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Are you looking for the best B550 motherboards for gaming available on the market? If so, we’ve prepared something very special for you – the B550 motherboards buying guide and our top picks for the best B550 motherboards available. If you know what you are looking for, jump straight to our list of top picks. If not, check out our buying guide to get informed before you buy it.
Before we highlight some of the best B550 motherboards on the market, you should look at some of the most important points when choosing a perfect B550 motherboard for your PC:
1. What CPU are you going to use with your motherboard?
The CPU you’re planning on combining with your board will narrow down your options, since the CPU socket on a given motherboard will only work with the chip line it was designed for.
For example, if you’re buying an Intel 10th Generation Core processor, you’ll need a board with an LGA 1200 socket. Older 9th Generation processors need boards with an LGA 1151 socket. AMD makes this process a bit less confusing because the company uses the same AM4 socket for all of its mainstream current-gen chips, from Athlons all the way up to 16-core Ryzen 9 parts, although you may run into complications installing newer CPUs on previous-generation motherboards. Intel, on the other hand, has a trend in recent years to switch sockets from one generation to the next.
But for the true high-end, both Intel (LGA 2066) and AMD (TR4) have different sockets to adapt to the larger size and power draw of their Core X and Thread Ripper processors.
2. What size of motherboard do you need?
Most modern motherboards come in three sizes:
ATX is the de facto standard and offers the most space for plugs and slots.
Micro-ATX is 2.4-inches shorter, which means less room for expansion slots.
Mini-ITX can make for a tiny PC, but you’ll usually only have room for one add-in card (like a graphics card), and fewer connectors for storage and RAM.
3. Which chipset should you get?
Your CPU choice will dictate your compatible chipset options, and if you choose the highest-end consumer Intel or AMD chips (Core X or Threadripper), you’ll only have one choice (X299 for Intel or X399 for AMD). But for typical users who just want to install a single graphics card and a few drives, you can often get the features you’re after by opting for a chipset below Intel’s Z370 or X370/X470 for AMD.
If you choose an H370, Q370, B360, or H310 board on the Intel side, you’ll lose the option to overclock, though only a handful of mainstream Intel chips are unlocked for overclocking anyway (those with product names that end in the letter “K”). But these stepped-down chipsets are actually newer than Z370, and so offer some features (like integrated/native USB 3.1 Gen2 support) that Intel’s Z370 lacks. For the latest and greatest features on the Intel side, plus overclocking options, you'll want to pick up a Z390 motherboard.
On the AMD side, the B450, B350, and B300 chipsets still support overclocking. Although you will lose some fast USB and SATA ports over the X370 chipset, enough of those connectivity options remain to support most mainstream computing tasks. If you need more ports and drives, stepping up to an X370 or X470 board for $20-$30 (£15-30) more than a comparable B350 option is worth the money.
4. How important are aesthetics to you?
If the only time you’re going to see your system’s insides is when it’s powered down with the side panel off, there’s no reason to choose RGB lights or flashy I/O covers and heatsinks. However, if your case has a window, you should get a board that you like looking at - with lights if you like them.
Just keep in mind that, particularly if you’re a beginner builder, a dark motherboard can make building or updating your system more difficult, as on-board labels will be harder to see. Also, if you are building a system that you want to look as clean as possible (that is, with few visible wires snaking around the motherboard), look for a board with its fan and USB headers placed around the edges, and SATA and USB 3 header ports that point to the side, rather than sticking up vertically. This will make achieving a clean build much easier.
Best B550 motherboards on the market:
Asus ROG Strix is the same price as other X570 motherboards, in fact it pretty much matches our favorite of AMD's top-end boards, the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon. But it's a premium motherboard, with all the trappings you'd expect from Asus' Republic of Gamers stables, such as 14+2 power stage, M.2 heatsinks, and pre-installed backplates. You also get Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking as well as Intel 2.5Gb ethernet too. And RGB LEDs, of course.
Performance is typically good for a high-end Asus board, matching X570 motherboards for gaming performance without issue. That said, of the B550 boards we've tested, it's the far more affordable MSI board that actually comes out top in our straight performance testing. But the Asus can overclock far better, even if it does take up more raw power from the plug on the whole.
The Asus ROG Strix B550-E Gaming is the whole package then, and right now is our all-around pick for the best B550 motherboards.
When it comes to gaming performance above all else then MSI's micro-ATX MAG B550M Mortar is your best bet for an inexpensive next-gen Ryzen machine. It comes in around the $160 mark, making it cheaper than a great many X570 and other B550 motherboards on the market right now.
The gaming frame rates of the MSI B550 Mortar put it above the rest of the B550 crew we've tested so far, and indeed its straight CPU performance puts it up there with some of the best X570s. That goes well if you're looking for an affordable home for your AMD Zen 3 CPU of the future, this B550 has a great chance to ensure it performs to its fullest stock-clocked potential without breaking the bank.
