Motherboards PC Hardware

REVIEW | ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming

Though it is not yet slated for local release in the Philippines, Asus let us check out their ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming motherboard but they are waiting to see how interested the local consumers will be with this model. So, with this review, we want to try to be as detailed as we can so that we can bring out the proper information for consumers out there who are waiting on Asus to bring their mini-itx AM4 motherboards in the PH market

The B450 Chipset

Compared to the previous B350 chipset, B450 chipset equipped motherboards will have 24 PCIe Gen. 3 lanes, better overclocking support for all Ryzen processors, memory overclocking, and AMD StoreMI Technology. This means that the mid-range consumer will have access to all the high-end features similar to the X470 chipset. We personally feel that the StoreMI Technology is the most unique feature that AMD has included with the B450 as this is being offered this without extra cost.

Looking back at the current AMD processors available in AM4 platform, all AM4 processors are backwards compatible with A320, B350, X370, and X470 serving different needs and purposes. This is advantageous to consumers because won’t have to buy a totally different set of hardware because of the AM4 platform’s long-term upgrade path.

What’s in the box?

The front of the box has the distinct ROG Strix branding and notably, it indicates that the motherboard is “AMD RYZEN DESKTOP 2000 READY” so if you are going for any 2nd Generation Ryzen processors, you won’t have to worry about flashing a new bios which has been a major issue when the new processors came out prompting AMD to offer a “boot kit” for users who already bought an older generation 3xx series motherboard and couldn’t get their new Ryzen processors to work.

Indicated on the back of the box are the specifications of the motherboard, some detailed images, as well as some of the featured highlights.

The contents of the box are as follows:

  • B450-I Gaming motherboard
  • Usual paperwork and driver CD
  • WiFi antennae
  • I/O Shield
  • Two SATA cables
Aesthetics

The Asus ROG Strix B450-I Gaming has a black PC and a fat VRM heatsink on top of the v-core mosfets.

The top m.2  SSD slot has a cool looking heatsink with ROG prints that gives it an industrial sci-fi look and interestingly, the PCB itself also carries the sound card and can actually be detached from the board.

 

The Aura Sync RGB features is also another eye candy this motherboard offers as well as an RGB LED strip on the side.

Even the I/O ports of the sound card is lit up (not addressable RGB though) which makes it easier for users to see the audio ports in low light. So if you’ve got a pretty case like the InWin A1, this motherboard will definitely be one of the good choices out there in terms of eye candy.

Main motherboard technical specifications
  • CPU

AMD AM4 Socket AMD Ryzen™ 2nd Generation/Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics/Ryzen™ 1st Generation Processors

  • Memory

AMD Ryzen™ 2nd Generation Processors
2 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR4 3600(O.C.)/3466(O.C.)/3400(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics/ Ryzen™ 1st Generation Processors
2 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR4 3400(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

  • Graphics

Integrated Graphics in the AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics/ 7th Generation A-Series APU
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI ports
– Supports HDMI 2.0b with maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 2048 MB (for iGPU exclusively)

  • Expansion Slots

AMD Ryzen™ 2nd Generation/ Ryzen™ 1st Generation Processors
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 mode)

AMD Ryzen™ 2nd Generation/ Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics/ Ryzen™ 1st Generation Processors
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode)

  • Storage

AMD Ryzen™ 2nd Generation/ Ryzen™ 1st Generation Processors
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)

1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)

AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics Processor
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)

4 x SATA 6Gb/s ports

  • LAN

Intel® I211-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Anti-surge LANGuard
ROG GameFirst IV

  • Wireless Data Network

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Supports MU-MIMO

  • Bluetooth

Bluetooth v4.2, 4.0LE, 3.0+HS

  • Audio

ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A
– Dual OP Amplifiers
– Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
– Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
– High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
– Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback

  • USB Ports

4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port(s) (2 at back panel, red, Type-A)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (2 at mid-board)
2 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at mid-board)

  • AURA
    – Aura Lighting Control

Official Product Page

 

I/O Connectivity

For the back-panel connections, we have the following:

1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A,
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue) ,
3 x LED-illuminated audio jacks
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.2)

Internal Connectivity

1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 header supports additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports

1 x USB 2.0 header supports additional 2 USB 2.0 ports

4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

1 x M.2_1 Socket 3 for M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support

1 x M.2_2 Socket 3 for M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support

1 x 4-Pin CPU fan connector 1 x 4-Pin AIO_PUMP fan connector

1 x 4-Pin Chassis fan connector

1 x Thermal sensor connector

1 x RGB header

1 x Addressable RGB header

1 x 24-pin EATX power connector

1 x 8-pin EATX 12V power connector

1 x System panel connector

1 x Front panel audio connector (AAFP)

1 x Speaker header

1 x Clear CMOS jumper (2-pin)

VRM cooling and overclocking performance

The Asus ROG Strix B450-I Gaming uses a custom ASP1405i, a 6+2 VRM Phase controller, which is based on the International Rectifier IR35201. The mosfets used on the power phases are the International Rectifier IR3553 which is a 40A integrated PowIRStage

The high quality components are expect of Asus they always bring this kind of standard in their ROG line of products.

For overclocking we tested this with our Ryzen 2600x overclocked at 4.2GHz at 1.37v using the latest version of Ryzen Master Software. The CPU is cooled by the AMD Wraith Prism which in most cases, can handle high overclocks. To simulate a realistic workload, we used Blender, an open source 3D creation program with the Ryzen demo file.

During the test, the peak CPU temperature we got is 70°C and for the motherboard we had a peak of 53°C after running the render test three times. We didn’t experience any instability or crashing, and the CPU and motherboard temperatures remained at acceptable levels.

Conclusion

As expected of the Asus ROG branding, the quality of the components of this motherboard is well deserved its price point which is around $155 on Amazon as of the time of this writing.

Overclocking a 6-core and even an 8-core Ryzen processor can be done with this motherboard without worrying much about temperatures as the chunky heatsink on top of the VRMs handled the heat very well and with the IR3553 mosfets that has a peak efficiency of 93.2%, the system will be stable if you don’t put it under extreme conditions.

The motherboard also offers Aura Sync capable RGB lighting which will be very attractive to a lot of people and makes it an added value that other motherboards in this form factor doesn’t really offer.

Pros
  • High quality VRM Components
  • RGB Led and Aura Sync capability
  • Dual m.2 slots
Cons
  • Secondary m.2 slot underneath the motherboard will be unavailable when using an APU, though this is more likely a chipset limitation.

 

 

 

 

Ira James
Editor-in-chief | Tech Journalist | AMD Ryzen and AOC Gaming influencer | PC Hardware Enthusiast | Mixed Martial Artist

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