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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  • akvadrako - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    What is "DP IN" ? That sounds pretty interesting. Reply
  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    For the Thunderbolt. Reply
  • lmcd - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    Yea the host system doesn't see that port at all afaik. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    So you can output video from your PCI Express graphics card through the Thunderbolt ports. You use a short DisplayPort cable to go from the video card's output port to this port on the motherboard, then your Thunderbolt 5K monitor or Thunderbolt dock will get video properly, while still using the Thunderbolt features. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    At some point it'd be nice if Intel's TB team would work with their GPU designers along with AMD and NVidia to design an internal connection standard to replace that external kludge. Reply
  • Hul8 - Sunday, March 7, 2021 - link

    Some ASRock motherboards and GPUs used to have internal regular DisplayPort connectors for this purpose (motherboard DP in, GPU DP out), so doesn't require any special connector. Too many of those already.

    I think they phased it out because no other manufacturer started doing it, so taking advantage of the feature would require pairing an ASRock motherboard with an ASRock (Radeon) GPU. Not only would they be wasting one of their GPU's DP connectors in a place where most people wouldn't have use for it, the motherboard input would be hard to access using any other manufacturer's (Nvidia-based perhaps) GPU.
    Reply
  • rickeo - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    DisplayPort input. With Thunderbolt if you want to include a display stream in that connection, you have to run your GPU out to the DisplayPort input on the motherboard. Then, if you use a Thunderbolt dock or display, you can get video out of the Thunderbolt port. Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    If they would release an mITX version of this with TB4 I would buy it in a heartbeat. Seems like the ultimate AM4 board. Reply
  • darckhart - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    +1 Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    I agree. Even if they need to sacrifice some things (obviously 2x DIMMs and all but one PCIe slot will go) but mounting an M2 on the back or both vertically and/or losing one of the 2.5G ports would still make a legit ITX board. They might still be able to keep the TB4 + 2x2.5G ports if they put the controllers on the underside of the PCB.

    But as it is this looks like a really good board and the price isn't ridiculous.
    Reply

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