The AMD B550 Motherboard Overview: ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, ASRock, and Othersby Dr. Ian Cutress & Gavin Bonshor on June 16, 2020 11:00 AM EST
ASRock B550 Taichi
The ASRock B550 Taichi is the top-end model from the company, with the key highlight being the use of Intel’s 2.5 gigabit Ethernet controller as well as the Intel AX201 module for Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. As with other ASRock Taichi models, the focus is always on all the cogs working together, and for this motherboard the company has splashed a good amount of brushed metal around the heatsinks. The chipset heatsink is an extended affair across most of the bottom half of the motherboard, also covering the two M.2 slots.
This motherboard is also unique among other B550 boards by offering dual 8-pin CPU power connectors, along with sixteen power phases on board. Despite this being a B550 ‘mid-range’ motherboard, ASRock wants users to push the system, as right in the middle is enscribed ‘Philosophy of Infinite Potential’.
The socket area has four easy-to access 4-pin fan headers, and the power delivery heatsink extends through a heatpipe into a more solid mass on the rear panel. The system has single sided DRAM slots, suggesting users need to push hard on the modules to make sure they are in properly. On the right hand side of the motherboard are two USB 3.0 front panel headers, a USB Type-C header, another 4-pin power connector, and eight SATA ports.
Another unique thing about this board is that this is the only B550 board we have seen with eight SATA ports. In this case, ASRock uses the four SATA ports on the chipset and adds another four from an ASMedia ASM1061 controller.
The top two full-length PCIe 4.0 slots from the CPU can run at x16 or x8/x8, while the bottom full-length slot is a PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset. Each of these three slots use extra protection for heavy graphics cards.
On the bottom of the motherboard are additional fan headers, RGB headers, two USB 2.0 headers, and power/reset buttons with a two-digit debug LED.
Audio on the right hand side of the motherboard comes from a Realtek ALC1220 codec, which also has an NE5532 amp in the setup.
From left to right, the rear panel has the two antenna for the Wi-Fi 6 module, a BIOS flash button, a Clear CMOS button, DisplayPort and HDMI, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, Intel’s I225-V 2.5 gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, a Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, a Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, and the audio jacks.
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Operandi - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - linkLooks like some nice mATX versions this round, nice!
YB1064 - Thursday, June 18, 2020 - linkI was hoping to see a $75-$90 board.
kenjiwing - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - linkFortunately, this component is a unique motherboard among B550 and well worth reading up on [add link].
Needs to be edited.
anirudhs - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - linkThere's a noise sensor which can adjust fan speed for maximum quietness with good thermals. Saw it on the KitGuruTech video. The noise sensor isn't there to spy on you though.
PeterCollier - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - linkThe quality of the editing here is shit tier. Seriously, just run the articles through Grammarly before publication. It's free and it spots plenty of errors.
Heavenly71 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - linkSadly none of the mITX boards have more than 6 external USB ports. My old ASUS mITX has 8! And in really small mITX cases you can't add a bracket with more USB, because the two brackets are already used by the gfx card. Guess I have to wait for an enthusiast mITX board )-:
damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - linkOr, just maybe, get a usb dongle with 4 ports?
Mr Perfect - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - linkThat is disappointing. The number of USB devices people need to plug in can't be dropping, surely? I know I've got more now then even a year ago.
rrinker - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - linkAre they really going up? I have 2 USB devices plugged in to my system - a keyboard and a mouse. I occasionally plug a USB stick in one of the front ports to transfer files. My phone and tablet sync over wifi, they don't get plugged in. I have a charger behind my desk and a cable to charge them. My printer is on the network.
The one place I DO need lots of USB ports is also the place where I have a small cube case machine, with no discreete GPU, because it doesn;t need one. On that one I added a USB PCI card to get enough ports. In addition to the keyboard and mouse, that machine is on my workbench where it connects to several electronic test instruments and I have multiple cabled for programming microcontrollers. I also have a USB microscope for board inspection. And then I have 3 more USB devices connected for my other hobby that shares the bench. Plus a front port kept free for USB sticks.
So the use case I have for more USB has the PCI slots open to add expansion cards, the use case where I have a discrete GPU eating up the slot space doesn't need an excess of USB ports.
DigitalFreak - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - linkI use 3 USB 3.0 ports just for my Oculus Rift