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Best AMD Motherboards: September 2021

Here’s the latest update to our list of recommended AMD motherboards in our series of motherboard buyers guides. All numbers in the text are updated to reflect pricing at the time of writing.

Best AMD Motherboards: September 2021

When it comes to building a new system or upgrading an existing one, the AM4 socket has numerous options at various price points for users to select from. We are now seeing CPU prices come back down to earth - the flagship AMD Ryzen 9 5950X desktop processor is available for $749 at both Amazon and Newegg currently, and despite the obvious pitfalls in graphics card pricing, it's a better time to build a new PC right now than it has been during most months during 2021. There has also been a number of new 'X570S' models making its way into retail channels from all of the major vendors, with upgraded features such as Wi-Fi 6E and passively cooled chipsets. It's time to give our picks for September 2021 in our latest AMD motherboard buyers guide.  

Looking for our best Intel motherboard choices? Head on over to our Intel Motherboard Buyers Guide instead!

AMD Motherboards Recommendations
 September 2021
AnandTechMotherboardAmazonNeweggMSRP
Sweet SpotASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi$195$202$210
Value ChoiceASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC$115$110$125
Mini-ITXGIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX$208$238$200
Money No ObjectGIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme$693$693$700

Our recommendations for motherboards are based entirely on my personal and professional opinion. 

For our September 2021 picks, we've considered updated pricing as well as availability in the US. Some of these models are slightly adjusting in stock levels and price, and so we've adjusted our guide to accommodate for this. It's also worth noting that B550 is generally considered the budget AM4 platform, but competitively it often has the more attractive pricing when compared to X570. Another element is many vendors have released new 'X570S' motherboards onto the market, with new features, and with passively cooled chipsets. These new models have been factored into the decision, but the benefits of X570S, especially compared to the much lower pricing of B550, doesn't always equate to better value.

For users looking for other options, we've also gone over multiple chipset families as well in the links below.

Best Sweet Spot

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi ($195 at Amazon/$202 at Newegg)

In our Best Sweet Spot, we've opted for a board with plenty of functionality and features while also enabling a PCIe 4.0 experience from the CPU. Boards based on the B550 chipset offer PCIe 4.0 support, with a single full-length PCIe x16 slot and a PCIe x4 M.2 slot at PCIe 4.0 speeds. One of the best B550 boards we have reviewed to date is the ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming WIFI, a higher-end B550 board that received our Recommended by AnandTech award.

You can read our full review here:

The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi Motherboard Review: Premium Value

What makes it our pick over the other 500-series is the level of solid quality and great performance offered at a very competitive price point. It includes two PCIe M.2 slots, with the top slot operating at PCIe 4.0 x4 and the second slot at PCIe 3.0 x4. The ASUS model also has a stacked rear panel with two USB 3.2 G2 ports (Type A+C), DisplayPort, and HDMI video outputs (for use with APUs) and the capability to install up to six fans.

The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi includes an Intel-based networking pairing, with a premium 2.5 Gb Ethernet controller and a Wi-Fi 6 interface. The onboard audio is also premium, with ASUS's tweaked SupremeFX S1200A HD audio codec taking care of business. There are also four memory slots with support for up to DDR4-5100 with a maximum capacity of 128 GB. For a mid-range model, this is a stack of features, and considering similarly priced X570 models (sub-$250) that include a similar controller set are non-existent, it puts the ASUS model in good standing. 

The ASUS B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi is currently available to buy for $195 at Amazon and $202 at Newegg, so we recommend users purchase this model at Amazon. The ASUS Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi looks to be the best ATX sized AM4 option in the sub $200 price range. The MSI B550 Gaming Carbon is more expensive with a similar feature set at $220, while the GIGABYTE B550 Aorus Pro AC can be had for around $190 to $210, but this model is slightly lighter on features. There is also the ASUS X570 TUF Gaming, which is around a $220 price point. When we had the ASUS B550-F model on our test bench, we saw good performance in out-of-the-box DPC latency, competitive CPU, and gaming performance. Looking at Zen 3, we tested the thermals of its efficiently designed power delivery, which sets the ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi as our mid-range pick.

The Value Option

ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC ($115 at Amazon/$110 at Newegg)

In previous guides, the value options have mostly been B450 models, due to B550 being more expensive, and sometimes a bit too much for true 'value.' However, the B450 range seems to be reducing in stock, causing prices to increase. So we've chosen ASRock's B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC, which represents AM4's entry-level gaming series as well as PCIe 4.0. 

Even though it is one of the cheapest B550 boards, ASRock's B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC is a competitive entry-level offering. The board comes with a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot and augments that with four SATA ports, which is plenty of capacity for game storage. The top full-length PCIe 4.0 slot operates at x16, while the bottom slot is locked to PCIe 3.0 x4, which is controlled by the chipset, along with two additional PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. For networking it is using a standard Realtek based Gigabit Ethernet controller, along with an Intel Wi-Fi 5 interface. This is pretty standard for an entry-level model that focuses more on overall support than adding extra cost at the expense of premium controllers. The B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC is also using a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec but with just three 3.5 mm audio jacks on the rear panel and a basic 8-phase power delivery.

The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/AC is currently available for $110 at Newegg and at a slightly more expensive price of $115 at Amazon. Looking at the bigger picture, most of the PG4/AC's competition comes from the cheaper selection of A520 boards with the majority of these based on the smaller micro-ATX form factor, with limited expansion options. Meanwhile, the biggest competition from the X570 product stack is arguably ASRock's own X570 Phantom Gaming 4S model, which is currently available at Newegg for $140. This offers better future-proofing and eight SATA ports, but it also includes only a single M.2 slot and doesn't have any wireless capabilities, so the B550 version gets our vote on price alone. The pricing on this model at both Newegg and Amazon is fluctuating month by month, and although slightly more expensive over last month's price, it's still a solid buy.

Mini-ITX Choice To Consider

GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX ($208 at Amazon/$238 at Newegg)

There are an impressive array of Mini-ITX AMD boards to choose from. Our pick for the best mini-ITX motherboard at present remains unchanged, and that is GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX. The Aorus Pro AX represents a solid premium offering, with official PCIe 4.0 support, two M.2 slots, a Realtek 2.5 Gb Ethernet controller, and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 interface, all at a solid price point. 

You can read our full review here: 

The GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX Motherboard Review: All The Small Things

The GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX has four perpendicular SATA ports, one PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot, and an additional PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot with a full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot. In terms of power, the GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX has a direct 8-phase power delivery with eight premium Intersil ISL99390 90 A power stages and is controlled by an ISL229004 PWM controller. This is impressive not only for a mini-ITX motherboard but one designed for the 'budget' B550 chipset. 

Focusing on connectivity, this board has dual HDMI 2.0 outputs as well as DisplayPort 1.4, a single Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 Gb Ethernet port, and an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 interface. There are also plenty of USB ports of which to make use, with one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports, as well as a handily located Q-Flash firmware update button. In an upgrade to supported memory for B550, the B550I Aorus Pro AX also supports up to DDR4-5300 memory.

The GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX has an MSRP of $180, but Newegg and Amazon are currently listing it at a higher price. Although the pricing on this model fluctuates week by week, Amazon currently has it for $208 and Newegg for $238. We consider this board to represent good value for money between the $190 and $225 price mark, with stern competition from ASRock's $200 premium B550 ITX board or ASUS's also-$200 B550 mini-ITX offering. Out of all of the AM4 mini-ITX models on the market, some X570 models include Thunderbolt 3 – notably the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 – but it does cost more with an MSRP of $240. Overall the GIGABYTE B550I Aorus Pro AX is our top mini-ITX pick out of all the AMD AM4 models when taking quality, feature set, and pricing into consideration.

It's also worth noting that users can purchase a refurbished version for the lower price of $165 from Newegg.

Money Is No Object

GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme ($693 at Amazon/$693 at Newegg)

The flagship AM4 market has been turbulent over the last half a year, to say the least. While there is better value to be had by some of the more mid-range X570 and even B550 models, flagships are all about features, performance, and flashy aesthetics. Now back in stock at Newegg, the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme is perhaps the best air-cooled motherboard on the AM4 platform, even with new X570S boards coming into view. It has a large 16-phase power delivery more than capable of pushing any Ryzen 5000 processor. It also includes 10 Gb Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, and an impressive array of rear panel connectivity making the most of the X570 chipset.

Looking at the design, upon release, the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme was unique in that it was the only X570 model that relied on passive chipset cooling. it uses a very clean all-black aesthetic including plenty of PCIe slot armor, with three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots with heatsinks that fit into the overall design. Other storage options include six SATA ports, with support with RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays. Towards the lower portion of the board are three full-length PCIe 4.0 slots that can operate at x16/x0/+x4, or x8/x8/+x4, with four memory slots capable of support up to 128 GB of DDR4-4400. Onboard audio is spearheaded by a Realtek ALC1220 audio codec, with an assisting ESS Sabre 9128 DAC, and uses a mixture of Nichicon Gold and WIMA audio capacitors. 

On the rear panel is an impressive selection of input and outputs, which includes one USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, five USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A, and four USB 2.0 ports. Networking capability consists of an Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE controller, an Intel I211-AT Gigabit controller, and an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 interface offering both wireless and BT 5.1 connectivity (Rev 1.2 offers the AX210 Wi-Fi 6E, so check that if you can). We've previously reviewed the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme and in our testing, it blitzed through our test suite with good results in our system, compute, and gaming tests. Perhaps the best aspect of performance in our review came when overclocking, as well as in our power delivery thermal testing, which puts the Xtreme as one of the most efficient X570 models when pushed beyond Ryzen's default specifications.

As previously mentioned, stock on AMD's desktop flagship models is hit and miss, and when looking to purchase one, it's a case of grab the one that's available at the time. The GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme has been a previous pick of ours when the cost isn't factored in, and now that it's back in stock at Newegg and Amazon for $693, it's hard not to recommend the Xtreme over other brands flagship models. Some of the competition includes the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme which we are testing in the very near future For such an expensive outlay, the X570 Aorus Xtreme displayed phenomenal all-round performance in our testing and as such, it remains our money no object pick for September 2021.

Recent AMD Motherboard Reviews at AnandTech

 

Sours: https://www.anandtech.com/show/12072/best-motherboards

12 Best B550 Motherboards: ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX

With the introduction of the B550 lineup of motherboards, AMD has provided a couple of features previously absent from the cheaper alternative B450 motherboards. If you are in the market for a motherboard for your 3rd gen Ryzen processor or greater, the B550 series of motherboards is an excellent choice based on the numerous features it provides and reasonable price. So, to help you make the right choice, we have compiled this comprehensive list of the Best B550 motherboards.

But before zeroing on a B550 motherboard, you will need to determine the criteria that make up a great motherboard. The first is to do with the VRM Power Phases on the motherboard as these are crucial in determining the performance you can get from your CPU. Generally, the more, the better, since the power distributes equally, allowing for better regulation and delivery, which is especially crucial if you need to overclock your system.

