Which ASUS AM4 motherboard should I buy for Ryzen?

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The ROG Strix X370-F Gaming has all the tools to unleash Ryzen

Despite providing a more affordable entry into the ROG family, the Strix X370-F is still graced with all of the AM4 platform’s trimmings along with our most impactful innovations. It has all the tricks and tuning needed to unleash Ryzen’s latent potential. The automated overclocking abilities of our 5-Way Optimization software can push capable CPUs over 4GHz with a single click. For memory, our optimized T-Topology trace layout has enough headroom to support high-performance kits rated up to DDR4-3200. As your experience with the platform grows, you can push even further thanks to our PRO Clock technology, which grants more flexibility for overclocking memory.

With five onboard fan headers, the Strix X370-F has the credentials to keep everything in your system cool, whether it’s running at stock speeds or overclocked to the limits. Two additional headers cater to liquid cooling with dedicated connectors for pumps and all-in-one units. These headers can also be repurposed for fans, lending more options for airflow.

The high-performance saga also filters through to storage, with an onboard M.2 slot that provides PCI Express X4 Gen 3.0 drives and provides a scintillating 32Gbps of bandwidth. The latest SSDs tend to run hot when pressed for data, so the M.2 slot is located away from thermally challenged areas. Like on the Crosshair VI Hero, you can even mount a 3D-Printable fan holder over the drive for improved cooling.

The Stix X370-F has a bounty of connectivity options, sporting eight SATA ports, USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports in Type-A and Type-C formats, and an internal USB 3.1 connector for front-panel use. A plethora of USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 2.0 ports are also available, ready for tethering to an arsenal of gaming peripherals and hardware.

Visually, the monochromatic Strix theme is an ideal canvas for Aura RGB lighting. Onboard illumination is provided by a light bar within the I/O shroud, plus a couple of 5050 headers that supply enough power to light up a full-tower chassis with a range of colors and effects.

 Strix X370-F Gaming
SizeATX
ChipsetAMD X370
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 3200 (OC)
Multi-GPUCrossFireX, 2 x SLI
ExpansionPCIe 3.0 x16 (CPU): 2 (x16/x0, x8/x8)
PCIe 2.0 x16 (Chipset): 1 (up to x4)
PCIe 2.0 x1 (Chipset): 3
Storage1 x M.2 (NVMe x4 or SATA 6Gbps)
8 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingIntel Gigabit Ethernet
AudioSupremeFX S1220A
USB3.1: 1 x front, 1 x Type-C, 1 x Type-A
3.0: 4 x front, 6 x Type-A
2.0: 2 x front, 2 x Type-A
DisplayDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4b
AuraI/O shield, 2 x strip header
Price$189.99 USD
$250.99 CAD
Availability (USA)Amazon
Newegg
Availability (Canada)Canada Computers
NCIX

Teamed with suitable hardware, the Strix X370-F’s features perfectly complement Ryzen’s strengths, making the board suitable for not only sensibly subdued builds, but also high-octane gaming rigs that push the platform to its limits. Look for it at the retailers listed above for $189.99 USD and $250.99 CAD. For more details, check out the full product page.

ROG Strix B350-F Gaming: Delivering essential AM4 performance

Tactfully augmented with core ROG features, the Strix B350-F targets gamers who know where to focus their spending when building a well-rounded system. All the overclocking tools to push Ryzen are present, including support for 5-Way Optimization for automated tuning endeavors. The board is also adept at overclocking eight-core processors thanks to a capable power delivery circuit and beefy heatsinks.

Memory support keeps up with higher-priced alternatives, clocking in at speeds up to DDR4-3200 with the right kits. PRO Clock’s fine-tuning attributes don’t make the transition, but that’s hardly a concern for the types of builds likely to feature the Strix B350-F. ROG’s firmware expertise still presents everything the platform has to offer in an intuitive way.

Cooling options also punch above the asking price, with all the control features of more expensive motherboards intact across five headers for fans, plus one dedicated to AIO coolers. The Strix B350-F is capable of keeping an intelligent grip on system temperatures whether your build is overclocked or running at stock frequencies.

The B350 chipset restricts lane splitting for multiple graphics cards, leaving the secondary PCIe x16 slot with a maximum of only four lanes of bandwidth. That said, both x16s are reinforced with SafeSlot, adding a layer of protection for single- and dual-card setups even though the latter is an unlikely configuration at this price.

High-performance storage is covered by an onboard M.2 slot tied to four PCI Express Gen 3 lanes. It’s suitably positioned to receive airflow within the chassis, helping to keep temperatures under control. For mass storage, all of the chipset’s six SATA ports are available. Like in the X370 chipset, they can be configured for RAID to boost performance, provide a layer of redundancy, or both.

Connectivity is nicely proportioned, offering two USB 3.1 Gen 2, four USB 3.1 Gen 1, and two USB 2.0 ports in the rear I/O panel. As on the Strix X370-F, Intel’s I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet controller provides a reliable high-speed connection for network communications. The onboard audio meets the same SupremeFX S1220A spec, enhancing sonics and eliminating the need for a sound card.

Unlike with cheaper alternatives, the Strix B350-F’s appearance isn’t gaudy. The neutral color scheme makes it easy to populate the board with aesthetically matched components. Personalization options don’t fall short, either. There’s an Aura RGB zone on the chipset heatsink and dual strip headers for casting a full gamut of flamboyant effects or subtly accenting your build with tasteful colors.

 Strix B530-F Gaming
SizeATX
ChipsetAMD B350
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 3200 (OC)
Multi-GPUCrossFireX
ExpansionPCIe 3.0 x16 (CPU): 2 (x16/x0, x8/x4)
PCIe 2.0 x16 (Chipset): 1 (up to x4)
PCIe 2.0 x1 (Chipset): 3
Storage1 x M.2 (NVMe x4 or SATA 6Gbps)
4 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingIntel Gigabit Ethernet
AudioSupremeFX S1220A
USB3.1: 2 x Type-A
3.0: 2 x front, 4 x Type-A
2.0: 4 x front, 2 x Type-A
DisplayDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4b
Aura2 x strip
Price$124.99 USD
$164.99 CAD
Availability (USA)Amazon
Newegg
Micro Center
Availability (Canada)Canada Computers
NCIX

Thanks to deft tailoring, the Strix B350-F strikes the perfect balance between price and performance, retaining all the essentials for formidable Ryzen gaming systems. It’s available from the retailers listed above for $124.99 USD and $164.99 CAD. Hit the product page for more info on what the board can bring to your build.

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