ASRock B450M PRO4 vs ASUS TUF B450M-Plus Gaming...or B550?

CLE_216

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While I wait like everyone else for components to be in stock again, I'm obsessing over the tiniest details over which motherboard to buy. My main concern is durability and stability and, well, ASRock's come a long way, right? They're still the red-headed stepchild of the motherboard brands, but I understand their products are much better these days (except maybe for that one A320). Don't care about RGBs or any of that eye candy stuff (seriously, what's up with that?). Though my current rig is overclocked (ancient Z68 board with i5-2500K), I have no intention of overclocking the Ryzen 5 3600 I'm going to buy.

So, as near as I can tell, the main differences between the two boards is that the ASRock has 1 more fan header for a total of 3 and a heatsink for its VRM. Its VRM, on the other hand, I guess is not *quite* as good as the ASUS board. Is that pretty much it? Anybody here have a favorite pony in this race? Better yet, anybody here using either board?

Or should I wait for a B550 board? Does going from PCIe 3.0 to 4.0 make that much a difference? It's likely to run hotter, right? I suppose I could wait anyway because by then the B450s will drop in price and more will be in stock (about a month away, last I heard).

Goal is to build a PC with a quality mobo to last me years.

Sell it to me. (Price, btw, is only a $10 difference, thank God for Microcenter...at least when they have their stuff in stock).
 

lukart

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Since the B450 is now back to compatible with the next gen AMDs I would say B450's would do fine, but I would get one with decent VRMs and a heatsink as the next gen might need better VRM and cooling.
 

CLE_216

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Since the B450 is now back to compatible with the next gen AMDs I would say B450's would do fine, but I would get one with decent VRMs and a heatsink as the next gen might need better VRM and cooling.
Yeah, saw that in the news. Quite the blowback! I’m glad, though it’s unlikely I’d upgrade the CPU anyway.

I now find myself looking long and hard at ASRock’s B450m Steel Legend. For $90, it looks like an unbeatable value, especially considering I have no intention of OC’ing.
 

somebrains

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Unless you needed something right now and had no zen3 upgrade plan I’d have to see a stellar deal on a b450 board to buy right now.

If you have any inclination to buy “the best” cpu for your use case as a bullet point I’d wait for B550.

There’s no blanket b450 4xxx update guarantee.
We won’t know which brand did a better job with their b450 board with respects to an AMD released bios target.
We won’t know which vendor did the best job tweaking that bios for your use case with respects to modifying the AMD released 4xxx b450 update.

Zen2 update wasn’t a bed of roses, search up some x370/b350 Zen2 threads.

Now onto building today, I’ve cranked a Garbo tier asrock b450m-HDV to 4.1 or 4.2 all core on a 1700x
Also done 4.3 all core on a 2600.
Was using an H115i, had plenty of airflow, was using a known good psu, known good ram.
Done the same on a Pro4 and played around with a 3200g trying to see what it’d do with its 3+3 with respects to frame time and framerate on APU alone.

I like the “junk” asrock boards bc I got them for literally nothing, so if I blew them I could care less.
Ran fine for over the year of gaming and flogging I put them thru.
I wouldn’t spend more than $50 for a Pro4 or $30 for an HDV.
 

CLE_216

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So I ended up buying the ASRock B450M Steel Legend motherboard. It's similar in a lot of ways to the PRO4, but I want it to last years, so I figure with higher quality capacitors, etc., on the Steel Legend, it's more likely to be much more durable. Also, I like the feature set on this board, especially the 3 fan headers instead of 2 like on so many other boards. It should look pretty nifty in the Thermaltake V21 case I'm also buying. Next step...saving up for a 2060 Super video card, probably Black Friday!
 

somebrains

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One of the nice things about Noctua fans is the included splitters.
Makes the purchase price worthwhile in some situations.

I hope you didn't spend a lot on that board, b550 launch is a couple weeks away.
 

CLE_216

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One of the nice things about Noctua fans is the included splitters.
Makes the purchase price worthwhile in some situations.

I hope you didn't spend a lot on that board, b550 launch is a couple weeks away.
Nah, spent $100 after taxes and shipping. I considered waiting for the B550, but the type of gaming I do isn't very demanding at all, and I'm OK with turning off *some* eye candy. Besides, there's always bugs with every chipset launch and usually takes a solid year or so before it settles down into a stable platform.

As for the fan, I bought a decent and quiet one (Enermax ETS-N31 for just $20). I'm not overclocking, so the only interest I have is a quieter fan. This *is* a budget board, after all. Eventually I'll pony up for a nice 2060 or 2060 Super card when the prices drop (not long since the next round of new video cards is around the corner).
 

kirbyrj

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So I ended up buying the ASRock B450M Steel Legend motherboard. It's similar in a lot of ways to the PRO4, but I want it to last years, so I figure with higher quality capacitors, etc., on the Steel Legend, it's more likely to be much more durable. Also, I like the feature set on this board, especially the 3 fan headers instead of 2 like on so many other boards. It should look pretty nifty in the Thermaltake V21 case I'm also buying. Next step...saving up for a 2060 Super video card, probably Black Friday!
I have that board in one of my builds. I've had no issues with it. I run it with a 3600. Runs great. Good Luck with your Build!
 

