Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
B550 has been a rather popular platform for gamers wanting the benefits of the latest Ryzen processors and PCIe Gen4 while at the same time saving a bit of coin for other components. B550 isn't the full-fledged powerhouse we find with X570, but it does offer the same high-level power designs for the latest CPUs and most of the connectivity. The chipset's biggest downside is it's still running on PCIe Gen3 technology, a single x4 uplink from the CPU that branches out to offer USB 3.2, SATA III, and additional Ultra M.2 slots.
Alongside the X570 Taichi Razer Edition launch late last year, ASRock launched a B550 variant of the Taichi and its Razer Edition "theme." Like the X570 platform, the B550 Taichi Razer Edition gets a complete revamp with new hardware from Intel's Killer Networking group alongside a full Razer Chroma theme, Nahimic Audio, and new high-end power design with 50A power stages.
Specifications and Marketing
Platform specifications start with compatibility, Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series, alongside the Ryzen G 4000 APUs. The chipset is the AMD B550, as we know, and the power design is 16-phase with 50A Vishay stages.
Memory support is over four slots, DDR4 2133 through 4733MHz officially, while storage is handled by eight SATA III ports, 1x Hyper M.2 and one Ultra M.2
The Killer E3100X powers networking for 2.5Gbe, and the Killer AX1650 module handles WiFi duties. Audio is the Realtek ALC1220 chipset with a NE5532 amplifier.
The ASRock B550 Taichi Razer Edition carries an MSRP of $299.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
Packaging and Accessories
Packaging will certainly let you know it is a Razer product, logos along the bottom, and the box's mamba green sides. Centered, we have an image of the board and Razer Chroma branding surrounding it.
The rear is not detailed but does offer features of the board, including Killer Networking, large aluminum heatsinks, and Razer Chroma, to name a few.
The retail packaging includes the user manual, driver disc, and SATA cable to the left. Up above, we have the WiFi antenna.
ASRock B550 Taichi Razer Ed. Overview
The Razer Edition has armor that covers most of the board. RGB lighting does come from the chipset and rear I/O cover along with the rear of the motherboard itself. All three m.2 slots are covered under the armor, and the three main x16 slots are reinforced and shielded to support Gen4. VRM cooling includes a heatpipe connecting the top and left side plates, CPU power tucks in between. The rear of the motherboard houses a large armor plate, adorned with Razers motto, "For Gamers By Gamers."
Rear I/O on this platform includes WiFi at the top, followed by BIOS and Clear CMOS buttons. DP and HDMI break things up with six USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.2 ports tucking in next to Killer E3100X LAN and Realtek audio.
The bottom half of the B550 Razer Ed. includes front panel audio, RGB headers, and fan connections before we get to USB 2.0 internal headers and front panel power/reset.
We run into eight SATA III connections around that corner, two USB 3.2 headers and one USB 3. 2 Gen 2 headers. Further, we have 24pin power and memory slots.
We have two more RGB headers and the top of the motherboard, two more fan connections, and 2x 8Pin CPU power connections.
PCB and Circuit Analysis
Power stages for the Razer Edition are the Vishay SIC634, 50A.
Chipset is the main focus above, B550 with two ASMedia 1061 SATA controllers below and right. Up above, we have the ASMedia 1074 adding on USB 3.0 internal headers.
In this last image, we have the ALC1220 next to filter caps and NE5532 amp up above. To the right, we have the Nuvoton I/O chip and ASMedia 1184 PCIe bridge controller.
UEFI, Software and Test System
EFI setup offers a matching aesthetic to the board's packaging; EZ Mode provides a quick overview of the installed CPU and memory, while OC Tweaker brings basic CPU options, memory, PCIe, etc.
The Advanced menu holds most of your basic menu options, including onboard device configuration. The Tools menu includes support for Razer Chroma setup without the need for software; you can also use Easy RAID, SSD Secure Erase, and NVMe Sanitize to manage your storage. Instant flash is available to update your BIOS.
Razer Synapse controls all of the RGB functionality of the motherboard and any accessories you may have connected. From the dashboard, you can see any device that is connected.
Selecting your device can customize both RGB on both the top and bottom headers located on the motherboard.
Lighting gives you more control over the headers and built-in Chroma on the motherboard.
The second piece of software for the Razer Edition is Killer Control Center. This allows you to optimize network traffic for your benefit.
ASRock A-Tuning is software that comes with every ASRock motherboard and allows control of BIOs overclocking features such as voltage and clocks from Windows.
Motherboard Testing Supporters
Sabrent supports our AMD motherboard testing with the fantastic Rocket4 Plus!
ADATA supports our AMD motherboard testing with their XPG Spectrix D50 DDR4 Memory!
