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Review: ASUS ProArt B550-Creator Motherboard

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ASUS’ ProArt series has been known for years for quality products aimed at content creators. The company recently announced the new ProArt B550-Creator motherboard, which supports the latest AMD Ryzen series of processors. The motherboard speeds up jobs such as 3D rendering and video post-production, in addition to working with and sharing large files.

In terms of design, the B550-Creator borrows design cues from its earlier iterations such as the ASUS ProArt Z490-Creator 10G, keeping the overall design simplistic with straight lines provided by a pair of rectangular M.2 and an L-shaped power delivery heatsink. The B550-Creator is also the first AMD AM4 motherboard and it benefits from Intel’s updated Thunderbolt 4 controller. You also get 12+2 phase power delivery and dual 2.5 GbE networking.

Keeping in line with its minimalist design, the motherboard also does not come with any integrated RGB LED lighting. In terms of connectivity options, the B550-Creator comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two Intel 2.5G Ethernet, and four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. Each of these Thunderbolt 4 ports delivers up to 40 Gbps of bidirectional bandwidth for the latest high-speed devices and drives. Thunderbolt 4 also supports up to two external 4K UHD displays or one 8K display.

Other ports on the motherboard include a PS/2 combo port, a DisplayPort In connector, an HDMI port, a collection of USB ports, and audio I/O. There is also an 8-pin EPS and 4-pin ATX CPU ProCool II power input combo that provides all the power your processor would ever need.

The motherboard also comes with four DDR4 memory slots for up to 128GB of memory, a pair of M.2 slots using the Asus Q-latch install  system (PCIe 4.0 x4), three PCIe x16 and two PCIe x1 expansion slots, four SATA ports, and Realtek’s ALC1220A premium audio solution. You also get a BIOS Flashback Button which can help with troubleshooting along with the Asus QLED POST system.

The AM4 socket on the motherboard can take in AMD Ryzen 5000 Series, 4000 G-Series, and 3000 Series desktop processors. In terms of performance, the B550-Creator delivers, irrespective of whether the job at hand is video editing, rendering, compiling, or even batch conversions. Since the B550-Creator comes packed with teamed power stages through the use of a 12+2 VRM design and ProCool II power connectors, you get all the power required for the B550-Creator. Meanwhile, two large VRM multi finned/ridged heatsinks, keep the VRM cool.

The B550-Creator also comes with an isolated audio codec, the ALC 1220A featuring shielding, audio-grade capacitors, and an integrated amplifier. Hence, you get a high-quality audio experience, when listening to music, watching movies, and so on. Furthermore, ASUS’ AiNoise Canceling feature helps in improving audio quality by filtering out noises and distractions whether it be on your mic or incoming audio.

The ProArt Creator Hub on the other hand offers a clean and modern UI for monitoring and management while also offering integration for calibration with ASUS ProArt monitors. In addition, it also simplifies workflows with convenient features such as Task Grouping.

You can also assign multiple apps to a group and launch them simultaneously. You also get some hardware features such as a pre-mounted IO shield, ASUS M.2 Q-Latch for simple and tool-free M.2 installation, QLED for quick visual POST troubleshooting, and more.

If you are a content creator who needs ultra-fast USB and Thunderbolt connectivity alongside stable and reliable operation, good overall performance under trying conditions, and a boatload of connectivity options, the B550-Creator is the one for you. The ASUS ProArt B550-Creator Motherboard is thus, highly recommended.

Price: $299

ASUS ProArt B550-Creator Motherboard $299
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The AM4 socket on the motherboard can take in AMD Ryzen 5000 Series, 4000 G-Series, and 3000 Series desktop processors. In terms of performance, the B550-Creator delivers, irrespective of whether the job at hand is video editing, rendering, compiling, or even batch conversions.

