The TUF Gaming series of devices in the ASUS product hierarchy is located one step below the ROG Strix, here for a number of boards the possibilities will be noticeably simpler, and there will be no other elements that seem ordinary in a modern assembly at all. So, on the model chosen for this review, there was no platform for a symmetrical case USB socket of the latest generation.
We are considering a version with a pre-installed wireless network adapter, by the way, the fastest possible, but there is also a product without it, respectively, with a reduced price tag. A wired adapter will be able to provide a connection up to 2.5 Gb / s. The main characteristics are listed in the table below.
|Model||ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi)|
|Official product page on the Web||asus.com|
|Processor socket||AMD AM4|
|Processors||AMD Series: Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, Ryzen 9|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM, 128 GB maximum: 2133-3200, 3333-4600 (OC)|
|PCI slots||1 x PCI Express 4.0 x16 (x16) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4) — B550
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 — B550
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 4.0 x4, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — Ryzen 3rd Gen CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — B550
|Integrated video core (in APU)||Radeon Series: Vega|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.1|
|Number of connected fans||4x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.2 Gen 2 (2 connectors on the rear panel (1x C))
6 x 3.2 Gen 1 (4 connectors on the rear panel)
6 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel)
|Serial ATA||4 x SATA 6Gb/s (B550)|
|RAID||0, 1, 10|
|Built-in sound||Codec — S1200A (Realtek)|
|Networking||Realtek RTL8125B (2.5 Gigabit Ethernet)
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (Wi-Fi 2,4/5GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax), Bluetooth 5.1)
|LED Addressable Header||1x Gen 2|
|LED RGB Header||2|
|TPM||1x SPI (14 pin)|
|UEFI||UEFI AMI BIOS, 256 Mb Flash ROM (25Q256JWEQ)|
|Dimensions, mm||244 x 244|
|Additional features||AI Noise Cancelling Microphone, Armory Crate, Aura Sync, Fan Xpert 2+, Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED), USB BIOS Flashback; equipment: external Wi-Fi antenna; AMD 2-Way CrossFireX support|
|retail price||5696 hryvnias|
Due to the presence of only four SATA sockets, there are no barriers to their continuous operation, as is the case with larger devices. In fact, there is only a nuance with the distribution of PCI-E lanes — between the upper x1 slot and the lower x16@x4, it will manifest itself if the first of them is used, limiting the speed of the second, reducing the number of lines available there to two.
Packaging and equipment
Equipment with the DTS Custom utility is indicated immediately on the front of the box, the dimensions of which are characteristic of the board.
The description of the features on the back side is highly informative.
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- certificate of quality (reliability) of TUF components;
- a set of stickers with various images of the TUF Gaming series, including one for the battery;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- mounting screw and stand for M.2 devices — two sets (not shown in the photo);
- rubber pad for a single-sided M.2 drive with an adhesive backing;
- a plug for the body, complete with a black sticker with a symbolic designation of all sockets;
- two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
- remote antenna with the possibility of fixing only one position, a magnet with a slight attraction effect is built-in along the long edge.
All ports located on the surface of the board are transverse (except for two M.2), which will greatly complicate the task of laying cables in the case. But the main limitation is the width of the video card, already with a 2.5-slot one you will need to make sure that there are no conflicts between the connected wires and the fan impellers on the VC.
Massive radiators are fastened with screws, and for the B550 it manages with spring-loaded plastic nails. Six LEDs are soldered in the corner with the lens pointing to the side.
Like the more status ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus, there are three additional areas for LED equipment.
In turn, the radiator does without any frills, it is still the same modest-sized “bar” from the profile that we saw in the ASUS TUF B450M-Pro Gaming, there is no doubt that our ward lined up on its base.
The top M.2 slot is connected to the CPU resources, the fastest PCI-E lines are connected here, but there is no heatsink, and the maximum length of the product will be eight centimeters.
The lower length does not provide for restrictions, there is a heatsink, but the chipset already allocates resources — the PCI-E device will use version 3.0 lines.
Of particular bewilderment is the location of the contact pair for resetting the CMOS settings — noticeably higher than the bottom edge of the board, in fact, any modern video card will block access to it. The only good news is that in modern assemblies it is extremely rare to use this method of «resuscitation».
There are six internal USB ports — four 2.0 and a pair of 3.2 Gen 1.
The location of the battery will help unfortunate overclockers cope with resetting the settings without removing the video card — efforts will have to be focused on the «foot» from the crib under the CR2032. You can immediately carry out the procedure for ennobling its appearance with one of the complete stickers.
Five specialized capacitors and a codec shielding cap — this is the composition of the audio subsystem, nothing new has been invented here.
I would like to highlight the presence of the proprietary diagnostic complex Q-LED, which was already on the board with the X570 hub, but was absent in the products of the 400th series.
I note the rejection of the decorative plastic «canopy» over the I / O ports of the rear panel in favor of an enlarged VRM heatsink. This is quite similar to the solutions implemented by direct market competitors. But here they got carried away quite strongly — the “sweep” in height can cause compatibility problems in especially cramped cases with case fans located above the VC.
The VRM sector also has a lot of kinship with the previously reviewed TUF Gaming models. We see the same PWM controller — ASP1106GGQW. Its functions organize the operation scheme of the “4 + 2 phases” type. For CPU voltage, the number of elements — assemblies and chokes — is doubled, and SOC Voltage already has one per channel, so you can count a dozen SiC639 from Vishay Intertechnology in total. You can also highlight the presence of a reinforced eight-pin power socket, where cast conductors are used.
The improved «comb» radiator has sufficient surface area for heat extraction from power elements. With the area of thermal pads for assemblies — full order, and for chokes they managed according to the residual principle. The situation is worse for the other radiator. There is a clear lack of space at the gasket for assemblies, and the chokes seem to have been used as the third stop point, we are talking about heat removal, perhaps symbolically. But there are no such problems with a cooler for M.2 devices.
The padding on the back panel is definitely a strong point of the product. There is a variety of all modern interfaces and not a small amount.