ASRock B650E PG Riptide Wi-Fi Review: Impressive Gaming Performance

A well-appointed option in the sub $250 space.

ASRock B650E PG Riptide Wi-Fi
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The ASRock B650E PG Riptide is a worthwhile option in the B650 space. You get 10 USB ports on the rear IO and ample storage options, including PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 socket. Performance was average to slightly below in most tests, but gaming performance stands out.


  • +

    10 USB ports on rear IO

  • +

    Killer-based LAN

  • +

    Good gaming performance


  • -

    Dated audio codec

  • -

    No quick release or latches for M.2

  • -

    Highest price among peers

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ASRock B650E PG Riptide Wi-Fi is a budget-oriented motherboard ($239.99) that includes a lot of nice features for the price. Sporting a purple-on-black appearance, it fits most build themes and has the bits you’d expect from a mid-range B650E board. You get integrated Wi-Fi 6E and Killer Network-based LAN, PCIe 5.0 slot and M.2 socket, ample SATA storage, a budget audio codec, and plenty of USB ports on the back panel IO.

ASRock’s B650 lineup (at the time of this writing) consists of 13 different motherboards (up from 10 the last time we checked). You’ll find all the standard sizes and wide-ranging prices, with familiar names like the Taichi, PG Riptide, PG Lightning, Pro RS, Livemixer, and our Steel Legend SKU. Prices range from $349.99 (Taichi Carrara) to the ASRock B650M PG Riptide at $169.99. The existing lineup has plenty of options, including Micro ATX and Mini-ITX SKUs. There’s something for everyone in this product stack.

Our PG Riptide review unit did OK in testing and was above average to slightly slower than average across our testing suite – except for gaming, where it was one of the fastest so far. None of the results were significantly out of line. In most instances, you’d need a benchmark or scored test in front of you to notice the difference.

Below, we’ll dig into the details of the board and see whether it deserves a spot on our Best Motherboards list. But before we get into our testing and board details, we’ll start by listing the specifications from ASRock’s website. 

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Specifications: ASRock B650E PG Riptide Wi-Fi
SocketAM5 (LGA 1718)
Form FactorATX
Voltage Regulator17 Phase (14x 60A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)
Video Ports(1) HDMI (v2.1)
USB Ports(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps) (1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) (2) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) (6) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Network Jacks(1) 2.5 GbE
Audio Jacks(3) Analog
Legacy Ports/Jacks
Other Ports/Jack
PCIe x16(1) v5.0 (x16) (1) v3.0 (x4)
PCIe x8
PCIe x4
PCIe x1(1) v4.0 (x1)
CrossFire/SLIAMD CrossFire
DIMM Slots(4) DDR5 6600+(OC), 128GB Capacity
M.2 Sockets(1) PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) / PCIe (up to 80mm) (1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (up to 80mm) (1) PCIe 3.0 x2 (64 Gbps) / PCIe + SATA (up to 80mm) Supports RAID 0/1/10
SATA Ports(4) SATA3 6 Gbps (Supports RAID 0/1)
USB Headers(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps) Type-C (1) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) (1) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)
Fan/Pump Headers(6) 4-Pin (CPU, CPU/Water Pump, Chassis/water pump)
RGB Headers(3) aRGB (3-pin) (1) RGB (4-pin)
Diagnostics Panel(1) Post Status Checker (4 LEDs)
Internal Button/Switch
SATA ControllersASMedia ASM1061
Ethernet Controller(s)(1) Realtek Dragon RTL8125BG (2.5 GbE)
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth(1) Mediatek Wi-Fi 6E (6Ghz, MU-MIMO, BT 5.2)
USB Controllers
HD Audio CodecRealtek ALC897
DDL/DTS✗ / ✗
Warranty3 Years

Inside the Box of the ASRock B650E PG Riptide

Inside the retail packaging, ASRock gives you two SATA cables, screws/standoffs for M.2, the user manual, and the most useful item, a graphics card holder to support heavy video cards.

Design of the PG Riptide

The PG Riptide targets the budget user who doesn’t want to spend much money to get into AMD’s Ryzen 7000 platform. While it’s not the least expensive of their platforms, B650E offers users a balance between the more expensive (and generally better equipped) X670/X670E motherboards and the true budget chipsets. The PG Riptide sits on a matte-black 8-layer PCB with black heatsinks and purple highlights on the chipset heatsink and above the IO area. The PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket (top) sports the largest heatsink, while a long bar covers the other two M.2 sockets. There’s a lot of motherboard showing, but that’s to be expected at this price point.

Under the chipset heatsink sporting the PG branding are a few RGB LEDs that light up the logo. The LEDs glow nice and bright, and the colors are saturated and true. If you have a beefy video card, it may cover some of the bling, but it still should still provide a nice glow inside your chassis.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Starting on the top half, we spy two sizeable heatsinks with mitered cutouts to keep the VRMs below cool, while hiding the rather unsightly IO area. On top of the left heatsink is the ASRock name and Riptide branding in a darker polished finish (stenciling) versus the sandblasted look below. Inside a purple border is the “PG” (Phantom Gaming) letters, just south of the heatsink. Between the VRM heatsinks is an 8-pin (required) and 4-pin EPS connectors to power the processor.

Moving right, just before the DRAM slots, is the first (of six) 4-pin fan headers. Each header supports PWM and DC-controlled devices. CPU_FAN1 outputs up to 1A/12W, while the rest double that to 2A/24W. You control the attached fans or pumps through the BIOS and FanTastic Tuning or the PG-Tune application in Windows. There are enough headers and power for your cooling setup, even if it’s a custom water loop.

