May 21, 2020 Written by:

ROG Strix B550 motherboards power up mainstream AMD gaming builds with PCI Express 4.0

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Almost a year ago, AMD's high-end X570 chipset was the first to bring PCI Express 4.0 (PCIe 4.0) support to the desktop PC. That new bus standard offers up to 2X the bandwidth for the next generation of solid-state drives, graphics cards, network adapters, and more. Now, the B550 chipset is bringing the potential of PCIe 4.0 to mainstream builds everywhere. We've spun up three ROG Strix boards to pair our most innovative features with AMD's latest midrange platform. 

B550 motherboards enable 20 general-purpose PCIe 4.0 lanes from third-generation AMD Ryzen CPUs. Both the primary PCIe x16 and M.2 slots on all of our B550 boards offer PCIe 4.0 connectivity. Third-gen Ryzen chips also let us tap as many as four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports running at up to 10Gbps direct from the CPU. The B550 silicon itself gets an upgrade to PCIe 3.0 connectivity for its built-in lanes, and AMD has already confirmed that future chips based on the Zen 3 architecture will drop right in. Those upgrades make B550 a tantalizing platform for system builders the world over.

The sound and the fury

Higher-end Ryzen chips and their wealth of cores need voltage regulator modules (VRMs) that can keep up, and ROG B550 boards come with extra power stages and improved heatsinks to handle the load. Our proprietary ProCool solid-core power connectors report for duty in select models to ensure reliable power delivery to the VRM.  Nearly the entire lineup supports overclocked memory to help builders take advantage of AMD's processors' penchant for speedy, low-latency RAM. The pint-sized ROG Strix B550-I Gaming takes advantage of the short RAM trace lengths of the Mini-ITX form factor to let builders push DIMMs up to a stratospheric 5100MHz.

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"Attack location D! No, I meant D, not C, don't do that! Great, we lost." We've all been there. Few things are more aggravating than losing an online match thanks to bad comms. There's no need to suffer anymore, though, thanks to the AI Noise Cancelling support launching alongside our B550 motherboards. This proprietary technology works with any headset or microphone by applying advanced filters to the voice input so you can be heard clearly. AI Noise Canceling filters out background sounds like keyboard strokes, mouse clicks, and the vast majority of office and household noise.

Many people have USB Type-C headphones and headsets to use with their latest-gen phones, tablets, and laptops. On PCs, Type-C ports still constitute a minority of back- and front-panel connectivity, so using one to plug in a headset isn't ideal if also you need to connect a high-speed Type-C storage device or charge a phone. The ROG Strix B550-E Gaming and B550-I Gaming boards come to the rescue with a dedicated Audio Type-C port. This port has two special tricks up its sleeve. First, its power supply is filtered to clear away noise. Second, an S210 control chip automatically detects the type of connected device so the port can be used for both Type-C audio devices and standard USB connectivity as needed. These boards also include a Type-C-to-3.5mm adapter that makes it easy to connect both standard headphones and 4-pole headsets, leaving more analog audio ports available for your speakers or other gear.

Engineering meets craftsmanship

Raw technical specifications may be impressive, but an ASUS motherboard is crafted with exquisite attention to detail from stem to stern. Our UEFI interface is the command center of your PC, and it's garnered a stack of awards over the years for both functionality and ease-of-use. On top of easy-to-understand and well-documented overclocking settings, the Q-Fan Control utility makes it easy to manage your fans for a cool and quiet system.

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Visual customization is vital for the modern PC, and our boards have always blazed a well-lit trail. The Aura Sync RGB LED ecosystem is now a household name for PC builders, and our Armoury Crate software cleanly and intuitively integrates RGB LED controls, overclocking, and system monitoring in one convenient app. Gen 2 addressable RGB LED headers with per-LED control, automatic configuration, and near-zero latency can be found across our B550 lineup. They're ready to illuminate the latest light strips and accessories in a perfectly synchronized show.

Back to the future with BIOS FlashBack™

One of the big advantages of AMD's Socket AM4 platforms is compatibility with future processors. New chips often require updated board firmware to function, so in the event a new motherboard doesn't come with the latest firmware, it can be difficult to update it without a compatible processor.

