The AMD B550 Motherboard Overview: ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, ASRock, and Othersby Dr. Ian Cutress & Gavin Bonshor on June 16, 2020 11:00 AM EST
ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming + Wi-Fi
The B550-F Gaming is a cheaper variant of the B550-E Gaming – significantly cheaper in fact, almost $90 if we consider the non-Wi-Fi version of the B550-F ($190). For that cost difference, the PCIe configuration is a simple PCIe 4.0 x16 rather than a bifurcated design, we lose a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port on the rear panel, and it uses 12 phases for the CPU rather than 14. There’s still the same 2.5 gigabit Ethernet, still the same SupremeFX audio with dual amps. It just goes to show how much adding bifurcation to the B550-E ($280) ends up on the final cost of the board.
The difference between the B550-F ($190) and B550-F Wi-Fi ($210) is $20, with the only difference being the use of the ASUS AX200 CNVi module and bundled antenna.
As mentioned, this board has a 12+2 phase design, with the power delivery heatsinks coming in two parts without a connecting heatpipe. The heatsink on the left is part of the rear panel cover, which has additional LEDs inside. The CPU is powered through an 8-pin and 4-pin, and the socket has four 4-pin fan headers within easy reach.
The board uses single sided latch memory slots, and to the right of these we get the 24-pin ATX power connector and the USB 3.0 header. Below this is a set of 6 SATA ports.
On the PCIe front, we start with a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot which comes with its own heatsink, followed by the PCIe 4.0 x16 slot from the CPU that has additional reinforcement. The chipset heatsink is to the right, which sort of connects to the bottom M.2 slot, which is a PCIe 3.0 x4 design from the chipset. The final full-length PCIe slot is a PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset.
The audio on the board is ASUS’ custom S1200A audio codec, with SupremeFX trimmings and dual amps. Along the bottom of the board we have a Thunderbolt header, two RGB LED headers, a Clear CMOS header, a thermocouple header, two 4-pin fan headers, and two USB 2.0 headers.
On the rear IO there is a clear CMOS button, two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, a Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, a 2.5 gigabit Ethernet port (Intel I225-V), a DisplayPort, an HDMI video output, Wi-Fi antenna (on the Wi-Fi version), and audio jacks.