AMD's Ryzen 2000 processors (like Ryzen 7 2700X) can be old news now, but AMD's new budget-focused B450 chipset comes out of the gate ready to inject more value into the AMD AM4 platform. Our success with the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WIFI gives us high expectations for the smaller B450 Aorus Pro card, but Gigabyte retains some features that could have made this forum spectacular. Either way, the B450 chipset is a good place for builders and players who do not need the X470's additional feature set, and Gigabyte delivers a great product with the B450 Aorus Pro WIFI, for a surprisingly affordable $ 1
- Compatible with X470
- Wide Connectivity and Premium Aesthetics
- Very Good Value
- OC Boundaries Due to Hardware and Software Implementation
This board can not fully push Ryzen chips to its limits, so just expect modest overclocks. But otherwise Gigabyte gives an excellent value worthy of the Aorus brand.
5Gbps: (4) Type-A
(1) v2.0 (x4) * shared with PCIEX1_2
(1) v2.0 (x1)
(1) PCIe v3 x2 / sata 42/60/80
(1) RGBW Header
Over the past year with testing of Ryzen-based buildings, we have only had success with the company's boards, and their B450 takes improvements from the X470 and uses them for AMD's updated "mainstream" chipset.
AMD Socket AM4 Chip Set Features
|USB 3.1 Gen2||USB 3.1 Gen1||USB 2.0||SATA 3.0||SATA Express / PCIe Gen3||PCIe Gen2||
CPU PCIe Gen3
|B350||2||2||]||6||2||1||6||1×16||Yes||Yes||No||No  34]|
For those who do not hold chipset fixes, AMD's increase from 300 series to 400 series increases primarily with physical performance management improvements to formally support XFR2 (an update of AMD's expanded frequency range) and Precision Boost Override for what AMD calls its 2nd Generation Ryzen chips (Ryzen 2000 series). AMD provides specifications for speech and supported memory speeds, regulatory design requirements, and other provisions for these updated cards. Between the X470 and the B450, the same IO dynamics that were found with last year's X370 / B350 residues support. In other words, the B Series supports fewer USB3.0 Gen1, PCIe Gen3 x16 tracks, and PCIe Gen2 lanes than their more expensive brothers. For more information, check the chart above.
On the surface, fewer tracks and port support are heard as an instant con, but most developers do not support another graphics card, larger SATA RAID configurations, or 5GB USB. Also, with the same mindset, manufacturers do not need to provide fully activated down-end boards that compete directly with their higher tiered offerings. From there, it's really a thought experiment about which chipset is "better", and hopefully we'll shine a bit through it throughout the article.
Enter Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro WIFI. Gigabyte has traditionally maintained its Aorus brand for premium offers, but for the B450 they could not resist the release of the trap we appreciate from previous reviews. Getting a well-respected brand to a lower level appears to be a marketing gimmick, but it appears that this forum is on par with similar offers from the X470. From an aesthetic perspective, the B450 Aorus Pro WIFI looks shockingly like X470 Aorus 5, with the omission of LED-lit DIMM and PCIe tracks. Comparing the B450 card to the X470 Aorus Ultra, the inclusion of Wi-Fi in the B450 Pro may be enough to negate the X470's enhanced connection elsewhere.
The B450 Pro WIFI is equipped with plenty of RGB light, RGB power switches and an addressable LED interface that helps reduce these shortcomings for future upgrades for builders. For a budget board, we do not expect the contents of the carton to be significant, and Gigabyte does not override accessories and additional parts. The company has its brand labels along with documentation, a pair of SATA cables and a Wi-Fi antenna for connecting the SMA connectors on the back panel.
The I / O panel reflects the B450 chipset's reduced IO, with access to only four USB3.1 Gen1, two USB3.1 Gen2, HDMI 2.0, DVI-D, Gigabit Ethernet, five analog audio and one digital audio jack and two Wi-Fi antenna ports. The integrated back panel is a nice aesthetic inclusion that is usually only found on the pricier enthusiast chipset board. Builders with APUs like Ryzen 5 2600 are primed for upgrading from older chipsets thanks to video ports. And the lack of USB 2 means we're not questioning which ports are at high speed when they get around behind the PC.
Sound coverage on the B450 Aorus Pro is delivered via Realtek ALC1220-VB codec with enhanced audio signal to noise conditions and impedance detection for use with different strengths drivers at different degrees of "headphones." As for wired networks, the tried and true Intel I211AT controller is used here and Gigabyte includes its cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator to prioritize network traffic through the Ethernet port. We do not have results with this tool, but it seems that more vendors implement features that mimic the Rivet Network's Killer brand, which prioritizes enhanced network performance packages. An advantage we like with this forum is the inclusion of the 802.11ac controller, although it is a 1×1 design that uses Intel's AC3168. Even if you plan to use wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi can be handy when you build, troubleshoot or upgrade your PC, and the workbench / kitchen table is not near an Ethernet connector.
As we look along the outer edge of the board, we see two USB2.0 heads, a USB3.1 Gen1 and various front panel heads on the bottom. The RGB connectors are located in the lower and upper right quadrants of the board, also accompanied by three of the board's five 4-pin fan heads. The right edge hosts four angled SATA3 heads and the 2 vertical SATA heads that look lonely on this B450 chipset. System power is delivered via the standard 24-pin ATX elevator next to the four DIMM slot with two locks, and an 8-pin EPS 12V plug is plugged next to a fan head in the top left edge of the board. Finally, a single 4-pin fan head is just below the Vreg lift link, for use with fans just above the IO shield.
As simple as the PCIe configuration looks, there are some interesting things to keep in mind when choosing parts. Firstly, the M.2 slots are connected to PCIe Gen3 x4 and x2 respectively, which is a nice deviation from Gen2 variants on other cards. However, the x16 tracks are misleading, with only the top slot connected to the PCIe Gen3 x16. The center x16 and bottom x16 share bandwidth with the x1 track, and the center track only works on x4 when none of the others are populated. Otherwise, it runs in x2 mode.
After looking at some higher-end discs with the X470, the building with the B450 shows its limitations: The target group controls component selections and our nitpicks. The fan head of the 8-pin EPS header really needs to be somewhere else to be considered useful and it would be nice to have the 2 vertical SATA peaks converted to oblique head shots and moved closer to the chipset. In the case of component recommendations, we suggest a dedicated GPU and either run a capture card or other device in the top or bottom tracks. If you need extra bandwidth, fill the x4 slot. But if you do, we see the risk of blocking the GPU's airflow. We do not recommend running more than two IO cards in this motherboard.
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