GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Pro & Aorus Pro AC

Moving down the product stack and onto a pair of more affordable, albeit it still impressive models is the B550 Aorus Pro AC and non-Wi-Fi variant. The only difference is the Pro AC version comes an Intel Wi-Fi 5 interface, although both share the same core feature set. The most notable inclusions are two PCIe M.2 slots with one PCIe 4.0 x4 and one PCIe 3.0 x4 slots, with a Realtek 2.5 G Ethernet controller, and three full-length PCIe slots which operate at x16 and x16/x+4/x+2.

Focusing on the board’s aesthetic, the GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Pro AC and B550 Aorus Pro feature an all-black PCB, with black and grey heatsinks. GIGABYTE is advertising a 12+2 power delivery with a single 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU power input which delivers power directly to the processor. For storage there two M.2 slots with the top slot powered by the processor and supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 SSDs, while the second slot is controlled by the chipset and as a consequence, supports up to PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 drives. There are also six SATA ports which support RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays. One thing we’ve seen from B550 is vendors are QVL’ing even fast memory as the B550 Aorus Pro supports up to DDR4-5200 with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB across four memory slots.

The B550 Aorus Pro AC and B550 Aorus Pro are using a 12+2 phase power delivery, with twelve Vishay SiC651C 50 A power stages for the CPU, and two SiC651AD 50 A power stages for the SoC. It is using an Intersil ISL229004 in a 6+2 configuration, with six ISL6617A doublers for the CPU section.

On the rear panel of both B550 Aorus Pro models is a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, three USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and six USB 2.0 ports. Also present is a Q-Flash Plus button and a single Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 G Ethernet port. On the Pro AC model is two antenna ports for the Intel AC3168 Wi-Fi 5 adapter. Finishing off the rear panel is a single HDMI 2.1 video output for users looking to use Ryzen based APUs, while the 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output are powered by a Realtek ALC1220-VB HD audio codec.

The GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Pro AC and B550 Aorus Pro represent a more modest price point, with an MSRP of $189 for the Pro AC, and $179 without the Wi-Fi 6 adapter. For the price, both models are still stacked and offer users PCIe 4.0 capability in both the top full-length slot and the top M.2 slot. There is also 2.5 G Ethernet which is something X570 models doesn’t offer at this price point, making B550 an attractive alternative, not to forget the boards large 12+2 advertised power delivery too.

GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Master GIGABYTE B550M Aorus Pro
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • kpb321 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    I'm kinda disappointed they ended up missing the opportunity to go PCI-E 4 for the CPU to GPU link. With 2 10gbs USB ports, 2 5gbs USB ports, 10 flexible PCI-E lanes that can be NVME/ Sata ports or add on controllers on the chipset there's plenty of bandwidth there to be bottlenecked by a 4x PCI-E 3 link to the CPU. Going PCI-E 4 would make this somewhat less of a bottleneck and could support for example 2 NVME PCI-E 3.0 4X drives at full speed. The B350 more balanced in this way but sadly it was because the PCI-E off the chipset was only PCI-E 2. Hanging 16x lanes worth of things off a 4x link isn't great when they could have doubled that link bandwidth pretty easily.
  • kpb321 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Edit 'm kinda disappointed they ended up missing the opportunity to go PCI-E 4 for the CPU to chipset link
  • Irata - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    That‘s X570. If you need the additional storage bandwidth, this is what you should go for.

    Alternatively there is the Aorus board that offers the 8x CPU plus 2x 4x PCIe 4 lanes for nVMe drives plus the PCIe 3 lanes from the chipset. That could be an alternative and eight PCIe 4 lanes for the GPU should be fine with the next gen GPU, except perhaps for the top of the line models.

    On the plus side, with Ryzen you have four dedicated PCIe lanes from the CPU for nVMe (16+4+4 vs. 16+4 on Intel).
  • kpb321 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    The X570 goes whole hog on PCI-E 4 with PCI-4 hanging off the chipset too and it supports more PCI-E and SATA and USB devices hanging off the chipset so while the CPU to Chipset bandwidth is higher it's actually even more imbalanced between the combine possible bandwidth of devices possible off the chipset and the CPU to Chipset bandwidth.

    Going PCI-E 4 for just the CPU to Chipset on the B550 would have given the option to decrease that imbalance and one PCI-E 4x link shouldn't have driven the power up too high.
  • romrunning - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Then most people wouldn't buy X570 and get B550 instead as there wouldn't be much of a difference. That, and having less PCIe 4.0 stuff lowers the power requirements a bit.

    I personally held off on X570 because I knew I basically only needed the GPU and NVMe drive to be PCIe 4.0 for the most future-proof setup. I figure I'll buy new again when the new AM5 socket is released with Zen 4. Plus, some of the B550 boards have a Type-C front connector, which will go with the new ITX case I'm getting that has one on the front.
  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    Yes, but then you need to add a separate PCIe controller on the chipset to handle just those 4 lanes. The market probably isn't big enough to make it worthwhile.
  • Irata - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    The CPU to GPU link is 16x PCIe 4.0 - that has nothing to do with the chipset.

    Or did you mean something else?
  • a5cent - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    True, but would that not have brought back the requirement for an actively cooled chipset? That definitely contributes to cost, so it makes sense to cut that from the package.

    Personally, I'm happy that we've finally left PCIe 2.0 behind. Such chipsets still being sold in 2020 is horrific.
  • Lucky Stripes 99 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    I was hoping to build several B550 APU mITX systems this week, but the lack of a compatible APU has stopped those plans. AMD's decision regarding to use a prior generation micro-architecture for its APUs in addition to their decision regarding AM4 firmware size limits are really colliding to create a missed opportunity here. If the iGPU in the Comet Lake processors was better, I'd be picking up H460 or Q470 boards right now instead.
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    My understanding is that the firmware size limit wasn't created by AMD. The motherboard makers could always use firmware chips with a larger capacity. Intel doesn't have this problem since they only support one or two CPU generations per motherboard :-)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now