Speaking of “Tpower”, what comes to your mind? I don’t know your answers, but mine is BIOSTAR.
Back to the old times, BIOSTAR Tpower motherboards were once the players creating many world records but has been fading away. Nevertheless, BIOSTAR never gives up providing excellent products with fancy features. To engage more and more users asking for various product features, the well known “Racing Series” is extended and separated into two different product segments, “GT” and “Silver”. “Racing GT” keeps sticking in the performance segment, while “Racing Silver” is more focusing on the mainstream segment and is trying to provide products with rich features and reasonable prices. BIOSTAR also creates a brand new “Valkyrie Series” which focuses on high-end product segment. There’s an easy way to better understand the positioning of these product series. Comparing to ASUS motherboard product series, Valkyrie is like ROG Maximus/ Crosshair, Racing GT is like ROG Strix, and Racing Silver is more like “between TUF Gaming and Prime". I happen to have a BIOSTAR B550M-Silver motherboard in the lab. Let me just share some information about this motherboard with you.
As usual, photos first and I’ll show you the tests results.
Open the box you’ll see the motherboard well packed in the antistatic bag, and the accessories are placed under the motherboard.
You can actually find the “package checklist" printed on the cover of the quick installation guide. It shows all accessories you’ll get in the box.
Let’s take a look at the motherboard, BIOSTAR B550M-SILVER.
No metal cover on the back side of the motherboard. Nothing’s there. Since this is not a high-end motherboard, it’s reasonable and acceptable.
The power connectors.
There are four fan headers on the board.
The RGB headers.
The VRM of the motherboard.
The USB headers.
And of course, the SATA connectors.
The headers for the front panel of the chassis. (Power LED, HDD LED, Reset, Power)
Unbelievable! This motherboard has a COM port.
The HD audio CODEC ALC1150, the capacitors, and the header for the audio function.
The memory slots and the expansion slots.
The M.2 SSD slots.
The M.2 SSD slot which is close to the CPU socket utilizes the PCIe bandwidth that comes from the processor. Therefore, it supports PCIe Gen 4.0 M.2 SSD if you install a 3000 series or 5000 series Ryzen processor.
Instead, the M.2 SSD slot close to the PCH utilizes the PCIe bandwidth that comes from the B550 chipset. Therefore, it can only support PCIe Gen 3.0 M.2 SSD.
I have just tested Samsung 980 Pro 500GB with these two different M.2 SSD slots. Check it out if you’re interested in PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD.
I just notice a very interesting thing that the tiny screws for the M.2 SSD have been installed on the board in advance. This is really nice. Usually, some users just can’t find the screws when they are about to install the M.2 SSD. Now the problem is solved. The screws are already there. You don’t have to carefully keep the screws any more.
Besides the M.2 SSD slots, the motherboard also has a slot for the WiFi card and the tiny screw for the WiFi card is already installed as well. So nice.
Moreover, B550M-SILVER even has the RF cables installed in advance which greatly helps the installation of the WiFi card.
This motherboard doesn’t have a big LED indicator which shows exact numbers like “F9″ when you have troubles with your memory modules while the board is booting up. Nevertheless, it does have the LEDs which tell you the stages the board is proceeding with.
Exactly like other high-end motherboards, BIOSTAR B550M-SILVER also utilizes the metal reinforcement to increase the durability of the PCIe slot. (The metal notch as you can see in the photo.)
Besides, they also increase the thickness of the PCIe slot to increase the durability. The thickness is about 11 mm which is way thicker than that of any other PCIe slot I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure if it works but this is absolutely a very genius way.
Some of you might be interested in the BIOS settings of this motherboard. Let me share some screen shots with you.
This is what you see in the “EZ Mode".
“EZ Mode" is more like the information center which tells you the information about the CPU, memory, storage, BIOS version, the temperature, and so on. Changing settings in the BIOS doesn’t seem to be the key point in EZ Mode. There are only few settings you can change including “Boot Priority", “XMP", “A.I FAN", and those options on the bottom left of the screen and that’s all.
Let’s press “F7″ and go to the “Advanced" mode. This is what you see in the “Advanced" mode.
Of course you’ll see a lot of settings in the “advanced" mode and you can change whatever you want. If you’re interested in overclocking, you’ll need to go to the page of “Tweaker" so you can tweak. Here you can overclock your CPU and memory by increasing the voltage and changing a lot of detailed configurations. Everything’s okay but there’s something I have to say about the DRAM voltage. It only shows “how much voltage" I want to increase, not “what voltage" I want it to be. Not a big problem, but it’s really not intuitive.
One more thing, if you’re going to update the BIOS, press “F12″ then you’ll enter the “BIO-FLASHER UTILITY" so you can flash the BIOS.
Time to go for the tests. I’ll have some quick tests and share the information with you.
The test bench:
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
BIOSTAR B550M-SILVER (B550 Chipset)
GeIL EVO X II Series D4-3600 16GBx2 CL18-22-22-42 1.35V
PowerColor RX560 2GB
Windows 10 Pro 21H1
Once again, the ambient temperature is 25.6 Celsius degree.
The CPU cooler I selected is Enermax ETS-F40-FS Series ARGB. The performance of the heat dissipation is good and it’s really quiet. Go check it out if you’re interested in.
First, I only enable the XMP and keep all other BIOS settings as default, then go through the tests including AIDA64 (Cache And Memory Benchmark), Cinebench R20, Cinebench R23, and 3Dmark Advanced Edition (CPU Profile, Time Spy, Fire Strike, Night Raid).
Next, I overclock my Ryzen 7 3700X up to 4.2GHz with 1.30V (I personally prefer to keep the voltage staying within 1.30V when I overclock the Ryzen processors.), then go through the tests once again.
AIDA64 “Cache And Memory Benchmark" goes first.
Overclocking the Ryzen 7 3700X up to 4.2GHz does have a little help to the performance.
The 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors are good, but AMD Zen 3 Ryzen processors are surely better. Therefore, I also go through the tests with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. And again, at first, I only enable the XMP and keep all other options in the BIOS as default.
Next, I overclock my Ryzen 7 5800X up to 4.6GHz with 1.25V (I personally love to keep the voltage staying within 1.30V as lower as possible when I overclock the Ryzen processors.), then go through the tests once again.
One more time, AIDA64 “Cache And Memory Benchmark" goes first. See that? The latency is way better than using a 3rd generation Ryzen processor.
Simply with the default settings, Ryzen 7 5800X can crash the Ryzen 7 3700X without efforts even if the Ryzen 7 3700X is overclocked up to 4.2GHz, not to mention that my Ryzen 7 5800X can goes up to 4.6GHz.
It seems impossible for the 3rd generation AMD Ryzen Processors to compete with AMD Zen 3 Ryzen Processors, unless the 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processor has a lot more cores. (3950X VS. 5800X) Right, this is the only way to take the Ryzen 7 5800X down. The more cores, the more performance, though it’s not realistic.
I’m really happy to see more and more BIOSTAR motherboards available on the market which gives us a lot more choices to get the motherboard we want. BIOSTAR B550M-SILVER is good, but please keep this in mind that AMD B550 chipset requires a 3000 series or 5000 series CPU to provide the bandwidth of PCIe Gen 4.0. If you need PCIe Gen 4.0, be sure you get the right processor.