Asus ROG Maximus X Hero

Well with the Z370 launch I did get a few boards in to check out (and I have a few more still in the works), but none of them were nicer boards that would really allow me to play around with overclocking on the platform. So when I found out we had an Intel i7-8086K coming in I reached out to Asus about a board and they sent over their ROG Maximus X Hero. Like most Z370 boards, the Maximus X Hero does share a lot of features with the Z270 variant, in this case, the Maximus IX Hero. Well, today I’m going to check out the board and see what it has to offer and see if this is the board you want to get if you are planning a higher end Z370 build right now.

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Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming

So the first X470 board to come in that wasn’t included in our Ryzen launch kit from AMD was a board from Asus. This was suppose to go along with the new Crosshair that AMD included but we didn’t end up getting one, so, for now, I’m going to check out the Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming. I’m going to check out what Asus has done with their X470 models, test the performance to see how it compares to the two other X470 boards I’ve tested, check out the cooling situation, and then run down and see if it’s a good buy for someone looking to build a Ryzen 2000 Series build.

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Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi

Okay, so last week was a crazy one, at least here at the office. Testing and writing about the Ryzen 2000 series took up a lot of time then not to mention they also launched the X470 chipset. Well, I published our first X470 review and I finished testing other boards including the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi that I’m going to take a look at today. We already know that the difference between X370 and X470 isn’t huge but I am curious to see what some of the companies have changed in the year gap between the chipsets. So today I’m going to see what Gigabyte has gone with their flagship gaming branded board and then see how it compares to the MSI board that I already tested.

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MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC

Well along with the new Ryzen CPUs AMD also introduced their new X470 chipset. That means new motherboards. While they are still AM4 boards so most of the original boards should be getting updates to support the new CPUs and don’t worry the new X470 boards will also support the original Ryzen CPUs as well. But I’m excited to see what everyone is going to do different this generation, I’m not used to seeing new AMD boards on the regular like this, I could get used to it! So to start things off I’m going to check out the X470 Gaming M7 AC from MSI that MSI and AMD provided.

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MSI B360 Gaming Plus

With the Coffee Lake launch, last fall Intel also launched their new Z370 chipset. Like in the past the Z370 chipset is Intel’s flagship platform, but unlike in the past, they didn’t also launch it with other mid-range and budget chipsets. In fact, it wasn’t until this week that the others were available. That’s a long wait for those of you who want something cheaper or just have no need for some of the Z370 overclocking features. So Tuesday the H370, H310, and B360 chipsets launched and the first one to come through the LanOC office is the MSI B360 Gaming Plus. Today I’m going to check it out and see how it compares to the Z370’s we have taken a look at before. I’m especially curious to see if this might be the sweet spot for budget builds right now to help save money to pay for the expensive video cards and memory that you are going to need.  

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Asus ROG Strix X370-I Gaming

Next-gen Ryzen CPUs might be around the corner but I can’t forget about the X370 ITX board that Asus sent over a while back. While the AM4 boards launched early last year, ITX took a while longer. So even with new CPUs on the way if you are looking to build small form factor you will most likely still need to go X370 initially. So I’m excited both to finally see what Asus has to offer for AM4 ITX and to see how it compares to the Gigabyte AB350N board that I’ve been using all over the office. But I’m also hoping the Strix X370-I Gaming is a solid board that will let me build a crazy second gen Ryzen build when they finally come out as well.

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Asus ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming

So I’ve been tossing around the idea of giving our Crush build an upgrade to one of the new Core-X CPUs and sadly the Asus Rampage VI Apex doesn’t fit so I reached out to Asus to see if they have anything that might fit the bill in their X299 boards. They had the ROG Stix X299-XE Gaming and I figured I should get it in and see just how it compares to all of the other X299 boards we have had in. I knew it fits the dimensions needed for the Case Labs case but is it going to be what I need otherwise? Well, I’m going to take a closer look at its features and then test it to see how it performs. Read on if you are interested in finding out what it has to offer. 

