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AMD Smart Access Memory : How To Enable It?

AMD Smart Access Memory (Resizable BAR) Guide

Find out what AMD Smart Access Memory is all about, and how to turn it on for a FREE BOOST in performance!

 

Smart Access Memory : PCIe Resizable BAR for AMD!

Smart Access Memory is AMD’s marketing term for their implementation of the PCI Express Resizable BAR (Base Address Registers) capability.

What does that mean exactly?

CPUs are traditionally limited to a 256 MB I/O memory address region for the GPU frame buffer. This of it as an “data dump” for stuff like textures, shaders and geometry.

Since this “data dump” is limited to 256 MB, the CPU can only send texture, shader and geometry data as and when the GPU requires them.

This introduces some latency – delay from when the GPU requires the data, and the CPU send them.

Turning on Resizable BAR or Smart Access Memory greatly expands the size of that data dump, letting the CPU directly access the GPU’s entire frame buffer memory.

Instead of transferring data when requested by the GPU, the CPU processes and stores the data directly in the graphics memory.

Graphics assets can be transferred to graphics memory in full, instead of in pieces. In addition, multiple transfers can occur simultaneously, instead of being queued up.

While this AMD graphic above suggests that Smart Access Memory will widen the memory path (and thus memory bandwidth) between the CPU and GPU, that is not true.

Smart Access Memory / Resizable BAR will not increase memory bandwidth.

What it does is let the CPU directly access the entire GPU frame buffer memory, instead of using the usual 256 MB “dump”. That reduces latency because the graphics assets are now accessible by the GPU at all times.

 

AMD Smart Access Memory : Performance Gains

According to AMD, enabling Smart Access Memory will give you a small but free boost of 5% to 11% in gaming performance.

Here is a summary of the test results from our article, RX 6800 XT Smart Access Memory Performance Comparison!

You can expect up to 16% better performance in some games, but no effect in certain games. But overall, you get a free boost in performance. There is simply no reason not to enable Smart Access Memory.

1080p Resolution (1920 x 1080)

1440p Resolution (2560 x 1440)

2160p Resolution (3840 x 2160)

 

AMD Smart Access Memory : Requirements

Since Smart Access Memory is just an AMD implementation of PCI Express Resizable BAR. Therefore, it can be be implemented for all PCI Express 3.0 and PCI Express 4.0 graphics cards and motherboards.

However, AMD is currently limiting it to a small subset of components, having validated it only for their new Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, select Ryzen 3000 Series Processors and Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards.

So this is what you currently require to enable AMD Smart Access Memory :

Hardware

Software

  • AMD Radeon Software Driver 20.11.2 or newer
  • Latest Motherboard BIOS (AMD AGESA 1.1.0.0 or newer)

AMD currently recommends these X570 motherboards, because they have updated BIOS available :

 

AMD Smart Access Memory : How To Enable It?

If you have all of those supported components above, and updated your motherboard BIOS, you need to manually enable Smart Access Memory.

Now, the method will vary from motherboard to motherboard, and it probably won’t even be called Smart Access Memory.

Instead, look for variations of Above 4G Decoding, or Resizing BAR, or Resizable BAR, or Re-Size BAR Support.

AMD Generic Method

AMD has provided these generic steps to enable Smart Access Memory :

  1. Enter the System BIOS by press <DEL> or <F12> during the system startup.
  2. Navigate to the Advanced Settings or Advanced menu.
  3. Enable “Above 4G Decoding” and “Re-Size BAR Support“.
  4. Save the changes and restart the computer.

Step-by-Step Method For ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero

In our guide, we are using the ASUS CROSSHAIR VIII Hero (AMD X570) motherboard, as an example :

  1. First you will need to turn off CSM (Compatibility Support Module), or make sure it’s disabled.Go to the Boot menu and look for a CSM / Compatibility Support Module option.

  1. Set CSM (Compatibility Support Module) to Disabled.

  1. Go to the Advanced menu and look for the PCI Subsystem. In other motherboards, look for PCIe / PCI Express configuration options.

  1. Enable Above 4G Decoding.

  1. This will give you access to the Re-Size BAR Support option. Set it to Auto.

  1. Now go to the Exit menu, and select Save Changes & Reset.

  1. It will ask you to confirm the changes. Just verify both, and click OK.

After the motherboard reboots, AMD Smart Access Memory (PCIe Resizable BAR) will be enabled for your Ryzen 5000 series CPU and Radeon RX 6000 series graphics card!

 

CSM Warning For GIGABYTE AORUS X570 Master

AMD currently recommends these X570 motherboards, because they have updated BIOS available :

CSM is disabled by default for the ASUS, ASRock and MSI motherboards. However, it is enabled by default in the GIGABYTE AORUS X570 Master.

If you installed Windows without first turning CSM off, it will be configured as non-UEFI. It will NOT boot if you enable Resizable BAR Support (Smart Access Memory).

You will need to reinstall Windows with CSM support disabled.

 

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Precision Boost Overdrive 2 : Adaptive Undervolting Comes To Ryzen!

AMD just introduced Precision Boost Overdrive 2 (PBO2), which introduces adaptive undervolting for Ryzen processors, amongst other improvements.

Find out what Precision Boost Overdrive 2 offers, and what effect it has on performance of AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors!

 

Precision Boost Overdrive 2 : Improved Overclocking + Adaptive Undervolting!

Precision Boost Overdrive is the dynamic overclocking capability built into AMD Ryzen processors, with these features :

  • raises socket power limit
  • raises motherboard VRM limit
  • can override max boost frequency
  • primarily designed to improve multi-thread performance

Precision Boost Overdrive 2 (PBO2) comes with all of the original PBO features, as well as these new features :.

  • improved single-thread performance
  • adds adaptive undervolting capability
  • adds standalone undervolting capability for AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processors
  • improved performance per watt.
  • can lower operating temperatures.
  • ability to customise voltages and frequencies to a specific processor.

 

Precision Boost Overdrive 2 : Curve Optimizer

The new adaptive undervolting capability in Precision Boost Overdrive 2 (PBO2) is achieved through the Curve Optimizer.

The new Curve Optimizer tells the firmware what window of undervolting is desired, and adapts to both light and heavy workloads.

Undervolting, however, will not be done with raw millivolts. Instead, it will be applied with “counts“.

  • 1 Count is approximately 3 mV ~ 5 mV. This range means less undervolting during high loads, and more undervolting when the load is lower.
  • You can adjust the voltage by +/- 30 Counts. 30 Counts would be a range of 90~150 mV.
  • The adjustments can be applied per core, or on all cores.

The Curve Optimizer algorithm is adaptive – so it will automatically underplot when the circumstances are suitable, and restore voltage when it needs to.

 

Precision Boost Overdrive 2 : Performance Boost

According to AMD, PBO2 offers better single-threaded performance than the original PBO.

Enabling it will let the Ryzen 7 5800X deliver 2.6% better 1T performance in CINEBENCH R20, while the Ryzen 9 5900X delivers 2% better 1T performance.

Hardly earth-shattering performance, but hey, it’s free!

Multi-threaded performance also gets a small but nice boost from PBO2.

AMD says the Ryzen 7 5800X should get a 2.2% boost, while the Ryzen 9 5900X gets a very nice 10% boost in multi-threaded performance!

 

Precision Boost Overdrive 2 : System Requirements

Here are the system requirements for Precision Boost Overdrive 2 to work :

  • AMD Ryzen 5000 Series desktop processor
  • AMD 500 or 400 Series motherboard
  • Motherboard BIOS based on AMD AGESA 1.1.8.0 or later

The PBO2 update is available for all AMD Ryzen 5000 Series desktop processors through a motherboard BIOS upgrade available in December 2020.

 

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Processors : Where To Buy?

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

 

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AMD B550 Chipset : What You Need To Know!

AMD introduced the B550 chipset as part of their Spring 2020 desktop Ryzen update, offering PCI Express 4.0 support at a lower price point. Here is what you need to know!

 

AMD B550 Chipset : Official Tech Briefing

Let’s start with the official AMD B550 tech briefing by AMD Ryzen Product Marketing Manager, Erin Maiorino.

 

AMD B550 Chipset : Key Features

The AMD B550 chipset is an upgrade of the B450 chipset from 18 months ago, introducing three key features :

  • PCI Express 4.0 support for both graphics cards and NVMe storage
  • Dual GPU support
  • PCI Express 3.0 general purpose lanes

This AMD table gives you a good idea of what the B550 chipset offers over the B450, and how it differs from the X570.

It is obvious that unless you use multiple NVMe SSDs in your system, the new AMD B550 will offer a much better value proposition than the X570.

This diagram shows what PCI Express lanes and USB ports are available through the B550 chipset, and the 3rd Gen Ryzen processor.

While AMD has been rather decent in providing backward compatibility for their newer Ryzen processors, eventually a chipset will not sufficiently support a newer processor.

Like the X570, the new B550 chipset will support future AMD Ryzen processors based on the Zen 3 microarchitecture.

 

AMD B550 Motherboard : Availability

AMD says that their partners have some 60 motherboard designs in the pipeline, and that you should expect some B550 motherboards to ship by 16 June 2020.

 

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Memory DQ Drive Strength from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide!

Memory DQ Drive Strength

Common Options : Not Reduced, Reduced 15%, Reduced 30%, Reduced 50%

 

Memory DQ Drive Strength : A Quick Review

The Memory DQ Drive Strength BIOS feature allows you to reduce the drive strength for the memory DQ (data) pins.

But it does not allow you to increase the drive strength because it has already been set to use the maximum drive strength by default.

When set to Not Reduced, the DQ drive strength will remain at full strength.

When set to Reduced 15%, the DQ drive strength will be reduced by approximately 15%.

When set to Reduced 30%, the DQ drive strength will be reduced by approximately 30%.

When set to Reduced 50%, the DQ drive strength will be reduced by approximately 50%.

Generally, you should keep the memory data pins at full strength if you have multiple memory modules. The greater the DRAM load, the more memory drive strength you need.

But no matter how many modules you use, AMD recommends that you set this BIOS feature to Not Reduced if you are using a CG or D revision Athlon 64 or Opteron processor.

However, if you are only using a single memory module, you can reduce the DQ drive strength to improve signal quality and possibly achieve higher memory clock speeds.

If you hit a snag in overclocking your memory modules, you can also try reducing the DQ drive strength to achieve higher clock speeds, even if you are using multiple memory modules.

AMD recommends that you reduce the DQ drive strength for Revision E Athlon 64 and Opteron processors. For example, the DQ drive strength should be reduced by 50% if you are using a Revision E Athlon 64 or Opteron processor with memory modules based on the Samsung 512 Mbits TCCD SDRAM chip.

 

Memory DQ Drive Strength : The Full Details

Every Dual Inline Memory Module (DIMM) has 64 data (DQ) lines. These lines transfer data from the DRAM chips to the memory controller and vice versa.

No matter what kind of DRAM chips are used (whether it’s regular SDRAM, DDR SDRAM or DDR2 SDRAM), the 64 data lines allow it to transfer 64-bits of data every clock cycle.

Each DIMM also has a number of data strobe (DQS) lines. These serve to time the data transfers on the DQ lines. The number of DQS lines depends on the type of memory chip used.

DIMMs based on x4 DRAM chips have 16 DQS lines, while DIMMs using x8 DRAM chips have 8 DQS lines and DIMMs with x16 DRAM chips have only 4 DQS lines.

Memory data transfers begin with the memory controller sending its commands to the DIMM. If data is to be read from the DIMM, then DRAM chips on the DIMM will drive their DQ and DQS (data strobe) lines.

On the other hand, if data is to be written to the DIMM, the memory controller will drive its DQ and DQS lines instead.

If many output buffers (on either the DIMMs or the memory controller) drive their DQ lines simultaneously, they can cause a drop in the signal level with a momentary raise in the relative ground voltage.

This reduces the quality of the signal which can be problematic at high clock speeds. Increasing the drive strength of the DQ pins can help give it a higher voltage swing, improving the signal quality.

However, it is important to increase the DQ drive strength according to the DRAM load. Unnecessarily increasing the DQ drive strength can cause the signal to overshoot its rising and falling edges, as well as create more signal reflection.

All this increase signal noise, which ironically negates the increased signal strength provided by a higher drive strength. Therefore, it is sometimes useful to reduce the DQ drive strength.

With light DRAM loads, you can reduce the DQ drive strength to lower signal noise and improve the signal-noise ratio. Doing so will also reduce power consumption, although that is probably low on most people’s list of importance. In certain cases, it actually allows you to achieve a higher memory clock speed.

This is where the Memory DQ Drive Strength BIOS feature comes in. It allows you to reduce the drive strength for the memory data pins.

But it does not allow you to increase the drive strength because it has already been set to use the maximum drive strength by default.

When set to Not Reduced, the DQ drive strength will remain at full strength.

When set to Reduced 15%, the DQ drive strength will be reduced by approximately 15%.

When set to Reduced 30%, the DQ drive strength will be reduced by approximately 30%.

When set to Reduced 50%, the DQ drive strength will be reduced by approximately 50%.

Generally, you should keep the memory data pins at full strength if you have multiple memory modules. The greater the DRAM load, the more memory drive strength you need.

But no matter how many modules you use, AMD recommends that you set this BIOS feature to Not Reduced if you are using a CG or D revision Athlon 64 or Opteron processor.

However, if you are only using a single memory module, you can reduce the DQ drive strength to improve signal quality and possibly achieve higher memory clock speeds.

If you hit a snag in overclocking your memory modules, you can also try reducing the DQ drive strength to achieve higher clock speeds, even if you are using multiple memory modules.

AMD recommends that you reduce the DQ drive strength for Revision E Athlon 64 and Opteron processors. For example, the DQ drive strength should be reduced by 50% if you are using a Revision E Athlon 64 or Opteron processor with memory modules based on the Samsung 512 Mbits TCCD SDRAM chip.

 

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VGA Share Memory Size from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide!

VGA Share Memory Size

Common Options for UMA : 1MB, 4MB, 8MB, 16MB, 32MB, 64MB, 128MB

Common Options for DVMT : 1MB, 8MB

 

VGA Share Memory Size : A Quick Review

The VGA Share Memory Size BIOS feature controls the amount of system memory that is allocated to the integrated graphics processor when the system boots up.

However, its effect depends on whether your motherboard supports the older Unified Memory Architecture (UMA) or the newer Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT).

If you have a motherboard that supports UMA, the memory size you select determines the maximum amount of system memory that is allocated to the graphics processor. Once allocated, it can only be used as graphics memory. It is no longer accessible to the operating system or applications.

Therefore, it is recommended that you select the absolute minimum amount of system memory that the graphics processor requires for your monitor. You can calculate it by multiplying the resolution and colour depth that you are using. Of course, if you intend to play 3D games, you will need to allocate more memory.

If you have a motherboard that supports DVMT, the memory size you select determines the maximum amount of system memory that is pre-allocated to the graphics processor. Once allocated, it can only be used as graphics memory. It is no longer accessible to the operating system or applications.

However, unlike in a UMA system, this memory is only allocated for use during the boot process or with MS-DOS or legacy operating systems. Additional system memory is allocated only after the graphics driver is loaded. It is recommended that you set it to 8MB as this allows for high-resolution splash screens as well as higher resolutions in MS-DOS applications and games.

 

VGA Share Memory Size : The Full Details

Some motherboard chipsets come with an integrated graphics processor. To reduce costs, it usually makes use of UMA (Unified Memory Architecture) or DVMT (Dynamic Video Memory Technology) for its memory requirements.

Both technologies allow the integrated graphics processor to requisition some system memory for use as graphics memory. This reduces cost by obviating the need for dedicated graphics memory. Of course, it has some disadvantages :

  • Allocating system memory to the graphics processor reduces the amount of system memory available for the operating system and programs to use.
  • Sharing system memory with the graphics processor saturates the memory bus and reduces the amount of memory bandwidth for both the processor and the graphics processor.

Therefore, integrated graphics processors are usually unsuitable for high-demand 3D applications and games. They are best used for basic 2D graphics and video functions.

The VGA Share Memory Size BIOS feature controls the amount of system memory that is allocated to the integrated graphics processor when the system boots up.

However, its effect depends on whether your motherboard supports the older Unified Memory Architecture (UMA) or the newer Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT).

If you have a motherboard that supports UMA, the memory size you select determines the maximum amount of system memory that is allocated to the graphics processor. Once allocated, it can only be used as graphics memory. It is no longer accessible to the operating system or applications.

Therefore, it is recommended that you select the absolute minimum amount of system memory that the graphics processor requires for your monitor. You can calculate it by multiplying the resolution and colour depth that you are using.

For example, if you use a resolution of 1600 x 1200 and a colour depth of 32-bits, the amount of graphics memory you require will be 1600 x 1200 x 32-bits = 61,440,000 bits or 7.68 MB.

After doubling that to allow for double buffering, the minimum amount of graphics memory you need would be 15.36 MB. You should set this BIOS feature to 16MB in this example.

Of course, if you intend to play 3D games, you will need to allocate more memory. But please remember that once allocated as graphics memory, it is no longer available to the operating system or applications. You need to balance the performance of your 3D games with that of your operating system and applications.

If you have a motherboard that supports DVMT, the memory size you select determines the maximum amount of system memory that is pre-allocated to the graphics processor. Once allocated, it can only be used as graphics memory. It is no longer accessible to the operating system or applications.

However, unlike in a UMA system, this memory is only allocated for use during the boot process or with MS-DOS or legacy operating systems. Additional system memory is allocated only after the graphics driver is loaded. Therefore, the amount of system memory that can be selected is small – only a choice of 1MB or 8MB.

It is recommended that you set it to 8MB as this allows for high-resolution splash screens as well as higher resolutions in MS-DOS applications and games.

 

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GIGABYTE TRX40 Threadripper Motherboards Revealed!

GIGABYTE is often the first to announce new motherboards, and they are right on the dot with the new AMD TRX40 chipset!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the four new GIGABYTE TRX40 motherboards for the 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors!

