Affordable Gigabyte B650 Motherboards Begin To Emerge For Mainstream AMD Zen 4 PCs

hero gigabyte am5 motherboards
AMD's Zen 4-based Ryzen 7000 processors have attractive performance, but their value proposition is questionable. That's due to the cost of entry: you need speedy DDR5 memory for the best performance, and the available X670 motherboards aren't cheap. Inexpensive B650-based boards are on the way, with AMD holding a livestream on October 4th to show off the models, but Chinese blog BenchLife already has photos of Gigabyte's B650 lineup.

BenchLife lists the models as the B650E Aorus Master, B650 Aorus Elite AX, B650M Aorus Elite AX, B650 AERO G, and B650I Aorus Ultra. We'll reproduce the photos here, but unfortunately there isn't too much to say about the models that you can't simply see for yourself in the pictures:
b650e aorus master
Gigabyte B650E Aorus Master. Note dual EPS12V and oodles of fan connectors.

b650 aorus elite ax
Gigabyte B650 Aorus Elite AX. Still quite fancy; probably a trio of M.2 slots.

b650m aorus elite ax
Gigabyte B650M Aorus Elite AX. The only Micro-ATX AM5 board we've seen from Gigabyte.

b650i aorus ultra
Gigabyte B650I Aorus Ultra. An even smaller AM5 board. Quite fancy regardless.

b650 aero g
Gigabyte B650 Aero G. Aero boards are targeted at creators instead of gamers.

If you're not up to snuff on your Socket AM5 chipsets, the top-end X670 boards actually have a pair of physical chips onboard, making proper use of the term "chipset". Both of these chips provide the CPU (via a serial link, not in parallel) with additional connectivity, including more USB, SATA, and/or PCIe. B650, on the other hand, only uses a single chip, like most "chipsets" in the last few years. This will restrict its maximum connectivity, but the majority of the most-important I/O comes from the Ryzen CPUs themselves, so it may not matter to most users.

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Unfortunately, BenchLife didn't get any pricing details with the pictures, so we don't yet know how much cheaper these boards will be compared to their X670 equivalents. The site does speculate that the difference could be as much as 30%. That would put the B650 Aorus Elite AX at around $200, and the B650E Aorus Master at about $350. Those are still not cheap motherboards—quite a bit higher than the $125 that AMD promised with the launch of Zen 4—but street prices may end up being a bit lower yet.

BenchLife also speculates that these boards will be available starting October 10th. That's about a week after AMD's presentation and less than two weeks away from today, so we'll see soon enough.