Next up is the ASRock B550M-HDV. As above, we’ll list the specifications first, then cover the board in more detail below the table.
Specifications - ASRock B550M-HDV
|Voltage Regulator||6-Phase (4+2)|
|Video Ports||(1) VGA / D-Sub, (1) DVI-D, (1) HDMI|
|USB Ports||(4) USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-A (10 Gbps), (2) USB 2.0|
|Network Jacks||(1) 1 GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(3) Analog|
|PCIe x16||(1) v3.0 (x16)|
|PCIe x1||(1) v3.0 (x1)|
|DIMM slots||(2) Supports up to DDR4 4733(OC)|
|M.2 slots||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA + PCIe (up to 110mm)|
|SATA Ports||(4) SATA3 6 Gbps (RAID0, 1 and 10)|
|USB Headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 1, (2) USB 2.0|
|Fan/Pump Headers||(3) 4-Pin (Supports PWM and DC)|
|Other Interfaces||FP-Audio, COM|
|Ethernet Controllers||Realtek RTL8111H (1 GbE)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||✗|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC887|
|DDL/DTS Connect||✗ / ✗|
Our least-expensive MicroATX board, like the others, includes a sparsely populated accessory stack but includes most of what you need to get powered up and running. Below is a list of all of the included accessories in the B550M-HDV box.
- Quick Installation Guide
- Support CD
- I/O shield
- (2) SATA cables
- M.2 SSD screw
Taking a look at our ASRock motherboard, one of the first things I noticed was the odd size. It sits somewhere between MicroATX (9.6 x 9.6-inches) and Mini-ITX (6.7 x 6.7-inches) measuring 9 x 7.9-inches. This is a curious size, but it is marketed as a micro ATX, so it will fit in your case so long as the chassis supports that form factor. Size aside, the PCB is black with a grey lined pattern visible in the socket area to the lower part of the rear I/O. All the ports, slots, and sockets are also black. The board’s styling doesn’t stick out, so it will fit in well with most build themes.
Just like the Asus board in this roundup, the B550M-HDV doesn’t include RGBs, nor does it have headers to add them. If you would like RGB lighting and this is the motherboard you’re set on, it will have to be something that works with your case (if it has a controller/those options) or independently.
The top half of the B550M-HDV doesn’t have a lot going on. In fact, the motherboard doesn’t have a lot going on in general. It is the least-expensive B550 motherboard listed on Newegg so several of this, the fastest of that, and multiples of other things just won’t make it to this sub-$80 motherboard. That aside, the first thing we see up top is a required 4-pin EPS connector for power to the CPU (all other boards had an 8-pin here). We can also see the VRMs without heatsinks and a clean socket area.
Between the socket and DIMM slots is the first (of three) 4-pin fan headers. The second fan header is located behind the audio stack on the rear IO. All fan headers support both PWM and DC fans, each supporting up to 1A/12W. Other boards, like the MSI, have more power available on certain headers to handle things like pumps or extremely powerful fans.
The two single-sided locking DIMM slots support up to 64GB and speeds up to DDR4 4600(OC) with a Matisse based CPU and higher for the Renoir based APUs (up to 4733+OC). If you’re going to need more than 64GB of RAM (or you already have a four-DIMM kit you want to carry over), you’ll need to look at one of the other boards with four memory slots.
To the right of the DRAM slots is the 24-pin ATX feeding the motherboard power and a front-panel USB 3.2 Gen1 header.
ASRock uses a 6-phase power design for the Vcore and SOC (4+2) as well as an N Channel configuration for the MOSFETs where the high and low parts of the VRM are separate. This is different from the more expensive boards that use the more costly DrMOS type power bits where the high/low are combined in one IC. Managing this setup is a UPI-Semi uP0505 4+2 channel controller. This feeds 55A (@ 25 degrees Celsius, 35A at 100C) Sinopower SM4337 MOSFETs on the high side and SM4336 on the low. We had some issues with this board and CPU at stock speeds, so it isn’t recommended to overclock with it, at least with a Ryzen 9 3900X in the socket. 65W CPUs may be a different story, but we do not have one on hand to test and confirm.
Moving on to the bottom half of the board, we’re greeted by the Realtek ALC887 codec and a couple of dedicated audio capacitors. The audio solution will be sufficient for most users, though audiophiles will want to supplement the integrated solution with an external DAC, just as with the other motherboards listed here.
In the middle of the board, we find the PCIe slots and a single M.2 socket. The full-length PCIe slot is fed from the CPU providing x16 lanes of PCIe 4.0 goodness for the video card. The bottom x1 slot sources its lanes from the chipset and runs at PCIe 3.0 x1 speeds.
Across the bottom edge are several headers with various functionality. You’ll find the front panel headers, USB and more. Below is a complete list of headers and ports on the bottom edge.
- Front panel audio
- COM header
- 4-pin Chassis fan header
- Front panel header
- Speaker header
The rear IO on the inexpensive ASRock B550M-HDV doesn’t have a lot to look at, but includes a smattering of everything needed from video outputs, USB ports, Ethernet and audio. On the video output side (for those using an APU), you have a choice of D-SUB, DVI-D, or HDMI (v2.1). On the USB side of things, there are a total of six ports, four USB 3.2 Gen1 and two USB 2.0 ports. Six ports may be a bit light for some, though there are headers on the board for additional ports for the front panel. The audio stack consists of 3 analog plugs and the 1 GbE Ethernet port. Last but not least, there’s a PS/2 port for legacy keyboard and mouse functionality.
On the software side, ASRock includes a few utilities that cover overclocking and monitoring (A-Tuning), audio (Realtek), software for updating drivers and downloading applications (App Shop), and of course RGB control (Polychrome RGB). While this isn’t the most software we’ve seen, what is here worked well and covers all the bases for most people.
We won’t cover UEFI/BIOS details as, for the most part, there aren’t any significant differences between the PG line and the HDV outside of styling. On the B550M-HDV, ASRock uses a black and blue theme compared to the black and red on Phantom Gaming and other more expensive motherboards. To that end, below are images we’ve captured from BIOS screens to share with you.
ASRock includes an Easy Mode for high-level monitoring and adjustments, along with an Advanced section. The BIOS is organized well, with many of the more commonly used functions accessible without drilling down multiple levels to find them. In the end, the BIOS worked well and was easy to navigate and read. No complaints here.
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