Last year, AMD released the Ryzen 3000 series desktop processors in one of the most monumental hardware launches of the modern era. This final step completed the Red brand's ascent back into the forefront of the desktop processor market that began with the launch of the first generation of Ryzen CPUs.
With the Ryzen 3000 launch came the AMD X570 chipset. Featuring PCIe 4.0 support, X570 was an impressive leap from generations past. It was also hot, with motherboards often including chipset cooling fans, and, more significantly, expensive. The high cost of the chipset increased the average cost of X570 motherboards considerably over previous generations.
While AMD has done a great job of maintaining motherboard compatibility with new generation processors, none of the previous-generation AM4 motherboards featured official PCIe 4.0 support, not even from the storage and PCIe controlled by PCIe 4.0 compatible CPUs. Enter B550, the more value-oriented little brother of X570. While the B550 chipset is PCIe 3.0 only, B550 motherboards support PCIe 4.0 from the CPU to the primary PCIe slot as well as the primary M.2 slot (dependent on a PCIe 4.0 ready CPU).
The Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro features a 12+2 power stage design utilizing 50 A stages from Vishay Semiconductor. BIOS flashback makes an appearance in the form of Q-Flash Plus, as well as Gigabyte's famed finned VRM cooling solution. For connectivity, the Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro includes two M.2 slots, both with full coverage heatsinks, as well as 2.5 Gb/s LAN powered by Realtek. The Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro has a lot going for it, so let's dive in and see if the performance lives up to the potential!
|CPU Support:||AMD AM4 Socket 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ Processors|
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 14-phase|
Memory Power: 2-phase
|Integrated Graphics:||Dependent on installed CPU|
|Memory:||4x DIMM, supports dual-channel DDR4-5200 (OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:|| 3x PCIe x16 (1x PCIe 4.0/2x PCIe 3.0) slots |
2x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
|Storage:|| 6x SATA 6 Gb/s ports |
2x M.2 ports (SATA3/1x PCIe 3.0 x4/1x PCIe 4.0 x4)
|Networking:||Realtek RTL8125 2.5 Gb/s Ethernet|
|Rear Ports:||1x Q-Flash Plus button|
1x HDMI port
1x DisplayPort 1.4
1x Optical SPDIF out port
1x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-C port
3x USB 3.2 (Gen1) ports
2x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-A ports
6x USB 2.0 ports
5x 3.5 mm audio jacks
|Audio:||1x Realtek ALC1220 Codec|
|Fan Headers:||8x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||ATX Form Factor: 12.0 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|
Packaging and Contents
The front of the Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro box features a dark background dominated by the AORUS logo. "B550 AORUS Pro gaming motherboard" is printed in white and orange on the left side, with the brand badging on the right.
The back of the box has all the highlights: a top-down shot of the board, several panels detailing prominent features, a shot of the rear I/O, and the specifications list. The box design is well executed and matches the board perfectly.
The accessories are mostly standard. Notable extras include an RGB extension cable and a couple of branded Velcro cable ties to help with cable management. Notably absent is any kind of rear I/O shield because the shield is integrated into the board.
The full list of accessories includes:
- Manual and support DVD
- AORUS sticker sheet
- 4x SATA 6 Gb/s cables
- RGB extension cable
- Velcro cable ties
- 2x M.2 mounting hardware
The B550 AORUS Pro utilizes a neutral color scheme that will be easy to match with almost any system or build. The PCB is completely black, while the heatsinks and rear I/O cover are a dark gray.
The CPU socket is open enough for most air coolers.
There are two M.2 slots on the Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro; one above the first PCIe x16 slot that supports PCIe 4.0 connectivity and another below the second PCIe x16 slot. Both slots feature full-coverage heatsinks.
The Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro offers three PCI Express x16 slots, with the top being steel-reinforced and PCIe 4.0 compatible, as well as two PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots. The board has a total of six SATA 6 Gb/s ports on the side, angled 90 degrees from the board.
The Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro has a good I/O offering that includes an optical S/PDIF out port and a good amount of USB connectivity.
- HDMI port
- 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports
- Q-Flash Plus button
- 6x USB 2.0 ports
- 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port
- USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port
- RJ-45 LAN port
- Optical SPDIF out port
- 5x 3.5 mm audio jacks
Networking on the Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro is handled by Realtek's RTL8125BG 2.5 Gb/s controller.
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