Linux and ATX B550 motherboards


I’m shopping for a new AMD Linux machine and I have been researching, reading and comparing specs and manuals and I’m still not quite sure about which motherboard to pick for best compatibility with Linux.

I have read a couple of topics here and while they have helped me a lot they were more on the side of “pick a x570 instead” which in my case does not make sense:

  • I do have quite competitive prices here, where I live
  • and so those b550 are quite affordable
  • Also I’m not gamer and I do not intend to do virtualization for a living.

I mainly build from source (but will be using OpenSUSE Leap | Kernel 5.3.18 ); use design/graphic programs (inkscape, GIMP, krita, Kdenlive, Synfig Studio) and Atom.

I basically thought I have decided for the MSI MPG B550 GAMING PLUS but

Current shopping list:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 ~ 248 USD
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX Black 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3600 ~ 161.32 USD
  • Sapphire Radeon PULSE RX550 4GB, 4GB GDDR5 ~ 100 USD
  • Corsair RMx Series RM550x (v.2018) - 550W ~ 117.48 USD
  • Samsung SSD 970 EVO PLUS, M.2 - 500GB ~ 117.87
  • Seagate BarraCuda 120, 2,5" - 500GB ~ 68.96 USD
  • PHANTEKS Eclipse P400A, DRGB ~ 100.40 USD (a bit expensive but I decided for this because if the stock configuration + included fans etC)

Motherboard contenders:
(ideal price range)

  • ASRock B550 Steel Legend~ 218.32 USD
  • GIGABYTE B550 AORUS PRO ~ 213.12 USD


  • Please feel free to suggest any other B550 even if it’s not the greatest (I prefer compatibility then features, and compatibility also over specs).
  • I’m a newbie in these things - sorry if I was in any way not clear or simply boring.
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I think only the Asus Strix boards have Intel lan, all others are Realtek. The X570 boards are better in this regard since many have Intel lan chips. Personally I had good luck with both Intel and Realtek.
For sound there should be no problem really. Many of these boards use some sort or Realtek chips (1220/1200) and they work fine on Linux. Problem would be on some boards that have “dual codecs” as sometimes Pulseaudio won’t recognize one of them. Fixable, but a bit of a pain.
The Asus Strix B550 boards seem to be the best and most recommended when it comes to price/performance. Surprisingly they are really affordable compared to the competition (usually the Strix lines have their premium).


thanks for pointing out this existent topic. Quite insightful:

thank you for taking the time to read and answer me : ) ! yup it seems so :+1: . I think I will go with that . I just need to figure out the difference between the ASUS ROG STRIX B550-A and the ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F (oddly enough the rog . asus . com does not have -A …hm)

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ok so I checked Asus website (both the classic asus . com where I only find -A Gaming and the rog . asus . com where it’s only available the -F Gaming) and it seems these are identically ? :

  • Asus ROG STRIX B550-A Gaming
  • Asus ROG STRIX B550-F Gaming

but then in my local eshop I found that F Gaming has :

  • extra 4 pin in: Fan (3x 4pin), Fan CPU (2x 4pin) , Water (1x 4pin)
  • BIOS Flashback

is ^ this correct? Just to confirm which one to pick as they are here at the same price

Going from the spec page I can’t see a difference other than the color scheme. Both have the same features.

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If the only thing holding you back it the LAN chipset, then new Intel PCIe gigabit network cards usually only go for $20-30. You might even be able to find a used one, cheap(er).

I put these in all of my machines without Intel on board:
Brand new at New Egg, for only $23USD! What’s not to like?

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It kinda depends on what kind of distro you wanne run on it i guess.
But on the more convenient side, you probablly will have better support with an intel nic.

Issues with the realtek 2.5G nic seems to be resolved in the 5.9kernel i believe?
Please someone correct me if i´m wrong on this.

But what is your budget?

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Yup i did a quick peak at both the Asus Strix B550A Gaming and B550-F Gaming.
And as far as i can see, those are the same boards only different color theme.
Same features and same vrm.

The Asus Rog Strix B550-E Gaming is a slightly different board,
with a different and beefier vrm, wifi and usb typeC audio port.
But honestly this board isn´t really worth it over the other two imo.

I could go into vrm details on those boards if you like.
But honnestly the vrm’s on neither of those boards should realy be a concern.

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good to know :blush:

thanks for the idea :+1: , I will take that in consideration and if there is a board that I really want (price + quality) but doesn’t have intel lan then this can definitely be a viable and good option

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It will be openSUSE Leap 15.2 with 5.3.18 Linux Kernel

Following ^

converting … ~ 1000 USD tops

  • excluding UPS
  • plus I think the price on the processor will go down in the next days (so waiting/checking everyday)
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now that I can post links, I have added specification url for each motherboard in the topic for easy comparison etc

Oops… i over looked that you already stated the Linux distro of choice in the op sorry.

In terms of B550 that Asus rog strix B550-A wouldn´t be a bad choice.
Or the F depending on which one is cheaper.

On x570 the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite would be a decent budget option as well.
This board comes with a 1Gbit intel nic.

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oh I see! thanks I truly appreciate all the feedback! I will keep tabs on that as well :wink: I have also added the price point for each other component (just to give a bit more context to the topic)

Well of course the 5000 series cpu’s are right around the corner as well.
So it might make sense to wait for those to be released.
Maybe the 5600X is going to be priced closely enough to a 3600X,
that it would be worth opting for the newer chip.
Because those chips will perform a bit better in certain tasks.

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sad news : ( ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F and -a plus the graphics card (Sapphire Radeon PULSE RX550 4GB) are now sold out in my local eshop .

I will need to wait I guess and probably should have some alternative for the graphics card and the mobo just in unlikely case they stay out of stock. But hopefully this will not happen :crossed_fingers:

Purchased :smiley:

Report: everything works out of the box on openSUSE Leap 15.2 and with encrypted disk :partying_face:

  • Hibernate works out of the box as well
  • Internet also with no extra steps
  • audio: rear and front and also mic, everything works
  • usb-c: works
  • all fans work and spin (I saw some reports of problems with that graphics card but I had none)
  • rgb buttons from the case work (changing mode etc)
  • rgb from the motherboard works
  • I still didn’t play with q-fan from the bios (silent mode etc)
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