Biostar Racing B550GTQ

In addition to its ATX sized B550GTA, the Biostar Racing B550GTQ is a micro-ATX sized model with the same design and near-identical feature set of its larger sibling. Looking more like an entry-level offering, the biggest features include a pair of M.2 slots, six SATA ports, a Realtek Gigabit Ethernet controller and a Realtek ALC1150 HD audio codec.

Following a consistent black and grey theme throughout, the Biostar Racing B550GTQ is a micro-ATX model and includes two full-length PCIe slots. This includes the top slot which runs at PCIe 4.0 x16, while the second slot is locked to PCIe 3.0 x4. Complementing the full-length slots is a pair of PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. The board's storage consists of two PCIe slots and although Biostar is advertising both to feature support for PCIe 4.0 x4, it’s likely that only one of these will support Gen4, with the other supporting up to PCIe 3.0 x4 drives. There are also six SATA ports, with four right-angled and two straight-angled ports. The B550GTQ has four available memory slots, with support for up to DDR4-4400, with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB.

The rear panel includes a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. Powering the single RJ45 port is a Realtek RTL8118AS Gigabit Ethernet controller, while the boards three 3.5 mm audio jacks are controlled by a Realtek ALC1150 HD audio codec. Biostar has included three video outputs with DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort, which gives users plenty of VGA options to consider if pairing up this board with a Ryzen APU. Finishing off the rear panel is a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port.

Biostar hasn’t unveiled pricing at present for either of its B550 models, but it’s likely the B550GTQ will cost under $100 based on the feature set in comparison to what other vendors are offering. Biostar is consistently using an older Realtek ALC1150 HD audio which was commonly found on motherboards around five years ago.

Biostar B550GTA GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Master
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  • kpb321 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    I'm kinda disappointed they ended up missing the opportunity to go PCI-E 4 for the CPU to GPU link. With 2 10gbs USB ports, 2 5gbs USB ports, 10 flexible PCI-E lanes that can be NVME/ Sata ports or add on controllers on the chipset there's plenty of bandwidth there to be bottlenecked by a 4x PCI-E 3 link to the CPU. Going PCI-E 4 would make this somewhat less of a bottleneck and could support for example 2 NVME PCI-E 3.0 4X drives at full speed. The B350 more balanced in this way but sadly it was because the PCI-E off the chipset was only PCI-E 2. Hanging 16x lanes worth of things off a 4x link isn't great when they could have doubled that link bandwidth pretty easily. Reply
  • kpb321 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Edit 'm kinda disappointed they ended up missing the opportunity to go PCI-E 4 for the CPU to chipset link Reply
  • Irata - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    That‘s X570. If you need the additional storage bandwidth, this is what you should go for.

    Alternatively there is the Aorus board that offers the 8x CPU plus 2x 4x PCIe 4 lanes for nVMe drives plus the PCIe 3 lanes from the chipset. That could be an alternative and eight PCIe 4 lanes for the GPU should be fine with the next gen GPU, except perhaps for the top of the line models.

    On the plus side, with Ryzen you have four dedicated PCIe lanes from the CPU for nVMe (16+4+4 vs. 16+4 on Intel).
    Reply
  • kpb321 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    The X570 goes whole hog on PCI-E 4 with PCI-4 hanging off the chipset too and it supports more PCI-E and SATA and USB devices hanging off the chipset so while the CPU to Chipset bandwidth is higher it's actually even more imbalanced between the combine possible bandwidth of devices possible off the chipset and the CPU to Chipset bandwidth.

    Going PCI-E 4 for just the CPU to Chipset on the B550 would have given the option to decrease that imbalance and one PCI-E 4x link shouldn't have driven the power up too high.
    Reply
  • romrunning - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Then most people wouldn't buy X570 and get B550 instead as there wouldn't be much of a difference. That, and having less PCIe 4.0 stuff lowers the power requirements a bit.

    I personally held off on X570 because I knew I basically only needed the GPU and NVMe drive to be PCIe 4.0 for the most future-proof setup. I figure I'll buy new again when the new AM5 socket is released with Zen 4. Plus, some of the B550 boards have a Type-C front connector, which will go with the new ITX case I'm getting that has one on the front.
    Reply
  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    Yes, but then you need to add a separate PCIe controller on the chipset to handle just those 4 lanes. The market probably isn't big enough to make it worthwhile. Reply
  • Irata - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    The CPU to GPU link is 16x PCIe 4.0 - that has nothing to do with the chipset.

    Or did you mean something else?
    Reply
  • a5cent - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    True, but would that not have brought back the requirement for an actively cooled chipset? That definitely contributes to cost, so it makes sense to cut that from the package.

    Personally, I'm happy that we've finally left PCIe 2.0 behind. Such chipsets still being sold in 2020 is horrific.
    Reply
  • Lucky Stripes 99 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    I was hoping to build several B550 APU mITX systems this week, but the lack of a compatible APU has stopped those plans. AMD's decision regarding to use a prior generation micro-architecture for its APUs in addition to their decision regarding AM4 firmware size limits are really colliding to create a missed opportunity here. If the iGPU in the Comet Lake processors was better, I'd be picking up H460 or Q470 boards right now instead. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    My understanding is that the firmware size limit wasn't created by AMD. The motherboard makers could always use firmware chips with a larger capacity. Intel doesn't have this problem since they only support one or two CPU generations per motherboard :-) Reply

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