 

GIGABYTE TRX40 Threadripper Motherboards

At launch, GIGABYTE is introducing four AMD TRX40 motherboards – three under the AORUS sub-brand, and the fourth is a Designare model. Let’s check them out :

GIGABYTE TRX40 AORUS MASTER

  • 16+3 Phases Infineon Digital VRM Solution with 70A Power Stage
  • Advanced Thermal Design with Fins-Array Heatsink, Heatpipe with Extended Heatsink and NanoCarbon Baseplate
  • AQUANTIA 5GbE LAN and Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed
  • 3 Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards
  • Onboard Intel WiFi 6 802.11ax 2T2R & BT 5
  • 130dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with High-End ESS SABRE 9218 DAC, ALC1220-VB and WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • USB TurboCharger for Mobile Device Fast Charge Support
  • RGB FUSION 2.0 with Multi-Zone Addressable LED Light Show Design, Support Addressable LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Smart Fan 5 Features Multiple Temperature Sensors, Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP and Noise Detection
  • Front & Rear USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C Header

GIGABYTE TRX40 AORUS XTREME

  • 16+3 Phases Infineon Digital VRM Solution with 70A Power Stage
  • Thermal Reactive Armor Design with Fins-Array Heatsink, 8mm Mega-Heatpipe and NanoCarbon Baseplate
  • Intel X550-AT2 Dual 10GbE BASE-T LAN with cFosSpeed
  • 4 Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards
  • Onboard Intel WiFi 6 802.11ax 2T2R & BT 5 with 2X AORUS Antenna
  • 130dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with High-End ESS SABRE 9218 DAC, ALC1220-VB and WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • Exclusive AORUS Gen4 AIC Adaptor for Extra 4 NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 M.2
  • USB TurboCharger for Mobile Device Fast Charge Support
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone Addressable LED Light Show Design, Support Addressable LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors, Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP and Noise Detection
  • Front & Rear USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Header

GIGABYTE TRX40 AORUS PRO WIFI

  • 12+2 Phases Infineon Digital VRM Solution with 70A Power Stage
  • Advanced Thermal Design with Fins-Array Heatsink
  • Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator
  • 3 Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards
  • Onboard Intel WiFi 6 802.11ax 2T2R & BT 5
  • 120dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with ALC1220-VB and WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • RGB FUSION 2.0 with Multi-Zone Addressable LED Light Show Design, Support Addressable LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors, Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP and Noise Detection
  • Front & Rear USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Header

GIGABYTE TRX40 DESIGNARE

  • 4 Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards
  • Onboard Intel WiFi 6 802.11ax 2T2R & BT 5 with 2X AORUS Antenna
  • Realtek ALC4050H + Realtek ALC1220 codecs
  • Exclusive AORUS Gen4 AIC Adaptor for Extra 4 NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 M.2
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors, Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP and Noise Detection
  • Front & Rear USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Header

 

GIGABYTE TRX40 Motherboards : Specifications

To make it easier for you to compare the four GIGABYTE TRX40 motherboard models, we created this comparison table :

Specifications TRX40
AORUS Master
TRX40 AORUS Xtreme TRX40 AORUS PRO WiFi TRX40 Designare
Form Factor E-ATX XL-ATX ATX XL-ATX
Chipset AMD TRX40
CPU Support 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors
Memory Support 8 x DDR4-3200 slots
Max. 256 GB, OC up to DDR4-4400
BIOS 2 x 128 Mbit AMI EUFI BIOS
PCIe 4.0 x16 Slots 2 @ x16 speed
2 @ x8 speed
2 @ x16 speed
2 @ x8 speed
2 @ x16 speed
2 @ x8 speed
2 @ x16 speed
2 @ x8 speed
PCIe 4.0 x1 Slots 1 NA 1 1
M.2 Sockets 3 4 3 4
SATA 6Gb/s Ports 8 10 8 8
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports 5 x Type A
1 x Type C
7 x Type A
1 x Type C
5 x Type A
1 x Type C
5 x Type A
1 x Type C
USB 3.2 Headers 1 x Gen 2
4 x Gen 1
1 x Gen 2
4 x Gen 1
1 x Gen 2
4 x Gen 1
1 x Gen 2
4 x Gen 1
USB 2.0 Ports 2 x Type A NA 4 x Type A 2 x Type A
USB 2.0 Headers 4 4 4 4
LAN Aquantia 5GbE
Intel GbE
2 x Intel 10GbE Intel GbE 2 x Intel GbE
WiFi Intel WiFi 6 AX200 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0

 

GIGABYTE TRX40 Motherboards : Availability

As the 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors and their AMD TRX40 chipset will only be launched on 25 November 2019, GIGABYTE cannot officially announce price and availability.

We will update this article when we have more information, so check back on or after 25 November for their price and availability!

 

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GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme Motherboard Preview

GIGABYTE makes many of the best AMD motherboards in the industry, and their new X570 AORUS Xtreme appears to be no exception.

Let’s take a closer look at GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme, and see what it offers!

 

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme Tech Briefing

First, here is a tech briefing on the GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme by GIGABYTE Motherboard Product Manager, Janus Yeh.

 

The GIGABYTE X570 Showcase

Here is a showcase of the first slew of four GIGABYTE X570 motherboards.

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Pro

  • 14-phase digital VRM
  • 2 x NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 sockets
  • RGB Fusion 2.0 + Q-Flash Plus

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite

  • 14-phase digital VRM
  • 2 x NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 sockets
  • Intel Gigabit LAN
  • RGB Fusion 2.0 + Q-Flash Plus

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Master

  • 14-phase Infineon digital VRM
  • 3 x NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 sockets
  • Intel Gigabit LAN + Realtek 2.5Gb LAN + WiFi 6
  • Q-Flash Plus

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme

  • 16-phase Infineon digital VRM
  • 3 x NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 sockets
  • Intel Gb LAN + Aquantia 10Gb LAN + WiFi 6
  • Q-Flash Plus

 

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme Key Features

The GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme is their premier X570 motherboard, their crème de la crème. It boasts the following features :

  • Supports AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen / 2nd Gen Ryzen / 2nd Gen Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics / Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors
  • Dual Channel ECC / Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4 (4 DIMMs)
  • Direct 16-Phase Infineon Digital VRM Solution with 70 A Power Stage
  • Thermal Reactive Armor Design with Fins-Array Heatsink, Direct Touch Heatpipe and NanoCarbon Baseplate
  • Triple Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 M.2 with Triple Thermal Guards
  • Onboard Intel WiFi 6 802.11ax 2T2R and Bluetooth 5.0 with 2X AORUS Antenna
  • Rear 130 dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with ALC1220-VB and ESS SABRE 9218 DAC with WIMA Audio Capacitors

  • AQUANTIA 10GbE BASE-T LAN + Intel Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed
  • Exclusive RGB FAN COMMANDER for Professional Casemoders
  • USB TurboCharger for Mobile Device Fast Charge Support
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone Addressable LED Light Show Design, Support Addressable LED and RGB LED Strips
  • Smart Fan 5 Features Multiple Temperature Sensors , Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP and Noise Detection
  • Front and rear USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C Headers
  • Q-Flash Plus Update BIOS Without Installing CPU, Memory and Graphics Card

 

GIGABYTE X570 Motherboard Price + Availability

Here is a selection of GIGABYTE X570 motherboards, with prices accurate as of 22 July 2019.

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Malaysia

  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme : RM 2,799
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Master : RM 1,589
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS PRO WiFi : RM 1,289
  • GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS PRO WiFi : RM 1,029
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite : RM 999

United States

  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Ultra : $299.99
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS PRO WiFi : $269.99
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite : $199.99

United Kingdom

  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Xtreme : £758
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Master : £389.99
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Ultra : £299.97
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS PRO : £264.94
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS PRO WiFi : £229.99
  • GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS PRO WiFi : £226.99
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Elite : £228.62

 

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RW Queue Bypass from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

RW Queue Bypass

Common Options : Auto, 2X, 4X, 8X, 16X

 

Quick Review of RW Queue Bypass

The RW Queue Bypass BIOS setting determines how many times the arbiter is allowed to bypass the oldest memory access request in the DCI’s read/write queue.

Once this limit is reached, the arbiter is overriden and the oldest memory access request serviced instead.

As this feature greatly improves memory performance, most BIOSes will not include a Disabled setting.

Instead, you are allowed to adjust the number of times the arbiter is allowed to bypass the oldest memory access request in the queue.

A high bypass limit will give the arbiter more flexibility in scheduling memory accesses so that it can maximise the number of hits on open memory pages.

This improves the performance of the memory subsystem. However, this comes at the expense of memory access requests that get delayed. Such delays can be a problem for time-sensitive applications.

It is generally recommended that you set the RW Queue Bypass BIOS feature to the maximum value of 16X, which would give the memory controller’s read-write queue arbiter maximum flexibility in scheduling memory access requests.

However, if you face stability issues, especially with time-sensitive applications, reduce the value step-by-step until the problem resolves.

The Auto option, if available, usually sets the bypass limit to the maximum – 16X.

 

Details of RW Queue Bypass

The R/W Queue Bypass BIOS option is similar to the DCQ Bypass Maximum BIOS option – they both decide the limits on which an arbiter can intelligently reschedule memory accesses to improve performance.

The difference between the two is that DCQ Bypass Maximum does this at the memory controller level, while R/W Queue Bypass does it at the Device Control Interface (DCI) level.

To improve performance, the arbiter can reschedule transactions in the DCI read / write queue.

By allowing some transactions to bypass other transactions in the queue, the arbiter can maximize the number of hits on open memory pages.

This improves the overall memory performance but at the expense of some memory accesses which have to be delayed.

The RW Queue Bypass BIOS setting determines how many times the arbiter is allowed to bypass the oldest memory access request in the DCI’s read/write queue.

Once this limit is reached, the arbiter is overriden and the oldest memory access request serviced instead.

As this feature greatly improves memory performance, most BIOSes will not include a Disabled setting.

Instead, you are allowed to adjust the number of times the arbiter is allowed to bypass the oldest memory access request in the queue.

A high bypass limit will give the arbiter more flexibility in scheduling memory accesses so that it can maximise the number of hits on open memory pages.

This improves the performance of the memory subsystem. However, this comes at the expense of memory access requests that get delayed. Such delays can be a problem for time-sensitive applications.

It is generally recommended that you set this BIOS feature to the maximum value of 16X, which would give the memory controller’s read-write queue arbiter maximum flexibility in scheduling memory access requests.

However, if you face stability issues, especially with time-sensitive applications, reduce the value step-by-step until the problem resolves.

The Auto option, if available, usually sets the bypass limit to the maximum – 16X.

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PCI Clock Synchronization Mode – The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

Common Options : To CPU, 33.33 MHz, Auto

 

Quick Review of PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

The PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature allows you to force the PCI bus to either synchronize itself with the processor FSB (Front Side Bus) speed, or run at the standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz.

When set to To CPU, the PCI bus speed is slaved to the processor’s FSB speed. Any change in FSB speed will result in a similar change in the PCI bus speed. For example, if you increase the processor’s FSB speed by 10%, the PCI bus speed will increase by 10% as well.

When set to 33.33 MHz, the PCI bus speed will be locked into its standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz. No matter what the processor’s FSB speed is, the PCI bus will always run at 33.33 MHz.

The Auto option is ambiguous. Without testing, its effect cannot be ascertained since it’s up to the manufacturer what it wishes to implement by default for the motherboard. But logically, the Auto setting should force the PCI bus to run at its standard speed of 33.33 MHz for maximum compatibility.

It is recommended that you set the PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature to To CPU if you are overclocking the processor FSB up to 12.5%. If you wish to overclock the processor FSB beyond 12.5%, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz.

However, if you do not intend to overclock, this BIOS feature will not have any effect. The PCI bus will remain at 33.33 MHz, no matter what you select.

 

Details of PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

The PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature allows you to force the PCI bus to either synchronize itself with the processor FSB (Front Side Bus) speed, or run at the standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz.

When set to To CPU, the PCI bus speed is slaved to the processor’s FSB speed. Any change in FSB speed will result in a similar change in the PCI bus speed. For example, if you increase the processor’s FSB speed by 10%, the PCI bus speed will increase by 10% as well.

When set to 33.33MHz, the PCI bus speed will be locked into its standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz. No matter what the processor’s FSB speed is, the PCI bus will always run at 33.33 MHz.

The Auto option is ambiguous. Without testing, its effect cannot be ascertained since it’s up to the manufacturer what it wishes to implement by default for the motherboard. But logically, the Auto setting should force the PCI bus to run at its standard speed of 33.33 MHz for maximum compatibility.

Synchronizing the PCI bus with the processor FSB allows for greater performance when you are overclocking. Because the PCI bus will be overclocked as you overclock the processor FSB, you will experience better performance from your PCI devices. However, if your PCI device cannot tolerate the overclocked PCI bus, you may experience issues like system crashes or data corruption.

The recommended safe limit for an overclocked PCI bus is 37.5 MHz. This is the speed at which practically all new PCI cards can run at without breaking a sweat. Still, you should test the system thoroughly for stability issues before committing to an overclocked PCI bus speed.

Please note that if you wish to synchronize the PCI bus with the processor FSB and remain within this relatively safe limit, you can only overclock the processor FSB by up to 12.5%. Any higher, your PCI bus will be overclocked beyond 37.5 MHz.

If you wish to overclock the processor FSB further without worrying about your PCI devices, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz. This forces the PCI bus to run at the standard speed of 33.33MHz, irrespective of the processor’s FSB speed.

It is recommended that you set the PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature to To CPU if you are overclocking the processor FSB up to 12.5%. If you wish to overclock the processor FSB beyond 12.5%, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz.

However, if you do not intend to overclock, this BIOS feature will not have any effect. The PCI bus will remain at 33.33 MHz, no matter what you select.

 

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The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard Review!

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon is one of the first Intel Z390 motherboards to hit the market in support of the 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K processor.

Let’s unbox and take a close look at the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard. We will investigate its key features and find out if this is the Intel Z390 motherboard to pair with your 9th Generation Intel Core processor!

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Price + Availability

Our review sample is of the “standard” MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard with an official price of US$ 199 / ~£159 / RM 834.

MSI also offers an AC variant that adds WiFi-AC connectivity, called the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. It has an official price of US$ 229 / ~£183 / RM 960..

Here are some direct purchase links of the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (prices accurate as of 14 December 2018) :

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And here are some direct purchase links of the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC (prices accurate as of 14 December 2018) :

 

Unboxing The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon

Let’s take a quick look around the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) motherboard’s box before we unbox it, and find out what it contains!

Inside the box, you should find the following items :

  • One MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard
  • One MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon User Guide
  • One MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Quick Installation Guide
  • One Intel Z390 chipset driver and utility DVD
  • One set of MSI case badge, pamphlet and registration card
  • One set of twelve SATA cable labels
  • Two M.2 NVMe SSD screws
  • One NVIDIA SLI HB bridge
  • One set of Mystic Light, RAINBOW and CORSAIR extension cables for LED lighting
  • Two SATA cables

Next Page > MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Up Close + Full Specifications

 

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The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Up Close

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) is a full-sized ATX motherboard, built around the new Intel Z390 chipset.

This is one of MSI’s premium model for the mainstream enthusiast / gamers market. Hence, it boasts premium features like Mystic Light RGB lighting, PCI-E Steel Armor reinforcement, and Audio Boost 4 capabilities.

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MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Specifications

SpecificationsMSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon
Form FactorATX
- 9.6-inch x 12-inch
- 24.3 cm x 30.4 cm
ChipsetIntel Z390
SocketLGA 1151
Supported Processors8th Gen / 9th Gen Intel Core or Pentium Gold or Celeron processors
Memory Slots4 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
- Dual Channel
- Up to 64 GB
Memory SupportOfficial : DDR4-2133 / DDR4-2400 / DDR4-2666
OC : DDR4-2800 to DDR4-4400
PCI Express Slots3 x PCIe 3.0 x16
3 x PCIe 3.0 X1
Multi-GPU Support2-Way NVIDIA SLI
2-Way AMD CrossFire
M.2 Sockets2 x PCIe 3.0 x 4
SATA Ports6 x SATA 6 Gbps
RAID SupportRAID 0 / 1 / 5 / 10
LAN SupportIntel i219-V Gigabit LAN
Rear I/O Ports1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C
3 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A
2 x USB 2.0
1 x DisplayPort 1.2
1 x HDMI 1.4
1 x PS/2 combo port
1 x Gigabit LAN port
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio ports
I/O Port Headers1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C
4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A
4 x USB 2.0
1 x Serial Port
1 x TPM header
Audio ProcessorRealtek ALC1220P
- Supports 7.1 channel HD Audio
I/O ControllerNuvoton NCT6797D
Hardware MonitorsCPU / system temperature detection
CPU / system fan speed detection
CPU / system fan speed control
Fan Headers1 x 4-pin CPU fan header
1 x 4-pin water pump header
5 x 4-pin system fan headers
Debug LED4 x EZ Debug LED lights
Onboard Power / Reset ButtonNo / No
WarrantyThree Years

Next Page > CPU Power, DDR4 + PCIe Slots, M.2 Sockets

 

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CPU Power & Overclockability

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) has what appears to be 11+2 phases, which increases overclockability, while reducing electromagnetic interference with minimal power loss.

It has a fully-digital PWM architecture with load-line calibration. Although high quality (and expensive) analog PWM exists, digital PWM allows for more accurate control of the power frequency and modulation.

The MOSFETs and inductors are kept cool by aluminium alloy heatsinks, which help to increase reliability and longevity of the VRM.

To keep extreme gamers and overclockers happy, there are a total of SEVEN fan headers peppered throughout the motherboard. One of these is a dedicated water pump header that supports up to 2 amps, giving you full control of the water pump speed.

If there are any enthusiast-grade features that we regret were not included in this motherboard, it would be the Power and Reset buttons.

 

DDR4 Memory Slots

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) has four DDR4 DIMM slots. The Intel Z390 chipset only supports DDR4 memory up to 2666 MHz, but the Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon allows for overclocked memory clock speeds of up to 3600 MHz, with all four slots populated.

If you can live with just two slots, you can further push their clock speeds up to 4400 MHz! This is made possible by its fully-isolated memory circuitry and improved layout, which reduces interference for a cleaner signal.

The four memory slots are also covered with Steel Armor. In this case, it is not meant to add strength to the slots, but to protect them against electromagnetic interference.

 

PCI Express Slots

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) motherboard has six PCI Express slots – three full-sized PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, and three smaller PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots.

The first two PCI Express x16 slots are sheet metal reinforced – what MSI calls Steel Armor. They increase the rigidity of the PCI Express slots, allowing them to support heavy graphics cards. The third PCI Express x16 slot lacks this Steel Armor reinforcement.

The top-most PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot operates at full x16 speed with a single graphics card.

If you have two graphics cards, you will need to install them in the first and second PCIe x16 slots; and they will both run at x8 speed. The third PCIe x16 slot only runs at x4 speed.

