ASUS TUF B550M-Plus WiFi Review
We have a soft spot for the ASUS TUF range. ASUS had been applying their TUF ideology to their motherboards for a while before they went all in with calling a motherboard the TUF, and that was the P67 one - many moons ago when we were just a glint in the milkman's eye. What we loved about it was that it was the first implementation of a PCB covering which hid all the untidy capacitors and chips, presenting a smooth surface upon which to show off your design efforts. Since then, and the popularity of that idea across all brands, we've been fond of the TUF and how it changed the design of future motherboards.
The ASUS TUF B550M-Plus WiFi retains the name but loses the armour. However, it still has the design ethos that first led to the use of the TUF identifier, and having already seen what the flashy Strix brough to the party it's time to check out a motherboard at the other end of the price spectrum and see how it stacks up as a regular ASUS motherboard against the ROG models, and indeed the other B550s we've been reviewing in readiness for today.
Without further ado let's get down to some specifications before we show you how it looks in the flesh.
If you've been looking through all of our B550 content today you'll be aware that the primary differences are USB ports, M.2 drive bandwidth and PCI Express slots. With the TUF it might not be the most expensive motherboard around but it still does a very good job in providing you with plenty of high bandwidth options in the places you need them most. With a PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot and main graphics card slot as well as a pair of USB 3.2 Gen2 ports around the back, those devices you have which demand the highest speed to work at their most efficient are absolutely covered for, whilst those of you with a lot of hardware to plug in aren't left that far behind with another PCI Express 3.0 slot and M.2 connector, as well as the USB 3.2 Gen1.
It's difficult not to chuckle a little bit when ASUS say that the TUF comes with comprehensive fan controls, and then demonstrates the two fan headers available on the PCB. Fortunately at the top there are also a pair of CPU fans so you have four in total which, as we will see soon, is enough to keep even our test system pretty cool.
The big differences between all of the B550 motherboards is in the way that they allocate the available PCI Express 4.0 lanes between M.2 and PCI Express slots, whilst also utilising PCI Express 3.0 in other areas. Of course the other major differences involve USB ports, but we'll get to those on the next page as we do our tour of the board in close up.