Asus ROG Strix B360-F Gam­ing

ROG ON A BUD­GET

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS -

Only a cou­ple of years ago, an Asus Repub­lic of Gamers moth­er­board with a bud­get chipset would have been un­heard of. The mar­ket has spo­ken though, with users in­creas­ingly seek­ing a bet­ter bal­ance of high end fea­tures and value. There will al­ways be a place for $500+ motherboards, but they will al­ways be halo prod­ucts. The real vol­ume comes from the mid-range and lower end mar­ket. The ROG Strix B360-F Gam­ing is likely to be one of the big­gest sell­ing ROG motherboards boards ever and we al­ways have high ex­pec­ta­tions from ev­ery ROG board, so how does this one do?

The B360-F Gam­ing is one of the most ex­pen­sive B360 motherboards. One glance at it and it looks very much worth it. Cast­ing an eye of the board re­veals a few note­wor­thy things. Firstly, the SATA ports are not the typ­i­cal dou­ble stacked con­nec­tors; they are sin­gle. The ad­ja­cent chipset heatsink is a hol­low de­sign that pro­motes air­flow com­ing in from the front of the case that would oth­er­wise be blocked by dou­ble ports. It’s a quite clever way of in­creas­ing the sur­face area of the heatsink by a big mar­gin. There’s a screw in metal heatsink for one of the two M.2 con­nec­tors as well. The PWM cool­ing and power de­liv­ery sys­tem is more like what you’d ex­pect to see on over­clock­ing ca­pa­ble Z370 motherboards. Per­haps it’s even overkill. Still, it’s bet­ter to overkill than… un­der­kill.

Any gam­ing ori­ented moth­er­board has some form of RGB light­ing present, and so does the B360-F Gam­ing. It’s quite sub­tle though, with just the ROG logo and a strip ad­ja­cent to the rear I/O ports fea­tur­ing RGB light­ing. It looks re­ally nice when com­bined with the grey on black board colour­ing. If you placed this board next to one at twice the price, it wouldn’t look out of place. The whole board re­ally does ooze pre­mium qual­ity.

The I/O area has an in­te­grated shield (unique in this roundup) and has all the ports you’d ex­pect from a board at this price. There’s three USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, one of which is a Type-C. The video ports cater for al­most all con­ceiv­able sce­nar­ios, with Dis­playPort, HDMI and DVI-D ports all present. VGA has no place on all but the most bud­get motherboards these days. The sin­gle Gi­ga­bit LAN port is pro­vided cour­tesy of an In­tel I219V con­troller which will han­dle your pings nicely. There’s the stan­dard five ana­logue au­dio jacks com­ple­mented by an S/PDIF op­ti­cal out­put and fi­nally a PS/2 combo port. All in all it’s a good set of ports, though there is no Wi-Fi present, which is the case with all the motherboards in this roundup.

Asus’ ROG UEFI BIOS is typ­i­cally fea­ture filled and will be in­stantly fa­mil­iar to ROG users. One of the cu­ri­ous things we spot­ted were op­tions for mem­ory speeds above DDR4-2666. This is of course not pos­si­ble on a B360 board. We didn’t ex­pect DDR42800+ to work, and it didn’t, so we won­der why these op­tions are present at all.

The B360-F Gam­ing per­forms typ­i­cally well as we’d ex­pect, par­tic­u­larly with multi-threaded ap­pli­ca­tions where it was at the head of the pack. It was also the best per­former in our stor­age test and was right there in ev­ery other test. Though the dif­fer­ences are small, ev­ery lit­tle bit counts. Of course, like ev­ery other B360 moth­er­board, it’s not pos­si­ble to over­clock the CPU, but that’s ok. When some Cof­fee Lake CPUs can boost to 4.5GHz and higher, do you re­ally need to OC?

Asus has pro­duced an ex­cel­lent bud­get minded moth­er­board that im­presses with its de­sign, re­fine­ment and per­for­mance. Though it’s priced a bit high when com­pared to other B360 motherboards, we feel it’s worth it in this case. If you don’t care about over­clock­ing and want to spend a few ex­tra dol­lars on a bet­ter CPU or GPU, you can skip Z370 and give this Asus a se­ri­ous look.

“It’s a quite clever way of in­creas­ing the sur­face area of the heatsink”

KEY SPECS

In­tel B360 Chipset • Socket 1151 Sup­port for 8th Gen­er­a­tion In­tel Core Pro­ces­sors • 2x M.2; 6x SATA; 3x USB 3.1 Gen 2, up to 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1, up to 6x USB 2.0 • In­tel I219-V Gi­ga­bit LAN • 7.1 Chan­nel ALC-1220 Au­dio • ATX Form Fac­tor

$229 • www.asus.com.au

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