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Dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 Sockets

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon  motherboard has two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 sockets. They support M.2 solid state drives, with lengths of 42 mm, 60 mm, 80 mm or 110 mm. The third PCI Express x16 slot (which runs at x4 speed) can be used to add a third SSD. You can run them in RAID 0, 1, 5 or 10.

Only the second M.2 socket has a heatsink, and it’s a large one. If you intend to install only one M.2 SSD, then you should obviously install it in the lower M.2 socket, so the drive is cooled.

The upper M.2 socket is “naked”, although you can always install a DIMM cooler to help keep both the memory modules and the SSD installed in this socket cool.

Next Page > SATA Ports, Audio Boost 4 with Nahimic 3, I/O Ports, Mystic Light

 

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Limited SATA Ports

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) has six standard SATA 6Gb/s ports. There are no SATA Express ports. But what’s really problematic is the stacked side-facing design. They may prove to be troublesome to access in tight cases. If only MSI included a few vertical ports.

Do note that the first M.2 socket (M2_1) uses the SATA_2 port, if you opt to use it in the SATA mode. In addition, the second M.2 socket (M2_2) uses both the SATA_5 and SATA_6 ports in PCIe mode.

What this basically means is you have limited support for SATA drives with the Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon. It’s not the end of the world, but don’t expect to run two M.2 SSDs with six SATA drives. That’s not happening.

You can have six SATA drives only if you install one SSD in the first M.2 socket in PCIe mode. With two SSDs in PCIe mode, you can only have a maximum of four SATA drives.

 

Audio Boost 4 with Nahimic 3

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) features their Audio Boost 4 audio technology, which promises to deliver “studio-grade” audio capabilities.

Although MSI has been quite reticent about their Audio Boost 4 technology, our investigation revealed that it consists of :

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  • an EMI-shielded Realtek ALC1220P audio processor
  • an isolated audio circuit
  • Japanese-made Chemi-Con capacitors
  • dual op amplifiers
  • Nahimic 3 virtual 7.1 sound software

Their Nahimic 3 software is what creates a virtual 7.1 surround sound effect out of ordinary stereo sound. It will give you better directional audio cues when you game, and a more immersive listening experience when you watch movies, or listen to music.

 

Rear I/O Ports

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) has pre-installed shields for the rear I/O ports, for easier installation and better EMI protection.

To the left are two USB 2.0 Type A ports with a PS/2 combo port above, followed by the DisplayPort and HDMI ports. Marked in red are two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports – one Type A and one Type C.

Next, you have the Intel I219V LAN port, with two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (red). Finally, we have the five audio ports and the optical S/PDIF out port.

 

MSI Mystic Light

As its name suggests, the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) is designed to appeal to gamers. Hence, it supports the MSI Mystic Light technology, which allows you to control and sync RGB LED lighting on the motherboard and other compatible devices.

Mystic Light gives you full control of the 16.8 million LED colours with 29 light effects. Thanks to the provided extension cables, it is compatible with standard RGB, RAINBOW as well as CORSAIR LED lights.

Next Page > Our Verdict + Award, Price + Availability

 

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Our Verdict & Award

MSI is an old hand at designing and manufacturing quality motherboards, and that experience shows in the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY). After all, this is a motherboard that is designed to appeal to both gamers and overclockers, and it takes some finesse to get the mix just right.

Hardware enthusiasts and overclockers will like its enhanced CPU overclocking features that include an 11+2 phase digital PWM architecture, and easy overclocking via the MSI Dragon Center software. With improved circuitry routing and EMI protection, it also offers improved DDR4 memory overclockability to 4.4 GHz.

Gamers who want an edge over their competitors without the “hassle” of overclocking will love the automatic overclocking features in the MSI Dragon Center – Game Boost, XMP and fan controls. Everything can be controlled with a click (or two) of a button!

Gamers who love to show off their cases will also love the Mystic Light capability built in. Not only does this motherboard support standard RGB lights, it also supports CORSAIR and RAINBOW RGB lights.

Even audiophiles are not left out. Its Audio Boost 4 technology promises to deliver studio-grade high-definition audio through isolated audio circuitry, with an EMI-shielded audio processor, and dual headphone amplifiers.

If that’s not enough, it comes with the Nahimic 3 virtual 7.1 sound software to create an expansive 3D soundscape for a more immersive and realistic gaming and entertainment experience.

Being designed for the mainstream market, there are some feature compromises, to be sure.

It has two M.2 sockets but only one is cooled by a heatsink. It also has limited SATA ports, and no SATA Express ports. There is a set of four EZ Debug LED lights, but there are no onboard Power or Reset buttons, which some enthusiasts favour.

But if you can live with those small compromises, this is a well-made Intel Z390 motherboard that offers a lot of great features at a really affordable price of just $200 in the US.

For these reasons, we think the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (US | UK | MY) deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Great job, MSI!

 

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Price + Availability

Our review sample is of the “standard” MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard with an official price of US$ 199 / ~£159 / RM 834.

MSI also offers an AC variant that adds WiFi-AC connectivity, called the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. It has an official price of US$ 229 / ~£183 / RM 960..

Here are some direct purchase links of the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (prices accurate as of 14 December 2018) :

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And here are some direct purchase links of the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC (prices accurate as of 14 December 2018) :

 

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Here are other Intel Coffee Lake-related articles you should read!

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The GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Master Motherboard Revealed!

The GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Master motherboard has just been announced. Take a look at the key features of the latest Intel X299 motherboard from GIGABYTE!

 

The GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Master Motherboard!

The GIGABYTE X299 AORUS MASTER motherboard provides the flexibility for users to enhance their motherboard’s graphical performance through multi-graphical configurations.

It also features a unique PCIe express design which utilizes all 44 lanes from the CPU for the full bandwidth.

Its ultra-durable one piece stainless steel shielding PCIe Armor with Double Locking Bracket adds extra sturdiness to the PCIe slot to prevent heavy graphics cards from bending the PCIe slots with their weight and causing damage to the slots.

Lastly, RGB Fusion adds impressive aesthetic flair to the GIGABYTE 299 AORUS MASTER motherboard and supports the use of digital LED lighting strips for extra lighting effects, supporting both 5V or 12V addressable lighting strips and up to 300 lights.

 

GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Master Features Summarised

  • Supports 9th Gen. Intel Core X Series Processors
  • 12-Phase Digital VRM Solution
  • Advanced Thermal Design
  • Quad Channel DDR4 configuration with XMP support
  • HI-FI Audio system
  • Realtek 2.5GbE LAN
  •  8+8 Solid Pin CPU power connectors
  • Fins Array heatsink boasts 300% larger heat dissipation surface area
  • LAIRD thermal conductivity pad thickened to 1.5mm
  • Supports Multi-Gig (10/100/1000/2500Mbps) RJ-45 Ethernet
  • AORUS WIFI
  • Onboard Intel 802.11ac WIFI offers 867 mp/s network speeds
  • BLUETOOTH 4.2
  • 2.4GHz/5GHz Dual Band
  • 2T2R antenna
  • AORUS Antenna
  •  HI-FI AUDIO sound system
  • Smart Fan 5 with Intelligent Fan Control
  • Intel Optane Memory ready
  • USB TurboCharger

 

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GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XTREME Motherboard Revealed!

Taipei, Taiwan, October 22nd, 2018 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, launched its newest flagship Z390 AORUS XTREME motherboard today.

With the highest power phase count of any Z390 motherboard on the market, the new AORUS flagship motherboard features a 16-Phase Digital IR VRM design and state-of-the-art thermal design for optimized power and thermal management to unleash the full overclocking potential of the new 8-core Intel Core i9-9900K processor.

 

The GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XTREME Revealed!

The new 8-Core Intel Core i9-9900K processor is built on the 14 nm process technology and support the LGA 1151 socket. The 16-Phase Digital IR VRM design paired with solid pin power connectors not only provide a highly stable power supply but also reduces heat generated from overclocking or heavier workloads to prevent overheating from affecting performance.

Automatic Phase Balance Design

The automatic phase balance design not only regulates the loading of the 16-Phase power design but also reduces the operating frequency of the VRM controller chip, minimizing power consumption and heat generated from the PWM.

This design improves power efficiency, durability, and service life significantly. Furthermore, GIGABYTE’s 2x Copper PCB with a larger CPU power delivery plane not only offers more power supply stability, it also reduces excess heat generated from overclocking or heavy workloads to prevent power supply issues or overheating from slowing performance.

Fins-Array + Direct Touch Heatpipes

With 3 times more heat dissipation surface area compared to standard heatsinks, Fins-Array Technology bolsters heat dissipation on the Z390 AORUS XTREME. GIGABYTE upgraded its Direct Touch Heatpipe technology by implementing 4x heatpipes to improve heat transfer.

The first two front side PCB heatpipes directly contact the PowIRstage and inductors while the third and fourth heatpipes use an exclusive design which increases the contact between the heatsink and the backside PCB components.

Nanocarbon Baseplate

The addition of a NanoCarbon coated baseplate means that the heat from the PWM is more efficiently transferred to the heatsinks which lowers the temperatures around the power design. The VRM uses a LAIRD brand thermal pad thickened to 1.5mm to increase the contact between the VRM and its heatsinks, improving heat dissipation immensely and mitigating the effects of overheating on system performance.

Nanocarbon Baseplate design with heat dissipation gives the Z390 AORUS XTREME extra rigidity to prevent PCB bending while also protecting builders from the sharper components on the backside during installation.

Easy Setup + Troubleshooting

Aside from its visually appealing design and easy installation, the integrated I/O shield provides solid protection to the feature-rich rear panel’s USB 3.1 Gen2, network connectivity ports, audio jacks, and other expansion ports. Users can troubleshoot PC problems more easily with the board’s power, restart, reset BIOS (Clear CMOS), and other buttons.

The GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XTREME employs a 90 degree design for the 24 solid pin power connectors which not only looks wicked cool when the power cables are configured but it also makes way for smoother air flow and a cooler system. Metal cladding on the pin connectors adds extra durability and reduces loosening caused by inserting and removing the power cables.

Easy Overclocking

Many features on the board are designed to help users bring out the best performance from the new Intel Core i9-9900K processor. With the CPU Upgrade in the BIOS, Smart Boost and Auto Tuning in the APP Center, users can overclock with ease.

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For those who want more overclock control, don’t miss out on the OC Touch panel of the Z390 AORUS XTREME. OC Touch incorporates easy-to-use buttons and toggles for the user to configure key processor multipliers and adjust BCLK frequencies by units of 1MHz or 0.1 MHz. Regardless of whether the user is at the BIOS screen, using DOS or Windows operating systems, these frequency changes can be adjusted and applied without rebooting the system.

Users can quickly optimize their PCs’ performance and find the highest frequency for their processors. Additionally, the exclusive OC button can load overclock configuration presets so that less experienced overclockers can overclock at certain ranges. The OC-Touch function also helps users figure out the best overclocking settings for their processors. The built-in voltage measurement module keeps the user informed on the voltage of each component, making overclocking more convenient for users.

Z390 AORUS Xtreme Expansion Options

Z390 AORUS XTREME has three PCIe slots so users can set up a 2-Way SLI and 3-Way CrossFire configuration.

The exclusive GIGABYTE Ultra-Durable stainless steel PCIe Armor with Double Locking Bracket reinforces PCIe slot strength so heavy graphics cards don’t bend the slots. The motherboard’s solid power pin connectors provides independent auxiliary power to the PCIe slots so users’ graphics cards can receive sufficient and more stable power supply.

Z390 AORUS XTREME motherboard’s Triple PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards and dual-mode SATA M.2 slots, users can build a RAID 0/1 or RAID 5 array and take advantage of the benefits of both enhanced storage performance and solid data integrity.

Z390 AORUS Xtreme Connectivity Options

GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XTREME comes with built-in AQUANTIA 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, and Intel CNVi 802.11ac 160MHz 2×2 WIFI. The all new 4dBi ultra high peak gain antenna not only supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WIFI frequencies but also has twice the signal strength compared to traditional antenna designs.

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The magnetic base and dual antenna design of Smart Antenna technology makes it so the device can be installed on magnetic surfaces and can search for WIFI signals at different angles. This fixes the positioning of the antenna and prevents the issue of users not being able to obtain strong WIFI signals, offering greater flexibility from the motherboard’s network connectivity.

Aside from exceptional performance and high-speed connectivity, GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XTREME also has two sets of built-in USB Type-C Thunderbolt interface, which not only support native USB 3.1 Gen 2 specifications but also delivers 40 Gbps data transmission speed. Users can also daisy chain 6 devices + 1 display on a single connection, for high-speed data transfer and high-definition resolution all at once.

Professional-Grade Audio

The GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XTREME uses an ALC1220-VB high-SNR audio codec with professional audio components such as ESS SABRE DAC and studio grade audio capacitors. The left and right side channel audio lines are processed separately and the new inclusion of a TI Burr-Brown high quality audio OP AMPs with its signal-enhanced design makes the audio clearer and more immersive.

 

Recommended Reading

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GIGABYTE B450 Motherboard Models, Features + Prices Revealed!

AMD officially launched their B450 chipset on 31 July 2018, driving further demand for the 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen processors. In this article, we will look at the first GIGABYTE B450 motherboards to hit the market!

 

The Official AMD B450 Tech Briefing

For a primer on the AMD B450 chipset, here is the official AMD B450 tech briefing, conducted by Don Woligroski, AMD Business Development and Desktop Processor Marketing.

And here is a diagram showing what features are provided by the AMD B450 chipset, and what are provided by the AMD Ryzen processor itself.

For more details on the AMD B450 chipset, check out our article – The AMD B450 Chipset Explained!

 

The First GIGABYTE B450 Motherboards Revealed!

Now, let’s take a look at the first GIGABYTE B450 motherboards to hit the market!

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AMD B450 Motherboard Price + Availability

Although GIGABYTE announced six B450 motherboards, not all are available for purchase globally. Here are some GIGABYTE B450 models that are currently for sale, with their prices :

GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI : US$ 119
GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO
 : RM 489
GIGABYTE B450 AORUS M : US$ 84.99 / RM 415
GIGABYTE B450M DS3H : US$ 69.99

 

GIGABYTE B450 AORUS Elite

The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS Elite is an ATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, two M.2 sockets, two PCIe x16 slots and six SATA ports.

Here are the B450 AORUS Elite‘s key features :

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • Integrated I/O Shield of Ultra Durable Design
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 M.2 (x4, x2) with One Thermal Guard
  • High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Digital LED & RGB LED Strips
  • GIGABYTE Exclusive 8118 Gaming LAN with Bandwidth Management
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 6 Temperature Sensors and 4 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

 

GIGABYTE B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI

The GIGABYTE B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI is a mini-ITX motherboard with two DDR4-3200 slots, one PCIe x16 slot, two M.2 sockets, and four SATA ports.

Here are the B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI‘s key features :

  • Dual Channel ECC/ Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 2 DIMMs
  • Intel Dual Band 802.11ac Wave2 WIFI & BT 5
  • DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0 Ports for Multiple Display
  • Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guard
  • ALC1220-VB Enhance 114dB(Rear)/ 110dB(Front) SNR in Microphone with High-end Audio Capacitors
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Digital LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 5 Temperature Sensors and 2 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Next Page > More GIGABYTE B450 Motherboards, Features + Prices!

 

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GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WIFI

We showcased the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI at Computex 2018. It boasts a hybrid digital PWM, with built-in dual-band Intel 802.11ac WiFi and Gigabit LAN capability, as well as dual M.2 sockets.

Here are the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI‘s key features

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel Dual Band 802.11ac WIFI & BT 4.2
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • Integrated I/O Shield of Ultra Durable Design
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 M.2 (x4, x2) with Dual Thermal Guards
  • ALC1220-VB Enhanced 114dB (Rear) / 110dB (Front) SNR in Microphone with WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Digital LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 6 Temperature Sensors and 5 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Here are some purchase links and prices for the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI :

 

GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO

The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO is basically the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI with the Intel WiFi-ac capability removed.

Here are the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO‘s key features :

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • Integrated I/O Shield of Ultra Durable Design
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 M.2 (x4, x2) with Dual Thermal Guards
  • ALC1220-VB Enhanced 114dB (Rear) / 110dB (Front) SNR in Microphone with WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Digital LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 6 Temperature Sensors and 5 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Here are some purchase links and prices for the B450 AORUS PRO :

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GIGABYTE B450 AORUS M

The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS M is a micro-ATX motherboard that has four DDR4-3200 sockets, and comes with two PCIe x16 slots, one M.2 socket and six SATA ports.

Here are the key features of the B450 AORUS M motherboard :

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guard
  • High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Digital LED & RGB LED Strips
  • GIGABYTE Exclusive 8118 Gaming LAN with Bandwidth Management
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 5 Temperature Sensors and 3 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • Anti-Sulfur Resistors Design
  • Ultra Durable 25KV ESD and 15KV Surge LAN Protection
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Here are some purchase links and prices for the B450 AORUS M :

 

GIGABYTE B450M DS3H

The GIGABYTE B450M DS3H is a micro-ATX motherboard that supports DDR4-3200, and comes with two PCIe x16 slots, one M.2 socket and four SATA ports.

Here are the GIGABYTE B450M DS3H‘s key features :

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • Ultra-Fast PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with PCIe NVMe & SATA mode support
  • High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • RGB Fusion supports RGB LED Strips in 7-Colors
  • Realtek Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 5 Temperature Sensors and 2 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Here are some purchase links and prices for the GIGABYTE B450M DS3H :

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ASUS B450 Motherboard Models, Features + Prices Revealed!

AMD officially launched their B450 chipset on 31 July 2018, driving further demand for the 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen processors. In this article, we will look at the first ASUS B450 motherboards to hit the market!

 

The Official AMD B450 Tech Briefing

For a primer on the AMD B450 chipset, here is the official AMD B450 tech briefing, conducted by Don Woligroski, AMD Business Development and Desktop Processor Marketing.

And here is a diagram showing what features are provided by the AMD B450 chipset, and what are provided by the AMD Ryzen processor itself.

For more details on the AMD B450 chipset, check out our article – The AMD B450 Chipset Explained!

 

The First ASUS B450 Motherboards Revealed!

Now, let’s take a look at the first ASUS B450 motherboards to hit the market!

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ASUS B450 Motherboard Price + Availability

Although ASUS announced six B450 motherboards, not all are available for purchase globally. Here are some ASUS B450 models that are currently for sale, with their prices :

ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming : US$ 129.99RM 599
ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming : US$ 179.99
ASUS PRIME B450M-A : US$ 79.99
ASUS PRIME B450M-K
 : US$ 88.99 / RM 429
ASUS PRIME B450-Plus Gaming : US$ 119.99
ASUS PRIME B450M-Plus Gaming
 : US$ 99.99 / RM 519

 

ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F Gaming

The ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming is an ATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, two M.2 sockets, three PCIe x16 slots and six SATA ports.

