Gigabyte B550 AORUS Master Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 2 weeks ago
A Closer Look
If you’ve seen one of the AORUS boards you’ve seen ’em all, but that’s no bad thing. When it comes to a making great looking motherboards, the AORUS range has always been right on the money. They manage to look professional enough to go in something sensible, but “gamer” enough to still look the part in a high-end custom PC. They’ve tweaked the design a little for each model, but most of them in the last few years looked like this.
AORUS are not mucking about with the power here, offering up an impressive 16 Phase Digital Power Design. You could argue that’s overkill for a B550, but hey, I’m not complaining. You get 70A Power Stages, All-Solid Capacitors, Infineon Digital PWM Controller, and so much more. Honestly, it’s worthy of the flagship motherboards really, and should prove great for overclocking any AM4 CPU.
The board also offers up huge heatsinks for the CPU power hardware, as well as a thicker PCB with more copper. In fact, everything about this board is tuned to improved power delivery and heat distribution. Including the power pins here, which are armoured and reinforced throughout.
There are three M.2 mounts on this motherboard, offering you plenty of ultra-fast storage options. There’s some PCIe 4.0 support on the these too, allowing you to reap the benefits of the new Gen 4 drives.
The same goes for the PCIe lanes, however, only the top PCIe lane is Gen4, with the rest falling back to Gen 3. If you want a board with more Gen4 lanes, you’ll need to put up the funds for an X570 motherboard. However, I love that the slots are all armoured, not only improving the build quality, but it looks great too.
The board is littered with headers for fans, pumps, RGB, ARGB and just about everything else. There are 7 internal temperature sensors and two external headers, and they’ve even thrown in a BIOS debug LED too. You’ll not be left short of connectivity here.
In the corner, you’ll find the fantastic ALC1220-VB chipset, Nichicon Find Gold Audio Capacitors, and even WIMA Capacitors. When it comes to kick-ass audio, the Master has you well and truly sorted.
Around the back, you’ll find the rear I/O shield is handily pre-installed. Sticking with the audio hardware though, you’ll notice gold-plated jacks for all of it, plus a handy SPDIF out should you need it. Networking comes from the fantastic 2.5 GbE LAN as well as Intel WiFi 6. There are loads of USB ports here too, Including Gen 2 Type-C.