ASRock B550 PG Velocita Review & Specifications – 2020

ASRock B550 PG Velocita ReviewOur list of ATX AMD B550 motherboard reviews is expanded with this new ASRock B550 PG Velocita review, now a more versatile version presented by the manufacturer for this mid-range chipset.

It is provided with 4 PCIe slots with Multi-GPU capability and a double M.2 slot supporting PCIe 4.0 in one of them. It also has an M.2 E-Key slot for Wi-Fi 6 (not included) and a high-end sound card. All this is completed with 14 phases of 50A DrMOS to support the Ryzen 3000 CPUs and their overclocking.

In the first instance, we have a flexible cardboard box that serves as the first wrapper, which lets us see the large “Phanton Gaming” logo on its main face. This is accompanied by a lot of information about the support, platform, and a description of components on the backside that uses photographs of various parts.

The bundle is made up of the following elements:

  • Motherboard ASRock B550 PG Velocita
  • 4x 6 Gbps SATA Cables
  • 3x screws for SSD and Wi-Fi installation
  • 2x support extensions for M.2 SSDs
  • Manual
  • Support DVD
  • Cable and indicator stickers
  • Two velcro straps to hold cables

Not having an integrated Wi-Fi card, the possible antenna has been omitted, something that is perfectly understandable. Otherwise, we do have everything expected, including some decorative stickers and the DVD with drivers.

ASRock B550 PG Velocita Review – Mid-Range Motherboard

Design and Features

The ASRock B550 PG Velocita boasts a wealth of aesthetic detail in a standard ATX design with a size of 305 × 244mm. On the background in matte dark grey, we have serigraphy that combines the distinctive white and red color of the Phantom series, which in turn merges with the lines of the heatsinks. In the back areano type of protection or metal casing has been provided, and we only have the antistatic coating for the electric tracks.

This time we have two lighting zones located on the rear I / O panel protector and above the chipset heatsink. It has Polychrome Sync technology and can be managed from the board software. Additionally, the four headers for lighting strips, two of them with 3-pin 5VDG for addressable strips, and another two 12VGRB for RGB strips.

Standing in the upper area, we find a large aluminum double heatsink that is responsible for cooling the two areas of the power supply phases. To increase effectiveness, we have a copper heat pipe that joins both blocks and conductive silicone thermal pads that improve heat transfer.

We go down to the bottom half of the board, and we see that the B550 chipset has been covered with a passive aluminum heatsink which in turn is under an aluminum and plastic casing that liven up the design of the area. 

Although we may not see it, here is a “PG” logo that lights up. But the most exciting thing in the area is the two passive aluminum heatsinks that have been installed in the M.2 slots. In the present scenario, these types of heatsinks are essential, since high-performance SSDs generate enough heat, and much more if they are PCIe 4.0 like the ones that this board supports.

As for details of connectivity and internal accessibility, we have a good number, with a total of 7 4-pin headers for fans and support for water pumps of liquid cooling systems. To this are added a pair of internal buttons to start and restart the board and a debug LED panel to notify the BIOS status codes. This time we have no buttons on the I / O panel for Clear CMOS and BIOS update, and we only use the internal jumper.

VRM And Power Phases

After seeing the main and aesthetic characteristics, it is time to focus on the components. And the first will be the power configuration, which consists of 14 phases in total divided into 12 for Vcore and 2 for SoC

For the current input, we have two headers, one of them with 8 pins with a steel coating, and the other with 4 pins. Both have a high-density solid pin that reduces energy loss by 23% and reduces the temperature. The ATX connector also has these types of pins, but without steel reinforcement. Added to this is a double layer of 2-ounce thick copper tracks that improve the energy delivery to the phases.

In the first stage, we have 12 50A capacity DC-DC SIC654 converters for the Vcore and another 2 SIC632A for the SoC. These DrMOS MOSFETS are of good quality and should be prepared for high-power processors and more than 8 cores. In the next two stages of signal smoothing, we have 14 premium solid chokes with 60A capacity and Nichicon Back Caps 12K capacitors that last over 12,000 hours.

We still have an important element, the controller or EPU, which this time is an AA229004 to manage all the power phases. It is important to know that these 14 phases have signal doublers, being installed on the back of the board. So they will not be real phases as such, since their management will be in sets of two elements.

Socket, Chipset And RAM Memory Support

We will now see in more detail about the elements that define the platform to which this ASRock B550 PG Velocita board belongs, as well as the RAM support.

The socket is, as usual, the AMD PGA AM4, and it will continue at least until next year. It ensures compatibility with AMD Ryzen 3000 Zen 2, AMD Ryzen 4000 Zen 3 and AMD Ryzen 4000 Zen 2 APUs with Radeon integrated graphics. But as with the rest of the boards on the platform, it will not support Zen and Zen + processorsincluding APUs belonging to these generations. So do not buy a board as a mere update if you have any of these processors. At least it does ensure compatibility with Zen 3 and the new Ryzen 3000XT CPUs.

The chipset that gives life to the Southbridge of the plate is the AMD B550, having made a significant update for the previous B450. This version has a total of 8 PCIe 3.0 instead of 2.0 and allows us to use the 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes available in the AMD Ryzen 3000 Zen 2 processors without problem or limitation.

The communication interface between the Chipset and the CPU does change, going from having 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes to 4 GB / s instead of 4.0 as in the X570. We must add about the support for 6 or 8 SATA ports depending on the lanes that are taken from the chipset, and connections for peripherals with a maximum of 4 USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, or the equivalent in USB 3.2 Gen1 or USB 2.0. Remember also that Ryzen 3000 CPUs natively support up to 4 USB 3.2 Gen2.

The RAM capacity goes up to 128 GB through 4 DDR4 DIMM slots with Dual Channel support. For all the CPUs that we install, a maximum frequency of 4733 MHz will be supported thanks to the support for OC XMP 2.0 profiles. You already know that from the BIOS, you can activate and manage the characteristics of these profiles if the board does not automatically detect it.

Storage And PCIe Slots

Let’s review the internal expansion slot capacity of the ASRock B550 PG Velocita mobo. The distribution of storage capacity results in two M.2 PCIe x4 slots, one of which will support PCIe 4.0 and the other PCIe 3.0. In both cases, we have passive heatsinks with conductive silicone thermal pads to ensure good temperatures and durability of SSD drives. And next to them, the 6 SATA III, 6 Gbps ports, located in a lower right panel. Let’s see the particular characteristics of each M.2 slot:

Slot M.2_1 is directly connected to 4 PCIe lanes of the CPU. This supports formats up to 2280 or only PCIe SSDs.

The M.2_2 slot is found under the B550 chipset block. It does support PCIe and SATA SSDs, as well as sizes up to 22110.

So we can easily install one of the high-performance PCI 4.0 SSDs that are available on the market. Being two slots, these will support RAID 0 and 1, while the SATA ports will support RAID 0, 1 and 10 from BIOS. Support for AMD StoreMi 2.0 will be added in the final stretch of the year. They will also offer support for the ASRock U.2 Kit.

Now we continue with the configuration of expansion slots, of which we find 2 PCIe 3.0 in full x16 format and another two PCIe x1. 

Network Connectivity And Sound Card

We continue inside the PCB to see now what is the network capacity of this B550 PG Velocita and its sound card, and we anticipate that it is not bad.

The first question is easily answered since we have a Realtek RTL8125B Ethernet LAN chip that offers a good bandwidth of 2.5 Gbps. This is one of the most used together with the Intel I225 of the same capacity, and they are the definitive steps to the standardization of 2.5 G in wired connections for new generation boards.

Although it is true that on this board we do not find a Wi-Fi card, we do have an M.2 E-Key slot with the clear Wi-Fi distinctive between the PCIe1 and PCIe2. Besides, the rear backplate has two openings to install the extension headers for the external antenna, which is also not included.

The second main element will be the sound card, which in this case is the high-end codec Realtek ALC1220. This supports up to 8 stereo audio outputs or in configurations up to 7.1 surround thanks to the 5 rear Jack outputs and an optic.

