ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ax Motherboard Review

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ax motherboard. This is one of the first mini-ITX motherboard we’ve tested in our labs that features the B550 chipset, and supports all 3rd Gen Ryzen processors.

What makes B550 motherboards so appealing, is the fact that it’s cheaper than the X570, it supports PCIE 4.0, and comes with good overclocking options, as well as support for future Ryzen 4000 CPUs. Now that’s something which we didn’t expect from a mainstream chipset. But there is one more thing that this motherboard has, that makes it even more attractive. What is it? …  Well, the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ax is the only ITX motherboard that I’ve seen that features two M.2 slots for SSDs. One Hyper M.2 (PCIE 4.0/Gen4) and the other, Ultra M.2 (PCIE 3.0/Gen3). Most mini-ITX motherboards that I’ve come across only come with one M.2 slot. 

The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ax can support memory speeds of up to DDR4 5100+(OC) and comes with reinforced steel slot PCIE 4.0 x16 and two M.2 slots for your SSDs. There’s also the 7.1 CH HD Audio (Nahimic Audio), Intel 2.5GB LAN, Wifi 6 – 802.11ax, as well as of course, the ASRock Polychrome Sync and their Super Alloy feature.

And on the subject of Super Alloy … you get all the usual features such as the XXL Aluminum heatsinks, Dr.MOS, 8 power phase design, premium 90A power chokes, and the 2oz copper/matte black/glass fabric PCB. On the connectivity front, you get dual display output (HDMI and DisplayPort), dual USB 3.2 Gen2 (Type-A and C) and an additional 4 more USB 3.0 ports.

 

 

If you’re not too sure what the main differences are between the X570 and the B550 chipset, here is an easy chart for comparison. Basically, the X570 offer full PCIE Gen4 support for both the General Purpose Lanes and CPU chipset uplinks, which will allow for faster performance. While the B550 can only provide PCIE Gen3 support for those lanes.  

And to be honest, you’ll won’t see that much of a difference in performance between the two. One of the main advantages of the B550 chipset, is that their motherboards are cheaper and attractively priced, while offering similar performance to the X570.

 

 

 

I would like to thank ASRock for providing the review sample. This is a snippet from what ASRock has to say about themselves on their website:

ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, “Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness”, the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept.

ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard brand with headquarter in Taipei, Taiwan and branches in Europe and the USA. The young and vibrant company targets from mainstream to enthusiast MB segments for different kinds of users, owning reputation around the world market with its reliability and proficiency.

Phantom Gaming is designed by gamers and for gamers! Underneath its relentless appearance lie plentiful gaming oriented features and excellent gaming capabilities. It’s all about bringing a new gaming experience to gamers!

 

We’ll be testing the motherboard using trusted AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor featuring 8 cores/16 threads, 16GB of Thermaltake Toughram DDR-3200, along with a Zotac GeForce RTX 2080 AMP Extreme Core. So what can we expect? … Well, based on our previous B550 motherboard reviews that we done in the past, I’m expecting some decent scores during our benchmark tests.  

We’ve already reviewed its sibling, the X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3, which uses the higher-end X570 chipset and it proved to be a very good motherboard. Let’s see if the B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ax can match it in terms of performance.

Let’s not waste any more time and begin with a look at the specifications and features on the next page. You can buy the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming ITX/ax motherboard for around USD $199.99 from Amazon – https://amzn.to/3iQtvB9

 

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About Winston 5475 Articles
Winston has over 20 years of experience in the I.T. Industry. He launched Funky Kit with the aim to capture a wider audience worldwide. His knowledge in PC hardware is very distinguished, not only publishing enjoyable reviews but also writing great articles.