Thursday, May 21st 2020

ASUS Announces its B550 Motherboard Series: ROG, TUF Gaming, and Prime

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. For further details about the complete ASUS B550 lineup, visit https://edgeup.asus.com/2020/b550-motherboard-guide-asus-rog-strix-tuf-gaming-prime.

"We are seeing increasing user demands for flexible systems that perform well in a multitude of tasks from gaming to content creation more than ever before," said Chris Kilburn, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Client Component Business Unit, AMD. "AMD is excited to bring the power of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors and cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 support to the mainstream users with our latest AMD B550 chipset. From ROG Strix to ASUS Prime and everything in-between from our partners at ASUS, AMD is confident these new B550 platforms will provide flexibility and power never seen before on a mainstream platform."

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.

ASUS Prime B550M-A (Wi-Fi)
Space in offices and bedrooms is often at a premium, making ASUS Prime B550M-A (Wi-Fi) a better option to go into places where an ATX build might not. This variation on Prime B550-Plus offers nearly the same specs but uses the compact microATX form factor.

Due to the WiFi 6 standard, this motherboard is now perfectly viable to use the airwaves in situations where users would previously need a cable. For that reason, ASUS offers Prime B550M-A with Gigabit Ethernet only or in a version with an Intel AX200 WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 adapter.

ASUS Prime B550M-K
A compact microATX form factor lets builders save on space without sacrificing expandability, and both the main PCIe x16 slot and M.2 slot are wired directly to the processor with latest-gen PCIe 4.0 connectivity for maximum bandwidth with next-gen devices.

The board can take in two M.2 devices, one of them of the longer 110 mm variety. The rear I/O panel contains two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports along with four USB 3.2 Gen 1 connectors, ensuring that attached peripherals enjoy plenty of bandwidth. HDMI, DVI-D and D-sub ports give Prime B550M-K plenty of versatility for processors with integrated graphics.

AVAILABILITY AND PRICING
  • ROG Strix B550-E Gaming will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $279.99 USD.
  • ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $209.99 USD.
  • ROG Strix B550-F Gaming will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $189.99 USD.
  • ROG Strix B550-I Gaming will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $229.99 USD.
  • TUF Gaming B550-Plus will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $169.99 USD.
  • TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $179.99 USD.
  • TUF Gaming B550M-Plus will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $159.99 USD.
  • Prime B550-Plus will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $149.99 USD.
  • Prime B550M-A (Wi-Fi) will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $149.99 USD.
  • Prime B550M-A will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America for $134.99 USD.
  • Prime B550M-K will be available on June 16th 2020 in North America. Price will be available soon.
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26 Comments on ASUS Announces its B550 Motherboard Series: ROG, TUF Gaming, and Prime

#1
agatong55
I really want to see the Prime Board, If it's true that the board is going to be 150$ it may be my next board
Posted on Reply
#2
Tsukiyomi91
That STRIX B550-F GAMING WIFI looks decent enough for me unless there's little difference to the B550-E, then I'll take the "E" variant.
Posted on Reply
#3
Turmania
Tsukiyomi91
That STRIX B550-F GAMING WIFI looks decent enough for me unless there's little difference to the B550-E, then I'll take the "E" variant.
I really like the E version, guess it all depends on the price..
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#4
dyonoctis
Some of those B550 are making their x570 counterpart look old...
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#5
Valantar
That ITX board looks quite nice, but I really want to know if it has one or two m.2 slots. Anyone?
Posted on Reply
#6
dyonoctis
Valantar
That ITX board looks quite nice, but I really want to know if it has one or two m.2 slots. Anyone?
It does :
Posted on Reply
#7
tabascosauz
Valantar
That ITX board looks quite nice, but I really want to know if it has one or two m.2 slots. Anyone?
B550-I Strix shares its board layout, cooling and PCB with the X570-I Strix. Good news is, 1 M.2 on the front, theres no PCH underneath the front M.2 drive, and there's another M.2 on the back just like with the B450/X470 and X570 Strix ITX. Bad news is, it looks to be identical to the X570, which means theres a fan hiding under that shroud, because both the PCH and VRMs reside under there. That is, unless Asus chose for some reason to reuse the layout and the shroud while going out of its way to take the fan out.