It offers a maximum sensitivity of 120 dB SNR in stereo output with support for 32 bit / 192 kHz audio and DAC with a differential amplifier. Also included are Japanese capacitors and a NE5532 Premium headphone op-amp that supports up to 600 ohms impedance. All this can be managed using Nahimic 3 technology and the corresponding software.

Rear Ports And Internal Connections

We are approaching the final stretch of the component analysis of the ASRock B550 PG Velocita without losing sight of the connectivity for peripherals.

In terms of USB ports, we have a total of 8, of which 2 of them work at 5 Gbps and another 2 at 10 Gbps. It is not an extraordinary capacity, but at least we have the eight that we usually order in these new plates. An HDMI 2.1 video port has not been missing in case we want to install a new generation APU with support for 4K @ 60 Hz resolutions.

We note the absence of the Clear CMOS button on this rear panel, which should be present as a Phantom Gaming, but we will have to resort to the internal jumper.

We have already seen at the beginning that ASRock has had the detail of including buttons for power on and restart. We as the gamers are quite satisfied with the variety of internal connectivity since we could incorporate up to 7 USB ports of which one of them is 3.2 Gen2 Type-C, which many high-end chassis already include.

BIOS

As for the BIOS of this board, it is presented with a single 256 MB CMOS with an interface practically the same as the rest of the higher-range Phantom Gaming boards and other chipsets such as the X570. If there is something that almost always characterizes the ASRock BIOS, it is the simplified interface and how little it costs to detect new components, such as this CPU or RAM.

This version has support for updating using Instant Flash, as a usual method from USB memory. RAID system configuration is added very easily with the integrated tool and secure-erase functions for SSD. It may be time to introduce an advanced tool to manage onboard fans, Fan Xpert style and more.

And being a chipset with overclocking support, we will have at our disposal the advanced management of offset voltages and VRM performance, and the possibility of storing them in up to 10 quick access profiles. It is a very good BIOS, stable and with guarantees for the user, and in this regard, we have nothing to object to.

Temperatures And Overclocking

Finally, it’s time to check how the VRM has performed with duplicators of this board by overclocking the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU. This time we have set it to 4.4 GHz in all the cores in a stable way at 1.33V and activating the 4000 MHz XMP profile of the RAM.

On this occasion, we have not been able to check the internal temperatures of the VRM because it could not be monitored from the software. However, we see a good surface temperature around 60ºC maximum and 50ºC in stock. Besides, the tested processor is the second most powerful of the generation.

Pros
  • Outstanding Aesthetics

  • Heatsinks In M.2

  • Chipset And VRM Of Good quality

  • Good Section Of PCIe Connectivity Without Shared Lanes

  • One M.2 PCIe 4.0

  • 2.5 G Lan + WI-FI Slot

Cons
  • Phases With Duplicators

  • Does Not Include The WI-FI Card

Technical Specifications Of ASRock B550 PG Velocita

Brand

ASRock B550 PG Velocita

Format

ATX 305 x 244 mm

Chipset

AMD B550

Processor Compatibilities

AMD Ryzen 3000 Zen 2, 

New Generation AMD Ryzen With Radeon Graphics

RAM

4x DIMM With a Maximum of 128 GB, 

Speed Up To 4733+ MHz With XMP 

Graphic Support 

HDMI 2.1 Port 4096×2160 @ 60Hz

Supports AMD CrossfireX 2-Way 

Expansion Slots

1xPCIe 3.0/4.0 x16 (CPU)

1x PCIe 3.0 x16 (Chipset)

2x PCIe 3.0 x1 (Chipset)

Storage

6x SATA III 6 GB/s

2x M.2 M-Key

Network

Realtek RTL8125B 2,5 Gbps

M.2 Key-E Slot For Wi-Fi Card

Sound Card 

Realtek ALC1220A 

NE5532 Premium Amplifier 

BIOS

1x 256 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS, ACPI 5.1,

SMBIOS 2.3

Also Read:

Ryzen 9 3950X Board

Ryzen 7 1700X Board

Ryzen 5 1600 Board

Conclusion

We are finalizing this review with our conclusions about this ASRock board. After thoroughly reviewing it, we can confidently declare this board as one of the most attractive high-end board within the category to which the B550 chipset belongs.

If what we are looking for is aesthetics, ASRock gives us an unbeatable appearance in pure Phantom Gaming style. Along with screen printing, it has two RGB lighting zones and a large part of the key areas covered, for example, the EMI protector, sound card or Chipset, although it has plastic elements in all three places. It also has 4 RGB headers and power buttons and on-board reset.

For cooling, a good amount of aluminum has been used in the double block of the VRM and the two M.2 slots. They are elements that generate enough heat, and it is always good to have certain guarantees on a board like this that PCIe 4.0 SSDs are supported in one of the M.2 slots.

The connectivity is at a very good level in all the sections. Its 4 PCIe slots do not share a bus with anyone. It is a good thing to fit the possibilities of the platform. The two M.2 slots and 6 SATA ports with RAID support are also not missing as usual. The minimum requirements of 8 USB ports and expansion capacity up to 7 more are met, with an internal USB-C header. The network section offers a 2.5 G LAN link and the possibility of mounting Wi-Fi 6, something to consider.

The stability with high-performance processors like this Ryzen 9 3900X has been remarkable, even allowing overclocking with good stability. We have a complete BIOS and easy to use, although it is true that for these types of processors an X570 is always better.

Finally, the price of the ASRock B550 PG Velocita will be around 220 dollars or less. At this point, it should no longer surprise us, since the platform was born with somewhat high prices. 

ASRock B550 Pro4 Review & Specifications – 2020

ASRock B550 Pro4 ReviewWe are also dedicating ourselves to the first B550 motherboard from ASRock, which serves more as an entry-level model and is supposed to be a little more gentle on the wallet.

This is exactly why the Pro4 models attract many users, regardless of platform and chipset. In this ASRock B550 Pro4 review, we want to enquire whether the ASRock B550 Pro4 has a good price/performance ratio.

Regardless of whether with an Intel or AMD chipset, ASRock usually always offers a Pro4 mainboard, which should be the ideal entry into the respective platform. For a lower purchase price, however, restrictions in the technical equipment must also be accepted.

To what extent this applies to the B550 Pro4 will be one of the most exciting questions that we will clarify. It will also be fascinating to see how the CPU power supply performs.

While the ASRock B550 Pro4 AMD AM4 ATX board itself is colored in black and white, a total of three heat sinks are even made of silver-colored aluminum. In general, the optics are, of course, subjective in nature, but at least we like the optics.

ASRock B550 Pro4 Review – Entry Level Motherboard

A board that can be considered medium or low-middle range within this ASRock B550 family. It is committed to a somewhat more basic design of the set and a 50A 8-phase VRM aimed mainly at mid-range Ryzen processors.

 The internal connectivity section is with 4 PCIe slots and two M.2 slots, one of them supporting Gen4, although it only has a heatsink. It does cut the Ethernet link to 1 Gbps and the USB ports to 6, although it still allows Wi-Fi card mounting

The Accessories Included In The Bundle

  • I / O panel
  • Mainboard manual and driver and software DVD
  • two SATA cables
  • an M.2 spacer and three screws

The list of accessories is correspondingly short. Only the I / O panel – which is not preinstalled on the ASRock B550 Pro4 – comes with the manual, the support data carrier, two SATA cables, and three M.2 screws and an M.2 spacer.

Features And Layout

ASRock is one of the manufacturers that always bet on components adjusted in price with benefits comparable to somewhat more expensive boards from the competition. 

As for the design that this ASRock B550 Pro4 shows us, you cannot deny that it attracts attention. This time a black background is used, accompanied by a large number of white lines that match the heatsinks.

In the upper half, we have the presence of only one heatsink for the six vertically oriented phases of the VRM, while two others remain naked on top. It is an oversized solid aluminum sink as it extends into the rear port area as a cover replacement. This time, therefore, we do not have a closed region in the port area, so its aesthetics is more basic, without lighting, and requires the installation of the backplate manually in the chassis.

