ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ax

The budget chipsets are often a good place to find the smaller mini-ITX based motherboards, because in those small form factors, users are unlikely to be pushing the frequency limits of their processors, and something using less power and is more compact often benefits the design. This this case the B550 PG-ITX/ac seems to be a more mid-range platform, with a rear IO cover as well as a combination M.2 and chipset heatsink at this size.

There are three 4-pin fan headers on this motherboard total, often a minimum for these sorts of systems, and they are equally placed around the board. There are RGB LEDs on the edge of the board at the bottom, as well as a pair of RGB LED headers at the top for anyone who wants to add some flash. As with most designs of this size, there are only two DDR4 memory slots.

On the right hand side we get a 24-pin ATX power connector, four SATA ports in a standard configuration (this is good, normally they are sticking out of the motherboard on mITX), a USB 3.0 header, a USB 2.0 header, a front panel header, and a Type-C header.

The PCIe 4.0 x16 slot is reinforced, and the PCIe 4.0 x4 slot is just above this, sharing the heatsink with the chipset. There is another PCIe 3.0 x2 M.2 slot on the rear of the motherboard. Just to the left of the chipset is the ALC1220 audio, although there isn’t much more room to offer an improved audio scenario.

On the rear panel we have the Intel I225-V 2.5 gigabit Ethernet port, a Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, a Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, DisplayPort, HDMI, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, the audio jacks, and antenna for the Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 module.

Truth be told, with these features, users will be hard pressed to tell the difference between most X570 mini-ITX motherboards and this motherboard.

ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 + 4ac ASRock B550 Extreme4
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  • Operandi - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Looks like some nice mATX versions this round, nice! Reply
  • YB1064 - Thursday, June 18, 2020 - link

    I was hoping to see a $75-$90 board. Reply
  • kenjiwing - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Fortunately, this component is a unique motherboard among B550 and well worth reading up on [add link].
    Needs to be edited.
    Reply
  • anirudhs - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    There'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. Reply
  • PeterCollier - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    The 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. Reply
  • Heavenly71 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Sadly 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 )-: Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Or, just maybe, get a usb dongle with 4 ports? Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    That 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. Reply
  • rrinker - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Are 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.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    I use 3 USB 3.0 ports just for my Oculus Rift Reply

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