We are writing our B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review to share essential information about this Gigabyte motherboard. We will take a spin on the B650 AORUS ELITE AX aimed at the high-budget segment. Interestingly, it boasts plenty of excellent features without burning your wallet.
In our review, we will look deeper into the motherboard from Gigabyte. We will share information about its features, design, functions, specifications, how it works, and how efficient it is.
But before we discuss those details, let us check its packaging and the contents Gigabyte included.
We immediately unboxed our package when it arrived for this review. The B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review shipped in a standard-looking AORUS box with a big AORUS logo. You will also find the motherboard name in this area of the box.
Behind, you will find more details about the product.
Inside the box, you will find the B650 AORUS ELITE AX with a few extras from Gigabyte. These include a WiFi antenna, two SATA cables, a front panel G Connector, and one M.2 standoff. You will also find an M.2 screw and a paper leaflet.
B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review – Design and Functionality
Let us continue our B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review and discuss its design, build, and functions.
The B650 AORUS ELITE AX is a mid-range feature-rich board sporting an ATX form. For its design, Gigabyte retained its stencil and design aesthetics from earlier generation boards. However, the product stepped up a notch in the design department to offer a solid product for users.
Looking at its form and exterior, the board sports a black-coloured PCB with heatsinks that have black and grey colours. Since its chipset cover features RGB elements, the RGB 2.0 fusion comes into play since lighting is not elaborative. h
The company took into consideration the cooling requirements of the components around. So, it has the chipset area concealed with the M.2 port covers, which give off a stylish aesthetic and outlook.
While inspecting and observing the motherboard for our B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review, we learned about its new socket. It uses one from AMD, and it is named the AM5.
The new socket is the LGA 1718 since AMD opted for Land Grid Array (LGA). Also, it is good to note that earlier generation Ryzen CPUs are incompatible with this specific socket. It sports a flip-chip design that supports the DDR5 memory modules and new 7000 series CPUs.
The socket area has a protective cover, while the socket itself appears divided into two. While checking it out, you will see brackets at the top and bottom of the socket. These feature the same design and style as earlier AM4 sockets.
Since its size is the same, you can install any cooler compatible with the AM4 socket on the AM5.
In terms of cooling, Gigabyte implemented a more effective solution: under the I/O cover, there is a massive heatsink. The TMOS heatsink has a single piece, so its design and larger surface area significantly outperform the multi-piece designs of competitors. It is better in terms of cooling performance.
On the heatsink, TMOS has several channels and inlets. This design allows airflow to pass through, significantly improving heat transfer performance. Furthermore, it has the two heatsinks for the VRM and MOSFETs linked via a 6mm copper heat pipe.
When it comes to its thermal pads, these are rated 7W/mK.
The B650 AORUS ELITE AX has ideal power phases: 14 phases paralleled with the VCore. The latter uses Infineon TDA-21472 SPS 70A, making it 980A. It is a much lower result than the 1680A of the X670E AORUS Master.
You will find two MOSFETs for SOC utilises ON NCP-303160 SPS 60A. These have 120A for SOC to provide stable power to the iGPU.
Then, one MOSFET for MISC utilises the Renesas ISL-99390 SPS 30A. This time, it is for delivering stable power to the PCIe lanes. Based on power delivery, the B650 AORUS ELITE AX appears ideal enough in this range.
The company uses Infineon VRM controller XDPE-192C3B for built-in control over all three MOSFETs. Plus, it provided one 8-pin + one 4-pin EPS connector to guarantee a smooth power supply.
Our B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review will now focus on its three PCIe slots.
Wired at the topmost section leads to its CPU socket. Plus, it is a fully-functional PCIe Gen 4 x4 slot. To note, it has a 64GB/s theoretical bandwidth.
Gigabyte chose to offer a Gen 5 M.2 port in line with the specifications of the B650 chipset. It is good to note that this is an SMD stainless-steel reinforced slot, and the steel offers tensile strength.
Like on earlier Gigabyte boards, the B650 AORUS ELITE AX utilises double-locking brackets for the slot on the topmost section. Gigabyte added an extended PCIe locker set on top of the standard locker. It is what the company refers to as the EZ-Latch, which makes it easier to remove the graphics card.
