Asus has just announced the first AMD B550 chipset motherboard to deliver Thunderbolt 4 support. The upcoming Asus ProArt B550-Creator uses Intel's updated Thunderbolt 4 controller in a design I wouldn't call minimalistic with its gold accents, but it omits any of the RGB LED frills you tend to see on anything but entry level office PC style boards. I must note though, that there are 2x aRGB and 2x RGB headers on the board, leaving the option open for adding MB controlled lighting to the build.
Before moving onto the Thunderbolt 4 discussion, let's cover the basics. Asus' new motherboard features a powerful 12+2-phase power delivery section arranged in an L shape flanking the CPU slot, with black and gold heatsinks in place. An 8-pin EPS and 4-pin ATX CPU ProCool II power input combo provides juice to your processor of choice.
Elsewhere in the board design we can see four DDR4 memory slots for up to 128GB of memory, a pair of M.2 slots using the Asus Q-latch install system (with at least one being PCIe 4.0 x4), four SATA ports, three PCIe x16 and two PCIe x1 expansion slots, Realtek's ALC1220A premium audio solution, as well as lots of modern connectivity evidenced by the back panel.
Above you can see the selection of I/O provided at the rear panel by Asus. An Intel controller on the motherboard provides the headlining twin Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports you can see centrally located. Other ports include; twin 2.5GbE ports (unspecified controller), a PS/2 combo port, a DisplayPort In connector, an HDMI port, plus a selection of USB and audio I/O. Lastly the eagle eyed among you may have spotted the potentially useful BIOS flashback button – this can help with troubleshooting along with the Asus QLED POST system.
Full and finalised specs are expected to be released by Asus via its product pages in due course. The Asus ProArt B550-Creator motherboard is expected to be released in April, priced at around US$299.