Asus bolsters Ryzen motherboard lineup with two mid-range gaming models

Asus continues to flesh out its family of motherboards for AMD's Ryzen processors. After focusing on the high-end in the early going and then unveiling a handful of value oriented models a bit later, Asus said it is now addressing "pressing demand" for more options in the middle of the stack with its new Strix X370-F Gaming and Strix B350-F Gaming.

These are both full-size ATX motherboards with various features borrowed from the company's ROG line, including 5-way optimization software and onboard SupremeFX audio.

Starting with the X370-F Gaming, Asus says it is similar to its high-end RGB Crosshair VI Hero. Like that board, the X370-F Gaming features automated overclocking capabilities, with Asus claiming its software can push CPUs past 4GHz with no manual tweaking.

The X370-F Gaming also boasts an optimized trace layout to support memory kits up to DDR4-3200, five onboard fan headers, an M.2 slot that is "placed away from thermally challenged areas," and a bevy of connectivity options (SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.1 in both Type-A and Type-C formats).

If you're into RGB lighting, there is a light bar within the I/O shroud, plus a couple of 5050 headers that supply enough power to light up a full-tower chassis.

As for the Strix B350-F Gaming, Asus says it has a full complement of overclocking tools and is "adept at overclocking eight-core processors thanks to a capable power delivery circuit and beefy heatsinks."

Like the X370-F Gaming, the Strix B350-F Gaming supports memory speeds up to DDR4-3200, albeit "with the right kits." In other words, your mileage may vary depending on which specific memory kit you plop in this board.

"Cooling options also punch above the asking price, with all the control features of more expensive motherboards intact, together with five headers for fans, plus one dedicated to AIO coolers. That makes the Strix B350-F capable of keeping an intelligent grip on system temperatures, including builds that are overclocked," Asus says.

One of the main differences between this motherboard and the Strix X370-F Gaming is that only the top PCIe slot runs at Gen 3.0 x16 (or x8 when the secondary slot is populated). That is due to having fewer PCIe lanes to play with. The second slot runs at Gen 3.0 x4. Both are reinforced to help prevent heavier graphics cards from sagging and/or putting too much stress on the PCIe slot.

The Strix B350-F Gaming has six SATA 6Gbps ports, down from eight on the Strix X370-F Gaming. It also features two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, four USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports on the rear I/O panel.

There is no word yet on when either of these motherboards will be available or for how much.