Review Let's liven this slow forum up! My super quick review of the GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX

DAPUNISHER

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It is a great little board. Runs my 5600@4.65GHz without breaking a sweat. VRMs never get out of the 50s c with the air set at 24c with a ceiling fan. I will push the CPU harder later on, this was the; set the +200MHz in the UEFI one and done overclock.

I know some here do not like Gigabyte, but I have 3 different chipsets of AORUS ELITE and now this pro, and they are all excellent. If you don't like their UEFI, you ain't wrong. ;) I prefer MSI's UEFI out of all the board makers I have tried, but this cost me $190 shipped tax free, so meh.

I will add a couple of pics of it in the build, as quick and dirty as my mini review. Don't beat me up on cable management. I refuse to plug in ARGB on principle, and I swap stuff too often to bother with getting too tidy. I also keep a PCIE cable plugged in since I use other GPUs that require it. Notice how diminutive the 6400 is even in this tiny build.

All prices are rounded up, and include all tax and shipping -

AORUS PRO B550i = $190 Amazon
Gigabyte 256GB nvme = free
5600 = $150 Newegg
Deepcool 120MM AIO = $45 Amazon
XFX RX6400 = $118 includes Saints Row Amazon
NR200 = $85 Amazon
EVGA GM650W - $60 bought here in FS/FT.
RAM = $45 2x8GB CL15 3000MHz at 3200 (I keep stealing all the faster ram for other projects) Newegg I think? Had this 5yrs now?
Win11 pro = $12 VIPSCDKEYS I use a 10 pro key and Microsoft is like, okay cool.

Total = $705

It is very quiet and temps are spectacular for a mini-ITX build. The AORUS PRO is the real MVP in this build. I like everything about it, other than the RGB lighting.

IMG_20220803_133139.jpgIMG_20220803_133149.jpg
 

DAPUNISHER

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IDK, looks like it trades blows with my $500 laptop 💻.
LULZ! Why bring a laptop into this? Value? I would not be building mini-ITX if that were the point. ;) Did you stumble into the wrong forum? o_O Because you are presenting a serious apples to oranges comparison. Regardless, I would be mildly surprised if an aging 8 thread mobile i5 with 8GB of slower ram and the maxQ variant of a mobile 1650 won a single benchmark when compared.
 

DAPUNISHER

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Fabulous, I like this build a lot. Simple & competent.
The NR200 is a bit large for the form factor. I think the cooling, larger GPU support, and pop off and on panels make it a worthwhile trade off. The more expensive model I built in, includes a glass side panel along with the vented metal one this comes with. Also includes a PCIE 4.0 riser cable. This one has the smaller fan where the vertical GPU mounting is. The higher end model has 2 top exhaust instead of one.
 

DAPUNISHER

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They look pretty close to me. I did forget to take the MQ into account. With MQ I'm 4% behind which ain't much. View attachment 65345
Brother, we are heading for jump the shark silly now. Userbenchmark is worse than useless.

Again, why are we discussing laptop v. mini-ITX? 2 completely different markets. The value proposition makes no sense either. The laptop has very limited upgrade potential. If it has TB you can add a relatively expensive eGPU, but a fast GPU would be bottlenecked by the CPU and interface. At which point, value goes 404.

I am stoked you are stoked with your gaming laptop. I am confused how it entered the chat is all.
 
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DAPUNISHER

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Okay fine, why not post some comparisons of your own instead of just ripping on mine?

I'd be surprised if my laptop didn't beat your machine in games that favor nVidia GPUs.
You should really look up userbenchmark. They are so biased against AMD products, all of their products, that even Intel banned them from their sub Reddit.

Also, If you had the faster version of the mobile 1650 it might edge out the 6400 in GPU bound situations favoring Nvidia. But the Max Q version is 15 percent behind in TPU's database https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/geforce-gtx-1650-max-q.c3383 Anytime the CPU and memory bandwidth come into play, that's pretty often at the res and settings these GPUs can handle, the performance gap will widen.

I can swap in a 6600XT in less than 5 minutes, no need to reinstall drivers either. That illustrates how inane the comparison is. They are not the same market, and if value battling, I'd have used a $35 quality PSU I picked up in fs/ft, $50 case, and $55 board.
 

blckgrffn

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I am curious - what games have you played on it and how did they work out? I am assuming this is a 1080p medium details/full AF/low AA type situation but in practice man? How’s it working out? :)
 
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Zoozuu

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If it has TB you can add a relatively expensive eGPU, but a fast GPU would be bottlenecked by the CPU and interface. At which point, value goes 404.
You can also use a Egpu though a m.2/nvme slot so it doesn't really need TB. I would never touch a amd gpu or ever buy a laptop. I like your build other than the gpu. :)
 
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DAPUNISHER

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I am curious - what games have you played on it and how did they work out? I am assuming this is a 1080p medium details/full AF/low AA type situation but in practice man? How’s it working out? :)
As I often write about here, I purpose build PCs. This config is my latest iteration of a greatest hits gamer.

