Change, some people like change, and others are scared of change. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. This is generally not the case with tech. New doesn’t always mean better, immediately. In the last few months, we have seen announcements from many of the big names in the CPU and GPU industries regarding their latest releases. Gigabyte has been gracious enough to send us their latest B650 Aorus Elite AX motherboard that is compatible with DDR5 RAM as well as the latest 7000 series processors from AMD Ryzen. Since we don’t have the latest generation Ryzen CPU to truly test it, we will be taking a look at the unboxing and some of the new features that come with this board.
Packaging and unboxing
From the moment the B650 Aorus Elite AX arrived on my desk I was instantly infatuated with the eye-catching design of the box and how it draws you in and makes you look again, and again. On the front is the mandatory Aorus Falcon, in a transformer-like guise making it look like it’s ready for business with plenty of Aorus references all over it. Not to be missed is the “TEAM UP, FIGHT ON” just below the eye of the falcon. The right bottom is where it shows that this board is meant for AMD Ryzen socket AM5 users as well as that it supports DDR5 RAM. Thanks to PCIe 5.0 it is NVMe Ready and features a 2.5GbE LAN.
Moving to the rear of the box. This is where you will have your first glimpse of what this board actually looks like, and some of the features that come standard on it. The most notable feature mentioned here is that the MOSFETs for power delivery are all covered with heatsinks. The 5GbE LAN, a staggering 14+2+1 Power phase structure, and Wi-Fi 6E.
Opening up the box, you are met with very little actually. Many other companies cram their boxes full of booklets and other things. Where this Aorus B650 Elite gives you want you asked for. Inside is the motherboard itself, in its ATX form factor. sealed in an anti-static bag. A very basic booklet and a Wi-Fi antenna, two SATA cables, a front panel G-connector, an M.2 standoff, and a screw. Just like many other major companies, Gigabyte has tried lessening the use of paper to save the environment, therefor less paper is used so no user manual is supplied in physical form.
Taking a Closer Look
The Aorus B650 Elite AX slots into the mid-range section of motherboards. The board at a glance is very similar to the previous generation of boards, which is good as I really liked the look of them. But Gigabyte has taken the time to improve on where the previous generation was slightly lacking and now they have made a good-looking board, which has enough features and bells while looking wonderful.
The Aorus B650 Elite features the following:
- AM5 socket support
- B650 chipset
- 1x PCIe4.0 x 16 GPU interface
- HDMI & DP
- Dual channel 4-slots DDR5 RAM
- 2x PCIe 3.0
- 4x SATA 3.0
- 1x M.2 Gen 5/ 2x Gen 4
- 8ch HD audio
- 12 x USBs of various generations
- 802.11ax Wireless
AM5 is really a step in a different direction for AMD unlike before when AM4 was very backwards compatible with older CPUs. AM5 now uses LGA 1718 as AMD has decided to use a Lane Grid Array similar to what Intel uses. Fortunately for some, AMD still sticks with putting their pins on the Motherboard instead of the CPU like Intel does so be careful when handling the board, there is a protective cover over the socket to protect against accidental touching and bending pins.
As mentioned before the B650 Aorus Elite AX features DDR5 RAM which allows for RAM speeds that far-surpass DDR4. After the latest BIOS update, the RAM speeds can be pushed to 6600 MHz, if the hardware supports it. Straight out of the box the board can support speeds of 4400, 4800, and 5200 MHz. Maximum RAM capacity is 128Gb via 4x32Gb sticks.
One of the most exciting features of the platform is the Gen 5 support for Gen 5 M.2 NVMe SSDs which if reports are to be believed, are capable of eye-watering read-write speeds which should finally help bring DDR5 RAM to its full potential.
The B650 Aorus Elite AX has 4 DIMMs for RAM but they are not reinforced like many other brands like to do. I don’t think this is a problem as RAM is generally rather light. This board also supports AMD EXPO as well as Intel XMP for easy and safe overclocking of RAM speeds.
This Aorus Elite AX supports only one Gen 5 M.2 Slot but fortunately, it does still have two more in the form of Gen 4 which is still very capable of making your M.2 drives sing nicely. The Gen5 slot is covered by a nice brushed metal plate with only a tiny smooth piece that simply says M.2 SSD on it. The Gen 4 sockets are covered by a bigger plate that is part of the decorating design of lines running into the word AORUS which adorns the lower right side of the board, serving as a heatsink for components. This heatsink is what covers the actual B650 chipset. The only form of RGB will emanate from underneath this very heatsink.
With the introduction of GPUs that are now often bigger than the actual motherboard itself, Gigabyte has been very nice to include their EZ-latch mechanism on their PCIe slots, allowing for easier unlatching without you having to cram your finger-or long objects between your GPU to try and unhook it from its slot.
Take a look at the website for the new generation of boards right here:
The B650 Aorus Elite AX is a fantastic board crammed full of much-needed features such as WiFi, DDR5 support, and many others that many of the mid-tier boards often drop to ensure they keep their prices down. However, don’t expect prices on these new AM5 boards to be cheap. With the new tech comes a price hike and great performance benefits for your hard-earned cash.
The B650 Aorus Elite AX provides a good-looking motherboard and would be a perfect upgrade if you are looking to enjoy the new Ryzen 7000 series CPU as well as DDR5 RAM. With AMD being as user-friendly as they are, if you have an AM4-compatible cooler at the moment, it will work on the new AM5 socket without any changes.
If you are looking to buy this motherboard (R6, 999), head to the link below: