Asus ProArt B550-Creator Assessment | PCMag

It is uncommon to search out AMD motherboards with Thunderbolt ports of any taste. Thunderbolt, which is an Intel-backed spec for connecting high-speed exterior gadgets, seems nearly solely on Intel-based platforms. Doing analysis for this overview, we might discover solely a handful of AMD motherboards that help Thunderbolt of any form, with the Asus ProArt B550-Creator examined right here the one one that gives the newest taste, Thunderbolt 4. And it ships with two of those ports, too! This makes the ProArt B550-Creator a moderately uncommon PCB. Higher but, at $299.99, it is one of the reasonably priced boards to ship with Thunderbolt 4 on both aspect of the CPU aisle. If Thunderbolt 4 is a must have function in your subsequent PC construct, this Asus motherboard is nicely value contemplating, and a fait accompli in case you’re keen on Ryzen.

The Design: Artwork From the Minimalist Faculty

Although this ATX-form-factor board has “Artwork” in its identify, its look is way from florid. Asus targets its ProArt motherboards as merchandise for companies and content-creation consultants, and for these utilization circumstances, starker aesthetics make extra sense.

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Asus ProArt B550-Creator diagonal

(Photograph: Michael Sexton)

The ProArt B550-Creator encompasses a black PCB with black heatsinks on the VRMs, the chipset, and the M.2 slots. The rear I/O shroud can also be black, nevertheless it’s made from an opaque plastic that leaves some elements beneath barely seen.

Asus ProArt B550-Creator PCIe

(Photograph: Michael Sexton)

Although the look is usually monotone, I truly recognize its easy design language. These days, it appears as if many firms assume every little thing must have LEDs and chrome. The heatspreaders on the M.2 slots are a bit starker than I’d like, however total I do not assume the board’s look will flip anybody away.

Asus ProArt B550-Creator ports and headers

(Photograph: Michael Sexton)

The VRM heatsinks definitely do not look insufficient or undersized, and people are two of crucial cooling elements on any board. The ProArt makes use of a 12+2 energy section design that is similar to what you may discover on many midrange gaming boards. The B550 chipset helps overclocking, too, so that you may even have the ability to push your CPU up a notch with out overtaxing the VRMs.

A Take a look at the Networking and Audio

Asus constructed two 2.5Mbps Intel i225-V Ethernet controllers into the ProArt B550-Creator. That is glorious networking {hardware} for the value, given the board’s place as a midrange enterprise answer. There is not any built-in Wi-Fi, and there is not an M.2 Key E header onboard both, which implies you may want to choose up a USB dongle or a PCI Categorical Wi-Fi card so as to add wi-fi networking.

Realtek’s S1220A, which is without doubt one of the chip maker’s hottest audio codecs, handles sound output on the ProArt B550-Creator. The S1220A chip helps a signal-to-noise ratio of 120dB for stereo playback output, and it connects to 5 3.5mm audio jacks on the rear I/O panel to help as much as a 7.1 sound system. As is frequent on many fashionable boards, the audio codec and many of the audio {hardware} are segregated from the remainder of the motherboard elements. This helps to scale back noise.

The Rear I/O Panel and Inner Headers

One place the ProArt B550-Creator stands out is its rear I/O panel, because of the 2 Thunderbolt 4 USB Sort-C ports introduced up earlier. As talked about, these ports are extremely unusual on shopper boards on this value vary and much more so on AMD platforms, however they make sense for a enterprise board, as a enterprise is extra more likely to make the most of two of those high-speed connectors for connecting quick drive Thunderbolt arrays or high-end content-creation screens utilizing Thunderbolt or USB-C.

Asus ProArt B550-Creator rear I/O panel

(Photograph: Michael Sexton)

The I/O panel additionally options 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-A ports and two slower USB 2.0 ports, the latter destined for enter peripherals. You will additionally discover the standard 5 3.5mm audio jacks, an optical S/PDIF connector, two Ethernet ports, and HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs. The final two are helpful provided that you utilize a Ryzen G sequence processor with on-chip Radeon graphics, such because the Ryzen 7 5700G. (Keep in mind, most AMD Ryzen CPUs require an accompanying graphics card.)