In the lower half, we continue with a relatively simple configuration, since only one of the two M.2 slots for SSD has an integrated heatsink. On the other hand, it is exactly what happens with competing models and a similar price. Although this time the heatsink is not interchangeable as two slots do not support the same maximum size. It is a passive block of good quality aluminum and with a conductive silicone thermal pad on the inside.

The remaining element consists of another small passive block to cool the chipset. Unlike the X570, this version does not require a fan, so we save that noise. Only the main PCIe slot has a steel reinforcement for heavy graphics cards, while DIMMs or power connectors do not offer such protection. Regarding the cooling capacity, we have a total of 6 4-pin headers, one of them compatible with water pumps, and all manageable from BIOS or software.

Standing on the rear face of the ASRock B550 Pro4, we did not find any protection except the typical insulating layer for power tracks. In the upper area, we can see directly that signal doublers are being used for the supply phases. 

And if we place ourselves right on edge under the SATA ports, we can find 5 RGB LEDs that will give a little gaming touch to the board in the dark. ASRock has had the detail of including four headers for lighting strips, two of them 3 5VDG pins for addressable strips, and another two 12VGRB for RGB strips.

Comparison Between The X570, B550 And B450 Chipset At A Glance
FeaturesX570B550B450
production12 nm14 nm55 nm
PCIe 4.0 configuration (CPU) (* 1)1x16 or 2x81x16 or 2x8-
PCIe 3.0 configuration (CPU)1x16 or 2x81x16 or 2x81x16
Max. PCIe 2.0 lanes--6
Max. PCIe 3.0 lanes-8-
Max. PCIe 4.0 lanes16--
Max. USB 3.2 Gen1 / 2 ports6/22/22/2
Max. SATA 6 Gbit / s ports1266
Multi-GPUSLI / CrossFireXSLI / CrossFireXCrossFireX
RAM channel / DIMMs per channel2/22/22/2
CPU and RAM overclockingYesYesYes
RAID (0, 1, 10)YesYesYes

VRM And Power Phases

Next, we are going to study a little more in detail the power configuration of the ASRock B550 Pro4, which this time consists of 8 phases in total.

Without a doubt, it is a somewhat more basic configuration than some competitor boards, since almost all have 10 phases or more except ITX boards. But a good indicator that its capacity is high, we have it in the use of two EPS power inputs, one of 8 pins and the other of 4This time no steel protection is used for the header, but solid pins are used to improve the performance.

In the first phase of power, we have a total of 8 DC-DC converters with a maximum capacity of 50A in each of them. This time three-state MOSFETS are not used, and we clearly see how the high and low sides are separated into different pickups, as well as the Schottky diode. It makes us think that it will not be such an advanced VRM. 

The digital PWM controller or EPU responsible for managing the 8 phases is a specification uP9505S OGV945 manufactured by uPI SEMI, generally used on graphics card PCBs and seen on other boards with FM2 + socket. However, it is not as high as the DrMOS or DIGI + components of other boards. As we have seen on the back, it seems that signal duplicators are being used for these phases, at least for the main 6.

Socket, Chipset, And RAM Support

As usual, we will review the main characteristics that define the AMD B550 platform and the capacity of this board in terms of RAM and CPU.

The B550 chipset was pretty much in demand, having come out quite a few months after the high-end X570. We do not doubt that it is a marketing strategy, although at least its update has been quite important in terms of the capacity of these boards compared to the B450.

This version has a total of 8 PCIe 3.0 instead of 2.0 and allows us to use the 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes available in the AMD Ryzen 3000 Zen 2 processors without problem or limitation.

This is undoubtedly the main novelty that brings it closer to the X570 and high-end boards, allowing us to connect SSD and PCIe 4.0 card in an M.2 slot and the first PCIe slot. 

Besides, it supports a maximum of 4 USB 3.2 Gen2 ports or the equivalents in USB 3.2 Gen1 or USB 2.0. Recall also that Ryzen 3000 CPUs natively support up to 4 USB 3.2 Gen2. However, on this board, we are not going to have the maximum capacity available for obvious reasons.

Along with this chipset, we have the PGA AM4 socket that AMD will continue to use for at least one more year for the next-generation processors. It will be especially important to know the compatibility of these boards, which consists of AMD Ryzen 3000 Zen 2 processors, upcoming AMD Ryzen 4000 Zen 3, and AMD Ryzen 4000 Zen 2 APU with Radeon integrated graphics.

This means that support for older generation Zen and Zen + processors, as well as APUs for those architectures, is voided. If you want to update your board, you should go to the X570, since these are only feasible together with new generation CPUs.

On this platform, the memory capacity increases considerably to 128 GB through 4 DIMM slots that support Dual Channel as it happens in all current desktop boards. But the most interesting thing is that the maximum reasonable frequency will be 4733 Mhz in the new generation APUs and up to 4533 MHz in the rest of the CPU. This is thanks to the improved support for XMP profiles.

Storage And PCIe Slots

We leave the platform features behind and focus more on the high-speed internal connectivity of this B550 motherboard, which will be practically the same as the ASRock PG B550 Velocita also reviewed by us.

Starting with the storage capacity, we can find two M.2 PCIe x4 slots in the lower half. Of these, the slot closest to the socket or M.2_1 will support PCIe 4.0, which is great news for those who do not want to give up a high-performance PCIe SSD on a cheap board. Along with them, you can not miss the 6 SATA III 6 Gbps ports for 2.5 SSD and HDD drives. Remember that only the M.2_1 slot has a heatsink, and it is not interchangeable with the other. Let’s see the other particular characteristics of each slot:

Slot M.2_1 is connected to the 4 PCIe lanes of the CPU without sharing a bus with any other device. This implies that if we use a Ryzen 3000 CPU (Zen 2 or Zen 3) it will work at 4.0, while with a Ryzen 4000 APU it will be limited to 3.0. This slot supports formats up to 22110, and only NVMe drives.

The M.2_3 slot is the one located under the chipset block and is connected to 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes of the B550. This means that it can only function as PCIe 3.0 regardless of the CPU used. This slot shares a bus with SATA ports 5 and 6, and if we use it with an SSD, both ports will be disabled or vice versa. Supports sizes up to 2280, as well as NVMe and SATA drives.

Being two M.2 slots will support RAID 0 and 1, while the SATA ports will support RAID 0, 1, and 10 configurable from BIOS or with AMD software. They also offer support for the ASRock U.2 Kit. Finally, in the final stretch of the year, support for AMD StoreMi 2.0 will be added, which will allow the acceleration of data by SSD cache on HDD units.

The expansion slot configuration is also not going to be different from the mentioned board, so we have 2 PCIe 3.0 in full x16 format and another two PCIe x1. As before, we are going to study how and where your data lanes are located:

The first PCIE1 slot, according to ASRock nomenclature, is connected to the remaining 16 lanes of the CPU. This means that it will be able to work in PCIe 4.0 mode with Ryzen 3000 Matisse. It does not share a bus with any other slot.

The second PCIE3 full-format slot is connected to 4 lanes of the B550 chipset, so it will only work with PCIe 3.0. It seems that it does not share lanes with any other slot.

The PCIE2 and PCIE4 slots in x1 format can only work with a PCIe 3.0 lane, being connected to the chipset. They also do not share a bus with anyone, and this is undoubtedly good news for those users who have enough expansion cards. Even on this inexpensive board, we have support for AMD CrossFireX 2-way Multi-GPUs, but not for Nvidia.

Network Connectivity And Sound Card

In this section, we do have some cuts compared to other higher priced boards, although for most users what the ASRock B550 Pro4 offers they will see that it is enough.

For network connectivity, we have only one RJ45 port occupied by a Realtek RTL8111H chip that offers bandwidth at 10/100/1000 Mbps. So it will be one of those that do not include a 2.5 G card for our network.

But it is excellent news to have an M.2 E-Key slot located between the PCIE1 and PCIE2 slots with the distinctive Wi-Fi. This supports cards in 2230 format with CNVi interface that can be Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6, and there would be no problem in this. In the rear backplate, we have two openings to install a possible external antenna, which of course we would have to buy on our own too. In short, for 30 or 40 dollars we have Wi-Fi 6 if we wish.

