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Better late than never - B550 motherboards found


  • Better late than never - B550 motherboards found

    Though with the AM postfix it might mean there are more variants coming.


    Courtesy of hardware leaker KOMACHI_ENSAKA, we've got images and documentation for one of ASRock's upcoming motherboards: the B550AM Gaming. This is a Micro-ATX board based on one of AMD's upcoming chipsets. It must be noted that while the new upcoming chipset might be called B550, this particular motherboard looks to be a B550A board, which are OEM boards as confirmed by AMD in October last year. In fact, this is the same motherboard as was spotted in October. Where things get a little confusing is that at that time, the B550A chipset was said by AMD's Robert Hallock to be a rehash of the B450 chipsets but for OEMs, only featuring PCI-Express 3.0. The specifications we found now, however, point to the motherboard having PCI-Express 4.0 on all fronts. Therefore, it's possible there may be only one B550 chipset, and that the "B550A is for OEMs" argument was meant to throw the community off. 


    Whereas the X570 motherboards have PCI-Express switching that brings PCI-Express 4.0 lanes to all the PCI-E slots, and can split them across multiple slots if necessary, the B550AM Gaming from ASRock only delivers PCI-Express 4.0 support on the uppermost slot and to the M.2 slot. The second PCI-Express slot might look like an x16 slot, but on this Micro-ATX motherboard will only fuel four lanes of PCI-Express 3.0 via the chipset. Wiring the PCI-Express slots straight to the CPU is a cost-saving measure, but a perfectly acceptable one on a B-series board. After all, most people don't use more than one graphics card, so chances are that these limitations won't affect many. Those who do need more options can opt for the X570 or better motherboards.

    This is good news for buyers looking to build a new system and don't need the full plethora of connectivity and expansion offered by the X570 motherboards, but who do want a motherboard with good VRM circuitry. Paired with PCI-Express 4.0 support with the right CPUs installed, if we end up seeing more B550 boards in the DIY space with this kind of VRM implementations, we could see the mid-tier B-series chipset group gaining serious traction.


     B550AM GAMING/Manual/MB-478-101 B550AM Gaming_Standard Spec Form.pdf B550AM GAMING/Manual/MB-478-101 B550AM Gaming Manual.pdf

    Thoughts: This would help pushing down the price of older models, but splitting up so many models for one chipset is annoying.

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