Motherboard Reviews

ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming Motherboard Review

Judge me by my size, do you?

A Closer Look at the ROG STRIX B550-I Gaming Motherboard »



 

ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming Motherboard Review LogoUp until very recently, if you wanted the latest and greatest motherboard for an AMD CPU you were forced to buy a motherboard with an X570 chipset, that is until AMD released the B550 to the masses. Asus has some of the largest selection of motherboards and we have the minuscule ASUS ROG Strix B550-I motherboard on the test bench. The ROG Strix B550-I is a mini ITX motherboard which is great for small builds.  Over the last few generations, ITX boards have been able to meet the performance of their full-size counterparts and the Strix B550-I aims to keep this trend going. ITX motherboards do make some sacrifices for size. For example, you only get one PCIe slot and two vs. four memory slots.  As far as the chipset, the main difference between the X570 and B550 is the PCIe generation and the configuration. 1st off, the B550 uses PCIe 3.0 for the CPU to chipset link whereas the X570 uses PCIe 4.0. With the B550, you still get 16 lanes of PCIe Gen4 for graphics and one 4-lane PCIe 4.0 NVME slot and a ton of PCIe Gen3 lanes that the motherboard manufactures can arrange how they see fit. Also with the B550, you gain the support for dual GPUs which is something the B450 lacked. Overall, the B550 should be cheaper than the X570 boards. While there are trade-offs in I/O and the bells and whistles available on the board, is there a trade-off for performance as well? From what I know from the reviews of the X570 and B450 boards, performance differences should be minimal. I can understand AMD not wanting to give everything away on the B550 as far as available features because why would you buy an X570 board? However, I can’t see AMD penalizing you for buying a less expensive board to pair with their latest and greatest CPU. To me, that just doesn’t make sense.

Review Sample Provided By:
Product Name and Website: Asus ROG Strix B550-I Gaming
Product was given in exchange for work to produce review.

 

Packaging

The box features the ROG (Republic Of Gamers) logo dressed in RGB neon colors behind the graphic of the front side of the motherboard on the front of the box. Clearly, you can see what chipset and what CPU generation this motherboard is for. On the back of the box, Asus goes into a lot more detail on some of the specifications such as I/O, SATA port count, as well as some of the features of the Strix B550-I

 

Inside, you’ll find the motherboard wrapped in an anti-static bag. There are two compartments to the box. The top compartment holds the motherboard and the bottom compartment holds the accessories.
Asus B550-I

 

The accessory bundle for the Strix B550-I includes a rear I/O shield, SATA cables, zip ties, a USB c to 3.5mm headphone jack, an M.2 bracket, and screws, and Wifi antenna. Also included are a sticker sheet, thank you card, manual, and a DVD. Honestly, I’d rather see USB drives included for drivers rather than DVDs. Not many people that I know still have an optical drive in their PC.

Specifications

CPUAMD AM4 Socket 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ Processors
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list
ChipsetAMD B550
Memory5100(O.C)/5000(O.C)/4800(O.C.)/4600(O.C)/4400(O.C)/4266(O.C.)/
4133(O.C.)/4000(O.C.)/3800(O.C.)/3600(O.C.)/3466(O.C.)/3400(O.C.)/
3200/3000/2933/2800/2666/2400/2133 MHz Un-buffered Memory *
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
OptiMem II
ECC Memory (ECC mode) support varies by CPU.
Graphic1 x HDMI 2.1(4K@60HZ) *
1 x DisplayPort 1.4 *
*Graphics specifications may vary between CPU types.
Expansion Slots1 x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x16 mode)
StorageTotal supports 2 x M.2 slots and 4 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ Processors :
1 x M.2_1 socket 3, with M Key, Type 2242/2260/2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4 and SATA modes) storage devices support
AMD B550 Chipset :
1 x M.2_2 socket 3, with M Key, Type 2242/2260/2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA modes) storage devices support
4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
Support Raid 0, 1, 10
LANIntel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
ASUS LANGuard
Wireless Data NetworkIntel® Wi-Fi 6 AX200
2×2 Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax) support 1024QAM/OFDMA/MU-MIMO
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Supports channel bandwidth: HT20/HT40/HT80/HT160
BluetoothBluetooth v5.1*
*BT 5.1 function will be ready in Windows 10 build 19041 or later.
AudioSupremeFX 7.1 Surround Sound High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A
– Dual OP Amplifiers
– Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
– Supports: Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
– High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
– Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *
Audio Feature :
– Rear audio USB Type-C® port
– LED-illuminated design
– Audio Shielding
– Premium Japanese audio capacitors
USB PortsRear USB Port ( Total 6 )
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s)(1 x USB Type-C® +3 x Type-A)
1 x USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x USB 2.0 port(s)(1 x audio USB Type-C® )
Front USB Port ( Total 5 )
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front-panel connector port(s)(1 x USB Type-C®)
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)
2 x USB 2.0 port(s)
Software FeaturesROG Exclusive Software
– RAMCache III
– ROG CPU-Z
– GameFirst VI
– Sonic Studio III + Sonic Studio Virtual Mixer
– Sonic Radar III
– DTS® Sound Unbound
– Overwolf
– Anti-virus software
ASUS Exclusive Software Features
Armoury Crate
– Aura Creator
– Aura Sync
-AI Noise Cancelling Microphone
ASUS Special FeaturesAura Sync
– Standard RGB header(s)
– Addressable Gen 2 RGB header(s)
ASUS Q-Design
– ASUS Q-CODE
– ASUS Q-DIMM
– ASUS Q-LED (DRAM [yellow],CPU [red], VGA [white], Boot Device [yellow green)
– ASUS Q-Slot
ASUS Thermal Solution
– Aluminum M.2 heatsink
ASUS EZ DIY
-BIOS Flashback™ button
-BIOS FlashBack™ LED
-Clear CMOS header
-Procool
-Pre-mounted I/O shield
– SafeSlot
Rear audio USB Type-C® connector
Back I/O Ports1 x Intel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 x USB Type-C®+3 x Type-A)
2 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS FlashBack 1 for audio USB Type-C®)
1 x BIOS FlashBack Button(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
3 x LED-illuminated audio jacks
Internal I/O Ports1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
1 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x AIO_PUMP connector
1 x Aura RGB Strip Header(s)
1 x Addressable Gen 2 header(s)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 front panel TypeC™ connector
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1(up to 5Gbps) connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)
1 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIe SSD)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x System panel connector
1 x Speaker connector
1 x VRM_HS_FAN Header
AccessoriesUser’s manual
I/O Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
2 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x ROG Strix stickers
1 x M.2 bracket
1 x Cable ties pack(s)
1 x Wi-Fi Antenna(s)
1 x Extension cable for Addressable LED
1 x Panel cable
1 x ROG Thank you card
1 x ROG audio USB Type-C® cable
BIOS256 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS
ManageabilityWOL by PME, PXE
Operating SystemWindows® 10 64-bit
Form FactorMini ITX Form Factor
6.7 inch x 6.7 inch ( 17 cm x 17 cm )

 

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Tom Brokaw

Tom is a network and computer hardware enthusiast. He has been reviewing hardware products around for various sites around the net since 1999. He has modded a few cases back in the day.

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