Gigabyte B660M Aorus Pro AX DDR4 Review: Frugal Falcon?

Gigabyte’s B660M Aorus Pro AX is a full-featured Micro-ATX board for $169.99.

Gigabyte B660M Aorus Pro AX DDR4
(Image: © Gigabyte)

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Firmware

Gigabyte’s B660 firmware looks no different than on pricier Z690 boards, except it excludes processor overclocking functionality. The BIOS starts in an informational EZ Mode that displays system information with limited functionality. You can enable XMP profiles from here, access Smart Fan 6 for fan control, use Q-Flash to update the BIOS, or enter Advanced Mode. When working in the Advanced portion of the BIOS, major headers are listed across the top, with sub-headings below. Page up/down functionality has finally been added in some capacity, and the BIOS is easy to read and well organized to help find what you’re looking for.

Software

On the software side of things, Gigabyte’s primary tool is the App Center. This application is a central repository for all board-centric applications, some Windows settings, and other third-party software. Simply click to download the applications you want, install them, and an icon shows up on the screen. We installed @BIOS (BIOS flashing utility), Easy Tune (overclocking/system tweaking), RGB Fusion 2.0 (to control RGB lighting) and SIV (for system monitoring). The Gigabyte website has many other helpful applications, including USB charging (to control power to ports), LAN, and more that aren’t covered here. Overall, we like App Center’s small footprint and found its modular tools helpful.

Test System / Comparison Products

We’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied. We kept the same (opens in new tab)Asus TUF RTX 3070 (opens in new tab) video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver to version 496.13. Additionally, our game selection has been updated, as noted in the table below. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted. The hardware we used is as follows:

Test System Components

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUIntel Core i9-12900K
MemoryGSkill Trident Z DDR5-5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)
Row 2 - Cell 0 ADATA XPG Lancer DDR5-6000 CL40 (AX5U6000C4016G-DCLARBK)
Row 3 - Cell 0 GSkill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 (F4-3600C16Q-32GTZN)
Row 4 - Cell 0 GSkill Trident Z Royal DDR4-4000 (F4-4000C18Q-32GTRS)
GPUAsus TUF RTX 3070
CoolingCoolermaster MasterLiquid PL360 Flux
PSUEVGA Supernova 850W P6
SoftwareWindows 11 64-bit (21H2, Build 22000.282)
Graphics DriverNVIDIA Driver 496.13
SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)

Gigabyte B660M Aorus Pro AX

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

EVGA supplied our Supernova 850W P6 power supply (appropriately sized and more efficient than the outgoing 1.2KW monster we used) for our test systems, and G.Skill sent us a DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for launch day testing.

Benchmark Settings

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Synthetic Benchmarks and SettingsRow 0 - Cell 1
ProcyonVersion 2.0.249 64
Row 2 - Cell 0 Office Suite, Video Editing (Premiere Pro), Photo Editing (Photoshop, Lightroom Classic)
3DMarkVersion 2.20.7290 64
Row 4 - Cell 0 Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R23Version RBBENCHMARK330542
Row 6 - Cell 0 Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
BlenderVersion 3.0.1
Row 8 - Cell 0 Full benchmark (all 3 tests)
Application Tests and SettingsRow 9 - Cell 1
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Row 11 - Cell 0 Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Row 13 - Cell 0 Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Row 15 - Cell 0 Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 21.03-beta
Row 17 - Cell 0 Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
Game Tests and SettingsRow 18 - Cell 1
Far Cry 6Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON
F1 2021Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HBAO+, RT Med, TAA + 16xAF, Bahrain, FPS Counter ON

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Joe Shields
Motherboard Reviewer

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.