Moreover, with PCIe 4.0, motherboards can now support features like Nvidia’s SLI and faster NVME SSD’s, so keep in mind that your motherboard has support for the best value considering that this is the main selling point for B550. With these in mind, head on below to explore which options are best for you.

Best ATX B550 Motherboards

1ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming

Key Features

  • 12+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Intel WiFi 6 and 2.5 Gb Ethernet
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 4x DIMM slots for support up to 128 GB of 4400 MHz DDR4 RAM

Belonging to ASUS’s premium lineup, the Strix B550-F is an ATX motherboard that includes every possible feature you can ask for. With a 12+2 VRM power stage set up along with the Digi+ controller, the motherboard will handle even demanding processors like the Ryzen 9 3900x relatively well, and you will also manage to run away with quite a bit of overclocking which is excellent considering this is a B550 board. The motherboard also features a heatsink for the VRM, which will help keep the temperatures low. You can also opt for the WiFi version for just a few bucks more.

The 4 DIMM slots will allow for a maximum of 128 gigs of DDR4 RAM and make use of ASUS’s OptiMem 2, which reduces the interference between the memory lanes leading to better stability and overclocking potential. The 2.5G ethernet networking and optional WiFi 6 connectivity are excellent, and one of the best networking options available on B550 boards.

The top M.2 SSD slot uses PCIe 4.0, which means you can use it with SSDs like the Saberent Rocket for insanely fast read and write speeds. The bottom slot will still use the older PCIe 3.0 spec, though, but will manage to provide respectable speeds. The slots also have the option of a heatsink to keep temperatures low.

The BIOS is still terrific and easy to use with various options for tweaking and overclocking your system. The BIOS flashback utility will enable you to update your BIOS without needing a CPU. The three RGB headers will help you light up your build and features ASUS’ AuraSync and features six PWM fan headers for your cooling system.

Overall, the Strix B550-F is a reliable option for those in the market for a capable mid-range motherboard. It can run even more demanding Ryzen CPUs and provide a significant amount of overclocking, and with PCIe 4.0 support, it seems to beat out the X570 motherboards in terms of value.

2MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK

Key Features

  • 10+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Dual 2.5G and 1G Ethernet
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 4x DIMM slots for support up to 128 GB of 5100 MHz DDR4 RAM

MSI’s Tomahawk series has always been the sweet spot for the best value in the mid-range segment of ATX motherboards. The MAG B550 Tomahawk again aims for the best value and manages to bring a considerable amount of new features absent from previous generations.

With a respectable 10+2 VRM, power delivery system passively cooled with the help of an enormous extended heatsink, you can expect the best performance out of the motherboard for your CPU. Overclocking also should not be a problem even for the beefier Ryzen CPUs, thanks to the excellent power delivery system.

The 4 DIMM slots support up to 128 GB of memory, but what is interesting is their support for 5100 MHz overclocked RAM, mainly due to their testing and XMP profile settings. MSI decided to go with a dual M.2 configuration with one making use of the new PCIe 4.0 spec while the other runs off the older PCIe 3.0. Both slots come with heatsinks to keep your SSD temperatures low.

As for connectivity, the B550 Tomahawk features dual LAN consisting of both 2.5G and 1G ethernet and is the only B550 model to have such a feature. It also uses a USB 3 Gen2 x2 type C port on the rear for extra fast connectivity. The motherboard also includes six fan connectors and a pump fan connector for cooling. If you are into RGB, there are two 4-pin and 3-pin LED connectors, each working with MSI’s Mystic Light software.

As for BIOS, MSI provides a user-friendly experience and offers a one-click overclocking the processor and automatic memory profiles for those who do not want to play around with the settings. Overall, the B550 Tomahawk is an excellent choice for most people considering its well-built, provides the essentials, and has a reasonable price tag.

3ASUS TUF Gaming B550-PLUS

Key Features

  • 8+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Realtek 2.5G Ethernet
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 4x DIMM slots for support up to 128 GB of 4600 MHz DDR4 RAM

The ASUS TUF Gaming B550-Plus, part of the companies ultra-durable lineup of motherboards, is an excellent option for those looking for a reliable B550 ATX motherboard that will not break the bank.

In terms of performance, the 8+2 VRM power stages can handle processors like the Ryzen 5 series without any struggles but prove to be a limiting factor in overclocking, especially in areas of stability and thermals. The VRMs have a sizeable heatsink to draw out the heat, which is suitable for long-term reliability.

The 4 RAM slots will support a maximum of 128 gigs with a max speed of 4600MHz overclocked. As for storage, the two M.2 slots differ in PCIe connectivity, one Gen 3, and the other Gen4. ASUS includes a heatsink for only the Gen3 slot, which is strange considering its slower connectivity. The added 2.5G ethernet connectivity is now the standard, while the two USB 3.2 Gen2 ports on the back are excellent for transferring data quickly.

The three RGB headers are great if you want to hook up some RGB lighting to use with the AuraSync software. The motherboard also features five fans and one AIO pump connector for use in your builds cooling system. Finally, as discussed before, ASUS’s BIOS is well-rounded and easy to use with the BIOS flashback as a bonus.

The ASUS TUF Gaming B550-Plus is an excellent choice for your budget build, especially if you are looking at going with a processor like the Ryzen 5 3600 and looking to do some slight overclocking. If you go with the higher-end chips, it is better to check the other options on this list.

4GIGABYTE B550 AORUS PRO

Key Features

  • 12+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Realtek 2.5G Ethernet
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 4x DIMM slots for support up to 128 GB of 5400 MHz DDR4 RAM

The B550 Arous Pro is Gigabytes premium offering, which makes sure to provide a plethora of features. It features a 12+2 power stage layout cooled with a massive heatsink and heat pipe assembly to keep the temps low and allow for maximum power delivery, which will let you run any Ryzen processor and get adequate overclocking for the best performance.

The DIMM slots support a maximum of 128 GB of RAM, which can support speeds of up to 5400 MHz overclocked. Out of the two M.2 slots, one features support for the latest PCIe 4.0, which will let you hook up SSDs with fast read and write speeds. Both M.2 slots feature heatsinks for cooling the SSDs to provide optimal performance.

Connectivity includes 2.5-gigabit ethernet and the standard Intel 802.11 ac WiFi, which is enough for most applications while the two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the back will allow for quick data transfers. Gigabyte also includes eight fan headers for the cooling system and five RGB headers to use with their RGB Fusion software.

Gigabyte includes a BIOS with different configuration modes and consists of a BIOS flashback option. Overall, the B550 Arous Pro makes sure to include all the requirements to run even demanding Ryzen processors, which is thanks to the excellent power delivery system and is a superb B550 option for such processors.

Best Micro ATX B550 Motherboards

1MSI MAG B550M MORTAR

Key Features

  • 8+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Realtek 2.5G Ethernet and Intel WiFi 6
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 4x DIMM slots for support up to 128 GB of 4400 MHz DDR4 RAM

The MSI B550M Mortar is an excellent B550 mATX option for those looking for a feature-rich motherboard at a reasonable price. With an 8+2 VRM backed by a large extended heatsink assembly, the motherboard will handle most processors with ease and will provide ample overclocking capabilities.

As for memory, the motherboard supports a maximum capacity of 128 GB and a speed of 4400 MHz on an overclocked profile. The M.2 options include two slots, of which one supports PCIe 4.0 connectivity for use with the latest generation of super-fast SSDs. MSI also provided a heatsink for the PCIe 4.0 slot to keep the temperatures lower.

The optional Intel WiFi 6 and 2.5G Realtek LAN will let you connect to high-speed internet, and the two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the rear will allow for fast 10 Gbps connections with external drives and peripherals. The motherboard includes five fan connectors for cooling and three RGB connectors for lighting your PC with MSI’s Mystic Light.

The B550M Mortar is a great option for those looking for a motherboard that delivers the essential features and support for higher-end processors without charging a premium price and is a recommendation for most builds. 

2ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS

Key Features

  • 8+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Realtek 2.5G Ethernet and Intel WiFi 6
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 4x DIMM slots for support up to 128 GB of 4600 MHz DDR4 RAM

The TUF Gaming B550M-Plus part of ASUS’s ultra-durable gaming system is an excellent option for those looking for a great B550 mATX motherboard at a low price. An 8+2 VRM design cooled by a dedicated heatsink will handle processors like the Ryzen 5 3600 and allow you some overclocking headroom for extra performance. There is also the non-wifi version if this version is not available.

The motherboard supports a maximum memory of 128 GB and a speed of 4600 MHz on XMP. The two M.2 slots will allow for connectivity with NVMe or SATA SSDs with one of the slots supporting PCIe 4.0 for pairing with ultra-fast SSDs. ASUS only provides a single heatsink for use with the PCIe 3.0 SSD. 

Connectivity involves Intel’s WiFi 6 and Realtek 2.5G ethernet for fast internet while the two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the rear will allow for fast data transfers. The three RGB headers out of which two are addressable sync with ASUS’s AuraSync RGB. The board also includes four fan connectors for use with your cooling system. The board also makes use of ASUS’s BIOS Flashback option.

The TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS is an excellent mATX option for use with processors from the Ryzen 5 series and below. It is one of the best budget options to consider if you need to save up your money on other components. We recommend against going with more powerful processors for the motherboard, mainly due to the power system.

3ASUS Prime B550M-A WiFi

Key Features

  • 8+1 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • 1 Gb Ethernet
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 4x DIMM slots for support up to 128 GB of 4400 MHz DDR4 RAM

Part of Asus’ budget lineup of motherboards, the Prime B550-A WiFi motherboard manages to include most of the premium B550 features that make it worth considering when building a budget PC. 

First off, the motherboard employs an 8+1 DrMOS power stage system to supply power to the processor, which should handle most of the current Ryzen 3000 series chips. Its VRM heatsink and thermal pads should also ensure adequate cooling.

As the name suggests, this motherboard comes with out-of-the-box WiFi so there is no need for an adaptor. Moving on to the two M.2 slots, one supports PCIe 4.0 and the other PCIe 3.0.

The four DIMM slots will support a maximum of 128GB of DDR4 RAM, with speeds up to 4400 MHz, overclocked. Connectivity includes 1 Gb Ethernet, and the motherboard comes equipped with a range of ports which include two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports for high-speed connectivity. The board also comes equipped with 3 fans and 1 AIO header for the chassis cooling system, along with 1 RGB header for lighting your rig.

Overall, the Asus Prime B550-A WiFi manages to include a respectable number of features when compared to other more expensive B550 and previous generation B450 motherboards. We would recommend this, especially if you plan on going with processors from the Ryzen 5 or 7 series on a budget, although you may not be able to overclock it as much.

4ASRock B550M Steel Legend

Key Features

  • 8+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Dragon 2.5 Gb Ethernet
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 4x DIMM slots for support up to 128 GB of 4733 MHz DDR4 RAM

The ASRock B550M Steel Legend manages to retain much of the more extensive ATX form factor features while coming in a compact and affordable package, giving other motherboards a run for their money. 