CraigHB

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ASRock has been around for a while, but never tried one of their boards. I've been using Gigabyte for quite a while now, but they don't seem to have the edge they used to. Not particularly impressed with the x570 board I'm using from them. Asus seems over-priced and MSI has had complaints about quality until recently. How is that ASRock, they make good stuff now?
 

sirmonkey1985

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ASRock has been around for a while, but never tried one of their boards. I've been using Gigabyte for quite a while now, but they don't seem to have the edge they used to. Not particularly impressed with the x570 board I'm using from them. Asus seems over-priced and MSI has had complaints about quality until recently. How is that ASRock, they make good stuff now?
they're boards have probably the best feature options for their price range in my opinion. only complaint i have is their bios update process sucks and sometimes they'll release bios on random forums but never actually post them on their support page even though they're considered official bios. msi's problem is their questionable component choices on their low/mid range stuff along with weird ass bios bugs that honestly shouldn't exist like the whole 1.5v cpu voltage at idle that stuck around all the way until 1.0.0.3ABBA bios even though everyone else fixed it with the 1.0.0.3 bios and further reduced it with the .3ABBA bios. gigabyte's gotten a lot better since their abysmal 300 series boards.
 

CLE_216

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ASRock has been around for a while, but never tried one of their boards. I've been using Gigabyte for quite a while now, but they don't seem to have the edge they used to. Not particularly impressed with the x570 board I'm using from them. Asus seems over-priced and MSI has had complaints about quality until recently. How is that ASRock, they make good stuff now?
Currently have a Gigabyte Z68 board running on my rig now. Durable! Time to upgrade, though. After living with that motherboard for years, I realized it was probably overkill for my needs, although I did use SLI for a while on it and added a USB hub and WiFi adapter. I intend to make this build pretty simple.

ASRock, from what I read, is now nipping at the heels of the big dogs. If I had a knock on them, it's their questionable warranty policy. Otherwise, the features they offer for the value is very hard to beat. Maybe the only weakness on the board I just bought is a good, but not great, VRM. Then again, I'm not overclocking, so it's irrelevant to me apart from durability.
 

somebrains

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Nah, spent $100 after taxes and shipping. I considered waiting for the B550, but the type of gaming I do isn't very demanding at all, and I'm OK with turning off *some* eye candy. Besides, there's always bugs with every chipset launch and usually takes a solid year or so before it settles down into a stable platform.

As for the fan, I bought a decent and quiet one (Enermax ETS-N31 for just $20). I'm not overclocking, so the only interest I have is a quieter fan. This *is* a budget board, after all. Eventually I'll pony up for a nice 2060 or 2060 Super card when the prices drop (not long since the next round of new video cards is around the corner).
Ok you acknowledged what I learned when I got into Ryzen builds right before the 1903 patch released.

Hopefully you used a credit card with price protection. I got bit for $20 a few weeks ago when Newegg was pushing 300a cases thru their eBay store, then knocked $10 off and there was a $10 rebate thru their normal store when availability shifted.

Your build path should be ideal bc you are treading on known good vs the usual early adopter minefield.

Just be glad you aren't waiting for OS patches as well as hardware updates like the TR1 guys thru their lifecycle
 

pavel

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How expensive are B550 motherboards going to be? Did anyone see that price list of Asus b550 boards? Holy ***!! :-(
 

kirbyrj

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How expensive are B550 motherboards going to be? Did anyone see that price list of Asus b550 boards? Holy ***!! :-(
They are "supposed" to be near the same pricing as current B450 boards (e.g. $70-80 for the low end and $120-150 for the high end). I haven't looked to see, but I would guess there's going to be some price gouging at launch.
 

CraigHB

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I wouldn't hold my breath, I still have issues with my x570 BIOS after a year plus of production. Damn thing pitches a spaz if I disable CSM among various other annoyances. I have zero interest in booting from MBR media, why oh why is it enabled by default. Anyway it's a Gigabyte board, lots and lots of BIOS complaints with those. I used to love Gigabyte, now I think they're shit. Maybe ASRock or MSI would do better in the BIOS department. I wouldn't consider Asus, just as many BIOS problems and over-priced.
 

pavel

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I wouldn't hold my breath, I still have issues with my x570 BIOS after a year plus of production. Damn thing pitches a spaz if I disable CSM among various other annoyances. I have zero interest in booting from MBR media, why oh why is it enabled by default. Anyway it's a Gigabyte board, lots and lots of BIOS complaints with those. I used to love Gigabyte, now I think they're shit. Maybe ASRock or MSI would do better in the BIOS department. I wouldn't consider Asus, just as many BIOS problems and over-priced.
I agree. The lower tier x570-p is probably the only Asus board I would consider and only if it's at a decent price. Also, the B450 itx rog strix. But, that's it. It sounds like their b550 boards are going to be overpriced. All of them.

