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Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro Motherboard Review

Gigabyte’s B450 Aorus Pro attempts to offer a plethora of features for a comparatively low price point. In pure feature terms this motherboard is a success – there’s high quality Realtek ALC1220-based audio, quality Intel Gigabit networking, a pair of cooled M.2 slots and ample RGB lighting options both integrated into the motherboard and through expansion headers.

If a prospective buyer just wants to drop in an AMD Ryzen CPU with some XMP memory and get going the B450 Aorus Pro is a tempting proposition. It’s priced at such a level where Z370 motherboards simply cannot compete on features – they sacrifice the quality of the audio or networking, or are unable to integrated advanced features like RGB lighting, M.2 cooling and USB 3.1/Type-C.

Such a highly competitive level of features is not simply a result of AMD’s affordable B450 chipset, but a result of Gigabyte’s aggressive pricing strategy in the B450 market. Many B450 motherboards from rival vendors in the same price bracket do not offer all the features of the B450 Aorus Pro.

However, this comes with a catch – the VRMs and overclocking capability. Gigabyte has restricted overclocking capability so that on the Ryzen 7 2700 it’s not possible to exceed 1.3v vCore and as such it is not possible to get beyond around 4GHz. On paper the VRMs are adequate, they are entry level and of average quality but for most users they should be sufficient.

With a Ryzen 7 2700 users are unlikely to overheat the VRMs since 1.3v doesn’t push a great deal of wattage and by consequence, heat. Though at 1.3v we observed low VRM efficiency, around 70% which generated approximately 38-watts of heat, and with higher voltages that would most likely deteriorate which explains Gigabyte’s reluctance to push further.

Using the Ryzen 7 2700X, on the other hand, seems to permit up to 1.4v and other reviews have indicated that when used in this scenario temperatures can easily creep up to 100 degrees Celsius and beyond. Based on the efficiencies we observed it’s easy to see why.

In summary, the Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro is a very generously equipped motherboard for the price so long as any prospective buyer is happy to run their CPU at stock or with a modest overclock – which potentially defeats the purpose of the B450 chipset supporting overclocking. Anyone seeking to apply significant overclocks and use higher voltages (beyond 1.3v) should consider looking elsewhere for a motherboard with a better VRM implementation.

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The Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro has a retail price of £109.99 in the UK and is usually sold with a 3 year warranty.

In the USA it can be had for $116 at Amazon and $116 at Newegg, but is only available as the B450 Aorus Pro WiFi SKU, and usually has a 3 year warranty.

Pros:

  • High quality audio
  • Dual cooled M.2 slots
  • Plentiful onboard RGB lighting and RGB headers
  • High-speed USB 3.1 with USB Type-C
  • Affordable price point
  • Intel Gigabit

Cons:

  • vCore limit when overclocking (Ryzen 7 2700)
  • Inefficient CPU VRM under load
  • Complex SATA and M.2 bandwidth sharing restrictions
  • Overwhelming number of software utilities, some of limited value
  • Unintuitive UEFI environment

KitGuru says: The Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro is a feature-packed AM4 motherboard available at a modest price point, if a prospective buyer can live with the overclocking and VRM limitations.

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Rating: 7.0.

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