Asus also seems to have a chronic problem with remembering to put the thermal pad on the PCH of the X570-I Strix. Given that this board is pretty much identical, I'd certainly hope that Asus has since gotten its shit together.
Posted on Reply
#8
jeremyshaw
tabascosauz
B550-I Strix shares its board layout, cooling and PCB with the X570-I Strix. Good news is, 1 M.2 on the front, theres no PCH underneath the front M.2 drive, and there's another M.2 on the back just like with the B450/X470 and X570 Strix ITX. Bad news is, it looks to be identical to the X570, which means theres a fan hiding under that shroud, because both the PCH and VRMs reside under there. That is, unless Asus chose for some reason to reuse the layout and the shroud while going out of its way to take the fan out.

Asus also seems to have a chronic problem with remembering to put the thermal pad on the PCH of the X570-I Strix. Given that this board is pretty much identical, I'd certainly hope that Asus has since gotten its shit together.
It does better than its X570 cousin - it has an internal USB-C header port, which the X570 Strix lacks. I'm rather tempted, right now. Not so happy on the Intel 2.5GbE (it's flawed, and silicon fix is required, but will not come out until later this year. With a Ryzen 8 core, I could care less about the tiny difference in CPU usage between a Realtek and Intel NIC).
Posted on Reply
#9
Valantar
tabascosauz
B550-I Strix shares its board layout, cooling and PCB with the X570-I Strix. Good news is, 1 M.2 on the front, theres no PCH underneath the front M.2 drive, and there's another M.2 on the back just like with the B450/X470 and X570 Strix ITX. Bad news is, it looks to be identical to the X570, which means theres a fan hiding under that shroud, because both the PCH and VRMs reside under there. That is, unless Asus chose for some reason to reuse the layout and the shroud while going out of its way to take the fan out.

Asus also seems to have a chronic problem with remembering to put the thermal pad on the PCH of the X570-I Strix. Given that this board is pretty much identical, I'd certainly hope that Asus has since gotten its shit together.
Doesn't the strix have the chipset directly beneath the m.2 slot? I thought only the C8F had the PCH behind the rear I/O. Still, two m.2 slots and a much lower power chipset than X570 sounds like an excellent thing for me. And that chipset/VRM fan can in all likelihood be disconnected if the BIOS doesn't allow for setting it to switch off unless needed, given the much lower heat output of this chipset.
dyonoctis
It does :

Thanks!
Posted on Reply
#11
Valantar
jeremyshaw
It does better than its X570 cousin - it has an internal USB-C header port, which the X570 Strix lacks. I'm rather tempted, right now. Not so happy on the Intel 2.5GbE (it's flawed, and silicon fix is required, but will not come out until later this year. With a Ryzen 8 core, I could care less about the tiny difference in CPU usage between a Realtek and Intel NIC).
I'm wondering about the impact of that issue - I get that it affects speeds, but by how much? if it's still, say, 2Gbps, does it matter as long as it's "free"?
Posted on Reply
#12
tabascosauz
Valantar
Doesn't the strix have the chipset directly beneath the m.2 slot? I thought only the C8F had the PCH behind the rear I/O. Still, two m.2 slots and a much lower power chipset than X570 sounds like an excellent thing for me. And that chipset/VRM fan can in all likelihood be disconnected if the BIOS doesn't allow for setting it to switch off unless needed, given the much lower heat output of this chipset.

Thanks!
You're right, the PCH is under the M.2. Looks like the B550 takes the VRM section from the X570 and the M.2 heatsink from the B450.

As to the fan, it could very well be a recycled shroud. The design on the X570 has subtle hints as to the location of the fan, which are present here as it is the same design, but the fan is mounted on the heatsink itself. That said, this board costs $200+, and I'd be surprised if the lazy piece of shit Asus would go to the effort of not putting the fan there.

