Biostar has launched its latest AMD B550-based board, the B550M-Silver. Aimed at gamers looking to use AMD's latest Ryzen 5000 processors, it brings a host of premium features to the micro-ATX form factor with USB 3.2 G2 connectivity, a Realtek 2.5 Gb Ethernet controller, Wi-Fi 6, and PCIe 4.0 support. 

Over the last couple of years, premium AMD micro-ATX boards have been few and far between, with the majority of vendors opting to release their micro-ATX models on the more budget-friendly chipsets such as AMD's A520. The micro-ATX form factor typically offers a convenient compromise, with more expansion slot support than the smaller mini-ITX form factor, but without the overall footprint of ATX. Based on the AMD B550 chipset, the Biostar B550M-Silver offers out of the box support for Ryzen 5000 processors, with support for Ryzen 3000 chips too.

Focusing on the design, the Biostar B550M-Silver uses a wave of silver heatsinks, including a large rear panel cover, which doubles up as one section of the power delivery heatsink. It includes no integrated RGB LED lighting nor any RGB headers, which is either quite strange or a welcome relief given how common RGB is these days in boards aimed at gamers.

The Biostar B550M-Silver includes dual PCIe M.2 slots, with the top slot capable of supporting up to PCIe 4.0 x4 2280 M.2 drives, while the second slot includes support for PCIe 3.0 x4; both of these slots can accommodate SATA based SSDs. For SATA, Biostar includes six SATA ports, with two straight-angled and four right-angled ports, with support for RAID 0, 1, 10 arrays. There are four memory slots with support for DDR4-4933, with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB. 

There are two full-length slots at PCIe support, including a PCIe 4.0 x16 and a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, with a PCIe 3.0 x1 slot sandwiched in between. Located under the full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot is a Key-E 2230 slot, although the board already includes an integrated wireless module.

On the rear panel is a variety of connections, including a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. There is a trio of video outputs including an HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI-D for use with AMD's 3rd gen APUs, while the board's three 3.5 mm audio jacks are powered by an older Realtek ALC1150 HD audio codec. A PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port sits above the USB 2.0 ports, while a single RJ45 port is powered by a Realtek RTL8125B 2.5 GbE controller, while Biostar is using an unspecified wireless interface with support for Wi-Fi 6. 

At present, we don't know when the Biostar B550M-Silver will hit retail shelves, nor do we have information in regards to the pricing.

Update - Biostar has informed us that the B550M-Silver has an MSRP of $119, which represents fantastic value with 2.5 GbE and Wi-Fi 6 networking.

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Source: Biostar

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  • fcth - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    It's pretty weird that vendors are still skipping these though of course uptake from case manufacturers has also been slow (I was annoyed that my Fractal Design Define Mini-C didn't have a type-C port when I got it two and a half years ago, and it's still not an option now). And of course you'd also think you could get the header on a PCI-E add in card, but that seems also not to be a thing.
  • dontlistentome - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    DVI? What's the point when a $5 DP or HDMI adaptor gives DVI (you can guarantee it's not dual link DVI).
    Also ... 1 USB C? Why is it not also displayport?
    Audio - no optical out? Make the 2nd port a 4 channel breakout and replace the 3rd with the optical port.
  • Lucky Stripes 99 - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    The product manual confirms that the video ports are DVI-D-SL, DP 1.2, and HDMI 1.4. So power users who need a DVI-D-DL port are out of luck without an expensive aftermarket adapter. That said, I'm more annoyed that the HDMI port is limited to 2160p30. That makes the board unsuitable for use with UHD/4K home theater setups or 4K monitors with HDMI based KVMs.
  • jeremyshaw - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    If I had to guess, HDMI 2.0 and above probably require signal retimers, whereas 1.4 could probably be run directly from the SoC/socket. Same with DP 1.2 vs 1.3/1.4/2.0's supported frequencies.
  • fcth - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    Honestly, optical out is pretty useless given that even boards with it don't support realtime encoding. Means that while you can pass through the stream for some pre-recorded media, you can't actually get more than two channel PCM out of the board for games and the like. There is apparently a hacked Realtek driver out there that enables some sort Dolby encoding for Realtek codecs that don't have it enabled, but loading some random unsigned driver seems like a bad idea.
  • jeremyshaw - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    Yeah, that encoding issue is annoying.

    Though I just want to pass audio to my receiver without using a second HDMI connection (which is a whole host of problems in Windows). Won't be passtroughing my receiver, either, since my monitor uses displayport. SPDIF resolves that pretty easily. So could analog, though if I was stuck with 2 channel audio, might as well use a digital connection and tap the DAC in my receiver.
  • ZPrime - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    Anybody remember the nVidia nForce chipsets? They could do realtime analog -> 5.1 DD encoding. Was so nice if you had a proper surround system for games, back before HDMI was a thing and your choices were 3 crappy 3.5mm into analog-ins, or spdif.

    That said, now you just do it all over HDMI and it generally goes bitstream out into a receiver, at least if you have a "real" surround setup at home...
  • Samus - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    Personally I just want a motherboard with 12 USB ports on the back and no video I/O. Very few people buying this board are going to use integrated graphics. Even if they added more USB, there would be room for a single DP or something.
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    "Very few people buying this board are going to use integrated graphics."

    Virtually zero, I'd say, since you can't actually buy a CPU with integrated graphics that works on this board without grey market OEM parts.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    Turns out some B550 boards do support even as old as Raven Ridge, let alone Pinnacle Ridge

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