I am 10hrs or so into a new playthrough of Fallout 4. I am couch gaming with my ROCAT lapboard and wireless mouse and Series X BT controller on a 1080P HDTV max settings mostly. It stays locked at 60fps 99.9% of the time. This playthrough hasn't had a single hitch so far. With a level 135 character save, I can get a very brief dip here and there but nothing that interferes with the experience.

Tomb Raider 2013 and Shadow of Mordor with almost everything maxed were playing at locked 75fps on my VRR monitor. Shadow was one of the early games pushing beyond 4GB with textures so I can't max those. All of the Arkham games I tried run great too. Have not played Arkham Knight on it yet, that will probably require a few settings to be lowered, but we'll see. Witcher 3. I know I can't max 1080p because my 1650 Super couldn't do it. I am thinking custom for best IQ will look and play perfect. AC: Black Flag is on the list for testing/playing too. Good looking older game on max.

Where the 6400 shines is it hasn't exceeded 43W, and mostly draws in the 30s. This NR200 build using it, is so quiet I can't hear it from the recliner I am typing from. So yeah, for the classic hits, this tiny card provides a top notch experience. I have no interest in using it for Red Dead 2, Cyberpunk, or other GPU crushers. But most of my 100s of games will be golden.

The only thing I need to troubleshoot today is if the lack of media hardware on the 6400 is responsible for the HBO MAX streaming audio issue I had last night running it via HDMI on my Onkyo A/V. Everything but stereo was grayed out or MIA. Even using the Onkyo's features failed to get audio through the surround speakers. Maybe something I need to set in the Radeon suite? Turn off hardware acceleration? I don't know; open to help.
 

DAPUNISHER

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You can also use a Egpu though a m.2/nvme slot so it doesn't really need TB. I would never touch a amd gpu or ever buy a laptop. I like your build other than the gpu. :)
Thanks. :beercheers:

I bought the 6400 on Prime day, and was planning on playing Saints Row so it was a killer deal. $117.50 and a $50-$60 game included. Honestly, nothing can touch that deal NIB. And I can do a tiny build with it. It is the best single slot LP card/king of its niche right now. Of course I won't be playing Saints Row on the 6400. :p
 

lakedude

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This config is my latest iteration of a greatest hits gamer.
I would argue that the form factor is less important than purpose. If a laptop makes for a better or cheaper greatest hits gamer then the laptop wins.

When I first commented I had mistakenly pitted your GPU with the mobile non MQ 1650 and according to userbenchmark the 1650 came out on top. My argument lost some steam when I realized my mistake and a little more steam if my site is biased or unreliable.

Not sure you can beat my 1660ti laptop as easily...
 
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DAPUNISHER

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I would argue that the form factor is less important than purpose. If a laptop makes for a better or cheaper greatest hits gamer then the laptop wins.

When I first commented I had mistakenly pitted your GPU with the mobile non MQ 1650 and according to userbenchmark the 1650 came out on top. My argument lost some steam when I realized my mistake and a little more steam if my site is biased or unreliable.

Not sure you can beat my 1660ti laptop as easily...
Thanks for explaining why you brought the laptop into the discussion. I think you and I are pursuing different goals is all. And make no mistake, I have much faster cards on hand, a faster CPU, and plenty of faster ram. I also have much cheaper parts for every component. I shop FS/FT forums where the real deals are. ;) DIY is the bang for buck champ for savvy shoppers. You know this.
 

blckgrffn

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Thanks for explaining why you brought the laptop into the discussion. I think you and I are pursuing different goals is all. And make no mistake, I have much faster cards on hand, a faster CPU, and plenty of faster ram. I also have much cheaper parts for every component. I shop FS/FT forums where the real deals are. ;) DIY is the bang for buck champ for savvy shoppers. You know this.
Following @DAPUNISHER on the FS/FT forums is where the real value is at! This I know :D

I really hope we do see 6400 at $100 and 6500xt at $130 or so. I build lots of Fortnite and Minecraft type rigs and I prefer new GPUs, PSUs and motherboards when things are normal. The last couple years has been a pinch as we all know.
 
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DAPUNISHER

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Technically my 6400 was well under $100. And as we all know, technically correct is the best kind of correct.

Got the surround working, I nerfed something last night. I am certain it had nothing to do with the Jack+Coke I had while the Mrs and I watched movies. Neither the Nvidia or AMD audio drivers like the Onkyo's DSP I guess. Surround speakers are not working with either one of them now using DSP audio effects. Direct works perfectly. Nvidia offers an extra default 5.1 profile AMD doesn't. Looking at the diagram, that's because AMD rightly decided people that use that speaker config are persona non grata. :p

I call them the Stormtroopers. They are white and black themed, and the perfect analogy for how well I aim in shooters.

