Asrock B550 PG RIPTIDE review
A high-tidal flow AM4 motherboard?
Meet the Asrock B550 PG RIPTIDE motherboard. It’s a mid-tier ATX product from the Phantom Gaming series. According to Asrock - Riptide is named after a specific kind of water current with strong waves in the ocean, representing the philosophy of the sea’s double-side, calm and unlimited strength. Built around powerful gaming-related features, the Riptide has given a powerful smash and immerse users in the sense of stability. This is a 30.5 x 24.4 cm ATX-factor product equipped with a B550 chipset, and it offers such features as a 10-phase power design (Dr. MOS) and 1x 2.5 Gigabit ethernet (Killer Ethernet E3100). The design is rather attractive, with a consistent black-and-grey theme. MSRP is at about 160 USD, so it’s reasonably priced.
As for the features that make it stand out from the crowd, well, there aren’t too many. The major one is ASRock Graphics Card Holder – which enables you to install your heavy graphics card; connect it to your motherboard and chassis with screws. Flexible slide up and down to adjust the height required for your graphics card in place. There are also “Lightning Game Ports.” - aimed at die-hard gamers and enthusiasts and are sourced from two different controller interfaces that assist gamers in connecting the high-speed mice/keyboard with the lower jitter and latency. The board has one PCIe slot with ‘reinforced steel. It is PCIe 4.0 x16, while the other two full-length are locked to PCIe 3.0 x4 and PCIe 3.0 x1. Complementing them is a piece of PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. As for the audio, you get the Realtek® ALC897 codec, which is a major step backward as compared with other B550 boards, which are equipped with ALC1220. The power section is decent. You can see that it’s a 10-phase design (with 60A Power Chokes) that should handle most CPUs, but we’ve doubts if it’ll manage the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X properly (but it’s only an assumption). The 5900X is the best safe bet. There is some good information for RGB fans: two regular RGB LED headers (+12 V), and two addressable RGB LED headers (+5 V). The lighting can be controlled with the Asrock Polychrome Sync program.
So, what does B550 mean in reality? The B series are typically business (quick add-in) or consumer-grade motherboards. Still, some say the B stands for ‘budget.’ Alongside the Ryzen 3 3000 series, there is the X570 chipset and the B550 chipset for AM4 processors. The x16 slot and one M.2 slot still support PCIe Gen 4.0. The processor provides this, so you need a Ryzen 3000 chip to take advantage of this feature. Older procs will offer PCIe Gen 3.0, and the B550 chipset and DMI uplink otherwise are all PCIe Gen 3.0 as well. The board has one reinforced x16 PCIe Gen 4.0 graphics slot and four RAM banks for up to 128 GB of DRAM, with max OC rated at 4933+ MHz. The board, as stated, is positioned in the mid-tier of what is considered the mainstream segment, and it looks sleek. Let’s have a closer look then, shall we?