With an 8 phase DrMOS power design, you should not expect much other than running your processor at stock, especially for the more power-hungry processors. However, you could squeeze some overclocking from lower-end chips like the Ryzen 3300x, considering the impressive VRM cooling solution.

You also get 4 DIMM slots that support a maximum of 128 GB memory with speeds up to DDR4-4733 overclocked. Concerning graphic card slots, you get two, one supporting the latest PCIe 4.0 spec and the other PCIe 3.0. We also see two M.2 slots with a similar configuration of one PCIe 4.0 and the other, PCIe 3.0, and a single heatsink covers both the PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot and chipset.

The rear panel comes with an included I/O shield and features Dragon 2.5G Ethernet, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2, and 4 Gen 1 ports for data transfer and network connectivity. Connectors include 5 SmartFan fan/AIO headers and 4 RGB headers that work with ASRock’s Polychrome RGB functionality.

In the end, the ASRock Steel Series B550M is the best choice for those looking for a compact motherboard that offers performance and features at a reasonable price and most certainly is one of the best mATX motherboards out there.

Best Mini ITX B550 Motherboards

1GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX

Key Features

  • 8 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Realtek 2.5G Ethernet and Intel WiFi 6
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 2x DIMM slots for support up to 64 GB of 5300 MHz DDR4 RAM

The B550I Arous Pro AX is an ITX motherboard that provides a multitude of features in a small package. With an 8 phase power input that is adequately cooled by a massive heatsink, the motherboard will handle most Ryzen 5 or 7 series processors, though overclocking mileage may vary. 

In terms of memory, the 2 DIMM slots will support a maximum of 64 GB of RAM at a maximum speed of 5300MHz overclocked. The motherboard features 2 M.2 slots, with the PCIe 4.0 slot on the top and a PCIe 3.0 on the bottom. Gigabyte provides a heatsink for the top M.2 slot, which also covers the chipset for maintaining better thermals.

The motherboard features Intel WiFi 6 and 2.5G LAN connectivity for the internet. A USB 3.2 Gen 2 port USB C port on the rear allows for fast data transfer with a 10 Gbps speed. There are three fan connectors for use with the cooling system and two RGB connectors for use with Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion software. The board also supports the Q-Flash feature for updating the BIOS similar to what ASUS has.

The Gigabyte B550I Arous Pro is an excellent option for those looking for a small factor motherboard that provides the features necessary for use with processors like the Ryzen 5 series. If you are looking for a motherboard option for use with higher-end processors, it is better to stick with the X570 series.

2ASUS ROG Strix B550-I

Key Features

  • 8+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Intel WiFi 6 and 2.5 Gb Ethernet
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 2x DIMM slots for support up to 64 GB of 5100 MHz DDR4 RAM

The smallest motherboard in Asus’ premium motherboard series, the ROG Strix B550-I, comes loaded with the latest features, premium components, and a design that stands out.

The 8 phase power system for the processor comes with a sizeable heatsink and embedded fan for keeping the temperatures low. With this setup, you could swiftly push processors like the Ryzen 5 3600 to their limits via significant overclocking. 

The board includes 2 DIMM slots that support a maximum of 64 GB of RAM with maximum speeds of DDR4-5100 on an overclocked profile. There is a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot on the bottom of the motherboard, while the front M.2 slot supports PCIe 4.0 and comes with an included heatsink, while the one on the rear supports PCIe 3.0.

You get Intel WiFi 6 and 2.5Gb Ethernet for fast connectivity over the internet or local networks, while the 4 USB 3.2 Gen2 ports will ensure high-speed data transfers. Internally there is a single chassis fan, AIO pump, and two RGB connectors that support AuraSync, for you to use with your case peripherals.

Overall, the ROG Strix B550-I is a premium motherboard aimed at enthusiasts and small-form PC builders, though it only works best with the Ryzen’s lower-end lineup. If you are looking to run more powerful processors, a better choice would be the more capable X570 motherboards.

3MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi

Key Features

  • 8+2 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Intel WiFi 6 and Realtek 2.5 Gb Ethernet
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 2x DIMM slots for support up to 64 GB of 4600 MHz DDR4 RAM

MSI’s premium ITX motherboard, the MPG B550I, comes with many features packed into a compact package, making it an excellent recommendation for building the perfect portable PC.

An 8+2 power phase system coupled with a large heatsink and backplate for cooling will allow you to run this with most of the Ryzen processors, though we doubt its capacity to overclock the more powerful of the lot. 

A single PCIe 4.0 slots sit at the bottom of the motherboard, while just above it lies the fast PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot complete with a heatsink and cooling fan for keeping high-speed SSDs cool. Another M.2 slot with the PCIe 3.0 spec is present on the rear. Two DIMM slots are present with support of up to a maximum of 64 GB and speeds of DDR4-4600. 

We get an integrated I/O shield on the back with Intel WiFi 6 and Realtek 2.5Gb LAN along with 2 USB 3.2 Gen2 and 2 Gen1 ports. For headers, you will get a single one for a chassis fan, AIO pump, and RGB each.  The MSI Mag B550I does manage to provide a relatively decent amount of features for an ITX board but falls behind other offerings like the Strix B550I, which costs $30 more and again should do the job for people looking to build a portable AMD PC.

4ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming ITX/AX

Key Features

  • 8 VRM Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Intel 2.5G Ethernet and WiFi 6
  • 1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 and 1 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot
  • 2x DIMM slots for support up to 64 GB of 5100 MHz DDR4 RAM

The B550 Phantom Gaming from ASRock is an excellent ITX option for those looking for a reasonably priced small-form-factor B550 motherboard. With 8 VRM power stages, the motherboard will easily handle CPUs from the Ryzen 5 and 7 series and can even support a small amount of overclocking. A large heatsink passively cools the VRMs to maintain low temperatures.

The motherboard has two DIMMs for a maximum capacity of 64 GB and speeds of up to 5100 MHz with XMP. ASRock includes two M.2 slots with the one on the top being PCIe 4.0 and the bottom one PCIe 3.0. An included heatsink cools the SSD in the top slot and the chipset. 

For connectivity, the Intel WiFi 6 and 2.5G ethernet will allow for fast connectivity with fast internet. A dual USB 3.2 Gen 2 port on the back will enable quick data transfer with speeds of up to 10 Gbps with external peripherals. On the inside, there are three fan connectors for use with cooling systems and two RGB headers, which sync with ASRock’s Polychrome RGB software.

The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming is a well-priced motherboard with a decent amount of features and a small-form factor. We recommend using this with processors like the Ryzen 5 3600 for the best stability and overclocking mileage.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the best B550 motherboards you should consider buying. We have made sure to include ATX, micro ATX, and mini ITX options. Additionally, you can learn more about B550 motherboards on AMD’s Website. Though, if you are looking to spend over $200 we recommend you go for an X570 motherboard instead. We hope that you find this article helpful and informative.

Sours: https://techedged.com/best-b550-motherboards/
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The 9 Best Mini ITX Motherboards 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide

There are a lot of cases where you may want to make a small and compact computer for use at your home or office. Not only do such computers take less space on your desk, look quite elegant, but also allow you to take them from one place to another if needed.

To make such a compact computer, you have to use something like the best mini ITX motherboards stated down below because of their small form factor and other features like these:

  • Socket: To get a compatible motherboard for your CPU, both of them need to have the same socket. While modern AMD CPUs and motherboards use the AM4 socket, Intel uses the LGA1200 socket in its offerings.
  • Chipset: You should also check the chipset of your motherboard since some while some chipsets may not offer compatibility at all, others may have missing features. Starting with AMD, it has budget offerings like A520 and B450 as well as higher-end B550 and X570 chipsets with its motherboards. On the other hand, Intel primarily focuses on its high-end Z490 chipsets with its motherboards.
  • Warranty: Whether you are making a high-end system or an entry-level one, you would want either of those to last for as long as possible. Even though computer works perform the same even after multiple years, it is still a great idea to check the included warranty. Fortunately, most mini ITX motherboards offer a 3-year warranty.

We also have a thorough buying guide allowing you to get the best mini ITX motherboard by the end.

Best Mini ITX Motherboards 2021

Best Mini ITX Motherboards Reviews

1. ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming AMD AM4

ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming AMD AM4

Asus and its Rog lineup of products are known to offer excellent performance and high versatility which is to be expected from such premium offerings.

The Asus Rog Strix B550-I Gaming mini ITX motherboard is present in the 1st position in this list since it is the most powerful option stated here. Despite having a B550 chipset, this AM4 motherboard can easily work with high-end chips thanks to its excellent overclocking performance. You can also use PCI-E gen 4 GPUs and SSDs with this motherboard. Being a B550 chipset board, it offers the support for Ryzen 2000 series to 5000 series processors.

Speaking of support, you get 2 memory slots with it that can handle up to 64 GB of memory even at 5100 MHz or higher. When combined with its dual M.2 slots, 4 SATA 3 ports, USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort, and audio ports, you can expect this motherboard to be highly versatile. Since it is a premium offering from Asus Rog, you also get a 3-year long warranty with it.

Best Features:

  • B550 motherboard with AM4 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 4.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 2 M.2 slots and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 3-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Excellent overclocking support
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Dual M/2 SSD slots

Cons:

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2. MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi Motherboard

MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi Motherboard

You can also consider MSI and its computer components if you want a fairly feature-rich motherboard for your next computer build.

MSI’s MPG B550-I Gaming Edge mini ITX motherboard is present in the 2nd position in this listicle as it can be a great versatile option for your next computer. Since this AM4 motherboard uses the latest B550 chipset, you can use it with AMD Ryzen 2000 series to 5000 series of processors. As for its GPU support, you get PCI-E gen 4 support with it.

For the given mini ITX form factor, you get a decent number of port options in this motherboard that includes 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB memory at 4600 MHz, dual M.2 slots, 4 SATA3 ports, USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, PS2, and audio ports. MSI also includes a 3-year long warranty with its motherboards.

Best Features:

  • B550 motherboard with AM4 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 4.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 2 M.2 slots and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, PS2, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 3-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Quite a versatile motherboard
  • Decent performance
  • Supports latest GPUs and CPUs

Cons:

  • Chipset fan is a bit loud
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3. Gigabyte A520I AC Mother Board

Gigabyte A520I AC

Gigabyte can be another viable option if you are looking for computer components for your next system including its budget-friendly mini ITX motherboard.

This Gigabyte A520I AC mini ITX motherboard is present in the 3rd position in this article because it can be a great option for budget buyers. Being the cheapest mini ITX motherboard here, you get the A520 chipset with this AM4 motherboard that lacks overclocking support. Fortunately, you can still use a wide range of CPUs with it ranging from AMD Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series.

Unlike other budget options, its dual memory slots can work with up to 64 GB 5100 MHz RAM. Because it is a fairly budget mini ITX motherboard, it lacks a bit in terms of its connectivity options because you only get USB type A, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.2, ethernet, dual HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports with it.

