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The review and testing of the motherboard ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac)

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As you probably remember, along with the processors Ryzen second generation (Pinnacle Ridge), AMD introduced a new chipset X470, thereby enabling motherboard manufacturers to bring to market an updated flagship Socket AM4 platform. And this really makes sense: the design boards on the previous chipset for the older Ryzen, X370, often left much to be desired. Most of these products were designed prior to the release of the first processor microarchitecture Zen, and at that time few believed that the new solution from AMD will be so good that I can seriously compete with intelocking CPU. This had an impact on the approach to the design: even among platforms based on the older Socket AM4-chipset X370 many of them contain certain compromises that are not too feature-rich and does not seem to be the flagship platforms.

X470 should solve the issue. That is capable of AMD Ryzen, it is now understood very well, so motherboard manufacturers can, without fear, to create a fancy and expensive platform. That the demand for them will, no doubt. This wave appeared a lot of new solutions, and almost all of such charges compared to their predecessors, used chipset X370, do differ markedly improved characteristics.

However, the very core of this transformation of the flagship boards in the new chipset X470 did almost nothing. If we compare the characteristics of the chipsets X470 and X370, it appears that support PCI Express, SATA, and USB ports, they are absolutely identical.

  Acceleration XFR2 /PB2 GPU USB 3.1 Gen2 USB 3.0 USB 2.0 PCIe 3.0 PCIe 2.0 SATA RAID StoreMI
X470 Yes Yes x8/x8 2 6 6 0 8 8 Yes Yes
X370 Yes Yes* x8/x8 2 6 6 0 8 8 Yes No
B350 Yes No x16 2 2 6 0 6 6 Yes No
A320 No No x16 1 2 6 0 4 6 Yes No

* Support XFRPrecision 2 and Boost 2 is added to c with BIOS updates

In fact, the only significant hardware change X470 compared to the predecessor was the reduction of energy consumption from 6.8 to 4.8 W at full load. Curiously, this has been achieved without any modification of process technology: a new X470 is made at TSMC on the same 55-nm technology as the X370. Helped exclusively the redesign of the power infrastructure of the chip.

Two small innovations were added to the software level. First, X470 appeared StoreMI technology that allows you to compile in a single volume high-speed SSD (any type) and bulk HDD, a single hybrid data warehouse with high speed and capacity. Second, characteristic for processors Ryzen two thousandth series technologies Precision Boost 2, XFR2, according to official information, originally only work in motherboards based on the new chipset.

All these innovations can hardly be called fundamental. The decrease in heat dissipation of the chipset on a few watts in a desktop PC will generally imperceptible; StoreMI – only malofontannaya function; and support for Precision Boost 2, XFR2 is important only where the CPU is running without overclocking, and even then, the performance gains provided by these technologies, not too noticeable. In addition, in recent versions of firmware support for these technologies appeared in motherboards based on chipset X370. And this means that the difference in fees on the basis of the X470 and X370 is for the most part only the result of experience, and the changed attitude to the platform on the part of engineers.

In this article we will focus on the new X470-Board top-level company ASUS – Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac), which just serves to illustrate the above. At first glance, it is almost the same as the last Board Crosshair VI Hero on the basis of the X370, but more detailed acquaintance emerge differences, minor that does not name.

A new Board has better power subsystem, which is now involved not 10, and 12 phases. In addition to fees added asynchronous mode overclocking the base clock generator, allowing to supply to processor cores, DRAM Infinity Fabric and different values of the BCLK frequency. Changes were made in the monitoring of voltages, which now became more accurate. A number of innovations is in the UEFI BIOS. For example, ASUS engineers have implemented new technology-based Precision Boost the acceleration system Performance Enhancer and also could make for Crosshair VII Hero Stealth mode completely turns off all illumination.

In other words, the scale (and not) changes sufficiently, and in order to get familiar with them, we did this review.


