ASUS today announced new motherboards featuring the latest AMD B550 chipset that bring the potential of PCI Express® 4.0 to mainstream builds everywhere.
AMD B550 motherboards enable 20 general-purpose PCIe® 4.0 lanes from 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ desktop processors. The primary PCIe slot on all new ASUS B550 boards offers 16 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity, and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ parts feature as many as four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports running at up to 10 Gbps direct from the CPU itself.
ASUS also has exciting features to enhance its B550 motherboards like WiFi 6, 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, robust power delivery, increased DRAM speed and BIOS Flashback™. The B550 chip itself gets an upgrade to PCIe 3.0 for its built-in lanes. These upgrades make B550 a tantalizing platform for mainstream builders throughout the world.
ROG Strix and TUF Gaming B550 series motherboards exclusively feature AI noise-canceling microphone software. Supporting 3.5 mm, USB, or Bluetooth headsets, this software utility leverages a massive deep-learning database to preserve the sound of the user’s voice while eliminating distracting keyboard clatter, mouse clicks, and other forms of environmental noise.
ASUS engineers and designers have produced a grand total of 11 B550 motherboards across three families. ROG Strix boards fill out the top end with innovative features like efficient and cool-running VRMs, enhanced audio, and 2.5 Gbps Ethernet and WiFi 6 connectivity by way of Intel controllers. TUF Gaming boards blend high-end features with a battle-tested, reliable and attainable package, while the Prime series rolls up all the features needed for all-around builds.
ROG Strix B550-E Gaming
ASUS built ROG Strix B550-E Gaming with an eye towards AMD’s high-performance processors and dual or triple expansion card setups. The AM4 socket is flanked by a 14+2 power stage VRM for reliable performance under sustained loads from many-core CPUs, while reinforced PCIe x16 SafeSlots support multi-GPU action in two-way SLI™ or three-way CrossFireX™ setups for gamers and creators alike.
Strix B550-E Gaming’s six fan headers and dedicated AIO and pump headers allow for setups as simple or intricate as a given build requires. Q-Fan software controls with automatic fan-speed detection and multiple presets make it easy to keep both temperatures and noise levels down. Dual M.2 slots can take in SSDs up to 110 mm long, both covered by heatsinks to prevent thermal throttling under intense I/O loads. Strix B550-E Gaming also features an Intel-powered 2.5 Gbps Ethernet and WiFi 6 controllers, Bluetooth 5.1 support is on tap for wireless headsets, phones and tablets.
USB connectivity is particularly plentiful on Strix B550-E: it includes three USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectors (one Type-C and two Type-A), along with a smattering of USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 2.0 ports. ASUS has included a USB 3.2 Gen 2 front-panel connector for the latest crop of cases.
The high-end SupremeFX S1220A audio chip comes with a handy companion in the form of a USB-C Audio port for auto-detection of the device signal type, so the port can be used for both Type-C audio devices and standard USB connectivity as needed. A total of four RGB headers are available — two standard headers and two Gen 2 addressable hook-ups with individual LED control, reduced latency and automatic configuration support. All those diodes can be turned off with one click to give the board a stealthy black-ops look. Additional touches include BIOS FlashBack for updating firmware without a CPU and FlexKey reset button remapping.
ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi)
ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) proves the point for builders who want a performance-oriented board with a healthy dose of luxury. The 12+2 power stage VRM is ready for top Ryzen chips, and 8+4-pin ProCool auxiliary power connectors with solid pins ensure steady and stable power delivery to those power stages.
This model includes Intel I255-V 2.5 Gbps Ethernet connectivity and WiFi 6 support from an Intel AX200 adapter, while the pristine SupremeFX S1220A codec makes an encore for superior audio experiences. Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) follows the distinctive visual standard of the ROG Strix family and looks plenty sharp on its own thanks to the eye-catching ROG eye logo and recessed cybertext patterning, and an integrated I/O shield. For customization, a user can add plenty of lights with RGB LED strip headers in both regular and Gen 2 addressable flavors — all with Aura Sync support for easy configuration.