Best Features:

  • A520 motherboard with AM4 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 3.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 1 M.2 slot and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides USB type A, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.2, ethernet, dual HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 3-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Quite an affordable motherboard
  • Supports decent memory speeds
  • Easily connect multiple displays

Cons:

  • Lacks overclocking support
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4. MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming Motherboard

MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming Motherboard

Apart from its AMD platform motherboards, MSI also offers a few motherboards made for Intel processors that offer very similar performance if not better in some cases.

If you are going with a high-end Intel processor, then this mini ITX motherboard can be a great option. With this Z490 motherboard, you get the LGA 1200 socket that makes it a great option for Intel 10th Gen CPUs. Unfortunately, unlike AMD, this Intel motherboard does not support PCI-E gen 4 for GPUs or SSDs.

Talking about SSDs, you will find dual M.2 slots, 4 SATA3 ports, and dual DIMM slots that can take up to 64 gigs of RAM at 5000 MHz. This MSI motherboard offers a wide range of input and output ports including Thunderbolt 3, USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports. As seen with the AMD one, this Intel platform MSI motherboard also comes with a 3-year long warranty.

Best Features:

  • Z490 motherboard with LGA 1200 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports Intel 10th Gen CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 3.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 2 M.2 slots and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides Thunderbolt 3, USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 3-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Excellent port selection
  • Decent amount of storage options
  • Great for latest Intel CPUs

Cons:

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5. ASRock B550M-ITX/AC Motherboard

ASRock B550M-ITXAC Motherboard

If you are on a tight budget, then you should consider Asrock since most of its computer components including this mini ITX motherboard are fairly affordable.

Those of you who are on a tight budget can go with the highly affordable Asrock B550M mini ITX motherboard. Even at its given price tag, you get the latest B550 chipset, the AM4 socket, and support for AMD 2000 series to AMD 5000 series processors making it highly versatile. You also get support for overclocking as well as PCI-E gen 4 along this motherboard.

For a budget offering, the connectivity options of this motherboard are quite decent which includes up to 64 GB 4733 MHz RAM via its dual DIMM slots, M.2 SSD slot, 4 SATA3 slots, USB type C, type A, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4,2, ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, as well as audio ports. But because it is such an affordable option, you only get a 1-year long warranty with.

Best Features:

  • B550 motherboard with AM4 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 4.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 1 M.2 slot and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides USB type C, type A, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4,2, ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 1-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Supports latest AMD CPUs and PCI-E gen 4
  • Decent connectivity options

Cons:

  • Only a 1 year long warranty period
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6. GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra Mother Board

GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra Mother Board

Just like MSI, Gigabyte also offers a few motherboards that are designed for the Intel platform in mind while offering similar features to other AMD motherboards out there.

With this Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra mini ITX motherboard, you get almost everything that you would expect from such a premium option. Starting with its compatibility, this Z490 mini ITX motherboard from Gigabyte uses the LGA 1200 socket allowing you to use the latest Intel 10th Gen CPUs with it. Although, you should go for AMD if you want the support for PCI-E gen 4.

Moving to other connectivity options, you get dual memory slots for up to 5000 MHz 64 GB memory, 2 M.2 SSD slots, and 4 SATA3 connectors with this compact motherboard. You also get various other ports like USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports making it quite a practical motherboard.

Best Features:

  • Z490 motherboard with LGA 1200 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports Intel 10th Gen CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 3.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 2 M.2 slots and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 3-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Works with latest Intel 10th gen CPUs
  • High-speed networking connectivity options
  • Ideal for overclocking CPU and RAM

Cons:

  • Does not support PCI-E gen 4
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7. ASRock Mini-ITX Motherboard

ASRock Mini-ITX Motherboard

Asrock also offers slightly older chipset motherboards that can be still a great option for those who want something highly versatile in terms of processor compatibility.

The Asrock B450 Gaming mini ITX motherboard is the most versatile option stated present in this listicle in terms of supported CPU models. Because this is a small and compact mini ITX motherboard based on the B450 chipset and paired along with the AM4 socket from AMD, it can be used with multiple CPU models from the AMD 1000 series to the AMD  5000 series CPUs without any issues. However, being an older chipset, it does not offer PCI-E gen 4 support to the user.

Taking a look at its connectivity options, you will find 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB 3466 MHz RAM, M.2 SSD slot, 4 SATA3 ports, USB type C, type A, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.2, ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, PS2, and audio ports which is fairly decent for the price. Although, just like its previous model stated above, Asrock only includes a 1-year long warranty.

Best Features:

  • B450 motherboard with AM4 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 1000 to 5000 series CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 3.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 1 M.2 slot and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides USB type C, type A, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.2, ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, PS2, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 3-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Quite a versatile motherboard
  • Supports overclocking
  • Decent connectivity potions

Cons:

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8. GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi

GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi

Other than its high-end Intel offerings, Gigabyte also has a few premium motherboards made for the AMD platform like this compact form factor one.

Gigabyte’s X570 I Aorus Pro mini ITX motherboard is a highly feature-rich option for many. As per the name, you get the X570 chipset from AMD with this mini ITX motherboard. This is combined along with the AM4 socket allowing you to use AMD Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series of CPUs. You also get excellent GPU and SSD support thanks to the PCI-E gen 4.0 technology supported by this board.

Being a fairly high-end motherboard from Gigabyte, you can find a wide range of input and output as well as connectivity ports like its dial memory slots for 5100 MHz 64 GB RAM, dual M.2 SSD slots, 4 SATA3 ports, USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G ethernet, dual HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports.

Best Features:

  • X570 motherboard with AM4 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 4.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 2 M.2 slots and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2.5G ethernet, dual HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 3-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Vast connectivity options
  • Viable option for high-end Ryzen CPUs
  • Works with latest PCI-E gen 4 devices

Cons:

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9. ASUS ROG Strix X570-I Gaming Motherboard

ASUS ROG Strix X570-I Gaming Motherboard

Asus also offers high end but compact mini ITX motherboards that can be great for workstation use and other applications where you need versatile connectivity options.

This Asus Rog Strix X570-I Gaming mini ITX motherboard is one of the most powerful options stated here. Thanks to its AM4 socket and X570 chipset, you can expect this board to work with the AMD Ryzen 2000 series to 5000 series of AMD CPUs. Just like most other modern AMD boards, this one also offers PCI-E gen 4 support for your SSD drives and GPUs.

Asus has also included a wide range of connectivity options like dual DIMM slots for up to 64 GB 4800 MHz RAM, dual M.2 slots, 4 SATA3 ports for HDDs, USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports. And because this is a premium Asus motherboard, you also get a 3-year long warranty with it.

Best Features:

  • B550 motherboard with AM4 socket
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Supports AMD Ryzen 2000 to 5000 series CPUs
  • Offers 1 PCIe 4.0 16x for GPUs
  • Offers 2 memory slots for up to 64 GB RAM
  • Features 2 M.2 slots and 4 SATA3 ports
  • Provides USB type C, type A, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and audio ports
  • Comes with a 3-year long warranty

Pros:

  • Great for workstation usage
  • Excellent overclocking performance
  • Multiple RGB lighting options

Cons:

  • A bit on the expensive side
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Buying Guide for the Best Mini ITX Motherboards

The motherboard of your computer can be considered as the central hub for connecting the rest of the components. Thus, it is highly important to ensure that you have all of the connectivity options that you need.

This becomes even more important if you are going with something small and compact like the best mini ITX motherboards discussed above. Since they have been mentioned along with their major features and options, picking up the right one for you should be fairly easy. But, if you wish to know each and every detail, simply go through this detailed buying guide for the best mini ITX motherboards:

Socket

The CPU socket of your motherboard is responsible for holding the processor and communicating with it. But, this socket will only function when your computer’s motherboard has the same socket as your motherboard.

Hence, it is highly important to match the sockets for compatibility. Some of the common sockets that you will find in modern computer CPUs include AM4 socket for AMD processors and motherboards as well as the LGA 1200 socket for Intel processors and motherboards.

Chipset

Another factor to consider to ensure that you are getting a compatible motherboard for your computer’s processor. Even if your motherboard and CPU have the same socket type, they may not be compatible with each other if the CPU is not supported by your motherboard’s chipset. While some chipsets may not function at all, others may be limited in terms of the features that you get.

Taking a look at AMD motherboards, a few of the popular chipsets that you will find include budget options like B450 and A520, mid-range options like B550, and high-end options like X570 that offers all of the performance that you would expect. Talking about Intel, it primarily focuses on its high-end Z490 chipset which is mainly found in premium motherboards including the mini ITX ones stated above.

Memory Support

Whether you are getting a high-end processor or a mid-range one, it is equally important to have a decent amount of RAM in your computer. This ensures that you can use it for all sorts of multitasking usage. Being small and compact in size, most ITX motherboards come with 2 memory slots in total.

Fortunately, these can still take up to 64 gigs of maximum RAM in most cases. Another factor to consider while getting a motherboard is the maximum RAM speed supported by it. Most modern-day CPUs including both AMD and Intel ones can benefit a lot from faster RAM. Hence, a lot of motherboards support high memory speeds like 3600 MHz, 4000 MHz, 4400 MHz, etc.

PCI-E and Expansion Slots

Even though an ITX motherboard lacks quite a bit in terms of its connectivity options and expansion slots, you would still want to have at least one for your computer’s graphics card. Thankfully, all ITX motherboards including the various options stated in this listicle have a 16x PCI-E slot. You can use this to easily install a full-size graphics card which can be highly useful if you are building a compact gaming PC.

Storage Options

While an ITX motherboard may not be the best for installing multiple expansion cards, you can still have multiple storage options. This includes both high speed and bulk storage options. Despite being quite compact, a lot of mini ITX motherboards come with dual M.2 slots allowing you to have a lot of fast SSD storage. You can also find 4 or 6 SATA3 ports for connecting traditional hard drives.

Ports and Connectivity

Other than the various internal components of your computer, you would also want to connect multiple input and output devices to your computer like a mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers, webcam, and others.

Thus, it is quite important to have multiple ports on the back of your motherboard like USB type C, type A, HDMI, DisplayPort, ethernet, PS2, audio ports, and various others. Since mini ITX motherboards are also used for making HTPCs, a lot of them also include WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for ease of use.

BIOS

Even though the BIOS of your mini ITX motherboard is a software component and not a hardware one, it is highly important to check. It is always recommended to get a motherboard that receives regular BIOS updates. This is due to the reason that a BIOS update can offer various benefits like improved system stability, increased CPU performance, add motherboard features, and apply security patches to your motherboard and its chipset.

Warranty

Any motherboard that comes with a standard 3-year long warranty is most likely going to last for a long time. Even if it does not, you can still expect it to stay functional for a long time since most components offer the same functionality even after multiple years without any performance degradation.

Conclusion

Out of the various motherboard form factors like E-ATX, ATX, mATX, and others, mini ITX is the smallest one available out there. It makes for a great option for those who wish to build a compact computer.

