
The CNVi ports on Gigabyte motherboards will not work with macOS compatible Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cards
. This is especially important for ITX users who will need the lone PCI-e slot for a graphics card.

As far as I know the CNVi ports on motherboards from other brands do not have this limitation.



Reason #3
MSR is locked (aka CFG locked)
. This isn't exactly a deal breaker because macOS can run with MSR locked but Asus has MSR unlocked OOB...



Again, there are fixes for Reason #1 and #3. But by choosing motherboards from different brands, you won't have to go through the trouble of applying these fixes.

There's no workaround that will make the CNVi ports on Gigabyte motherboards work with macOS compatible Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cards. No other motherboard manufacturer has this limitation. Idk why Gigabyte screwed its users by doing this.

All three issues can be avoided by just choosing a different brand.

I'm really no expert on iGPU use because I generally have a PCI-e card but ...

Out of interest while building my latest I did test the motherboard HDMI port while working through other problems.

It worked as expected - disable PCI Graphics in BIOS, set iGPU as Enabled etc. True I did no further work to get it fully accelerated but I definitely had usable video-out. :thumbup:

No idea why given the reported Gigabyte issues. :crazy: . May be a fluke for me.
 

pastrychef

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I'm really no expert on iGPU use because I generally have a PCI-e card but ...

Out of interest while building my latest I did test the motherboard HDMI port while working through other problems.

It worked as expected - disable PCI Graphics in BIOS, set iGPU as Enabled etc. True I did no further work to get it fully accelerated but I definitely had usable video-out. :thumbup:

No idea why given the reported Gigabyte issues. :crazy: . May be a fluke for me.

I think that motherboard video out will work until you have acceleration enable (aka the correct drivers are loaded).
 

Leesureone

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I have no say in what's listed on the buyer's guide...

I don't know about the other 9th gen motherboards from Gigabyte. I haven't encountered enough users who post about them...

I know for sure that if I were to put together an ITX system, Gigabyte would not be an option for me due to Reason #2. In my opinion, it's an absolute deal breaker.
Interesting. I just bought a Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro WiFi so I guess I am going to find out first hand o_O (still waiting for the processor and case to start the build). About a year ago I had bought an Asus ROG Strix Gaming i board which as it turned out also has an intel CNVi slot. I chose it after reading @ModMike guide "The Everything Works Z390 Gaming I", all the hard work was already done for me.

Like a lot of users I swapped out the intel card for a Dell DW1560 to complete my build and like the guide says everything worked. I found out later, @ModMike actually posted about it in a separate thread, it too has a CNVi slot. For whatever reason the M2 replacement wifi/ bluetooth card works in it though and I was hoping for the similar results.

I had read some guides for the Z390 Pro Wifi before but just did a quick search of the site and there are posts/ guides from users who successfully swapped out the intel card (using an adapter and airport card). Hoping for the same.
 

pastrychef

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Interesting. I just bought a Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro WiFi so I guess I am going to find out first hand o_O (still waiting for the processor and case to start the build). About a year ago I had bought an Asus ROG Strix Gaming i board which as it turned out also has an intel CNVi slot. I chose it after reading @ModMike guide "The Everything Works Z390 Gaming I", all the hard work was already done for me.

Like a lot of users I swapped out the intel card for a Dell DW1560 to complete my build and like the guide says everything worked. I found out later, @ModMike actually posted about it in a separate thread, it too has a CNVi slot. For whatever reason the M2 replacement wifi/ bluetooth card works in it though and I was hoping for the similar results.

I had read some guides for the Z390 Pro Wifi before but just did a quick search of the site and there are posts/ guides from users who successfully swapped out the intel card (using an adapter and airport card). Hoping for the same.

Yes, in the beginning, it was believed that macOS compatible Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cards didn't work on any Z390 motherboards. As time progressed and more people tested, it turned out that only Gigabyte has this limitation.

I've tried the CNVi port on my Gigabyte Z390 and the card isn't even seen by the operating systems. It's less of an issue for me since I have an mATX motherboard and a free PCI-e slot but if you are building an ITX system with a video card, your only option would be to use adaptor(s) and sacrifice one of the M key M.2 slots.

Edit:
Here's what I did when testing the CNVi port of my motherboard:
Installed Gigabyte CNVi Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card in to motherboard CNVi port.
Made sure everything is enabled in BIOS.
Tested in Windows 10 and it worked fine.
Pulled CNVi card.
Plugged in DW1560. All mention of Wi-Fi disappeared from BIOS. macOS didn't even see the card.
Pulled DW1560.
Plugged in DW1830. All mention of Wi-Fi disappeared from BIOS. macOS didn't even see the card.
Pulled DW1830.
 
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Leesureone

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Yes, in the beginning, it was believed that macOS compatible Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cards didn't work on any Z390 motherboards. As time progressed and more people tested, it turned out that only Gigabyte has this limitation.

I've tried the CNVi port on my Gigabyte Z390 and the card isn't even seen by the operating systems. It's less of an issue for me since I have an mATX motherboard and a free PCI-e slot but if you are building an ITX system with a video card, your only option would be to use adaptor(s) and sacrifice one of the M key M.2 slots.

Edit:
Here's what I did when testing the CNVi port of my motherboard:
Installed Gigabyte CNVi Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card in to motherboard CNVi port.
Made sure everything is enabled in BIOS.
Tested in Windows 10 and it worked fine.
Pulled CNVi card.
Plugged in DW1560. All mention of Wi-Fi disappeared from BIOS. macOS didn't even see the card.
Pulled DW1560.
Plugged in DW1830. All mention of Wi-Fi disappeared from BIOS. macOS didn't even see the card.
Pulled DW1830.
Seems like a thorough job of vetting results as usual Chef. I’m thinking hard now about returning this board and going 570 or back to ASUS gaming I. I wasn't planning on using a graphics card in this build but I’d like to have that option be available and not have to give up wireless.
 

pastrychef

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Seems like a thorough job of vetting results as usual Chef. I’m thinking hard now about returning this board and going 570 or back to ASUS gaming I. I wasn't planning on using a graphics card in this build but I’d like to have that option be available and not have to give up wireless.

Yeah. It was a royal PITA to test those cards because the CNVi port on my motherboard is under my video card... The difficulty in pulling my video card is amplified due to the extremely large CPU heatsink that I use... I couldn't test with IGPU because of Reason #1 from post #1... Lol
 
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