ASUS B550 Strix-E and Strix-F Comparison Preview
Published: 5th June 2020 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
The Strix brand has proved to be such a success since its inception back in 2014 that every new product launch is accompanied by a Strix model to go alongside it. With the AMD B550 ASUS continue that trend by introducing the Strix-E and Strix-F versions of the new addition to the Zen architecture. We've been covering ASUS products for so long it's impossible not to think of the E as the Extreme and the F as the Formula, but for a while now that hasn't been the case.
Usually the difference between the E and F models is simply whether it has WiFi or not, but the B550 introduces a lot more changes whilst still being visually similar. In fact as we have the Strix-F WiFi the ability to connect your network without trailing a cable around is one thing the two motherboards have in common. Whilst we await the launch day when we can reveal the benchmark results, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to check out both new B550 motherboards from ASUS ROG Strix range and let you know what you're getting, or missing out on, depending upon which you choose.
Grab your favourite beverage of choice and join us in a rather complicated game of spot the difference.
We don't want to go over the same ground too many times through this preview, but naturally there will be areas it's impossible not to mention more than once. Even in these images it's clear that the Strix-E has two extra power stages when compared to it's F brother which might make some difference when it comes to overclock testing, or even how well it runs one of the beefier CPUs in the Ryzen range at stock. After all, if you have a Threadripper 3950X needing a home you'll want all the ampage you can get.
Moving a little further down we have probably the biggest difference, with the Strix-F utilising a single PCIe 4.0 slot so no Crossfire or SLI, whilst the Strix-E has two PCI Express 4.0 slots available to it they share the bandwidth though so 1x16 or 2x8 and this also means that Crossfire and SLI are available. Both have a single PCI Express 4.0 M.2 slot, should you want to ensure you data bandwidth is as fat as possible plus a single PCIE3 M.2 Slot each. Lastly both in terms of rear and front panel USB there is a pretty bit difference between the two Strix B550 motherboards. The B550 Strix-F has 2 USB 3.2 Gen2 (One of each type), 4 Type-A USB 3.2 Gen1 ports and two USB 2.0 at the rear, with a further 2 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports available at the front. On the other hand the Strix-E ups the ante with 2 Type-A and one Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports at the back alongside 4 Type-A USB 2.0, with the front has both the 2 Gen 1 and 4 USB 2.0 ports that the Strix-F has, but adds a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C connector too.
Overview photos are all well and good, but we know you're itching to see them in the flesh so let's do that.