Hence, a few of the best mini ITX motherboards have been mentioned up above in this listicle. In this listicle, you will also come across all their details like specifications and options as well as a proper buying guide. Keeping these things in mind, here are our ideal picks for the best mini ITX motherboards:

  • If you want to make a simple desktop for daily usage, then the budget-friendly Gigabyte A520I can be a great pick. Even though it does not support overclocking, you can still use any AMD Ryzen 2000 series to 5000 series CPU with it. As for its connectivity options, you get WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, dual HDMI, DisplayPort, and various others with it.
  • With the Asrock B550M mini ITX motherboard, you can easily make a great gaming PC with overclocking support without breaking the bank. This B550M motherboard offers USB Type C, HDMI, WiFi, M.2 SSD slot, PCI-E gen 4 support, up to 4733 MHz RAM support, and much more resulting in a high value for money.
  • The Asus Rog Strix X570-Iis still a great option for workstation usage despite its smaller size. This is due to the reason that you get excellent overclocking support, PCIe gen 4 support, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, dual M.2 SSD slots, up to 4800 MHz RAM support, USB type C, type A HDMI, DisplayPort, and various other highly versatile connectivity options.
Sours: https://www.electronicshub.org/best-mini-itx-motherboards/
\
 Best B550 Motherboards for Ryzen 5600X 5800X


The B550 chipset represents the current sweet spot for PC builders looking to maximise the Ryzen 5 5600X and 7 5800X CPUs. It offers a full-featured and cost-effective basis for a high-performance PC for gaming or general use.

We’ve rounded up a selection of some of the best B550 motherboards on offer, going into 2022. We’re going to take a look at them to find out their features, any weak points or flaws, and use this information to make recommendations to you as to the best options for your Ryzen-based PC build. We’ll break our recommendations out into a separate article, so this one isn’t too cluttered with too much information. 

At the lower end, we’re testing the MSI Pro VDH WiFi and the Gigabyte Aorus Elite. These are both mATX boards at or close to the $100 price point.

In the mid-range selection of B550 motherboards, we’ve got the Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus WiFi and the MSI B550M Mortar Wifi. 

And to look at the higher end we’ve got the Asus ROG STRIX B550-F Wifi and the ASRock B550 PG Velocita. These boards are a little more expensive and take different approaches to offer you value, so we were interested in finding out what they offer over more budget-friendly B550 options. 

We’ll take a look at performance overall, then dive into each B550 motherboard to investigates its strengths and weaknesses.

B550 Motherboard Performance Testing:

We’ve conducted our testing with a Ryzen 7 5800X in the knowledge that if these boards handle that CPU well, there will be no problems with the less demanding 5600X. The Test system consisted of a 650W Gold-rated PSU, RTX 3060 Ti (not relevant to testing), and G.Skill 3600Mhz CL16 RAM set to XMP and 1:1 Infinity Fabric and Memory clock ratio. A 240mm AIO was used to maximise CPU performance without thermal throttling. 

B550 Motherboard Benchmark Comparisons

1. Cinebench R20 and R23

In this test we ran both single and multi-core workloads, to ensure that the Motherboard allowed the CPU to boost correctly and also didn’t limit the CPU with power draw. You can see that the boards behaved almost identically.

B550 motherboard benchmarks Cinebench R20 R23 Multi Thread Results
B550 motherboard benchmarks Cinebench R20 R23 Single Thread Results

2. 3D Mark Testing: Fire Strike & Time Spy

We also ran Time Spy and Firestrike CPU tests. These show a little more variance in results but looking at CPU metrics we couldn’t identify any substantial change in CPU performance; This is likely down to variables such as cooler fitment or even ambient temperatures of the test and we don’t consider it anything of concern.

B550 motherboard 3DMark benchmarks Fire Strike Time Spy

The long story short here is that we could not find any discernible difference in performance between any of these B550 motherboards. In single and multi-core tests they all performed remarkably closely, within a margin of error. In fact, if we normalise the scores and average them for each board we find a total variance of less than 0.2% – That’s well within the margin of error. They all held up well to longer duration testing, with no drop in performance after a 30-minute work loop. 

B550 motherboard 3DMark Cinebench benchmarks Normalised Results

RAM Compatibility

We also checked RAM Compatibility, although it’s not possible to really test this exhaustively. All the boards worked flawlessly with our 3600Mhz Cl16 G.Skill RAM kit, as you’d expect. They were also all capable of running ‘known good’ overclock settings of 4000MHz CL 16-16-16-32 at 1:1 infinity fabric and memory clock on our Samsung B-die test kit, which represents the upper end of Zen 3 RAM speed optimisation. All of these boards have identical RAM overclocking and CPU overclocking settings available in BIOS, and whilst we wouldn’t choose them for dedicated overclockers, they all run RAM stably at acceptably fast speeds.

So, the good news on performance is that across the range of B550 motherboards we’ve tested we’re confident that you’ll be able to extract the maximum potential from a Ryzen 5600X or 5800X as well as reasonably fast RAM, to optimise your system’s performance. 


The ‘Best’ B550 Motherboards, Reviewed

So, with performance covered let’s look into each board. We won’t list specs as they’re actually very similar across all of these motherboards, and you can look them up yourselves. Instead, I’ll point out the most important features or omissions, the things we think you’d most want to know before buying any of these B550 motherboards. 

1. MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi – Entry Level Board

MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi
MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi 2

The MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi is a full-featured and good value B550 motherboard currently retailing at about $110.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Understated looks with RGB switch.
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi
  • Simple BIOS Flashback
  • Internal USB C (USB 3.2 Gen 2) header
  • 6 USB rear outputs
  • 5 fan headers in total – 3 system, one CPU fan, one AIO pump header. 

Cons:

  • Only One full length PCIe slot for a GPU. No 4X slots.
  • Basic Audio – ALC 892 and 3 rear audio outputs. 
  • No rear USB C – make sure your case has usb C if you require it, to make use of the internal header. 
  • MATX so it might not look great in an ATX case.

Conclusions: 

Overall we were really impressed with this B550 motherboard. Whilst it has a ‘no-frills approach, MSI has made sensible decisions over what to include. Performance is great, on a par with motherboards that cost twice as much. We’d really just advise that you ensure you won’t need more than that single PCIe x16 slot as the 2 single length slots could limit your ability to add expansion cards down the line. The USB specification also isn’t the best, so make sure you’ll have adequate connectivity between the rear I/O of this board and any case you choose. Overall though for an understated and great value option, we heartily recommend the MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi.


2. Gigabyte B550M Aorus Elite – Entry Level Board

Gigabyte B550M Aorus Elite

The Gigabyte B550M Aorus Elite is the most affordable AORUS motherboard in Gigabyte’s B550 lineup and is available at just $105.

Gigabyte B550M Aorus Elite 2

Pros: 

  • Good Value and a good looking board with Aorus branded heatsinking.
  • Equivalent performance to the more expensive boards on test.
  • BIOS Q-Flash.
  • Inbuilt I/O shield helps with installation.
  • Lower First PCIe slot position – can fit large air coolers.
  • 8 USB ports on the rear.

Cons:

  • Second full length PCIe slot is blocked by any GPU larger than 2 slots. 
  • No Internal USB 3.2 gen 2 header and no USB C on the rear IO.
  • No Diagnostic LEDs – can frustrate when troubleshooting boot issues.
  • Only 3 fan headers in total – 1 CPU and 2 System. You will likely need fan splitters. 
  • No M.2 Heat sinking – not vitally important but helps with a consistent look. 
  • No RGB on board.
  • Awkward SATA socket location: Using 90 degree cables blocks other SATA ports, large GPUs may block SATA ports. Flush mount SATA ports would have solved this issue. 

Conclusions: 

Overall this is a good value B550 motherboard that gets the job done for the Ryzen Zen 3 builds. However, in terms of value, it loses out to the MSI B550M Pro-VDH which includes USB 3.2 gen 2 and WiFi for just $5 more. The price-cutting on this motherboard with limited fan headers, awkward SATA ports, lack of any boot diagnostic LEDs and slightly awkward PCIe slot placement all means that in all but the most basic PC builds this board is likely to frustrate. In particular, if you want WiFi or any additional add-in PCIe card you need to ensure that your GPU is no more than 2 slots thick – and many are nowadays with most designs intruding on the third PCIe slot beneath them. If your GPU is long you may have issues connecting SATA cables to some or all of the ports.

At the right price, the B550M Aorus Elite is still a good motherboard, but we’d consider that price to be around $90 to compensate for the shortcomings here. We recommend the MSI B550 Pro VDH Wifi over this for the additional features and fewer compromises of that board. 


3. Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus WiFi – Mid-Range Board

Asus TUF B550M-Plus WiFi 1

Moving into the mid-range selections, we have the ASUS TUF Gaming B550M Plus WiFi. The TUF lineup offers some really good products and this B550 board is no exception, but at the moment it’s retailing at $160 which is pretty steep for a B550 motherboard.

Asus TUF B550M-Plus WiFi 2

Pros:

  • Great looking with hefty heatsinking and nice RGB highlights. 
  • Inbuilt WiFi 6
  • Asus BIOS Flashback functionality
  • USB C on the rear and 7 USB A ports of various speeds.
  • Higher quality Audio CODEC – Realtec S1200A
  • Strong VRM – easily capable of running a 5900X.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Slightly awkward SATA socket positioning. Not as bad as the Aorus Elite, but still annoying.
  • Limited Fan headers – 2 System, 1 CPU fan, 1 AIO pump optional header. 
  • No internal USB 3.2 Gen 2 header. 
  • Second PCIe slot blocked by a larger GPU in the first, but the 1x slot is mounted high to keep it accessible. 
  • RGB may be obscured by a GPU

Conclusions:

Overall we like this B550 motherboard but not the price. At $130-$140, it’s a good buy but it has enough compromises to make us look elsewhere at $150-$160. Little things like the number of fan headers and lack of an internal USB 3.2 header are the sort of detail you’d expect a board like this to get right. However, it performs well and looks great, so if you find it at the right price there’s no reason not to buy it. Just make sure the compromises this board makes won’t interfere with your planned build. 


4. MSI MAG B550M Mortar WiFi – Mid-Range Board

MSI MAG B550M Mortar WiFi 1

The MSI B550M Mortar Wifi is the B550 motherboard we’re most familiar with in this test, we’ve actually been using it for about nine months on our test bench. It’s a good mid-range option but let’s see how it stacks up against the competition.

MSI MAG B550M Mortar WiFi 2

Pros: 

  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 internal header plus USB C on the rear I/O panel.
  • Plenty of fan headers: 3 system fan headers, 1 CPU, one AIO.
  • Full length PCIe slots are 3 slots apart – you can fit 2 GPUs into this motherboard without conflict.
  • BIOS flashback
  • Inbuilt IO shield
  • Inbuilt WiFi 6: A non WiFi option available with a darker colour scheme.
  • 6 SATA slots (most mATX have 4)

Cons:

  • Expensive at the moment – $170
  • Only 5 USB A sockets on the rear.
  • mATX form factor may look strange in ATX builds.