Crosshair ASUS ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac)
Supported processors AMD Ryzen second generation (Pinnacle Ridge), Ryzen graphics Radeon Vega (Raven Ridge), Ryzen first generation (Summit Ridge), Athlon/A-series (Bristol Ridge) seventh generation in performance Socket AM4
Chipset AMD X470
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 64 GB;
dual channel mode memory;
support modules with frequency 3400(O. C.)/3200(O. C.)/2933(O. C.)/2666(O. C.)/2400/ 2133/1866 MHz;
support XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
Connectors for expansion boards 2 PCI Express 3.0 x16 modes x16/x0 or x8/x8;
1 slot PCI Express 2.0 x16, x4 mode;
2 PCI Express 2.0 x1
The scalability of the video NVIDIA 2-way SLI Technology;
AMD 3-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface The AMD X470:
– 6 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6 Gbps (supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10);
AMD Ryzen:
– 1 × M. 2 (PCI Express x4 Gen3/SATA), supports drives format 2242/2260/2280/22110;
– 1 × M. 2 (PCI Express x4 Gen3), supports drives format 2242/2260/2280/22110
Network interface Network controller Intel I211AT (10/100/1000 Mbps);
Support of technology Anti-surge LANGuard ROG GameFirst and IV
Wireless technology Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac;
Support for MU-MIMO;
Support three bands: 2.4 and 5 GHz + 60GHz;
Support Bluetooth V4.2
Audio ROG SupremeFX 8-CH HD audio codec S1220:
Separate determination of the impedance for headphone outputs on front and rear panels;
Support for autodetection of audio, multiple streams, override the audio outputs on the front panel;
The ratio of “signal to noise” 120dB when playing and 113 dB during recording;
Support sampling rate at 32-Bit/192kHz;
Audio technologies:
Optical S/PDIF-out on back panel;
Sonic Radar III;
Sonic Studio III
USB interface The AMD X470:
– 1 port USB 3.1 Gen2 (connected to the connector on the Board);
– 6 USB 3.0 ports (4 on back panel, 2 – connect to the connectors on the Board);
– 5 USB 2.0 ports (2 on back panel, 3 – connect to the connectors on the Board).
AMD Ryzen:
– 4 USB 3.0 ports (all on rear panel).
Controller ASMedia ASM2142:
– 2 ports USB 3.1 Gen2 (both on the rear panel, Type-C and Type-A)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel 1 combo PS/2 port for mouse or keyboard;
1 network LAN-socket RJ-45;
2 ports USB 2.0;
1 optical S/PDIF-out;
1 Clear CMOS switch;
1 button USB BIOS Flashback;
1 ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.1);
5 audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In);
8 ports USB 3.0;
2 port USB 3.1 (Type-A and Type-C)
Internal connectors on the system Board 2 × Aura managed connector for RGB led strips;
2 × Aura connector for led strips;
1 × M. 2 slot with a key of type M and support form factors 2242/2260/2280/22110 for SATA or PCIE SSD;
1 × M. 2 slot with a key of type M and support form factors for PCIE SSD 2242/2260/2280;
6 × SATA 3;
6 × SATA 6 Gbps ports;
1 × CPU Fan connector;
1 × CPU OPT Fan connector;
3 x Chassis Fan connectors;
1 × AIO_PUMP connector;
1 × H_AMP fan connector;
1 × W_PUMP+ connector;
1 × 24-pin EATX power connector;
1 × 8-pin ATX 12V power;
1 × 4-pin ATX 12V power;
1 × 5-pin EXT_FAN (Extension Fan) connector;
1 × Front panel audio connector (AAFP);
1 x Thermal sensor connector;
1 x Slow Mode switch;
1 x LN2 Mode jumper;
1 × Start button;
1 × Reset button;
1 x Safe Boot button;
1 × ReTry button;
1 x ROG Extension (ROG_EXT) connector;
1 x Slow Mode switch;
1 x LN2 Mode jumper;
1 x System panel connector (Q-Connector);
1 × W_IN connector;
1 × W_OUT connector;
1 × W_FLOW connector;
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector for the front panel;
1 × USB 3.0 connector supports 2 USB 3.0 ports;
1 × USB 2.0 connector supports 2 USB 2.0 ports;
1 × connector for system dynamics
BIOS 256 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 5.0;
support PnP 1.0 a;
WfM 2.0 support;
support SM BIOS 3.0;
3 ASUS EZ Flash, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect)
Corporate functions, technology and exclusive features ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5:
– 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Expert 4, and Turbo App.
Gamer’s Guardian:
– SafeSlot;
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3;
– ASUS EZ Flash 3;
ASUS Q-Design:
– ASUS Q-Code;
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED);
– ASUS Q-Slot;
– ASUS Q-Connector;
– Aura Lighting Control;
– Aura RGB Strip Headers;
– Aura Addressable RGB Strip Headers;
ASUS Exclusive Features:
– AI Suite 3;
– AI Charger;
Clear CMOS button;
MemOK! Button;
Slow Mode;
ReTry Button;
Safe Boot Button;
Start Button;
Reset Button;
LN2 Mode;
GameFirst IV;
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
– MicroFine Alloy Chokes;
– NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET;
– 10K Black Metallic Capacitors;
Mem TweakIt;
UEFI BIOS features :
– Tweakers’ Paradise;
– ROG SSD Secure Erase;
– Graphic Card Information Preview;
Extreme Tweaker;
USB BIOS Flashback;
Form factor, dimensions (mm) ATX, 305 × 244 mm

Motherboard ASUS Crosshair VII Hero represented on store shelves in two versions – with built-in Wi-Fi-controller and without it. Version WiFi/ac has a recommended price of $300, and the version without wireless support is $20 cheaper. While a similar fee on the basis of chipset X370, Crosshair VI Hero, is now sold a cheaper new for $40. From this we can conclude that the transition to a X470, indeed, involve some appreciation of the platform Socket AM4.

#Packaging equipment

As befits a luxury product series Republic of Gamers, the new ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero comes in at the same time bright and simply decorated box. The front side of the box contains only the name of the series, model and a brief enumeration of supported technologies in the form of large icons.

On the back of the box provides detailed Board specifications, private labels marked its merits, and lists the inputs and outputs on the interface panel. On the sticker from one side of the box you can find the serial number and a short list of characteristics.

Inside the main package are inserted two flat boxes, one of which bears the fee, additionally covered with a plastic lid with clamps, and other parts and accessories.

Along with the cost supplied four SATA cables with latches, two screw fastening the M. 2 modules, hard connective HB-bridge for SLI, the connector for connecting the cables of the system case unit Q-Connector, two extension cable to tapes, external lighting and Wi-Fi dual-band 2T2R antenna.

Also included in the kit instruction manual and DVD with drivers and utilities, and as a bonus there is a whole array of stickers of different types and purposes.

Fee is manufactured in China, and it is a three-year warranty. Allotted for the test instance ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) refers to version 1.02. In Russia this model can be purchased for the price of 20 thousand rubles.

