It is a great year to be an AMD fan because Ryzen processors are more than available in the market with a wide array of motherboard selections and a reasonable upgrade path as AMD promises to support the AM4 platform for a couple of years allowing users to take advantage of forward and backward compatibility so that they can upgrade without having to overhaul their entire systems.
Our good friends at Asus sent us one of their AM4 motherboards that packs all the motherboard features you will need combining it with the iconic Republic of Gamers aesthetic. Here present to you the ROG Strix B450-F Gaming motherboard.
What’s in the box?
The ROG Strix B450-F Gaming has a monochromatic look with it’s black PCB and gunmetal grey heatsinks on the VRM’s as well as on top of the chipset. This should blend in any PC build theme and I’m sure PC modders would love this neutral design.
As you can see, the rear panel I/O cover comes pre-installed which is a nice touch, making life easier for PC builders. Here you can see that it has a couple of ports with a combination of USB 2.0, USB 3.1, a USB Type-C port, HDMI, DisplayPort, Gigabit internet connection, PS/2 port, and audio jacks.
Throughout the motherboard you will find tons of connectivity:
- ATX Power connections (24-pin EATXPWR, 8-pin EATX12v)
- Fan and pump headers (4-pin CPU fan, 4-pin CPU_OPT, three 4-pin chassis fan, one 4-pin AIO pump header)
- two Aura RGB headers
- USB 3.1 Gen1 header
- six SATA connectors (6.0Gb/s)
- M.2 sockets
- USB 2.0 headers
- four DIMM slots that supports up to 64GB 3200mhz memory
- two PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or x8/x4)
- one PCIe 2.0 x16
- three PCIe 2.0 x1
Do take note that the three “full-size” PCIe slots are with at x16, x8, and x4 which will allow for a three-way AMD Crossfire setup.
Not that it will be get noticed that much when you finish building your PC but I like the ROG prints on the back of the motherboard PCB. It’s definitely a nice touch.
The plastic shroud on top of the rear I/O also has an RGB lit ROG logo which can be customized using the AURA RGB software.
One thing we didn’t like about this motherboard is the placement of the LED Debug which sits right behind the DIMM slots. If you have a beefy CPU cooler blocking the view, it will be difficult to make out what it actually says so that’s something to keep in mind.
VRM power delivery and cooling
Compared to it’s X470 and X370 counterparts there are less chokes and capacitors in the VRM giving indication that this board can only handle mild overclocking. At first glance it looks like it’s using an 8-phase VRM but it is actually 4-phase using a ASP1106GGQW controller: 4 phases with 4C10B highside MOSFET and two 4C06B lowside MOSFET. This setup is actually not bad and it was able to handle our 8-core Ryzen 7 2700 without any problems.
Despite it having a 4-phase VRM, we fired up AIDA64’s CPU stress test with our 8-core Ryzen 7 2700 at 4.2GHz with1.4v on the vcore for about an hour and the system didn’t die out. We did this on our open test bench with an ambient temperature of 24°C. The Ryzen 7 2700 maxed out at 54°C with the Noctua NH-U12S but you can see the rest of the charts on the images below.
Unlike the higher end ROG motherboards, specific temperature sensors aren’t labeled as detected by HWMonitor but we can assume that the TMPIN0 is the CPU temp, TMPIN1 is the Chipset temperature, and the TMPIN2 is the VRM. With the Ryzen 7 2700 drawing around 100w, the TMPIN2 sits around 49°C.
Quick look at the BIOS
The UEFI Bios of the ROG Strix B450-F is pretty much the same with other ROG motherboards giving you the option to use Easy or Advanced mode for overclcoking.
The Advanced mode has a couple of options in it’s Ai Tweaker tab for manually overclocking both your CPU and Memory.
Given it’s solid ROG aesthetic, the ROG Strix B450-F Gaming is great for gamers who are invested in the ROG Ecosystem, and even if you’re not, there is great value in having this at the core of your gaming PC as this motherboard offers RGB lighting, an adequate power phase, tons of expansion options such as having two M.2 drives, tons of hard drives, as well as several PCIe slots and lots of fan headers.
If you are looking to build your next Ryzen powered gaming PC, we will not hesitate to recommend this board and we will give it our Silver Award.
- Great aesthetics
- RGB lighting options
- lots of expansion options: M.2 and several PCIe
- decent overclocking potential
- Weird placement of the LED DEBUG