Today we evaluated one of GIGABYTE’s B550 line-ups. The GIGABYTE B550 AORUS ELITE. This is one of GIGABYTE’s B550 gaming boards for the enthusiast or gamer. It’s a full ATX motherboard and retails for $159.99 at the time of this review. This is a feature-rich board, thanks to AMD’s B550 chipset and with the newest BIOS release supports the new Ryzen 5000 series processors. Being a sub-$200 motherboard, it is a price-friendly enthusiast gaming motherboard with a fantastic feature-rich BIOS along with support for Zen 2 and Zen 3 processors. Packed with the new PCI-Express 4.0, USB 3.2 Gen2 speeds, and 2.5GBE LAN, it will make a great gaming platform.
Motherboard Goals Continued
As we unboxed and started testing this motherboard, we were pleased with the looks and style GIGABYTE put into making an enthusiast gaming motherboard. Being sleek in style and a full ATX it will look great in any tempered glass enclosure. It also sports some very large heatsinks on and around the VRMs allowing the user to game worry-free for many hours without the worry of overheating the VRMs and throttling the CPU down.
This motherboard provides you with the AMD B550 chipset features and runs the AMD Zen 2 and Zen 3 processors and also comes complete with PCI-Express 4.0. With the new PCIe 4.0 it also supports the lightning-fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs and PCIe 4.0 GPUs. If you have a need to transfer large data across drives, then the PCI-Express 4.0 will be right up your alley. With the PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD games should load a lot faster and allow for a much better gaming experience for under $200.
This board would be a good decision for a business application. With the new PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD drive capability, a business could implement a 2 TB drive and this board for a speedy small business server or workstation. Supporting the Zen 2 and Zen 3 processors, the selection is large for any small business budget. One can even implement one of AMD’s many APU allowing the business to use the processor for their video output.
We were able to achieve a solid 4.450 GHz overclock that ran stable and never dropped during our CPU intensive benchmark. Meaning that the large heatsinks GIGABYTE implemented on and around the VRMs are doing a good job of keeping them puppies cool. We would have liked to see a higher stable overclock, but at 4.450 GH/z over the stock 3.6GHz, it isn’t too shabby gain for enthusiasts and gamer alike.
GIGABYTE also included 5 Hybrid fan headers along with 6 temperature sensors to constantly keep an eye on one’s overclock temps. For gamers that like to overclock and show off their system, it includes RGB headers both on the top and bottom edges of the motherboard.
If you are an enthusiast or gamer that uses a lot of external peripherals then this board would be a good fit. It has 5 USB 3.2 Gen2 ports along with a specialized “Q-Flash” USB port that allows the user to flash the BIOS without even having a processor plugged into the motherboard.
The board also has 1 HDMI port and 1 Display port if the user is wanting to keep a budget system and using one of AMD’s many APU processors.
Discussing the fan headers again, we found that GIGABYTE has good placement of their 5 Hybrid fan headers that allow for many different fan arrangements. It will allow for the rear, front, and top fan placements and also includes 2 sets of RGB headers to allow for the user to have some personalized bling in their system. With these 5 Hybrid fan headers, the user can control the fan speeds and get just the right combination to keep the system cool even under overclocked conditions.
We would have liked to see more SATA connections on this board as it only includes 4 connectors. There are 2 SATA connectors on the front side and 2 connectors on the bottom. We kind of found this a little odd on the placement and the fact of only having 4 SATA connectors. We tested both straight and right-angled cables and both seemed to fit fine and either should be a good fitment for the user.
With the GIGABYTE B550 AORUS ELITE being a sub-$200 enthusiast and gaming board and being a feature-rich AMD B550 chipset motherboard, many will find it a good choice for a fairly reasonable budget system. It supports the Zen 2 and Zen 3 processors, supports the new PCI-Express 4.0 that allows for PCIe 4 NVMe SSD’s, 5 Hybrid fan headers, and 2 full sets of RGB headers. It also supports up to 128 Gigs of ram which will be plenty for even the hard-core gamers.
With a price tag of $159.99 it isn’t the cheapest motherboard on the market but it’s far from the most expensive as well. We feel for the price range, it includes a great number of features far and above what AMD offers on the B550 chipset allowing the user to customize their system in many different ways.
Yes, we found it to have a small few shortcomings, but all in all, it’s a pretty decent motherboard that most enthusiasts and gamers will enjoy for years to come.