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AMD Announces Zen 4 Dragon Range and Phoenix APUs for 2023

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AMD has released an updated roadmap detailing the chipmaker’s Zen 4 plans. Dragon Range and Phoenix are mobile Zen 4 APUs that will replace AMD’s existing Ryzen 6000 (Rembrandt) product line. Dragon Range will power enthusiast gaming laptops, whereas Phoenix targets thin and light gaming devices. Surprisingly, AMD didn’t specify what process node or the type of graphics that Dragon Range and Phoenix could be using. For reference, Rembrandt is on TSMC’s 6nm manufacturing process and wields RDNA 2 graphics.

According to the AMD, Dragon Range will feature the “highest core, thread, and cache ever for a mobile gaming CPU.” Although AMD didn’t specify just how many Zen 4 cores, rumor has it that Dragon Range could potentially sport up to 16 cores, which would be insane for a gaming or workstation laptop.

Feature-wise, Dragon Range and Phoenix arrive with PCIe 5.0 support. The former, however, leverages DDR5 memory while the latter is on LPDDR5 memory. Ex-Anandtech editor Ian Cutress has confirmed with AMD that the Zen 4 chips’ “exact mem support may include other technologies to be announced later.” Furthermore, since the APUs compete in different segments, they adhere to specific thermal limits. Dragon Range, for example, features a TDP of 55W and higher, whereas Phoenix plays within the 35W to 45W range.

AMD has already given the hardware world a small teaser of Ryzen 7000 (Raphael), so we already know the processors will arrive before the end of the year to replace the Ryzen 5000 (Vermeer) stack. Like its other Zen 4 brethren, Raphael boasts support for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 while debuting with a 65W+ TDP.

Raphael will hit the shelves in the second half of the year, and if AMD’s illustration is accurate, we may be looking at a late launch in September. In a nutshell, Raphael brings Zen 4 to the mainstream market, commanding TSMC’s 5nm process node and a new AM5 platform. Unfortunately, the AM5 platform may be costly for consumers as we’ve confirmed with multiple sources that Raphael only supports DDR5 memory, which currently carries a hefty premium.

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CORSAIR Launches VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM Memory

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CORSAIR today announced a new addition to its lineup of cutting-edge DDR5 memory: VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM. Optimized for the latest DDR5 gaming and performance laptops and small-form-factor PCs, these modules deliver groundbreaking DDR5 performance to compatible systems. Launching initially in speeds up to 4,800MHz and capacities up to 64GB (2x32GB), VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM pushes the boundaries of laptop and small-form-factor memory performance.

Modern DDR5 gaming laptops such as the Alienware x17 R2, MSI Raider GE66 12UHS, and Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 need high-caliber memory to fully realize their performance potential. DDR5 ensures that today’s high-end CPUs receive data as quickly as possible, elevating system speeds and processing power to greater heights. VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM modules harness the faster frequencies and greater capacities of DDR5 to improve load times and multitasking in a wide range of popular laptops* and small-form-factor PCs, so you can bring DDR5 performance wherever you go.

Installing and setting up VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM is quick and easy – just a screwdriver is required to install in most laptops. For high-speed kits, the modules’ performance advantages are immediate, as they automatically set to maximum speed on compatible systems without needing to tinker with BIOS settings.

Continuing the CORSAIR tradition of superior DRAM quality and reliability, VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM modules are built with only hand-sorted, tightly-screened memory chips to ensure consistent high-frequency performance, along with high-performance PCBs for excellent signal quality and stability. A limited lifetime warranty grants you peace of mind that your new memory will last throughout your laptop’s lifespan and beyond.

If you’re looking to improve the performance and memory capacity of your new laptop or SFF PC, look no further than VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM. CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM Memory is available immediately from the CORSAIR webstore and the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors. For up-to-date availability information, please refer to the CORSAIR website or contact your local CORSAIR sales or PR representative.

CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 SODIMM Memory is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, alongside the CORSAIR worldwide customer service and technical support network.