Regarding the integrated sound card, it is a somewhat more basic configuration consisting of a Realtek ALC1200 codec. It implements Nahmic technology and of course Nahimic 3 software management and its audio effects.

This chip supports up to 8 channels of audio in 7.1, although this time the rear panel is limited to three 3.5mm Jack outputs with no optical port. Nothing is specified about dedicated DACs for professional headsets, although the experience for a standard user is going to be almost the same as with other superior codecs.

Rear Ports And Internal Connections

We still have to see all that this board offers in terms of internal and external USB connections, so let’s proceed.

The port configuration found on the rear panel consists of:

  • 1x PS / 2 ports
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 (light blue)
  • 4x USB 3.2 Gen1 (blue)
  • 1x RJ45 1 Gbps
  • 3x 3.5mm Jack
  • 1x HDMI 2.1
  • 1x D-Sub (VGA)
  • 2x 2T2R antenna holes (not included)

So we found a configuration with some nostalgia when seeing a PS / 2 port for a combo, keyboard, and mouse, as well as an analog video VGA as a mere filler today. This is accompanied by this time, yes, a useful HDMI 2.1 port that supports 4K @ 60 Hz video in case we are going to use this board with APU and its integrated Radeon Vega graphics.

The ports and headers that we find inside will be these:

  • 6x 4-pin ventilation headers (5 for fans and 1 water pump)
  • 2x 5VDG 3-pin Headers for Addressable LED Strips
  • 2x 4-pin 12VBRG connectors for RGB LED strips
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A (supports 2 ports)
  • 2x USB 2.0 (supports 4 ports)
  • F_Panel connectors
  • AAFP Front Audio Header
  • Clear CMOS jumper
  • TPM
  • COM port

In this aspect, what we see does not appeal to us either, with the ability to expand up to 6 USB ports and envelope headers for fans and even lighting strips. It is normal not to see a debug LED panel for BIOS messages or buttons to power on and restart the board. Instead, the board’s post-start panel is maintained to at least guide the user through successful and failed startups if we accompany it with a beeping speaker, then better.

BIOS

Although ASRock also offered a beta BIOS with the P1.10A version at the time of testing, we can only issue a warning before using it because the entire system was not running stable. Version P1.10A (Beta) not only implemented the AGESA-Combo-AM4 V2 1.0.0.2, but it also took into account an SMU update (System Management Unit) to version 46.61, which at least in our case was not properly executable. When we flashed version P1.10 (stable), everything was fine.

ASRock adapted the color of the UEFI in turquoise and black. Also, the user can specify which tab should be displayed when calling up the UEFI interface. Under “OC Tweaker,” the user will find all overclocking functions.

Instead of separating the whole thing, all settings were placed on one page, but subpages were also provided. All selected settings can be saved on a total of ten available profile slots. The profiles can be saved on a USB stick and imported back into the UEFI.

You can find the “Easy RAID Installer” function. The SSD Secure Erase and NVMe sanitization tool are also provided. However, the BIOS can be updated as usual via instant flash.

With the hardware monitor’s help, we always get an overview of the current CPU and mainboard temperature, the voltages, and fan speeds and can also influence the latter. This is followed by the “Security” tab, where the UEFI can be protected with a password, for example, to prevent unauthorized access. The boot settings are also quartered separately. Last but not least, the two points “boat” and “exit” are still in place.

We have nothing to complain about at UEFI. Control through the menus with mouse or keyboard has been carried out very comfortably by ASRock. As it should be, all settings were implemented consistently, and we had nothing to complain about in this. The stability (with the stable BIOS version) was also excellent.

Overclocking

Thanks to the B550-PCH, the comparatively inexpensive ASRock B550 Pro4 allows CPU and RAM to be overclocked. Eight coils are available for the processor.

With the ASRock B550 Pro4, the BCLK can be changed from 100.0000 MHz to 150.0000 MHz in 0.0625 MHz intervals. When it comes to the CPU voltage, the user has two options. The modes override and offset available to him. With the override mode, the voltage from 0.90000 V to 1.70000 V can be fixed in 0.00625 V steps. In offset mode, the range is also comfortable with -100 mV to +250 mV in 6.25 mV intervals. If the OC mode is activated, sometimes higher voltages are possible.

The overclocking functions of the ASRock B550 Pro4 at a glance
Base clock rate100.0000 MHz to 150.0000 MHz in 0.0625 MHz steps
CPU voltage0.90000 volts to 1.70000 volts in 0.00625 V steps (override mode)
-100.00 mV to +250.00 mV in 6.25 mV steps (offset mode)
DRAM voltage1,100 volts to 1,800 volts in 0.010 V increments (fixed mode)
CPU SOC voltage0.90000 volts to 1.70000 volts in 0.00625 V steps (override mode)
-100.00 mV to +250.00 mV in 6.25 mV steps (offset mode)
CPU VDD18 voltage1.686 volts to 2.118 volts in 0.048 V increments (fixed mode)
CPU VDDP voltage0.700 volts to 1.550 volts in 0.010 V increments (fixed mode)
PCH core voltage- not possible -
PCIe clock- not possible -
More tensionsVPPM
Clock ratesCPU dependent
Command rateAdjustable
Timings34 parameters
XMP / DOCPIs supported (DOCP)
Other special featuresUEFI-BIOS
settings can be saved in profiles.
Energy-saving
options : Standard energy-saving modes such as AMD Cool & Quiet extended fan control for CPU fans and five optional FANs,
CPU-LLC level 1-5

We know from many past tests that our Ryzen 5 3600X can maintain a stable clock frequency of 4.3 GHz. Unfortunately, we did not succeed with the ASRock B550 Pro4, and we had to change gear to 4.2 GHz. We were able to fix the VCore to 1.231 V (BIOS value) with the highest LLC level (load-line calibration). What we noticed: Despite the highest LLC level, the VDroop was still very high, even if, according to the BIOS, the effective CPU voltage should be very close to the BIOS value. As a result, the voltage dropped to 1.21 V.

We were also excited to see how warm the VRM cooler would be. But even with a high VCore of over 1.35 V, the cooler always stayed below 50 ° C.

Pros
  • Outstanding performance

  • Important equipment, including six SATA 6GBit / s interfaces, six USB 3.2 Gen1 connections and two USB 3.2 Gen2 sockets

  • Good overall performance and good energy efficiency

  • SSD Support and PCIe 4.0 cards

  • M.2 M key interface with PCIe 4.0 x4 including cooler

Cons
  • High Price

  • Poorly placed M.2 interface via CPU

Technical specifications of ASRock B550 Pro4

 Mainboard format

 ATX

 Manufacturer and Model name

ASRock B550 Pro4

 CPU socket

 AM4 (for Matisse)

 Power connections

  •  1x 24-pin ATX
  • 1x 8-pin EPS12V
  • 1x 4-pin + 12V

 Phases / coils

 10 (8x CPU, 2x RAM)

 Southbridge / CPU features

Chipset

AMD B550 chipset

Memory banks and type

4x DDR4 (dual-channel), max. 4,533 MHz

 Memory expansion

 Max. 128 GB RAM UDIMM, ECC support

SLI / CrossFire

2-way CrossFireX

Onboard features

PCI Express

  •  1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (electrical with x16) via CPU
  • 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 (electrical with x4) via AMD B550
  • 2x PCIe 3.0 x1 via AMD B550

Storage

  • 6x SATA 6 Gbps via AMD B550
  • 1x M.2 with PCIe 4.0 x4 via CPU (M-Key)
  • 1x M.2 with PCIe 3.0 x2 via AMD B550 (M-Key, shared)

USB

 CPU:

4x USB 3.2 Gen1 (5 GBit / s, Type-A, 4x external)

Chipset:

  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 GBit / s, Type-A / C, 2x external)
  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 (5 GBit / s, Type-A, 2x internal)
  • 4x USB 2.0 (4x internal), via B550

Graphic interfaces

1x HDMI 2.1 (can only be used with APU!)

