ASRock revs up for AMD B450 with five new motherboards

Although we've been covering AMD's B450 motherboards as details have become available over the past couple of weeks, the official launch of those mobos happened yesterday. If you've missed our coverage of Gigabyte, Asus, and MSI's selections of freshened midrange mobos, be sure to check out our post on each manufacturer's wares for all the details.

ASRock is ready for B450 budget builds with five new motherboards of its own. The company's B450 offerings span ATX, microATX, and Mini-ITX form factors and stylings from mild to wild.

Starting from the top end of the ASRock B450 lineup, we get the Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4. This is an ATX board with a six-plus-three-phase VRM setup and full VRM heatsinks, RGB LED lighting around the chipset heatsink, and a metal-reinforced primary PCIe slot.

ASRock wires the primary M.2 slot on this board using the dedicated PCIe x4 connection the Ryzen SoC provides for storage devices, while the secondary slot gets two PCIe 3.0 lanes through lane-sharing with two of the board's six SATA ports.

On the Fatal1ty Gaming K4's back panel, ASRock offers two USB 2.0 ports, a hybrid PS/2 port, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports, and four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. Raven Ridge APUs can push pixels through a VGA connector, a DisplayPort 1.2 connector, or an HDMI 1.4 port. Gigabit Ethernet comes from a Realtek RTL8111H controller. All those features ring in for an even $100.

Next up in ASRock's ATX B450 offerings, we get the B450 Pro4. Like the Fata1ity board above, the B450 Pro4 offers a six-plus-two-phase power-delivery subsystem with full heatsink coverage. Likely thanks to its $90 price tag, this board doesn't have any RGB LED lighting on its various surfaces.

The B450 Pro4 still offers twin M.2 slots with the same lane arrangement as the Fata1ity board above, and its port cluster is identical, as well. If you don't value the Fatal1ty board's styling, the B450 Pro4 lets you keep $10 in your pocket without giving up any of its fundamental features.

For microATX B450 builders looking at ASRock's stable, the fun starts with the B450M Pro4. This midi-board is down some PCIe slots compared to its ATX sibling, but it keeps most of the regular Pro4's goodness. This board's port cluster even gets a DVI-D connector to go with the standard basket of connectivity seen on the Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4 and B450 Pro4.

Not all the changes to the B450M Pro4 are additive. This board only has four SATA ports compared to its ATX siblings' cluster of six, and its secondary M.2 slot only supports SATA devices (although its main slot maintains full PCIe 3.0 x4 connectivity). At $80, this board is likely to be a popular option for budget enthusiast builds.

For folks who need an even more no-frills B450 microATX board, ASRock has the B450M-HDV. This board drops to a four-plus-three-phase VRM design and only heatsinks the primary VRM circuitry, so it's not likely to be the best choice for intense overclocking. The HDV does away with twin M.2 slots, USB Type-C, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity to keep costs down.

This board does keep a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot for NVMe and SATA gumsticks. Four USB 3.1 Gen 1 and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports on its back panel offer peripheral expansion, and DVI-D, VGA, and HDMI 1.4 outs pipe pixels from Ryzen APUs. That paring-back leads to a $70 price tag.

Finally, ASRock has one option for Mini-ITX B450 builders. The Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac appears to implement a beefy six-plus-two-phase VRM design with a decent-sized heatsink on its primary phases—good news for small-form-factor overclockers and Ryzen 7 builders.

This board's back panel boasts two USB 2.0 ports, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and a hybrid PS/2 port. Ryzen APUs can hook up to displays from this board using a DisplayPort 1.2 connector and a welcome HDMI 2.0 port for running 4K displays at 60 Hz. Realtek's high-end ALC1220 codec handles sound-reproduction duties, and Intel controllers power this board's Gigabit Ethernet jack and wireless radios. At $129, this board seems reasonably priced for what looks like a fully-featured Mini-ITX mobo.

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