A compact mini-ITX system no longer has to be Intel by default as AMD’s Ryzen CPUs have facilitated a plethora of appealing alternative options for the small form factor segment. In particular AMD’s B450 chipset offers high-performance mini-ITX computing at a reasonable price point and sacrifices very little compared to the more costly AMD X470 chipset. As such motherboard vendors can build high-spec mini-ITX motherboards at competitive price points, the ASUS attempt of which is the ROG Strix B450-I Gaming.
These days mini-ITX comes with minimal sacrifices and indeed the ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming is in keeping with that idea. It features, take a breath, USB 3.1 10Gbps, dual M.2 ports, high quality Realtek ALC1220 based audio, a 6-phase CPU VRM, onboard WiFi and Gigabit LAN, onboard RGB LEDs and optional RGB headers.
In this instance ASUS has gone all out for AMD’s 400-series chipsets with this and the very similar X470-I Gaming being the only mini-ITX motherboards on offer – there is no low-cost ASUS option and buyers looking for something cheaper may have to scour through previous generation 300-series stock.
It is perhaps a sensible approach to set the entry standard for Ryzen mini-ITX motherboards quite high to ensure that the high core count CPUs are backed with sufficiently capable VRMs. However, buyers looking for something on the cheaper end of the mini-ITX spectrum could well be drawn towards Intel motherboards based on H370, B360 and H310.
Clearly positioned towards gamers and power users, let’s see how the ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming fares in KitGuru’s battery of analysis and tests.
|ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming|
|Form Factor||mini-ITX, 17cm x 17cm|
|CPU Socket||AMD AM4|
|Memory||DDR4, 4 DIMMs up to 64GB, up to 3600MHz+ with OC|
|On-board Graphics||Radeon Vega Graphics (Supported APUs only)|
|Discrete Graphics||Single GPU Configurations only|
|Expansion Slots||1 x PCIe 3.0 X16|
|Storage|| 4 x SATA 6Gbps (4 via B450)
2 x M.2 (M2_1 supports PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA III, M2_2* supports PCIe 3.0 x4, up to 2280 form factor)
*Unavailable when using Ryzen APUs, when populated the primary PCIe 3.0 X16 slot will operate at X8
|USB|| 2 x USB 3.1 (2 Rear, via B450 chipset)
6 x USB 3.0 (4 Rear via AMD Ryzen CPU, 2 Front via B450 chipset)
2 x USB 2.0 (2 Front via B450 chipset)
|Networking|| Intel I211-AT Gigabit LAN
Realtek 8822BE 2T2R 802.11ac Wireless LAN with Bluetooth v4.1 up 867Mbps
|Audio||Realtek ALC1220 7.1 Channel HD Audio|
|RGB||1 onboard RGB lighting zone (side strip near MB 24 pin)
1 x 12v G R B
1 x 5v Digital Header
|Fan Headers||3, all support 3/4 pin fans (1 x CPU, 1 x CHA, 1 x AIO_PUMP)|
|Rear I/O|| 1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A,
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue) ,
3 x LED-illuminated audio jacks
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.1)
|UEFI||256Mb UEFI AMI|