ROG Strix B550-I Gaming
ROG Strix B550-I Gaming is designed for small builds with big ambitions. By design, Mini-ITX makes room for a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, but the compact form factor has other advantages. Strix B550-I Gaming can drive compatible DIMMs at speeds up to 5100 MHz and beyond by taking advantage of the shorter trace length between the memory slots and the CPU. The 8+2 power stage VRM is a fine fit for 3rd gen Ryzen chips. Active cooling on the VRM and an eight-pin connector with our ProCool II design ensures that power delivery remains stable in the tight confines of Mini-ITX enclosures.
The preinstalled I/O panel is kitted out with USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C and Type-A ports, an Intel I225-V 2.5 Gbps Ethernet connector, and an Intel AX200 WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 adapter. Small machines are more likely to have fast external storage attached, so ASUS engineers added a front-panel USB 3.2 Gen 2 connector for the latest cases. The 3.5 mm connectors are all LED lit in unique colors to allow for easy identification when connecting analog speakers, headsets or microphones. There’s a companion noise-filtered USB-C Audio port for corresponding microphones and headsets, too.
ASUS TUF Gaming B550-Plus
ASUS TUF Gaming B550-Plus features 8+2 DrMOS voltage regulator module and the multiple generously-sized heatsinks atop the VRM, chipset and M.2 slots ensure all primary components stay cool under load. The main PCIe 4.0 x16 slot is backed by SafeSlot reinforcement for extra-heavy graphics cards, while a ProCool auxiliary connector with solid-core pins offers added peace of mind when using power-hungry CPUs.
The two M.2 slots both accept devices as long as 110 mm, while the duet of PCIe x16 slots supports CrossFireX configurations. The rear panel includes USB ports of every modern type, and that loadout can be further expanded with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity thanks to an onboard header. A BIOS FlashBack button rests near one of the ports for CPU-less UEFI upgrades.
TUF Gaming B550-Plus comes with 2.5 Gbps Ethernet connectivity and there’s an M.2 E-key slot available for a WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 upgrade. The Realtek S1200A audio codec in this model is further enhanced by DTS Custom support for headset 3D surround-sound virtualization, making movies and compatible games come alive with pinpoint-accurate positional audio.
The gray-and-black TUF Gaming aesthetic and its yellow accents is distinctive on its own, but this color palette also makes for a great canvas for additional lighting. A Gen 2 addressable RGB LED header and two standard headers can be wired to additional strips for easy visual customization.
TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi)
ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) takes many of the features of TUF Gaming B550-Plus and reconfigures them for the smaller microATX footprint. This board keeps the same pairs of PCIe x16 and M.2 slots as its ATX sibling. The main difference is that one of the M.2 slots takes in standard 80 mm devices instead of longer 110 mm units. In exchange, this model offers a more attractive price tag to go with its trimmed dimensions.
TUF Gaming B550M-Plus comes in two variants: with or without an Intel AX200 WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 controller and antennas. No matter which is chosen, the user enjoys 2.5 Gbps Ethernet connectivity, Realtek S1200A audio with DTS® Custom support, and a host of fan and RGB LED headers that includes Gen 2 addressable strip connectors.
ASUS Prime B550-Plus
The top-of-the-line ASUS Prime B550-Plus motherboard is ready to power a mid-range gaming rig or serve as a solid foundation for an AMD-powered productivity system. This model is right at home powering midrange Ryzen chips, and it comes fitted with heatsinks atop the VRM and chipset to ensure stability.
The dual PCIe x16 slots support CrossFireX if a user needs dual-GPU action for their system, while the duo of M.2 slots accepts 110 mm drives. If the USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports around back aren’t enough, the optional ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 card can be hooked up to the provided header for even more peripheral bandwidth. The neutral palette exhibited by Prime B550-Plus is understated enough to fit into any build, but it’s also a fine canvas for deployment under colored case lighting.