Asus presented the cards that will hit the market on June 16 with the launch of the new chipset B550 of AMD. In the case of the Taiwanese company, the motherboards listed are well 11, divided into three series: ROG Strix, TUF Gaming is Prime.
Clearly they differ in features and price range, with the ROGs occupying the now consolidated position of the high end, dedicated to the most demanding players who do not compromise, but who seek the maximum from each component, whether it is performance or aesthetics. The TUF Gaming series, on the other hand, offers solutions that are still dedicated to gamers, but which seek the best quality / price ratio, saving more or less important figures, without too many sacrifices on the performance front. Close the Prime models which represent an entry level series, able to offer good performance and all the news related to the B550 chipset, with an extremely competitive price.
So let’s start with the top of the range, the Asus ROG B550-E Gaming. The card is addressed to those who intend to host the processors in their own homes Ryzen 3000 more powerful available, thanks to a well power design 16 stages (14 + 2) together with two slots PCIe 4.0 x16 usable in configuration x16 or x8 / x8. The card does indeed support one SLI of Nvidia video cards 2-way or a CrossFireX of 3-way Radeon video cards, while the two primary slots have reinforcement SafeSlot exclusive of Asus which allows the weight of the VGA not to compromise the structure of the motherboard.
They are not missing two M.2 slots for SSDs, of which one PCIe 4.0 x4, the other instead PCIe 3.0 x4 both accompanied by a heatspreader to ensure constant performance and limit the phenomenon of thermal throttling. As for the connection, the B550-E Gaming uses a supported RJ45 port from the Intel 2.5 Gigabit LAN, while for wireless connection there is support for Wi-Fi 6 with dual-band antenna included in the package. Then there is one USB 3.2 Type-C rear in addition to others 7 USB ports including two 3.2, four 2.0 and one 2.0 Type-C dedicated to audio.
As for Asus instead ROG B550-F Gaming we find a different technical sheet from the older sister, oriented to those looking for the luxury of Republic Of Gamers motherboards, but without exceeding on the performance front, managing to save something. In this case the power design is a 14 stages (12 + 2), while the slots PCIe 4.0 are only two, one x16 above for VGA with SafeSlot, the other M.2 x4 for SSDs. We find support for configurations multi-GPU, but in this case a 2-way for both Nvidia and AMD. Here too the M.2 slots have two heatspreader dedicated to SSDs.
As for the connection, the ports USB 3.2 becomes six of which two USB 3.2 Gen2 one Type-A the other Type-C and four USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, as well as two USB 2.0 ports. The 2.0 Type-C dedicated to audio is missing, seen just above in the B550-E. Also in this case there is the RJ45 port with controller Intel 2.5 Gigabit LAN while Wi-Fi 6 connection with dual band antenna will be optional, therefore available only on the variant provided with its module and antenna.
The range closes ROG Strix B550-I Gaming. It is a small motherboard Mini-ITX, which obviously offers two PCIe 4.0 slots, one x16 the other x4 for M.2 SSD. Unlike the two older sisters, it is capable of handling 128GB of DDR4 RAM up to 4400MHz in XMP, but it offers the possibility of climbing up to 5100MHz in overclocking, taking advantage of the little distance between CPU and RAM. The power design instead is a 10 stages (8 + 2).
From the connection point of view, nothing is missing: Wi-Fi 6 with dual band antenna included, Bluetooth 5.1, a good supply of USB ports including the USB Type-C dedicated to audio.
All the cards in the ROG range stand out not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of aesthetics. The three cards are in fact equipped with RGB LEDs directly managed by Asus Aura Sync with which it will be possible to choose light and color effects, as well as synchronize the motherboard with the remaining compatible hardware. Then there are the headers for further accessories or fans, which reach 4 on the flagship Strix B550-E Gaming, and the management of the BIOS even in the absence of an installed CPU.