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BIOS FlashBack™ support on ROG Strix B550 boards gets your new build up and running without a hitch by letting you update your board's firmware with nothing more than a power supply and a USB flash drive.

ROG Strix boards blend potent performance with plenty of attitude

The ROG Strix line distills the high-end essence of ROG DNA into gaming-oriented offerings loaded with first-class features and style. Covering both ATX and Mini-ITX formats, these models are decked out in a stealthy black with a cyber-text motif, all enhanced by subtle dashes of RGB LED lighting. Integrated I/O shields both look gorgeous and simplify installation. High-end VRMs stand ready to drive the entire swath of today's Ryzen chips, while Intel-powered 2.5Gb Ethernet and optional Wi-Fi 6 offer connectivity to the outside world. SupremeFX S1220A audio with Japanese capacitors, dedicated signal traces, and EMI shielding ensures a blissful aural experience.

The ROG Strix B550-E Gaming leads the pack

The ROG Strix B550-E Gaming stands at the bleeding edge for this generation. We built it with an eye towards AMD's high-performance processors and dual or triple expansion card setups. The AM4 socket is flanked by a 14+2 power stage VRM for reliable performance under sustained loads from many-core CPUs, while reinforced PCIe x16 SafeSlots support multi-GPU action in two-way SLI or three-way CrossFireX setups for gamers and creators alike. In fact, the B550-E is the only board in the lineup with SLI support. 8+4-pin ProCool power connectors allow for safe, cool transfer of joules into an installed chip.

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Systems built around the ROG Strix B550-E will want well-considered cooling. The B550-E's six fan headers (including a dedicated AIO pump header) allow for setups as simple or intricate as a given build requires. Q-Fan software controls with automatic fan speed detection and multiple presets make it easy to keep both temperatures and noise levels down. Dual M.2 slots can take in SSDs up to 110mm long, both covered by heatsinks to prevent thermal throttling under intense I/O loads.

Games, videos, photos, and documents are perpetually growing in size, calling for ever-faster network connectivity. The ROG Strix B550-E delivers in spades, thanks to Intel-powered 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 controllers that'll quickly move gigabytes of data over wires or airwaves. There's also Bluetooth 5.1 support on tap for wireless headsets, phones, and tablets.

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USB connectivity is particularly plentiful on the ROG Strix B550-E. You get three USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectors (one Type-C and two Type-A) on the back panel, along with an Audio Type-C port and a smattering of USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 2.0 ports. We've also included a USB 3.2 Gen 2 front-panel connector for the latest crop of cases. If you want to hook up audio-video gear or a speedy external storage array, you can add one of our ThunderboltEX 3-TR cards to your system thanks to the B550-E's expansion header. The high-end SupremeFX S1220A audio chip provides pristine audio for gaming and music.

The visual identity created by cyber-text designs atop the I/O shield and multiple heatsinks gives the ROG Strix B550-E a futuristic look that's complemented by tasteful dashes of RGB LED lighting. A total of four RGB LED headers are available—two standard headers and two Gen 2 addressable hook-ups with individual LED control, reduced latency, and automatic configuration support. All those diodes can be turned off with one click to give the board a stealthy black-ops look. Additional touches include FlexKey reset button remapping and BIOS FlashBack™ for updating firmware with no CPU or memory.

ROG Strix B550-E Gaming
Form factor ATX
Memory 4 x DDR4 up to 4400+ (OC)
Multi-GPU 2 x SLI, 3 x CrossFireX
PCI Express expansion slots 2 PCIe 4.0 x16: x16, x8/x8
1 PCIe 3.0 x16: x4
2 PCIe 3.0 x1
Storage 1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 4.0 x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
Networking Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
2x2 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) MU-MIMO; Bluetooth 5.1
Audio SupremeFX S1220A codec
DTS Sound Unbound
USB 3.2 Gen 2: 1 x Type-C, 2 x Type-A, 1 x front
3.2 Gen 1: 2 x front
2.0: 5 x Type-A, 4 x front
Thunderbolt 3 1 x internal header
Aura 2 x strip headers,
2 x Gen 2 addressable headers
Cooling 1 x pump headers
5 x fan headers
Availability (USA) TBA
Availability (Canada) TBA

The ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi) strikes a mighty blow

Sometimes, the best things in life are simple—or at least straightforward. The ROG Strix B550-F proves the point for builders who want a performance-oriented board with a healthy dose of luxury. The 12+2 power stage VRM is ready for top Ryzen chips, and 8+4-pin ProCool auxiliary power connectors with solid pins ensure steady and stable power delivery to those power stages.

