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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  • althaz - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    Hmm, these seem mostly...pointless? More expensive than B450 by a lot, barely cheaper than the superior X570 boards (which have more PCIe lanes, more USB ports, etc)...these really need to be $50 cheaper across the (mother)board to make sense, IMO. Reply
  • sing_electric - Thursday, June 18, 2020 - link

    It is interesting comparing similar X570 and B550 models within the same brand (or subbrand like Asus ROG or Gigabyte Aorus). It really seems like pricing is VERY close between them.

    Of course, if the VRMs are comparable, then for 90%+ of users, a X570 and a B550 are basically equivalent. In some cases it's almost like you're giving the user a choice between a newer B550 board with WiFi 6 and an older X570 board with AX but more USB ports or something, for within a few bucks of the same price (if you can find them at MSRP and in stock, which really has been an issue of late.)
    Reply
  • jrbales@outlook.com - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    I was looking at the boards on morning of Jun 16th. Very few B550 boards in stock (not too unusual so soon to release) and prices were high, in the range there just a few months ago I could have bought an X570 board. However, X570s were mostly out of stock everywhere I looked, and those in stick were generally pushing $300 USD or more. I suspect either manufacturing has not completely ramped up after COVID-19 in Asia, or that there is still a shipping back-load via ocean freight bearing ships between Asia and North America. Maybe if we ever see a return to a semblance.
    nce of normal, prices might lower and parts return to stock,
    Reply
  • romrunning - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    Shipping is main culprit here - big problem, including extra time spent in customs at ports (like LA in the US). Reply
  • sing_electric - Thursday, June 18, 2020 - link

    Right - In February I picked up an X570 board for ~$30 under MSRP, so equivalent B550 board (same OEM, same 'line') would actually be a few bucks more... but adds a Thunderbolt header, WiFi 6 and 2.5 gig Ethernet (in exchange for PCIe lanes/slots and USB ports, and a 2nd m.2 connector). In the end, I think the X570 was a perfectly good choice on sale. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    I love that summary table. I wish it had an entry for “8 or more USB-A ports”. I actively use 15 on my desktop. The fewer PCIe cards and hubs needed, the better imo. Reply
  • GNUminex_l_cowsay - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    Thanks for giving detailed and, hopefully, correct information about the PCIe configurations on these boards. Unfortunately many of the motherboard manufacturers don't give that information, make the information hard to find, give wrong information, or some combination of the above with regards to PCIe configuration.

    Out of curiosity, what happens when you put a pcie 3.0 x4 ssd in an x2 slot when the ssd's maximum read and write rates don't fully saturate x4? Is it just limited to the ~2GB/s bandwidth of the slot or does the ssd do something worse?
    Reply
  • Lucky Stripes 99 - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    Yeah, it will transfer just a bit under 2 GB/s due to overhead. I had this same issue with my H97 board and my Samsung 970, so I opted to purchase a cheap M.2 PCIe 3.0x4 card. HD Tune showed an improvement, but not by much to notice much real world difference. Reply
  • npz - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    It will just run at PCIE 3.0 x2. Reply
  • Allan_Hundeboll - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    What about the Gigabyte 550M s2h?
    It's 12$ cheaper than the ds3h, so I would like to know what gigabyte did to lower the cost.
    Reply

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