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Review: ASUS TUF Gaming Motherboard B660-Plus WiFi D4

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The new ASUS TUF Gaming B660-Plus WiFi D4 motherboard is a capable mid-range option that takes all the essential elements of the latest 12th Gen Intel processors and provides you with an ATX motherboard that is game-ready. It is aimed at those planning to upgrade their PCs with new Alder Lake CPUs while maintaining DDR4 memory at a good price.

The motherboard also comes with a 10 + 1 phase VRM and an Intel Socket LGA1700 for 12th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors. It also comes with three M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots that support high-end SSDs, and one PCIe 5.0 slot.

Inside the packaging, you get the Asus TUF Gaming B660-Plus WiFi D4 motherboard, two SATA 6Gb/s cables, one ASUS Wi-Fi moving antenna, two M.2 rubber packages, one M.2 SSD screw package, one support DVD, one TUF Certification card, and one user guide. Since ASUS knows this motherboard will be used for gaming setups, it covers everything when it comes to the cooling capability of the motherboard.

There’s an enlarged VRM heatsink included that covers the VRMs and chokes to improve heat dissipation. You also get an enlarged PCH heatsink, that maximises performance and heat dissipation.

In addition, the three M.2 slots also come with dedicated heatsinks, which keep M.2 SSDs at optimal operating temperatures to ensure consistent performance and reliability. TUF GAMING B660 motherboards also feature comprehensive fan controls that can be configured via the Fan Xpert 4 utility or the ASUS UEFI BIOS.

The B660-Plus WiFi D4 motherboard supports WiFi 6 wireless networking standard, which is compatible with the 802.11ax standard and pushes theoretical peak bandwidth up to 2.4 Gbps. There’s also a 2.5 Gb Ethernet onboard that gives your wired connection a boost with speeds that are up to 2.5x faster than standard Ethernet connections.

There are four DIMM slots onboard, each of which supports a maximum capacity of 128GB of DDR4 memory. In terms of display ports, you get one DisplayPort 1.4 that supports 4K@60Hz, and an HDMI 2.1 port that supports 4K@60Hz. There are also four SATA 6Gb/s ports on the motherboard.

In terms of USB ports, there are a total of six ports on the rear. This includes one USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2×2 port, one USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, three USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and one USB Type-A 2.0 port. On the front, you get a total of seven ports which include one USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 header that supports an additional of two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and two USB 2.0 headers that support an additional four USB 2.0 ports.

For audio, you get the Realtek 7.1 Surround Sound High Definition Audio CODEC, which supports up to 24-Bit/192 kHz playback. The motherboard also comes with all sorts of ASUS TUF Protection features including ESD Guards, TUF LANGuard, Safeslot, and so on. The motherboard also supports AURA Sync which lets you jazz your build-up a bit.

In order to check the overall performance of the motherboard, we tested it against a few games such as The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, GTA V. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Watch Dogs: Legion. We experienced consistent performance across the board. The ASUS TUF Gaming Motherboard B660-Plus WiFi D4 is a very capable mid-ranger if you are looking to upgrade your PC setup on a strict budget.

With the ASUS TUF Gaming Motherboard B660-Plus WiFi D4, you will have a high-quality base for a gaming PC of almost any complexity. However, you may have to do without the possibility of overclocking the CPU and allowing you to install not more than one video card on the setup. For a price of AED 899.99, the ASUS TUF Gaming Motherboard B660-Plus WiFi D4 motherboard is truly worth the investment.

Price: AED 899.99

ASUS TUF Gaming Motherboard B660-Plus WiFi D4 AED 899.99
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

In order to check the overall performance of the motherboard, we tested it against a few games such as The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, GTA V. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Watch Dogs: Legion. We experienced consistent performance across the board. The ASUS TUF Gaming Motherboard B660-Plus WiFi D4 is a very capable mid-ranger if you are looking to upgrade your PC setup on a strict budget.

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