WLAN / Bluetooth

Optionally retrofittable (M.2 E-Key)

LAN

1x Realtek RTL8111H Gigabit LAN

Audio codec and connectors

  • 8-channel Realtek ALC1200 codec
  • 3x 3.5 mm audio jacks

FAN and headers

  •  1x 4-pin CPU FAN header
  • 1x 4-pin CPU WaKü header
  • 4x 4-pin chassis FAN / water-pump header

LED lighting options

  •  I / O panel cover, chipset cooler
  • 2x 4-pin RGB header
  • 2x 3-pin ARGB header

Onboard comfort

Status LEDs

ASRock B550 Pro4 Price And Conclusion

ASRock’s B550 Pro4, like all Pro4 models, is not aimed at enthusiasts, but at beginners, whose requirements for a motherboard are not too extensive. ASRock equips these models with apparent equipment features. They deliberately did not include special features and left them to the advanced and, at the same time, more expensive model variants. Nevertheless, the budget board has everything necessary, such as four DDR4 UDIMM memory banks, including the ECC option.

Of course, no new record values were reached with CPU overclocking, which we also didn’t expect. Instead of 4.3 GHz, it was a stable 4.2 GHz with reduced CPU voltage, which is perfectly acceptable. ASRock installed an effective 6 + 2-phase design fed by an 8-pin and 4-pin power connector. Except for four status LEDs for easy troubleshooting, there is, of course, no extensive onboard convenience either.

PCIe version 4.0 is provided on a PEG slot and an M.2 M key connection (including cooler) via the AM4 processor (Ryzen 3000 and higher). However, ASRock placed the M.2 connector somewhat unfavorably, so that there is no space for a more extensive cooler (as with Corsair MP600).

Also, however, there is generally a mechanical PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, two PCIe 3.0 x1 expansion interfaces, and an additional M.2 M key connector, which ASRock has limited to only PCIe 3.0 x2 and the connection with Shared SATA ports 5 and 6.

All USB equipment can be connected to six USB 3.2 sockets of the first generation, two USB 3.2 connections of the second generation, and four USB 2.0 ports. WLAN is not available ex-works, but can optionally be retrofitted by the user. Gigabit LAN via Realtek’s RTL8111H is then available for a wired network. Rudimentary onboard sound is provided with the Realtek ALC1200 codec and five audio capacitors. The good energy efficiency in idle and under load is also positive.

For users who do not want to invest huge sums, ASRocks B550 Pro4 is ideal, which is also available as a micro-ATX variant (ASRock B550M Pro4). However, it shows again that mainboards have become more expensive in 2020. If you can do without the ATX format, you can instead opt for the cheaper B550M Pro4.

Recommended Reading:

Affordable Ryzen 5  2600X mainboard

Affordable Ryzen 5 1600X mainboard

FAQs

Is The ASRock B550 Pro4 Good?

Ans: For simple computing without special requirements, ASRocks B550 Pro4 is a good, but not precisely cheap mainboard.

Why Is B550 So Expensive?

Ans: Generally, the B550 is more expensive because of the PCIe generations and the more lanes.

Which Is Better X570 Or B550?

Ans: It’s not easy to answer, as there are many things to look for in a chipset. It’s all about compatibility, future upgrading options, and price. In both X570 and B550, compatibility is not an issue, not even the future up-gradation but the price. Though AMD announced B550 to be more affordable in comparison to X570, in reality, it is not the case. Prices are almost the same on both boards. But what we’ve noticed is that the VRM in these new boards is more capable of squeezing performance through the overclocking than the X570 boards. So if you’re on a budget, you can go for B550 (not much difference in price though).

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WIFI) Motherboard Review & Specifications – 2020

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WIFI) Motherboard ReviewFor the price you can guess, this is undoubtedly the best X470 chipset motherboard on the market. The price is not low, but everything it brings is top-notch and designed to squeeze the most out of this AMD chipset and its processors.

A motherboard with AM4 socket and that supports the most powerful 3rd generation CPUs such as the 3900X and the 3950X 16-core. Read the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WIFI) motherboard review below.

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero Wifi motherboard comes perfectly protected inside a cardboard box to avoid damage during transport, Asus ROG has once again opted for its corporate colors for the decoration of the box. In the rear area, we have all the specifications very well detailed and included are the main novelties. 

Once we open the box, we find the motherboard and all its accessories perfectly packaged.

It has the following bundle:

  • Motherboard Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero WIFI
  • SATA cabling
  • SLI ROG Bridge
  • Documentation and manual
  • Wifi antennas
  • Screws and accessories for installation
  • Stickers

Chipset

The highlight of this ROG VII Hero WiFi motherboard is the use of the X470 chipset, which offers native support for the new AMD Ryzen 2000 processors, which are also compatible with 300 chipsets although they need a BIOS update.

Socket

Next to the X470 chipset, we find the AM4 socket, let’s remember that the AMD platform has the pins in the processor and not in the socket, just the opposite of what happens with its rival Intel.

14-phase VRM with DIGI + technology makes the socket a powerful one, which results in the use of the highest quality components to guarantee excellent stability and the best durability. This high-quality VRM will allow us to achieve higher levels of overclocking on second-generation Ryzen processors.

Memory

The ROG Crosshair VII Hero Wifi motherboard allows us to mount up to four RAM modules in its four DDR4 DIMM slots, it also has a dual-channel configuration, which offers a large bandwidth with the processor so that it can provide us with its maximum benefits. We can put a maximum of 64 GB of memory at a speed of 3,200 MHz, more than enough for any user, no matter how demanding it is.

Slots & Storage

It offers us a total of three PCI Express slots for graphics cards, which will allow us Nvidia SLI 2-way and AMD CrossFire 2-way configurations to obtain the best performance in the most demanding games. Two of these slots are reinforced in steel, which will allow them to easily withstand the weight of the most powerful and heavy cards on the market.

To meet the needs of the most demanding gamers, two M.2 2280 slots have been placed with a PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface. This means that we can make use of SSD storage units with the NVMe protocol. Thanks to this we can enjoy a large amount of storage at high speed.

Also included are six SATA III 6Gb/s connectors for mechanical hard drives or traditional SSDs in a 2.5-inch format.

The X470 chipset supports AMD StoreMI technology, which combines SSD storage with a mechanical hard drive to deliver a high-speed, high-capacity pool. It also offers support for RAID 0.1 and 10 technologies.

Audio

This mobo offers the SupremeFX 1220 high-performance multichannel audio engine. Among the most notable benefits of this system, we find an integrated headphone amplifier with 2.1Vrms output capacity to drive 600-ohm headphones and impedance detection functions. And an ESS Hi-Fi Saber ES9023P HD DAC for unbeatable audio playback quality. 

Connectivity

We hit the net and found the Intel Ethernet I211-AT controller, which runs faster and smoother gaming by reducing CPU overhead to allocate more processing power for games. This system offers exceptionally high Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) performance.

On the software side, GameFirst IV and Multi-Gate Teaming technologies offer high-speed, low-latency connectivity by combining the Ethernet port with integrated WiFi technology, combining all network bandwidth into one, increasing network speed like never before. Also included is LANGuard that uses advanced SOC technology to connect signal coupling and superior capacitors to offer increased protection against overvoltages and electrostatic charge.

The connectivity section in this Asus is brutal. We have 8 USB 3.0 Gen1 ports1 USB Gen2 Type-C, and another Type-A and 2 USB 2.0. Besides, we have buttons to clean the BIOS or connector the second BIOS, since this board has double BIOS. Attentive to fans of ventilation and modding, because we have 8 connectors for PWM fans plus one to expand by the microcontroller, one connector for AIO, another for the liquid pump with flow regulation, 4 temperature sensors and 4 heads for LED strips.

Among its rear connections we find:

  • Clear BIOS
  • Button to toggle with the second BIOS
  • WiFi connection
  • PS / 2 connector
  • 2 USB 2.0 connections.
  • 8 USB 3.0 connections.
  • USB 3.1 Type C connection
  • USB 3.1 Type-A connection
  • LAN connector
  • 6-channel audio connection.

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero WiFi Specific Enhancements

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero Wifi has increased voltage detection accuracy and minimizes voltage drift for better ProbeIT experiences thanks to the adoption of an additional differential OPAMP. The ASUS team has optimized the OPAMP gain between CPU Core voltage, CPU SOC voltage, DRAM Voltage, and + 12V input voltage to minimize voltage drift as much as possible.