All the makes have bios issues. AMD and their motherboard manufacturers are really struggling regarding the bios.

Btw, I would pick the pro4 over the Steel legend since the vrm is a bit better, apparently.
 

CraigHB

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All the makes have bios issues.
Really?, guess I shouldn't be so hard on Gigabyte then. Still it's frustrating things don't work as well as they should. I mean my system works fine, but there's stuff I have to avoid doing in the BIOS.
 

p05ta1

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I am still on a Asus prime X370 pro board with Ryzen 7 1700. I seen gamerNexus videos saying most venders have like 1 Tech working on bios per company.
Still I have had no real issues with them, minus the ram timing speeds in this setup. I think that is more to do with the 1st gen Ryzen.

I am planning on a 550 board with a Ryzen 7 3800x soon.
Son getting these parts ( he will just buy new ram ) from a FX8120 setup.
 
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somebrains

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I'm underwhelmed by the mini/micro/light Ryzen 2 bios implementation on the b450 Tomahawk. That's all I got, seems like everytime I get a b450 board nicer than a $60 retail ASRock it's a Tomahawk with a Zen2 bios on it. Had 5 of them go thru my hands bc the last owner gave up on them. Luckily all but 1 got reourposed into a basic first gaming box for someone's kid. The one I'm annoyed by is sitting on my kitchen table waiting to go to someone's adult kid I'm confident is going to play videogames and do nothing else up to and including maintaining it.

I had to reinstall Corsair icue to run an aio instead of my usual set fan curves + pump to 100% in Mobo software bc this one was rocking a 3900x I didn't care for under a U14s. Yes MSI says all the functions are in the light bios, no I have never been about to adjust their preset curves.

That's a nugget of annoyance somewhere that'll make a person dump a perfectly good board for quality of life reasons. We aren't all running a base Target that whoever wrote the bios update said "good enough" and moved on.

Yeah, a limited bios has forced me back to air cooling bc I don't like listening to jet engines.

If it was me I'd wait for b550 unless you are one of my friends kids. Then it's a 1 and done kind of deal so you have to live with the best thing I can slap together in that moment.

Pro4 has been a fave bc they were cheap or free and APU builds seem to generate less comms for me. Kids are happy wallowing in Fortnite, Roblox, whatever Epic is giving away. Maybe there's something to the +3 vrm specifically for APU use.
 
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sirmonkey1985

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I agree. The lower tier x570-p is probably the only Asus board I would consider and only if it's at a decent price. Also, the B450 itx rog strix. But, that's it. It sounds like their b550 boards are going to be overpriced. All of them.

All the makes have bios issues. AMD and their motherboard manufacturers are really struggling regarding the bios.

Btw, I would pick the pro4 over the Steel legend since the vrm is a bit better, apparently.
it's an issue on both sides, not specific to AMD. the only reason intel's gotten away with it for so long is that they re-hash the same chipset for 6 years but put a new name on it. there's very little added to them over the years that board makers don't have to do much.. then surprise lga 1200 comes out which is literally using the same rebranded z390 chipset and it's just an endless list of problems. some blame can be put on the board makers but at the end of the day most of the issues revolve around intel and amd's microcodes that are required in the bios and then the board makers having to work around that code to make their features work. as boards get more and more complicated along with more IO features being integrated directly into the cpu and chipset without having to use separate io specific controllers i only see it getting worse.. i mean hell just look at how many different USB options have to be supported on a board compared to say 7 or 8 years ago when you had USB 2.0 and 3.0 and that was about it. now you have USB 2.0, USB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.2x2, usb C and that's just USB, there's a heck of a lot more being added to boards on top of that.
 

CraigHB

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I get that feeling, just too many features to support. Though I don't know what's involved in creating a BIOS, but it seems to have become a lot more trouble than it was in the MBR days. I mean back then I never saw BIOS trouble or even thought about it much. Arrow around a bit, change a few settings, done.

It's possible it may come down to the quality of these retail motherboard products. They're just not putting the time into developing the BIOS they should be. For example I have an Acer laptop I bought a couple years ago, fairly high-end i7 machine. The BIOS is very simplistic, but gives me no complaints otherwise.

One complaint among several I have with my x570 BIOS is on a cold start it takes about fifteen seconds to boot through the BIOS and start loading Windows. My laptop does that in about two seconds. It's a small thing and I can live with it, but still annoying. Here my latest gen desktop system is a good amount more powerful than my two year old laptop, yet the laptop does something way faster.

Another complaint I have with my BIOS is the system acts up with CSM disabled. I don't want to see selections for MBR in the boot menu or in BIOS boot override. Really bugs me I have to run with it enabled.

I have a few more annoyances, but those are my two biggest ones. I think desktops from names like Dell and HP don't have these kind of BIOS annoyances, but their BIOS is also much less flexible.
 
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