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Like its beefier B550-E sibling, this model includes Intel I255-V 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and next-gen Wi-Fi with an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 adapter. If your computing life is fully wired, you can get the B550-F without the Wi-Fi 6 card as your build demands. The SupremeFX S1220A audio codec makes an encore here to push pristine audio to your headset or speakers.

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The B550-F follows the distinctive visual standard of the ROG Strix family and looks plenty sharp on its own thanks to the aggressive aesthetics and an illuminated ROG logo on the integrated I/O shield. If you're up for customization, you can add plenty of lights with RGB LED strip headers in both regular and Gen 2 addressable flavors—all with Aura Sync support for easy configuration.

ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (Wi-Fi)
Form factor ATX
Memory 4 x DDR4 up to 4400+ (OC)
Multi-GPU 2 x CrossFireX
PCI Express expansion slots 1 PCIe 4.0 x16: x16
1 PCIe 3.0 x16: x4
3 PCIe 3.0 x1
Storage 1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 4.0 x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
Networking Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
2x2 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) MU-MIMO; Bluetooth 5.1 (optional)
Audio SupremeFX S1220A codec
DTS Sound Unbound
USB 3.2 Gen 2: 1 x Type-C, 1 x Type-A
3.2 Gen 1: 4 x Type-A, 2 x front
2.0: 2 x Type-A, 4 x front
Thunderbolt 3 1 x internal header
Aura 2 x strip headers,
1 x Gen 2 addressable headers
Cooling 1 x pump headers
5 x fan headers
Availability (USA) TBA
Availability (Canada) TBA

The ROG Strix B550-I Gaming is a pint-sized powerhouse

The ROG Strix B550-I was designed for small builds with big ambitions. Some systems just don't need a full-sized ATX case, and few folks want a big tower in their living room for an HTPC or console replacement.

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The ROG Strix B550-I packs a high-end component loadout into its small footprint. By design, Mini-ITX only makes room for a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, but the compact form factor has some unique advantages. The B550-I can drive compatible DIMMs at speeds up to 5100 MHz by taking advantage of the shorter trace length between the memory slots and the CPU. The 8+2 DrMOS voltage regulator module is a fine fit for third-gen Ryzen chips. Active cooling on the VRM and an eight-pin connector with our ProCool II design ensures that power delivery remains stable in the tight confines of Mini-ITX enclosures.

The rear I/O panel is kitted out with USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C and Type-A ports, an Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet connector, and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 module with Bluetooth 5.1 support. Small machines are more likely to have fast external storage attached, so we've added a front-panel USB 3.2 Gen 2 connector for the latest cases. This board also comes outfitted with our Audio Type-C port.

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The SupremeFX S1220A codec gets tricked out on the ROG Strix B550-I Gaming. The 3.5-mm connectors are all LED-illuminated in unique colors to allow for easy identification when connecting analog speakers, headsets, or microphones.

ROG Strix B550-I Gaming
Form factor Mini-ITX
Memory 2 x DDR4 up to 5100+ (OC)
PCI Express expansion slots 1 PCIe 4.0 x16
Storage 1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
4 x SATA 6Gbps
Networking Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
2x2 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) MU-MIMO; Bluetooth 5.1
Audio SupremeFX S1220A codec
DTS Sound Unbound
USB 3.2 Gen 2: 1 x Type-C, 3 x Type-A, 1x front
3.2 Gen 1: 2 x front
2.0: 1 x Type-A, 2 x front
Thunderbolt 3 1 x internal header
Aura 1 x strip header
1 x Gen2 addressable header
Cooling 1 x pump headers
3 x fan headers
Availability (USA) TBA
Availability (Canada) TBA

Whether you choose the luxurious ROG Strix B550-E Gaming, the solid and straightforward ROG Strix B550-F Gaming, or the pint-sized ROG Strix B550-I Gaming, you can rest assured your next build will stand at the front of the midrange pack. For more information about pricing and availability in your region, contact your local ASUS representative. 

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