It also implements for the first time the 32MB SPI ROM design on X470 motherboards, with a built-in BIOS image of 16MB lower, thereby reserving the additional 16MB for future processor support.

We continue with Asus Grid technology that helps users manage and download all drivers and utilities through the server, to keep their system updated without problems. All this with a simple and clear user interface that facilitates access to the latest security updates and bug fixes, while the other tabs will guide the user in the latest ROG news, events, offers, and conversations.

BIOS

Particularly the BIOS of the ASUS boards are the best that both on the Intel and AMD platforms. As expected, it has not disappointed us and has allowed us to perform a 100% stable overclock at 4250 Mhzon our AMD Ryzen 2700X. 

It allows us to perform an advanced overclock in manual or offset, the compatibility with the 3400 MHz memories has been immediate and presents all the options that a high-end motherboard expects. What a treat!

Pros
  • Professional Design

  • Quality Components

  • Lighting System

  • Improved Sound + Integrated Wifi

  • Overclock Capability & Super Stable BIOS

Cons
  • Price is a bit high being a high-end motherboard

Technical Specifications of The ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero WIFI

  • AM4 socket for AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation / Ryzen 1st Generation / Ryzen processors with Radeon Vega / 7 graphics
  • 4 x DIMMs, max. 64GB, DDR4 3466 (OC) / 3200 (OC) / 3000 (OC) / 2933 (OC) / 2800 (OC) / 2666/2400/2133 MHz, un-buffered
  • AMD Ryzen 1st Generation / AMD Ryzen with Radeon Vega graphics
  • It comes with 2 x PCIe 3.0 / 2.0 x16 (one x16 or two x8 / x8)
  • AMD Ryzen with Radeon Vega / 7th Generation A-series / Athlon X4 graphics

Final Words And Conclusion About The Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero WiFi

This is one of the best motherboards on the market for the AM4 socket. We thought that Asus could not set the bar higher, and this time they have done again. A greater recognition of RAM at high speed (Thanks AGESA), high storage performance, long-lasting components, and a brutal aesthetic are its main guarantees.

In our tests, we have set our AMD Ryzen 2700X to over 4.25 GHz with just 1.36 ~ 1.38v100% stable with 3400 MHz Sniper X memories. Offering a significant increase in performance in games and synthetic tests. 

Also a special mention for its improved sound: Asus SupremeFX 1220. Ideal for professional headphones compatible up to 600 ohms and an ESS Hi-Fi Saber ES9023P HD DAC that offers a much more crystalline sound.

Its prices vary for the version with Wi-Fi and the version without WiFi. We believe that they are more than justified prices for a motherboard that ensures a good overclock and stability in the system. If you prefer the version without Wi-Fi, it is a little cheaper because this board does not have connectors for integrated graphics so that you will need an external graphics card.

AMD X370 vs X470 vs X570 Chipsets: Technical Specifications For Ryzen 3000

AMD X570 vs X470 vs X370 ChipsetsThe AMD Ryzen 3000 processors are already a reality, and with them and their 7 nm technology comes the AMD X570 chipset.

And it’s good to know that we do have exciting news about this latest chipset in the new generation motherboards for the AMD platform. And also comes our obligation to make the comparison between AMD X370 vs X470 vs X570. Much more power in LANES, support for the PCIe 4.0. 

AMD X570 vs X470 vs X370 Chipsets Comparison

X570 Chipset And Its Architecture

The current processors are characterized by having an architecture based on SoC (System on a Chip), and the AMD Ryzen in its three generations are an example of this. What does this term mean? 

Well basically it is about installing on the same wafer or silicon of the process not only its cores, those that perform calculations and tasks, but also elements such as cache memory, and also the communication interface with RAM and with the PCI lines. Even in some of them we also have an IGP or Integrated Graphics Processor.

Basically, we are talking about the entire northbridge having been integrated into the processor, and this is an ultimate relief for board manufacturers and assemblers as the communication system is simplified quite a bit from the PCB point of view. 

But a chipset is still required that is responsible for managing other elements such as peripheral connections, storage, and other elements. It is about delegating, so to speak, certain functions to the chipset called the southbridge.

The Importance Of The AMD X370, X470, X570 Chipset On A Board

Like any other processor, this chipset will have a specific calculation capacity and a certain number of lines or LANES through which the data that it is going to manage will circulate. There are different chipsets on the market for the Intel platform and the AMD platform. 

AMD chipsets are divided into four families, the A, B, and X series which can be desktop or Workstation. Until now, and for desktop we had the basic A320 (low-end), B450 (mid-range), X370, and (high-end) X470 chipsets

Completely discarding the low-end AMD A320 for being the most basic and without a place in this comparison, the B and X series chipsets are of interest, in fact, it is expected that the successor of the B450, called B550, will be released soon (September 2020). Remember that both have overclocking capacity, although with far fewer options and power than those of the X series.

Now the most exciting thing comes, and that is, the AMD X570 high-end chipset for the AMD Ryzen 3000 series has been finally launched. This is Yes, it brought much more news coverage than what the people saw between the jump from X370 to X470. And its fundamental characteristics is to incorporate support for the PCI-Express 4.0 bus, plus LANES and native support for USB 3.1 Gen2 ports at 10 Gbps.

AMD X570 Compatibility With Ryzen CPU 

It is crucial to know that the new AMD CPUs will be compatible with older chipsets, just like an AMD Ryzen 2700X is compatible with the X370 and X470, now an AMD Ryzen 3950X will be compatible with X570, X470, X370, B450, and B350, as we say it. 

And this is one of the remarkable things that AMD has since a user who wants to buy a new 7 nm processor will not need to change the board. They have to make sure that the manufacturer of the motherboard offers an update to the BIOS to make it compatible if they do not have it, it will not achieve that compatibility.

At this point we must have common sense, nobody should think of mounting a processor such as the 16-core 3950X in a mid-range and low-end chipset, and even in a previous-generation one. And one of the reasons is that we would lose the PCIe 4.0 support offered by the CPU and the considerable improvement in LANES.

In fact, AMD is directly disabling this option in its AGESA library so that this lane cannot be activated on boards other than X570. 

That said, at least currently it will not be something that will take our sleep away since we now do not have GPUs that work on PCIe 4.0, it is more, this speed of 2000 MB/s is not even useful in each line of data both uphill and downhill. And we will also get an advantage from all this, and we will save the cost of having to buy CPU + Board.

We could also think the opposite:

Can I buy an X570 board and put my Ryzen 2000?

Of course, you can, as far as we know, AMD will keep its PGA AM4 socket at least until 2020 on X570 boards, but it is not a logical leap to jump off the shelf and keep the Zen1 or Zen2 SoC. Please note that 1st generation Ryzen CPUs with and without Radeon Vega graphics are in principle not compatible with X570.

AMD Ryzen 3000 is built in the form of a chiplet (different elements in different architectures). In fact, we have a RAM I / O memory interface made at 12 nm the same as previous Ryzen, while only the processing cores are manufactured at 7 nm. The chipset, on the other hand, is a 14 nm DIE, so in this way, AMD saves enough production costs to incorporate previous technology where 7 nm is not necessary. 

AMD X570 vs X470 vs X370: Specifications And Comparison

To continue with the comparison, we will list all the specifications of each of the chipsets:

Comparison Of Chipsets: X570 vs X470 vs X370
ChipsetX570X470X370
CompatibilityAMD Ryzen 2nd and 3rd Gen and AMD Ryzen 2nd Gen with Radeon graphicsAMD Ryzen 1st, 2nd, 3rd Gen and AMD Athlon and Ryzen 1st and 2nd Gen with Radeon graphicsAMD Ryzen 1st, 2nd, 3rd Gen and AMD Athlon and Ryzen 1st and 2nd Gen with Radeon graphics
PCIe Lines8 + 8 + 4 PCIe 4.08x PCIe 3.08x PCIe 3.0
MultiGPU Compatibilityx16 / 2 × 8 Crossfire and SLIx16 / 2 × 8 Crossfire and SLIx16 / 2 × 8 Crossfire and SLI
USB 3.1 Gen28 (can be Gen1)22
USB 3.1 Gen1066
USB 2.0466
SATA III488
OverclockingYes, CPU + MemoryYes, CPU + MemoryYes, CPU + Memory
Precision Boost OverdriveYesYesNo
XFR2YesYesYes
StoreMIYesYesNo
RAM128GB DDR464GB DDR464GB DDR4
Consumption11-15W5.8W5.8W

* Its functionality may be varied according to the manufacturer’s choice.

