The finest B550 motherboards provide excellent performance and affordability without sacrificing features for your AMD setup. Some people would assume that B550s are a significant step down from the top X570 motherboards, yet they are still relatively robust AMD motherboards.
The most excellent thing about B550 boards is that they can easily handle AMD’s most potent CPUs, such as the Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X. Even PCIe 4.0 capability is available, which was previously only available on the top-tier X570 chipset.
1. Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming
- AMD AM4 socket: Ready for Ryzen™ 5000 Series/ 4000 G-Series/ 3000 Series Desktop Processors
- Best gaming connectivity: PCIe® 4.0-ready, dual M.2, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C® plus HDMI™ 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.2 output
- Smooth networking: Onboard WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and Intel® 2.5 Gb Ethernet with ASUS LANGuard
- Robust power solution: Teamed power stages with ProCool power connector, high-quality alloy chokes and durable capacitors
- Renowned software: Intuitive dashboards for UEFI BIOS and ASUS AI Networking make it easy to configure gaming builds
- DIY-friendly design: Includes pre-mounted I/O shield, BIOS FlashBack™, Q-Code and FlexKey
- Unmatched personalization: ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting, including Aura RGB header and addressable Gen 2 RGB header
- Industry-leading Gaming Audio: Audio USB Type-C®, AI Noise-Canceling Microphone, SupremeFX S1220A codec, DTS® Sound Unbound™ and Sonic Studio III for immersive audio
+ Build quality
REASONS TO AVOID
– Limited bandwidth for peripherals
The most costly of Asus’ new array of AMD B550 boards, the Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming, is here for your consideration. A motherboard built on a cheap processor costs close to $300. Really? Hold on if you feel the need for something like that. Actually, it isn’t entirely insane.
The B550 is, in fact, the second-tier model of AMD’s newest 500-series chipsets. However, compared to its larger X570 sibling, it doesn’t lose out much. There is, in essence, just one very big degradation from which various specific modifications emerge.
AMD connected the PCH chip, which is at the core of the chipset, to the CPU socket via a quad-lane PCI Express Gen 3 interface for the B550. Furthermore, the X570 receives quad-lane PCI Express with a Gen 4 interface. That translates into having double the bandwidth. Specifically, the X570 chipset supports two M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSDs, but the B550 chipset only allows one to work at maximum speed.
2. ASRock B550 Taichi Razer Edition
+ Strong VRM
+ Good I/O and connectivity features
I’ve been a fan of ASRock’s Taichi brand since it first debuted because of its excellent balance of cost, performance, and features. Many people like the fact that it is one of the few sub-brands that avoids a blatantly “gaming” tone. I am sure I do. But with Razer’s influence, things have slightly altered. The B550 Taichi Razer Edition has been devoid of the conventional yin/yang and cog machinery look.
This updated ASRock Taichi board combines Razer Chroma RGB support and has a clean, obviously premium design. It certainly has a gorgeous appearance, and if you’re a fan of the Razer ecosystem, you should give it serious consideration for a Ryzen 5000 series build.
The board’s compatibility for the Razer Chroma RGB ecosystem is, as the name implies, its greatest marketing selling feature. Razer goes beyond a normal implementation to incorporate a larger spectrum of effects while enabling substantial customization with the Chroma Studio software. On the surface, it appears to be just another flavor of RGB. Additionally, there is support for several other apps, gaming integration, and Amazon Alexa connection. So, if you want to RGB your RGB, Chroma probably has the ability to accomplish so.
Unquestionably, the ASRock B550 Taichi Razer Edition is at the top of the B550 food chain. Depending on how important RGB is to you and how many M.2 drives you want to use, you may decide that a B550 board costing as much as the Taichi Razer Edition is the correct choice. Many X570 boards with three M.2 slots and more PCIe 4.0 general-purpose lanes are offered at this pricing. There is a $100 more expensive ASRock X570 Taichi Razer Edition available. Does it merit paying more? Unless your demands are really precise, we’d say probably not.
3. MSI MAG B550M Mortar
+ Slick BIOS
+ Competitive pricing
REASONS TO AVOID
– Stingy back-panel port count
– Short on luxuries and frills
4. ASRock B550 Taichi
- Supports AMD AM4 Socket Ryzen™ 3000, 3000 G-Series, 4000 G-Series, 5000 and 5000 G-Series Desktop Processors*
- 16 Power Phase Design, Digi Power, Dr. MOS
- Supports DDR4 5200+ (OC)
- 3 PCIe 4.0/3.0×16, 2 PCIe 3.0 x1
- Graphics Output Options: HDMI, DisplayPort
- AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™
- 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec), Nahimic Audio
- 8 SATA3, 1 Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4), 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
- 3 USB 3.2 Gen2 (Rear Type A+C, Front Type-C), 8 USB 3.2 Gen1 (4 Front, 4 Rear)
- Intel® 2.5G LAN, Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax (2.4Gbps) + BT 5.2
REASONS TO BUY
+ Great performance
+ Strong feature set
REASONS TO AVOID
– Overclocking can be laborious
– Not for budget builds
This premium Taichi motherboard from ASRock has the finest appearance of all the B550 boards we’ve looked at, but it also costs the most due to its premium nature. It is indeed more expensive than the ASRock X570 Taichi, making my recommendation challenging until the nearly definite price reduction that will undoubtedly occur over time.
The B550 chipset actually doesn’t lose out all that much in terms of raw specs when compared to AMD’s top-end X570 chipset, as we’ve previously highlighted. The interface between the CPU and PCH chip at the center of the silicon is where the biggest difference lies. This is provided for the B550 by a quartet of Gen 3 PCI Express lanes.
The situation is a little more difficult when it comes to overclocking. This B550 is perhaps the most overclockable one we’ve seen in the extreme. The manual CPU core frequency settings are connected to the core voltage settings in ASRock’s BIOS, though. As a result, you must manually adjust the voltages if you wish to overclock the CPU manually.
It is also among the strongest B550 motherboards because of its metal frame and superb construction. However, it’s difficult to think that spending your Ryzen money on a subpar chipset is a good idea after seeing that pricing.
5. ASRock B550M-HDV
- Supports AMD AM4 Socket Ryzen™ 3000, 3000 G-Series, 4000 G-Series, 5000, and 5000 G-Series Desktop Processors*
- 6 Power Phase Design
- Supports DDR4 4733+ (OC)
- 1 PCIe 4.0 x16, 1 PCIe 3.0 x1
- Graphics Output Options: HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub
- 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC887 Audio Codec)
- 4 SATA3, 1 Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4 & SATA3)
- 6 USB 3.2 Gen1 (2 Front, 4 Rear)
- Gigabit LAN*Not compatible with AMD Athlon™ Processors.
REASONS TO BUY
+ Good all-round performance
+ Has the really critical features you need
REASONS TO AVOID
– No USB Type-C ports
– Four-phase power