First AMD B550 With Thunderbolt 4: The ASUS ProArt B550-Creatorby Gavin Bonshor on March 3, 2021 1:35 PM EST
- Posted in
- Thunderbolt 4
- Ryzen 5000
- B550 Creator
From a post by ASUS's Technical Product Marketing Manager (u/ASUSTechMKTJJ) on Reddit, ASUS looks to be readying up a new B550 motherboard based on its ProArt series. The ASUS ProArt series primarily aims to provide to creators, and its new ProArt B550-Creator is the first AMD AM4 motherboard to benefit from Intel's updated Thunderbolt 4 controller. Also included are an advertised 12+2 phase power delivery and dual 2.5 GbE networking.
Similar to previous iterations of its ProArt motherboard, such as the ASUS ProArt Z490-Creator 10G, it follows a simplistic design with straight lines provided by a pair of rectangular M.2 and an L-shaped power delivery heatsink. Keeping in line with its basic theme, it omits any integrated RGB LED lighting. ASUS advertises the B550-Creator as including a 12+2 phase power delivery with teamed power stages, with an 8-pin and 4-pin 12 V ATX CPU power input pairing providing power to the processor.
Currently, ASUS hasn't revealed detailed specifications, but we can see that the ProArt B550-Creator includes three full-length PCIe slots, with the top likely conforming to PCIe Gen4 with the bottom slot most probably driven by the B550 chipset. It includes two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, with four SATA ports for storage, with possibly two PCIe M.2 slots due to the location and length of the pair of M.2 heatsinks featured on the board. It includes four memory slots with up to 128 GB of capacity, but ASUS hasn't provided information on supported speeds.
Much of the fanfare surrounding this announcement is the inclusion of Intel's latest Thunderbolt 4 controller, which looks to be the first time it has been implemented on an AM4 model. This is present on the rear panel of the ProArt B550-Creator with two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, a single DisplayPort input, four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. Also present on the rear panel is a pair of 2.5 GbE ports which ASUS hasn't specified which controller it's using, with a PS/2 combo port, one HDMI video output, and a small BIOS Flashback button. Finishing off the rear panel is five 3.5 mm audio jacks and single S/PDIF optical output, which is powered by a Realtek ALC1220A HD audio codec.
The ASUS ProArt B550-Creator motherboard is expected to be released sometime in April with an expected MSRP of $299.
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Operandi - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - linkI appreciate the clean looks.
And it may not need it if the VRM is efficient enough but it would be nice to see more surface area on the heatsinks.
Oxford Guy - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - linkA big VRM is essential when running low-power overclocking-is-pointless CPUs with a cut down chipset.
Gothmoth - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - linkwut?...... is that oxford english?
at_clucks - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - linkI guess they wanted to make the case that everyone buying this board will use a CPU that cannot be overclocked and that the B550 is "a cut down chipset".
Of course, the reality is that one may use a top of the line CPU (like a 5950X) with a moderate 8-10% OC in which case very solid VRM and good cooling is really useful. This board seems to be targeted at content creators who might use such a setup and the theoretically increased reliability.
Also the B550 is really more or less on par with the X570 overall. With B550 you lose PCIe 4.0 in the chipset but would still have up to 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes from the CPU, which for all intents and purposes will make no difference for 99.9999% of cases.
So the "worry" is completely unwarranted.
Operandi - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - linkB550 supports overclocking, do these "Pro Art" boards not support it? Seems like a shame as the board looks up to it.
at_clucks - Friday, March 5, 2021 - linkIt does and if there's any limitation there it's either the VRM or the CPU. Having good VRM and associated cooling is always a good idea regardless what that smart-arse above thinks. He's probably learning about CPUs from the "recommended for you" section on Newegg, and random discussions on the internet he doesn't understand, so it doesn't cross his mind that such a board could very well be used with 12/16 core CPUs, OC or not. VRM matters regardless.
Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link'Also the B550 is really more or less on par with the X570 overall.
will make no difference for 99.9999% of cases'
at_clucks - Friday, March 5, 2021 - linkWell you were free to make a case and came up with "Uh huh." which was pretty much expected. The only scenario where you can *show* how severely limited this platform would either be ridiculous or simply show you're looking at the wrong platform to begin with.
Oxford Guy - Sunday, March 7, 2021 - linkWhat’s ridiculous is choosing a cut down chipset for a premium board.
kyuu - Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - linkIf the features of the higher-end chipset are superfluous to the intended market for the board, then what is the point of using it except to add unnecessary cost to the BOM? Satisfying pretentious asses like yourself?