ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming Review
Published: 31st July 2018 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
There is no denying that the Ryzen CPU launch revitalised AMD from their position as the company which provided affordable setups and a clear upgrade path for the long-term, to one which could stand toe to toe with Intel. The X370 chipset had a few slight issues and the initial range of Ryzen CPUs also had some areas it could have been adjusted. With the release of the 2nd Generation all these areas were addressed and the combination between the X470 chipset and the 2700X processor is truly spectacular.
Naturally, like any high end hardware, there is a certain cost to entry which might have put people off from investing. For every person for whom a 1TB M.2 drive is something they can buy without thought, there are ten for whom a new fan is a significant investment. Thus the release of the B450 chipset makes perfect sense from a business standpoint. Does it make sense from a user perspective?
We think it does.
Obviously there are some particularly stressful tests where the X470 chipset has more available to it which allows the CPU to turbo harder at stock, and the processor to manually overclock a little better, thus the X470 generally has better overall performance. The Strix X470 also, by virtue of being the higher product in the AMD range, has more connectivity options and better bells and whistles. Nothing you weren't expecting. Therefore it is particularly impressive how close the B450 chipset, and Strix B450-I, manages to get to the premium model. If you're in the market for a motherboard which is a good all rounder but with a slight leaning towards gaming rather than content creation, then unquestionably the ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming has enough to keep you happy. Stock performance is consistently decent, whilst our overclock was handled very well and without toasting the motherboard.
On the subject of the overclock, for the purposes of ensuring we can compare the B450 chipset with the X470 we are using the same components in today's review as we have in our other 2nd Generation Ryzen reviews. This means the 8 core, 16 thread, Ryzen 2700X. We're pretty sure that the majority of people purchasing the B450 ITX wont be running the flagship Ryzen CPU in it, but it's nice to know that you can do so if you wish. Obviously running something less intense such as Ryzen 5 will allow the Strix B450 a little more headroom to perhaps get even closer to the performance of the X470.
The only slight issue with the B450-i is the price being £160 and the full fat X470-i being just £15 more at £175. You have the tough choice do you upgrade for £15 or save £15 for a board that is optically exactly the same?
If you need the compact dimensions of an ITX motherboard, and haven't got a plethora of components requiring homes, then the ASUS ROG Strix B450-I makes for a great solution for single-GPU applications and wins our OC3D Gamers Choice.