ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS (Wi-Fi) Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 2 weeks ago
A Closer Look
Without a doubt this is one cool looking motherboard! It’s a pretty busy design, but it still manages to keep the theme in order. Of course, it’s a style we’ve seen a lot, as ASUS has a lot of TUF gaming keyboards, graphics cards, RAM and more that will match up with this look. I like the use of dark black hardware and the dark grey, although I think they could dial back the decals on the PCB its self and just keep that black.
At the top of the motherboard, you’ll find an 8+2 DrMOS Power Stage design, which uses TUF chokes and TUF Capacitors, which are designed to withstand much higher temperatures and have a much longer lifespan too. They also use the Digi+ VRM for improved power delivery. All this is kept cool by two large VRM heatsinks.
At the top of the motherboard, you’ll find the ProCool Connector, it’s basically a normal power connector but more robust to deal with the added power and heat.
Moving down the motherboard, you’ll find there are two M.2 drive mounts, the bottom one features a large heatsink, adding both cooling performance and protection for the drive. The top one is left open, which is a bit odd, as this one makes more sense to have the heatsink on to me, as it offers up PCI Gen 4 support.
Speaking of Gen4, you’ll find two full-size PCIe lanes on this board, as well as an extra 1x slot at the top. The armoured one is the only PCIe Gen 4 slot, but that should be more than enough for most gamers. The other slots are PCIe Gen 3. Of course, if you need more slots on Gen4, check out an X570 chipset motherboard.
Tucked into the bottom corner, you’ll find the Realtek S1200A hardware. This offers up a few nice features, such as “exclusive DTS custom for gaming headsets”, TUF Gaming audio cover, audio shielding, dedicated audio PCB layers, and premium Japanese audio capacitors.
The rear I/O shield isn’t pre-installed, which is a shame as that’s becoming more standard these days. There’s plenty of connectivity here though, with a large bank of USB ports and even a PS2 port at the top. Plus, there’s a Type C further down. Moving down you’ll find both DisplayPort and HDMI. Networking comes from both the WiFi 6 hardware and 2.5 GbE LAN. Overall, it’s a pretty competent setup, especially for an mATX board.