ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming Review

ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming Review


There is a lot to take into account when considering adding the ASUS Strix B550-I Gaming into your arsenal. Indeed with the low price of some X570 motherboards, some high performance from bigger B550 platforms, and the elements that have had to be cut from the B550 chipset alongside the necessities of the ITX platform make the Strix an extremely niche product.

That isn’t a bad thing though. After all, if your checkbox list is; good stock performance, good connectivity, ASUS build quality, ITX format, then little else is going to hit those sweet spots. Additionally it’s worth bearing in mind that we always test with the same hardware to make sure that our comparisons are valid. There is no point in testing all of our motherboards with different processors because then all the graphs are invalidated, and whilst we could reduce them down to one or two models that we’ve tested with the same setup just for one particular product, that makes any comparisons pointless. Thus the Strix B550-I was tested with the very beefy Ryzen 9 3900X, a processor which is comfortably at the top end – and probably above – what anyone would likely use in their build on this PCB. So whilst we had difficulties getting a usable, worthwhile overclock on the system, for the majority of people who’ll use a Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 5 in their build it should be capable of overclocking way above the 4.25 GHz we managed on the twelve core beast. These overclocking efforts were further stymied by the lack of VRM temperatures. We’ve mentioned it to them countless times, but like a cross-dressing gardener they are digging in their heels. Given that we’ve never experienced VRM temperatures on an ASUS motherboard that are the root of an overclocking problem we’d hope that they’d be more willing to show off their hard work in choosing the right components. It is what it is. So to wrap up its capable of handling a stock 3990X but we dont really see the benfit of going for a full manual overclock with one on this board. If tweaking is what youre about it would probably be much better suited to one of the CPU’s with less cores which you have plenty of options to choose from. If you want to go for a huge overclock with a 3900X or the 3950X then the ROG X570 Impact is the way to go.

Away from the problems you get if you try and overclock a 12 core monster on the Strix, the stock performance is on par with the other B550 motherboards we’ve tested, and on some occasions a little bit ahead. Certainly if, as is likely with an ITX motherboard, you’re wanting to just build it and get on with the business of using it then there are no chinks in it’s armour. It has a good selection of USB ports, in both Type-A and Type-C, as well as 2 M.2 NVMe slots for your fast transfer pleasure. Networking is handled by both an Intel I225V 2.5Gb LAN port and the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 that ensures you’ve plenty of bandwidth in these modern digital days. Especially as a lot of AAA games will thrash even the fastest download connections for the best part of an hour.

It is also worth taking a moment to appreciate the layout of the Strix B550-I. So often with ITX motherboard the designers have to put things wherever they can, which makes keeping your case tidy far more of an effort than it would be on a larger form factor. The Strix though has all the front panel elements in the same place, and the headers for the CPU, AIO and System fans are all next to each other. Additionally the lighting headers – an RGB and an addressable – sit next to those at the top end of the PCB. ASUS have definitely made the most of the available space, and taken the user experience into account too. It’s just a shame that the VRM temperatures are hidden and, in our time with it, the active VRM fan never span up, nor could we force it to in the software.

Solidly built with good performance and as much connectivity as anyone could expect to find on a motherboard that is, by necessity, a cut down version of a chipset that is already a cut down version of AMDs flagship Ryzen chipset, the ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming wins our OC3D Gamers Choice award. Just be aware that at a shade over £200 there are many X570 options you could get instead – such as the ASUS Prime – if you don’t demand the space saving nature of the ITX format.

ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming Review  

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