Conclusions:

This mid-range B550 motherboard does a lot of things right. The layout is good and it has a good range of internal connectors. The main weakness is the slight lack of USB A options on the rear IO. Subjectively, the silver aesthetic of this WiFi version matches white or silver themed builds nicely, and also somewhat subjectively we find the MSI bios one of the more intuitive to navigate and tweak. There’s a non WiFi version also available at about $155. Overall, this is a great board and we can heartily recommend it, but just be cautious on pricing. 


5. ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F Gaming WiFi – High-End Board

Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi 1

Now we move up to the higher end of B550 motherboards with the Asus ROG Strix B550-F Gaming WiFi. This full ATX board adds some more PCIe slots and USB connectivity to the mix, as well as some higher-end components like a strong VRM configuration and a good quality Audio Codec.

Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi 2
Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi 3
Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi 4

Pros:

  • Full ATX with plenty of well-spaced PCIe slots.
  • Great looking board with RGB and solid heatsinking, including both M.2 slots.
  • Lots of Fan headers, with AIO pump, CPU, CPU Optional and 3 chassis fan headers for 6 total.
  • High end S1220A Codec for audio. 
  • BIOS Flashback
  • Six SATA slots.
  • Strong VRM

Cons:

  • Still only 2 M.2 slots
  • No internal USB 3.2 gen 2 header.
  • Hard to see the value at near $200

Conclusions:

Moving up to the higher end and a full ATX B550 motherboard, we come to the Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming. There’s a lot to like about this motherboard, not least the looks. However, we think it’s hard to find the value on offer here when you compare the specification to, for example, the MSI B550M Mortar you don’t really gain much. Multiple X1 PCIe slots are of limited value on a board that has WiFi inbuilt anyway. There’s still just 2 M.2 slots, and no internal USB 3.2 Gen 2. On the plus side, you get loads of Fan and RGB control options, heavy heatsinking, a great VRM – but remember you’re not buying any more performance with this board, every board here performs the same with a 5600X or 5800X. Overall, if you like the looks and features, and don’t mind the ROG Strix tax or slight compromises in the specification, this is a solid option and we’d recommend it for a showy 5600X or 5800X gaming build. 


6. ASRock B550 PG Velocita – High-End Board

ASRock B550 PG Velocita 1

The ASRock B550 PG Velocita is a B550 chipset motherboard with a lot of features aimed at overclockers, but one glaring omission, so let’s take a closer look.

ASRock B550 PG Velocita 2
ASRock B550 PG Velocita 3

Pros:

  • Full ATX format with good PCIe slot layout.
  • Seven Fan/Pump headers, giving extensive cooling options
  • Really nice LED highlights.
  • Very strong VRM with 14 phase set up. You can maximise any Zen 3 CPU on this without concern.
  • Excellent heatsinking with a heat pipe to spread heat load.
  • Internal USB 3.2 gen 2 header. 
  • Good USB connectivity on rear I/O
  • Wifi compatible M.2 slot and pre cut I/O plate antenna holes – you can add Wifi without using a PCIe or M.2 storage slot. 

Mixed:

  • Power and reset buttons – we found them helpful on our test bench, but how much are you really going to use them in a built PC?
  • Fault code display could be a nice touch, but the code index is so generic and unhelpful that it’s really no more use than simple LED lights.
  • Love it or hate it styling with red and grey accents. 

Cons:

  •  No BIOS Flashback! An unforgivable sin, and this is the only board that required us to swap to a compatible CPU to update the BIOS and get it working with Ryzen 5000 CPUs. 
  • Only two storage M.2 slots. 
  • Expensive
  • You’re not buying any extra performance

Conclusions:

This ASRock B550 PG Velocita is the B550 motherboard in this review that sparks the most mixed feelings for us. We really WANT to love it, but the overall impression is of a board that hasn’t been designed with actual use in mind. The most glaring issue is the lack of any means to perform a BIOS flash without an existing CPU. We bought this board at the start of summer 2021 and it wasn’t Ryzen 5000 ready – forcing us to use our Ryzen 3600 to update the BIOS. For a board aimed at enthusiasts, and when it’s available on boards at literally half the price, it’s just not acceptable not to include this feature. 

The other ‘overclocking’ features really feel like they’ve been added for marketing, not with functionality in mind. The Power and reset buttons were nice whilst we tested this board, but useless if you intend on actually building a PC in a traditional case. Likewise the Numeric LED Fault code display COULD be really useful, but the codes are so cryptic and poorly explained in the manual or online that actually, they’re no more helpful than simple diagnostic LED’s pointing at a problem with the CPU or RAM for example. On the plus side, it’s got great water cooling and system fan flexibility, a good range of connectors, and a hugely capable VRM. That said, you’re not getting extra performance from an overkill VRM, and short of exotic cooling methods you won’t need the VRM on offer here even for a 5950X – the overclocking headroom just doesn’t exist. It’s also, in our opinion, a great looking board with some really nice RGB highlights around the IO panel heatsink. If you’re aware of the shortcomings, have a plan to get around the BIOS flash issue, and find this board at the right price (say under $200) then it makes a solid basis for a high-end B550 based PC build. Otherwise, we’d recommend the Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi which has more features at a lower price and doesn’t feel as quirky as the ASRock PG Velocita. 


Closing Thoughts:

I hope you’ve found this article useful and that it has helped you decide which board is right for you. The nice thing with B550 Motherboards is that there are very few products to avoid – so long as you’re not shopping at the bargain basement they offer the same basic features and functionality as well as equivalent performance. When you’re looking to buy just ensure that the board has BIOS flashback functionality, and adequate slots and I/O for your needs. Also ensure that between the case and the motherboard, you’ve got the USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectivity that matches up, so you’re not left with dead USB-C slots on your case. Consider these points and you’ll have the foundation of a great system using the Ryzen 5600X or 5800X CPUs.

 Best B550 Motherboards for Ryzen 5600X 5800X


The B550 chipset represents the current sweet spot for PC builders looking to maximise the Ryzen 5 5600X and 7 5800X CPUs. It offers a full-featured and cost-effective basis for a high-performance PC for gaming or general use.

We’ve rounded up a selection of some of the best B550 motherboards on offer, going into 2022. We’re going to take a look at them to find out their features, any weak points or flaws, and use this information to make recommendations to you as to the best options for your Ryzen-based PC build. We’ll break our recommendations out into a separate article, so this one isn’t too cluttered with too much information. 

At the lower end, we’re testing the MSI Pro VDH WiFi and the Gigabyte Aorus Elite. These are both mATX boards at or close to the $100 price point.

In the mid-range selection of B550 motherboards, we’ve got the Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus WiFi and the MSI B550M Mortar Wifi. 

And to look at the higher end we’ve got the Asus ROG STRIX B550-F Wifi and the ASRock B550 PG Velocita. These boards are a little more expensive and take different approaches to offer you value, so we were interested in finding out what they offer over more budget-friendly B550 options. 

We’ll take a look at performance overall, then dive into each B550 motherboard to investigates its strengths and weaknesses.

B550 Motherboard Performance Testing:

We’ve conducted our testing with a Ryzen 7 5800X in the knowledge that if these boards handle that CPU well, there will be no problems with the less demanding 5600X. The Test system consisted of a 650W Gold-rated PSU, RTX 3060 Ti (not relevant to testing), and G.Skill 3600Mhz CL16 RAM set to XMP and 1:1 Infinity Fabric and Memory clock ratio. A 240mm AIO was used to maximise CPU performance without thermal throttling. 

B550 Motherboard Benchmark Comparisons

1. Cinebench R20 and R23

In this test we ran both single and multi-core workloads, to ensure that the Motherboard allowed the CPU to boost correctly and also didn’t limit the CPU with power draw. You can see that the boards behaved almost identically.

B550 motherboard benchmarks Cinebench R20 R23 Multi Thread Results
B550 motherboard benchmarks Cinebench R20 R23 Single Thread Results

2. 3D Mark Testing: Fire Strike & Time Spy

We also ran Time Spy and Firestrike CPU tests. These show a little more variance in results but looking at CPU metrics we couldn’t identify any substantial change in CPU performance; This is likely down to variables such as cooler fitment or even ambient temperatures of the test and we don’t consider it anything of concern.

B550 motherboard 3DMark benchmarks Fire Strike Time Spy

The long story short here is that we could not find any discernible difference in performance between any of these B550 motherboards. In single and multi-core tests they all performed remarkably closely, within a margin of error. In fact, if we normalise the scores and average them for each board we find a total variance of less than 0.2% – That’s well within the margin of error. They all held up well to longer duration testing, with no drop in performance after a 30-minute work loop. 

B550 motherboard 3DMark Cinebench benchmarks Normalised Results

RAM Compatibility

We also checked RAM Compatibility, although it’s not possible to really test this exhaustively. All the boards worked flawlessly with our 3600Mhz Cl16 G.Skill RAM kit, as you’d expect. They were also all capable of running ‘known good’ overclock settings of 4000MHz CL 16-16-16-32 at 1:1 infinity fabric and memory clock on our Samsung B-die test kit, which represents the upper end of Zen 3 RAM speed optimisation. All of these boards have identical RAM overclocking and CPU overclocking settings available in BIOS, and whilst we wouldn’t choose them for dedicated overclockers, they all run RAM stably at acceptably fast speeds.

So, the good news on performance is that across the range of B550 motherboards we’ve tested we’re confident that you’ll be able to extract the maximum potential from a Ryzen 5600X or 5800X as well as reasonably fast RAM, to optimise your system’s performance. 


The ‘Best’ B550 Motherboards, Reviewed

So, with performance covered let’s look into each board. We won’t list specs as they’re actually very similar across all of these motherboards, and you can look them up yourselves. Instead, I’ll point out the most important features or omissions, the things we think you’d most want to know before buying any of these B550 motherboards. 

1. MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi – Entry Level Board

MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi
MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi 2

The MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi is a full-featured and good value B550 motherboard currently retailing at about $110.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Understated looks with RGB switch.
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi
  • Simple BIOS Flashback
  • Internal USB C (USB 3.2 Gen 2) header
  • 6 USB rear outputs
  • 5 fan headers in total – 3 system, one CPU fan, one AIO pump header. 

Cons:

  • Only One full length PCIe slot for a GPU. No 4X slots.
  • Basic Audio – ALC 892 and 3 rear audio outputs. 
  • No rear USB C – make sure your case has usb C if you require it, to make use of the internal header. 
  • MATX so it might not look great in an ATX case.

Conclusions: 

Overall we were really impressed with this B550 motherboard. Whilst it has a ‘no-frills approach, MSI has made sensible decisions over what to include. Performance is great, on a par with motherboards that cost twice as much. We’d really just advise that you ensure you won’t need more than that single PCIe x16 slot as the 2 single length slots could limit your ability to add expansion cards down the line. The USB specification also isn’t the best, so make sure you’ll have adequate connectivity between the rear I/O of this board and any case you choose. Overall though for an understated and great value option, we heartily recommend the MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi.


