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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  • KimGitz - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    This will make a good Audio and Video Workstation with a 16 core Ryzen, a decent GPU if you can find one, a Thunderbolt audio interface and a Thunderbolt video capture and playback device.
    Glad to see more Thunderbolt especially version 4 support with AMD designs.
    Reply
  • Eliadbu - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Intel is not stopping manufacturers to do so, but I doubt they help them them bringing it to competitor's platform. They just need to comply with the certification and do all the integration work by themselves. Reply
  • KimGitz - Monday, March 15, 2021 - link

    Well Intel released the Maple Ridge Thunderbolt 4/USB4 controller in December 2020, even though all of their CPUs these days come with it integrated, why is that? I think there is enough support to implement the Maple Ridge Controller with AMD Ryzen CPUs plus the certification process makes for a rock solid performance. AMD has recent struggled with USB. Reply
  • Xajel - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Seeing this, and knowing there are multiple TB3 AM4 motherboards out there, but still no TB3/4 in any AMD Laptop, it seems that intel is doing some tricks to not have TB on AMD laptops. I hope AnandTech can ask deeper with OEMs on why is this.

    But regardless of that, this motherboard looks great for workstations, I wonder if they will make a x570 version of it, even though it will not matter.
    Reply
  • danjw - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Thunderbolt 4 = USB4 40GBps + Intel Certification. So, it looks like this will also be the first AMD board supporting USB4! Reply
  • repoman27 - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    What you say is true, but it should also be noted that Thunderbolt 4 = USB4 + Thunderbolt 3 Alternate Mode + additional Intel requirements and certification.

    USB4 does not require hosts or devices to support Thunderbolt interoperability, whereas Thunderbolt 4 obviously does.
    Reply
  • KimGitz - Monday, March 15, 2021 - link

    Actually USB4 = (Thunderbolt 3 - Intel certification).

    Removing the need for Intel certification means Thunderbolt 3 specific features are optional and the minimum spec is even lower than Thunderbolt 3.

    Remember both USB4 and DisplayPort 2.0 are taking advantage of Intel making good on their promise for Thunderbolt 3 to be open and royalty free allowing it to be used as the underlying technology.

    The physical layer for DisplayPort 2.0, DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0, and USB4 is based on Thunderbolt 3.

    Thunderbolt 4 = (USB4 + Intel Certification)

    Intel certification for Thunderbolt 4 increases the minimum spec over both Thunderbolt 3 and USB4.
    Reply
  • anad0commenter - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Uh.. PS/2 port? I am confused seeing this in 2021.. Anyone can shed light on the point of it compared to just sticking in a usb m/kb? Reply
  • danjw - Saturday, March 6, 2021 - link

    They have lower latency than USB. More a gamer thing, than an artist thing, but often the two are the same. Reply

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