Thanks to the popularity of AMD’s Ryzen over the past few years, motherboard manufacturers continue to develop and design remarkably impressive lineups, and the B550 chipset is no exception, despite the weird price-to-performance limbo in which it may currently find itself. While there are plenty of arguments to make, suggesting you stick with your trusty B450, if you’ve got one, or that you’re instead better off moving up to an X570, there’s still a lot to love about B550. Furthermore, despite many B550 skeptics and naysayers, the new motherboards are still flying out of distribution centers and into the systems of curious builders that perhaps didn’t consider pulling the trigger on Zen 2, until now. Whether it’s in preparation for Zen 3, or the Zen 2 Matisse Refresh that’s due any day now, people are ravenous for 500-series motherboards (look at pricing right now), and the B550 has a lot of compelling products.
That said, let’s go over the best B550 motherboards on the market that will even let you push a Ryzen 9 3950X to its limits!
Best B550 Motherboards for Ryzen 3000XT Zen 2 CPUs – Our Recommendations
|Best Entry-Level B550 Motherboard||Gigabyte B550 Aorus Elite||14 Phase (12+2)|
|Best Overall B550 Motherboard for Ryzen 3000XT||ASRock B550 Extreme4||14 Phase (12+2)|
|Best High-Performance B550 Motherboard||Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master||16 Phase (14+2)|
|Best mATX B550 Motherboard||Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi)||10 Phase (8+2)|
|Best mini-ITX B550 Motherboard||Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX||8 Phase (6+2)|
Best Entry-Level B550 Motherboard
The best reason to dive into B550, and the fast-approaching Zen 2 refresh, is undoubtedly the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Elite. The B550 Aorus Elite proves that the most affordable product from a manufacturer’s premium line doesn’t always have to be the lowest quality. Here, Gigabyte is giving you the sleek design of their Aorus series, stunningly competent power delivery, and minimal compromise on features and performance, all for an exceptionally reasonable B550 price of $160.
The B550 Aorus Elite flexes its price-to-performance muscles with 50A Power Stages, a 14 Phase VRM (12+2), support for up to 128GB DDR4-4000MHz memory, 2x M.2 slots (1x PCIe 4.0 x4), Realtek 2.5G LAN + ALC1200 Audio CODEC, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 + 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 2x USB 2.0 ports, 4x SATA III 6Gb/s ports, and USB BIOS Flashback. Whether you’re in the market for a 3950X or a 3300X, the B550 Aorus Elite is capable of handling whatever you can throw at it for one of the lowest B550 price points, period.
Best Overall B550 Motherboard
The ASRock B550 Extreme4 is one of several examples that should help to redeem ASRock’s name in the motherboard space after some troubling thermal performance issues with a few of their Z490 boards and lower-end X570 boards. While it is eerily similar to two of its neighboring motherboards like the B550 Steel Legend or the B550 PG Velocita, the B550 Extreme4 is a phenomenal balance of aesthetics, features, build quality, and thermal performance at a $185 price that rightfully earns it our nod for best overall B550.
Included on the B550 Extreme4 are 50A Power Stages, a 14 Phase VRM (12+2), support for up to 128GB DDR4-4733MHz memory, 2x M.2 slots (1x PCIe 4.0 x4), Realtek 2.5G LAN + ALC 1220 Audio CODEC, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 4x USB 2.0 ports, an internal USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C header, 6x SATA III 6Gb/s ports, onboard power and reset buttons, a POST code readout, and integrated rear I/O shield. ASRock has some worthy offerings this time around, but we also feel that an honorable mention is necessary in case some of you aren’t able to do without Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support: the MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge (Wi-Fi). The B550 Gaming Edge (Wi-Fi) is nearly the best overall value, but not entirely. While it touts 60A Power Stages, a stellar 13 Phase VRM (10+2+1), Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1, and an integrated I/O shield, it severely lacks when it comes to its rear I/O USB connectivity. Although, if USB isn’t as big a deal to you, and you need the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity built-in, it’s only $5 more than the B550 Extreme4.
Best High-Performance B550 Motherboard
The Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master almost leaves no other choice for us when deciding on the best high-performance B550 motherboard. The B550 Aorus Master not only has a dual-BIOS (though it lacks a manual switch to swap between them), but it’s also an incredible motherboard which has an identical VRM to the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme… while costing 60% less. Gigabyte has given one of the best X570 VRM designs on the market to a board that costs only $280, and that’s genuinely insane. However, be aware that due to the PCIe 3.0 x4 link between the CPU and chipset, PCIe 4.0 CPU bandwidth is shared between the primary PCIe x16 slot and the 2nd & 3rd M.2 slots, as well as between the bottom PCIe x4 slot and SATA connectors 4 & 5. Each slot will run at PCIe x8 and PCIe x2, respectively, if those additional storage slots are populated. These criteria are something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of running more than one Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSD in addition to a top-tier NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti or NVIDIA Titan RTX (…people can dream), and you still want support for something like a 4K Capture Card. Though If you only plan on installing a Gen3 M.2 NVMe SSD for your boot drive and a couple of SATA III SSDs, then you needn’t worry.
