8). Thoughts and conclusion
The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS Pro Wi-Fi motherboard has its highs and lows. We will give an in-depth analysis of all possible use case scenarios (including PBO) with this motherboard, although at the moment of writing of this article, we could not test this product with a Ryzen Raven Ridge APU (we do not count with one at the moment).
This model counts with a good aesthetic and one of the differentiating feature it has, is the integrated I/O shield, something that you can only find in high-end motherboards (there are exceptions). There is also the considerable visual upgrade it has over GIGABYTE B350 flagship board, the B350 Gaming 3. Here is a direct comparison.
Flagship GIGABYTE B350 motherboard versus Flagship B450 AORUS motherboard
Performance wise, as seen on benchmarks, there is no doubt that this model is up to par to X470 motherboard standard on performance (using stock settings). Also in gaming (or gaming + streaming) the motherboard did not show any issues at all (paired with a Ryzen 7 2700X).
The motherboard has a good audio Codec (Realtek ALC1220) Intel LAN and has Wi-Fi/BT, which can save cost for those gamers that use wireless controllers (PS4/XBOne/Nintendo Switch) on PC. Wireless Internet is also always great to have as a bonus.
Let us see the downsides of the motherboard. The VRM temperatures on the motherboard when using a Ryzen 7 2700X under heavy workloads (blender and similar) are to be worried.
OCCT AVX workload showed us that the mosfets did reach VRM throttling temperatures (122 °C). On the bright side, the mosfets do have OTP (Over Temperature Protection).
To give a break on this criticism, we do not recommend pairing a 330 USD MRSP processor with a mid-120 USD MSRP motherboard for 24/7 heavy workloads in a professional or semi-professional use. There is a big difference on stress on the components when using only for games, gaming + streaming and low impact CPU tasks versus these kind of heavy scenarios.
Nonetheless, we reached 97 degrees Celsius on our Blender stress test (16 °C ambient) using the 2700X under stock settings, which is not very terrible, but far from ideal.
This model can be used with a 2700X for productivity, but we do not suggest it. There is a saying: “Even though you can, does not mean you should”.
One easy “hack” to alleviate temperatures issues under very heavy workloads, is by putting a fan blowing air at the VRM zone. This can decrease temperatures in a range of 15-20 degrees Celsius.
PBO can work without problems at all in games, games + streaming and day-to-day tasks while using a 2700X and using the setup we have suggested in this review. A CPU such a Ryzen 5 2600X should not have any issues whatsoever.
The only thing that worries me the most (hope it can be fixed) is related to VCore Software sensors while using +/- Offset Voltage (HWInfo64 and others). Right now is completely broken and there is no way a normal user can monitor voltages. In worst-case scenario, this could lead up to many problems for those who are not aware of this and try to tweak the BIOS and believe a voltage, which is not.
Luckily, we assessed that using Precision Boost Overdrive with an offset of -90mv (-0.090v) the voltages that were fed to the CPU, were good and I would suggest to peek at our sensor page if you have not.
Another detraction is the absence of LLC (Load Line Calibration) in this BIOS (F2b) and that might be a deal breaker for some users who want to manual OC Raven Ridge APUs, for example. LLC is not important for PBO, so those opting for this method on Pinnacle Pi should not be worried the absence of LLC.
Even though we do not have the means to test a Raven Ridge CPU (2200G/2400G), it is worth to note that this product has a heatsink over the VSoC VRM, which can come handy if you overclock the iGPU of APUs.
The Integrated I/O shield is nifty for this price range of motherboards
-Improvement over the old GIGABYTE B350 Flagship in many areas.
-Has a heatsink over the VSoC (iGPU) area.
-No issues while gaming on a Ryzen 7 2700X using Precision Boost Overdrive. Ryzen 5 2600X should work without issues even on demanding tasks.
-Integrated I/O Shield.
-Safe voltages for daily usage (stock) and combining –Offset Voltage + PBO, it can be good too.
-VRM Mosfet temperature sensor is accurate.
-Weak VRM VCore Phase/gets hot when using demanding CPUs like the Ryzen 7 2700X under heavy workloads. (Does not apply with R5 2600X).
-Sensors are currently broken when using +/- Offset Voltage and hope this can get fixed.
-Lack of LLC can be a deal breaker for those who want to manual overclock with this motherboard, although I do not suggest using manual overclock for Pinnacle Ridge CPUs.
Improvements on future revisions
-Better/more efficiente mosfets or design.
-Improve sensor readings through software.
Even though that boards some have issues (which might be a dealer cutter for some consumers) we give them the Gold Award here in XanxoGaming, because it has demonstrated that it has a good performance for the target audience we approach (gamers). After testing voltages using a multi-meter and made sure there we no issues with the motherboard, we are confident to suggest it.
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