Review | GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Elite

Next up on our review of the AMD B550 chipset motherboards is the GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Elite. This is a $159 USD (10, 950 PHP locally) motherboard built to house the latest AMD Ryzen CPUs.

The B550 AORUS Elite is an ATX motherboard with notable features such as its True 12+2 Phases Digital VRM design, meaty VRM heatsinks, 2.5GbE LAN and of course its PCIe 4.0 compliant design.

Technical Specifications

Processor
CPU AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation
Chipset AMD B550
Memory
SDRAM DDR4 (ECC, Non-ECC)
Slot 4x LO-DIMM
Channel Dual Channel
Frequency 3200MHz (4733MHz OC)
Capacity 128GB
Graphics
GPU Ryzen 3rd Generation
Display Output 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.1
Multi-GPU N/A
Expansion
PCI Express 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x2,  2x PCIe 3.0 x1
Storage
SATA 4x SATA
M.2 1x PCIe 4.0 x4, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4
RAID 0, 1, 10
Network
Wired Realtek 2.5GbE LAN
Wireless N/A
Audio
Codec Realtek ALC1200 codec
Channel 7.1
USB
USB 2.0 2x External, 4x Internal
USB 3.0 4x External, 2x Internal
USB 3.2 2x External
Dimensions
Length 305mm
Width 244mm
Height 45mm
Weight N/A

Packaging and Accessories

The B550 AORUS Elite comes packed inside the usual dual compartment packaging from GIGABYTE. It comes with the following accessories and documentations inside:

  • User manual
  • Support DVD
  • AORUS case badge
  • 4x SATA cables
  • G-Connector

Nothing really fancy here. Just your standard motherboard stuff.

Design, Layout and Build Quality

GIGABYTE’s B550 Aorus Elite is quite a looker with its monotonous design. If you are looking for a motherboard that looks like a stylish slate to slot in your components, then this is it.

Layout wise, the B550 Aorus Elite is clean but not without some questionable design choices. That includes the standard SATA ports and the placement of the CMOS battery. Nothing too concerning though.

The back of the board features a steel brace for the integrated IO shield. At this area, we could also see the electrical layout of the PCIe slots. We have the PCIe 4.0 x16, PCIe 3.0 x4, PCIe 3.0 x1 and another PCIe 3.0 x4 all in order.

VRM is a courtesy of a 12+2 phase digital power design. Feeding it is a 4+4 EPS power connector situated next to a 4-pin PWM fan header. We got two more fan headers on this area and LED headers as well.

The motherboard is devoid of headers at the SATA and 24-pin area and is the reason why it really looks clean in the first place.

As usual, the bottom part is jam packed with the usual assortment of headers. What this board misses though is a USB Type-C header.

Back panel options are great. There’s also a dedicated USB port here for the Q-Flash feature of the board. Optical audio out is also supported via a S/PDIF port. A shame we don’t know how powerful the amp on this board though – nor its characteristics.

Firmware Interface

GIGABYTE, much like ASRock, went classic with the UEFI of the B550 Aorus Elite. It kinda supports 16:9 but it is technically a 4:3 UEFI that just stretches optimally for wide aspect ratios.

There are 6 main menus found within this UEFI. The Tweaker for an instance is the most important menu here should you find overclocking and tweaking your system worth it (it is on most cases).

Smart Fan is where you could control your system fans. You may set your own temperature curve here. Nothing fancy but it works.

The Q-Flash is another built-in feature of the B550 Aorus Elite. This allows you to save or update the BIOS using a flash drive.

Test Setup and Methodology

System performance is evaluated by industry standard benchmark tools and applications. The system is tested with the following software configurations:

  • Windows Power Plan: Balanced
  • UEFI configuration: Default
  • Windows Game Mode: Disabled
  • Windows Game Bar: Disabled
  • Windows Security: Disabled

Outlined below are the test system specifications as well as the software and or applications used for the review:

Test System Specifications
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Elite
Cooler MSI MAG CoreLiquid 240R
Memory ADATA Premier 2666MHz 16GB
GPU ASUS ROG Strix RX 570 4GB
Storage Crucial BX200 480GB
Case Thermaltake Core P3
PSU CORSAIR RM850X
Display DELL U2715H
OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Synthetic Performance:

  • Super PI – 32M Calculation
  • wPrime – 1024M Calculation
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Memory Benchmark

Productivity Performance:

  • GIMP – Image Processing
  • HandBrake – Video Encoding
  • WinRAR – Compression Speed

Gaming Performance:

  • CS:GO – Maximum Settings, V-SYNC off
  • DOTA 2 – Maximum Settings, V-SYNC off
  • Assetto Corsa – Maximum Settings, V-SYNC off

Miscellaneous:

  • AS SSD – Storage Performance
  • RightMark Audio Analyzer – Audio Performance
  • NetIO-GUI – Network Performance

Power Consumption:

  • AIDA64 – Stability Test

Synthetic Performance

Super PI is a single-threaded program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point. It is a widely used benchmark to check a single-core performance of any system.

WPrime is a multi-threaded program that calculates a set number of square roots. A good application to check the multi-core performance of any system.

The AIDA64 Extreme Memory Benchmark measures the data transfer bandwidth and latency of the system memory. The latency is measured for this benchmark.

