As­rock B450M Pro4

VALUE PERSONIFIED

PC & Tech Authority - - REVIEWS INTRO - CHRIS SZEWCZYK

If you’re look­ing to buy a mother­board that of­fers great bang for buck, AS­Rock is usu­ally right at the top of the list. We of­ten won­der how AS­Rock man­ages to churn out motherboards that un­der­cut the com­pe­ti­tion by such large amounts. Per­haps it’s be­cause it doesn’t spend mega mil­lions on mar­ket­ing? What­ever the rea­son, of­fer­ing value is what AS­Rock does best, es­pe­cially in the lower end of the mar­ket where a board like the B450M Pro4 is primed to com­pete well.

If you looked at the B450M Pro4, you’re un­likely to be­lieve it costs around 145 bucks. It doesn’t have the bling of high end boards but at the same time, it compromises very lit­tle on fea­tures when com­pared to boards cost­ing much more. Of course it’s a mATX board, but that doesn’t mean any­thing if you’re us­ing it to host a typ­i­cal sin­gle GPU sys­tem. It’s not to­tally de­void of bling ei­ther, as there is an RGB header on­board.

AS­Rock has in­cluded a sin­gle 8-pin CPU power con­nec­tor that drives a nine phase VRM that is eas­ily ca­pa­ble of pow­er­ing the likes of the eight core 2700X. We frown upon push-pin heatsinks but at least they are made of metal and have enough sur­face area to cope with the de­mands of a lit­tle bit of over­clock­ing. There’s four SATA ports and dual M.2 ports. The top most one sup­ports NVMe drives with a PCIe 3.0 x4 con­nec­tion, while the other sup­ports a SATA based M.2 drive.

The rear I/O is the rst thing that caught our at­ten­tion when tak­ing the Pro4 out of its box. It’s got a set of ports that put some

“It fared par­tic­u­larly well in our mul­ti­threaded bench­marks, where it fre­quently came out on top...”

more ex­pen­sive boards to shame. There’s a to­tal of eight USB ports con­sist­ing of a pair of 3.1 Gen 2 ports, one of which is a Type-C, plus four Gen 1 ports and nally a pair of 2.0 ports. There are head­ers for an ad­di­tional four USB 2.0 and two 3.1 Gen 1 ports. Not bad at all! LAN du­ties are taken care of by a Real­tek 8111H con­troller. The au­dio con­troller is also Real­tek, speci cally the ALC892 codec. There’s a HDMI 1.4 port present; though we’d love to see a HDMI 2.0 port to get the best out of a Ryzen APU, but we can’t have ev­ery­thing at this price. Fi­nally there’s a DVI-D port, PS/2 port, the three ana­logue au­dio ports and a VGA port, which hardly seems rel­e­vant in 2018.

Per­for­mance wise, the lit­tle AS­Rock did well. It fared par­tic­u­larly well in our mul­ti­threaded bench­marks, where it fre­quently came out on top, though the dif­fer­ences are small, as we ex­pect all boards to be quite close to each other on a now ma­ture plat­form.

Once again AS­Rock con­tin­ues to en­hance its al­ready strong rep­u­ta­tion for of­fer­ing terri c value whilst not trim­ming down on es­sen­tial fea­tures. If you’re on a tight bud­get, the AS­Rock B450M Pro 4 is a great choice. It al­lows you to di­vert ex­tra dol­lars to­wards a higher end CPU or GPU, which is where the real per­for­mance dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion is no­tice­able.

KEY SPECS

1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 2.0 x16, 1x PCIe 2.0 x1 • 7.1 CH HD Au­dio (Real­tek ALC892 Au­dio Codec) • 6x SATA3, 1x M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4), 1 M.2 (SATA3) • 1x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 4x USB 3.1 • Real­tek Gi­ga­bit LAN $145 • www.as­rock.com

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