Review: Gigabyte B650I AX AM5 Motherboard

The Gigabyte B650I AX is an ITX motherboard targeted at consumers looking to build a small form factor AMD Ryzen 7000/8000 PC on a budget.

In today's article, ALKtech checks out a budget-friendly ITX motherboard offering sporting AMD's mid-range B650 chipset - the Gigabyte B650I AX. Targeted at consumers looking to build an AM5 system in the ITX form factor at a wallet-friendlier price, the B650I AX sports support for AMD's current generation of "Zen 4" Ryzen 7000 CPUs and Ryzen 8000 APUs, and is in all likelihood capable of running AMD's next-gen "Zen 5" Ryzen 9000 series processor offerings with a BIOS update in due course.

Summary of Specifications

Processor Support: AMD Ryzen 7000 & 8000 series processors
Chipset: AMD B650
Memory: 2x DDR5 slots, max 96GB, up to DDR5 6400 (OC) support
Audio: Realtek ALC897 audio codec
LAN: Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
WIFI: Realtek RTL8852CE WIFI 6E module with built-in Bluetooth 5.3
Expansion Slot: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16
Storage: 2x SATA III, 1x PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 (NVMe drives only)
Form Factor: Mini-ITX

Packaging & Contents

Gigabyte B650I AX Packaging (Front)

Gigabyte B650I AX Packaging (Rear)

The B650I AX comes in a greyish-black box with an Ultra Durable motif splashed across the front of the box in a bronze colour - the Ultra Durable line-up of products is aimed squarely at the value-oriented customer segment, where it places below the GAMING X and AORUS series of motherboard offerings.

Gigabyte B650I AX Packaging (Contents)

As a budget-oriented board, Gigabyte has included just the following accessories:

  • Regulatory information leaflet
  • I/O shield
  • 2x SATA III cables
  • WIFI antennae
  • M.2 drive screw

Board Aesthetics

Gigabyte B650I AX Motherboard Aesthetics

As can be seen, Gigabyte's has gone for a black and grey colour scheme, with a full black PCB and heatsinks with grey motifs on them. The board comes without an integrated I/O shield design, which provides a large hint at the board's budget pedigree. Fans of RGB lighting effects should note that this board does not come with built-in RGB LED accents, though it does come with RGB headers still.

Gigabyte B650I AX Chipset Heatsink

Chipset cooling duty is courtesy of a low-profile rectangular passive heatsink, while Gigabyte's opted not to include a heatsink for the lone M.2 drive slot that the B650I AX comes with.

VRM & Memory Support

Gigabyte B650I AX VRM

As more of a budget-friendly AMD AM5 ITX motherboard offering, no surprises here that Gigabyte's included a 5+2+1 power delivery solution that would pair well with low-to-mid-range Ryzen 7000 and 8000 processor offerings with a lower TDP figure (e.g. non-X Ryzen 7000 series offerings with a 65W TDP).

Gigabyte B650I AX Memory Support

Memory support is courtesy of two DDR5 slots that support a maximum of 96GBs of RAM, and the DDR5 6400 (OC) standard. The slots are made of plastic and sport a single-tabbed design, which helps make the removal of memory modules from the confines of an ITX case slightly less of a hassle.

Front Panel USB Connectivity

Gigabyte B650I AX Front Panel USB 2.0

In terms of front panel USB connectivity, the B650I AX comes with a single USB 2.0 front panel header that provides support for two front panel USB 2.0 Type-A ports.

Gigabyte B650I AX Front Panel USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

Gigabyte B650I AX Front Panel USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C

Also included are front panel USB 3.2 connectivity options - we get a USB 3.2 Gen 1 front panel header that provides support for two front panel USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, as well as a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C front panel header.

Expansion Slots & Storage Options

Gigabyte B650I AX AM5 PCIe 4.0 x16 Slot

Gigabyte B650I AX AM5 PCIe EZ-Latch

As an ITX motherboard, no surprises here that we get just a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot in the expansion slot department - the said PCIe slot comes with the "EZ-Latch" feature, which is essentially an oversized retention tab on the PCIe slot that helps make removing a graphics card from the slot less of a painful affair in a completed PC build. A handy quality-of-life feature to have indeed.

Gigabyte B650I AX SATA Ports

For storage devices, the B650I AX comes with two SATA III ports...

Gigabyte B650I AX PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 well as a single PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot. Do note that the board's M.2 slot supports NVMe drives only - M.2 SATA drives are not supported.

Audio & Internet Connectivity

Gigabyte B650I AX Audio Codec

For audio, Gigabyte's opted for Realtek's ALC897 audio codec, which doesn't come as a surprise seeing as the B650I AX is a budget-oriented motherboard offering after all.

Gigabyte B650I AX WIFI Module

Wireless connectivity is courtesy of another Realtek part, the RTL8852CE, which serves up support for the WIFI 6E standard and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity as well.

Gigabyte B650I AX Ethernet

There's no shortage of Realtek parts with the B650I AX - a RTL8125BG chip doles out 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet support for those intending to use a wired internet connection for their PC build.

Fan & RGB Headers

Gigabyte B650I AX Fan Headers

Gigabyte B650I AX RGB Headers

Being a motherboard in the ITX form factor where PCB real estate is in short supply, it's great to see that we still get three fan headers, a single addressable RGB header and a single 12V RGB header with the B650I AX.

Rear I/O

Gigabyte B650I AX Rear IO

The B650I AX comes with a traditional rear I/O layout, with the following ports on offer:

  • 1x DisplayPort 1.4 (supports up to 3840x2160 resolution@144Hz)
  • 1x HDMI 2.1 (supports up to 4096x2160 resolution@60Hz)
  • 2x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (5 Gbps)
  • Q-Flash Plus Button
  • 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (10 Gbps)
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C (5 Gbps)
  • WIFI antennae connectors
  • Audio jacks

It's great to note that Gigabyte's included its Q-Flash Plus feature, which allows end-users to update the board's BIOS without needing to install a CPU, RAM or graphics card. A handy feature to have for sure, given the fact that AMD has committed to ensuring compatibility for its next gen of "Zen 5" Ryzen processors with the current line-up of AM5 motherboards that can be found on the market.

Conclusion & Pricing

Gigabyte B650I AX Featured Image

With that, the Gigabyte B650I AX shapes up to be a rather balanced budget motherboard offering that would be well-suited for wallet-friendlier AMD AM5 PC builds in the ITX form factor, with the added benefit of having support for AMD's next-generation of Ryzen 9000 processor offerings. In spite of its value-oriented pedigree, we still get features such as 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet and WIFI 6E, as well as quality-of-life features such as PCIe EZ-Latch. 

As of May 2024, the B650I AX can be had for a price of around $285 Singapore dollars through offline and online retailers. For international readers, this figure converts to roughly $209 US dollars.

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The motherboard featured in this article was a review unit provided on loan from CDL Trading Pte Ltd, an authorised distributor for Gigabyte in Singapore.