Fridays are usually pretty slow for tech news, but today is clearly an exception. AMD has announced its second-generation Ryzen CPU lineup, and motherboards from all the major manufacturers using AMD's X470 chipset are ready for pre-order with them. Asus isn't letting the day go by without its own wave of product announcements. The company is taking the wraps off of five new X470 motherboards. All but one of the new boards adhere to the full-size ATX form-factor, while the last one strips away some slots and ports to squeeze into a Mini-ITX profile.
All four ATX boards sport four DDR4 memory slots, while the Mini-ITX ROG Strix X470-I Gaming only has room for two slots. Every new board has two M.2 slots for storage devices. Some of the boards have M.2-2280 slots, while others can hold onto less common, larger M.2-22110 drives. The ROG Strix X470-F Gaming, Prime X470-Pro, and TUF X470-Plus Gaming can accept NVMe or SATA devices in either M.2 slot, while the others have one SATA-and-NVMe combo slot and one NVMe-only connector.
All of the ATX boards support up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory. The Strix X470-I predictably has half the maximum memory capacity as its brethren. The highest supported memory clock on the TUF board is 3200 MT/s, but the rest are ready for 3466 MT/s stuff or faster.
Asus saw fit to equip each of the new boards with at least one metal-reinforced PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. The ROG Crosshair VII Hero and the Strix X470-F each get a second steel-jacketed full-length slot. All four ATX boards can host AMD Crossfire setups, and the Crosshair VII, Strix X470-F, and the Prime board can also be used with a two-way Nvidia SLI configuration.
All the boards have two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports in the rear I/O connector array. The fancy-pants ROG Crosshair VII Hero and its Wi-Fi variant get a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port to go with their Type-A connectors, while the rest make do with two Type-A ports. The Strix X470-F, Prime, and TUF boards do have USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C ports, but the Strix X470-I is left out of the reversible USB connector party altogether.
All the new boards save the TUF X470-Plus Gaming get Intel I211AT Gigabit Ethernet controllers. The TUF outlier has to make do with a Realtek 8111H unit. The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) and the Strix X470-I also get 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.
Asus says the whole fleet is compatible with all AM4 chips from the "who-wants-that?" Bristol Ridge A-series APUs to the far-more-compelling Ryzen APUs to the upcoming second-generation Ryzen CPUs. Shoppers looking to build a system without a discrete graphics card would do well to avoid the pricey, enthusiast-focused ROG Crosshair VII, as it lacks any display outputs for processor graphics. All of the other boards have HDMI 1.4 outputs with support for 4K displays at 30 Hz, and the TUF board adds a DVI-D connector. The Strix X470-F and the Prime X470-Pro have a DisplayPort to go along with the HDMI connector.
As one would expect, the ROG Crosshair board brings the most bling with integrated RGB LEDs, two four-pin "plain" RGB LED headers, and two headers for addressable RGB LEDs. The Strix X470-F is a close second in the RGB arms race, losing only one of the addressable LED headers. The Strix X470-I has one of each type of pin header, and Prime and TUF buyers will have to look to the aftermarket if they want to add per-LED light-strip effects. Asus says the ROG Crosshair VII's Aura RGB control setup is compatible with Philips' popular Hue smarthome lighting system, too.
Every board has at least three hybrid fan headers for three- and four-pin fans. A whopping eight of those headers come standard on the ROG Crosshair VII Hero. Each board has a dedicated all-in-one liquid cooler pump header, too. The TUF board doesn't get any extra cooling gizmos for M.2 devices, but all the other models ship with M.2 heatsinks. The ROG Strix X470-I's second M.2 slot and cooler are mounted on a proprietary daughterboard that is also home to the board's SupremeFX-branded Realtek S1220A audio setup.
On the subject of audio, the TUF board gets a plain-jane Realtek ALC887 setup, while all the others get that previously-mentioned Realtek S1220A chip. The Prime's S1220A lacks Asus' ROG SupremeFX badging, though.
Newegg has all the new ATX boards up for pre-order now, with shipments starting on April 18. We imagine the $220 mini-ITX ROG Strix X470-I Gaming will come soon after. The Asus X470 party starts with the TUF X470-Plus Gaming and its $160 price tag. The next rung up the ladder is the $185 Prime X470-Pro. Buyers can earn citizenship in Asus' Republic of Gamers with the $215 ROG Strix X470-F. The whole-hog ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) commands a hearty $300, but buyers can save $20 by opting to skip the integrated Wi-Fi. Asus backs all the boards with a three-year warranty. Prospective shoppers can get more detail from TR alumnus Geoff Gasior's remarks on Asus' Edge Up blog.