Motherboards

asus-rog-strix-z370-f-gamingBy Thomas Soderstrom @ Tom’s Hardware

ASUS invites overclocking enthusiasts to take a load off…their budgets with the Strix Z370-F Gaming. Nominally priced around $15 less than its Strix Z370-E Gaming, the -F version was typically available, when we wrote this, at up to twice that discount. Potential buyers must be willing to forgo the high-end 802.11ac/Bluetooth controller of its pricier sibling, but we’re hearing from many of you that you’d never use it anyway. (Like, ever.) And with up to $30 on the line, that sounds like a perfectly reasonable compromise.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

ecs-z370-lightsaber-moboBy Morry Teitelman @ PC Perspective

The ECS Z370 Lightsaber motherboard is the latest offering in ECS’ L337 product line, offering support for the Intel Z370 chipset. Similar to previous iterations of the Lightsaber board, the Z370-Lightsaber builds on the those board by adding dual-m.2 slot support, enhanced power support, as well as support for the latest Intel Coffee Lake-based processors. With an MSRP of $199, ECS priced the Z370 Lightsaber to be price-competitive with other mid-tier Z370-based offerings.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

colorful-igame-z370-vulcan-x-v20By Thomas Soderstrom @ Tom’s Hardware

If you’re the kind of builder who shops extensively before making a purchase, you’ve probably seen Colorful components pop up from time to time on the domestic market. Certain foreign sellers have long sought to cash in on the U.S. market by filling gaps, and Colorful has the volume to help it do just that. Yet for most of us, the volume that reaches our shores has represented little more than a trickle. The iGame Z370-X might change all that.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

asrock-ab350-gaming-k4By Gavin Bonshor @ AnandTech

A low-cost alternative for Ryzen systems to the high-calibre but higher-cost motherboards is the B350 range. Today we are testing the ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 motherboard, coming in under the radar just below $90. It offers almost everything its bigger cousins provide except SLI, but single GPU users can find a home with a motherboard like this one. Our aim today is to ascertain whether the ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 can be a top value proposition with the B350 chipset in play.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

gigabyte-x299-designare-exBy Thomas Soderstrom @ Tom’s Hardware

Intel refers to the X299 platform as “High-End Desktop” (HEDT), but the term “high-end” means different things to different people. A gamer might think the top mainstream parts are better because they support higher overclocks, while a power user would scoff at that platform’s lack of connectivity. The overlap continues as the cheapest HEDT components don’t even have any of the features called “high end” when placed on a mainstream platform.

Conversely, some boards far exceed “high-end” expectations. And the X299 Designare EX’s feature set places it among these elite parts. Is it worth the price?

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

nzxt-n7-z370-moboBy Joe Shields @ AnandTech

NZXT, a company much better known for products like cases, power supplies, and coolers, is dipping its toes in the motherboard waters with an Intel Z30 based motherboard named N7. The N7 is nearly completely covered with shrouds exposing only the pertinent parts, making for a unique looking motherboard. We’ll put it through its paces and see where it stands after our testing.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

asrock-fatal1ty-x399-pro-gamingBy MAC @ Hardware Canucks

When AMD unveiled the ThreadRipper X399 platform back in July it caused huge shockwaves since this was an HEDT platform with absolutely no artificial limitations, superior capabilities, and an attractive processor lineup that was much cheaper than the competition’s. When we finally got our hands on this new platform it was clear to us that AMD had successfully delivered a product that would satisfy the needs of the most demanding power users.

Now that the ThreadRipper platform has been available for a few months and has matured a bit we thought it was the perfect time to start testing out some X399 motherboards. Since the first AM4 motherboard that we reviewed was the ASRock X370 Taichi – and it was pretty much perfect from the get-go – we thought we would tap ASRock again and try out their flagship $660 CAD / $440 USD Fatal1ty X399 Professional Gaming motherboard. While “Professional” and “Gaming” don’t intuitively go together, the end result is nevertheless a motherboard that looks fantastic on paper.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

asrock-x299-oc-formulaBy Thomas Soderstrom @ Tom’s Hardware

Former overclocking world champion and current ASRock employee Nick Shih has been pouring his time into the X299 platform to deliver optimal results from an ASRock motherboard, and the firm’s latest OC Formula is the result. Onboard RGB lighting is limited to the PCH sink and two cable outputs, just to please those who still want to light up their case. Resource shares are limited to the placement of SATA M.2 modules that steal SATA ports, since hardly anyone would limit their M.2 slot to SATA anyway.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

msi-b350-tomahawk-am4-moboBy MAC @ Hardware Canucks

The motherboard that we are going to be reviewing today is the MSI B350 Tomahawk, which happens to be one of the most popular B350 models at the moment. With a retail price of $110 USD / $145 CAD, it certainly meets our definition of an affordable motherboard. When it comes to specs, it comes pretty well appointed. It has a six-phase CPU power design – which is average for B350 motherboards – along with one PCI-E x3.0 X16 slot, one PCI-E x16 slot that operates at PCI-E 2.0 x4, two PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, and two legacy PCI slots. Connectivity wise, there are four SATA 6Gb/s ports, one full-speed M.2 x4 slot, eight USB 3.1 Gen1/USB 3.0 ports (four rear I/O, four via headers), and six USB 2.0 ports (two rear I/O, four via headers). Overall, this motherboard looks quite promising. As long as the UEFI BIOS and included software utilities aren’t troublesome, and it can achieve our baseline Ryzen 7 overclock, the MSI B350 Tomahawk is going to be an easy recommendation. Now it’s time to see if everything has indeed been well implemented.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |

asrock-fatal1ty-x299-professional-gaming-i9By Thomas Soderstrom @ Tom’s Hardware

After noticing a few empty solder pads on ASRock’s value-awarded X299 Taichi, we said that we couldn’t wait to see the more advanced motherboard that will be based upon the same circuit board. We didn’t need to wait long. The high-end version was already in queue by the time the first review published. The Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9 adds an AQtion AQC107 10GbE controller from Aquantia, a front-panel USB 3.1 10 Gb/s header, a second ASM3142 USB 3.1 controller to support the added front-panel header, onboard power and reset buttons, and Creative’s Sound Blaster Cinema 3 audio software. It also loses the cheaper board’s DTS Connect license, since compatible receivers are generally thought of as being home-theater equipment. This is, after all, a “Professional Gaming” motherboard.

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Hardware Motherboards | Donster | |