Here are the ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming‘s key features :

  • Fast memory and storage : Dual-channel DDR4 3200 MHz (OC) and NVM Express RAID supported.
  • Aura Sync RGB : Synchronize LED lighting with a vast portfolio of compatible PC gear.
  • Gaming connectivity : Dual M.2 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A connectors.
  • Gaming networking : Intel Gigabit Ethernet, plus ASUS LANGuard and GameFirst technologies.
  • 5-Way Optimization : Automated system-wide tuning, providing overclocking and cooling profiles that are tailor-made for your rig.
  • Gaming audio : SupremeFX S1220A teams with Sonic Studio III to create an aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action.
  • Gamer’s Guardian : Pre-mounted I/O shield, ASUS SafeSlot and premium components for maximum endurance.

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming :

 

ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I Gaming

The ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming is an ITX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3600 support, two M.2 sockets, a single PCIe x16 slot and four SATA ports.

Here are the ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming‘s key features :

  • Fast memory and storage : Dual-channel DDR4 3600 MHz (OC) and NVM Express RAID supported.
  • Aura Sync RGB : Synchronize LED lighting with a vast portfolio of compatible PC gear.
  • Onboard M.2 heatsink : Cools M.2 drive to deliver consistent storage performance and enhanced reliability.
  • Gaming connectivity : Dual M.2 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A connectors.
  • Gaming networking : Intel Gigabit Ethernet, 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support, plus ASUS LANGuard and GameFirst technologies.
  • 5-Way Optimization : Automated system-wide tuning, providing overclocking and cooling profiles that are tailor-made for your rig.
  • Gaming audio : SupremeFX S1220A teams with Sonic Studio III to create an aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action.
  • Gamer’s Guardian : Pre-mounted I/O shield, ASUS SafeSlot and premium components for maximum endurance.

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming :

Next Page > More ASUS B450 Motherboards Features + Prices!

 

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ASUS PRIME B450M-A

The ASUS Prime B450M-A is a microATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, one M.2 socket, one PCIe x16 slot and six SATA ports.

Here are ASUS PRIME B450M-A‘s key features :

  • Fan Xpert 2+ : Flexible controls for ultimate cooling and quietness, plus GPU-temperature sensing for cooler gaming
  • ASUS Aura Sync header : Onboard connector for RGB LED strips, easily synced with an ever-growing portfolio of Aura Sync-capable hardware
  • 5X Protection III : Multiple hardware safeguards for all-round protection
  • Ultrafast connectivity : Supreme flexibility with USB 3.1 Gen 2, Native M.2
  • LED illumination : Lighting control for both PCIe slot and audio trace paths

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS PRIME B450M-A :

 

ASUS PRIME B450M-K

The ASUS Prime B450M-K is a microATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, one M.2 socket, one PCIe x16 slot and four SATA ports.

Here are ASUS PRIME B450M-K‘s key features :

  • Fan Xpert : Flexible controls for ultimate cooling and quietness, plus GPU-temperature sensing for cooler gaming
  • 5X Protection III : Multiple hardware safeguards for all-round protection
  • Ultrafast connectivity : Supreme flexibility with USB 3.1 Gen 2, Native M.2
  • LED illumination : Lighting control for both PCIe slot and audio trace paths

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS PRIME B450M-K :

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ASUS TUF B450-Plus Gaming

The ASUS TUF B450-Plus Gaming is an ATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, one M.2 socket, two PCIe x16 slots and six SATA ports.

Here are the ASUS TUF B450-Plus Gaming‘s key features :

  • GPU Temperature Sensing & Fan Xpert 4 Core : Ensures every fan achieves the best balance of cooling performance and acoustics
  • TUF Protection : SafeSlot, ESD Guards, DDR4 overvoltage protection, Digi+ VRM, and stainless-steel back I/O for long-term reliability
  • Military-grade TUF Components : TUF LANGuard, TUF Chokes, TUF Capacitors, and TUF MOSFETs for maximum durability
  • Exclusive DTS Custom audio : Delivers positional cues to stereo headphones, helping you to pinpoint enemies and action
  • Aura Sync RGB : Synchronize LED lighting with a vast portfolio of compatible PC gear

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS PRIME B450-Plus Gaming :

 

ASUS TUF B450M-Plus Gaming

The ASUS TUF B450M-Plus Gaming is a microATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, one M.2 socket, two PCIe x16 slots and four SATA ports.

Here are the ASUS TUF B450M-Plus Gaming‘s key features :

  • GPU Temperature Sensing & Fan Xpert 2+ : Ensures every fan achieves the best balance of cooling performance and acoustics
  • TUF Protection : SafeSlot, ESD Guards, DDR4 overvoltage protection, Digi+ VRM, and stainless-steel back I/O for long-term reliability
  • Military-grade TUF Components : TUF LANGuard, TUF Chokes, TUF Capacitors, and TUF MOSFETs for maximum durability
  • Exclusive DTS Custom audio : Delivers positional cues to stereo headphones, helping you to pinpoint enemies and action
  • Aura Sync RGB : Synchronize LED lighting with a vast portfolio of compatible PC gear

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS PRIME B450M-Plus Gaming :

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The First AMD B450 Motherboards Revealed!

AMD officially launched their B450 chipset on 31 July 2018. We had earlier shared with you our previews of the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI motherboard, as well as the MSI B450 Tomahawk and B450A-Pro motherboards. Today, we will share with you details of the first AMD B450 motherboards to hit the market!

 

The Official AMD B450 Tech Briefing

For a primer on the AMD B450 chipset, here is the official AMD B450 tech briefing, conducted by Don Woligroski, AMD Business Development and Desktop Processor Marketing.

And here is a diagram showing what features are provided by the AMD B450 chipset, and what are provided by the AMD Ryzen processor itself.

For more details on the AMD B450 chipset, check out our article – The AMD B450 Chipset Explained!

 

The First AMD B450 Motherboards Revealed!

Now, let’s take a look at the first AMD B450 motherboards to hit the market!

ASRock – 5 Motherboards

ASUS – 3 Motherboards

GIGABYTE – 3 Motherboards

MSI – 12 Motherboards

 

AMD B450 Motherboard Price + Availability

Although these motherboards have all been announced, not all are available for purchase yet. Here are some models that are currently for sale, with their prices :

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ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming : US$ 129.99RM 599
ASUS PRIME B450M-K
 : US$ 88.99 / RM 429
ASUS PRIME B450M-Plus Gaming
 : US$ 99.99 / RM 519

GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI : US$ 137
GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO
 : RM 509
GIGABYTE B450M DS3H
 : US$ 69.99

MSI B450 Gaming Plus : US$ 99.99 / RM 470
MSI B450M Gaming Plus
 : RM 390
MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC
 : US$ 119.99
MSI B450 Tomahawk
 : US$ 93.21
MSI B450M Gaming Plus
 : RM 360

Next Page > ASRock B450 Motherboards

 

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ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4

The ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4 motherboard is an ATX motherboard that supports DDR4-3200, and comes with two PCIe x16 slots, two Ultra M.2 sockets, and six SATA ports.

Here are the ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 3200+ (OC)
  • 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 4 PCIe 2.0 x1
  • Graphics Output: DisplayPort, HDMI, D-Sub
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec), Supports Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 5
  • 6 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4), 1 M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x2 & SATA3)
  • 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 (Rear Type-A+C) with 6 USB 3.1 Gen1 (2 Front, 4 Rear)
  • Realtek Gigabit LAN

 

ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac

The ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac motherboard is a mini-ITX motherboard that supports DDR4-3466, and comes with one PCIe x16 slot, one Ultra M.2 socket, and four SATA ports.

Here are the ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 3466+ (OC)
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16
  • Graphics Output: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0
  • 7.1 channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec) with Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 5
  • 4 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  • 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 (Rear Type-A+C)
  • 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 (2 Front, 2 Rear)
  • Intel Gigabit LAN with Intel 802.11ac WiFi + BT 4.2

 

ASRock B450 Pro4

The ASRock B450 Pro4 motherboard is an ATX motherboard that supports DDR4-3200, and comes with two PCIe x16 slots, two M.2 sockets, and six SATA ports.

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Here are the ASRock B450 Pro4‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 3200+ (OC)
  • 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 4 PCIe 2.0 x1
  • Graphics Output: HDMI, Display Port, D-Sub
  • 7.1 channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec), ELNA Audio Caps
  • 6 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4), 1 M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x2 & SATA3)
  • 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 (Rear Type A+C) with 6 USB 3.1 (2 Front, 4 Rear)
  • Realtek Gigabit LAN

 

ASRock B450M Pro4

The ASRock B450M Pro4 is the micro-ATX version of the ASRock B450 Pro4 motherboard. It supports DDR4-3200, and comes with two PCIe x16 slots, two M.2 sockets, and four SATA ports.

Here are the ASRock B450M Pro4‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 3200+ (OC)
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
  • Graphics Output:HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub
  • 7.1 channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec), ELNA Audio Caps
  • 4 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4), 1 M.2 (SATA3)
  • 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 (Rear Type-A+C) with 6 USB 3.1 Gen1 (2 Front, 4 Rear)
  • Realtek Gigabit LAN

 

ASRock B450M HDV

The ASRock B450 HDV motherboard is a micro-ATX motherboard that supports DDR4-3200, and comes with one PCIe x16 slot, one M.2 socket, and four SATA ports.

Here are the ASRock B450M HDV‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 3200+ (OC)
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
  • Graphics Output: HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub
  • 7.1 channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC887 Audio Codec), ELNA Audio Caps
  • 4 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3) with 6 USB 3.1 Gen1 (2 Front, 4 Rear)
  • Realtek Gigabit LAN

Next Page > ASUS B450 Motherboards

 

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ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F Gaming

The ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming is an ATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, two M.2 sockets, three PCIe x16 slots and six SATA ports.

Here are the ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming‘s key features :

  • Fast memory and storage : Dual-channel DDR4 3200 MHz (OC) and NVM Express RAID supported.
  • Aura Sync RGB : Synchronize LED lighting with a vast portfolio of compatible PC gear.
  • Gaming connectivity : Dual M.2 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A connectors.
  • Gaming networking : Intel Gigabit Ethernet, plus ASUS LANGuard and GameFirst technologies.
  • 5-Way Optimization : Automated system-wide tuning, providing overclocking and cooling profiles that are tailor-made for your rig.
  • Gaming audio : SupremeFX S1220A teams with Sonic Studio III to create an aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action.
  • Gamer’s Guardian : Pre-mounted I/O shield, ASUS SafeSlot and premium components for maximum endurance.

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming :

 

ASUS PRIME B450M-K

The ASUS Prime B450M-K is a microATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, one M.2 socket, one PCIe x16 slot and four SATA ports.

Here are ASUS PRIME B450M-K‘s key features :

  • Fan Xpert : Flexible controls for ultimate cooling and quietness, plus GPU-temperature sensing for cooler gaming
  • 5X Protection III : Multiple hardware safeguards for all-round protection
  • Ultrafast connectivity : Supreme flexibility with USB 3.1 Gen 2, Native M.2
  • LED illumination : Lighting control for both PCIe slot and audio trace paths

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS PRIME B450M-K :

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ASUS TUF B450M-Plus Gaming

The ASUS TUF B450M-Plus Gaming is a microATX gaming motherboard with DDR4-3200 support, one M.2 socket, two PCIe x16 slots and four SATA ports.

Here are the ASUS TUF B450M-Plus Gaming‘s key features :

  • GPU Temperature Sensing & Fan Xpert 2+ : Ensures every fan achieves the best balance of cooling performance and acoustics
  • TUF Protection : SafeSlot, ESD Guards, DDR4 overvoltage protection, Digi+ VRM, and stainless-steel back I/O for long-term reliability
  • Military-grade TUF Components : TUF LANGuard, TUF Chokes, TUF Capacitors, and TUF MOSFETs for maximum durability
  • Exclusive DTS Custom audio : Delivers positional cues to stereo headphones, helping you to pinpoint enemies and action
  • Aura Sync RGB : Synchronize LED lighting with a vast portfolio of compatible PC gear

Here are some purchase links and prices for the ASUS PRIME B450M-Plus Gaming :

Next Page > GIGABYTE B450 Motherboards

 

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If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WIFI

We showcased the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI at Computex 2018. It boasts a hybrid digital PWM, with built-in dual-band Intel 802.11ac WiFi and Gigabit LAN capability, as well as dual M.2 sockets.

Here are the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI‘s key features

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel Dual Band 802.11ac WIFI & BT 4.2
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • Integrated I/O Shield of Ultra Durable Design
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 M.2 (x4, x2) with Dual Thermal Guards
  • ALC1220-VB Enhanced 114dB (Rear) / 110dB (Front) SNR in Microphone with WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Digital LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 6 Temperature Sensors and 5 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Here are some purchase links and prices for the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI :

 

GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO

The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO is basically the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS  PRO WIFI with the Intel WiFi-ac capability removed.

Here are the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO‘s key features :

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • Integrated I/O Shield of Ultra Durable Design
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 M.2 (x4, x2) with Dual Thermal Guards
  • ALC1220-VB Enhanced 114dB (Rear) / 110dB (Front) SNR in Microphone with WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Digital LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 6 Temperature Sensors and 5 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Here are some purchase links and prices for the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO :

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GIGABYTE B450M DS3H

The GIGABYTE B450M DS3H is a micro-ATX motherboard that supports DDR4-3200, and comes with two PCIe x16 slots, one M.2 socket and four SATA ports.

Here are the GIGABYTE B450M DS3H‘s key features :

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • Ultra-Fast PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with PCIe NVMe & SATA mode support
  • High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • RGB Fusion supports RGB LED Strips in 7-Colors
  • Realtek Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • Smart Fan 5 Features 5 Temperature Sensors and 2 Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Here are some purchase links and prices for the GIGABYTE B450M DS3H :

Next Page > MSI B450 Motherboards Part 1

 

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MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

The MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is an ATX motherboard with built-in Intel 802.11ac WiFI capability. It supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz, and comes with two PCIe x16 slots, two M.2 sockets and 6 SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4-3466+(OC) Memory
  • Mystic Light and Mystic Light Sync : 16.8 million colors / 17 effects in one click. Synchronize RGB/RAINBOW strips and other RGB solutions for customization.
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : TURBO M.2 with M.2 Shield, StoreMI, AMD Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2
  • Audio Boost 4 with Nahimic : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
  • Set Core Power Free : Core Boost, 8+4 pin CPU power connector, Extended Heatsink Design
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost : Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost with A-XMP
  • GAMING LAN and Wireless support, powered by Intel: The best online gaming experience with lowest latency and bandwidth management.
  • MULTI-GPU : With STEEL ARMOR PCI-E slots. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+ : Simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS within seconds, without installing a CPU, memory or graphics card.
  • In-Game Weapons : Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost

 

MSI B450 Gaming Plus

The MSI B450 Gaming Plus is an ATX motherboard that supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz. It comes with two PCIe x16 slots, one M.2 socket and 6 SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450 Gaming Plus‘ key features :

  • Supports DDR4-3466+(OC) Memory
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : TURBO M.2, StoreMI, AMD Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2
  • Audio Boost with Nahimic : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost : Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost with A-XMP
  • MULTI-GPU : With STEEL ARMOR PCI-E slots. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire
  • VR Ready : Automatically optimizes your system for VR usage, pushing for maximum performance.
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+ : Simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS within seconds, without installing a CPU, memory or graphics card.
  • In-Game Weapons : Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost

Here are some purchase links and prices for the MSI B450 Gaming Plus :

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MSI B450M Gaming Plus

The MSI B450M Gaming Plus is the micro-ATX version of the MSI B450 Gaming Plus. It supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz, and comes with one PCIe x16 slot, one M.2 socket and four SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450M Gaming Plus‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4-3466+(OC) Memory
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : TURBO M.2, StoreMI
  • Audio Boost with Nahimic : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost : Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost with A-XMP
  • VR Ready : Automatically optimizes your system for VR usage, pushing for maximum performance.
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+ : Simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS within seconds, without installing a CPU, memory or graphics card.
  • In-Game Weapons : Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot

Here are some purchase links and prices for the MSI B450M Gaming Plus :

 

MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC

The MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC is a mini-ITX motherboard with built-in Intel 802.11ac WiFi capability. It supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz, and comes with one PCIe x16 slot, one M.2 socket and four SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4-3466+(OC) Memory
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : TURBO M.2, StoreMI
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost : Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost with A-XMP
  • Intel Wireless support : Uses smart MU-MIMO technology, delivering AC speeds up to 433Mbps with lower CPU loading and better long-term usage.
  • VR Ready : Automatically optimizes your system for VR usage, pushing for maximum performance.
  • In-Game Weapons : Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot

Here are some purchase links and prices for the MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC :

Next Page > MSI B450 Motherboards Part 2

 

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MSI B450 Tomahawk

The MSI B450 Tomahawk is an ATX motherboard that supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz. It comes with two PCIe x16 slots, one M.2 socket and 6 SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450 Tomahawk‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 3466+(OC) MHz
  • Extended Heatsink Design : MSI extended PWM and enhanced circuit design ensures even high-end processors to run in full speed.
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : 1x TURBO M.2, AMD Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2, Store MI technology
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and fully digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost :Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability.
  • MULTI-GPU : With STEEL ARMOR PCI-E slots. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience.
  • Mystic Light and Mystic Light Sync : 16.8 million colors / 10 effects in one click. Synchronize RGB strips and other RGB solutions for customization.
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+ : Simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS within seconds, without installing a CPU, memory or graphics card.
  • In-Game Weapons : Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot

Here are some purchase links and prices for the MSI B450 Tomahawk :

 

MSI B450M Mortar

The MSI B450 Mortar is a micro-ATX motherboard that supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz. It comes with two PCIe x16 slots, two M.2 sockets and four SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450M Mortar‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 3466+(OC) MHz
  • Extended Heatsink Design : MSI extended PWM and enhanced circuit design ensures even high-end processors to run in full speed.
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : 1x TURBO M.2, AMD Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2, Store MI technology
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and fully digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost : Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability.
  • MULTI-GPU : With PCI-E STEEL ARMOR slot. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire
  • Mystic Light and Mystic Light Sync : 16.8 million colors / 10 effects in one click. Synchronize RGB strips and other RGB solutions for customization.
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+ : Simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS within seconds, without installing a CPU, memory or graphics card.
  • In-Game Weapons : Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot.