2. Gigabyte B550M Aorus Elite – Entry Level Board

Gigabyte B550M Aorus Elite

The Gigabyte B550M Aorus Elite is the most affordable AORUS motherboard in Gigabyte’s B550 lineup and is available at just $105.

Gigabyte B550M Aorus Elite 2

Pros: 

  • Good Value and a good looking board with Aorus branded heatsinking.
  • Equivalent performance to the more expensive boards on test.
  • BIOS Q-Flash.
  • Inbuilt I/O shield helps with installation.
  • Lower First PCIe slot position – can fit large air coolers.
  • 8 USB ports on the rear.

Cons:

  • Second full length PCIe slot is blocked by any GPU larger than 2 slots. 
  • No Internal USB 3.2 gen 2 header and no USB C on the rear IO.
  • No Diagnostic LEDs – can frustrate when troubleshooting boot issues.
  • Only 3 fan headers in total – 1 CPU and 2 System. You will likely need fan splitters. 
  • No M.2 Heat sinking – not vitally important but helps with a consistent look. 
  • No RGB on board.
  • Awkward SATA socket location: Using 90 degree cables blocks other SATA ports, large GPUs may block SATA ports. Flush mount SATA ports would have solved this issue. 

Conclusions: 

Overall this is a good value B550 motherboard that gets the job done for the Ryzen Zen 3 builds. However, in terms of value, it loses out to the MSI B550M Pro-VDH which includes USB 3.2 gen 2 and WiFi for just $5 more. The price-cutting on this motherboard with limited fan headers, awkward SATA ports, lack of any boot diagnostic LEDs and slightly awkward PCIe slot placement all means that in all but the most basic PC builds this board is likely to frustrate. In particular, if you want WiFi or any additional add-in PCIe card you need to ensure that your GPU is no more than 2 slots thick – and many are nowadays with most designs intruding on the third PCIe slot beneath them. If your GPU is long you may have issues connecting SATA cables to some or all of the ports.

At the right price, the B550M Aorus Elite is still a good motherboard, but we’d consider that price to be around $90 to compensate for the shortcomings here. We recommend the MSI B550 Pro VDH Wifi over this for the additional features and fewer compromises of that board. 


3. Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus WiFi – Mid-Range Board

Asus TUF B550M-Plus WiFi 1

Moving into the mid-range selections, we have the ASUS TUF Gaming B550M Plus WiFi. The TUF lineup offers some really good products and this B550 board is no exception, but at the moment it’s retailing at $160 which is pretty steep for a B550 motherboard.

Asus TUF B550M-Plus WiFi 2

Pros:

  • Great looking with hefty heatsinking and nice RGB highlights. 
  • Inbuilt WiFi 6
  • Asus BIOS Flashback functionality
  • USB C on the rear and 7 USB A ports of various speeds.
  • Higher quality Audio CODEC – Realtec S1200A
  • Strong VRM – easily capable of running a 5900X.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Slightly awkward SATA socket positioning. Not as bad as the Aorus Elite, but still annoying.
  • Limited Fan headers – 2 System, 1 CPU fan, 1 AIO pump optional header. 
  • No internal USB 3.2 Gen 2 header. 
  • Second PCIe slot blocked by a larger GPU in the first, but the 1x slot is mounted high to keep it accessible. 
  • RGB may be obscured by a GPU

Conclusions:

Overall we like this B550 motherboard but not the price. At $130-$140, it’s a good buy but it has enough compromises to make us look elsewhere at $150-$160. Little things like the number of fan headers and lack of an internal USB 3.2 header are the sort of detail you’d expect a board like this to get right. However, it performs well and looks great, so if you find it at the right price there’s no reason not to buy it. Just make sure the compromises this board makes won’t interfere with your planned build. 


4. MSI MAG B550M Mortar WiFi – Mid-Range Board

MSI MAG B550M Mortar WiFi 1

The MSI B550M Mortar Wifi is the B550 motherboard we’re most familiar with in this test, we’ve actually been using it for about nine months on our test bench. It’s a good mid-range option but let’s see how it stacks up against the competition.

MSI MAG B550M Mortar WiFi 2

Pros: 

  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 internal header plus USB C on the rear I/O panel.
  • Plenty of fan headers: 3 system fan headers, 1 CPU, one AIO.
  • Full length PCIe slots are 3 slots apart – you can fit 2 GPUs into this motherboard without conflict.
  • BIOS flashback
  • Inbuilt IO shield
  • Inbuilt WiFi 6: A non WiFi option available with a darker colour scheme.
  • 6 SATA slots (most mATX have 4)

Cons:

  • Expensive at the moment – $170
  • Only 5 USB A sockets on the rear.
  • mATX form factor may look strange in ATX builds.

Conclusions:

This mid-range B550 motherboard does a lot of things right. The layout is good and it has a good range of internal connectors. The main weakness is the slight lack of USB A options on the rear IO. Subjectively, the silver aesthetic of this WiFi version matches white or silver themed builds nicely, and also somewhat subjectively we find the MSI bios one of the more intuitive to navigate and tweak. There’s a non WiFi version also available at about $155. Overall, this is a great board and we can heartily recommend it, but just be cautious on pricing. 


5. ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F Gaming WiFi – High-End Board

Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi 1

Now we move up to the higher end of B550 motherboards with the Asus ROG Strix B550-F Gaming WiFi. This full ATX board adds some more PCIe slots and USB connectivity to the mix, as well as some higher-end components like a strong VRM configuration and a good quality Audio Codec.

Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi 2
Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi 3
Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi 4

Pros:

  • Full ATX with plenty of well-spaced PCIe slots.
  • Great looking board with RGB and solid heatsinking, including both M.2 slots.
  • Lots of Fan headers, with AIO pump, CPU, CPU Optional and 3 chassis fan headers for 6 total.
  • High end S1220A Codec for audio. 
  • BIOS Flashback
  • Six SATA slots.
  • Strong VRM

Cons:

  • Still only 2 M.2 slots
  • No internal USB 3.2 gen 2 header.
  • Hard to see the value at near $200

Conclusions:

Moving up to the higher end and a full ATX B550 motherboard, we come to the Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming. There’s a lot to like about this motherboard, not least the looks. However, we think it’s hard to find the value on offer here when you compare the specification to, for example, the MSI B550M Mortar you don’t really gain much. Multiple X1 PCIe slots are of limited value on a board that has WiFi inbuilt anyway. There’s still just 2 M.2 slots, and no internal USB 3.2 Gen 2. On the plus side, you get loads of Fan and RGB control options, heavy heatsinking, a great VRM – but remember you’re not buying any more performance with this board, every board here performs the same with a 5600X or 5800X. Overall, if you like the looks and features, and don’t mind the ROG Strix tax or slight compromises in the specification, this is a solid option and we’d recommend it for a showy 5600X or 5800X gaming build. 


6. ASRock B550 PG Velocita – High-End Board

ASRock B550 PG Velocita 1

The ASRock B550 PG Velocita is a B550 chipset motherboard with a lot of features aimed at overclockers, but one glaring omission, so let’s take a closer look.

ASRock B550 PG Velocita 2
ASRock B550 PG Velocita 3

Pros:

  • Full ATX format with good PCIe slot layout.
  • Seven Fan/Pump headers, giving extensive cooling options
  • Really nice LED highlights.
  • Very strong VRM with 14 phase set up. You can maximise any Zen 3 CPU on this without concern.
  • Excellent heatsinking with a heat pipe to spread heat load.
  • Internal USB 3.2 gen 2 header. 
  • Good USB connectivity on rear I/O
  • Wifi compatible M.2 slot and pre cut I/O plate antenna holes – you can add Wifi without using a PCIe or M.2 storage slot. 

Mixed:

  • Power and reset buttons – we found them helpful on our test bench, but how much are you really going to use them in a built PC?
  • Fault code display could be a nice touch, but the code index is so generic and unhelpful that it’s really no more use than simple LED lights.
  • Love it or hate it styling with red and grey accents. 

Cons:

  •  No BIOS Flashback! An unforgivable sin, and this is the only board that required us to swap to a compatible CPU to update the BIOS and get it working with Ryzen 5000 CPUs. 
  • Only two storage M.2 slots. 
  • Expensive
  • You’re not buying any extra performance

Conclusions:

This ASRock B550 PG Velocita is the B550 motherboard in this review that sparks the most mixed feelings for us. We really WANT to love it, but the overall impression is of a board that hasn’t been designed with actual use in mind. The most glaring issue is the lack of any means to perform a BIOS flash without an existing CPU. We bought this board at the start of summer 2021 and it wasn’t Ryzen 5000 ready – forcing us to use our Ryzen 3600 to update the BIOS. For a board aimed at enthusiasts, and when it’s available on boards at literally half the price, it’s just not acceptable not to include this feature. 

The other ‘overclocking’ features really feel like they’ve been added for marketing, not with functionality in mind. The Power and reset buttons were nice whilst we tested this board, but useless if you intend on actually building a PC in a traditional case. Likewise the Numeric LED Fault code display COULD be really useful, but the codes are so cryptic and poorly explained in the manual or online that actually, they’re no more helpful than simple diagnostic LED’s pointing at a problem with the CPU or RAM for example. On the plus side, it’s got great water cooling and system fan flexibility, a good range of connectors, and a hugely capable VRM. That said, you’re not getting extra performance from an overkill VRM, and short of exotic cooling methods you won’t need the VRM on offer here even for a 5950X – the overclocking headroom just doesn’t exist. It’s also, in our opinion, a great looking board with some really nice RGB highlights around the IO panel heatsink. If you’re aware of the shortcomings, have a plan to get around the BIOS flash issue, and find this board at the right price (say under $200) then it makes a solid basis for a high-end B550 based PC build. Otherwise, we’d recommend the Asus B550-F ROG Strix Gaming WiFi which has more features at a lower price and doesn’t feel as quirky as the ASRock PG Velocita. 


Closing Thoughts:

I hope you’ve found this article useful and that it has helped you decide which board is right for you. The nice thing with B550 Motherboards is that there are very few products to avoid – so long as you’re not shopping at the bargain basement they offer the same basic features and functionality as well as equivalent performance. When you’re looking to buy just ensure that the board has BIOS flashback functionality, and adequate slots and I/O for your needs. Also ensure that between the case and the motherboard, you’ve got the USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectivity that matches up, so you’re not left with dead USB-C slots on your case. Consider these points and you’ll have the foundation of a great system using the Ryzen 5600X or 5800X CPUs.


Related

Sours: https://premiumbuilds.com/motherboards/best-b550-motherboards/

B550 itx best

Best B550 Motherboards 2021: AMD’s More Affordable PCIe 4.0 Option

The Best B550 motherboard for your next AMD build might not be a B550 board at all. AMD’s B550 chipset arrived with anticipation of PCIe 4.0 support at low prices, given the high cost of most X570 boards and the appealingly low price of many previous-generation B450 motherboards. But now that we’re well more than a year out from the launch of B550, we know that AMD’s more mainstream AM4 platform delivers on at least one of those promises--PCIe 4.0.

