High-level motherboards attract the attention of all enthusiasts, however, ordinary, inexpensive devices also find their buyers. The cheapest ASUS products turned out to be assembled in the Prime family, and the letter index of the model directly indicates segmentation within the line. In the current situation, it is the board chosen for review that occupies the status of a niche flagship among entry-level motherboards, and all because there was no product with the “Pro” index based on the Intel B560.
Below is a table with the main characteristics. For a long time, the venerable “Plus” suffix indicated that the product had an important advantage, most often it came down to the presence of a classic PCI interface, albeit implemented through an additional controller, but this time, as we see, such a step was abandoned. In the course of our acquaintance, we will figure out what exactly the user will receive by choosing the product in question.
|Model||ASUS Prime B560-Plus|
|Official product page on the Web||Prime B560-Plus|
|Processor socket||Socket 1200|
|Processors||Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium Gold, Celeron (Rocket Lake-S, Comet Lake-S)|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM, 128 GB maximum:
3200–4600 — OC
|PCI slots||1 x PCI Express 4.0 x16 — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4) — B560
2 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 — B560
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 4.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — 11th Gen CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) – B560
1 x Wi-Fi, CNVi (Key E, 2230) — B560
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel UHD 750/730/630/610|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, D-Sub|
|Number of connected fans||4x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.2 Gen 2 (2 connectors on the rear panel, B560)
3 x 3.2 Gen 1 (1 connector on the rear panel (Type-C), B560)
8 x 2.0 (4 connectors on the rear panel, B560 + GL852G)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6 Gb/s (B560)|
|Built-in sound||Codec — Realtek ALC897 (7.1, HDA)|
|S/PDIF||Connector on the board (output)|
|Networking||Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|LED Addressable Header||2x Gen 2|
|LED RGB Header||2|
|TPM||1x SPI (14 pin)|
|UEFI||UEFI AMI BIOS, 128 Mb Flash ROM (MX25L12872F)|
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 234|
|Additional features||Armoury Crate, Aura Sync, Fan Xpert 2+, Flexible M.2 heatsink, Thunderbolt header|
|retail price||3839 hryvnias|
The allocation of resources may jeopardize the availability of one of the SATA ports – for the case of mounting in the lower M.2 drive with the same type of interface. In general, the total number of drives can be eight pieces; everything is quite familiar here, without artificial truncations or additional controllers.
Packaging and equipment
The box has a nice gloss, but the dimensions are smaller than usual, this is especially noticeable in its height. A key feature on the front is Aura Sync support.
Photos of the product and ports on the back, as well as a list of the main features are on the back. The low Fan Xpert index is honestly indicated – 2+, but not everyone understands the essence of things, and it lies in the lack of support for controlling the CPU cooler using the DC method (by lowering the supply voltage). Nothing more outstanding was noted and everything is logical, since we have an ordinary board without bright features. By the way, there are only four areas for switching fans, which is more typical for products of the mATX format.
- quick start guide (in English);
- short multilingual user manual for PC assembly;
- an additional booklet with information on the need to comply with a number of safety measures when assembling and operating the system;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- one M.2 drive rubber pad with adhesive backing;
- three mounting screws and two racks for M.2 devices;
- two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
- plug for the case, standard version – with embossed symbols and icons for designating sockets.
Having got rid of excess metal, it will be possible to prepare a place on the plug for mounting two antennas from a wireless network adapter, which, of course, is purchased separately.
One centimeter of width is not enough to fully understand the ATX standard, that is, a decent part of the product will be hanging in the air. Thus, there are a total of six mounting points in the housing. There are no frills like a POST code indicator, moreover, there is not even a Q-LED diagnostic corner, usually dialed with four multi-colored LEDs. What can we say about RGB LED backlighting – its support is provided exclusively by four areas on the board, and the luminous areas on it are completely excluded. The contact pair for resetting the settings is located next to the main platform for switching case buttons and indicators, for which special thanks to the engineers. While working with the stand, the ROG Strix video card helped me to track the power supply to the system, namely the white LED at the additional power socket.
The absence of decorative elements, light radiators and ordinary four layers of textolite make the product incomparably lighter than most opponents from more prestigious segments. The reverse side of the board is devoid of electronic components, so users with initial assembly skills are less likely to damage anything during this time-consuming process. I note the reliable fixation of power radiators with a screw method, while on the Intel B560 cooler a simpler and cheaper approach was chosen – spring-loaded plastic nails.
