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 2×2 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.

Comments closed
    • Ula
    • 1 year ago

    Cool

    • strangerguy
    • 1 year ago

    All those “GAMING” stamped on everything these days because you can’t possibly game on anything without those edgelord wordings in the past like 30 years of PC history.

    • albundy
    • 1 year ago

    the final nail in the coffin for PCI. rest in reeses pieces old friend.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    Dear Asus,

    I would like to buy a high-end consumer board from you but do not want to have it covered in graffiti or gaming logos. Not all consumers want gamer bling; My money has been waiting for you for a few years now.

    Passive Aggressive Regards,

    Disgruntled adult.

      • DPete27
      • 1 year ago

      No kidding. Even if Asus was the best choice from a technical standpoint, I wouldn’t buy those first two boards simply for all the graffiti on them. Even if it’s going inside a window-less case, I’d probably vomit on the board during installation and wreck it.

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        LOL

        • OptimumSlinky
        • 1 year ago

        The sad thing is the previous generation was actually looked great. I have the Strix B350-F and other than a little bit of RGB (which you can disable), it looks sleek with a great gun-metal motif.

        This new gen is hideous, but given how many people seem to like the cringe graffiti on the ROG Twitter, I can see why Asus is pushing it. The Crosshair VII hasn’t been infected yet, but then you’re looking at doubling the price.

      • Takeshi7
      • 1 year ago

      That will cost extra. You’ll need to upgrade to their workstation or server line to get that feature.

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        Workstation and server manufacturers build their own motherboards. No need to get Asus involved 😉

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 1 year ago

          Isn’t it likely that your favorite workstation and server manufacturers contract Asus or Foxconn to build the motherboards that they put their names on?

            • Chrispy_
            • 1 year ago

            Probably, but if Asus did manufacture it, when it has Dell or IBM printed on it, I can guarantee that it’s functional design, not a grafitti-encrusted ‘fashion’ statement.

      • albundy
      • 1 year ago

      it doesn’t matter really for me. once it’s loaded into my closet rackmount, i will never see it again unless something goes wrong in the system.

    • Bonusbartus
    • 1 year ago

    Somehow I still don’t get the metal reinforces PCIe slot.. nor the cheap low-end audio solutions on the less high end boards
    I do like the move to Intel Gbit NICs on AMD boards though

      • stdRaichu
      • 1 year ago

      [quote<]Somehow I still don't get the metal reinforces PCIe slot..[/quote<] Are you one of those weirdos that [i<]doesn't[/i<] stand on the edge of your graphics card to use as a diving board when you have a LAN party at your local swimming pool?

    • gerryg
    • 1 year ago

    Jeff Kampman posted a long awesome reply to me on the Gigabyte B450 news post, about the various mobo vendors. Check it out! [url<]https://techreport.com/discussion/33914/gigabyte-shifts-into-overdrive-with-its-amd-b450-motherboard-range#metal[/url<]

      • DPete27
      • 1 year ago

      I think Chrispy(?) has had some not-so-pleasant experiences with Asus’ BIOS/software. Moreso, Asus is typically the highest priced option and I think they justify the price premium from their software.

      IMO, Windows software for a mobo is a waste of time. If it’s not in the UEFI, it doesn’t count.

      I think Gigabyte offers the best balance of features/BIOS/price if the budget allows.

      AsRock’s fan controls are perfectly fine IMO. There’s a GUI fan speed curve in the UEFI similar to Asus/Gigabyte. AsRock typically offers the most/$ and since I’m a thrifty person, I usually end up buying AsRock instead of Gigabyte.

      MSI only becomes a consideration (to me) if the budget is tight and the price is low. Good think about MSI is that their mail-in-rebates generally are seller agnostic (double check before you buy) which means you can shop around for better deals on other sites knowing you’ll still be able to get the MIR, even if that site forgot to post the MIR.
      [Add] I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that MSI’s mystic lighting (RGB controls) are not nearly as good as Asus/Gigabyte(?)

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        Accurate.

        We now use mostly Gigabyte boards. The ideal solution of Asus’s firmware design with Gigabyte’s firmware stability doesn’t exist, so we put up with the functional but ugly Gigabyte firmware instead.

        I actually think that Asrock have overtaken MSI in my own personal ranking of the big 4 board vendors. I suspect MSI boards are higher manufacturing quality (their PCBs are certainly thicker, stronger and better-looking with that matte-black finish) but Asrock seem to have the cheap/simple/reliable end of their product stack sewn up pretty nicely; I was also talking to our AMD rep about Threadripper 2 compatibility the other day and he started gushing praise of Asrock’s TR4 implementations without provocation, so they’re obviously doing something right….

    • 223 Fan
    • 1 year ago

    Ryzen 5 2600X + B450-I + G.Skill 3200 memory + RVZ-03 would be a nice start to replace my current i3770 build. I can’t help but wish the B450-I had a 4 lane Thunderbolt 3 for an eGPU.

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