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 Extreme4
The ASRock B550 Extreme4 was one of the motherboards highlighted at the beginning of this article as one to look out for. We picked this one out not so much for the hardware or the price, but because of the styling. ASRock has had the Extreme line of motherboards for longer than I’ve been testing motherboards, but with this generation it seems to have had a very striking visual update. We now have an epic blue streak morphing into purple across the box, the heatsinks, and even the PCB. I think it looks neat. Ian
This is another board showing a 45-degree diagonal left-to-right downward slope, but this time ASRock has added a bit more color to the system. There are some LEDs on here, most noticeably on that power delivery heatsink on the top left, next to the IO shield, but the design here seems very visually clear.
As for features, the socket is powered by an 8-pin and a 4-pin, and while the power delivery heatsinks are not connected via a heatpipe, the appear to be substantial enough for the builds this board should be going into. The socket has access to five 4-pin fan headers in easy reach, and next to the socket are the four DRAM slots, using single sided latch designs.
On the right hand side we have RGB LED headers, a 24-pin ATX connector, a Type-C header, a USB 3.0 header, six SATA ports, a two-digit debug display, and power/reset buttons. Along the bottom is another RGB LED header, two more fan headers, two USB 2.0 headers, and front panel connectors.
The PCIe area has a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot at the top, connected via the CPU, but also with its own heatsink on top. Beneath this is a full-length reinforced PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, and the next full-length slot is a reinforced PCIe 3.0 x4 design. The bottom M.2, a PCIe 3.0 x2, has a heatsink connected to the chipset heatsink. On the left is the upgraded Realtek ALC1220 audio, which also uses an NE5532 amp.
The rear IO panel starts with a HDMI output, a combination PS/2 connector, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, a Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, a Realtek RTL8125GB 2.5 gigabit Ethernet port, a space for Wi-Fi antenna, and the audio jacks.