Synthetic performance is in line with other B550 motherboards we’ve tested. Although at SuperPI Mod, the GIGABYTE showed a slower single-threaded performance.

Productivity Performance

GIMP is a free and open-source image editing tool. 7MB worth of images are processed and converted for the benchmark.

HandBrake is a free video encoding tool that supports a wide variety of media codecs. 150MB worth of MP4 video is converted using the H.264 codec for the benchmark.

WinRAR is a file archive utility that creates, view and unpack numerous archive file formats. The built in benchmark tool is utilized to for the benchmark.

Nothing peculiar out of these productivity tests and we could see how negligible the single-threaded score we got from the previous benchmark.

Gaming Performance

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or CS:GO is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Valve. Settings are set to their maximum with V-Sync and motion blur disabled.

DOTA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed and published by Valve. Settings are set to their maximum with V-Sync disabled.

Assetto Corsa is a simulation racing game developed by the Italian video game developer Kunos Simulazioni. Settings are set to their maximum with V-Sync disabled.

Gaming performance is generally good. Nothing out of place here.

Storage Performance

AS SSD is a storage benchmark widely used in the industry. The total score is taken to evaluate the storage performance.

Storage performance is pretty good as far as SATA performance is concerned.

Audio Performance

RMAA is a tool designed to test the quality of audio devices. A loop-back is configured with a sampling rate of 24-bit at 48000Hz for the test. Our setup essentially tests the quality of the line-in and line-out of the audio solution.

Noise level is about the same with the ASRock motherboard. As for the frequency response, it is not as flat though with a droop at 20KHz. THD + Noise is also average at -79.5dBA.

Network Performance

NetIO-GUI is an application used to test the performance of a network. The LAN round trip time is our concern here, checking out latency anomalies if there are any. The client and server are connected on the home network via Cat 5e cables.

The motherboard has a wired network latency at 1ms on any packet sizes tested.

Power Consumption

AIDA64 Extreme System Stability Test features 64-bit multi-threaded stress testing module to drive the system to its limits. Power readings are recorded with a watt-meter.

Maximum power draw is the highest among the boards tested but it also has the lowest power draw when it is idling.

Overclocking and Underclocking

There are two ways to overclock and underclock any compatible unlocked AMD Ryzen processors. One way is to do it within the UEFI and the other is via the AMD Ryzen Master. Both works well, but we prefer via UEFI since it is way easier to use.

Since this is not our test sample, we didn’t overclock the CPU over the suggested 1.325v Vcore. Like the other B550 motherboards tested, we tried 4.1GHz at all cores with a x41 multiplier to see if it works and it did.

Software, Lighting and Special Features

GIGABYTE had the B550 Aorus Elite bundled with a number of applications that should help you maximize your motherboard’s potential. That should include the following software and or applications:

  • @BIOS
  • EasyTune
  • Fast Boot
  • Game Boost
  • ON/OFF Charge
  • RGB Fusion
  • Smart Backup
  • System Information Viewer
  • Norton Internet Security
  • Realtek 8125 Gaming LAN Bandwidth Control Utility
  • XSplit Gamecaster + Broadcaster (14 day trial)
  • WTFast (3 day trial)

Onboard RGB lighting for the B550 Aorus Elite is subtle. Nothing fancy out of the box – the way I like it.

Final Thoughts

The GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Elite is yet another ATX motherboard for the AMD B550 platform featuring 2.5GbE LAN and a slew of connectivity options appropriate for its size.

What’s missing or lacking though is an abundant number of SATA ports – something that ATX motherboards could be proud of compared to the smaller form factors. The lack of an internal USB Type-C header is yet another choice the brand has to make here.

Performance wise, it is about the same with other B550 chipset motherboards we’ve tested before but with a lesser frequency response and an average THD + Noise rating for the audio. This is something you have to consider if audio performance is at the top of your list.

Now overall build quality is something GIGABYTE is proud of for years and this board is no exception. We have thick slabs of aluminum for the heat-sinks and a thick copper tracing for the PCB. Of course, it also comes with reinforced PCIe 4.0 slot.

Summing it up, the B550 AORUS Elite is still a great AM4 motherboard suitable for the current generation of Ryzen CPUs featuring connectivity and reliability at its core. A rock solid proposal from GIGABYTE.

TechPorn Awards 2018 (1)

GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Elite

  • Performance - 8.5/10

    8.5/10

  • Build Quality - 9/10

    9/10

  • Features - 8.5/10

    8.5/10

  • Design - 9/10

    9/10

  • Value - 8.5/10

    8.5/10

8.7/10

Summary

Summing it up, the B550 AORUS Elite is still a great AM4 motherboard suitable for the current generation of Ryzen CPUs featuring connectivity and reliability at its core. A rock solid proposal from GIGABYTE.

Pros

  • Clean layout and design
  • Build quality is excellent
  • Value oriented B550 ATX option
  • Excellent UEFI design
  • Excellent back panel I/O
  • Idle power consumption
  • 2.5GbE LAN

Cons

  • Audio solution could be a bit better
  • Quad SATA ports

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Leo Bien Durana is the Owner and Chief Editor of TechPorn. A competitive PC gamer with a robust technical background. He usually breaks a lot of stuff though.