Also, 2 C on the back panel. One's hiding under the audio jacks.
Posted on Reply
#13
Valantar
tabascosauz
You're right, the PCH is under the M.2. Looks like the B550 takes the VRM section from the X570 and the M.2 heatsink from the B450.

As to the fan, it could very well be a recycled shroud. The design on the X570 has subtle hints as to the location of the fan, which are present here as it is the same design, but the fan is mounted on the heatsink itself. That said, this board costs $200+, and I'd be surprised if the lazy piece of shit Asus would go to the effort of not putting the fan there.

Also, 2 C on the back panel. One's hiding under the audio jacks.
You can see the fan in the photo showing the rear I/O in @jeremyshaw's link - it's clearly there, seen from the side as a hunk of blackish grey plastic. But as I said, either it can be set to shut off below a thermal threshold, or it could likely be entirely safely be disconnected (unless you're OCing heavily) on a board like this. This doesn't have a ~15W chipset that needs constant cooling, and can likely handle the VRM's heat output passively unless you're really pushing it.

Also, a very interesting note from the spec sheet in that link:
Thunderbolt 31 x internal header
Posted on Reply
#14
tabascosauz
Valantar
You can see the fan in the photo showing the rear I/O in @jeremyshaw's link - it's clearly there, seen from the side as a hunk of blackish grey plastic. But as I said, either it can be set to shut off below a thermal threshold, or it could likely be entirely safely be disconnected (unless you're OCing heavily) on a board like this. This doesn't have a ~15W chipset that needs constant cooling, and can likely handle the VRM's heat output passively unless you're really pushing it.

Also, a very interesting note from the spec sheet in that link:
For this, unfortunately.
Some models even include a header for hooking up our ThunderboltEX 3-TR card in case high-end audio interfaces, A/V gear, or external storage arrays come into play.
It's a PCIe x1 add in card, which needs an separate connector to the motherboard.

I need a new ITX board and it's harder to decide than it should be. I can't use Gigabyte boards due to the socket placement. B450 boards are left to the mercy of the vendors providing properly made BIOS updates. X570 are outrageously expensive, and now B550 likely to be the same. Only saving grace is MSI's B550I, but they need to get their BIOS affairs in order.
Posted on Reply
#16
Valantar
jeremyshaw
Intel themselves claim it can go down to 1-10Mbps.

www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/design/products-and-solutions/networking-and-io/ethernet-controller-i225/technical-library.html?grouping=EMT_Content%20Type&sort=title:asc
Oh, crap. No thank you.
tabascosauz
For this, unfortunately.



It's a PCIe x1 add in card, which needs an separate connector to the motherboard.

I need a new ITX board and it's harder to decide than it should be. I can't use Gigabyte boards due to the socket placement. B450 boards are left to the mercy of the vendors providing properly made BIOS updates. X570 are outrageously expensive, and now B550 likely to be the same. Only saving grace is MSI's B550I, but they need to get their BIOS affairs in order.
Yeah, that's less than ideal, but still expected, and better than nothing for those who want it - particularly with the option to use a bifurcation riser and run both a GPU and this TB3 AIC off the x16 slot even in ITX. Sure beats the ASrock X570 ITX where you have to sacrifice one m.2 for PCIe support. (Also, wouldn't it need to be a PCIe x4 AIC, given that TB3 runs four lanes of PCIe?)
Posted on Reply
#17
tabascosauz
Valantar
Oh, crap. No thank you.

Yeah, that's less than ideal, but still expected, and better than nothing for those who want it - particularly with the option to use a bifurcation riser and run both a GPU and this TB3 AIC off the x16 slot even in ITX. Sure beats the ASrock X570 ITX where you have to sacrifice one m.2 for PCIe support. (Also, wouldn't it need to be a PCIe x4 AIC, given that TB3 runs four lanes of PCIe?)
It is x4, yeah. But bifurcation only works for split cases and cases with 3 slots, unless you want that add in card just lying around in some corner of the case.