Up to 20 LANES To Manage

And without a doubt, the most important thing about this new chipset will be the LANES or lanes, and not only the chipset but also the CPU, and know-how they will be distributed. These Ryzen 3000s have a total of 24 PCI LANES. Sixteen lanes are used for the communication interface with the graphics card, and four are used for general use or NVMe SSD 1x PCIe x4 or 1x PCIe x2 NVMe and 2x SATA lanes, that is why one of the NVMe slots will always be directly associated with the hard drive.

The other 4 remaining lanes will be used to communicate with the chipset directly, and thus increase better bandwidth. These CPUs also support 4x USB 3.1 Gen2 which are often directly connected to them on the boards.

If we turn to see the power of the chipsets in terms of lanes, there is no doubt that the X470 chipset is a slight updated of the X370. The simple objective of X470 was to implement support with StoreMI similar to Intel Optane and to allow processors with higher frequencies in overclocking thanks to Boost Overdrive.

That said, we moved to the AMD X570, which does have significant improvements. We now have a total of 20 PCIe LANES at our disposal with increased processing capacity and support for the PCIe 4.0 bus. We know that manufacturers have limited access to these lanes to assign them for different purposes. In this case, 8 lanes will be mandatory for PCIe, and another 8 lanes may be used for other devices, like SATA or peripherals like USB.

Initially, support for 4 SATA connectors is foreseen, but manufacturers will be able to increase this number by up to 8 if they wish, as we will see in some high-end motherboards. The remaining 4 lanes will be used by the chipset to communicate with the CPU.

Increased USB 3.1 Capacity And Higher Consumption

The chipset offers great support of up to 8 USB 3.1 Gen2 at 10 Gbps, while the previous chipset was limited to supporting 2 of these ports and 6 USB 3.1 Gen1 at 5Gbps. It also supports 4 USB 2.0 ports. In an era in which connectivity is so important. The power of this chipset does make many differences compared to the previous ones, and if not, wait to see the specifications of the new boards. 

Obviously, manufacturers have some freedom to choose how many of these lanes are destined for USB. Hence we have boards of different categories and costs, as always.

Likewise, the capacity to work with CPU and memory has been improved, with higher overclocking capacity, since in this case, RAM is admitted with higher frequency, depending on the situation, reaching up to 4400 MHz in the top models. 

This also translates to higher power consumption; in fact, the X470 and X370 chipsets were consuming the same, 5.8W under load. Now the X570 has officially increased to 11W, although manufacturers and partners place this consumption at around 14 or 15W. This explains the incorporation of these large heatsinks with fans and heat pipes distributed by the chipset and VRM.

One problem that AMD of this chipset has yet to solve is precisely energy management since it never drops below its maximum frequency despite not being in use, which causes these considerable energy consumptions, and consequently, more heat.

And as we say, the VRMs of the motherboards have also undergone major changes, reaching up to 16 power supply phases in the ones with the highest performance, basically to improve the power delivery and signal quality by dividing the phases in greater quantities. This suggests that the overclocking of these new Ryzen will be more aggressive, obviously the considerable increase in cores and threads until 16/32.

Conclusion

So far our comparison of AMD X570 vs X470 vs X370 chipsets comes to an end. We see a lot of news between this new X570 and the previous two, which were basically simple updates of each other. All the information will be tested and reviewed thoroughly when we will analyze the new motherboards in-depth. We recommend reading the motherboard buying guide.

ASRock X470 Taichi Review & Specifications – 2020

ASRock X470 Taichi ReviewOne of the few boards alongside the MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC that supports the powerful Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X is this ASRock wonder. A plate we have already analyzed and that will be a very valid option for those who want the best of the previous generation without spending the astronomical prices of the X570.

Now, not everything is the image, so let’s put it to the test. Read our detailed ASRock X470 Taichi review and decide if it’s for you or not.

ASRock X470 Taichi Motherboard Review

This board has a powerful VRM of 16 bases prepared for the Ryzen, although capacity obviously for 64 GB of RAM. Similarly, we have three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, two of them with steel reinforcements and compatible with CrossFire and SLI. As for storage, available with two M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots for SSD and a total of 8 SATA ports, with two of them managed by an ASMedia chip.

Of course, there can be no shortage of wired network and Wi-Fi connections, although, of course, it is under the 802.11ac protocol as it is from the previous generation. ASRock has removed the USB 2.0 ports and left no less than 6 3.1 Gen1 and 2 3.1 Gen2, one of them Type-C, the best of ASRock for AMD’s AM4 platform.

Appearance And Distribution

The ASRock X470 Taichi, to a large extent, complements to everything. It integrates more technologies, powers even more certain aspects. It is definitely better than its previous models. It is also noticeably more elaborate in its design, wherefrom heatsinks, right down to the PCB, combine to achieve a design worth showing.

It is a motherboard that maintains the essence of the Taichi range with a very elaborate PCB design that shows different serigraphs that combine and enhance the design of other elements on the board, even components as simple and familiar as it can be the battery for CMOS. The PCB is made from high-density fibreglass, and two Oz of copper have been used to improve conductivity and reduce the temperature of the board.

This is the epicentre of a circular design that spans almost the entire board, which fits in with the chipset heatsink and ends in flat shapes in the MOSFETs area, connectors cover board, and sound system insulation. Black, grey and white are combined with a powerful RGB system that supports both classic RGB and the new “Addressable RGB”.

ASRock takes no risk with size and has made the ASRock X470 Taichi a motherboard perfectly fitted to the ATX standard. The distribution is also classic, but well done. We have the source and front connectors where we hope to find them, 90-degree rotatable connectors for USB 3.0 and SATA and a component arrangement that leaves plenty of room for large heatsinks and excellent capacity for expansion cards.

It has16 phases of digital power with double-layer MOSFETs and a premium power system made up of premium black Nichicon capacitors, Chokes capable of up to 60A current. The memory also receives extra signal filtering capacity through a dual-phase power system.

The heatsinks for MOSFETs, in addition to the chipset heatsink, are made of one-piece aluminium. Heatsinks, combined with the efficiency of the system, in addition to the low consumption of the latest AMD chipsets, achieve excellent results.

In it, we can mount up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, in dual channel. It is fully compatible with Intel XMP profiles, and ASRock ensures that it can support memories of more than 3466MHz through overclocking. We have tested it with memories of this speed, with excellent results and perfect compatibility that guarantees outstanding stability.

Storage

Expansion cards share space with M.2 Socket, 3 slots for SSD drives. It has two of these connectors, only one of them with the full-size heatsink. This one is also longer, compatible with units up to 110mm long. This slot supports SATA 6GBps drives, and also PCI Express drives with support for PCI Express 3.0 4x connectivity with up to 32Gbps of bandwidth.

The secondary connector, which shares connectivity with the board’s PCI Express 5 port, is capable of 4x PCI Express 2.0 links, allowing you to develop bandwidths of up to 20Gbps. This motherboard has official support for the new Intel Optane 905P units. However, these must always be mounted in the primary slot and have the full body heatsink installed for proper operation.

SATA connectivity has up to 8 connectors, but not all supplied by the X470 chipset. Two of them are added using a dedicated ASMedia controller. These two SATA connectors do not have RAID mode, nor are they supported by AMD’s StoreMI system, but they do give us extra capacity.

The six main SATA connectors do support RAID modes with modes such as RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10which as you know, is a combination of the previous two to have more performance and data security in combination (requires a minimum of four discs).