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MSI B450M Mortar Titanium

The MSI B450 Mortar Titanium is basically the white version of the B450 Mortar motherboard. It supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz, and comes with two PCIe x16 slots, two M.2 sockets and four SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450M Mortar Titanium‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 3466+(OC) MHz
  • Extended Heatsink Design : MSI extended PWM and enhanced circuit design ensures even high-end processors to run in full speed.
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : 1x TURBO M.2, AMD Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2, Store MI technology
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and fully digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost : Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability.
  • MULTI-GPU : With PCI-E STEEL ARMOR slot. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire
  • Mystic Light and Mystic Light Sync : 16.8 million colors / 10 effects in one click. Synchronize RGB strips and other RGB solutions for customization.
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+ : Simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS within seconds, without installing a CPU, memory or graphics card.
  • In-Game Weapons : Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot.

 

MSI B450M Bazooka

The MSI B450M Bazooka is a micro-ATX motherboard that supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz. It comes with one PCIe x16 slots, one M.2 sockets and four SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450M Bazooka‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 3466+(OC) MHz
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : 1x TURBO M.2, Store MI technology
  • Core Boost : With premium layout optimized power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost : Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability.
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience
  • PCI-E Steel Armor : Protecting VGA cards against bending and EMI
  • X-Boost : Software that auto-detects and allows you to boost the performance of any storage, Optane or USB device
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot.

Next Page > MSI B450 Motherboards Part 3

 

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MSI B450M Bazooka Plus

The MSI B450M Bazooka Plus is a micro-ATX motherboard that supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3333 MHz. It comes with one PCIe x16 slots, one M.2 sockets and four SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450M Bazooka Plus‘ key features :

  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 3333+(OC) MHz. Supports ECC UDIMM memory.
  • Lightning Fast Game experience : 1x TURBO M.2, Store MI technology
  • Extended Heatsink Design : MSI extended PWM and enhanced circuit design ensures even high-end processors to run in full speed.
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and fully digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost : Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability.
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience.
  • Mystic Light and Mystic Light Sync : 16.8 million colors / 10 effects in one click. Synchronize RGB strips and other RGB solutions for customization.
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+ :  Simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS within seconds, without installing a CPU, memory or graphic cards
  • PCI-E Steel Armor : Protecting VGA cards against bending and EMI
  • VR Ready : Best virtual reality game experience without latency, reduces motion sickness
  • In-Game Weapons : Game Boost, GAMING Hotkey, X-Boost
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot.

 

MSI B450-A Pro

The MSI B450A-Pro is an ATX motherboard that supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz. It comes with two PCIe x16 slots, one M.2 socket and six SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450A-Pro‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4-3466+(OC) Memory
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality.
  • DDR4 Boost : Fully isolated, shielded and optimized DDR4 PCB design to give your DDR4 memory a performance boost.
  • Turbo M.2 : Delivering Speeds Up to 32Gb/s.
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot.
  • PCI-E Steel Armour : Protecting VGA cards against bending for better performance, stability and strength.
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+ : Simply use a USB key to flash any BIOS within seconds, without installing a CPU, memory or graphics card.
  • X-Boost : Software that auto-detects and allows you to boost the performance of any storage or USB device.
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and fully digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.

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MSI B450M Pro-VDH

The MSI B450M Pro-VDH is a micro-ATX motherboard that supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz. It comes with one PCIe x16 slot, one M.2 socket and four SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450M Pro-VDH‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4-3466+(OC) Memory
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality.
  • DDR4 Boost : Fully isolated, shielded and optimized DDR4 PCB design to give your DDR4 memory a performance boost.
  • Turbo M.2 : Delivering Speeds Up to 32Gb/s.
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot.
  • PCI-E Steel Armor : Protecting VGA cards against bending for better performance, stability and strength.
  • X-Boost : Software that auto-detects and allows you to boost the performance of any storage or USB device.
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and fully digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.

Here are some purchase links and prices for the MSI B450M Gaming Plus :

 

MSI B450M Pro-M2

The MSI B450M Pro-M2 is a micro-ATX motherboard that supports DDR4 memory speeds of up to 3466 MHz. It comes with one PCIe x16 slot, one M.2 socket and four SATA ports.

Here are the MSI B450M Pro-M2‘s key features :

  • Supports DDR4-3466+(OC) Memory
  • Audio Boost : Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality.
  • DDR4 Boost : Fully isolated, shielded and optimized DDR4 PCB design to give your DDR4 memory a performance boost.
  • Turbo M.2 : Delivering Speeds Up to 32Gb/s.
  • EZ Debug LED : Easiest way to troubleshoot.
  • PCI-E Steel Slot : Protecting VGA cards against bending for better performance, stability and strength.
  • X-Boost : Software that auto-detects and allows you to boost the performance of any storage or USB device.
  • Core Boost : With premium layout and fully digital power design to support more cores and provide better performance.

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MSI B360M Mortar + B360M Mortar Titanium Preview

Much of the focus at Computex 2018 was on the new B460 and X399 Refresh motherboards for the 2nd Gen Ryzen and 2nd Gen Threadripper processors. But MSI also shared some Intel love, launching two new Intel B360 motherboards – the MSI B360M Mortar and the MSI B360M Mortar Titanium.

Let’s take a quick look at these new motherboards designed for the 8th Generation Intel Core processors!

 

Intel B360 Chipset

When Intel launched their 8th Generation Intel Core (Coffee Lake) processors last year, you had to pair them with the high-end Intel Z370 chipset. Six months later, Intel finally released the cheaper Intel B360 chipset. Here is a comparison of the Intel Z370 and Intel B360 chipsets :

FeaturesIntel Z370Intel B360
CPU OverclockingYesNo
DDR4 OverclockingYesNo
DDR4 Memory Channels22
Chipset PCIe Lanes2412
PCIe Configuration1 x PCIe x16, or
2 x PCIe x8, or
1 x PCIe x8 + 2 x PCie x4
Only 1 x PCIe x16
SATA Ports66
USB 3.1 Gen2 Ports04
USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports106
PCIe 3.0 M.2 Slots31
PCIe RAID 0/1/5YesNo
SATA RAID 0/1/5YesNo
CPU-attached PCIe StorageYesNo
Integrated LANYesYes
Integrated WiFiNoYes, Wireless-AC

As you can see, the Intel B360 chipset drops CPU and memory overclocking, as well as RAID 0/1/5 support. It also comes with fewer PCIe lanes, and fewer USB ports.

On the other hand, it introduces native USB 3.1 Gen2 ports and integrated Wireless-AC capability – both features noticeably lacking in the Intel Z370.

 

MSI B360M Mortar + B360M Mortar Titanium

The MSI B360M Mortar (Price Check) and B360M Mortar Titanium (Price Check) motherboards are part of the MSI Arsenal GAMING family. They are both micro-ATX motherboards with four DDR4 memory slots, two PCIe x16 slots and two PCIe x1 slots.

  • 26% larger VRM heatsinks which reduce temperatures by up to 10°C
  • PCI-E Steel Armor for primary PCIe 3.0 x16 slot
  • Arsenal sticker area for personal customisation
  • Two M.2 slots supporting PCIe x4 operation
  • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports – one Type A, one Type C
  • EZ Debug LED for easier troubleshooting

The only real difference between the Mortar and the Mortar Titanium models is their colour. The B360M Mortar (Price Check) has a dark grey and black design, while the B360M Mortar Titanium (Price Check) has white and silver design.

 

B360M Mortar + Mortar Titanium Price + Availability

The two new MSI B360M Mortar motherboards are available with immediate effect, with the following recommended retail prices

  • MSI B360M Mortar : US$ 99.99 / € 85.95 / RM 399
    – Now on offer at just $89.99 ($79.99 with rebate)
  • MSI B360M Mortar TitaniumUS$ 104.99 / € 98.25 / RM 419
    – Now on offer at just $99.99 ($89.99 with rebate)

 

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MSI B450 Tomahawk + MSI B450A-Pro Preview

Excited about the upcoming GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WiFi motherboard? It’s not the only AMD B450 motherboard we saw at .Computex 2018. Let’s take a look at two upcoming MSI B450 motherboard models – the MSI B450 Tomahawk and the MSI B450A-Pro!

Find out if these are the AMD B450 motherboards to pair with your 2nd Gen Ryzen processor!

 

AMD B450 Chipset

The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WIFI motherboard is based on the upcoming AMD B450 chipset slated to launch in July 2018.

The AMD B450 motherboard is an improved version of the B350 chipset, featuring better memory routing and optimised VRM and power layouts, delivering lower idle power. It will also come with AMD StoreMI – a free OEM licensed copy of Enmotus FuzeDrive Basic.

 

The MSI B450A-Pro + MSI B450 Tomahawk Preview

Both the MSI B450 Tomahawk and MSI B450A-Pro are full-sized ATX motherboards. They both have common features like :

  • a 4+2 power phase design
  • four DDR4 memory slots that support speeds of up to 2933 MHz (with 2nd Gen Ryzen processor)
  • two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, albeit only the main one have full x16 performance
  • one M.2 slot (up to 110 mm) and six SATA ports
  • one free AMD StoreMI license

The MSI B450 Tomahawk is a bit more expensive at $150 / €128 / RM 600. It has 26% larger heatsinks, that MSI claims will reduce temperature by 10 °C. It comes with a USB-C portthree PCI Express x1 slots, and DVI and HDMI ports (for use with Ryzen desktop APUs).

The.MSI B450A-Pro is cheaper at $100 / €85 / RM 400, but lacks an I/O cover and a USB-C port. It comes with four PCI Express x1 slots, and VGA, DVI and HDMI ports (for use with Ryzen desktop APUs).

So what do YOU think? Are these MSI B450 motherboards a good fit for your 2nd Gen Ryzen processor, or do you prefer the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WiFi?

 

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GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Xtreme Motherboard Preview

Hidden in the GIGABYTE and AORUS showcases was the yet-to-be-released X399 AORUS Xtreme motherboard. We were given a chance to take a close look at it, and take a video and some photos of it. If you are waiting for an AMD X399 Refresh motherboard to pair with the upcoming AMD Threadripper 2 CPU, here’s a teaser for you!

 

AMD X399 Refresh

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper is designed specifically to work with the AMD X399 chipset. Together, they offer the following features :

  • 64 PCI Express lanes
  • Quad-channel DDR4 SDRAM memory
  • Up to 2 native USB 3.1 Gen2 ports
  • Up to 14 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
  • Up to 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • Up to 16 SATA ports

The upcoming AMD Threadripper 2 will continue to use the same chipset, with a BIOS update, of course. Other than that, the X399 Refresh motherboards are expected to feature the same circuitry and power optimisations being introduced with the X470 and B450 motherboards.

 

GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Xtreme Motherboard

The GIGABYTE X399 AOARUS Xtreme is an E-ATX (Extended ATX) motherboard with what appears to be 10+3 power phases. It has four PCI Express x16 slots (all reinforced with metal), and two M.2 SSD sockets – both with heatsinks.

In addition to built-in WiFi connectivity, it comes with two Gigabit LAN ports, and a 10 Gigabit LAN port. It also has eight USB 3.0 ports at the back, as well as two USB 3.1 ports – one Type A and one Type B.

This is a particularly heavy motherboard because of its large heatsinks, and large backplate. The GIGABYTE X399 AOARUS Xtreme will support the upcoming Threadripper 2 processors, and come with a removable BIOS chip.

We will update this article with more details when we get them. In the meantime, enjoy these photos we took of this upcoming motherboard!

 

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GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WIFI Motherboard Preview

Hidden in the GIGABYTE and AORUS showcases was the yet-to-be-released B450 AORUS PRO WIFI motherboard. We were given a chance to take a close look at it, and take a video and some photos of it. If you are waiting for an AMD B450 motherboard to pair with a 2nd Gen Ryzen CPU, here’s a teaser for you!

 

AMD B450 Chipset

The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WIFI motherboard is based on the upcoming AMD B450 chipset slated to launch in July 2018.

The AMD B450 motherboard is an improved version of the B350 chipset, featuring better memory routing and optimised VRM and power layouts, delivering lower idle power. It will also come with AMD StoreMI – a free OEM licensed copy of Enmotus FuzeDrive Basic.

 

GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WIFI

The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WIFI is an ATX motherboard with what appears to be 10+2 power phases. It has three PCI Express x16 slots (the top-most is reinforced with metal), and two M.2 SSD sockets – both with heatsinks.

In addition to built-in WiFi connectivity, it also comes with a Gigabit LAN port, and video output in the form of HDMI and DVI display ports. It comes with four USB 3.0 ports at the back, as well as two USB 3.1 ports – one Type A and one Type B.

The GIGABYTE B450 AORUS PRO WIFI will support the new 2nd Gen Ryzen processors, and come with a removable BIOS chip. We will update this article with more details when we get them. In the meantime, enjoy these photos we took of this upcoming motherboard!

 

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Exclusive : Mystery ROG Strix Motherboard Preview!

ASUS just sent us a mystery ROG Strix motherboard. As this ROG Strix motherboard has not been launched yet, we cannot share with you all of the details. Just a few teaser images and some of its specifications. Check them out!

 

Mystery ROG Strix Motherboard Photos

Let’s take a quick tour of the mystery ROG Strix motherboard. At least the parts we are allowed to show.

The CPU Socket + VRM

DDR4 Memory Slots

Chipset + M.2 SSD Heatsinks

ASUS SupremeFX Audio

Back IO Panel

IO Shield + VRM Heatsink

 

Mystery ROG Strix Motherboard Specifications

Here are some specifications of the mystery ROG Strix motherboard for your perusal! 🙂

SpecificationsMystery ROG Strix Motherboard
CPU SupportMystery
ChipsetMystery
Memory Support4 x DDR4 DIMM slots
- maximum 64 GB DIMM
- maximum speed : Mystery
Expansion Slots2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 SafeSlots
- x16 with single GPU
- x8/x8 with dual GPUs
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot
- x4 mode only
3 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots
Processor Graphics SupportHDMI 1.4b port
- 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
- 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz

Display Port 1.2 port
- 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
StorageM.2_1
- Socket 3 with M Key (2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110
- PCIe 3.0 x4 / SATA mode

M.2_2
- Socket 3 with M Key (2242 / 2260 / 2280
- PCIe 3.0 x2 / SATA mode
LAN CapabilityIntel I211-AT LAN controller
- Anti-surge LANGuard
- ROG GameFirst Technology
Built-In WiFiNo
Audio CapabilitySupremeFX S1220A 8-channel Hi-Definition Codec
- supports up to 32-bit @ 192 kHz playback
- impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- 120 dB SNR stereo playback output
- 113 dB SNR recording input
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
USB PortsBack Panel
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type A ports (Red)
- 5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port

Front Panel (Connectors)
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports
Form FactorATX
Dimensions24.4 cm x 30.5 cm
9.6" x 12"

 

Suggested Reading

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MPS Control Version For OS from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

MPS Control Version For OS

Common Options : 1.1, 1.4

 

Quick Review of MPS Control Version For OS

The MPS Control Version For OS feature is only applicable to multiprocessor motherboards as it specifies the version of the Multi-Processor Specification (MPS) that the motherboard will use. The MPS is a specification by which PC manufacturers design and build Intel architecture systems with two or more processors.

MPS 1.1 was the original specification. MPS version 1.4 adds extended configuration tables for improved support of multiple PCI bus configurations and greater expandability in the future. In addition, MPS 1.4 introduces support for a secondary PCI bus without requiring a PCI bridge.

If your operating system comes with support for MPS 1.4, you should change the setting from the default of 1.1 to 1.4. You also need to enable MPS 1.4 support if you need to make use of the secondary PCI bus on a motherboard that doesn’t come with a PCI bridge.

You should only leave it as 1.1 only if you are running an older operating system that only supports MPS 1.1.

Microsoft Windows NT onwards already supports MPS 1.4. Therefore, all newer operating systems like Windows 2000 and Windows XP and beyond have no problem supporting MPS 1.4.

However, users of the ABIT BP6 motherboard and Windows 2000 should take note of a possible problem with the MPS version set to 1.4. Dan Isaacs reported that when you set the MPS version to 1.4 in the ABIT BP6, Windows 2000 will not use the second processor. So, if you encounter this problem, set the MPS Version Control For OS to 1.1.

 

Details of MPS Control Version For OS

The MPS Control Version For OS feature is only applicable to multiprocessor motherboards as it specifies the version of the Multi-Processor Specification (MPS) that the motherboard will use. The MPS is a specification by which PC manufacturers design and build Intel architecture systems with two or more processors.

MPS 1.1 was the original specification. MPS version 1.4 adds extended configuration tables for improved support of multiple PCI bus configurations and greater expandability in the future. In addition, MPS 1.4 introduces support for a secondary PCI bus without requiring a PCI bridge.

Please note that MPS version 1.4 is required for a motherboard to support a secondary PCI bus without the need for a PCI bridge.

If your operating system comes with support for MPS 1.4, you should change the setting from the default of 1.1 to 1.4. You also need to enable MPS 1.4 support if you need to make use of the secondary PCI bus on a motherboard that doesn’t come with a PCI bridge. This is because only MPS 1.4 supports a bridgeless secondary PCI bus.

You should only leave it as 1.1 only if you are running an older operating system that only supports MPS 1.1.

Microsoft Windows NT onwards already supports MPS 1.4. Therefore, all newer operating systems like Windows 2000 and Windows XP and beyond have no problem supporting MPS 1.4.

However, users of the ABIT BP6 motherboard and Windows 2000 should take note of a possible problem with the MPS version set to 1.4. Dan Isaacs reported that when you set the MPS version to 1.4 in the ABIT BP6, Windows 2000 will not use the second processor. So, if you encounter this problem, set the MPS Version Control For OS to 1.1.

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PIRQ x Use IRQ No. from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

PIRQ x Use IRQ No.

Common Options : Auto, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15

 

Quick Review of PIRQ x Use IRQ No.

The PIRQ x Use IRQ No. BIOS feature allows you to manually set the IRQ for a particular device installed on the AGP and PCI buses.

It is especially useful when you are transferring a hard disk from one computer to another; and you don’t want to reinstall your operating system to redetect the IRQ settings. By setting the IRQs to fit the original settings, you can circumvent a lot of configuration problems after installing the hard disk in a new system. However, this is only true for non-ACPI systems.