The B550 Aorus Master doesn’t play around with the level of performance it offers you. Most notably, you’ll be getting 70A Power Stages, a 16 Phase VRM (14+2), support for up to 128GB DDR4-5200MHz memory, 3x M.2 slots (up to 3x PCIe 4.0 x4/x2), Intel 1G LAN + AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1, Realtek 2.5G LAN + ALC1220-VB Audio CODEC, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 4x USB 2.0 ports, 6x SATA III 6Gb/s ports, onboard Clear CMOS and Q-Flash buttons, onboard power and reset buttons, an internal USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C header, and RGB.
If you’re trying to keep even a 3950X as cool as a spring breeze, there is no better (or cheaper) option on the market.
Best mATX B550 Motherboard
The Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) provides the best rear I/O USB connectivity of available mATX B550 motherboards while either keeping pace with, or passing them in terms of price, features, and VRM thermal performance. mATX arguably makes the most sense for B550 rather than ATX or mini-ITX, especially considering most of the available mini-ITX B550s leave something to be desired compared to their X570 counterparts. Opting for mATX still allows you to shrink your system while also mitigating the drawbacks of the inherently restrictive bandwidth of the B550 chipset that ends up hitting ATX boards a lot harder. Meaning, thanks to their compact size, only having a PCIe 3.0 x4 link on mATX translates to less wasted potential with additional PCIe slots and more room for better USB connectivity for things like the rear I/O on the TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi).
For $180, the B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) offers 50A Power Stages, a 10 Phase VRM (8+2), support for up to 128GB DDR4-4600MHz memory, 2x M.2 slots (1x PCIe 4.0 x4), Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1, Realtek 2.5G LAN + ALC S1200A Audio CODEC, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 2x USB 2.0 ports, 4x SATA III 6Gb/s ports, onboard BIOS Flashback, and RGB. We’re just happy to see mATX get some love this time around, as builders genuinely only had one option with X570. Anybody fond of the “little form factor that could,” will be more than satisfied with the TUF Gaming B550M-Plus, as its best competition, the MSI MAG B550M Mortar (Wi-Fi) has an equivalent VRM, but markedly worse memory and USB support, albeit for $10 less.
Best mini-ITX B550 Motherboard
The Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX is Gigabyte’s victory lap for today’s roundup. While it may not be the only strong performance in mini-ITX B550 thermals, at only $180 for this sort of high-quality VRM, it would be foolish not to pick one up for your next small form factor (SFF) PC build. Provided you’re interested in the B550 chipset, the Aorus Pro AX has a very alluring set of features as well as some robust build-quality overall.
Sporting 90A Smart Power Stages, an 8 Phase VRM (6+2), support for up to 64GB DDR4-4866MHz memory, 2x M.2 slots (1x PCIe 4.0 x4), Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1, Realtek 2.5G LAN + ALC 1220-VB Audio CODEC, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 is Type-C) + 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 4x SATA III 6Gb/s ports, onboard Q-Flash button, and RGB, the B550I Aorus Pro AX is exceedingly tough to beat.
B550 may not necessarily be for everyone, but it’s refreshing to see such consistently high-quality power designs and build quality coming from every major motherboard manufacturer. The only real problem with B550s is how close many of them are in price to significantly better X570 options.
We only hope to see the market normalize and recover after the events of the past few months. There is a chance that as the year marches on, and demand for AMD hardware settles down a little, we may see the B550 chipset come down in price to the point where, with the level of performance that’s already available, there won’t be any excuse to miss out on the latest-and-greatest Ryzen CPUs.
Best Entry-Level B550 Motherboard: Gigabyte B550 Aorus Elite – The cheapest powerhouse VRM available for the B550 series, period. Solid USB connectivity and the sleek Aorus line design contribute even more to the excellent value offered by Gigabyte here.
Best Overall B550 Motherboard: ASRock B550 Extreme4 – ASRock repents for past sins against some of their Z490 and X570 boards with several well-made options to choose from. Honorable mention for VRM and Wi-Fi + Bluetooth support goes to the MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge (Wi-Fi).
Best High-Performance B550 Motherboard: Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master – it’s a VRM identical to that of a $700 motherboard… for $280.
Best mATX B550 Motherboard: Asus TUF Gaming B550M-Plus (Wi-Fi) – Arguably the most efficient form factor for the B550 chipset gets some much needed love from Asus with competitive thermal performance and best-in-class rear I/O USB support.
Best mini-ITX B550 Motherboard: Gigabyte B550I Aorus Pro AX – While not the only capable B550 ITX platform out there, it’s got a magnificent VRM design for the absolute best asking price of any other B550 mini-ITX.