Gigabyte B550I AORUS Pro AX Review 13

Gigabyte B550I AORUS Pro AX Review

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Introduction

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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 B550I AORUS Pro AX features a 6+2 phase VRM design using top-tier 90 A power stages from Intersil, with two M.2 heatsinks, 2.5 Gb/s LAN from Realtek, and even a metal backplate to add rigidity and aid in cooling. There is a lot of motherboard packed in a small and surprisingly affordable package, so let's dive right in!

Specifications

Specifications
CPU Support:AMD AM4 Socket 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ Processors
Power Design: CPU Power: 8-phase
Memory Power: 2-phase
Chipset:AMD B550
Integrated Graphics:Dependent on installed CPU
Memory:2x DIMM, supports dual-channel DDR4-4866 (OC) MHz
BIOS:AMI UEFI BIOS
Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe x16 (PCIe 4.0 or PCIe 3.0) slot
Storage: 4x 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
Intel WiFi 802.11ax
Rear Ports:1x Q-Flash Plus button
2x HDMI port
1x DisplayPort 1.4
2x antenna ports
1x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-C port
4x USB 3.2 (Gen1) ports
1x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-A ports
3x 3.5 mm audio jacks
Audio:1x Realtek ALC1220 Codec
Fan Headers:3x 4-pin
Form Factor:Mini-ITX Form Factor: 6.7 in x 6.7 in, 17.0 cm x 17.0 cm
Exclusive Features:
  • APP Center
  • @BIOS
  • EasyTune
  • Fast Boot
  • Game Boost
  • ON/OFF Charge
  • RGB Fusion
  • Smart Backup
  • System Information Viewer
  • Support for Q-Flash Plus
  • Support for Q-Flash
  • Support for Xpress Install
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