TUF Gaming series
For the TUF Gaming series Asus has presented three new motherboards: the Asus TUF Gaming B550M Plus, the Asus TUF Gaming B550M Plus (Wi-Fi) and the Asus TUF Gaming B550 Plus. In the case of the first two Asus uses a design microATX differentiating them by the mere presence or absence of Wi-Fi, the third instead uses a form factor ATX standard and does not have wireless connection.
For the rest the technical data sheet of the 3 cards is almost identical: we find two PCIe 4.0 slots, one of which x16 for the VGA with reinforcement SafeSlot and the other x4 for NVMe SSD. Also in this case, as foreseen by the chipset, a configurations will be supported dual GPU be it Nvidia or AMD, in addition to BIOS manageable even without installing the CPU in the socket.
The expandability offered by the TUF series is very interesting. As said in the case of the B550M Plus and the B550 Plus the wireless connection is missing, however Asus gives the possibility to integrate this functionality at a later time through the slot Auxiliary M.2 on the B550 Plus (ATX), which allows you to add a Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 module, to be purchased separately. In the same way it is possible to expand the I / O by adding a Thunderbolt 3 module.
In any case, there is a good supply of USB ports, including a USB Type-C, DTS audio is RGB lighting. In addition to the presence of a line of LEDs on the side of the chipset in fact these cards also provide two headers additional to manage the LEDs of any accessories, fans or liquid cooling. Among the connections there is also the RJ45 2.5 Gigabit.
The series motherboards close the offer PRIME. As mentioned, this is the Asus entry level series, dedicated to those who want to get all the benefits of B550 chipset (PCIe 4.0 included of course), but containing as much expenditure as possible. In this case Asus proposes only one motherboard with ATX form factor, while 3 others take advantage of a design microATX. The reason is that in most cases, these cards are adopted mostly on low-footprint solutions with an extremely low budget, aimed at the most varied uses that do not have high performance as a priority, but rather seek the right compromise between performance, space reduced and cost. These are generally office or support machines in the absence of the primary PC.
As for the Asus Prime B550-Plus it is the only one with an ATX form factor, in an essential design as well as the equipment. We find i two PCIe 4.0 slots, of which one x16 reinforced as for the others with SafeSlotthe other for an NVMe SSD with x4 configuration. In total there are six USB ports, but if they are insufficient, Asus offers the ThunderboltEX 3 card (sold separately) which expands USB with a Type-C with protocol support Thunderbolt 3.
The other three with microATX form factor are the B550M-A, the B550M-A (Wi-Fi) and the B550M-K. These are motherboards designed purely for office use, with the presence of an output HDMI, a DVI-D and a DSub to indicate precisely the field of use of this type of card, ideal for configurations with reduced footprint, perhaps to accompany one of the future 4000 series APU which reduce the heat generated inside the case thanks to the absence of a discrete graphics card. However, if you can’t do without a dedicated GPU, you can take advantage of the PCIe 4.0 x16 the main slot accompanied by a second PCIe 4.0 x4 slot for SSDs up to 110mm long. There is also no shortage heatsink for VRM and chipset, however smaller on the variant K.
To accompany the entire range of motherboards, there is obviously no lack of software equipment to which Asus has now accustomed customers of every range. In fact, on each card it will be possible to manage the fan control via software, manually or by creating customized profiles. There is no lack of lighting control with Aura Sync, also available on those cards that are not directly illuminated with RGB LEDs, but which thanks to the headers allow the connection of additional lighting accessories as well as a complete monitoring interface to always keep under I check the system status.
In the case of the ROG and TUF Gaming cards, the Asus suite clearly opens the door to further functions and monitoring systems (thanks to the additional temperature sensors), in addition to the different overclocking possibilities for the various components that provide it as RAM, CPU and GPU.
For the entire range of motherboards, Asus guarantees the arrival on the market for the June 16, coinciding with the debut of the new B550 chipset, even if the prices that the company reserves to list at the time of launch are lacking in confirmation.
Thanks to the recent announcement of the support of the new Ryzen 4000 on B450 motherboards, you can opt for an Asus Prime B450-Plus currently on offer on Amazon.