CPU Asrock B550 PG ITX/AX - Blackridge compatibility check ... ... CHECK!

Ricky Zeng

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jun 10, 2020
42
32
Was initially waiting for the cheaper ITX/ac. No idea when that's gonna be in-stock, even though all the other four B550 ITX boards been available for a couple of weeks now. So pulled the trigger on the PG ITX/ax instead. Surprisingly the cooler compatibility is really well, even with the A12x15 fan installed for Blackridge:


Plenty of clearance between fan and southbridge heatsink / M2 baseplate. I bet even a relatively high profile M2 heatsink (like the one with Corsair MP600) should fit with no problem:


Need to use VLP RAM for A12x15 fan though. Here I used 2x ADATA 8G 2666 sticks. Couldn't find any 16G ADATA in stock, only other option is to purchase 2nd hand ECC server RAMs. Due to the more central CPU socket location on ASROCK boards (and ASUS too), Blackridge will be overhung atop the PCI-E slot. But I was able to nudge the fan a bit to leave space for the PCI-E raiser. End of the heat pipes is about flash with the edge of board, so shouldn't have much problems for most ITX case builds:


One of the fan clip just slotted between the RAMs, with the center section of the clip slightly touching upon the one closeset to CPU. No worries though:


On the other side, clearance with the VRM heatsink and WiFi module is amazing! Look at the angle of fan clip and VRM heatsink fin, this board is definately designed with Blackridge cooler in mind:


View from the other side. Less than 1mm from the WiFi port:


A few more pics regarding the southbridge / M2 cooling. The top M2 cover / armour / heatsink is pretty much just a bare metal plate, so not really a heatsink, I would call it a heat spreader at most. Southbridge cover has some grooves but still no fins to really act as a heatsink:


So I'm currently using a $5 aftermarket M.2 cooler from Jonsbo. It actually comes with an RGB top cover, which I got rid of. What's left is reasonably decent amount of fins:


Still plenty of space with the M2 heatsink installed:


Another good heatsink option will be the TT OEM unit that comes with Kingston A2000/KC2000 drive. Won't easily fit though, coz it comes in two parts with a bottom plate, which clashes against the southbridge cooler on PG ITX/ax. The top heatsink wouldn't attach easily to the M2 drive alone, so this is just for show. I wanted the Corsair MP600 most coz it's heatsink looks really good and robust, but might have similar issue with the Kingston/TT unit:


I tried to gauge the clearance between fan and M.2 mounting base with a caliper. Difficult to get an accurate measure, but I think it's around 13~15mm:


Finished build on a ZS-A4S V3 case. Thermals are not too bad. CPU (R3600 stock) maxed out at 60degC when 3D gaming with the help of two A9x14 case fans on top of the case, in ambient temperature of around 25degC. A12x15 fan is arranged in "intake" configuration to pull air from the side of case. Overall it is only a few degrees higher than my previous gaming setup (FX8370 + RX580) with a tower CPU cooler and three 12cm case fans in an mATX case. Sorry about the cables not being tied in, was planning on doing a few additional tinkering (aren't we always?):


Quick question at the end: anybody knows how to turn the RGB lights on the edge of the board off? There's a setting in BIOS to turn them off when system is not powered on, but I can't find a way to turn them off while using the computer. ASROCK RBG control software somehow doesn't work in my Windows 10 (couldn't even start after install)... Not having to deal with RGB lights is one of the reasons I was going to chose the ITX/ac board in the beginning...
 

ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,374
1,213
Due to the more central CPU socket location on ASROCK boards (and ASUS too), Blackridge will be overhung atop the PCI-E slot. But I was able to nudge the fan a bit to leave space for the PCI-E raiser. End of the heat pipes is about flash with the edge of board, so shouldn't have much problems for most ITX case builds:

Hmmm this means the mobo & cooler combo will not work for classic layout (no riser) and perhaps, those using hard riser.

Too bad, I imagine it'll be useful for popular cases like SG13, Lian Li Q21 or Jonsbo T8 where there's minimum height between CPU and PSU.

