As I mentioned before here, my relative asked me to help him with upgrading his PC. After some thinking I decided to go with Gigabyte B550 Aorus Pro AC. My relative already had good Wi-Fi USB dongle from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07S8Q18JP and it works really well. As result, I was planning to buy Gigabyte B550 Aorus Pro, but unfortunately everything was out of stock except version with Wi-Fi.
I will repeat short reasons why I decided to go with this motherboard:
- 10 USB port, 2 of them 3.2 Gen 1 and 2 of them 3.2 gen 2
- Decent VRM, check this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfD_KuTVfkc
- Good sound chip
From Hardware Unboxed I found this memory: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WNQQ7DM. After reading reviews I found that 3600 MHz CL18 is just slightly faster than 3200 MHz and CL16. But they did cost about the same, so for sake of experiment I decided to go 3600 MHz memory. But it also supports 3200 MHz and CL16.
Just in case this memory is not in motherboard compatibility list. But from what I read; compatibility is mostly in memory control that is in CPU.
As for CPU I was planning to take AMD 3600. Unfortunately, after I ordered motherboard, I found that sale is finished and instead of $166 it did cost $190 and was out of stock. After short discussion we decided to go for 3700X. After all, this computer should last long time and $80 does not really make difference when PC will last 4-5 years. I feel like 16 thread CPU will have way bigger lifetime and I believe it will still viable after 4-5 years. Also, my relative planning to upgrade video card in 1-2 years as current one is 3 years old and soon will it reach its end of live. And having faster CPU allow us to hope that CPU will not be bottleneck with faster video card.
Anyway, today everything arrived, though box with motherboard was quite damaged. But motherboard survived. We removed old motherboard and placed new one. Everything went according to plan but there was something interesting.
I found that 3700X using brackets around CPU clips. When I did install AMD Ryzen 5 2600, I had to remove brackets and screw cooler to plate behind motherboard. And I thought that 3700X is hotter and for sure would use the same mechanism. So, I removed brackets only to realize that they are required. I never clipped cooler before, so I had to watch some video. Also, cooper for 3700X is quite nice. I was never fan of RGB, but it is looking nice and stylish.
Motherboard has 8 pins ATX connectors for CPU. But my relative’s power supply is few years old and had only 4 pins. I was worried that it will be not enough. I know that my computer uses only 4 pins and from few videos I knew that 4 pins provides a lot of power. At the end it works without any problems.
After computer powered up, I went to BIOS and changed to use XMP profile. Then I created bootable flash drive with MemTest86. Then I did run 4 passes for memory test. This is essential step, because with faulty memory content of your drives could corrupted. I had that experience long time ago. Yes, it takes a lot of time, but it is necessary step and could save you a lot of troubles later. T-Force Dark Z passed test without any problems.
Motherboard had debug LED indicators to help troubleshoot issue. Also, motherboard has a lot of fan connectors. Previous one had problem with it and there were some tricks to connect fan on the back of the case as it had short cable. Also, it has nice thing to connect all indicators and buttons on the case. It is plastic box where you can plug and lock cables from case and then plug this box into motherboard. I would not say that it saves a lot of time, but you need to take motherboard out, then it will save quite a lot of time.
After memory test was complete, I went to BIOS again, disabled something I never use and left only one boot source: SATA SDD. And to my surprise it did not boot Windows as it stated that it is not bootable device. After some thinking I did realize that during Windows installation, Windows will add itself as UEFI bootable source. So, I went to Boot | CSM Support in BIOS and change Storage Boot Option Control to Legacy only. After that, Windows was able to re-configure itself and load. Then I reverted my change and Windows was able to boot in UEFI mode in Storage Boot Option Control.
This motherboard has external Wi-Fi antenna and I had great hopes for it. Unfortunately, it works about 3-4 slower than dongle my relative had before. That dongle costs $18 and I think it would better investment than $10 in case of Gigabyte.
And finally, I come to think that took most of my time in this build. And to be honest it is thing I was least expecting to have any problems at all. After we assembled and tested everything it was time to test some games. And performance was great. But then we realized there is no sound. And I plugged in headphones, driver asks me what I plugged in and I did specify headphones and microphone but there were no sound. Finally, after trying all we found one that was working. But only for sound. Microphone did not work. I tried different application and nowhere it works. Skype for example stated that we did not have microphone plugged in. Anyway, I decided to install driver from Gigabyte website.
To my surprise installer was not signed at all and Windows did not want to run it. Yes, you can find out how to do, but it is shaming that Gigabyte did not sign it. After I did run installer, it stated that it needed reboot. After reboot, installer repeated all steps and asked for reboot. After 3rd time I realized that installer cannot remove something and was asking for reboot. As my file manager I am using FAR and when you press Ctrl+Page Down on installer, you can see and extract files from it as it is self-extracting archive. I did extract and repeated process hoping that there was some issue with extracting, but it did not help. At the end, I went to Device Manager, right click on sound device and selected Update driver and specified directory with extracted driver. After that it found driver, and everything started to work.