#Design and features

The ROG series is developed by ASUS since 2006, and throughout this time, the producer pays great attention to how its constituent motherboard look like. In Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) evolution came down to the fact that the Board has acquired the most “dark” design: PCB slots, heat sinks, casing in the back – everything is black, which interrupt only the gray labels on the PCB and the decorative stripes on the radiators. Develops dark skin and a new mode of operation decorative lighting – Stealth Mode, in which the Board owner can turn off all the glowing elements: not only RGB illumination, but also numerous diagnostic or informational led.

Fans of the unicorns, by contrast, is addressed to the backlit RGB-insert in a protective casing back of the card, and the glowing ROG logo in the chipset. In addition to this Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) allows you to connect four RGB strips: two regular and two addressable. Algorithms of all this illumination, as usual, are configured through specialized software ASUS Aura.

Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) has a standard form factor ATX size 305 × 244 mm. I Must say that this Board is just Packed with various components. The possibilities are very rich, and for their implementation of only one chip AMD X470 and on-chip SoC is not enough, so ASUS engineers had to resort to using a large number of additional controllers. However, the typical format they come out, and moreover, the surroundings of the CPU socket on the motherboard was quite a lot of space, making Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) is convenient in practical use in a traditional enclosure and the stand.

The reverse side of the Board for the most part free of any elements. She made only some of the control components of the power circuit of the processor.

The fact that the charge is among the flagship products for overclockers and gamers, clearly visible on the vehicle its rear panel. In addition to the usual things on it there are two buttons to reset the settings of UEFI BIOS and forced flashing, and even such Exotica as the PS/2 port to connect a mouse or keyboard. In addition, there are two Wi-Fi antenna output, two USB 2.0 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, one USB port 3.1 Gen2 performance of Type-A and Type-C plug socket for connection Gigabit network, S/PDIF output and a set of five gold plated analog audio jacks. The rear panel ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) supplied from the preset panel I/O Shield, which significantly simplifies the system Assembly in the housing.

Please note: under consideration Board has no display outputs. This means that even when the Raven Ridge processors with integrated graphics, it will take a discrete graphics card.

One of the main differences ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) from its predecessor (Crosshair VI Hero) concerns the allocation of lines PCI Express slots. On the new Board has three PCIe x16 slots where the first pair is controlled by a processor and can run at x16/x0 or x8/x8 while the third slot refers to the chipset. So he could only offer mode PCI Express 2.0 x4, and mechanical boost SafeSlots to effectively withstand the loads encountered during installation of heavy graphics cards with only the first two PCIe x16 slots.

Also the Board has two M. 2 connectors, which claimed to support PCI Express 3.0 x4 drives. Both these slots are to the CPU, but differ in their implementation. Slot, rests against the processor, and an indoor brand of radiator, divides the line graphic bus. So installing it on the drive causes the CPU PCIe x16 slots and forced into the as x8/x4.

No effect on the throughput of the graphical interface only the M. 2 slot is located at the bottom of the Board. And by the way, except he NVMe drives, and supports SATA SSD.

However, this “full” connector – open, it does not feature the brand Ossowski radiator.

The storage media can be connected to the SATA ports, which are under consideration, the Board has six pieces. Thus, in the organization of the disk subsystem Crosshair ROG VII Hero differs markedly from the preceding fee: added a second M. 2 slot, but the number of SATA ports decreased by two.

Even a cursory acquaintance with the ASUS Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) evident that it scattered atypical large number of connectors for connection of fans – as many as eight. Like Arsenal – a rarity, but also, the Board has developed control devices that are connected to these connectors, and supports adjustable speed via PWM, and the old voltage. In addition, two of the fan connectors support increased to 3 A current, and two are for pumps of liquid cooling systems and, by default, always work in full-speed mode. A pair of connectors for fans the CPU cooler uses the combined control.

In addition, ASUS did not forget to add the cost of a traditional connector for daughter card FAN Extension, which allows you to extend the array of connected fans. However, the card itself at this time, in the not supplied. To the motherboard you can connect an additional temperature sensor. Incidentally, it is quite possible to place on the abdomen of the processor: in order to be able to stretch the cable with a thermocouple inside the socket there is a hole.

In the upper right corner of the Board near the 24-pin power connector, arranged a kind of “control center”. Put back the Start button and the Reset indicator POST-code LEDs Q-LED showing the initialization process of the Board, as well as checkpoints to check key voltages with a multimeter.

Radom are connectors for led strips (addressable and conventional), as well as USB 3.1 Gen2 for connection of the respective body of the port.

The other half of the connectors and control elements on the circuit Board attributed to its lower bound. There are connectors for connection of sensors of flow and temperature liquid cooling system, additional connector for thermocouples, a couple of connectors for incorporation of led strips and connectors USB 2.0 ports and USB 3.0. There is also the ROG Extension connector, mode switches for extreme overclocking Slow Mode and LN2, and is also useful for overclocking experiments buttons Safe Boot and Retry.

All radiators available on the ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac), mounted on the screws and adjacent to the cooling components via elastic thermal pads.

An exception only one radiator for the M. 2 drive. He is used as a thermal interface thermally conductive double-sided adhesive tape, the manufacturer, before using need to put in “combat state”.

For the detailed circuitry underlying the Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) boards have been removed all the radiators and decorative casing covering the rear face.

First and foremost interest is the power of the processor. The fact that ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi ac) ASUS engineers have changed its design. Supply CPU phases became 2 more and also changed their location on the Board.

This significantly improved temperature control: the power components in the Converter power now warmed up 10-15 degrees less when compared with the cost on the basis of the X370, Crosshair ROG VI Hero.