Below is a table showing the relationship between PIRQ and INT in the reference motherboard :-

Signals

AGP Slot
PCI Slot 1

PCI Slot 2

PCI Slot 3

PCI Slot 4
PCI Slot 5

PIRQ_0

INT A

INT D

INT C

INT B

PIRQ_1

INT B

INT A

INT D

INT C

PIRQ_2

INT C

INT B

INT A

INT D

PIRQ_3

INT D

INT C

INT B

INT A

You will notice that the interrupts are staggered so that conflicts do not happen easily.

Even then, you should try not use up paired slots that share the same set of IRQs. In such cases, it is recommended that you use only one of the two slots.

In most cases, you should just leave the setting as Auto. This allows the motherboard to assign the IRQs automatically. But if you need to assign a particular IRQ to a device on the AGP or PCI bus, here is how you can make use of this BIOS feature.

  1. Determine the slot that the device is located in.
  2. Check your motherboard’s PIRQ table (in the manual) to determine the slot’s primary PIRQ.
  3. You can then select the IRQ you want by assigning the IRQ to the appropriate PIRQ.

Just remember that the BIOS will always try to allocate the PIRQ linked to INT A for each slot. It is just a matter of linking the IRQ you want to the correct PIRQ for that slot.

Please note the table, notes and INT details are only examples provided by the reference motherboard. They may vary from motherboard to motherboard.

 

Details of PIRQ x Use IRQ No.

The PIRQ x Use IRQ No. BIOS feature allows you to manually set the IRQ for a particular device installed on the AGP and PCI buses.

It is especially useful when you are transferring a hard disk from one computer to another; and you don’t want to reinstall your operating system to redetect the IRQ settings. By setting the IRQs to fit the original settings, you can circumvent a lot of configuration problems after installing the hard disk in a new system. However, this is only true for non-ACPI systems.

Here are some important notes from the reference motherboard (may vary from motherboard to motherboard) :

  • If you specify a particular IRQ here, you can’t specify the same IRQ for the ISA bus. If you do, you will cause a hardware conflict.
  • Each PCI slot is capable of activating up to 4 interrupts – INT A, INT B, INT C and INT D.
  • The AGP slot is capable of activating up to 2 interrupts – INT A and INT B.
  • Normally, each slot is allocated INT A. The other interrupts are reserves and used only when the PCI/AGP device requires more than one IRQ or if the IRQ requested has been used up.
  • The AGP slot and PCI slot #1 share the same IRQ.
  • PCI slot #4 and #5 share the same IRQs.
  • USB uses PIRQ_4.

Below is a table showing the relationship between PIRQ and INT in the reference motherboard :-

Signals

AGP Slot
PCI Slot 1

PCI Slot 2

PCI Slot 3

PCI Slot 4
PCI Slot 5

PIRQ_0

INT A

INT D

INT C

INT B

PIRQ_1

INT B

INT A

INT D

INT C

PIRQ_2

INT C

INT B

INT A

INT D

PIRQ_3

INT D

INT C

INT B

INT A

You will notice that the interrupts are staggered so that conflicts do not happen easily. The INT A entries are in bold to highlight the staggered arrangement.

Even then, you should try not use up paired slots that share the same set of IRQs. In this reference motherboard, such paired slots would be the AGP slot and PCI slot 1 or PCI slots 4 and 5. In such cases, it is recommended that you use only one of the two slots.

In most cases, you should just leave the setting as Auto. This allows the motherboard to assign the IRQs automatically. But if you need to assign a particular IRQ to a device on the AGP or PCI bus, here is how you can make use of this BIOS feature.

  1. Determine the slot that the device is located in.
  2. Check your motherboard’s PIRQ table (in the manual) to determine the slot’s primary PIRQ. For example, if you have a PCI network card in PCI slot 3, the table above shows that the slot’s primary PIRQ is PIRQ_2. Remember, all slots are first allocated INT A if it is available.
  3. You can then select the IRQ you want by assigning the IRQ to the appropriate PIRQ. In our network card example, if the card requires IRQ 7, set PIRQ_2 to use IRQ 7. The BIOS will then allocate IRQ 7 to PCI slot 3. It is that easy! 🙂
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Just remember that the BIOS will always try to allocate the PIRQ linked to INT A for each slot. So, in our reference motherboard, the primary PIRQ for the AGP slot and PCI slot 1 is PIRQ_0 while the primary PIRQ for PCI slot 2 is PIRQ_1 and so on. It is just a matter of linking the IRQ you want to the correct PIRQ for that slot.

Please note the table, notes and INT details are only examples provided by the reference motherboard. They may vary from motherboard to motherboard. For example, Intel i8xx chipsets have 8 interrupt lines (INT A to INT H). In i8xx motherboards, the AGP slot will always have its own IRQ. Thanks to alex-the-cat for that info!

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The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming Motherboard Review

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) is one of the first 11 ASUS Z370 motherboards to hit the market in support of the new 8th Generation Intel Core (Coffee Lake) processors. In this review, we are going to take a close look at the ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming, and see how it performs with the Intel Core i7-8700K processor!

Don’t forget to check out the other ASUS Z370 motherboards in The 11 New ASUS Z370 Motherboards Revealed!

 

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming Specifications

SpecificationsASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming
CPU SocketIntel Socket 1151 V2
CPU Support8th Generation Intel Core Processors (codenamed Coffee Lake)
ChipsetIntel Z370
Memory Support4 x DDR4 DIMM Slots - Up to 64 GB (16 GB x 4)
Standard Memory Speeds2666 MHz / 2400 MHz / 2133 MHz
Overclocked Memory Speeds4000 MHz / 3866 MHz / 3733 MHz / 3600 MHz / 3466 MHz / 3400 MHz / 3333 MHz / 3300 MHz / 3200 MHz / 3000 MHz / 2800 MHz
Integrated Graphics SupportYes (With Intel HD Graphics), with up to 1 GB of shared memory
HDMI 1.4b, DVI-D and DisplayPort 1.2 ports
HDMI Max. Resolution : 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
DVI-D Max. Resolution : 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
DisplayPort Max. resolution : 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Multi-GPU SupportSupports 2-way NVIDIA SLI and 3-way AMD CrossFireX
Expansion Slots2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (x4)
4 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots
Storage Options1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Intel Optane Memory Ready
NetworkingIntel I219V LAN
- with Anti-surge LANGuard and ROG GameFirst Technology
Audio CapabilityROG SupremeFX S1220A 8-channel audio codec
- Dual Headphone 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
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
- Supports up to 32-Bit / 192kHz playback
USB PortsIntel Z370 Chipset
- 6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
- 6 x USB 2.0 port(s)
ASMedia USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller :
- 2 x USB 3.1 ports (Type-A + USB Type-CTM, Support 3A power output)
ROG Exclusive FeaturesROG RAMCache II
ROG CPU-Z
ROG CloneDrive
Overwolf
GameFirst IV
ROG Aura Sync
- Aura Lighting Control
- Aura RGB Strip Headers
Special FeaturesOC Design with ASUS PRO Clock Technology
- Full BCLK range for extreme overclocking performance
5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
- Whole system optimization with a single click! 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 4, and Turbo App together, providing better CPU performance, efficient power saving, precise digital power control, whole system cooling and even tailor your own app usages.
TPU
- Auto Tuning, TurboV, GPU Boost
- Fan Xpert 4 featuring Fan Auto Tuning function and multiple thermistors
Gamer's Guardian:
- DRAM Overcurrent Protection
- Stainless Steel Back I/O
- Highly Durable Components
- DIGI+ VRM
- SafeSlot
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger
- ESD Guards
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 3
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
Gaming Aesthetics :
- 3D printing friendly
- AURA-RGB Lighting
Performance Optimization :
- DIGI + VRM
Turbo APP
Back I/O Ports1 x DVI-D
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) ports
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A + USB Type-CTM
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue)
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jacks
Internal I/O Ports1 x AAFP connector
2 x RGB Headers
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectors support additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
2 x USB 2.0 connectors support additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode only)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x M.2_FAN connector
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector
2 x Chassis Fan connectors
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
1 x System panel (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt)
1 x CPU OV
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN (Extension Fan) connector
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header
1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector
1 x COM port header
1 x T_Sensor Connector
1 x AIO PUMP Header
3 x 3D Mount screw ports
AccessoriesUser's manual
ASUS Q-Shield
1 x ASUS Fan Holder
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x CPU installation tool
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x Strix door hanger
1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)
1 x ROG Strix stickers
1 x Cable ties pack(s)
1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (80 cm)
1 x Extension cable for Addressable LED
1 x Thermistor cable(s)
1 x 3D printing mount package
BIOS128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 6.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information.
ManageabilityWfM2.0, DMI3.0, WOL by PME, PXE
Form FactorATX
Size30.5 cm x 24.4 cm / 12 inch x 9.6 inch

 

Unboxing The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming

Let’s take a quick look at the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) motherboard’s box and unbox it.

Inside the box, you should find the following items :

  • One ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming motherboard
  • One ASUS ROG CPU installation tool
  • One set of user manual, driver DVD and documentation
  • One set of ROG Strix stickers and door hanger[adrotate group=”2″]
  • One ASUS Q-Shield (I/O shield)
  • One SLI HD Bridge card (2-way)
  • One extension cable for RGB LED strips (80 cm)
  • One extension cable for addressable LED strips
  • One thermistor cable
  • One ASUS fan holder
  • Four SATA 6 Gb/s cables
  • One pack of cable ties
  • One pack of M.2 screws
  • One pack of 3D mounting screws

Now, let’s go take a closer look at the motherboard, and check out its key features!

Next Page > The Z370-F Gaming Up Close, CPU Power & Overclockability, DDR4 Memory Slots

 

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The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming Up Close

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) is a full-sized ATX motherboard, built around the new Intel Z370 chipset. This is their premium model for the mainstream enthusiast / gamers market. Hence, it boasts premium features like Aura Sync RGB lighting, SafeSlot reinforcement, and SupremeFX audio.

 

 

CPU Power & Overclockability

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) boasts the ASUS Pro Clock technology for greater overclocking capabilities. It combines a dedicated base clock generator, the ASUS DIGI+ VRM design and the ASUS TurboV processing unit.

The base clock generator is designed for the 8th Generation Intel Core processors, extending the base clock frequency up to 432 MHz. The ASUS TurboV processing unit (TPU), on the other hand, delivers enhanced voltage and base clock overclocking controls.

Finally, the ASUS DIGI+ VRM design features a 8+2 digital architecture that is designed to increase overclockability, while reducing electromagnetic interference with minimal power loss. Although high quality (and expensive) analog PWM exists, digital PWM allows for more accurate control of the power frequency and modulation.

The MOSFETs and inductors are kept cool by large aluminium alloy heatsinks, which help to increase reliability and longevity of the VRM. Just in case you plan to operate this in extreme climates, the inductors and capacitors are rated to work within an extended temperature range of -55 ℃ and 105 ℃.

To support CPU coolers with two fans, the ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) has two CPU fan headers placed behind the DIMM slots.

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There is even an optional fan holder, with its own fan header, that can be installed to help increase air circulation, or to blow away fumes while using LN2 (liquid nitrogen) cooling.

If you’re planning to use an AIO water cooler, you will be glad to know that there is even a dedicated PWM / DC header for your AIO pump fan.

If there are any enthusiast-grade features that we regret were not included in this motherboard, it would be the Power and Reset buttons, or an debugging LED display.

 

DDR4 Memory Slots

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) has four DDR4 DIMM slots. The Intel Z370 chipset only supports DDR4 memory up to 2666 MHz, but the Z370-F Gaming allows for overclocked memory clock speeds of up to 4000 MHz, with all four slots populated.

To achieve such high headroom for overclocking, ASUS used their OptiMem design. This combines the optimal routing of memory traces and vias through the optimal PCB layer, and the T-Topology layout which ensures “time-aligned signalling” by balancing trace lengths between the memory slots.

Next Page > PCI Express Slots, Dual M.2 Sockets, Limited SATA Ports, SupremeFX Audio

 

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PCI Express Slots

The ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) motherboard has seven PCI Express slots – three full-sized PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, and four smaller PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots.

The first two PCI Express x16 slots are sheet metal reinforced – what ASUS calls SafeSlot. They greatly increase the rigidity of the PCI Express slots, allowing them to support heavy graphics cards. The third PCI Express slot lacks this SafeSlot reinforcement.

The top-most PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE_x16/x8_1) operates at full x16 speed with a single card.

If you have two graphics cards, you will need to install them in the first and second PCIe x16 slots; and they will both run at x8 speed. The third PCIe x16 slot only runs at x4 speed.

 

Dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 Sockets

The ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) motherboard has two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 sockets. They support M.2 solid state drives, with lengths of 42 mm, 60 mm or 80 mm. The third PCI Express x16 slot (which runs at x4 speed) can be used to add a third SSD. You can run them in RAID 0, 1, 5 or 10.

Due to space constraints, only one of the M.2 sockets have a heatsink (seen in the PCI Express picture). The second M.2 socket (seen in the picture above) is “naked”, although you can always install a DIMM cooler to help keep both the memory modules and this drive cool.

 

Limited SATA Ports

The ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) has six standard SATA 6Gb/s ports. There are no SATA Express ports. But what’s really problematic is the stacked side-facing design. They may prove to be troublesome to access in tight cases. If only ASUS made a few vertical in orientation.

Do note that the first M.2 socket (M.2_1) uses the SATA_1 port, if you opt to use it in the SATA mode. In addition, the second M.2 socket (M.2_2) uses both the SATA_5 and SATA_6 ports.

What this basically means is you have limited support for SATA drives with the ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming. It’s not the end of the world, but don’t expect to run two M.2 SSDs with six SATA drives. That’s not happening.

 

ASUS SupremeFX Audio

The ASUS SupremeFX audio technology is a combination of five components :

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  • the ASUS SupremeFX S1220A codec (now with a low-dropout regulator)
  • a shield for the SupremeFX chip – preserves the integrity of audio signals
  • dual op amplifiers – one op amp adds voltage gain, while the second works as a buffer, to drive 32-600 Ω headphones
  • premium Nichicon audio capacitors – produces warmer, more natural sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
  • audio line shielding – blocks electromagnetic interference from the motherboard and add-on devices, for cleaner audio

ASUS claims that the SupremeFX audio technology delivers 113 dB signal-to-noise ratio on the line-in input, and 120 dB on the line-out output.

Next Page > Back I/O Ports, ASUS Aura Sync, 3D Printing Support, ROG RAMCache II

 

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Back I/O Ports

The ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) did not have quite as many back I/O ports as we hoped for. It has three different display ports (DVI-D, DisplayPort and HDMI) that can all be active simultaneously when used with an Intel processor with HD Graphics.

To the left are two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports – the red Type A port, and the smaller Type C port below it. To the right are two USB 2.0 ports, two blue USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports with the Intel I219V LAN port. Finally, we have the five audio ports and the optical S/PDIF out port.

ASUS used a stainless steel I/O panel that was chromium-plated for corrosion-resistance. The ports are also shielded with a cover that prevents static damage. This is useful if you plan to use this motherboard outside of a chassis. When installed in a chassis, that job is fulfilled by the I/O shield (also included) that is installed into the chassis.

 

ASUS Aura Sync

As its name suggests, the ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) is designed to appeal to gamers. Hence, it supports the ASUS Aura Sync technology, which allows you to control and sync the RGB LED lighting on the motherboard and other ASUS Aura Sync-compatible devices. You can change their colours in unison, or set dynamic modes to change the illumination effects across all devices.

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) also comes with a pair of onboard 5050 RGB headers, and an addressable RGB header. They can be connected to compatible lighting strips, fans, coolers and PC cases.

The addressable RGB header supports WS2812B addressable RGB LED strips (5V/Data/Ground), with a max power rating of 3A (5V) and a max of 60 LEDs.

The Aura RGB-strip header supports 5050 RGB LED strips with a max power rating of 3A (12V). For maximum brightness, strip length should not exceed 3 meters.

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3D Printing Support

The ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) has dedicated 3D mount holes cut into the motherboard. This allows you to easily mount your 3D-printed parts using the same screws for the M.2 drives. ASUS even provides three downloadable 3D printable files for a cable cover, custom nameplate and an M.2 fan holder.

 

ROG RAMCache II

The ROG RAMCache II is a disk caching software that copies the most frequently-used data from your drives into a portion of your system memory. This allows the cached data to be accessed very quickly. This version introduces support for NVMe devices, in addition to standard SATA drives.

It is simple enough to use – just set how much system memory you want to allocate as the disk cache. RAMCache II will automatically cache all of your attached storage devices, according to your usage patterns. Of course, Microsoft Windows already has its own disk cache that dynamically uses free system memory and releases it whenever your apps need more memory.

Now, it is possible that RAMCache II uses better, faster caching algorithms, but it cannot dynamically release the allocated memory. So you best use it only if you have a lot of spare memory.

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Reading Suggestions

 

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Our Verdict & Award

ASUS has decades of experience designing and building excellent motherboards, and that is evident in the ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check). It melds the key overclocking features ASUS is well-known for, with the bling factor that gamers and modders love so much.

Hardware enthusiasts will like the enhanced CPU overclocking features that include a base clock frequency of up to 432 MHz, and the combination of a digital VRM design and the ASUS TurboV processing unit. Impressively, the ASUS OptiMem design allows the possibility of overclocking the DDR4 memory modules to 4000 MHz, with all four slots populated!

The ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) also comes with support for a variety of cooling options. You can use an air cooler with dual fans, or an AIO water cooler. ASUS even provides an optional fan holder in case you want to try liquid nitrogen cooling!

Gamers and modders, on the other hand, will love the inclusion of the ASUS Aura Sync technology, with two RGB headers as well as an addressable LED header. Let’s not forget the support for 3D printed parts. That gives them a lot more flexibility in modding and adding bling to their system.

Audiophiles will also appreciate the ASUS SupremeFX audio technology. Not only does it improve the signal-to-noise ratio on both input and output, it has dual headphone amplifiers that can drive a wide variety of headphones with its impedance range of 32 to 600 ohms.

The inclusion of two M.2 sockets is nice, but do note that using them may disable up to three SATA ports. That’s not a big deal if you only intend to run two SSDs and a hard disk drive or two. Also limited are the back USB ports – there are only six of them on the rear I/O panel, and two are USB 2.0.

