Asus TUF B450M Plus Gam­ing

Asus can do value too.

PCPOWERPLAY - - Contents - PRICE $ 179 www.asus.com.au

We of­ten look at higher-end Asus boards such as the ROG and Strix ranges. There’s some­thing else that’s in­ter­est­ing from Asus though: the TUF se­ries. The so called TUF Gam­ing Al­liance is a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort between many com­po­nent man­u­fac­tur­ers that aims to pro­vide im­proved com­pat­i­bil­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity, and aes­thet­ics. The TUF B450M-Plus Gam­ing we’re re­view­ing cer­tainly looks the goods, but of course the com­pe­ti­tion is red hot in this price range. Is it tuf enough to com­pete?

The TUF B450M is a mi­cro-ATX board, which is okay for most users who don’t even use more than a sin­gle slot any­way. It comes in at $179. Though we wouldn’t call it a pow­er­house of a motherboard, it’s got a cou­ple of key fea­tures that will ap­peal to some users.

As men­tioned, the main fo­cus is on re­li­a­bil­ity. If you’re look­ing for a B450 motherboard to last through sev­eral up­grades (AM4 is set to go for a while yet) then the TUF se­ries is lik ely right up your al­ley. Its VRM is on the w eak side, plus there’s only a sin­gle rather anaemic heatsink, so we’d steer clear of overclocking eight-core CPUs here. There’s a sin­gle M.2 port that sup­ports PCIe 3.0 x 4 and SATA modes and there’s a sub­tle lit­tle RGB TUF logo at the bot­tom right. Over­all it’s a nice look­ing board, but it can’t match the fea­ture set of the other boards in the roundup.

The I/ O area con­tains about the min­i­mum re­quired com­ple­ment of ports. There’s a pair of USB 2.0, a sin­gle 3.1 Gen 2, and thr ee 3.1 Gen 1 ports, one of which is Type- C. Then we have a Real­tek RTL8111H con­trolled LAN port and ana­logue au­dio ports con­trolled by a bar­gain­base­ment Real­tek ALC 887 codec - this is the low­est spec con­troller of the roundup. There’s a DVI- D port and fi­nally, a HDMI port sup­port­ing ver­sion 2.0b. We con­sider this to be a real value-add given the strong mul­ti­me­dia ca­pa­bil­i­ties on of­fer with a Ryzen 2200G or 2400G APU. It brings 4K 60Hz sup­port which is es­sen­tial for in­te­gra­tion into a liv­ing room PC these days.

Per­for­mance wise, the TUF B450M per­formed right where we ex­pected it to, though that’s true of all the boards in the test. AM4 is now a well and truly ma­ture plat­form and it’s got years of life yet. Whether you use an APU or pop in a graph­ics card, the lit­tle Asus will do its job with no fuss.

This board is some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. We like its fo­cus on re­li­a­bil­ity

The TUF B450M is a mATX board, which is okay for most users who don’t even use more than a sin­gle slot any­way.

and com­po­nent choice, likely mak­ing it a rel­a­tively safer bet for a long life span. The in­clu­sion of HDMI 2.0 and its mATX form fac­tor make this one a very good choice to form the heart of a mul­ti­me­dia home the­atre or liv­ing room PC. It mightn’t be as fea­ture packed as some of the other boards in this test, but it of­fers good value and sat­is­fies the needs of a rather spe­cial­ized sub mar­ket. CHRIS SZEWCZYK

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