Next, we run into four unreinforced DRAM slots with locking functions on the top and bottom. ASRock lists support for up to 128GB of DDR5, with speeds to DDR5-6600+(OC). We didn’t run into any issues with our two kits up to DDR5-6000, and the QVL list has plenty of approved kits reaching higher. Much past the 6400 MHz mark, things become less plug-and-play and more out of the sweet spot anyway. Stick to the QVL list and you should be OK.

Passing another fan header above the DRAM slots, we spy two 3-pin ARGB headers. You’ll find another 3-pin header along the bottom edge, as well as a single 4-pin header. You’ll control these devices through the BIOS version of Polychrome Sync or with the same software in Windows. Both versions of the app offer canned patterns and other options to adjust the integrated and attached RGB LEDs.

Continuing down the edge, we run into the EZ debug LEDs for troubleshooting the POST process. If there’s a problem, one of the LEDs (labeled CPU, Boot, DRAM, or VGA) remains lit, giving you an idea of where the issue may be. Past that is the 24-pin ATX power lead to power the board, a front panel USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) port, and the fastest USB port onboard, the front panel USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps) Type-C port.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Power delivery consists of 17 total phases, with 14 dedicated to Vcore. Power comes from the EPS connector(s) onto a Renesas RAA229620 PWM controller. After that, it heads onto 14x 60A Intersil ISL99360 SPS MOSFETs. While the 840A total isn’t a lot, it was plenty for our flagship Ryzen 9 7950X processor without issue at stock and while overclocked.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

On the bottom half of the board, starting on the left side, we see a fully exposed audio section. You can see the Realtek ALC897 codec and a few capacitors dedicated to sound. This is a budget codec that would be sufficient for most users; audiophiles will want to install their own sound card or speakers with an external DAC.

In the middle of the board are three PCIe slots and three M.2 sockets. The primary graphics slot is at the top and reinforced to prevent shearing from heavy graphics cards. It sources its lanes from the CPU and is the sole PCIe 5.0 x16 slot. The second full-length slot (bottom) also receives lanes from the CPU and runs at PCIe 3.0 x4. Between them is a small x1 slot attached to the chipset that runs up to PCIe 4.0 x1. If you’re still hanging on to multi-GPU solutions, this board does support Crossfire.

Mixed in among the PCIe slots are three M.2 sockets. The top socket (M2_1) under the larger heatsink is your CPU-connected PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) socket that fits up to 80mm devices. The second M.2 socket (M2_2) connects via the chipset and runs SATA- and PCIe-based modules up to PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps). The last socket (M2_3) also connects through the chipset and runs up to PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) modules up to 80mm in length. If you’d like to RAID the NVMe storage, the Riptide supports RAID0/1/10 modes. The latter requires an expansion card for support. 

Moving past the RGB-lit chipset heatsink, we run into four SATA ports. The connectors are mounted horizontally (as  is typical), which allows for better cable management. These ports support RAID0/1 if you need more speed or redundancy. You can run all M.2 and SATA storage concurrently without losing bandwidth or access to other ports.

Across the bottom of the board are several exposed headers. You’ll find the usual, including additional USB ports, RGB headers, and power/reset buttons. Below is a complete list from left to right.

  • Front panel audio
  • 5-pin Thunderbolt AIC header
  • 4-pin RGB header
  • 3-pin ARGB header
  • System Fan header
  • (2) USB 2.0 headers
  • System fan header
  • Clear CMOS jumper
  • Speaker header
  • System panel header

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The rear IO plate on the B650E SPG Riptide, like many others, comes preinstalled to the motherboard. It sports a black background with white labels on the ports and the PG symbol. There are 10 total USB slots on the rear IO which should be plenty for most users. You get two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Type-C and Type-A ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) Type-A ports (these are the Lightning gaming ports using two different controller interfaces), and six USB 2.0 ports. Video outputs consist of one HDMI port. You’ll also find the Wi-Fi antenna connections for the integrated Wi-Fi 6E, a BIOS flashback button, the Realtek Dragon-based 2.5 GbE port, and last but not least, the audio stack consisting of three analog ports.

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Joe Shields
Motherboard Reviewer

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.

  • Annwn
    I'm not sure why the review gave a negative mark for the "highest price amongst peers". One of the key selling points of this board is that it has both PCIe 5.0 M.2 AND x16 slots - it is the cheapest board on the market to do so. While both are currently of dubious benefit, I'd say it means that those boards probably aren't it's peers, and all of the boards which offer those features are MUCH higher priced.
  • SaddleMtnMan
    Being as I own this board.... I can't trust this review at all because it appears Joe has copy-pasted 95% of it, including ALL the product images and graphs, from the b760m Intel board of the same name! It'a showing features and ports thst simply dont exist on AM5... I had to make a forum account just to call this out because it's bad journalism and straight ridiculous.
  • biggun_benny
    Impressive how he managed to make a 13900K work with a B650E chipset :-) (look at the testbench spec)

    A bit too much "clipboard inheritance" it seems, just like #3 mentions.

    I own this board as well, and I picked it, as it is indeed the sweet spot between price and functionality. It is perfect for gaming with PCIe 5.0 and you skip the absolute abundance of connectors that every other MoBo has. No gamers need a gazillion USB ports.

    Considering what you get the price is absolutely the best in class for a gamer!
  • mkdr
    Why are all the charts wrong? There is no Asrock B650E in any of the charts in the review article, also no other B650 or B650E board, just B760m and and Z790 which are not even AMD boards. Please update the proper charts for the test.
  • paradork
    Wrong images and wrong info. How is this so-called "review" allowed to remain? Is the reviewer not looking at what he's posting? Does nobody check their work here? I used to think highly of this website. No more.