From a post by ASUS's Technical Product Marketing Manager (u/ASUSTechMKTJJ) on Reddit, ASUS looks to be readying up a new B550 motherboard based on its ProArt series. The ASUS ProArt series primarily aims to provide to creators, and its new ProArt B550-Creator is the first AMD AM4 motherboard to benefit from Intel's updated Thunderbolt 4 controller. Also included are an advertised 12+2 phase power delivery and dual 2.5 GbE networking.

Similar to previous iterations of its ProArt motherboard, such as the ASUS ProArt Z490-Creator 10G, it follows a simplistic design with straight lines provided by a pair of rectangular M.2 and an L-shaped power delivery heatsink. Keeping in line with its basic theme, it omits any integrated RGB LED lighting. ASUS advertises the B550-Creator as including a 12+2 phase power delivery with teamed power stages, with an 8-pin and 4-pin 12 V ATX CPU power input pairing providing power to the processor. 

Currently, ASUS hasn't revealed detailed specifications, but we can see that the ProArt B550-Creator includes three full-length PCIe slots, with the top likely conforming to PCIe Gen4 with the bottom slot most probably driven by the B550 chipset. It includes two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, with four SATA ports for storage, with possibly two PCIe M.2 slots due to the location and length of the pair of M.2 heatsinks featured on the board. It includes four memory slots with up to 128 GB of capacity, but ASUS hasn't provided information on supported speeds.

Much of the fanfare surrounding this announcement is the inclusion of Intel's latest Thunderbolt 4 controller, which looks to be the first time it has been implemented on an AM4 model. This is present on the rear panel of the ProArt B550-Creator with two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, a single DisplayPort input, four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. Also present on the rear panel is a pair of 2.5 GbE ports which ASUS hasn't specified which controller it's using, with a PS/2 combo port, one HDMI video output, and a small BIOS Flashback button. Finishing off the rear panel is five 3.5 mm audio jacks and single S/PDIF optical output, which is powered by a Realtek ALC1220A HD audio codec.

The ASUS ProArt B550-Creator motherboard is expected to be released sometime in April with an expected MSRP of $299. 

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  • Lestdog - Thursday, April 22, 2021 - link

    Not sure I agree that B550's are a cut down chipset. It's cheaper to make due to pcie 4.0 being absent on the chipset but ASUS probably has to ask some basic questions to make such a product marketable. I try to avoid chipset lanes in most cases no matter the tech and there's plenty very overclockable B550s that I would buy over X570s any day. You have to look at more than than the chipset names.. Are the VRMs solid? Do I have all the USB ports I want... just being X570 doesn't make it better by any stretch of the imagination. Reply
  • meacupla - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    I like how they put on a big heatsink with decent surface area for the chipset and then proceeded to cover it up with shiny plastic. Reply
  • Drkrieger01 - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    So long as the plastic isn't molded to the fins, it will act as a convection element. It would be best to mount this motherboard vertically (as pictured) to maximize the effect (heat rises) Reply
  • Operandi - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    Wow, I just now noticed that. Thats pretty stupid and is going to hurt thermals while also looking cheap. I'm sure it comes off easily enough but hopefully Asus does better next time. Reply
  • Chaitanya - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    Its not just chipset but also on VR heatsink(for once on an Asus motherboard there seems to be good surface area for heat dissipitation) that is covered by plastic cover. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Looks very metallic to me. Other Asus boards have all used metal heatsinks on the VRMs Reply
  • npz - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    I would be surprised if they did that. You know what it looks like?
    The thin adhesive film they use to protect surfaces that whoever took the photo forgot to remove.
    click for fullsize, enlarge the photo and look at the screws. It's covered over by the same film.
    Reply
  • Hul8 - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    > ASUS advertises the B550-Creator as including a 12+2 phase power delivery with teamed power stages ...

    Correction:

    Asus specifically and deliberately *doesn't* advertize it as "12+2 phases", but "teamed power stages comprised of a 12+2 VRM design". Nowhere in the post is the word "phase" used.

    Asus these days doesn't use phase doublers. Instead they team multiple sets of components per phase, so it's still (probably) 6 phases for the main CPU portion of the VRM.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with either design, but journalists shouldn't make up or alter the published specs where it's clear that was not what the manufacturer meant (due to the word "teamed"). This is an ongoing problem with motherboard announcements when reporting their VRM setup: replacing "power stage" with the word "phase", as if they meant the same or the numbers were always equal.
    Reply
  • gavbon - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    Hi Hul8.

    ASUS does advertise a 12+2 design because technically, the phases are physically there. This is how motherboard manufacturers have done things for a very long time now. On this particular model, on the official product page, they relate to both, but in both instances, they refer to 12+2. ASUS makes this claim; we do not. That is why I made it clear that ASUS advertises the fact.

    In relation to being teamed or using doublers, the phases are physically there. That means vendors can advertise them. If ASUS didn't want to advertise a 12+2 phase delivery for this board (which they do), they could have written it as 6+1 teamed. But they advertise it with 12+2 teamed.

    In summing it up, if they meant something, they should have said it. Again, that's why we make sure we onus on the vendor here as they are the ones who are advertising it. Whether that be with teamed power stages or doublers, it's still 12+2 because they are all physically present.
    Reply
  • Hul8 - Friday, March 12, 2021 - link

    I'm not disputing the "12+2" (power stage) part, but I can't find Asus referring to them as "phases" anywhere.

    Two power stages being in different "phases" would require them to be in different phase (in terms of the timing signal from the controller). Teamed ones share the exact same timing (only multiplying the capacity), so are in the same phase.

    Having 12+2 power stages does not imply that those are all in distinct phases, which is the exact reason ASUS doesn't even use the word "phase"; If they did they'd have to specify it having 6 phases (for the core portion), which doesn't sound nearly as impressive as "12+2 power stages".

    Please check the meaning of the word "phase" as it pertains to wave functions.
    Reply

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