Along with this, ASUS engineers have improved the VRM and the radiator – it’s not just two aluminum bars, connected heat pipe, and sticks with fins.

VRM in the new Board is assembled on the principle of 10+2 (VCORE + VSoC) on the basis of the PWM controller (EPU) ASP1405I which apparently is parameterone IR35201.

This means that the real phases for the CPU power five, but they are doubled when using doublers IR3599 mounted on the reverse side of the Board. Each phase uses 60-amp integrated circuit IR3555M PowlRstage and an inductor Micro-Fine Alloy.

It should be noted that this time ASUS has come up with an interesting solution – two phase power SoC split an array of ten phases of the Vcore in space into two groups – this allows you to improve the sink. Given the high power VRM to power the processor, the Board provides two 12-volt connector: standard 8-pin and additional 4 pin. Additional connector may be required in experiments on extreme overclocking.

The power supply circuit of the memory subsystem are collected in a two-phase system generated by the PWM controller ASP1103 with integrated drivers and field effect transistors ON Semiconductor.

Interesting on the ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) there is external clock generator ICS 9VRS4883BKLF. Its presence means that the Board allows you to overclock the CPU not only multipliers, but also through the increase in BCLK frequency.

External clock generator is found on the flagship Socket AM4-boards quite often. But the solution is a feature of the ASUS: ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) supports the new asynchronous mode in which the increased carrier frequency is applied to only the processor core and the Infinity Fabric, the memory controller and the PCIe bus remain on a standard 100 MHz.

The audio path in Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) based on codec Realtek ALC1220. Also in the circuit is the DAC ESS Sabre ES9023P and amplifier Texas Instruments RC4580I. To reduce noise in analog part is separated from the other components of the non-conductive area on the circuit Board, and in addition, the manufacturer has not stinted on the special audiophile grade electrolytic capacitors Nichicon Gold series. As before, asososca sound scheme has special protection from the loud clicks of the speakers when turning on and off, and headphones that are able to “pump” the audio outputs of the Board, can have a resistance of 600 Ohms.

Wired Gigabit network is represented on a given Board, with Intel i211T, complemented by brand protection against electrical discharges LANGuard.

Wireless network Wi-Fi 802.11 ac 2 × 2 2.4/5GHz MU-MIMO is implemented as a separate module for Realtek RTL8822BE established in located in the area of the rear panel a special M. 2 slot type E.

Exactly what is provided by the simultaneous existence of Crosshair ROG VII Hero with either wireless networking support, and without Plata can be equipped with this module, and can be supplied without it.

Ports USB 3.1 Gen2, derived on the rear panel of the Board, working through an additional controller ASMedia ASM3142, which is reinforced by the switch ASMedia ASM1543 for the implementation of the port Type-C. the same Chipset USB ports 3.1 Gen2 announced at VII Hero ROG Crosshair to the inner connector, which is equipped with redriver Pericom PI3EQX, allowing you to connect it directly to the connectors of Type-C.

For the realization of the basic functions of I / o, including PS/2 ports, meets chip ITE IT8665E. Expand monitoring and fan control brand essovskie controllers ROG and TPU. But for a more accurate determination of voltages supplied to the CPU, the motherboard appeared differential operational amplifier AS324M-E1. This enhancement Crosshair ROG VII Hero can boast of a more accurate monitoring of voltages than most other boards, including authorship of the same ASUS.

To control the led backlight ASUS developers have implemented the whole scheme including the signature and AURA chip microcontroller ST Micro STM32F.

Getting acquainted with the ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac), we met another interesting detail: the BIOS chip on this Board has a capacity of 256 MB, while on other boards for Socket AM4 processors used twice less capacious chips ROM.

Nevertheless, the very ASUS says that now she only uses half of the available volume, and the second half is for the future, in case when the output of the promising processors, AMD wants to increase the size of the BIOS.


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Overview motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING graphics card, Ryzen, two M. 2

MF5-300799351 Microsoft Windows 10 Pro - Operating System Software, 64 Bit, 1PC, OEM, DVD English - FQC-08930

Remember the body Design LUNA DNK-PRIME? For example, in early 2018, we showed that to build a compact and powerful PC with 8 core processor is quite real. The system uses Ryzen 7 1700 and NVIDIA. The weak point of the system turned out to be additional power X370GTN the first AM4-motherboard form factor mini-ITX. Since then it’s been quite a time, respecting all Board submitted its device of this size, and the company ASUS, which is not surprising, turned out to be in a leading position. Model ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING — a bird of a completely different flight. On the basis of this device is actually to collect and productive workstation, and fast gaming system. However, now you see for yourself.



#Specifications and packaging

At the time of testing ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING means far not the only mini-ITX-motherboard ASUS, which is suitable for processors Ryzen. So, in computer stores in your city you can meet similar solutions model ROG STRIX X370-I GAMING and ROG STRIX X470-I GAMING, which are based on older AMD chipsets. As you can see, the hero of today’s review uses a set of logic B450, but in this article I will explain why there is no sense to take mini-ITX-motherboard based on the older AMD chipsets. And yet I propose to get acquainted with the technical specifications ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I and GAMING equipment.

Supported processors AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation
Ryzen with AMD Radeon Graphics Vega
AMD Ryzen 1st Generation
Chipset AMD B450
Memory subsystem 2 x DIMM slots, up to 32 GB DDR4-2133-3600 (OC)
Expansion slots 1 × PCI Express x16
The storage interface 1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280), support a SATA 6GB/s and PCI Express x4
1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280) with support for PCI Express x4
4 × SATA 6GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 10
LAN Intel I211-AT, 10/100/1000 Mbps
Audio ROG SupremeFX (S1220A) 7.1 HD
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × HDMI
1 × RJ-45
1 × optical S/PDIF
4 × USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A
2 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A
3 × 3.5 mm audio
Form factor mini-ITX
Price 15 000 RUB.