Regardless, thanks for the measurement pics, appreciate it!
 

lasfsw

Cable Smoosher
Jul 1, 2020
9
6
Was initially waiting for the cheaper ITX/ac. No idea when that's gonna be in-stock, even though all the other four B550 ITX boards been available for a couple of weeks now. So pulled the trigger on the PG ITX/ax instead. Surprisingly the cooler compatibility is really well, even with the A12x15 fan installed for Blackridge:


Plenty of clearance between fan and southbridge heatsink / M2 baseplate. I bet even a relatively high profile M2 heatsink (like the one with Corsair MP600) should fit with no problem:


Need to use VLP RAM for A12x15 fan though. Here I used 2x ADATA 8G 2666 sticks. Couldn't find any 16G ADATA in stock, only other option is to purchase 2nd hand ECC server RAMs. Due to the more central CPU socket location on ASROCK boards (and ASUS too), Blackridge will be overhung atop the PCI-E slot. But I was able to nudge the fan a bit to leave space for the PCI-E raiser. End of the heat pipes is about flash with the edge of board, so shouldn't have much problems for most ITX case builds:


One of the fan clip just slotted between the RAMs, with the center section of the clip slightly touching upon the one closeset to CPU. No worries though:


On the other side, clearance with the VRM heatsink and WiFi module is amazing! Look at the angle of fan clip and VRM heatsink fin, this board is definately designed with Blackridge cooler in mind:


View from the other side. Less than 1mm from the WiFi port:


A few more pics regarding the southbridge / M2 cooling. The top M2 cover / armour / heatsink is pretty much just a bare metal plate, so not really a heatsink, I would call it a heat spreader at most. Southbridge cover has some grooves but still no fins to really act as a heatsink:


So I'm currently using a $5 aftermarket M.2 cooler from Jonsbo. It actually comes with an RGB top cover, which I got rid of. What's left is reasonably decent amount of fins:


Still plenty of space with the M2 heatsink installed:


Another good heatsink option will be the TT OEM unit that comes with Kingston A2000/KC2000 drive. Won't easily fit though, coz it comes in two parts with a bottom plate, which clashes against the southbridge cooler on PG ITX/ax. The top heatsink wouldn't attach easily to the M2 drive alone, so this is just for show. I wanted the Corsair MP600 most coz it's heatsink looks really good and robust, but might have similar issue with the Kingston/TT unit:


I tried to gauge the clearance between fan and M.2 mounting base with a caliper. Difficult to get an accurate measure, but I think it's around 13~15mm:


Finished build on a ZS-A4S V3 case. Thermals are not too bad. CPU (R3600 stock) maxed out at 60degC when 3D gaming with the help of two A9x14 case fans on top of the case, in ambient temperature of around 25degC. A12x15 fan is arranged in "intake" configuration to pull air from the side of case. Overall it is only a few degrees higher than my previous gaming setup (FX8370 + RX580) with a tower CPU cooler and three 12cm case fans in an mATX case. Sorry about the cables not being tied in, was planning on doing a few additional tinkering (aren't we always?):


Quick question at the end: anybody knows how to turn the RGB lights on the edge of the board off? There's a setting in BIOS to turn them off when system is not powered on, but I can't find a way to turn them off while using the computer. ASROCK RBG control software somehow doesn't work in my Windows 10 (couldn't even start after install)... Not having to deal with RGB lights is one of the reasons I was going to chose the ITX/ac board in the beginning...


Don’t know if you already found the answer, but I was wondering the same and sent the same question to Asrock. They responded with going into BIOS>Advancecd>Onboard Device Configuration>Turn On LED in S5>Disable. Are you also having problems with the sound? I am right now and trying to troubleshoot. Thanks for showing the fit on this cooler. It’s on my list after finding some VLP ram.
 

Ricky Zeng

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jun 10, 2020
42
32
Don’t know if you already found the answer, but I was wondering the same and sent the same question to Asrock. They responded with going into BIOS>Advancecd>Onboard Device Configuration>Turn On LED in S5>Disable. Are you also having problems with the sound? I am right now and trying to troubleshoot. Thanks for showing the fit on this cooler. It’s on my list after finding some VLP ram.
Nah, tried "Turn On LED in S5>Disable", it only turned off RGB lights when the power is connected, but computer not running. When running, RGB lights were still on.
 

BeginningDetail

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Nov 23, 2020
4
0
Hi Ricky, I was thinking about using the Black Ridge with a 120mm slim fan, I couldn't find any data on the temps, tho. May I ask you what CPU you are using and what temps are you getting?
 

Ricky Zeng

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jun 10, 2020
42
32
Hi Ricky, I was thinking about using the Black Ridge with a 120mm slim fan, I couldn't find any data on the temps, tho. May I ask you what CPU you are using and what temps are you getting?
R3600. Highest gaming temp was 68~70degC when room ambient temperature was 25~28degC earlier this year (Forza Horizon 4 / Fallout 4 / DCS 1080p). CPU was stock setting.
Right now, CPU temps could barely exceed 60degC when room temp is just under 20degC.
 
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