Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master Review
Whenever it comes to deciding which motherboard you desire there are three key things to take into account. 1) What it looks like. 2) What it looks like. 3) What it looks like. What? Okay we're visual creatures and there are more elements than that, but we'll start with the obvious, the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master is an X570 motherboard in disguise.
Normally when you have to cast your eye a little further down your website of choice's list sorted by price, you accept that there will be some aesthetic compromises to be made. With the Aorus Master though we can't really see what those are. It looks excellent. Three M.2 slots, and all with gloriously designed heatspreaders are matched up to the now famous Aorus logo on the chipset heatsink. Even the IO shield and heatsink combination at the top is beautifully designed. Now we know that this is hardly at the bottom end of the B550 price range, but it goes a long way that for just a hair under 300 notes you can get a motherboard that requires a good stare before you spot it isn't one of Gigabyte's flagship X570 models.
It isn't only in the looks department that the Aorus Master impressed us either. The overclocking was smooth and we pushed our Ryzen 9 3900X as far as it has gone on almost anything else we've ever placed it in, a meaty 4.4 GHz across the cores. With such a serious power design it wasn't a big shock that the Master barely broke a sweat either in raw benchmark results or VRM temperature terms. We included the X570 in our graphs just to see how well the newest AMD chipset translates to a more affordable format and we think you'll agree with us that it does so tremendously well. To the point that only the most hardware-rich user will require more than it can deliver.
Speaking of which, that's the area that has to be taken into account when considering the B550 Aorus Master. The price hike between it and the next model down in the Gigabyte B550 range is the same as the difference between a Ryzen 3800X and a Ryzen 3900X. Unless we had a particular need for what the Master brings to the party above the Pro we'd rather have the four extra cores on our CPU. However, if you have a little wiggle room in your budget then the Aorus Master can comfortably handle the twelve cores of the Ryzen 9 3900X and based on results it wouldnt sniff at the 3950X either. Additionally you get a host of high bandwidth USB ports alongside your PCI Express 4.0 M.2.
The Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master takes everything that the value conscious power user will desire and supplies it in a package that looks the dogs danglies. It might not be the most affordable B550 motherboard we're reviewing today - in fact it costs the same as the X570 Aorus Ultra - but if you must have a B550 motherboard then it definitely blurs the lines between the big AMD chipset and their latest one. The Aorus Master is an uncompromising take upon the B550 formula, but with performance this close the budget conscious might be better off looking at the Aorus Pro.