The device comes in a colorful cardboard box. In addition to the cost, it was a lot of accessories, both useful and not:

  • user manual, stickers with the logo of ROG, stickers for SATA cables;
  • optical media with software and drivers;
  • plug housing;
  • two custom SATA cable;
  • extension cable to connect the RGB tape;
  • plate for installing the M. 2 device form factor 2242 and additional screws for securing the SSD;
  • nylon ties;
  • external antenna from the wireless communication module;
  • ASUS Q-Connector to facilitate connection of the bodies of management of the case.

#Design and capabilities

Most motherboards form factor mini-ITX have a similar layout elements — this also applies to AMD AM4, and the LGA1151 platform-v2. So, the PCB with the sides 170 x 170 mm allows you to unsolder the two DIMM slots and one PCI Express x16. This modern device must have a quality power Converter, at least one M. 2 slot and allow to set arbitrarily large CPU cooler.

ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING problems installing monstrous cooling systems arose. I was Noctua NH-D15 and its Archon X2 — and both of the cooler is well placed in ecolocation space, not blocking the only PEG port.

In fact, I think that the layout of the components on the Board performed well. However, when you put such an assessment in the case form factor mini-ITX it is necessary to start including the type of the used computer case. Therefore, for those who are not familiar with the compact gaming systems, I suggest you first peruse the reviews the next section: Fractal Design Node 202 and Dr Zaber Sentry (Slim Desktop); Fractal Design Define Nano’s and Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Shift (Mini-Tower). Depending on the type of case the requirements for the location of certain components of the motherboard may vary.

In any case, there is no point to unsolder any connectors near the single PEG port. Because they will block either the graphics card (using the Tower-blocks), or a flexible ribbon cable, PCI Express (when using a Slim Desktop enclosure). Therefore, ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING a big part of the connectors are located on the right side — and it’s perfect (indeed, only possible) solution.

He PCI Express x16 slots are further reinforced. Metal frame called SafeSlot, according to ASUS, increases the strength of the port by 1.8 times under the load of fracture, and 1.6 times when the load on the pulling.

Right on the circuit Board has two SATA ports (two more connectors are wired closer to the chipset between the DIMM slots and M. 2) internal USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 Gen1, and a connector for connecting the bodies of management of the case. The presence of adapter Q-Connector, by the way, really helps when the build system is made in a really tight enclosure volume up to 10 liters.

A connector for connecting the F-Audio, so to speak, hidden — it is located next to the module Wi-Fi GO! The wire from the corps (regardless of format) I recommend to stretch along x PCI Express x16 — in this case, the building will be more accurate.

All three of the connector for the fan located at the top of the motherboard right above the CPU socket. Each connector has four pins, the Board changes the fan speed with PWM (4-pin connector) or without (3-pinoyme). One of the connectors intended for connection powerful pump liquid cooling system.

If we talk about the number of connectors for fans, it is the standard — I haven’t seen mini-ITX boards with usedona larger number of 4-pin ports. Thus three connectors, will not always be enough. For example, we can assemble a system in the case Fractal Design Define Nano’s, and this device allows you to install up to six 120mm fans. In General, when you create a really powerful, but compact system can not do without the splitters and additional controllers, allowing the use of more “Carlson” in the Assembly. Perhaps you should think about buying housing with the already installed hub. For example, well suited. H200i.

If we talk about the location of the connectors for fans, and there are different options. For example, in the housings Slim Desktop very often need to have only one impeller is the one that comes with the CPU cooler. However, for example, if you install in a Fractal Design Node 202 additional fans for cooling the graphics card, the length of their wires is not sufficient in order to without any extension cords to reach the 4-pin connectors ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING. In the case of Mini Tower we can face exactly the same situation, if you want to install fans on the bottom or in the lower part of the front panel. That is why, in my opinion, one of the connectors to connect fans better be positioned in the area of the SATA ports.

Next to the onboard fan connectors are wired connectors 5 – and 12-volt RGB strips. You can manage this by using AURA Sync. The Board itself is also backlit — RGB-LEDs located throughout the right side of the device.

ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING is unique in that the company’s engineers were able to place two M. 2 port. The main connector for SSD drives of this format is on a kind of pedestal is done on purpose, as under it is the chipset cooled by a small aluminum radiator. The port supports the installation of discrete devices with a length of 42, 60 and 80 mm and operates in the SATA 6GB/s or PCI Express 3.0 x4.

The photo above shows the drive with the installation of further cooled aluminum radiator.

The second M. 2 port soldered on the reverse side of the PCB. Immediately say, that this location will not always be successful. It is no secret that modern NVMe SSD is very strongly heated. It may well be that in the case of any type of SSD, the result will be sandwiched between the circuit Board and the protective wall of the housing. As a result, the SSD will warm up and throttling even stronger. Moreover, in this connector, you can install the drives without all of the radiators and thickening.

In the second M. 2 on the Board, you can install the drives with a length of 42, 60 and 80 mm. Port will only work in PCI Express 3.0 x4, and when it is used the PCI Express x16 slot, intended for graphics cards, is translated in a mode x8.