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There are also no onboard Power and Reset buttons, or a debugging LED display. Of course, these enthusiast-grade features are only useful to those who intend to use this motherboard without a PC case. It’s just odd because the motherboard seems to be targeted at those who want to use LN2 cooling…

That oddity aside, the Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) is a solid Intel Z370 motherboard that offers a nice blend of overclocking and modding features that will really appeal to gamers who enjoy overclocking and/or modding. It is also affordably priced at US$ 194.99.

For those reasons, we think the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming (Price Check) deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Great job, ASUS!

Don’t forget to check out the other ASUS Z370 motherboards in The 11 New ASUS Z370 Motherboards Revealed!

 

Reading Suggestions

Here are other Intel Coffee Lake-related articles you should read!

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The 11 New ASUS Z370 Motherboards Revealed!

Intel have officially launched the 8th Generation Intel Core processors (codenamed Coffee Lake)! In this article, we will share with you details, videos, pictures and specifications of the 11 new ASUS Z370 motherboards you can pair with your Intel Coffee Lake processor of choice! Which of these ASUS Z370 motherboards will fit your requirements? Read on and find out!

Everything You Need To Know About The ASUS Z370 Motherboards

We will go into the details of the individual ASUS Z370 motherboards, including their specifications. Here are their direct links :

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Don’t forget to also check out our video overviews of the 11 ASUS Z370 motherboards :

Finally, we will share with you the ASUS Z370 motherboard prices and availability, as well as purchase links :

But first, let’s take a look at the presentations on the ASUS Z370 motherboards and a special overclocking demonstration by Coolice!

Updated @ 2017-10-06 : Added the ASUS Z370 motherboard prices and availability. Various minor changes.

Originally posted @ 2017-09-29

 

The New ASUS Z370 Coffee Lake Motherboards Revealed!

At an exclusive regional shindig, ASUS gave us the lowdown on their upcoming Z370 motherboards. Let’s start with the ROG Z370 Gaming series of motherboards.

Then ASUS revealed the new TUF Gaming series for casual gamers, and the ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard.

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Watch Coolice Overclock The Core i7-8700K To 6.6 GHz!

ASUS also brought overclocker Coolice to showcase the overclockability of the 8th Generation Intel Core processor. He paired the Intel Core i7-8700K with the new ASUS Maximus X Apex Z370 motherboard and used liquid nitrogen cooling, to achieve a clock speed of 6.6 GHz!

Now, let’s take a look at the details and specifications of the new ASUS Z370 motherboards!

Next Page > The ASUS ROG Z370 Motherboards, ROG Maximus X Apex & ROG Maximus X Hero

 

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The ASUS ROG Z370 Motherboards

The ASUS ROG family of Z370 motherboards is divided into the ROG Maximus series, and the ROG Strix series. The ROG Maximus motherboards offer the best features and performance for gamers and enthusiasts, while the ROG Strix motherboards offer key ROG features at more affordable price points.

Here are the specifications of the ASUS ROG Z370 motherboards :

SpecificationsMaximus X ApexMaximus X HeroStrix Z370-E GamingStrix Z370-F GamingStrix Z370-H GamingStrix Z370-G GamingStrix Z370-I Gaming
Form FactorEATXATXATXATXATXmicroATXMini ATX
Memory Slots2 X DDR4
(4266+ OC)
4 x DDR4
(4133+ OC)
4 x DDR4
(4000 OC)
4 x DDR4
(4000 OC)
4 x DDR4
(3866 OC)
4 x DDR4
(4000 OC)
4 x DDR4
(4333+ OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
4-way CrossFire
2-way SLI
3-way CrossFire
2-way SLI
3-way CrossFire
2-way SLI
3-way CrossFire
2-way SLI
2-way CrossFire
2-way SLI
2-way CrossFire
NA
PCIe Slots4 x PCIe x16
2 x PCIe x1
3 x PCIe x16
3 x PCIe x1
3 x PCIe x16
4 x PCIe x1
3 x PCIe x16
4 x PCIe x1
3 x PCIe x16
3 x PCIe x1
2 x PCIe x16
2 x PCIe x1
1 x PCIe x16
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x42 x NVMe x42 x NVMe x42 x NVMe x42 x NVMe x42 x PCIe x42 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports4666664
LAN PortsAquantia 5 Gigabit
Intel 1 Gigabit
Intel 1 GigabitIntel 1 GigabitIntel 1 GigabitIntel 1 GigabitIntel 1 GigabitIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFiNA802.11ac802.11acNANA802.11ac802.11ac
AudioSupremeFX S1220ASupremeFX S1220
ESS Sabre ES9203P
SupremeFX S1220ASupremeFX S1220ASupremeFX S1220ASupremeFX S1220ASupremeFX S1220A
USB 3.1 Gen21 x Type C
1 x Type A
1 x front header
1 x Type C
1 x Type A
1 x Front
1 x Type C
1 x Type A
1 x Type C
1 x Type A
2 x Type A2 x Type A1 x front header
Aura Sync Headers4 Strip2 Strip
1 Address
2 Strip
1 Address
2 Strip
1 Address
NANA1 Address

 

The ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex Motherboard

This is the motherboard Coolice used to overclock the Intel Core i7-8700K to 6.6 GHz. That’s because the ROG Maximus is designed for extreme overclocking. It boasts special operating modes for liquid nitrogen cooling, and even a special fan bracket for the IO heatsink to let overclockers blow away LN2 vapour!

To ensure greater overclockability of the memory modules, the Maximus X Apex uses only two DDR4 memory slots. With the traces slightly more direct with only one slot per memory channel, the memory modules can be overclocked to 4200 MHz and beyond.

SpecificationsASUS ROG Maximus X Apex
Form FactorExtended ATX
Memory Slots2 X DDR4
(4266+ OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
4-way CrossFire
PCIe Slots4 x PCIe x16
2 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports4 x SATA 6 Gbps
LAN PortsAquantia 5 Gigabit
Intel 1 Gigabit
WiFiNA
AudioSupremeFX S1220A codec
USB 3.1 Gen21 x Type C
1 x Type A
Aura SyncVRM heatsink, chipset heatsink, nameplate, PCB backlight, 4 x strip headers
Cooling2 x pump headers
5 x fan headers
3 x full-speed fan headers
4 x thermal sensor headers
1 x flow header
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The ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero Motherboard

The ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is designed to support both liquid and air coolers, as well as AIO coolers and standalone pumps, with headers for monitoring liquid temperatures and flow. It is also compatible with the ASUS Fan Extension Card, which adds headers for more fans and temperature probes.

Catering to audiophiles, the Maximus X Hero pairs the SupremeFX codec with an ESS Sabre DAC for greater range and an exceptional 120 dB SNR. It also boasts an integrated I/O shield for easier installation and a cleaner look.

Suggested Retail Price At Launch : US$ 289.99

SpecificationsASUS ROG Maximus X Hero
Form FactorATX
Memory Slots4 x DDR4
(4133+ OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
3-way CrossFire
PCIe Slots3 x PCIe x16
3 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports6
LAN PortsIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFi802.11ac
AudioSupremeFX S1220 codec
ESS Sabre ES9203P DAC
USB 3.1 Gen21 x front header
1 x Type C
1 x Type A
Aura SyncIO shield, M.2 heatsink, chipset heatsink, 2 x strip headers, 1 x addressable header
Cooling2 x pump headers
5 x fan headers
1 x high-speed fan header
3 x thermal sensor headers
1 x flow header

Next Page > The ASUS ROG Strix Z370 Motherboards

 

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The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming & Z370-F Gaming

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming and Z370-F Gaming are almost identical. They both have two PCIe x16 slots with SafeSlot reinforcement, and four DDR4-4000 memory slots. They also have dual M.2 slots – both cooled by a large M.2 heatsink that reduces operating temperatures by up to 15°C.

The only real difference is their colour schemes. The Z370-E has integrated WiFi and a gleaming silver finish on its heatsinks and I/O shroud, while the Z370-F has no WiFi capabilities and subtle charcoal shades.

Suggested Retail Price At Launch : US$ 194.99

SpecificationsASUS ROG Strix Z370-E GamingASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming
Form FactorATXATX
Memory Slots4 x DDR4
(4000 OC)
4 x DDR4
(4000 OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
3-way CrossFire
2-way SLI
3-way CrossFire
PCIe Slots3 x PCIe x16
4 x PCIe x1
3 x PCIe x16
4 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x42 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports66
LAN PortsIntel 1 GigabitIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFi802.11ac (2x2)NA
AudioSupremeFX S1220ASupremeFX S1220A
USB 3.1 Gen21 x Front
1 x Type C
1 x Type A
1 x Type C
1 x Type A
Aura SyncIO shield, 2 x strip headers, 1 x addressable headerIO shield, 2 x strip headers, 1 x addressable header
Cooling1 x AIO header
5 x fan headers
1 x thermal sensor header
1 x AIO header
5 x fan headers
1 x thermal sensor header

 

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-H Gaming

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-H Gaming is an entry-level ROG motherboard with all the essential features. It has dual PCIe x16 slots with SafeSlot protection, and support for 2-way SLI and CrossFire, as well as dual NVMe slots. The Strix Z370-H Gaming has four fan headers, with one AIO cooler header. It only lacks sensor grouping and GPU temperature detection.

Recommended Retail Price At Launch : US$ 169.99

SpecificationsASUS ROG Strix Z370-H Gaming
Form FactorATX
Memory Slots4 x DDR4
(3866 OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
2-way CrossFire
PCIe Slots3 x PCIe x16
3 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports6
LAN PortsIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFiNA
AudioSupremeFX S1220A
USB 3.1 Gen22 x Type A
Aura Sync HeadersNA
Cooling1 x AIO header
4 x fan headers
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The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming is a microATX motherboard with two PCIe x16 slots with SafeSlot protection. It even supports 2-way SLI and CrossFire, but cannot fit larger 2.5 slots cards like the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. There are two M.2 slots, but one of them is located under the second PCIe slot.

Suggested Retail Price At Launch : US$ 184.99

SpecificationsASUS ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming
Form FactormicroATX
Memory Slots4 x DDR4
(4000 OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
2-way CrossFire
PCIe Slots2 x PCIe x16
2 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x PCIe x4
SATA Ports6
LAN PortsIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFi802.11ac
AudioSupremeFX S1220A
USB 3.1 Gen22 x Type A
Aura Sync HeadersNA
Cooling1 x pump header
4 x fan headers
1 x thermal sensor header

 

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming

The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming is a mini ITX motherboard that is capable of overclocking the memory to DDR4-4333 or better. It also has two M.2 SSD slots, but only one has a heatsink to keep it cool. The usual trimmings are there – SafeSlot protection, 802.11ac WiFi, SupremeFX audio and Fan Xpert 4 capability.

Suggested Retail Price At Launch : US$ 189.99

SpecificationsASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming
Form FactorMini ATX
Memory Slots4 x DDR4
(4333+ OC)
Multi GPU SupportNA
PCIe Slots1 x PCIe x16
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports4
LAN PortsIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFi802.11ac
AudioSupremeFX S1220A
USB 3.1 Gen21 x front header
Aura Sync HeadersRight edge, 1 x addressable header
Cooling1 x AIO header
2 x fan headers
1 x thermal sensor header

Next Page > The ASUS Prime & TUF Gaming Z370 Motherboards, Prime Z370-A & Prime Z370-P

 

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The ASUS Prime & TUF Gaming Z370 Motherboards

The ASUS Prime motherboards are targeted at enthusiasts who don’t need gamer-oriented design or features. The new ASUS TUF Gaming series offers entry-level gaming motherboards.

 

The ASUS Prime Z370-A Motherboard

The ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard has all of the key features like dual PCI Express slots with SafeSlot protection, two M.2 slots with integrated heatsink. There is even a dedicated mount for a fan bracket with a fan header if you are inclined to cool the M.2 SSDs with a fan.

Recommended Retail Price At Launch : US$ 174.99

SpecificationsASUS Prime Z370-A
Form FactorATX
Memory Slots2 X DDR4
(4000 OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
3-way CrossFire
PCIe Slots3 x PCIe x16
4 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports6
LAN PortsIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFiNA
AudioCrystal Sound 3 S1220A
USB 3.1 Gen21 x Type C
1 x Type A
Aura Sync Headers1 Strip
Cooling1 x AIO header
5 x fan headers
1 x thermal sensor header
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The ASUS Prime Z370-P Motherboard

The ASUS Prime Z370-P motherboard is targeted at budget-minded system builders. It has two PCIe x16 slots, but does not support SLI or CrossFire. It has two M.2 slots, which are without any cooling, but placed away from the hot spots. This is the most affordable ASUS Z370 motherboard in the current line-up.

Suggested Retail Price At Launch : US$ 159.99

SpecificationsPrime Z370-P
Form FactorATX
Memory Slots4 x DDR4
(3866 OC)
Multi GPU SupportNA
PCIe Slots2 x PCIe x16
4 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports4
LAN PortsRealtek 1 Gigabit
WiFiNA
AudioRealtek ALC887
USB 3.1 Gen22 x Type A
Aura Sync HeadersNA
Cooling1 x AIO header
3 x fan headers

Next Page > The ASUS TUF Z370-Pro Gaming & TUF Z370-Plus Gaming, Price & Availability

 

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The ASUS TUF Z370-Pro Gaming Motherboard

The ASUS TUF Z370-Pro Gaming has three PCIe x16 slots, which supports 2-way SLI or 3-way CrossFire. However, the third slot is limited to two PCIe lanes, so a 3-way CrossFire is not a good idea. It has two M.2 slots, that supports the longer 110 mm drives.

Suggested Retail Price At Launch : US$ 159.99

SpecificationsTUF Z370-Pro Gaming
Form FactorATX
Memory Slots4 x DDR4
(3866 OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
2-way CrossFire
PCIe Slots3 x PCIe x16
3 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports6
LAN PortsIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFiNA
AudioRealtek ALC887
USB 3.1 Gen22 x Type A
Aura Sync HeadersNA
Cooling1 x AIO header
4 x fan headers

 

The ASUS TUF Z370-Plus Gaming Motherboard

The ASUS TUF Z370-Plus Gaming is a more affordable version of the TUF Z370-Pro. It lacks SLI support, but it supports 2-way CrossFire. That said, the second PCIe x16 slot only has four lanes of bandwidth to the Z370 chipset. It also supports two M.2 SSDs, with the lower one cooled by a heatsink.

Suggested Retail Price At Launch : US$ 149.99

SpecificationsTUF Z370-Plus Gaming
Form FactorATX
Memory Slots4 x DDR4
(3866 OC)
Multi GPU Support2-way SLI
2-way CrossFire
PCIe Slots2 x PCIe x16
4 x PCIe x1
M.2 Slots2 x NVMe x4
SATA Ports6
LAN PortsIntel 1 Gigabit
WiFiNA
AudioRealtek ALC887
USB 3.1 Gen22 x Type A
Aura Sync Headers1 Strip
Cooling2 x pump headers
3 x fan headers

 

The ASUS Z370 Motherboard Prices & Availability

The ASUS Z370 motherboards are available for purchase beginning 6 October 2017 onwards, at the following prices :

  • ROG Maximus X Hero : RM 1,386 (including 6% GST) / ~US$ 330
  • ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming : RM 999 (including 6% GST) / ~US$ 238
  • TUF Z370-Plus Gaming : RM 899 (including 6% GST) / ~US$ 214
  • PRIME Z370-P : RM 770 (including 6% GST) / ~US$ 183
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Here are some direct purchase links :

 

Other Intel  Coffee Lake Articles

Here are other Intel Coffee Lake articles you should check out :

Go Back To > First Page | Articles | Home

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Dithering – The BIOS Optimization Guide

Dithering

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

 

Quick Review of Dithering

The Dithering BIOS feature is only found in motherboards with an integrated LCD interface that supports both 18-bit and 24-bit LCD panels.

When enabled, the LCD interface will dither the images displayed on the LCD monitor.

When disabled, the LCD interface will not dither the images displayed on the LCD monitor.

If you are using an LCD monitor with an 18-bit panel, you should enable this BIOS feature. This allows for better colour depth on 18-bit panels.

If you are using an LCD monitor with a 24-bit panel, you should disable this BIOS feature.

 

Details of Dithering

The response time of LCD panels have been a key determining factor in the purchase of any LCD monitor. Gamers particularly look for fast response times to reduce or eliminate ghosting of fast moving objects.

To improve the response time, some LCD manufacturers resort to reducing the colour depth from 24-bit to 18-bit. This allows for a faster transition from one colour to another, but at the expense of colour depth. Instead of displaying up to 16.8 million colours, a 18-bit panel will only display 262,144 colours.

As you can tell, that’s a vast reduction in colour resolution even though each colour channel had only been reduced from 8-bit to 6-bit. To solve this problem, dithering can be used to create the illusion of greater colour depth. It does this by interleaving the limited available colours in a pattern to simulate colours that are not in the colour palette.

While dithering can produce a better image quality with less colour banding, it cannot offer the accurate colour reproduction of 24-bit panels. Only 24-bit panels can offer a true 24-bit colour resolution.

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The Dithering BIOS feature is only found in motherboards with an integrated LCD interface that supports both 18-bit and 24-bit LCD panels.

When enabled, the LCD interface will dither the images displayed on the LCD monitor.

When disabled, the LCD interface will not dither the images displayed on the LCD monitor.

If you are using an LCD monitor with an 18-bit panel, you should enable this BIOS feature. This allows for better colour depth on 18-bit panels.

If you are using an LCD monitor with a 24-bit panel, you should disable this BIOS feature.

Go Back To > The BIOS Optimization Guide | Home

 

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DRAM Termination – The BIOS Optimization Guide

DRAM Termination

Common Options : 50 Ohms, 75 Ohms, 150 Ohms (DDR2) / 40 Ohms, 60 Ohms, 120 Ohms (DDR3)

 

Quick Review of DRAM Termination

The DRAM Termination BIOS option controls the impedance value of the DRAM on-die termination resistors. DDR2 modules support impedance values of 50 ohms75 ohms and 150 ohms, while DDR3 modules support lower impedance values of 40 ohms60 ohms and 120 ohms.

A lower impedance value improves the resistor’s ability to absorb signal reflections and thus improve signal quality. However, this comes at the expense of a smaller voltage swing for the signal and higher power consumption.

