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maximumzero

ASRock B550m-ITX/ac vs B550 "Phantom Gaming-ITX/ax" Motherboards

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey LTT crew, quick brain-pickin' question for y'all.

 

Currently parting out a new mITX build in the Lian Li TU150 case.

 

I'm dropping in the ever-popular Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, and opting for a B550 motherboard so I have an upgrade path to Zen 3 processors in the future should I decide to do so.

 

I'm currently deciding between the ASRock B550M-ITX/ac and B550 "Phantom Gaming-ITX/ax" motherboards and I'm having a hell of a time trying to decide if that $70 premium is worth it for my purposes. Comparison on ASRock's website here.

 

As far as I can tell the major differences between the two is the Phantom Gaming board having an extra M.2 slot, a header for a front panel USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C connector, and Wi-Fi 5 instead of Wi-Fi 6.

 

The loss of a M.2 slot isn't a huge deal, as I have no issue dropping in a SATA SSD or HDD sometime in the future if I need more storage, and even replacing the M.2 drive completely if necessary.

 

In regards to front panel connections, I'll probably just leave the front panel USB-C disconnected completely, as it seems like the adapters to get those connections up and running (1 and 2) will likely cost me in the ballpark of $30 anyway, and will limit those Type-A ports to USB 2.0 speeds in the end. (If someone has an alternate suggestion for this setup I'm all ears.)

 

While the slower Wi-Fi is a bit of a bummer, my wireless router is Wi-Fi 5/ac at the moment and I don't intend on replacing it anytime in the near future.

 

I don't plan on doing much tinkering outside of setting the RAM XMP properly in the EFI and probably hitting the "Auto-Overclock" button in Ryzen Master, so no extensive overclocking across the RAM, CPU, or GPU planned.

 

I also intend on getting the variant of the TU150 with the aluminum side panel, so no RGB necessary, which means that LED strip on the Phantom Gaming isn't necessary, and in fact is hopefully something I can disable entirely at a EFI level.

 

Anything that I'm missing here?

 

Thanks guys/gals.

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