By the way, the ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING there is a third M. 2 port with the key “E”. It the default network card with a marking WCBN808L-AD, supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.2 through controller Realtek RTL8822BE. For a wired network in ROG Board meets Gigabit Intel I211-AT, and for sound Realtek S1220A. Audio components are on the same extra Board, soldered the main M. 2 port. It is composed of a special audiophile-grade Nichicon capacitors, headphone amplifier.

To conclude the topic of interfaces ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING, I note that the I/O panel includes two USB 3.1 Gen2 A-type is an undeniable plus of the device. For example, the previously tested ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING has no such connectors.


Field-effect transistors included in the power Converter are cooled by one aluminum radiator medium size. The basis of the power subsystem is a PWM controller ASP1405I. Six phases, which include transistors Infineon Technologies IR3553, form a regulator for CPU Voltage. Another MOSFET IR3555 — provides the SOC Voltage and the integrated graphics core processors Ryzen 2000G.

Shots lowlight I will give the second part of the article.


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Review motherboard MSI Gaming Pro Carbon B450 AC: save lossless

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Presented at the end of July, the chipset AMD B450 did not introduce anything fundamentally new in comparison with the predecessor chipset AMD B350. Yes, there is support for the technology of dynamic overclocking Precision Overdrive Boost, technology of data cache StoreMI, and support for AMD processors with core Pinnacle Ridge. However, without the first two the majority of owners of motherboards with B350 easy to do and now, and support for new processors they can get a simple BIOS update. Differences from the flagship X470 slightly more tangible: less USB and SATA ports, six PCI-Express and eight, as well as on the boards with the B450 it is impossible to organize NVIDIA SLI.

But the new chipset, according to the developers, should make the motherboard based on it is more affordable than in the case X470, with almost the same functionality and full support for overclocking. This did not fail to take advantage of all the major manufacturers, has announced a new series of boards. For example, ASUS has released seven new models, Gigabyte – six, ASRock – five. But the most distinguished company MSI, who presented twelve versions of their products for a given set of system logic AMD. The flagship series has become a model B450 Gaming Pro Carbon ACthat we can examine and test.

It should be noted that the retail price of this Board is nearly twice lower than the cost of the recently tested MSI X470 M7 GAMING AC, who also heads his series on AMD X470. Therefore, a comparison of these products in the course of today’s article seems quite interesting. Let’s get started.

#Specifications and recommended price

MSI B450 Carbon Pro Gaming AC (MS-7B85)
Supported processors AMD Ryzen (Summit Ridge, Raven Ridge, Pinnacle Ridge) seventh generation microarchitecture Zen and Athlon/A-series (Bristol Ridge) seventh generation in performance Socket AM4
Chipset AMD B450
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 64 GB;
dual channel mode memory;
support modules with frequency 3466/3200/3066/3000/2933/2800/2667/2400/
2133/1866 MHz;
support A-XMP
Connectors for expansion boards 1 slot PCI Express x16 3.0, modes x16 or x8;
1 slot PCI Express 2.0 x16, x4 mode;
3 PCI Express x1 slots 2.0
The scalability of the video AMD 2-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface The AMD B450:
– 4 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6 Gbps (supports RAID 0, 1 and 10);
– 1 × M. 2 (М2_2 drives only supports PCI-E 2.0 x4 types 2242/2260/2280);
AMD Ryzen:
– 2 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6GB/s;
– 1 × M. 2 (М2_1 supports PCI-E 3.0 x4 and SATA drive types 2242/2260/2280/22110)
Network interface Intel Gigabit LAN l211-AT
Wireless network interface Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 9260 (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) with a bandwidth of up to 1.73 Gbit/s, Dual Mode Bluetooth 2.1, 2.1+EDR, 3.0, 4.0, BLE, 4.2, 5.0
Audio 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC1220:
– high-quality, shielded audio processor HD Audio Boost 4;
technology speed and performance 3;
– isolated from PCB sound area;
– the separate layers of the PCB for the left and right audio channels;
– protection from clicks;
– sound capacitors Chemi-Con;
headphone amplifier;
premium connectors with gold contacts
USB interface The AMD B450:
– 2 ports USB 3.1 Gen1 (connect to the connector on the system Board);
– 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 on back panel, 4 connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 2 ports USB 3.1 Gen2 (both on the back of the PCB, Type-C and Type-A);
AMD Ryzen:
– 2 ports USB 3.1 Gen1 (rear)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel BIOS Flashback button;
2 USB 2.0 ports and a combo PS/2;
video outputs Display Port and HDMI;
two connectors for antennas of the wireless communication module;
2 port USB 3.1 Gen1, and network LAN-socket RJ-45 (LAN Protect);
2 port USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C and Type-A;
optical S/PDIF output interface;
5 3.5 mm audio jacks with gold plated contacts
Internal connectors on the system Board 24-pin ATX power connector;
8-pin ATX 12V power;
4-pin power connector ATX 12 V;
6 SATA 3;
NGFF M. 2_1 2240/2260/2280/22110;
NGFF M. 2_2 2240/2260/2280;
USB 3.1 Gen1 to connect 2 ports;
2 USB 2.0 ports for connecting 4 ports;
4-pin connector CPU fan with PWM support;
4-pin connector for pumps DLC;
4 4-pin connectors for case fans with PWM support;
2 4-pin 5050 RGB LED strip 12V;
connector RGB LED WS2812B Addressable 5V;
CORSAIR connector;
TPM connector;
a group of connectors for the front panel;
audio connector for the front panel;
connector Chassis Intrusion;
connector Serial Port;
jumper Clear CMOS
BIOS 128 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 6.1;
support PnP 1.0 a;
support SM BIOS 2.8
Controller I/O Nuvoton NCT6797D-M
Form factor, dimensions (mm) ATX, 305 × 244
Manufacturer’s warranty years 3
The minimum retail price, RUB.
(according to “Yandex.Market” on 30.08.2018)
11 560

#Packaging equipment

B450 MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes in standard box made of cardboard. On the front side you can find the model name of the motherboard and chipset, as well as an enumeration of supported technologies.


