Gigabyte B550i Aorus PRO AX (Mini ITX)
So tiny, yet so powerful
Really, this is one of the nicest B550 Chipset based motherboards we will review, the Mini-ITX based B550i Aorus PRO AX, at 17x17cm Gigabyte loaded this B550 motherboard with downright amazing features including dual M2 slots, 2.5 GigE Ethernet, AX WIFI and a great design for VRM. Well, simply put it's nearly a mega motherboard at a mini size. Yes, loaded with 2.5 GigE Ethernet, AX WIFI6 and two M2 NVMe slots we wonder if this awesome motherboard even belongs in the B series with in mind that small form factor.
All Ryzen processors Gen processors this board is about performance and aesthetics, heck even the CPU socket has an 8-pin CPU connector. And this motherboard has 6+2 real phases backed by 90A power stages (!). Gigabyte applies a familiar dark/grey shielded design, optimized for cooling, and armed with a proper feature set build around 6 power stages purely for that Ryzen processor. It also has and has nice hidden M2 slots, two of them with one shielded at the top side, the other one is hidden away under the motherboard. The motherboard has been fitted with the usual suspects and then some, including a 2.5 Gigabit (Realtek RTL8125B-CG) ethernet and then WIFI6 in the form of AX. When it comes to audio you will run into an ALC 1220 Codec from Realtek. So what is B550? Well, believe it or not, the B series typically are business (quick add-in) motherboards, or for consumer, we refer to it as the B for budget. Alongside the Ryzen 3 3000 series, there is X570, and now a B550 chipset for socket AM4 processors. PCI Gen 4.0 still is applied to the x16 slot and one M2 slot (the processor provides it (you need a Ryzen 3000 processor for PCIe Gen 4.0, older procs will offer PCIe Gen 3.0). The B550 chipset and DMI uplink otherwise are all PCIe Gen 3.0. The Gigabyte B550i Aorus PRO AX will offer you one x16 PCIe Gen 4.0 graphics slot, and that's it (due to form factor space constraints). The motherboard has two reinforced RAM slots for up-to 64 GB of DRAM. Little about the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master can be referred to as 'budget' though, as this easily could be a premium flagship motherboard due to its features and actually a really fair price tag.
The board as stated is positioned in a high-end / enthusiast region of what is considered the mainstream segment, it does look properly AORUS styled, stuff we like of course. Also, the new board has some interesting new features Have a peek, and then let's head onwards into the review my man.