Asus ROG Strix X370-F and B350-F mobos take wing

AMD launched its high-end Ryzen processors first and saved the lineup's mid-range offerings for later. Now that Ryzen 5 processors have been out on the market and Ryzen 3 processors are getting closer, it appears that Asus thought it was a good time to announce a pair of upper-midrange AM4 motherboards. These new offerings are the ROG Strix X370-F Gaming and ROG Strix B350-F Gaming.

The ROG motherboards from Asus are known for their premium components, RGB LED bling, and gamer-friendly features. The ROG Strix X370-F Gaming checks all of these boxes. It's a big ATX board with dual, steel-reinforced PCI-e slots, one M.2 slot, and support for DDR4 RAM at 3200 MT/s. There's an onboard Intel I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet controller and a Realtek S1220A audio codec.

The board includes one DisplayPort and one HDMI connector, even though AMD doesn't have a socket AM4 APU out on the market yet. The high-end X370 chipset offers a lot of connectivity, so accordingly there's a total of 10 USB ports in various flavors on the back panel, including USB 3.1 ports in Type-A and Type-C flavors. The board includes more than a few features for those inclined to overclock. A base clock generator headlines the list, and it could allow intrepid tweakers to push their CPUs' BCLK frequencies above 100 MHz for extreme memory overclocking. Asus claims users can push this frequency up to or beyond 158MHz on the X370-F.

A ROG board just wouldn't look right without a few visual touches. The ROG Strix X370-F Gaming incorporates RGB LEDs (notably on the large I/O cover) and extra connectors with Aura Sync support.

In many ways, the ROG Strix B350-F Gaming motherboard is the little cousin of the ROG Strix X370-F. The most important difference is the chipset, as the board employs AMD's mid-range B350 offering. Accordingly, the board has a couple fewer USB ports on the back and fewer PCIe lanes. The two USB 3.1 ports are of Type-A. Additionally, the B350-F doesn't use the standalone base clock generator. However, the board still includes the Intel I211-AT Ethernet controller, S1220A audio codec, and steel-reinforced PCI-e slots.

While details on both boards are up on Asus' website, they haven't yet made it to online retailers. Asus hasn't yet revealed pricing or availability.

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