Gigabyte B550 Aorus Pro Review
If you've come to this review from our take upon its pricier sibling, the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master, then you'll know we like that motherboard a lot, besides how it blurs the lines between the B550 and the X570 price points. If you're on a tight budget then you can save £100 by picking the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Pro instead. Naturally that begs the question, is the Pro the Master for those with smaller financial clout, or are you compromising to reach those savings? Let's discover the answer to that as we go along.
Wherever there is a flagship chipset - in this case the X570 - there will always be one that removes a few of the less essential features to enable those of us with more limited budgets to be able to join the fun. With the 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs proving to be every bit as good as anything else available on the market the explosion in AMD users is well deserved for their hard work is rejuvenating the company with the Zen architecutre. The B550 promises to bring all that you'll need to still explore the best of their desktop CPU range without busting the bank on your motherboard.
The Aorus Pro still has all the parts we want - PCI Express 4.0 (albeit few lanes than the X570), USB 3.2 Gen2, support for 5GHz+ DDR4 and all the Ryzen CPUs. In fact it's tough to see exactly what you're missing out on if you choose to go down the B550 route or even just the Pro rather than the Master. Let's have a look at the specifications and then dive straight in to the pictures of it live and in the flesh.
Normally with cut down chipsets the first things to go are the amount of storage connections and USB ports, but despite poring over the details with a fine tooth comb we're having difficulty seeing exactly what the X570 brings to the table that the B550 doesn't. Yes there is a reduction in PCI Express 4.0 lanes, but the amount of people running Crossfire GPUs and three PCIe4.0 M.2 is slim indeed. For the regular user this appears to have all you need.
50A 12+2 power phase should be more than enough to keep our Ryzen 9 3900X running hard. There are plenty of fan headers to ensure that our CPU might be running hard but it won't be running hot, whilst elsewhere there is a lot of USB and high bandwidth networking options to ensure you can transport your data quickly. Indeed the biggest change between the X570 Aorus motherboards and the B550 Pro is the reduction down to a single PCI Express 4.0 M.2 drive, with the other being powered by PCI Express 3.0. If you're upgrading to this then any of your current drives will be PCIe 3.0 anyway, so we think it's a very attractive entry point to the AMD Zen architecture.
We know some of you prefer the massive table of specifications, so here is that for you to pore over.