The location of ports is, total, glorious, and helps make constructing a system on the B550-Creator a comparatively painless course of. The CPU energy connectors, hemmed in by heatsinks and the I/O shroud, are a bit troublesome to entry—what else is new?—however the CPU fan headers are all set to the proper of the highest heatsink. This makes them simpler to see and get to than on many different boards.

Asus ProArt B550-Creator overhead

(Photograph: Michael Sexton)

One disappointing facet of the ProArt B550-Creator’s design is that there are simply 4 SATA 3.0 ports. True, the SATA interface for storage gadgets has been declining in significance in recent times as M.2 Key M slots steadily take over as the first connections for solid-state drives, so if this have been a gaming board, I would in all probability give the few ports a move. However for a enterprise answer, the low variety of SATA 3.0 ports might be one thing of a shortfall—in spite of everything, I simply completed praising the motherboard’s rear I/O panel for its suitability for storage gadgets, so I am unable to ignore it falling quick on the identical rating with its inside headers and ports.

Thoughts you, 4 SATA ports shall be sufficient for a lot of customers’ wants, however that is fewer than supplied by a typical shopper ATX motherboard. It makes this board a poor alternative for shoppers with huge internal-storage wants, particularly in the event that they depend on a budget mass storage afforded by 3.5-inch laborious drives.

Asus ProArt B550-Creator ports

(Photograph: Michael Sexton)

Talking of M.2 Key M slots for quick SSDs, you get two on this board, which helps make up barely for the lowered variety of SATA ports. The first M.2 Key M slot helps a PCI Categorical 4.0 x4 connection, whereas the secondary slot employs the older PCIe 3.0 x4, however each help knowledge switch speeds far in extra of SATA 3.0.

A Temporary Take a look at the BIOS

The ProArt B550-Creator’s BIOS is almost an identical to what we have seen on different latest Asus motherboards. Essentially the most notable distinction between the ProArt’s BIOS and that of most Republic of Avid gamers (ROG) boards is its blue moderately than crimson colour scheme.

Asus ProArt B550-Creator EZ Mode BIOS

Asus ProArt B550-Creator BIOS overclocking

The board initially boots into an EZ Mode BIOS that shows primary system details about the board, RAM, and CPU. You possibly can alter the boot order and set a reminiscence profile right here, in addition to tweak fan settings and switch the system’s LEDs on or off. A notable lacking function on this web page is an choice to flash the BIOS.

Asus ProArt B550-Creator BIOS Tools

Over within the Superior Mode BIOS are a myriad of controls, probably the most of essential of which (since it is a B550-chipset board) are choices to overclock the CPU and RAM. There are additionally some instruments constructed into the BIOS Superior menu to securely erase knowledge from an SSD you imply to get rid of or repurpose.

Verdict: A Uncommon Thunder-Fowl

With its two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a sight seldom seen on any AMD motherboard, the ProArt B550-Creator fills a really particular market area of interest. Although it isn’t the primary AMD motherboard to boast Thunderbolt help, it is one in all solely a handful, and its two Thunderbolt 4 ports are uncommon even amongst Intel boards. Offering them whereas preserving the board’s value from being exorbitant is sort of a feat. The B550-Creator’s record value of $299.99 is not outlandish.

Asus ProArt B550-Creator build

(Photograph: Michael Sexton)

That mentioned, that is nonetheless a specialised product. In case you have no use for Thunderbolt 4, loads of more-affordable AMD B550 motherboards in any other case have function parity with the ProArt B550-Creator. However in case you use quite a lot of exterior drives, we extremely suggest this board. Certainly, if you would like each Thunderbolt 4 and Ryzen, it is your greatest and solely guess.

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