But you will be missing out on extra PCIe 4.0 M.2 and x16 graphics slots if those extras mean a lot to you. You can also opt to ditch wireless networking too, depending on whether you pick the straight Mortar or the more expensive Mortar Wi-Fi version. The 8+2+1 power phase design is arguably a more unwelcome miss, however, as that results in a board that isn't going to spark any overclocking joy in your heart. But, as an affordable gaming board without OC pretensions, it's a great shout.
The geared aesthetic of ASRock's premium Taichi motherboards makes this the best-looking of all the B550 boards we've checked out, though that premium nature does make it also the most costly. Indeed it's priced higher than the ASRock X570 Taichi, which makes this a difficult recommendation until the almost inevitable price correction which will surely happen over time.
But it's got the same sort of specs list as the excellent Asus ROG Strix B550-E, and means you get all the networking niceties, and the gaming performance to put it around the top of the list. It's also got some overclocking chops too, allowing us to hit 4.2GHz on the Ryzen 3 3100 budget gaming chip.
It's also incredibly well-built, with a metal structure that makes it one of the most robust B550 motherboards around. But yeah, it's hard to look at that price and feel this second-tier chipset is where you want to put your Ryzen money.
Clocking in at around $80, the Asrock B550M-HDV lies far more comfortably with the B550 as a value proposition than most. It doesn't try to hide that it's a budget board either, with its limited feature set and its lack of heat spreaders—this is a motherboard for anyone that just needs the bare minimum, and we don't mean that in a bad way. If you want to build a Ryzen 3000 system on a tight budget, you could do a lot worse, basically.
This isn't a motherboard for overclockers, however, but given how tricky it is to overclock the current generation of Zen 2 chips, that's not too much of a negative either. You get a solitary four-pin supplementary CPU power connector, and the VRMs are bare too, while the power delivery is merely four-phase with just two fan headers available.
That single M.2 slot has you covered for speedy PCIe 4.0 storage though, and the PCIe 4.0 x16 slot supports the next-generation of graphics cards as well as this generations. If you're looking to use your CPU's integrated graphics, then you have the choice of VGA, DVI, and HDMI outputs as well. It's a shame there are no USB 3.2 Type-C connectors present, and only having one M.2 is a bit limiting, but overall these seem like reasonable sacrifices to keep that price low.
1. Is a good motherboard important?
When building your own gaming PC, selecting a motherboard is a critical decision. It houses the most important parts of your PC, such as the graphics card, CPU, and every other component your computer needs to be functional.
2. Is it worth buying an expensive motherboard?
More expensive motherboards will therefore have more USB ports, newer performance standards, more room for drives, and so on. More expensive motherboards usually mean better quality components. The cheaper a motherboard gets, the more it will focus only on the very barebones features needed to make a basic computer.
3. Does a motherboard affect performance?
Not taking overclockability into consideration, the choice of the motherboard has no effect on performance. This performance can come from overclocking the CPU which can yield more FPS in games. Not only does it increase FPS, but overclocking also increases performance across the board.
4. What does a good motherboard do?
A good motherboard is as important as a good PSU, it is a component that can protect the rest of the more expensive components. A good motherboard will also have an easy to navigate BIOS, features for overclocking, durability, heat endurance, and long-lasting.
5. Will I lose data if I replace the motherboard?
Changing the RAM, motherboard, and CPU will not alter the data that is stored on your hard drives. You decide to reinstall your operating systems without backing anything up because you bought new hardware. That would cause you to lose your data. Changing RAM, Motherboard, and CPU will not affect your data.
It’s obvious to see that the Asus ROG Strix B550-E is the best B550 motherboard overall on the market. It's a premium motherboard, with all the trappings you'd expect from Asus' Republic of Gamers stables, such as 14+2 power stage, M.2 heatsinks, and pre-installed backplates. You also get Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking as well as Intel 2.5Gb ethernet too. And RGB LEDs, of course. All of these features succeeded in securing the Asus ROG Strix B550-E’s first place.
For true PC gamers, the MSI's micro-ATX MAG B550M Mortar is the best B550 motherboard for pure gaming performance to go for. The gaming frame rates of the MSI B550 Mortar put it above the rest of the B550 crew we've tested so far, and indeed its straight CPU performance puts it up there with some of the best X570s.
If you care about your PC’s aesthetics, ASRock B550 Taichi is the perfect one for you. The geared aesthetic of ASRock's premium Taichi motherboards makes this the best-looking of all the B550 boards. However, that premium look does make the ASRock B550 Taichi also the most costly B550 motherboard right now.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on a motherboard, then look no further than the Asrock B550M-HDV. It doesn't try to hide that it's a budget board, with its limited feature set and its lack of heat spreaders—this is a motherboard for anyone that just needs the bare minimum, and we don't mean that in a bad way.
Well, that’s all for this guide right now. We hope this guide could help you to choose for you the best B550 motherboards.