Gigabyte Aorus B450 I Pro Wifi review

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Final Words 

You guys know it by now, I just love the small stuff that is loaded with features. I find it fascinating to see how much performance you can gain from something at 17x17, and then get a truckload of features as well. This Gigabyte board ticks most of the right boxes and really is a mini B450 in functions and functionality, pretty much anything it can at that form factor and being B450, it still remains to be a very affordable solution.  Despite the small size, this board will offer most, if not all you need for a very decent Ryzen enabled PC. We had no problems whatsoever with the 8-core 2700X used, it ran great by defaults and also allowed for a good overclock as well. You can argue the 4+2 phase design, but even overclocked we have not been scared (albeit you will need airflow running over that VRAM area and its heatsink. I also feel that the average user on a budget that goes for B450 certainly isn't running Prime95 with FFTs all the time in this spectrum of the market. So nothing on that front is worrying to me. Any B450 on mini ITX is a bit more cut down of course, just one M2 slot (Gigabyte does, however, include a kick-ass thermal heatsink for that M2). You only get two DIMM slots limiting you to 32GB RAM as maximum and sure, you just get to fool around with one full x16 slot PCIe Gen3. Realistically though, how many people will run multiple graphics cards or multiple M2 SSD cards in this price segment? The one M2 slot (fully enabled x4 PCIe Gen3 btw) and four SATA3 ports I feel are sufficient.

Memory ran fantastic, drop it in, enable XMP and it worked at 3200 CL14 kit after a restart, all good there. Tweaking wise, the motherboard will not be a serious limitation. Not all Zen+ processors will reach that 4.2~4.3 GHz domain though, but I do not see this motherboard to become the viable bottleneck. Our all-core 4200 MHz tweak was done by merely enabling a 42 multiplier, apply added voltage (and we FINALLY can insert a voltage manually opposed to an offset) and sure, we had the XMP profile active. Do get some proper cooling though. Btw one remark here, I find the default FAN RPM settings to be rather extreme and thus loud for most coolers. That, however, is quite easily tweaked in the BIOS, of course.

On the topic of the BIOS, Gigabyte's BIOS remains quirky and doesn't feel very user-friendly. it would be good to see Gigabyte completely overhaul this in the future. However, all functionality is there, and for B450 it's even impressive to see all the tweaking features.

Gaming performance

Previous Ryzen reviews have taught me that it is hard to convince a big part of the guru3d community and reader base that Ryzen is plenty fast for gaming. The new Zen+ processors and the respective platform overall bring a bit more oomph compared to last year's Ryzen. The fact remains, that if you take a Core i7 8700K it will still beat Ryzen in CPU bound gaming situations (low resolutions or extremely high refresh rate where a game is not GPU bound). The difference and gap towards Intel are getting smaller though. Get yourself a nice G.Skill FlareX memory kit at 3200 MHz and you've covered your gaming bases. Keep in mind that a CPU bottleneck has always been far less important compared to a GPU bottleneck, which is why I'll keep saying it, that differential is trivial at best. Honestly, with the money you save on this processor compared directly to the cheapest eight-core Intel processor you can find, you probably should invest in a faster graphics cards. 










Ryzen 7 2700X






Wraith Prism (LED)


Ryzen 7 2700






Wraith Spire (LED)


Ryzen 5 2600X






Wraith Spire


Ryzen 5 2600






Wraith Stealth


DDR4 Memory

The latest firmware for both the older 300 chipsets series and the new 400 Chipset series including the B450/X470 have matured and is an accumulation of DDR4 memory support that evolved when the original Ryzen series was released. Memory compatibility should not and likely will not be an issue as long as you stick to recently released DIMMs. I'll keep repeating this, but there are some really good Ryzen optimized kits out there. The G.Skill Flare X series at 3200 MHz CL14 is hitting a nice sweet-spot and is 100% stable + optimized for your Ryzen infrastructure. We also quickly tested a new Ryzen Sniper X optimized kit from G.Skill, it runs 3400 MHz perfectly fine with our processor and this mobo. However, take my advice:  Flare X at 3200 MHz CL14. Install it, activate the profile in the BIOS, restart and never look back. 

Energy efficiency

With the 2700X processor now fabbed at 12nm TDP now has risen towards 105 Watts, that is a bit steep. Realistically, does anyone really care? I doubt it. A full PC at idle will sit in the 50~60 Watt range with a dedicated graphics card installed (GeForce GTX 1080 / 16 GB memory / SSD and the motherboard). When we stressed the processors with a Prime 1024M run we reached roughly 170 Watts. A threaded CB15 run, however, reveals close to 200 Watts of power consumption (for the entire PC). That is a bit on the high side. When we game we hover at 270~280 Watts, but obviously that factor is dependent on the type of game and graphics card you use of course. So yeah, it's all a notch higher with the 2700X for sure, it's up to you whether or not this is a relevant thing for your purchasing choices. Remember, this is a fully locked & loaded eight-core and 16-threads processor. 



I'll happily review a small form factor motherboard any day and time. I totally dig the feel of a compact build, at 17x17cm. The smaller motherboards each yeat get better looking and more feature rich. At roughly 129 bucks I feel the features and performance you can draw from the Aorus Pro WIFI is really good. You can argue a 4+2 phase design, but it's covered properly with a heatsink and let's be honest here, B450 is not a platform intended for super extreme overclocking. Features wise this thing is maxed out on its available real-estate. The mini ITX form factor allows you to build a very tiny compact PC, that potentially oozes out really nice numbers in performance and features.  Obviously, the compact design equals some limitations, these would be two DIMM slots and thus a max of 32GB memory installed, and just that one PCIe x16 slot. Then again, you have AC WIFI, GigE Ethernet, audio, fully fetched and a fast M2 slot, four SATA3 ports and a platform that can hold any Ryzen 3, 5 or 7 processor (both gen1 and Gen2) as well as the 2x00G APUs, and sure, the option of tweaking it quite easily in the BIOS. There's no extravagant RGB bling either, which many of you can appreciate, I know. So yeah, recommended if you are not planning more than one graphics cards, and one full speed M2 SSD (with very nice heatshield), due to more stringent PCIe Lane availability. Concluding, this is something small and tiny that comes at a fair enough price while being really feature-packed on that 17x17cm form factor. This one ticks the right boxes and has the looks to go along with it. Recommended and approved. 

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.”

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