Updated on 3 March 2017: Added details on local availability.
Updated on 24 February 2017: Added details on local prices.
Originally published on 23 February 2017:
This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. AMD Ryzen has finally dropped, and it looks like Intel is in for some serious competition, especially given the prices on AMD’s latest darling. Board manufacturers will be looking to cash in on the excitement, which is why ASUS has wasted no time in announcing four new AMD AM4 boards for the Ryzen CPUs when they hit stores on 2 March.
The flagship model is the ROG Crosshair VI Hero, an ROG board based on the X370 chipset. It is equipped enthusiast-oriented features like dedicated AIO and water pump headers, beefier heatsinks over its VRMs, and the requisite Aura RGB lighting.
It supports both CrossFireX and two-way SLI, with a total of two PCIe 3.0 x16 and one PCIe 2.0 x16 slots.
One interesting to note is that there are no display connectors on the rear I/O at all. This makes sense given that the board’s target audience is likely to go with discrete GPUs with their own display outputs, and it has the added benefit of making room for a whole lot more USB ports.
The other X370-based board is the Prime X370-Pro, a less gamer-centric model. It has smaller VRM heatsinks and is missing the liquid-filled heatpipe on the Crosshair board, but it does have onboard DisplayPort and HDMI connectors and so is better suited than the latter for use with AMD’s next-generation APUs.
The remaining two boards are based on the B350 chipset and are equipped with more modest feature sets. For instance, the Prime B350-Plus has fewer power phases, even smaller heatsinks, a Realtek instead of Intel NIC, and lower-end audio codecs.
There’s no SLI support either, as the B350 chipset doesn’t allow the splitting of PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU like on X370. That said, there is just one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot in the way of full-length slots.
The last board is the Prime B350M-A, the only micro-ATX board in ASUS’ current AM4 line-up. This has been stripped down further as well, and there are no heatsinks over the VRMs at all and just a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. So while the B350 chipset does support overclocking, the missing heatsinks are likely to limit performance.
Here’s a list of all the new boards and their prices:
The B350 boards are already available to buy now, while the X370 models will be available to buy on 8 March.