At least the ASRock has official Thunderbolt support. Having one M.2 makes less sense now that B550 has upgraded to 3.0 lanes, but you have to remember that in the 400-series generation, the ITX boards with two M.2 slots had to bandwidth share the second slot. The second slot now supporting SATA is a godsend; you couldn't pay me to cram a hot running bare skinned NVMe behind the back of the board in my M1, even with the dedicated cutout.
Posted on Reply
#18
jeremyshaw
@tabascosauz My M1 was fine with only having a back M.2 slot, running a Samsung 960EVO (later 970 Pro). Even my Dan A4 SFX was fine, too, and the M.2 NVMe SSD was crammed right against a PCIe riser cable. Of course, this is my experience and usage, which may not align with yours!

That being said, I don't really run a lot of heavy SSD tasks. At most, some video editing in Davinci Resolve, some data science. Nothing that really pounds the SSD day in and day out. Yes, it will reach 70C+ and throttle, but not to any noticeable amount (in terms of performance). After a while, I stopped adding M.2 heatsinks onto my M1 build, and when I moved to the Dan A4, I didn't care at all.

I do wish TB3 was a bit more out there, but having 2.5Gbe is somewhat acceptable to me, too. I just want something faster than 1GbE to my NAS. 1GbE is maxed out by the 5400RPM HDDs I have in my NAS, which is ridiculous.
Posted on Reply
#19
CheapMeat
I really enjoy the look of all of them.
Posted on Reply
#20
Valantar
tabascosauz
It is x4, yeah. But bifurcation only works for split cases and cases with 3 slots, unless you want that add in card just lying around in some corner of the case.

At least the ASRock has official Thunderbolt support. Having one M.2 makes less sense now that B550 has upgraded to 3.0 lanes, but you have to remember that in the 400-series generation, the ITX boards with two M.2 slots had to bandwidth share the second slot. The second slot now supporting SATA is a godsend; you couldn't pay me to cram a hot running bare skinned NVMe behind the back of the board in my M1, even with the dedicated cutout.
To the first point: Not if your GPU is a single slot water cooled card ;)

To the second: I entirely agree, I never liked Asus' Jerry-rigged dual m.2 system for their 400-series boards. But on the other hand the Asrock was the only X570 ITX without two m.2 slots, which I'd say is a serious bummer for a premium platform like that. Sure, you could run a very fast TB3 SSD, but those enclosures cost more than a good 1TB SSD, so that's a poor alternative.
Posted on Reply
#22
Elysium
The E-model looks great, I'd be down for that. Although, I'd like some more info about potential X670 boards before diving in to B550. Given this is AM4's last hurrah, I'm not entirely convinced X670 will even be a thing but I've yet to see concrete information to confirm one way or another.
Posted on Reply
#24
Tsukiyomi91
@Chaitanya big yikes. X570 prices over here at minimum, say, the AORUS X570 ELITE is at MYR1100 while ASUS ROG X570-E goes for MYR1500+. I hope when the B550s reaches here, it will be around MYR500-MYR900 range coz more than that, I rather stick with B450, update the BIOS to support 4th gen Ryzen (if vendors ever releases it)
Posted on Reply
#25
Chaitanya
Tsukiyomi91
@Chaitanya big yikes. X570 prices over here at minimum, say, the AORUS X570 ELITE is at MYR1100 while ASUS ROG X570-E goes for MYR1500+. I hope when the B550s reaches here, it will be around MYR500-MYR900 range coz more than that, I rather stick with B450, update the BIOS to support 4th gen Ryzen (if vendors ever releases it)
I just hope the sale prices are much lower and the prices in official PR are just maximum retail prices otherwise its going to be difficult recommend B550 to anyone. Even if the sale prices are lower recommending high end B550 boards dont make sense as people should just get X570 board of similar price range and call it day.
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