Asus TUF B450M Plus Gaming
Asus can do value too.
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