Asus launched five motherboards based on the X470 chipset to accompany AMD’s newly launched 2nd-Gen Ryzen processors. Asus has an ATX model for each of its motherboard product lines: ROG, Strix, TUF, and Prime. The company also released one ITX motherboard, which falls into the Strix series.
ROG Crosshair VII Hero
The star of Asus’ X470 boards is the latest iteration of the long-running Crosshair name, ROG Crosshair VII Hero. When it comes to component support, the board features everything you’d expect, including four DDR4 DIMM slots, dual reinforced PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots (one with a heatsink), and six SATA 3.0 ports. On the networking front, the Crosshair has integrated 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 (based on an Intel wireless controller) and gigabit Ethernet through a single RJ-45 jack.
What differentiates the Crosshair VII from its predecessors, beyond its chipset, are some interesting new Asus-exclusive features. Like other ROG boards, the Crosshair VII supports Asus’ Aura lighting ecosystem and has both four-pin 12V RGB and three-pin digital RGB headers. Asus mentioned that Aura is now even compatible with the Philips Hue wireless home-lighting ecosystem. Details on this integration are scarce at the moment, but Asus said the latter can be controlled by the Aura app.
Two other features new to the Crosshair, and also to the entire ROG motherboard line, are newly designed board silkscreen labels, which better highlight connectors, and what Asus calls Truvolt USB connectors. These USB ports are guaranteed to provide 5V so your port-powered devices, such as portable hard drives, won’t be at risk. Of course, other ROG stalwart features, such as an advanced integrated audio solution with a dedicated ESS Technologies DAC chip, are present. Because the ROG Crosshair is expected to be used with the highest-end Ryzen processors, which don’t have integrated graphics, the motherboard forgoes onboard video connectors.
Strix X470-F Gaming and Prime X470-Pro
Slotting in below the flagship Crosshair are the enthusiast gamer’s Strix X470-F Gaming and the upper-midrange Prime X470-Pro. These two boards differ mainly in their aesthetics. The all-black Strix board comes with RGB-lit heatsink covers and an integrated rear I/O shield. The Prime follows Asus’ classic black-and-white color scheme and features less integrated RGB lighting. Both motherboards still feature built-in RGB headers, however.
When it comes to hardware, the Strix and Prime lose the Crosshair’s integrated wireless connectivity and have differently configured M.2 slots. Whereas the Crosshair has dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, the Strix’s and Prime’s second M.2 slot is only PCIe 3.0 x2. Between the Strix and the Prime, the Strix features a slightly upgraded integrated audio solution, but it isn’t as advanced as the Crosshair’s. Both of these boards have onboard HDMI and Displayport connectors for use with Ryzen processors that have integrated graphics.
TUF X470-Plus And Strix X470-I Gaming
Rounding out Asus’ announcement are the TUF X470-Plus for mainstream computing and the Strix X470-I Gaming for ITX gaming systems. The TUF series motherboards are the most basic of Asus’ offerings. Rather than trading features for a lower price, they forgo features for guaranteed reliability. Like others in the TUF series, the TUF X470 features power regulation circuitry that won’t enable the best overclocks, but are hardened against electrical fault. Other areas of the board also feature extensive surge protection. The board features the same configuration of PCI-E and M.2 slots as the Strix and Prime boards.
Although it’s the tiniest, the Strix X470-I Gaming isn’t considered by Asus to be a mainstream product like the TUF. The X470-I is still targeted at enthusiasts, so it packs advanced integrated audio, RGB lighting capabilities equivalent to the X470-F, and an integrated wireless solution equivalent to the Crosshair’s. Being smaller means it loses out on two DIMM slots, and all but one PCIe slot. The board has one PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot on the front and a second on the back. Strangely and unfortunately, Asus stated that despite how many PCIe lanes should be available to this board, the rear M.2 slot shares its bandwidth with the main PCIE slot.