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In brief: As graphics cards become larger and heavier, anxiety over whether motherboards can hold their weight increases. With the Gigabyte B650E Aorus Pro X USB4, however, the manufacturer is hoping to alleviate these fears: the mobo can support cards weighing a monstrous 128 pounds. But will it make much difference?

The Gigabyte B650E Aorus Pro X USB4, as shared in a preview by Benchlife, supports AMD’s next-gen Ryzen Zen 5 processors. It also comes with a PCIe 5.0 slot that supports weights of up to 58 kg, or 128 pounds.

Gigabyte calls this reinforced expansion slot the PCIe UD Slot X. According to the company, it offers 10 times more weight tolerance than standard PCIe slots thanks to the dedicated backplate that’s screwed into position with four screws. It also comes with an interior rubber strip to prevent your card from being scratched.

Gigabyte’s Zen 5 motherboard supports graphics cards weighing up to 128 pounds

The Lovelace line of RTX 4000 cards, especially the RTX 4090, is notorious for being hungry, hefty, and heavy. The Blackwell RTX 5000 successor, the first of which is expected to arrive late this year, will likely continue this trend, with the largest taking up 4.5 slots or more – they won’t weigh 128 pounds of course – so a stronger PCIe slot sounds like a good thing.

A lot of people, this writer included, prefer the security of graphics card brackets attached to their motherboards. Gigabyte’s PCIe UD Slot X might support the weight of a small person, but a card that doesn’t have a balanced weight could still cause PCB cracking, which we’ve seen before in RTX 3000 and 4000 Gigabyte cards – the slot’s weight tolerance isn’t the issue.

It’s been suggested that the 128-pound specification might refer to the impact load, which could help in the transportation of pre-built machines that already include graphics cards. As noted by Tom’s Hardware, however, this could cause a more expensive graphics card rather than the motherboard to break if the PC is dropped during shipping/storage.

This isn’t the first time Gigabyte has used the PCIe UD Slot X. It’s found in the Z790 Aorus Xtreme X and Pro X models, as well as a handful of other boards, where it’s advertised as having 10X strength for graphics cards. The B650E Aorus Pro X USB4 is getting more attention due the board supporting Zen 5 and the fact it will likely be on show at Computex 2024, where Gigabyte could explain more about its slot.

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