While there’s less bandwidth for multiple next-generation high-speed storage and graphics card setups with B550 compared to X570, it does deliver enough PCIe 4.0 lanes for the typical setup of a single speedy boot drive and graphics card. And overall, B550 prices are lower than their X570 counterparts. But many B550 motherboards --  particularly the high-end models -- surpass the price of many lower-end X570 motherboards. 

So even the best B550 motherboards may not have as broad appeal as cheaper B450 options -- though you’ll forego PCIe 4.0 with these lower-priced boards, which is a key selling point of AMD’s latest platforms, as well as now Intel with Z590/Rocket Lake.

There are other considerations (and complications) if you’re choosing the best B550 motherboard, as well.  Those who like their PCs to run silently will appreciate that the B550 chipset doesn’t require support for active cooling. But note that refreshed X570S chipset/motherboards also do away with the fan issue, while also delivering the extra bandwidth of AMD's flagship chipset.

The key thing to note with B550 is that, while the chipset supports current and future Zen 3 processors, the boards didn’t support Ryzen 2000 and earlier processors, or Ryzen 3000 APUs like the Ryzen 5 3400G--at least at launch. While the AM4 socket remains the same, ROM size limitations make it impossible for board makers to include support for all current, future, and past Ryzen processors with a single firmware package.

So if you have an older Ryzen 2000 CPU or Ryzen 3000 APU, be sure to check the board’s product page to see if it’s compatible with your processor out of the box. At the very least, you may need to update the board’s BIOS to support a given chip. And depending on the features of a given board, that may be impossible to do without also having a different CPU that works with the board out of the box. You don’t want to spend tons of time researching the best B550 motherboard for your build, only to find out after you buy it that it won’t boot with your existing CPU.

AMD B550 Chipset: PCIe 4.0 for the Rest of Us

With all that out of the way, what exactly does B550 offer? Here’s how AMD sees it:

You get PCIe 4.0 support through the CPU, delivering enough lanes for a fast NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD and the GPU. Also included with B550 is dual-GPU support (though that’s a feature with far less appeal in recent years for gamers), along with a doubling of the bandwidth of the motherboard’s general-purpose PCIe lanes from the chipset, from 2.0 to 3.0. That increased per-lane throughput allowed AMD to reduce the number of lanes between the chipset and CPU from six PCIe 2.0 lanes to four PCIe 3.0.  


B450B550X570
CPU Graphics SupportX16 PCIe Gen 3X16 PCIe Gen 4X16 PCIe Gen 4
CPU Storage SupportPCIe Gen 3PCIe Gen 4PCIe Gen 4
CPU USB PortsUSB 3.1 Gen 1USB 3.1 Gen 2USB 3.1 Gen 2
Dual Graphics SupportNoYesYes
General Purpose LanesPCIe Gen 2PCIe Gen 3PCIe Gen 4
CPU Chipset UplinkPCIe Gen 3PCIe Gen 3PCIe Gen 4
Overclocking SupportYesYesYes

Below are our tested picks for the best B550 motherboards, at various price points and form factors. We expect this list to grow once we test more of these mainstream AMD motherboards.

1. Asus ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi

Best B550 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD B550

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 12+2 phases

PCIe x16: (1) v4.0 (x16), (1) v3.0 (x4)

USB Ports: (2) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), (4) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Capable 14-Phase Power Delivery+2.5 GbE LAN and Wi-Fi 6 AX200+Premium Audio

Reasons to avoid

-More than $200 still seems expensive for B550

Asus’ ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi delivers premium features including SupremeFX Audio, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, solid power delivery and more. It’s a good option around the $200 mark, though if you don’t need Wi-Fi capability, the non-Wi-Fi version of the same board costs $30 less with the same specifications, making it easy to recommend if you plan on using Ethernet or have your own wireless card.

Read: Asus ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi review

2. NZXT N7 B550

Best B550 Motherboard (Alternate)

Specifications

Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD B550

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 12+2+2 phases

PCIe x16: (1) v4.0 (x16), (1) v3.0 (x4)

USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps), (3) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (5 Gbps), (4) USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-A (5 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Capable Power Delivery+Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5 GbE+10 USB ports

Reasons to avoid

-Lack of integrated RGBs may be a turnoff-No USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20 Gbps) ports

NZXT’s first foray into AMD motherboards is a success. Coming in late to the game allowed the company to implement feedback from its Intel boards, adding more USB ports to the rear IO. The additional time also allowed NZXT to implement cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E as well, alongside 2.5GbE. Outside of that, the appearance changed significantly from the company’s previous boards, with shrouds dominating the surface and an absence of on-board RGBs.

With an MSRP of $229, the NZXT N7 B550 costs about $15 more than our primary pick, but delivers a newer Wi-Fi chip, more and faster USB ports, and solid performance in a package that's visually distinct from all other B550 competition. If you can spend this much and don't need the extra PCI 4.0 bandwidth that comes with similarly priced older X570 motherboards, the NZXT N7 B550 is well worth considering.

Read: NZXT N7 B550 review 

3. Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master

Best B550 Motherboard (if Price Is No Object)

Specifications

Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD B550

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 16 phases

PCIe x16: (1) v4.0 PCIe x16; (2) v3.0 (x4)

USB Ports: (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-C (10 Gbps), (4) USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-A (10 Gbps), (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-A (5 Gbps), (6) USB 2.0, Type-A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Solid 16-Phase 70A Power Delivery+Three M.2 slots, all with heatsinks+2.5 GbE LAN/Wi-Fi 6 AX200

Reasons to avoid

-Price is well into X570 territory

There are plenty of cheaper B550 based options than the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master, but if you’re looking at flagship mainstream parts, you likely already know that you are set with a single GPU and PCIe 4.0 M.2 module. While you can add more modules, you’ll be limited to PCIe 3.0 (still plenty fast enough for many) with those extra drives. If you’re still a heavy SATA-based storage user and six of those ports isn’t enough, look to the the ASRock B550 Taichi. But if you need three M.2 slots and loads of USB, the Aorus Master delivers.

The B550 Aorus Master is a very capable board, loaded up with premium features like Wi-Fi 6 and high-quality VRMs. It’s one of the more well-appointed B550 motherboards, though that also means it’s expensive. If a $250+ B550-based motherboard is what you’re looking for, the B550 Aorus Master should be on your short list.

Read: Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master review

4. Asus ProArt B550 Creator

Best B550 Motherboard for Content Creators

Specifications

Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD B550

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 12 phases

PCIe x16: (1) v4.0 PCIe x16; (1) v3.0 (x8)

USB Ports: (x2) Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, (4) USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-A (10 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0 Type-A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+2x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports+Unique integrated M.2 latches+Dual 2.5 GbE ports

Reasons to avoid

-Only two M.2 sockets and four SATA ports-Wi-Fi not included

If you’re building a Ryzen-based system primarily for content creation and productivity, the Asus ProArt B550 Creator is a viable option around the $300 price point--especially if you can make use of its pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports. Aside from those, you get Dual 2.5 GbE for fast wired connectivity, plus ingenious latches for M.2 modules so you don't have to fumble with those tiny screws.

At just under $300, the ProArt B550 Creator is expensive for a B550 board, but it delivers unique features for content creators and their workflows. If your work fits within the confines of the B550 chipset and its limited storage flexibility, this board is the best we've tested for creative types. It's also a great board for more general-purpose builds, but the price is high unless you can really use the Thunderbolt ports. 

Read: Asus ProArt B550 Creator Review

5. MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk

Best Mid-Range B550 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD B550

Form Factor: ATX

Voltage Regulator: 13 phases

PCIe x16: (1) v4.0 PCIe x16; (1) v3.0 (x4)

USB Ports: (2) USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-A and Type-C (10 Gbps), (2) USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-A (5 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0, Type-A

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Capable 13-Phase 60A Power Delivery+Dual Ethernet (1/2.5 GbE)+High-power fan/pump headers

Reasons to avoid

-Only six USB ports on Rear IO-Other boards have better audio codec-No integrated Wi-Fi

MSI’s MAG B550 Tomahawk delivers a well-balanced feature set at a competitive price. Performance is up there with the more expensive boards, and the VRMs held their own even when overclocked. At $180, you’ll have to live without Wi-Fi, and some potential drawbacks are the six total USB count on the rear IO as well as the lesser audio codec compared to many other boards. Assuming these are not deal breakers for your build, the MSI B550 MAG Tomahawk deserves consideration if your budget is around the $180 mark.

Read: MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk review

6. Asus ROG Strix B550-I Gaming

Best Mini ITX B550 Motherboard

Specifications

Socket: AM4

Chipset: AMD B550

Form Factor: Mini ITX

Voltage Regulator: 10 phases

PCIe x16: (1) v4.0

USB Ports: (4) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 Type-C), (2) USB 2.0 (1 Type-C)

Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+Two M.2 slots+Active VRM cooling+Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5Gb Ethernet

Reasons to avoid

-Only six USB ports, one of which is for audio

If you’re after a B550 board in the compact Mini ITX form factor, you only have a handful of choices, but Asus’ ROG Strix B550-I Gaming stands out. At $230, it’s on the pricier end, but $100 less than Gigabyte’s B550I Aorus Pro AX, while still delivering two M.2 slots (one around back), Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5Gb Ethernet. And active VRM cooling means you shouldn’t have to deal with the heat issues we saw with the Asus Prime B550M-A Wi-Fi and our 3900X.

You’ll have to live with just six USB ports on the rear IO, but that’s par for the course with these small B550 boards. Just note that one of the six ports is a USB 2.0 Type-C port designed for audio. If you’re planning on building with an APU, you get a trio of video ports, and the analog audio jacks light up. That’s the extent of on-board RGB, though. If you want more lighting, you’ll have to provide that with other components and accessories.

You’ll also have to deal with some inconveniently placed headers, like the front-panel audio pins which are wedged between the primary M.2 heatsink and the two RAM slots. But again, this is to be expected when lots of high-end features get jammed onto such a small board. For about $30 less, you can pick up MSI’s MPG B550I Gaming Edge Wi-Fi. That board is similar in many ways, but trades a couple video ports for a PS/2 port and more audio jacks. It also has fewer USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, although it does have more Type-A ports than Asus’ ITX board.

Savings on the Best B550 Motherboards

Whether you're buying one of the best B550 motherboards or a different model, you may find some savings by checking our list of coupon codes, especially our list of Newegg promo codes and Micro Center coupons.

Matt began piling up computer experience as a child with his Mattel Aquarius. He built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last decade covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper and Digital Trends. When not writing about tech, he’s often walking—through the streets of New York, over the sheep-dotted hills of Scotland, or just at his treadmill desk at home in front of the 50-inch 4K HDR TV that serves as his PC monitor.
Sours: https://www.tomshardware.com/best-picks/best-amd-b550-motherboards
Best B550 ITX Motherboards - Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock

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