The first wave of ASUS motherboards, built using a mid-range hub for Ryzen processors, did not pose a threat to more serious and expensive products. The TUF Gaming family included products with the Plus index, while more “charged” devices came out a little later, they contain the “Pro” suffix. The younger model, reduced in size in accordance with the mATX format, will defend the honor of the series today. Its main feature is enhanced processor power.
There are no additional controllers here, the number of expansion ports is not as plentiful as in other boards from the same market segment. The modest-sized multicontroller points to non-obvious simplifications in the field of monitoring system parameters. We will deal with the capabilities of the device in detail in the course of the review, first – a table with its key characteristics.
|Model||ASUS TUF B450M-Pro Gaming|
|Official product page on the Web||asus.com|
|Processor socket||AMD AM4|
|Processors||AMD Series: Athlon Zen, Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2666/2800*/3000*/3200*/3466*/3533*(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8) — APU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4) — Athlon Zen
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x4) — B450
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 — B450
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — Ryzen
1 x SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — Athlon Zen
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x2, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — B450
|Integrated video core (in APU)||Radeon Series: Vega 11, Vega 8, Vega 3|
|Video connectors||HDMI 2.0b, DVI-D|
|Number of connected fans||3x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||1 x 3.1 Gen2 (1 connector on the rear panel, B450)
3 x 3.1 Gen1 (3 x rear panel (1x C), CPU/APU/Athlon)
2 x 3.1 Gen1 (no connectors on the rear panel, B450)
6 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, B450)
|Serial ATA||4 x SATA 6Gb/s (B450)
2 x SATA 6Gb/s (CPU)
|RAID||0, 1, 10|
|Built-in sound||Codec — S1200A (Realtek)|
|S/PDIF||Connector on the board (output)|
|Networking||Realtek RTL8111H (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|Dimensions, mm||244 x 244|
|Additional features||Lighting Control Center (Aura lighting system including a pair of Aura RGB Strip Headers), AMD 2-Way CrossFireX support|
|Retail price, $||115|
Packaging and equipment
According to the information on the front side of the box, you can find out about the support for proprietary backlighting (Aura Sync), the presence of an HDMI port and a bonus for the audio component – DTS Custom. Used thick cardboard with high-quality printing in a matte style.
There is a photo of the product on the back, a separate view focuses on the I / O ports located on the rear panel. In the description, the accents are placed around the hardware capabilities.
Basic level scope of supply:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- DIY Guide QR code, leading to the page of the official website, which contains detailed instructions for assembling a PC;
- certificate of quality (reliability) of TUF components;
- 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;
- a set of a pair of screws and stands for M.2 devices;
- plug for the case, supplemented with a sticker in black tones on an overflow base with a color and symbol designation of all nests;
- two stickers for the body with the TUF logo, three for the battery;
- two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends.
Most of all, unusually large radiators attract attention to themselves, and there was also a cap for the rear panel made of plastic. Otherwise, the product is quite ordinary, there are no buttons, switches, status indicators, POST codes, and even a simplified Q-LED diagnostic kit. Resetting CMOS settings is carried out by closing a pair of contacts. There are eight holes for fixing the position in the body.
The larger heatsink is complemented by a reinforcing plate attached from the back, which is also directly involved in heat dissipation due to the thermal pads used here. Electronic components are practically absent.
Six LEDs can be distinguished, directed to the side and equipped with a light-diffusing lens.
The area with illumination is the only one, and the overall video card will cover it almost completely. To expand the backlight system, you will have to use your own arsenal of additional devices and a pair of four-pin pads for them on the board.
The chance of being covered at the hub radiator is even higher, because its image component was given a completely symbolic role. It is here and this is quite enough for the performance of the product.
Both seats for M.2 devices are not equipped with branded radiators, the length limit there is also the same – 80 mm.
There are six SATA ports in total, four pieces are shifted to the bottom edge, they are of the transverse type, two more are shifted higher, their type is already longitudinal.
Three sites have been prepared for the needs of USB case cables, all of the transverse type: two – 2.0, one – 3.1 Gen1.
The gray PCI-E x16 slot is connected to the socket, the other two are connected to the hub.
The sound codec is protected by a screen and is accompanied by a small group of special type capacitors.
Massive and ribbed heatsinks do not pose a threat to compatibility with CPU coolers due to their height, everything is done within reasonable limits.
The design of the CPU and SOC voltage stabilizer has not changed significantly, we used the same scheme, which was found in all low-cost boards that participated in our reviews, and only strengthened it. The same PWM controller – relabeled ASP1106GGQW, the same transistors – NTMFS4C10B and NTMFS4C06B manufactured by ON Semiconductor, the former “4 + 2 phases”, only now each includes twice the number of power elements. For processor voltage, the number of chokes has also been increased. You can highlight the presence of six discrete control drivers. All transistors were divided equally, taking 12 pieces for each of the coolers. We will soon find out how all this affected the behavior of the VRM and its temperature regime.
The main thermal pad, the one that is lighter, resembles those used in the structure of video cards, the rest are coarser (dense), and the clamping bar included is also unusually thick. On the larger, that is, the main radiator, there are practically no problems with the heat sink area and thermal substances, but on the auxiliary one, there are savings on both factors, it is especially disappointing to notice the defective contact with the transistors of the lower “shoulder”, where the load is greatest. However, on many devices, the area for the SOC voltage regulator does without a radiator at all, because here one of the “phases” of the CPU voltage received the main damage, but its thermal spot will be the most expanded due to its weak proximity to something hotter, therefore, in general , everything here is within acceptable limits.
The port configuration on the back is one of the weaknesses of the product. Could the lineup here be better than the more expensive ASUS TUF X470-Plus Gaming? Probably not, so it shouldn’t be too surprising. There are key outputs here, and their number is enough to use a PC in a configuration without any claims to maximalism.