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MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon

With the wide range of new Coffee Lake based 8th gen CPUs from Intel, there needs to be just as much of a selection when it comes to motherboards. Not every board will fit each build or theme and depending on the CPU you may need more or less features. MSI has done a great job with a whole list of different models on Z370. For the launch, they sent over the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon, one of their higher end boards and I’ve been testing with it. Today I want to check out what they have going on for features and see how it compares to the rest of the market. Is the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon the board to get for your new build? Let’s find out.

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Asus ROG Rampage VI Apex

Well, we are far enough past the original X299 launch that the refined and crazier motherboards are starting to come out. This isn’t anything new, Asus especially likes to take more time for their crazy boards, not just rushing everything out to make it to launch day. In this case, it also gives them the chance to tweak things, like work on the VRM cooling that was found to be an issue with a lot of the X299 boards after the launch. This works out timing wise as well given Intel finally launching their last few high-end Core-X CPUs. In fact, Asus sent this board over specifically to test with that launch. Well with that out of the way I can finally also take a closer look at the board itself. You know the Rampage VI Apex is something special when it stands out even when compared to the Prime X299 Deluxe. So let's check it out.

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Asus ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming

Well, the Coffee Lake launch is here and to support Intel’s new CPUs we also have new motherboards. As I write this I have two boards in the office that I have been testing, the first being the Asus ROG Strix Z370-F that I used to test the two CPUs for the review. Asus’s boards have been solid and this one doesn’t look to be any different. As a Strix board, it has Asus’s now standard color neutral layout that uses black and gray, RGB lighting, and the angular Strix look. Today I’m going to take a look at its features, confirm that it performs well, check out the UEFI, and then talk a little about where it sits in the market and find out if it is worth picking up.

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EVGA X299 Micro

So the X299 has been an interesting one. Intel introduced high-end CPUs at the last minute, there was a lot of drama at the launch about VROC, cooling issues post-launch, along with strong competition from AMD with the Threadripper launch. A lot of the board manufacturers have been revising and making changes but EVGA has been waiting to get things right before putting their X299 lineup into the wild. While as of writing this I don’t see any for sale in regular retail stores, EVGA did finally send over a board. Today I’m going to check out the X299 Micro, their Micro ATX board. Given the performance X299 is capable of, I’m excited to see if this board could be a good mATX build option to pack a lot of performance in a smaller package. EVGA typically keeps things simple with a blacked out look and little to no lighting for those who just want a clean good performing board. Let’s find out if that is the case again.

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MSI X299 SLI Plus

If you aren’t into flashy builds or if you are building a PC to be used in an office environment it seems like it is getting harder and harder to find simple but feature filled motherboards. Thankfully a few of the manufacturers like MSI have Pro focused lines. This is especially important with X299, a platform that overall seems better focused on workstation builds. Well MSI just happened to send over the X299 SLI Plus from their Pro lineup and today I’m going to check it out and see what it has going on.

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Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 3

After taking a look at the new Intel Core X CPUs and one X299 board I took a quick break to check out Gigabytes new Mini-ITX board for AM4 and now I’m back at it checking out the second X299 board to come into the office. This time the board is from Gigabyte and it is a little more down to earth compared to the Asus X299 Deluxe’s nearly $500 price point. Today I’m going to check out the Gigabyte X299 Gaming 3 from the Aorus brand. It isn’t Gigabytes lowest priced board, but at just under $280 for the MSRP it is down close to the range that people who aren’t shopping for $1000 or more CPUs would be looking. So today I’m going to see what it’s all about, test it, then run down where it stands in the market.

