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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  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    That rear IO on a mITX would be fantastic.
  • tyger11 - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - link

    Are there any TB4 pcie cards yet?
  • Eliadbu - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link
  • Desierz - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Needs an ASUS board with "Thunderbolt readiness header". Searched for Thunderbolt in my ASUS mobo manual, but nothing came up. Perhaps it's only for x5xx and upwards. I have a 470 board.
  • Desierz - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Checked out the Gigabyte one (GC-TITAN RIDGE), and it too seems to be tied to Gigabyte mobos. I wonder why. There are 3rd party stuff, but they seem to be crappy compared to these from ASUS and Gigabyte.
  • repoman27 - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    The GC-TITAN-RIDGE is a Thunderbolt 3 (not 4) add-in card, but I believe it will work on pretty much any platform. There are reports over at of using those cards with Intel Macs, for instance.
  • 29a - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Asrock offers something similar for their boards.
  • Eliadbu - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    My asus x299 prime deluxe has that header.
  • hubick - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Yeah, I have an Asus Zenith II Extreme w Threadripper and desperately want a Thunderbolt card, as I boot Linux from an external SSD (Lacie Rugged SSD Pro, JHL7440 chip), which runs at full Thunderbolt speed on my laptop but is stuck in fallback USB 10gbps mode on my AMD workstation, which sucks. Bring on the TB4 cards already!
  • 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.

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