ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F Gaming Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 8 months ago
A Closer Look
Motherboards all look pretty similar these days, but damn does this one look a LOT like the high-end X470-F Gaming we reviewed a few months back. That’s no bad thing of course, as the X470-F is a beautiful looking motherboard. There are differences though, you just have to look a little harder to spot them. The chipset cover is smaller, there’s no M.2 shroud, 1x PCIe slot is moved up to the top, and the VRM is less complex. Still, they do look very similar indeed.
On the X470-F you would find more chokes and caps in here, but since this isn’t designed for extreme overclocking, that’s hardly a shocker. However, this is still a competent setup and still has the same chunky VRM cooling as its bigger X470 brother, despite having less hardware to cool.
It draws its power from a single 8-pin header, which is again, more than enough for any Ryzen 2000 series CPU and overclocking.
The rear I/O guard is huge and helps tidy up the motherboard design quite nicely. It also features an RGB ASUS Owl-Eye design, which is pretty neat.
There are four DIMM slots, as well as the first of two USB 3.0 headers here. Towards the top, you’ll also find an RGB header, as a pair of CPU fan headers.
Further down the side, you’ll find six SATA ports, which is certainly more than enough for most system builds these days.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. There are three “full-size” PCIe slots, however, they’re wired at 16x, 8x, and 4x respectively. You do also get three 1x slots too, giving you plenty of expansion options for a mid-budget motherboard. There are two M.2 mounts also, offering you NVMe RAID support, as well as various configurations using AMD Store MI.
The custom design here is pretty cool too, matching up with the custom print on the PCB. You can have this stock sticker, or swap it for the vibrantly coloured one included in the box.
The audio hardware is pretty robust and features the fantastic SupremeFX S1220A Codec. This included Impedance Sense, Shielding, Dual OP Amps, gold capacitors, and a separating trace on the motherboard.
Finally, we have the super tidy looking rear I/O, which comes with the shield built-in. It features eight USB ports in total, including high-speed USB 3, Type C and USB 2. There’s even a PS2 port, which should keep some gamers and overclockers happy.