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Gigabyte AB350N Gaming WiFi

It’s hard to believe that the Ryzen 7 launch was three months ago but with the Ryzen 5 launch and the recently Intel launch, things have just been crazy. During that time though I have been constantly on the lookout for ITX boards. AMD spoke about their X300 and A300 chipsets at the Ryzen 7 launch but things have been suspiciously quiet about them for the last few months but a few motherboard manufacturers have been working on their own ITX AM4 boards using the X370 or B350 chipsets. Gigabyte has finished up their variation and it came in late last week. I immediately started in on testing to see just how feasible Ryzen is in ITX. So let's take a closer look at the Gigabyte AB350N Gaming WiFi and then see how it performs!

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Asus Prime X299 Deluxe

So yesterday I took a look at the controversial Core-X CPUs from Intel. One of the best parts about a new enthusiast chipset and CPUs though are all the amazing motherboards that come along with them. During Computex, all of the boards were shown off but availability right before the launch was tight so the only board to come in time was the Asus Prime X299 Deluxe. Being a Prime board it isn’t super flashy but Asus didn’t skimp on the features at all. On top of being packed full of anything you can ask for the board even has unexpected features like a Wireless AD adapter in addition to the standard a/b/g/n/ac adapter and it even has a what they call LiveDash, a small display that is customizable and goes well beyond the standard LED post indicator. So today I’m going to try to get through all of the features of the Prime X299 Deluxe and see what else Asus is hiding.

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Asus Strix Z270I Gaming

So I had the chance to check out our first ITX Z270 board with the Gigabyte Z270N Gaming 5 just last week. As soon as I was done testing, I swapped it out and jumped right into the second board that came in, the Asus Strix Z270I Gaming. This board was sent specifically for an upcoming project build, just like the Asus Strix GTX 1080 11Gbps that I also took a look at last week. While I wait for a few of the last components for the build I wanted to take a closer look at the board and make sure it was going to be what we are looking for.

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Gigabyte Z270N Gaming 5

Surprisingly, even though we covered a whole list of Z270 motherboards after Intel’s launch, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that we ended up with any ITX boards. The first ITX Z270 board to come into the office is the Z270N Gaming 5 from Gigabyte. This is their higher end ITX offering. It has a touch of orange in its styling and I’m excited to see what Gigabyte has to offer the LAN rig and higher end SFF build market so today I’m going to check out its features then take a quick look at the performance.

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Asus Strix H270F Gaming

After the Intel 200 Series launch, I took a look at a range of boards on the Z270 chipset all in the mid range as far as pricing and features. The Asus Strix Z270E board ended up being great and I have been using it with all of the Ryzen testing as well for comparison testing. Well, a shipping mix-up when waiting for a Z270 ITX board for an upcoming project build meant I ended up with an Asus Strix H270F Gaming in its place. It might have been an accident, but it is a good chance to check out a similar board but from the H270 line. H270 drops overclocking and gives a lower number of PCI lanes from the CPU which means less for PCIe options, fewer M.2 storage options, and less for USB. But it still gives a lot of features at a lower price point, so today I'm going to check out the Strix H270F and see if it’s a good option for someone who might not be planning on overclocking their new build at all.

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Asus Crosshair VI Hero

It’s crazy to look back at the original Crosshair and see just how much things have changed. Hell, the original was running on a Nvidia nForce 590 chipset, how many people even remember that Nvidia had their own chipsets! Anyhow, even all the way back to the original Asus has always packed the Crosshair boards full of features and from what I’ve seen of the new Crosshair VI Hero it looks like they have done the same thing again. This is one of the two boards that came with our initial review setup for the new Ryzen processors. So today I’m going to check out the new Crosshair VI Hero and see what it is all about and find out if it is a good option to consider for those of you excited to build a new high-end AMD build.

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MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium

Beyond the exciting new CPU and the nice wooden box that came with our Ryzen review kit, down in the bottom I found an awesome looking motherboard to test with. AMD and MSI had slipped us an X370 XPower Gaming Titanium along with the rest of the kit. While I’ve taken a look at a lot of MSIs boards, I haven’t had the chance to check out any of their Titanium boards and it is an area where I think MSI has really been showing some creativity, so I’m excited to take a closer look at the new board and find out if the Titanium has the features to back up its good looks.

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