The extended locker arm is drawing out the top NVMe slot. Because of what it does, it is better and more convenient to access an otherwise space-constrained area.
Key Features of the B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard
Let us discuss the elements that make the B650 AORUS ELITE AX a motherboard to consider for your build. It packs plenty of notable and essential features that will make for an excellent system that works efficiently.
PCIe 5.0 Design
The first PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 slot supports the newest M.2 25110 form factor. It uses the PCIe 5.0 M.2 connectors and has a metal shield for improved strength.
DDR5 EXPO & XMP Overclocking with the B650 AORUS ELITE AX
AORUS offers a tested and proven platform with up to 6666 MHz overclocking capacity. And by ensuring that your DDR5 modules are AMD EXPO/Intel XMP-capable, you can achieve this extreme memory performance.
You can activate and enable the EXPO and XMP functions via the AORUS motherboard.
Exceptional Thermal Design
Gigabyte motherboards deliver unparalleled performance thanks to their optimised thermal design. These ensure the ideal temperatures and stability of the CPU, chipset, and SSD under a full-load application and gaming performance.
Three Times Larger Surface Area
The heatsinks of the B650 AORUS ELITE AX have an increased surface area by three times of conventional variants. These provide better heat dissipation from the MOSFETs.
Smart Fan 6 for Improved Cooling Performance
While writing our B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review, we noticed one of the best cooling features: Smart Fan 6. It offers numerous cooling elements to ensure gaming PCs maintain optimal performance while operating quietly and keeping temperatures low.
With multiple fan headers, this motherboard can support PWM/DC fans and pumps. You can also define each fan curve easily according to temperature sensors across the board via an intuitive interface.
Additionally, you can switch the fan curve between Stair and Slope modes for different scenarios. Stair Mode is the non-linear movement where the fan maintains the same speed between specified temperature intervals. Slope, on the other hand, is the traditional linear fan speed curve.
TMOS – Real Single-piece Build with Multi-cut Design
TMOS is a one-piece heatsink design, and as mentioned, it has a larger surface to improve thermal performance significantly. It delivers better cooling than the conventional design used by competitors.
While it uses a single-piece design, TMOS has several channels and inlets on the heatsink. These allow for better airflow and heat transfer.
Concealed Thermal Design of the B650 AORUS ELITE AX
With high-coverage MOSFETs and integrated moulding heatsinks, the B650 AORUS ELITE AX has better heat exchange and airflow.
M.2 Thermal Guard for Improved Cooling
Gigabyte ensures that all manufactured motherboards are durable. To provide unparalleled durability, the company offers Thermal Guard – a thermal solution for M.2 SSD devices. It helps dissipate heat to prevent bottlenecks and throttling.
8-Layer and 2x Copper PCB
The 2X copper PCBs have reduced impedance and high thermal conductivity. These work effectively in keeping the temperature of components low.
Modern Wireless Solutions – 802.11ax WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5
The B650 AORUS ELITE AX uses WiFi 6E, the latest wireless solution that provides gigabit wireless performance. It offers better gaming and smoother streaming experiences due to reduced drops and up to 2.4Gbps speeds. This motherboard also uses Bluetooth 5 for increased range and faster transmission.
Faster Network Speeds with 2.5GbE
The B650 AORUS ELITE AX adopts 2.5GbE, which is faster than the traditional 1GbE network. This feature makes the motherboard ideal for gamers to enjoy the ultimate experience.
High-speed Transfers with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C
The B650 AORUS ELITE AX has USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C ports. These offer high-speed data transfers when connecting USB 3.2-compliant peripherals. Plus, they are two times faster than the previous generation.
Realistic Sound with High-end Audio Capacitors
Like other AORUS motherboards, the B650 AORUS ELITE AX has high-end audio capacitors that offer high-fidelity and high-resolution sound. These make gaming audio more immersive and realistic to make your experience more enjoyable.
Audio Noise Guard of the B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard
The B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard features an audio noise guard. It segregates the sensitive analogue audio components from the potential noise pollution at the PCB level.