IMG_20220804_151603.jpg
 

Shmee

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Nice build! My only complaint is the RX 6400 is a bit budget even for a budget build. Well, and I am not a fan of Windows 11, but that is more of a matter of taste and usage I suppose.

I do think that a better GPU should have been used, for a more balanced build. The 5600 is a nice choice and OCs well. I think a 6600(XT) would be an excellent modern choice, and I have no problem considering a Radeon card.

If not going with a 6600 or higher, maybe an RX 580 8GB or RX 5700 would be a better choice for a bit less? I admit I am not sure where the RX 6400 stacks up compared to these, but I assume it is not as good, and I think only has 4GB of memory? Something to consider.

As for storage, a single 256GB SSD isn't going to hold much in the way of games, but since it was free, good on you for using it as a boot drive. Just add a decent 1TB SSD later for additional room, would be super cheap. Maybe $60 or so for a good sale on an MX500 or similar, and even a fair NVMe drive wouldn't be much more new. It gets better getting them lightly used. Or like a cheap, enterprise refurb drive like the Micron 1100.

Anyway, do you have a chart on how the RX 6400 stacks up? Also I am assuming you are playing at 1080p with this, but do tell if otherwise.
 

bononos

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It is a great little board. Runs my 5600@4.65GHz without breaking a sweat. VRMs never get out of the 50s c with the air set at 24c with a ceiling fan. I will push the CPU harder later on, this was the; set the +200MHz in the UEFI one and done overclock.

I know some here do not like Gigabyte, but I have 3 different chipsets of AORUS ELITE and now this pro, and they are all excellent. If you don't like their UEFI, you ain't wrong. ;) I prefer MSI's UEFI out of all the board makers I have tried, but this cost me $190 shipped tax free, so meh.
.............
Whats better about the UEFI of MSI compared to Gigabyte?
 

DAPUNISHER

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Whats better about the UEFI of MSI compared to Gigabyte?
Purely subjective, but IMO how it is organized, and the features. The one click game mode overclocking in the UEFI works remarkably well for me. I know some others have not gotten equally good results using it. It has been a huge time saver for me though. I feel like I often have to drill down an extra level in the settings to find what I want on Gigabyte v. MSI too. Obviously not a deal breaker.
 

DAPUNISHER

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@Shmee

I do have a 6600, 6600XT, an GTX 1080 ready to tag in. But as I wrote earlier, I am using it as a greatest hits box for the moment. Fallout 4, Shadow of War, 2013 Tomb Raider, Batman Arkham games, Halo MC collection, older Dirt and Dirt Rally, that kind of stuff. It is handling recliner gaming at 1080p TV's 60Hz with almost all settings maxed in those titles.

The 6400 is not a fast card, it is only equal to a GDDR6 GTX 1650 overall, while using even less power. This card's destiny is a tiny build. I am evaluating its performance, while I find the right case. The A09 is the leading candidate right now https://www.amazon.com/Goodisory-Black-Mini-ITX-Desktop-Computer/dp/B09KZVNZ49

No putting a 1650 in that. And good luck finding a LP 1650 for a sane price, even if it did fit.

Also, I wouldn't risk more than $50 on a used Polaris anymore. Who knows how long it was in the mines? Even the 4GB could have been slaving away. The performance per watt, even undervolted, is also garbage in comparison. Subtract the price of Saints Row and I paid $60-70 for NIB with warranty. Polaris can't go where this will either. I will keep saying it, this version of the 6400 is the king of its little niche.

All that said; I do completely agree the 6400 is the weak link in this "budget" mini-ITX build. As a couple of you have pointed out. This case can take a much larger GPU, even 3 fan models. However, I have found ignoring the reviews and using the 6400 for games other than the latest AAA GPU crushers, has lead to a whole weekend's time worth of fun already. And much more to be had.
 

DAPUNISHER

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I forgot to mention storage. I use an M.2 enclosure -https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Type-C-Tool-Free-Enclosure-EC-SNVE/dp/B08RVC6F9Y

It is tiny so you can hide it and not spoil the aesthetics. It is also a big time saver as you can use it with different PCs and not have to keep installing games over and over. I did not include the cost in the build because of that. It has a 1TB nvme in it I paid $50 for.
 

bononos

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Purely subjective, but IMO how it is organized, and the features. The one click game mode overclocking in the UEFI works remarkably well for me. I know some others have not gotten equally good results using it. It has been a huge time saver for me though. I feel like I often have to drill down an extra level in the settings to find what I want on Gigabyte v. MSI too. Obviously not a deal breaker.
I thought these type of one-click 'gamer' oc modes were dangerous because they tend to set voltages/llc too high. Does it still allow you do some fine tuning to avoid overly high voltages?
 

DAPUNISHER

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I thought these type of one-click 'gamer' oc modes were dangerous because they tend to set voltages/llc too high. Does it still allow you do some fine tuning to avoid overly high voltages?
Used less voltage for me than out of box settings. Temps were better too. I sold and traded away my MSI stuff, so can't give you HWiNFO for them.
 
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