Its area is redundant for such a chip, you won’t have to worry about temperature even when blowing hot air from a powerful VC (if available). The picture shows how the corner, not involved in the fastening, is equipped with a sealing gasket (as well as the opposite one).
The radiator for M.2 devices is only one, but universal, the idea was called “Flexible M.2 heatsink”. From above, only PCI-E lines from the socket are connected to the slot, as the nearby legend unambiguously tells about.
The length of the products can be any, up to 11 cm, which is no longer found on simpler boards.
From the bottom, there are PCI-E lines already from the hub, just as SATA also works from it. The idea of using the same heatsink here would require it to be flipped 180 degrees and the inscription there would turn upside down, because of which the world of aesthetic perfectionists could suffer, but otherwise the solution with a universal cooler really works.
A pair of longitudinal SATA is located at the right end.
The four transverse exits are located in the lower right corner – a frequently used move by the company’s engineers in inexpensive products.
Support for case USB sockets is provided by a pair of 2.0 version pads and one transverse 3.2 Gen 1, that is, nothing “extra”, just a set that is standard for our time.
In addition to the main PCI-E x16, ready for generation 4.0 products, there are as many as three additional slots, this is also a consequence of the model’s high index status, although it looks ordinary in the eyes of enthusiasts. The lower models of the series have fewer slots.
The audio codec is the base for almost all new boards in 2021 Realtek ALC897, there are a few special capacitors, but nothing more, except perhaps you can allocate a platform for the S / PDIF output. A wired adapter made by Intel that might appeal to sophisticated users. An M.2 2230 port has been prepared for the controller for wireless connections.
Radiators are not to say that they are large, squat, therefore there should be no compatibility problems with cooling systems. Access to all kinds of contact pads is also easy. That’s what is surprisingly close – the memory slots and the socket itself, there is a serious chance that the first one will overlap even with a compact tower cooler or AIO hoses in their traditional location – closer to the right edge of the board.
ASUS can hardly be marked as striving for constant experiments on VRM, therefore there is every chance to find a prototype of the stabilizer even according to our previous reviews – meet ASUS ROG Strix B365-G Gaming. The same PWM controller – renamed ASP1400CTB, the same six channels for the CPU voltage, but for the integrated GPU we see only one here, and the power has grown since then, anyway, so the slides say. The eighth inductor is included in the SA Voltage circuit. There are seven external drivers, but, as we already know, the final operation scheme will be equal to “3 + 1 phase”, which means that if someone had hopes for a high-quality VRM, it’s time to dispel them, voltage stabilization here cannot be good a priori. Below the socket are the elements for IO (in the center) and IO 2 Voltage (toward the right edge). Surprisingly, they are not the same as on many previously reviewed boards up to this time. In the first case, we see TPS51396A (Texas Instruments), and for the second – MPQ8633A (Monolithic Power Systems). For the main stabilizer, transistors from ON Semiconductor were chosen. In the lower arm of the CPU and iGPU Voltage were 4C06C, and in the upper and for SA Voltage – 4C10C. The overall power of the stabilizer is obviously more significant than that of the prototype found in the face of ASUS ROG Strix B365-G Gaming, and he, albeit with a number of conditions, was able to cope with the Core i9-9900K itself! True, the Prime B560-Plus will still be simpler – both radiators and the final weight are smaller.
Those who clicked on the link above and read about the prototype must have seen the note about the noise from the chokes. Well, this fate did not pass by our ward either, only the manifestation is diametrically opposed to that case – the more the stand was loaded here, the more discomfort from the throttles occurred. With a light load, mixed, in general, without much consumption, it was gone.
Fixing the radiators in place does not raise questions. There should have been enough surface area for heat dissipation, but, as usual, everything spoils the aesthetics and cutting down the size of the thermal pads. A smaller heatsink, as you can understand after studying the capabilities of VRM, will be in charge of cooling actually one CPU voltage channel (when using a discrete video accelerator). The burden of five CPU channels at once, plus another SA Voltage group, will fall on the shoulders of the larger one. Everything is obvious here – you should not even stutter about the uniformity of their heating.
Without taking into account the rack with only three audio outputs, I won’t come up with comments on the composition on the rear panel, there are a lot of ports, moreover, in a variety of directions, plus remember about the holes for the antennas already in the plug itself. What may not suit you is its simplicity – a thin plate without bright design, it can worsen the appearance of the assembly in dark colors when the PC is somewhere in sight, but this is pure nit-picking on my part. Realtek’s RTD2166 DP to VGA converter helped with the D-Sub output.