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ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming Motherboard Review

Rating: 8.5.

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
Chipset AMD B450
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)

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