The proper amount of impedence depends on the memory type and the number of DIMMs used. Therefore, it is best to contact the memory manufacturer to find out the optimal amount of impedance for the particular set of memory modules. If you are unable to obtain that information, you can also follow these guidelines from a Samsung case study on the On-Die Termination of DDR2 memory :

  • Single memory module / channel : 150 ohms
  • Two memory modules / channels
    • DDR2-400 / 533 memory : 75 ohms
    • DDR2-667 / 800 memory : 50 ohms

Unfortunately, they did not perform any case study on the On-Die Termination of DDR3 memory. As such, the best thing to do if you are using DDR3 memory is to try using a low impedance of 40 ohms and adjust upwards if you face any stability issues.

 

Details of DRAM Termination

Like a ball thrown against a wall, electrical signals reflect (bounce) back when they reach the end of a transmission path. They also reflect at points where points where there is a change in impedance, e.g. at connections to DRAM devices or a bus. These reflected signals are undesirable because they distort the actual signal, impairing the signal quality and the data being transmitted.

Prior to the introduction of DDR2 memory, motherboard designers use line termination resistors at the end of the DRAM signal lines to reduce signal reflections. However, these resistors are only partially effective because they cannot reduce reflections generated by the stub lines that lead to the individual DRAM chips on the memory module (see illustration below). Even so, this method worked well enough with the lower operating frequency and higher signal voltages of SDRAM and DDR SDRAM modules.

Line termination resistors on the motherboard (Courtesy of Rambus)

The higher speed (and lower signal voltages) of DDR2 and DDR3 memory though require much better signal quality and these high-speed modules have much lower tolerances for noise. The problem is also compounded by the higher number of memory modules used. Line termination resistors are no longer good enough to tackle the problem of signal reflections. This is where On-Die Termination (ODT) comes in.

On-Die Termination shifts the termination resistors from the motherboard to the DRAM die itself. These resistors can better suppress signal reflections, providing much better a signal-to-noise ratio in DDR2 and DDR3 memory. This allows for much higher clock speeds at much lower voltages.

It also reduces the cost of motherboard designs. In addition, the impedance value of the termination resistors can be adjusted, or even turned off via the memory module’s Extended Mode Register Set (EMRS).

On-die termination (Courtesy of Rambus)

Unlike the termination resistors on the motherboard, the on-die termination resistors can be turned on and off as required. For example, when a DIMM is inactive, its on-die termination resistors turn on to prevent signals from the memory controller reflecting to the active DIMMs. The impedance value of the resistors are usually programmed by the BIOS at boot-time, so the memory controller only turns it on or off (unless the system includes a self-calibration circuit).

The DRAM Termination BIOS option controls the impedance value of the DRAM on-die termination resistors. DDR2 modules support impedance values of 50 ohms75 ohms and 150 ohms, while DDR3 modules support lower impedance values of 40 ohms60 ohms and 120 ohms.

A lower impedance value improves the resistor’s ability to absorb signal reflections and thus improve signal quality. However, this comes at the expense of a smaller voltage swing for the signal, and higher power consumption.

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The proper amount of impedence depends on the memory type and the number of DIMMs used. Therefore, it is best to contact the memory manufacturer to find out the optimal amount of impedance for the particular set of memory modules. If you are unable to obtain that information, you can also follow these guidelines from a Samsung case study on the On-Die Termination of DDR2 memory :

  • Single memory module / channel : 150 ohms
  • Two memory modules / channels
    • DDR2-400 / 533 memory : 75 ohms
    • DDR2-667 / 800 memory : 50 ohms

Unfortunately, they did not perform any case study on the On-Die Termination of DDR3 memory. As such, the best thing to do if you are using DDR3 memory is to try using a low impedance of 40 ohms and adjust upwards if you face any stability issues.

Go Back To > The BIOS Optimization Guide | Home

 

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Introducing The First AMD X399 Threadripper Motherboards!

Planning to buy the AMD Ryzen Threadripper? Don’t forget about the motherboard! To help you make your choice, here are the first AMD X399 motherboards you can pair your Threadripper with!

Updated @ 2017-09-03 : Added the ASUS PRIME X399-A motherboard, and purchase links for all AMD X399 motherboards. Other minor updates.

Originally posted @ 2017-08-15

 

The AMD X399 Chipset

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper is designed specifically to work with the AMD X399 chipset. Together, they offer the following features :

  • 64 PCI Express lanes
  • Quad-channel DDR4 SDRAM memory
  • Up to 2 native USB 3.1 Gen2 ports
  • Up to 14 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
  • Up to 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • Up to 16 SATA ports

As announced in Computex 2017, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper will launch with AMD X399 motherboards from ASRock, ASUS, GIGABYTE and MSI. Here are those motherboards :

 

The ASRock X399 Taichi

The ASRock X399 Taichi (Lowest Price) has the shortest and easiest name to remember. Here are its key features :

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  • IR Digital PWM with 11 Power Phases
  • Supports quad-channel DDR4-3600+ (OC) and ECC UDIMM memory
  • 4 x PCIe 3.0 x16 and 1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
  • 7.1 channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC1220), supports DTS Connect
  • 8 x SATA 6 Gb/s
  • 3 x Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x 4 and SATA 6 Gb/s)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type A + Type C)
  • 12 x USB 3.0 (4 Front, 8 Rear)
  • 1 x U.2 connector
  • Dual Intel Gigabit LAN
  • Intel 802.11ac WiFi
  • ASRock RGB LED
  • Lowest Price : Amazon

Next Page > ASUS PRIME X399-A & ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399

 

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The ASUS PRIME X399-A

The ASUS PRIME X399-A (Lowest Price) boasts the following features :

  • 5-Way Optimization: One-click, system-wide tuning, delivering optimized overclocks and intelligent cooling for CPU or GPU-intensive tasks.
  • Industry-leading cooling options: Comprehensive controls for fans and water pumps, via Fan Xpert 4 software or the acclaimed ASUS UEFI.
  • Next-gen connectivity: Onboard U.2, M.2 and front-panel USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector.
  • M.2 heatsink: Ultra-efficient heatsink reduces M.2 SSD temperatures by up to 20°C for unthrottled transfer speeds and enhanced reliability.
  • Aura Sync: Controllable onboard RGB lighting easily syncs with an ever-growing portfolio of Aura Sync-capable hardware.
  • Lowest Price : Amazon

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The ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399

The ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399 (Lowest Price) boasts the following features :

  • Onboard M.2 Heatsink: Cools your M.2 drive, delivering consistent storage performance and enhanced reliability.
  • Synchronize RGB lighting: With a vast portfolio of Aura Sync capable PC gear – now with support for addressable light strips
  • ROG DIMM.2: Dual M.2 expansion card allows use of fans to prevent throttling
  • LiveDash OLED : Customizable panel displays vital system stats or your own logo
  • Best gaming networking: Intel Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ad Wi-Fi, LANGuard and GameFirst technologies
  • Gaming audio: SupremeFX S1220 teamed with Sonic Studio III, cast an aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action.
  • 5-Way Optimization: Automated system-wide tuning, providing overclocking and cooling profiles that are tailor made for your rig
  • Best gaming protection: SafeSlot, and carefully-selected premium components for maximum durability
  • Lowest Price : Amazon

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The GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Gaming 7

The GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Gaming 7 (Lowest Price) boasts the following features :

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  • Quad Channel ECC / Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 8 DIMMs, 3600 MHz+(OC)
  • Front and Rear USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C and Rear Type-A ports
  • Server-Class Digital Power Design & Gold Plated Solid Power Connectors
  • ALC1220 120dB SNR HD Audio with Smart Headphone AMP and WIMA audio capacitor
  • Sound BlasterX 720° Audio Engine for 4K Gaming and Entertainment
  • Killer E2500 GbE LAN
  • Intel Dual Band 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2 – AC 8265 WiFi Module
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show design, support Digital LED & RGB LED strips
  • Swappable Overlay for Accent LED PCH
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers
  • Triple Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and Thermal Guard
  • NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 U.2 support by optional adaptor
  • USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
  • Precise Digital USB Fuse Design for Stronger Protection
  • Anti-Sulfur Resistor Design
  • Ultra Durable 25KV ESD and 15KV Surge LAN Protection
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS with Q-Flash Plus USB port
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • Lowest Price : Amazon

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The MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

The MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC (Lowest Price) boasts the following features :

  • Support 8 DIMMs, Quad Channel DDR4 3600+ (OC)
  • Digital Power Design with 10+3 power phase
  • Mystic Light : 16.8 milliom colors / 17 effects controlled in one click. Mystic Light Sync supports both RGB and RAINBOW LED strip
  • 3D Printing Support: exchangeable cover and 3D X-MOUNTING screws
  • Lightning Fast Game experience: 3x TURBO M.2 with M.2 Shield, LIGHTNING USB 3.1 GEN2
  • NAHIMIC 2+: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience
  • DDR4 Boost with Steel Armor: Fully isolated, shielded and optimized DDR4 PCB design to give your DDR4 memory a performance boost
  • Intel-powered Gaming LAN and Wireless support
  • Multi GPU support with Steel Armor PCI-E slots. Supports 4-Way NVIDIA SLI & 4-Way AMD Crossfire
  • Lowest Price : Amazon

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The 2017 AORUS Gaming Motherboards For Intel & AMD

The GIGABYTE team just flew in all the way from Taipei to brief us on the 2017 AORUS gaming motherboards for the new Intel Z270 and AMD X370 platforms, as well as the newly-launched Intel X299 platform.

Join us for their in-depth presentations of both the latest Intel roadmap update, as well as the new 2017 AORUS motherboards for both Intel and AMD processors. Check them out!

 

The Q2 2017 Intel Roadmap Update

GIGABYTE Specialist Robin Chang kicked off with a briefing on the latest Q2 2017 Intel Roadmap Update. He then reveals GIGABYTE’s own product roadmap for 2017.

 

The 2017 AORUS Gaming Motherboards For Intel & AMD

In this video, Robin gives a short explanation of the AORUS brand and how it is positioned above the “regular” GIGABYTE motherboards. He then gives us an in-depth briefing on the key features of the 2017 AORUS gaming motherboards for the Intel Z270 platform, as well as the X370 platform for AMD Ryzen.

Here is the list of current AORUS Z270 gaming motherboard models :

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And here is the list of the AORUS X370 gaming motherboards :

 

The AORUS X299 Gaming Motherboards

Designed for the newly-announced Intel Core X-Series processor, and the new AORUS X299 motherboards boast quad DDR4 memory channels, amongst other AORUS features like Digital LEDs, PCH Accent Overlay, AORUS Base Plate and M.2 Thermal Guard.

GIGABYTE have announced the following AORUS X299 gaming motherboard models – the X299 AORUS Gaming 9, the X299 AORUS Gaming 7, and the X299 AORUS Gaming 3. There will also be the X299 AORUS Ultra Gaming motherboard (not in the presentation).

 

Related Articles

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Maximum TLP Payload – The BIOS Optimization Guide

Maximum TLP Payload

Common Options : 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096

 

Quick Review of Maximum TLP Payload

The Maximum TLP Payload BIOS feature determines the maximum TLP (Transaction Layer Packet) payload size that the motherboard’s PCI Express controller should use. The TLP payload size determines the amount of data transmitted within each data packet.

When set to 128, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 128 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 256, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 256 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 512, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 512 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 1024, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 1024 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 2048, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 2048 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 4096, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller supports the maximum data payload of 4096 bytes within each TLP. This is the maximum payload size currently supported by the PCI Express protocol.

It is recommended that you set the Maximum TLP Payload BIOS feature to 4096, as this allows all PCI Express devices connected to send up to 4096 bytes of data in each TLP. This gives you maximum efficiency per transfer.

However, this is subject to the PCI device connected to it. If that device only supports a maximum TLP payload size of 512 bytes, the PCI Express controller will communicate with it with a maximum TLP payload size of 512 bytes, even if you set this BIOS feature to 4096.

On the other hand, if you set the Maximum TLP Payload BIOS feature to a low value like 256, it will force all connected devices to use a maximum payload size of 256 bytes, even if they support a much larger TLP payload size.

 

Details of Maximum TLP Payload

The PCI Express protocol transmits data as well as control messages on the same links. This differs the PCI Express interconnect from the PCI bus and the AGP port, which make use of separate sideband signalling for control messages.

Control messages are delivered as Data Link Layer Packets or DLLPs, while data packets are sent out as Transaction Layer Packets or TLPs. However, TLPs are not pure data packets. They have a header which carries information like packet size, message type, traffic class, etc.

In addition, the actual data (known as the “payload”) is encoded with the 8B/10B encoding scheme. This replaces 8 uncoded bits with 10 encoded bits. This itself results in a 20% “loss” of bandwidth. The TLP overhead is further exacerbated by a 32-bit LCRC error-checking code.

Therefore, the size of the data payload is an important factor in determining the efficiency of the PCI Express interconnect. As the data payload gets smaller, the TLP becomes less efficient, because the overhead will then take up a more significant amount of bandwidth. To achieve maximum efficiency, the TLP should be as large as possible.

The PCI Express specifications defined the following TLP payload sizes :

  • 128 bytes
  • 256 bytes
  • 512 bytes
  • 1024 bytes
  • 2048 bytes
  • 4096 bytes

However, it is up to the manufacturer to set the maximum TLP payload size supported by the PCI Express device. It determines the maximum TLP payload size the device can send or receive. When two PCI Express devices communicate with each other, the largest TLP payload size supported by both devices will be used.

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The Maximum TLP Payload BIOS feature determines the maximum TLP (Transaction Layer Packet) payload size that the motherboard’s PCI Express controller should use. The TLP payload size, as mentioned earlier, determines the amount of data transmitted within each data packet.

When set to 128, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 128 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 256, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 256 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 512, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 512 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 1024, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 1024 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 2048, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller will only support a maximum data payload of 2048 bytes within each TLP.

When set to 4096, the motherboard’s PCI Express controller supports the maximum data payload of 4096 bytes within each TLP. This is the maximum payload size currently supported by the PCI Express protocol.

It is recommended that you set the Maximum TLP Payload BIOS feature to 4096, as this allows all PCI Express devices connected to send up to 4096 bytes of data in each TLP. This gives you maximum efficiency per transfer.

However, this is subject to the PCI device connected to it. If that device only supports a maximum TLP payload size of 512 bytes, the PCI Express controller will communicate with it with a maximum TLP payload size of 512 bytes, even if you set this BIOS feature to 4096.

On the other hand, if you set the Maximum TLP Payload BIOS feature to a low value like 256, it will force all connected devices to use a maximum payload size of 256 bytes, even if they support a much larger TLP payload size.

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The New ASUS X299 Motherboards Announced!

May 30, 2017 — Intel just took the wraps off its long-awaited Core X-Series processors and accompanying X299 chipset, which bring enough horsepower and bandwidth for everything from professional content creation to hardcore gaming. The new LGA2066 processors require new motherboards, and ASUS has a diverse lineup split between the Prime, TUF, and ROG families.

 

The New ASUS X299 Motherboards

ROG has three models expertly tailored for different priorities: the Rampage VI Extreme lives up to its name for drool-worthy dream machines with custom liquid cooling and ultra-fast networking, the Rampage VI Apex unabashedly targets peak game performance and record-breaking overclocking, and the Strix X299-E provides gamers the powerful tuning, cooling, and personalization options they need to get the most from their rigs.

The Prime and TUF models are designed for differing audiences. The new Prime X299-Deluxe is for high-end builders who want it all. The Prime X299-A eschews certain extras in favor of a straightforward approach that gets back to basics.

Meanwhile, the TUF X299 Mark 1 stands out from its competitors with protective armor and advanced cooling options, while the TUF X299 Mark 2 strips down to the essentials for X299 builders who want to deviate from the conventional formula.

 

Shared innovations define the ROG X299 family

All three boards share the same DNA—essential features that enthusiasts in the Republic of Gamers demand. That starts with critically acclaimed overclocking and cooling controls for liquid and air. There are dedicated pump headers for powering custom loops and all-in-one coolers, plus intelligent fan controls for optimal efficiency and quiet acoustics.

Sensor grouping lets your cooling react to a mix of workloads, including GPU-heavy gaming via direct temperature monitoring for select graphics cards. Tuning your gaming PC is easy whether you want to perfect your setup with manual tweaking or automatically configure and overclock the whole thing with a single click using the ASUS 5-Way Optimization utility.

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Gaming PCs provide unprecedented options to express your style, including through personalized lighting. The RGB LEDs embedded on the ASUS boards are augmented by headers for multiple RGB LED strips to illuminate your entire chassis. All of the lighting is part of the Aura Sync ecosystem, which synchronizes harmoniously across compatible ROG graphics cards, peripherals, and monitors, along with other components from ASUS partners.

Equipped with the latest generation of SupremeFX integrated audio, ROG’s new X299 motherboards boast enhanced recording quality for streamers who want their voice to come through clearly. Graphics cards plug into reinforced SafeSlots that protect against damage from heavy GPU coolers and rough handling.

Intel’s VROC technology combines with the optional add-in card to enable M.2 RAID arrays made up of a stack of parallel drives with a direct line to the CPU. You can hit ludicrous speeds with enough capacity for overflowing game libraries. You get all the latest I/O, including USB 3.1 Gen2 with Type-C ports and internal headers pushing speeds up to 10Gbps. Onboard Wi-Fi and Intel Gigabit networking are standard equipment, and you can add Intel’s new Optane Memory as a high-speed cache.

Next Page > Prime Time For X299, TUF Enough To Endure, Availability

 

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Prime time for X299

Built for power users and prosumers, the Prime series represents the culmination of decades of experience refining all aspects of motherboard technology. These boards mate state-of-the-art connectivity with accessible tuning options to provide a premium experience everyone can enjoy.

All of the ASUS X299 motherboards have extensive overclocking and cooling options available in both the UEFI and software. The Primes go one step further with 5-Way Optimization, which intelligently overclocks your system and tunes the cooling based on the individual characteristics of your components. Beginners can effortlessly optimize their entire PC with a single click, while experienced users can adjust tuning parameters to meet their needs.

Refinement extends to the styling, whose predominantly black-and-white theme lays the perfect foundation for understated builds—or much flashier ones with RGB lighting. The ASUS Prime X299 boards feature multiple headers for LED strips that can light up your entire chassis. They’re part of a rich ecosystem of Aura Sync products that can synchronize colors and effects across a complete system, from the motherboard and graphics card to peripherals and other components.

Intel’s new Core X-Series processors demand serious cooling, which is why all of the new ASUS X299 motherboards have dedicated headers for all-in-one liquid coolers and stand-alone pumps.  The ASUS Prime X299 series also support up to three-way graphics configurations, and their x16 slots incorporate structural reinforcements with the SafeSlot technology to prevent damage and protect your investment.