ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Gam­ing

A gam­ing ‘board with stealth mode en­gaged.

APC Australia - - Contents - Zak Storey

Why, Asus? Why? We want to be kind to your prod­ucts, hon­est we do, but with the cur­rent lack of in­no­va­tion across your mid-range mother­board ar­se­nal, it forces us into an un­happy po­si­tion.

What’s the prob­lem? Well, it’s a sim­ple one, but it comes down to what can only be de­scribed as the ROG tax. Right now, the X470-F is avail­able for a rather high-ish $319. Aes­thet­i­cally, it’s a pleas­ing AM4, ATX mother­board, com­plete with flashy RGB heatsink, swap­pable chipset stick­ers, and a fully specced out com­ple­ment of con­nec­tiv­ity for all your de­vices. It re­ally ought to be —after all, it’s bro­ken that $300 mark, and it’s not what we’d con­sider af­ford­able. The prob­lem lies with a prod­uct within Asus’s own ar­se­nal. Namely the ASUS Prime X470-Pro, which is about $30 cheaper.

Side by side, the PCB lay­outs are al­most iden­ti­cal. Power phases, ca­pac­i­tors, traces, fan head­ers, SATA ports, PCIe slots — you get the pic­ture. Even the rear I/O is the same. The only dif­fer­ences be­ing that the Prime lacks an ad­di­tional RGB header, and it doesn’t have quite as beefy an au­dio so­lu­tion as the ROG.

So, why buy the ROG? That’s a good ques­tion and that de­ci­sion mostly comes down to aes­thet­ics. Do you like the darker styling, the rear I/O plate be­ing pre-in­stalled, and the I/O cover be­ing some­what larger than that of the Prime? If so, per­haps the ROG is the choice for you, but we’re not con­vinced. After all, you can pick up an older X370 Crosshair VI for $40 less, and apart from the bet­ter power so­lu­tion, im­proved au­dio hard­ware, and ex­panded con­nec­tiv­ity, it also has that splen­did styling. It’s a far su­pe­rior mother­board, though you’ll need to per­form a BIOS up­date to get it to work with the lat­est Ryzen 2 se­ries.

But enough rail­ing — how does it do in our tests? All in all, it’s pretty im­pres­sive. We saw ex­cel­lent scores in both Tech ARP’s X264 test and the Fry Ren­der bench­marks. La­tency was far bet­ter than the other boards we’ve seen so far, no doubt thanks to a newer BIOS, and Crys­talDisk se­quen­tials also per­formed solidly, too. Un­for­tu­nately, there’s still no change on the over­clock­ing front, and the low­est volt­age we man­aged at 4.0GHz was 1.41V, plac­ing it slightly worse than the Crosshair VI Hero.

Power draw is some­thing of a prob­lem, though, and is ar­guably what con­trib­uted to the high scores in both TechARP’s X264 and Fry Ren­der, be­cause un­der load it drew 315W from the wall.

So, the price shenani­gans aside, it’s a fairly well- rounded board. Yeah, it’s a bit heavy on the old power draw, but ul­ti­mately it per­forms well, is con­sis­tent, and ad­mit­tedly does look se­ri­ously good. The RGB light­ing is sub­tle and iso­lated, and be­ing able to swap out chipset stick­ers although a bit gim­micky, is ad­mit­tedly a neat ad­di­tion.

That said, if you want the per­for­mance, we rec­om­mend the Prime X470-Pro; if you want the looks, you could grab the ROG, although a Crosshair VI would likely serve you bet­ter.

AMD MOTHER­BOARD $319 | WWW.ASUS.COM/AU

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