The back of the box has the description of all the key features of the product. There are brief specifications and lists the ports on the rear panel.

The usual sticker with the end of the box serial number Board and all of its interfaces.

Equipment is relatively modest: two SATA-cable, connection cable for led strips lighting, two antennas for wireless communication module, the sticker on the case with the Gaming logo and screw to secure the drive in the M. 2 socket.

The cover on the rear panel of the motherboard was lost, but a lot of booklets, papers, reminders, labels for SATA cables, and a DVD with drivers and utilities.

B450 MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC is made in China and is provided by a three year warranty. Cost of a novelty in the Russian shops at the time of writing began with 11 560 rubles. Note that this model is the most advanced among the solutions of MSI chipset AMD B450, however it is much cheaper, comparable in performance to AMD boards X470 of the same manufacturer.

#Design and features

Externally, the new B450 MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC looks completely normal and does not indulge the users with bright colors. Almost black PCB with dimensions of 305 × 244 mm you can only select silver the PCI-Express slot and red lettering on the cover of the audio codec.


Everything else is done in one color with the PCB, including the radiators, stylized as carbon. By the way, the VRM circuits they have grown substantially in size in comparison with radiators motherboards MSI AMD B350.


Backboard offers eighteen different connector port types: USB ports and PS/2, two video output, two connectors for antennas of the wireless communication module, the wall outlet and the audio jacks.

This also displays the Clear CMOS switch, which, by the way, we did not have to use even when a poor choice of BIOS settings — in which case the fee itself resets the settings to the standard.

All the radiators attached to the PCB with screws and plastic covers here and not at all (which, by the way, can not but rejoice). Therefore, in order to “strip” the cost to the PCB, it only took a couple of minutes.

First of all, before component analysis B450 MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC, here is a layout of the elements on the PCB of the operating instructions.


To look for some differences and peculiarities in the CPU socket format Socket AM4, as practice shows, it is meaningless. All boards it completely standard.

Supported payment processors include all CPU manufactured in this design. And this is true for all BIOS versions, starting with the first.

In the power supply system of the processor uses eight phases (in fact, correct to say 4 × 2). Two more phases are reserved for power delivery to the CPU NB/SoC.

For the power management of the processor on Lenovo B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC meets PWM controller RT8894A production Richtek.

Beside the CPU VRM is a small block with connectors and jumper.

On her appointment in the instructions to the Board and on the website there is no word, so we can only guess that with it are governed by the limits of some stress. Write your version in the comments to the article.

To ensure the Board and its components power it uses standard connectors with 24 and 8 pins, as well as an additional four-pin connector.


They are all oriented with latches on the outside.

Released on Taiwan chipset AMD B450 applies to version B2 and is dated to the 12th week 2018 (mid-March).

It combines with the AMD processor Ryzen opportunities given in the diagram below.

Since MSI Gaming B450 Carbon Pro AC applies to boards in the medium price range, branded metal sheath Steel Armor and extra soldering points to the PCB, as in the top MSI, not here. But DDR4 Boost technology, which provides memory-increased stability and at the same time allowing to reach higher frequencies during overclocking, the Board supported.

Officially declared support for DDR4 memory modules with a frequency 3466 MHz, but in BIOS the available range of frequencies up to 4133 MHz. The list of tested on-Board modules is already huge and continues to fill with new models with a-XMP.

Food memory is implemented by a two-phase scheme.

Recall that the maximum amount of memory on Board with AMD B450 can reach 64 GB, and MSI Gaming B450 AC Pro Carbon is no exception.

Board is equipped with only one full PCI Express 3.0 x16 with a metallic shell of Steel Armor. It can operate in modes x16 or x8, if the cost to install two graphics cards on GPUs from AMD. In this second video card is installed in slot PCI Express 2.0 x16 with only 4 lines. Such is the strange will be AMD 2-way CrossFireX.

As a result, NVIDIA 2-way SLI motherboard/chipset is not supported (“green” graphics card with PCI-E x4 don’t work). The remaining three slots are designed for expansion cards are PCI Express x1 2.0.

Like most other MSI boards, the switching of modes of the slots provide multiplexers ASM1480 production ASMedia.

Four of the six SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6GB/s on Lenovo B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC implemented by the chipset AMD B450 and two – processor lines, with the result that they are forced to share resources with the first M2_1 port. So I have to choose: or SATA5 ~ 6 ports will be or M2_1.

Moreover, this choice is not very pleasant, since the upper M2_1 on the Board is called a Turbo M. 2 supports SATA and PCI-E NVMe drives types 2242/2260/2280/22110 and has a radiator Shield FROZR.

In other words, to abandon the port and storage it is unlikely that anyone will want. Today, however, even in expensive systems rarely use more than four SATA drives, and in the budget. So ports should be enough.

Second М2_2 connected to the chipset and only supports drives PCI-E 2.0 x4 types 2242/2260/2280, and the radiator is provided.