TweakTown AMD Motherboard Test System
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
- RAM: XPG Spectrix D50 2x16G DDR4 3600
- Cooler: NZXT X73 AIO
- OS Storage: Sabrent Rocket4 Plus 1TB
- Power Supply: Corsair RM750
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
Cinebench, Realbench and AIDA64
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU
Getting into some R23, we see the Razer Ed. Bring in 15111 in multicore, while 1577 is our single-core score.
Realbench uses both video and photo workloads to benchmark your CPU. We use all three workloads in this scenario.
Heavy Multitasking gave the Razer Ed. a score of 33.2 seconds.
AIDA64 has stayed as our means of testing memory bandwidth.
Read bandwidth came in at 45923 while Copy hits just above at 46611. Memory write ran at 25579 MB/s.
PCMark10 and PugetSystems Benchmarks
PCMark is a benchmark from UL and tests various workload types to represent typical workloads for a PC. Everything from video conferencing, image import, and editing, along with 3D rendering, are tested.
We see a score of 11334 for essentials, 10150 for productivity and 13479 for Digital content, getting started with our PCMark workloads.
PugetBench comes from the fantastic people over at Puget Systems that have done countless hours and years benchmarking hardware. For our testing, we will utilize their Davinci Resolve, Photoshop, and Lightroom benchmarks, you can look into them more here.
Puget for Photoshop showed a score of 1206 for the B550 Taichi, slightly above average.
Lightroom testing scores 1190, once again slightly above average.
In Resolve, we see an overall score of 1203 for the B550 Razer Ed.
Our first gaming benchmark is Far Cry New Dawn; running at 1080p Ultra detail, we see an average FPS of 119, on par with past platforms.
Next, we switch to Gears Tactics, 1080p Ultra once again. In this scenario, we see an average FPS of 162.6 for the B550 Razer.
Flight Simulator is a bit more difficult to set up, but I have been able to get some pretty good consistency by running the same flight path and settings. For this benchmark, we run 1080p Ultra and Brisbane to Archerfield Runway 22L. In this test, the average frames come out to 51.9 for the B550 Taichi.
System I/O Benchmarks
Storage with CrystalDiskMark
Storage tests are all handled by our Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 SSD. Secondary storage tests are conducted with our WD_Black P50 SSD.
Starting testing, we hit the rear USB 3.2 Gen 2 port with a USB-C connection. In this test, we reach 1033 MB/s read and 966 MB/s with our P50.
Internal workloads show 6990 MB/s read and 5234 MB/s write from the single Hyper M.2 slot.
73.4 MB/s read and 290 MB/s write are reached for 4KQ1.
Audio - Dynamic Range
Testing audio, we setup RMAA with a 3.5mm cable from the line-in to speaker out (green to blue) and set both to 24Bit 192KHz. The B550 showed 92.6dBA right in line with past platforms.
For networking, the B550 Razer Ed. Showed 2341Mbps on wired performance and looping back we have 1360Mbps on WiFi.
Power, Thermals and Final Thoughts
Power consumption showed 149 watts idle, 371 watts during R23, and 626 watts running MS Flight Simulator.
Thermals were on par, 30c idle with a peak of 76c under testing.
We did get a chance to put the B550 under thermal vision. As you can see, we have a few hot spots around the top PCIe slot wrapping around to the top of the VRM area. Peak temps seem to be 39-40c in this image.
Overclocking on the B550 Razer Edition was nearly identical to past motherboards. 1.26v in bios gave us 1.2v at load and was able to keep our 5800X stable at 4.7GHz.
Taichi has been the pinnacle of ASRock motherboards platforms for years, and the B550 Taichi in itself is one of the more premium motherboards available on the market within the B550 lineup. For gamers wanting to build on a budget, B550 is fantastic, offering reliable connectivity and, admittedly, limited Gen4 capabilities. Still, enough to get your GPU and NVMe on the latest and greatest motherboard tech has to offer.
Revamping this platform to introduce the Razer Edition, I was surprised no additional cost was added to the MSRP even with a complete swap of the Intel i225 for Killer E3100X and AX200 for AX1650; the Razer Edition is now listed at the same $299 MSRP that the B550 Taichi launched at in 2020.
What We Like
Razer Chroma / Synapse: For those in the ecosystem, Synapse brings everything together quite well.
Compatibility: AM4 socket gives broad compatibility to both 3000 and 5000 series processors.
What Could Be Better
Price: At $299 MSRP, one of the more expensive B550 platforms.
The Bottom Line
The B550 Taichi Razer Edition is a fantastic board for gamers in or entering the Razer ecosystem wanting a full feature platform.