Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master Review
The top of Gigabyte’s B550 stack the Aorus Master offers a slew of features including 2.5 GbE LAN, a premium audio codec, 16-phase power delivery, Wi-Fi 6 AX200 and three M.2 slots, each with their own heatsinks. Gone is the fancy connected chipset/M.2 heatsink (which actually complicated the install process), replaced by something more cost-effective yet still functional.
AMD’s mainstream chipset has officially landed, and Gigabyte’s B550 Aorus Master proved to be quite the board to start with. Priced at $279.99 (MSRP) it’s one of the most expensive B550 boards, but it does bring with it a host of premium features, including 2.5 GbE LAN, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, Realtek ALC1220-VB audio and power delivery fit for X570-based motherboards.
If you are a user who needs a lot of USB ports, the Aorus Master has you covered, with 12 on the rear IO. We don’t see a USB 3.2 Gen2 (20 Gbps) port, but the several 10 Gbps ports are good enough for most users. With three M.2 slots and six SATA ports, there is plenty in the way of internal storage as well.
Performance results were as expected, with nothing out of line. Overclocking all cores and threads on our 3900X to 4.3 GHz was a breeze, with the 16-phase VRM handling our testing without issue or scorching our fingertips. On top of this, the board looks good and will fit in with most build themes.
Pricing on B550 boards has been kept closer to the vest with B550 than in most launches, but we expect this board to directly compete with the Asus ROG Strix B500-E Gaming, ASRock B550 Taichi, and MSI’s MPG Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi, which all have similar features.
AMD has left a pricing gap in its Ryzen 3000 series that it will fill soon with the Ryzen 7 3800XT, but despite that pricing advantage, the Core i7-10700K appeals to a limited cross-section of users. If you're primarily interested in gaming and overclocking is on the menu, the Core i7-10700K offers the best performance in its price range and leaves more room in the budget than the Core i9-10900K. For productivity work, the Ryzen 9 3900X is a far better deal, though, and it's no slouch on gaming, either, making it the better all-around CPU.