Card Expansion

The five PCI Express slots are configured as follows: two PCI Express 3.0 16x slots, which allow working in SLI or Crossfire with links up to 8x (16x if we use only one card), two PCI Express 3.0 1x ports and one PCI port Express 3.0 4x. The latter shared with the second M.2 slot.

We like the space between the main slots, with room for the cards to breathe if we mount two, with the primary M.2 slot on top of the first graphics slot, so that everything is accessible. The last slot with PCI Express 16x size does not make much sense.

Front And Rear Connectivity

This model includes interesting improvements at the connectivity level, in addition to a large number of internal and external connectors. On the front we can find a notable improvement, although still not widespread in mid-range boxes, such as a USB 3.1 Gen2 type C connector. This connector develops up to 10Gbps of bandwidth and also improves charging capacity up to 15w (5v-3A).

Front connectivity is also enhanced by four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A connectors, all located on the right side of the board, halfway up. Finally, we also have four USB 2.0 ports that are located at the lower end of the board, a place where we can easily use them for other purposes beyond serving for the front connectors of the box.

Among the internal connectors, we also find five Molex connectors for fans. One specialized in CPU fan and another specialized in drive pumps for liquid cooling systems. We can also find RGB connectivity for official AMD fans, classic RGB connector with support for 5-12v and ARGB connectivity for the most modern lighting systems.

The front connector for audio has also been taken great care of, as we will see later and we will also have a dual 12v auxiliary connector for CPU and a POST display with which to view diagnostic information on the board in real-time.

The rear panel is also not far behind and also has video connectivity, something unusual in a motherboard of this range. However, thanks to this we will also have support for AMD’s latest generation APUs with Vega graphics. 

The pity is that the integrated connector is an HDMI 1.4b that only supports 4K resolutions at 30Hz vertical refresh. It would have been more logical to take advantage of the Displayport 1.4 connectivity of these processors, which is perfectly convertible to HDMI. 

The rear panel of the ASRock X470 Taichi also includes six 5Gbps USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, legacy keyboard and mouse PS2 connectivity, two antenna jacks for on-board Wireless connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, regular audio and also two USB 3.1 Gen2 10Gbps connectors in the form of a type A connector and even a type C connector with the same benefits.

ASRock also includes a CMOS reset button that will allow us to reset the BIOS to its factory settings without having to open the computer case. A fundamental addition to a board that has undoubtedly been designed to take advantage of the low overclocking capacity (at least with cooling above room temperature) of Ryzen processors.

Access to Ethernet And Wireless Networks

ASRock has integrated a complete network communication system into the ASRock X470 Taichi by including separate chipsets from Intel. The Ethernet is an Intel I211AT, a chipset that ASRock is using throughout this range, which guarantees us reduced latencies, native support in the latest operating systems and bomb-proof operation. It reaches Gigabit speeds, but as you already know, it also adapts to lower working frequencies.

The Wireless chipset is also signed by Intel but is somewhat more disappointing than the Ethernet version. We say this because the version used is an Intel Wireless-AC 3165 that has a maximum transfer speed of 433mbps. Chipsets, such as the AC7260 or AC7265, which are slightly more expensive, reach speeds of up to 867mbps with the same antenna configuration that this motherboard has mounted.

The Wireless chipset also offers us dual-band support, to adapt to all types of networks, and also integrates Bluetooth 4.2 support for connectivity of peripherals and other devices.

Sound

In the higher ranges, as in the case of the ASRock X470 Taichi, it has the fourth generation of the ASRock Purity Sound system. This system is supported by a quality DSP, such as the Realtek ALC1220, supporting it with a separate PCB where components for HiFi systems such as the Nichicon Fine Gold Series capacitors have also been mounted. A digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) with a noise ratio of 120dB SNR is also included.

It also mounts an amplifier for the front connectivity of our motherboard, specifically a NE5532 from Texas Instruments that supports headphones up to 600ohm impedance and that ASRock connects to our motherboard with a front connector with gold plated pins for better conductivity. The board also has an Anti-pop circuit and layers at different levels for the left and right channels.

In this line-out connector, we will have an automatic impedance detector, so that our headphones or speakers always have the most suitable configuration. And the sound system is equipped with Soundblaster Connect codec, in addition to also having all its audio connectors plated in gold and digital connectivity through an optical SPDIF type output.

BIOS

The main feature of ASRock UEFI BIOS is that they are easy to operate by combining the mouse control that we demand of the latest bios with a lot of keyboard agility for which we are used to classic BIOS.

This model has an excellent level of parameterization for AMD processors of both the Ryzen 1000 and Ryzen 2000 range. We will be able to take full advantage of them with the good parameterization of voltages and high-speed memories. This will be done through manual parameterization and supported by precise manual adjustments.

The BIOS has utilities for updating BIOS online, for adjusting fans through profiles or manually, and excellent control for storage systems and drivers necessary for their installation.

It is not one of the most aesthetic bios on the market, but it does have all the options that we expect from a high-performance board in a format that we can handle quickly. CMOS reset, integrated into the back panel of board connectors, is another essential function to combine with the operation of this bios.

Software

ASRock offers a good set of programs, which we can manage thanks to its “App Store”. It not only acts as an update search engine, including bios updates but also has a catalogue of the brand’s applications. They can truly offer us functionality, and then others that we could consider “bloatware”, such as browsers, antivirus and others, that we don’t have to install if we don’t want to.

This ASRock’s applications we can find A-Tuning that allows us to control aspects such as the operation of the fans, or to overclock, in addition to monitoring the system. It is a new application, although, without a doubt, the best app to manage the Ryzen processor is through AMD’s Ryzen Master application. With it, and with A-Tuning, we will have access to all the configuration of our PC directly from Windows. As we can see, this combination will help us make the most of the ASRock X470 Taichi.

RGB

The RGB system of the ASRock X470 Taichi is equipped in several zones: specifically, the sound card zone, chipset and rear connector coverage. Everything is controlled by ASRock Polychrome technology that allows synchronization with other RGB compatible systems, from any of its ports, or also synchronizes with the new ARGB (Addressable RGB) systems that allow independent control of all the LEDs of a device with this integrated technology. 

Overclocking And Temperatures

Although this model offers a much more stabilized power line than other models of the brand that we have tested, the truth is that the processor is not getting more out of itself. It’s not that useful in cooling systems that are capable of significantly reducing the processor working temperature and at the same time allows to increase the voltage of the processor substantially.

The AMD Wraith heatsink is designed to work at 40dBA, which is quite a suitable noise for a heatsink that will be inside the chassis. The working temperatures are 75 degrees, with an ambient temperature of 25. 

Pros
  • Perfectly equipped

  • A spectacular PCB design

  • Support for the best SSD drives on the market, including the Optane 905

Cons
  • It does not offer us more overclocking with conventional cooling

Technical Specifications of The ASRock X470 Taichi

Model

ASRock X470 Taichi

Format

ATX

Chipset 

AMD X470

Compatible Processors

AMD Athlon, Ryzen 1st, 2nd and 3rd, series 3, 5, 7 and 9

Socket

AM4

RAM

4x DDR4 DIMMs up to 3200 MHz Dual Channel

External Ports

6x USB 3.1 G1

1x USB Type-C

1x USB 3.1 G2

5x audio jacks

1x S / PDIF

1x PS / 2

1x RJ-45

1x clear CMOS

Internal Expansion Ports

8x SATA3

2x M.2

2x USB 3.1 G1

2x USB 2.0

1x TPM

1x Audio

2x RGB LED

6x Fan

Final Words And Conclusion – ASRock X470 Taichi

The improvements that the Taichi range offers over other ASRock models and ranges are usually a combination of integration of more controllers, more connective capacity and also the designs. All that we find in the ASRock X470 Taichi with X470 chipset for AMD Ryzen processors.

What we do not find is greater overclocking capacity, at least with conventional cooling and with our processor (you already know that luck is also a factor in overclocking). 

It seems to us a very balanced model, with a modern design that combines 3D forms with 2D forms of screen printing on the PCB as only ASRock knows how to do. A complete beauty and that with its current price, the ASRock X470 Taichi continues to be very competitive with respect to the models in its same range from other manufacturers.

Related: A detailed guide on motherboard