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ASRock B550 Extreme4 Review

Specification

  • CPU AMD AM4 Socket Ryzen 3000, 4000 G-Series and 5000 Series Desktop Processors
  • VRMs 14 Power Phase design 50A DrMOS
  • Chipset AMD B550
  • Memory Dual Channel, 4x DDR4 DIMM Slots, Maximum 128GB, up to DDR4-4,733+(OC)

Expansion slots

  • Primary PCIe x16 slot is Gen 4 if supported by the CPU, otherwise Gen 3
  • 1x PCIe x16 slot, Gen 3 x4
  • 2x PCIe Gen 3 x1 slots.

Storage

  • 6x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10.
  • 1x M.2 22110, 1x M.2 2280
  • 1x M.2, supports type 2230 WiFi/BT module

The layout of the B550 Extreme4 is almost exemplary and avoids many of the problems we see from time to time. There are six PWM fan headers arranged around the edges of the board that have enough power to run a pump and a seventh header over by the rear I/O that is well positioned for a rear case fan. You get every type of USB header and none of them are blocked by other hardware such as your graphics card. To top things off you have a set of RGB and ARGB headers at the top of the board and another pair at the foot of the board.

he only annoyance we can see with the layout is that the secondary M.2 is likely to be obscured by the graphics card as you need to remove a substantial cover to gain access.

Turning to the rear I/O panel we see a decent array of ports and connectors however there is no Wi-Fi and neither do you get BIOS Flashback so if you want to install a Ryzen 5000 CPU you first need to ensure the board has BIOS P1.20 installed or you will be stuck and unable to POST. The only graphics connector is an HDMI 2.1 which is fine by us as B550 theoretically supports Ryzen 4000 APUs, however these are OEM parts that you are unable to buy at retail. In the event you find such an APU you won’t be able to use DisplayPort which doesn’t seem like a big problem in the real world.

Stripping off the substantial aluminium heatsinks reveals the configuration of the power delivery system which is based on a Renesas RAA 229004 8-phase VRM controller in a 6+2 configuration with six doublers on the back of the motherboard to give 12+2 phases. The 12x Vishay SiC654 50A DrMOS phases for the Vcore are rated at 5V PWM while the 2x Vishay SiC654A 50A DrMOS phases for the SoC are very similar but are rated at 3.3V PWM.

On the face of it the SoC power delivery might be marginal if you were powering integrated graphics along with the B550 chipset but the fact of the matter is that we are unlikely to ever get our hands on a Ryzen 4000 so we will simply park this idea until that day arrives.

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