Asus fuels up a quartet of AMD B450 motherboards


Any new chipset means a slew of new motherboards is bound to follow, and Asus is joining the AMD B450 party with four fresh boards for every builder.

The party starts with the ROG Strix B450-F Gaming. This is a full-featured ATX board with metal-reinforced PCIe slots, an RGB LED-accented ROG logo on its chipset shroud, and some neat ROG foil graphics on its chipset heatsink. The board's back panel offers two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port. On the off chance you install a Ryzen APU in this board, it'll pipe pixels through an HDMI 2.0b port or a DisplayPort 1.2 output.

Like its B350 forebears, the B450-F will support the unlocked multipliers of Ryzen CPUs, so its fully-heatsinked VRM is a wecome sight. Asus' SupremeFX audio suite, an integrated I/O shield, and support for AMD's Precision Boost Overdrive and StoreMI features round out this sharp mid-range board.

For B450 builders who want to go small, Asus offers the ROG Strix B450-I Gaming. This Mini-ITX board puts its SupremeFX audio components on a separate riser to let Asus make the most of the available board area. The B450-I has two M.2 slots, four SATA ports, built-in 2x2 Wi-Fi, a metal-reinforced PCIe slot, and RGB LED edge lighting. Its rear panel offers an HDMI 2.0 port for Ryzen APUs, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, and Intel Gigabit Ethernet.

Both ROG boards employ an interesting strategy to deliver CPU-powered PCIe 3.0 x4 connectivity to all of their M.2 slots. If you install a PCIe SSD in the ROG boards' auxiliary M.2 slots, Asus routes four lanes from the main PCIe 3.0 x16 slot to that auxiliary slot. That leaves eight CPU lanes to the main PCIe x16 slot. We doubt many B450 builds will include GTX 1080 Tis or Titan Vs, but the bifurcation is something to be aware of.

Asus' TUF Gaming brigade kitted out the B450M-Plus Gaming, a microATX board that claims to be built, well, tough. Asus touts the quality of the B450M-Plus' VRM, chokes, and capacitors, as well as a range of ESD guards to prevent fresh recruits from zapping the board to death. The B450M-Plus Gaming has two USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 connector, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports on its back panel. Ryzen APUs can push pixels through HDMI 2.0 and DVI outputs on this board, and its six SATA connectors and single CPU-powered M.2 slot are ready for entry-level action.

Asus' Prime family is meant for mainstream builds, and so the Prime B450M-A focuses on the basics. This straightforward board has separate PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, a VGA connector, and a DVI-D port to cover its legacy bases. An HDMI 2.0b port stands ready to run modern displays with Ryzen APUs. Builders get two each of USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, and USB 2.0 ports, and an LED-illuminated audio path offers some photonic flair to go with the board's argyle screen print.

AMD hasn't officially launched the B450 chipset yet, but we would expect to see these boards in stores quite soon.

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