Intuitive Software for Gigabyte Motherboards
The B650 AORUS ELITE AX and other Gigabyte motherboards have intuitive software for users to adjust various settings and elements. One is the RGB Fusion Multi-Zone Light Show Design for customising RGB LEDs.
Gigabyte Control Centre/GCC is a unified interface for managing all Gigabyte-supported devices. It has an automatic update function to keep your system and product support up-to-date.
Configurable Multi-key Button
Multi-key is a reset button with multiple functions, which you can reconfigure in BIOS.
Ultra Durable Design of Gigabyte
Gigabyte uses the Ultra Durable design and a high-quality manufacturing process to ensure the longevity of its motherboards. The company equips its products with premium components and reinforces each slot to make these solid and sturdy.
Our B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review focuses on this product which uses the AMD B650 chipset. Its CPU has an AMD socket AM5 and supports AMD Ryzen 7000 series processors.
You will find four memory slots on the motherboard and DDR5 with a dual-channel memory architecture. It can also support 128GB (32GB single DIMM capacity for its total memory).
This motherboard uses AMD WiFi 6E RZ616 with Bluetooth 5.2 for PCB rev 1.0. It also supports the Intel WiFi 6E AX210 module with Bluetooth 5.3 for PCB rev 1.1. The maximum LAN speed of this product is 2.6Gbps.
Audio-wise, the B650 AORUS ELITE AX uses the Realtek Audio CODEC and High-Definition Audio with 7.1 audio channels. Also, the motherboard supports Windows 11 64-bit and Windows 10 64-bit.
Lastly, the B650 AORUS ELITE AX has an ATX form factor measuring 30.5 x 24.4cm.
Hands-on with the B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard
We will discuss our experience with the motherboard in this B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review. Using it for over a week gave us an idea of how it would perform for various uses.
So now, we are sharing our findings to help you determine if it is worth purchasing.
Updating the BIOS with Q-Flash Plus
The unique Q-Flash Plus is a button that allows updating the BIOS without installing the CPU or RAM. Above it are a LED indicator and a dedicated USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port for this feature. On the motherboard, it has a BIOS label for quick identification.
We updated the BIOS using Q-Flash Plus, but first, we downloaded the BIOS file. It is available from the Gigabyte website.
When the download finished, we changed the file name to GIGABYTE.BIN. After that, we copied the BIOS file to a FAT 32-format USB flash drive.
Next, we plugged the flash drive into the dedicated BIOS port. We also connected the 12V and 24V connectors from the PSU to the motherboard and activated the PSU.
Upon pressing the Q-Flash Plus button, the LED started blinking fast, which indicated searching for the BIOS file. It did not take long for the BIOS flashback to complete. And once it did, the LED stopped blinking, and the PSU automatically shut down and restarted.
Our BIOS update with the Q-Flash Plus button was a success.
Performance of the B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard
After installing the B650 AORUS ELITE AX, we immediately tested its performance. With this motherboard, we got ourselves a powerful workstation-grade system that could handle any task, and the CPU performed excellently.
The board delivered good results but with high latency for read/write speeds. When it came to storage, the motherboard also performed well.
After enabling Low Latency Support and XMP/EXPO High Bandwidth, we saw a drastic improvement in the transfer rate and latencies.
We were impressed with the overall performance of the B650 AORUS ELITE AX. It handled everything we threw at it during our tests, making it an excellent board. This board delivered optimal performance from read/write, networking and storage performance to gaming, overclocking and cooling.
We loved its balanced features, and its performance is ideal for its price. This board is excellent if you dislike spending on a high-end motherboard.
B650 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard Review Summary
The B650 AORUS ELITE AX from Gigabyte is one of the highest-priced motherboards in the B650 lineup. It uses the newest AM5 socket and has well-balanced features to deliver superior system performance.
This motherboard has the new-generation USB ports, M.2 Thermal Guard, and a shielded PCB layer to guarantee maximum stability.
For this particular product, Gigabyte focused on performance durability. We were satisfied with the overall results of our tests since they delivered stable performance while maintaining reasonable temperature levels. Building a PC with this motherboard was also easy, thanks to the unique features like EZ-latch.
We highly recommend this product if you need a mid-range motherboard for your build.