Today's big motherboard news is clearly the release of Intel's mainstream 300-series chipsets that drop a couple of features from the higher-end Z370 in exchange for somewhat-lower price tags. Asus is all in with the new chipsets and is showing off models in its TUF, Prime, and ROG lineups.
All of the company's new microATX and ATX boards sport four DDR4 DIMM slots. The physical limitations of the Mini-ITX form factor mean the two new boards in that tiny size have just two memory slots. In either case, each slot can work with modules up to 2666 MT/s in speed and 16 GB of capacity. Every new model has at least two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, an Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller, and two M.2 slots for storage devices. In all cases, one of the M.2 slots supports NVMe and SATA drives and the second works only with new-fangled NVMe devices.
The company's TUF reliability-centric sub-brand swells by two with the release of the TUF B360 Pro Gaming Wi-Fi and TUF H370 Pro Gaming Wi-Fi. These two ATX boards are quite similar besides the fancier chipset in the H370 board and the splash of yellow on the B360 model. Both have one steel-jacketed PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, a second full-length slot that's wired with four PCIe 3.0 lanes, and four plain-jane PCIe x1 slots.
HTPC builders planning on using the integrated graphics might want to skip right past the B360 Pro Gaming because its VGA and HDMI outputs can't display 4K resolutions at 60 Hz. The H370 board adds in a DisplayPort capable of 3840x2160 at 60 Hz. As one would expect from the long-winded names, both boards capitalize on the 802.11ac capability baked into Intel's newest chipsets. The words "gaming" and "RGB" are pretty much synonymous these days, so both TUF models sport a single Aura Sync RGB LED header.
One of Asus' new microATX boards is part of the company's Prime lineup. The Prime H370M-Plus has a subdued color scheme, no RGB LED illumination of any kind, and no Wi-Fi. The board has one PCIe x16 slot, a full-length PCIe with four lanes, and two x1 slots. Fleet buyers can choose a special Corporate Stable Model (CSM) edition that includes complimentary advance warranty replacement.
The manufacturer's ROG Strix line gets the most new members, bearing three B360 models and three H370 variations. The Mini-ITX Strix B360-I Gaming and Strix H370-I Gaming both use the 802.11ac Wi-Fi controller that Intel added to its new mainstream chipsets. Curiously, none of the larger boards take advantage of it. All the Strix boards get a Realtek S1220A audio setup instead of the Realtek ALC887 chip on the plainer TUF and Prime units. The six boards have a similar feature set, but the H370-F Gaming and the B360-F Gaming add a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port (for a total of three), while the H370-I Gaming has a second Gigabit LAN port with a Realtek controller.
The H370-F Gaming, B360-F Gaming, B360-H Gaming, and microATX B360-G Gaming all get an RGB LED strip header, while the H370-I Gaming and B360-I Gaming boards both get a header for fancier directly-addressable LEDs. The display connectors vary by model, so builders planning on using the HD Graphics IGP inside the eighth-generation processors should check the specs page closely before buying. The B360-G and B360-H boards are finished with a distinctive futuristic-typography style, while the remaining boards rely on their color-changing LEDs to make a visual statement.
All of Asus' new boards have product pages on Amazon and Newegg, but none of them are in stock yet as of this moment. The Prime H370M-Plus is the most affordable unit at a modest $100. The Strix B360-G Gaming checks in at $110, and the Strix B360-H Gaming at $10 more. The TUF B360-Pro Gaming and Strix B360-I Gaming both hit shelves at the same $130 price point. The TUF B360-Pro Gaming costs $135, and a $140 tag is shared by the Strix B360-F Gaming, Strix H370-F Gaming, and Strix H370-I Gaming.