GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Elite

Moving down the product stack is the GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Elite which represents the entry-level to its Aorus series of gaming-focused boards. Some of the most notable features include a 12+2 power delivery, dual PCIe x4 M.2 slots with one Gen 4 and one Gen 3, as well as a Realtek 2.5 G Ethernet controller which is becoming more the norm now.

Focusing on the aesthetic, it features a black and grey patterned PCB with black and grey heatsinks, with the chipset heatsink featuring the Aorus falcon logo. Adding a little contrast to the design is a set of orange WIMA audio capacitors, as well as some LEDs within the audio PCB separation line.  For expansion cards such as VGA, there is a single full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, with two other full-length slots which operate at PCIe 3.0 x+2/x+1 which is a little odd. There is also a single PCIe 3.0 x1 slot, while the board does include dual M.2 slots. The top M.2 slot operates at PCIe 4.0 x4 and comes with an M.2 heatshield, while the second M.2 slot operates at PCIe 3.0 x4. There are also four SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays. The Aorus Elite includes four memory slots with support for up to 128 GB of DDR4-4733 memory.

The rear panel includes two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. while omitting any form of Type-C connectivity. Controlling the single RJ45 port is a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 G Ethernet controller, while a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec powers the five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output. For users looking to use Ryzen based APUs, the B550 Aorus Master includes two video outputs including a DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1. Finishing off the rear panel is a Q-Flash Plus button.

The GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Elite is a more modest offering which keeps some of the style of the more premium Aorus models but cuts back on some features including Wi-Fi and a second M.2 heatsink. This Elite also lacks any Type-C connectivity, but it does offer a Realtek 2.5 G Ethernet controller which is more future proof than Gigabit; there aren't many X570 models with 2.5 G and beyond so it’s refreshing to see a model like this at a lower entry price point that features it.

GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX GIGABYTE B550M Aorus Elite
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  • 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. Reply
  • 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 Reply
  • 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).
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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 :-) Reply

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