Concluding the topic of ports for drives, say a few words about USB. Overall B450 MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with 12 USB ports, six of which are displayed on the rear panel — and the same can be connected to the connectors on the PCB. On the panel there are two USB 3.1 Gen1, two USB 2.0 and two SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-C and Type-A). With the internal connectors of the motherboard can take the four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.1 Gen1. Third-party controllers for USB card is not received — using only the resources of the chipset and processor. We will add that at the program level are supported by proprietary technology MSI X-Boost, MSI Super Charger and Double ESD Protection.

About the network interfaces. On Lenovo B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is present Gigabit Ethernet controller Intel l211-AT the release of the end of 2012, worth just over two U.S. dollars. However, nobody says that is bad.

At the hardware level supports technology of protection against voltage surges and static electricity, Protect the LAN, and software – intelligent control of network traffic through the app the MSI GAMING LAN Manager. A conventional controller, for household needs it is quite sufficient, but still we would like to see in motherboards even average level any progress in this area and the introduction of dezetilirovanny network controllers.

Wireless network interface Board is implemented by the controller Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 9260 release the end of 2017.

It provides Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band — 2.4 and 5.0 GHz with a bandwidth of up to 1.73 Gbit/s, as well as Bluetooth 2.1, 2.1+EDR, 3.0, 4.0, BLE, 4.2 and 5.0.

Sound B450 MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC presents 7.1-channel HD audio codec Realtek ALC1220, protected from electromagnetic interference by an aluminum cap.

In the original concept MSI Audio Boost 4 includes not only the shielding of the processor, but also audiophile-grade capacitors Chemi-Con, dedicated headphone amplifier, protection against clicks, the individual layers of the PCB for the left and right audio channels, as well as isolated from the rest of the items on PCB area of audio.

Budget motherboard got gold-plated contacts audio software support for surround sound technologies in speed and performance Sound 3.

Controller Nuvoton NCT6797D-M Board can simultaneously control up to six fans with PWM support.

One of the connectors has a current up to 2 A — it is designed to provide power, for example, energy-intensive pumps liquid cooling systems. Note that from the point of view of placing of hull and CPU fan connectors are distributed on the PCB pretty well.

Backlight on Lenovo B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is implemented by LEDs under the chipset and the line of LEDs on the back side of the PCB in the area of RAM slots.

Branded app MSI Mystic Light will help you to choose one of 16.8 million colors and over a dozen different modes of illumination.

In addition, the backlight can be extended by connecting an external led strips, for which the Board has three connectors.

Unfortunately, the indicator POST-codes on Lenovo B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC no, but it is partially replaced by four LEDs MSI EZ Debug, soldered the RAM slots. The bottom edge of the PCB Board took the USB connectors, front panel connectors of the case and the audio and other instruments.

A distinctive feature B450 Carbon Pro Gaming AC from MSI motherboards of the previous generation are enlarged radiators on the VRM circuits. Especially their size is impressive, the radiator of the power supply circuit of the CPU core.

And as it turns out, this is done not by marketers for design and beauty, as often happens. We make sure the test portion of the article, and go over your BIOS.

#Opportunities UEFI BIOS

At the time of testing B450 MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC was only available for two version of BIOS: 1.08 July 4, 2018, with support AGESA PinnaclePI-AM4 and 1.10 from 15 August 2018 with the support AGESA Code C and some optimizations in the memory handling. We tested the charge on both the latest BIOS and no difference in overclocking the CPU or memory is not revealed.

As in previous MSI starts the shell in a simplified EZ mode (here and below we present a number of screenshots already with overclocking CPU and memory, not by default).

When you press F7, you can switch to advanced mode to access the six main sections with settings and integrated utilities.

The main section, Settings, incorporates the controller settings of the Board, security and boot options, and saving and loading settings.


OC – so short and sweet is the main section with the overclocking settings the motherboard, CPU and memory. Here we recommend you immediately switch to the Expert mode with additional settings.


It has everything you need for overclocking of CPU and RAM, including eight stabilization modes stresses the CPU and SOC. The core voltage of the processor can be changed in the range of 0.900 to 1,550 In increments of 0.0125 V SOC in the range of 0.900 to 1,300 In the same step, and the RAM – from 0,800 to 2,000 In increments of 0.010 V. in addition, change some more minor tensions.

There are also sub-subsections with detailed information about the installed processor and memory modules.


A separate section is configuring the technology CPU.

As for RAM, here B450 MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC will give odds to many competitors. First, despite cypselae restriction 3466 MHz, a memory frequency of up to 4200 MHz. Another thing that is compatible with AMD Ryzen memory at this frequency you until you find (and if you find, you are not forced to work stably at this frequency), but for the future is obvious. Second, the BIOS pre-flashed more than 20 sets of memory settings (frequency/timings) for overclocking.


However, this setting even its name “Memory TryIt!” alluding to the fact that there are no guarantees, but as a brand features the MSI boards are quite interesting. Thirdly, if you don’t rely on automatic selection of the settings, to manually change all the timings available RAM, including the secondary and deeply hidden. Below we present only two screenshots, but in practice they are twice as much.


The possibility of creating six profiles of BIOS settings that you can save for later use, but to upload to a USB flash drive or download from it, should simplify the overclocking.

Not disappeared and the usual utility Hardware Monitor where you can adjust each of the five plugged in for the fans as well as real-time monitor core temperature, and voltage.

The only thing I would like to wish the MSI engineers, is to increase the number of points on the fan curve from four to six, so you can adjust speed more smoothly.

In conclusion, the BIOS will remind him about the built-in browser of the motherboard.

Here without loading the operating system and opening the system unit can identify which components are installed in the cost. We will add that when you exit the BIOS displays all changes made to it.


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