Overclocking the CPU and RAM in systems with the LGA1200 socket, as always, is possible only with the participation of boards built on the basis of the older chipset, in this case it is the Intel Z490. Simpler assemblies cost cheaper boards, and therefore easier, lacking not only overclocking capabilities. In the four hundredth generation of microcircuits, the paradigm was again slightly revised. So, we can single out the appearance of the W480, which took the place of solutions previously known from the “C” index. The introduced support for RAID arrays in the Intel B365 dictated a similar step already in the B460, and the youngest H410 finally got a full-fledged DMI bus in terms of speed, exactly the same as in all other chips, but its main feature is one memory module per channel — in place. In a word, like for many years before today, the second from the bottom hub is the same basic chip that is most often chosen for assemblies that claim at least some encroachments in expanding the composition of components, if not immediately, then in some distant «perspective».
|Number of DIMMs per channel||2||1|
|Number of supported displays||3||2|
|DMI (Direct Media Interface) version||3 (8 GT/s)|
|PCI Express version||3.0|
|Maximum number of PCI Express lanes||24||20||16||6|
|PCI Express Configurations||x1, x2, x4|
|Total number of USB ports||14||12||10|
|Maximum number of USB 3.2 Gen2 ports||8||6||4||–|
|Maximum number of USB 3.2 Gen1 ports||10||8||4|
|Maximum number of USB 2.0 ports||14||12||10|
|Support for RAID configurations (SATA)||0, 1, 5, 10||–|
|Maximum number of SATA 6 Gb/s ports||8||6||4|
|Integrated wireless network adapter||Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201||–|
|Integrated network adapter||MAC|
|Support for PCI Express processor port configurations||x16+x0+x0
|Intel Optane technology||+||–|
|Intel Rapid Technology||+|
Both junior chipsets lack native support for USB 3.2 Gen2, and therefore third-party solutions are used in high-end products, as, for example, in the case of our review. Support for the latest wireless network adapters from Intel using CNVi has also been deleted from the list of characteristic features, this is hardly “dragging” as a serious drawback, since the same Intel AX200 looks like an ultra-modern solution for our regions — this is the controller that is included in the selected for acquaintance with the hub boards, it is based on the classic PCI-E and USB lines. In a word, no matter how you evaluate the “new” B460, its global resemblance to the Intel B365 (relabeled H270) is hard to miss, but it has much less in common with the same B360. The old norms of lithography and previous developments are more alive than all the living!
There can be six SATA outputs, but due to the compact size of the device, there are only four of them. There is also a pair of M.2, each of the slots can cooperate with PCI-E x4 drives. It looks rather strange here that the resources of one of the SATA sockets overlap with the one supporting the same M.2 interface — if it is used there, one of the four classic slots will be unavailable. On the whole, there are no problems to bring the number of drives up to six; for a compact board, this is quite a decent characteristic. Support for high-speed USB outputs by the hub has reached the maximum of possibilities here.
Of particular interest to us is the power of the voltage stabilizer and UEFI functionality, but we will talk about everything in order. The general list of device capabilities is presented in the summary table:
|Model||ASUS ROG Strix B460-I Gaming|
|Official product page on the Web||ROG Strix B460-I Gaming|
|Processor socket||Socket 1200|
|Processors||Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium Gold, Celeron (Comet Lake-S)|
|Memory||2 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM, 64 GB maximum: 2133-2933|
|PCI slots||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 — CPU|
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel UHD 610/630|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 1.4b|
|Number of connected fans||3x 4pin|
|The port is USB||1 x 3.2 Gen 2×2 (1 connector on the rear panel (Type-C), ASM3241)
8 x 3.2 Gen 1 (6 connectors on the rear panel, B460)
4 x 2.0 (no connectors on the rear panel, B460)
Audio USB 2.0 Type-C (Rear)
|Serial ATA||4 x SATA 6Gb/s (B460)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, B460)|
|Built-in sound||SupremeFX (7.1, HDA):
Codec — S1220A (Realtek)
Op Amp — Texas Instruments RC4580 и OPA1688
|S/PDIF||Connector on the board (output)|
|Networking||Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax), Bluetooth 5.1)
|LED Addressable Header||1x Gen 2|
|LED RGB Header||1|
|UEFI||UEFI AMI BIOS, 128 Mb Flash ROM (MX25L12872F)|
|Dimensions, mm||170 x 170|
|Additional features||Armory Crate, Aura Sync, Fan Xpert 4, Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED), USB BIOS Flashback; equipment: external Wi-Fi antenna; support for Sonic Studio III, Sonic Radar III, DTS Sound Unbound|
|Retail price, $||172–194|
Packaging and equipment
The top tier of the box is occupied by the board, and the bottom is the delivery kit.
A small collage of images on the back outlines key hardware features.
- quick start guide (in English);
- mounting screw and M.2 device stand — two sets;
- rubber gasket for M.2 drives with adhesive backing;
- extension plate with screw for mounting M.2 type 2242 devices;
- quick multilingual user manual;
- an additional booklet with information on the need to comply with a number of safety measures when assembling and operating the system;
- ASUS branded warranty card for ROG and TUF product lines;
- a set of stickers with various images of the ROG Strix series, including those for cables;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- ROG device owner welcome brochure;
- two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
- seven nylon ties (not shown in the photo);
- an adapter for convenient connection of ASUS Q-Connector case connectors;
- adapter USB Type-C — AUX mini Jack 3.5 mm;
- extension cord for connecting a controlled LED strip;
- remote antenna with the possibility of fixing only one position, a magnet with a slight attraction effect is built-in along the long edge.
The device is unusually heavy for its size, and the false visor adds status.
There are a lot of electronic components on the back, but there are no LEDs here this time. You should triple check the compatibility of the reinforcement plate from the CPU cooling system with this board, since around the socket an empty space can be found literally only near the four holes for the mounting bolts, therefore, the sweeping ones, which are most often universal plates, will rest against something.
There is also no backlight on the front of the board itself, there are only stickers that overflow in the light. The cooler for the chipset and the upper M.2 slot is combined, it is «collapsible».
The idea of using a double-sided SSD does not look like the best for such a board. The maximum length of the devices will be eight centimeters. In front of the M.2 slot, both PCI-E and SATA lines are connected.
From the bottom there is only PCI-E support, most likely, problems with thick products cannot be avoided here, therefore it is better to immediately plan the purchase of one-sided models. As well as from above, the limiting dimensions are provided for the size 2280.
The memory slots are unusually close to the socket, which should also be taken into account when choosing a CO. And therefore, on the right side there is almost everything familiar for expanding the system configuration: four SATA outputs, a platform for connecting buttons and indicators, a speaker; USB 2.0 and 3.2 Gen1 case cables are also switched here. A pair of contacts is adequately located for resetting the settings — at the lower right corner, moreover, the installed VC will not interfere with anything.
Above the reinforced, reinforced slot for a video card, there are three more platforms — for audio outputs on the case, for an optical interface, and another platform for a cable or additional USB 2.0 hubs, which is quite unusual for a board of this size. Connecting a symmetrical USB 3.2 Gen2 socket from the case, as you can understand, has nowhere to go, you will have to be content with an output on the rear panel or choose a more expensive board.
The sound is dialed with a relabeled senior codec from Realtek, which is assisted by specialized capacitors and a pair of operational amplifiers. There just didn’t seem to be enough space for the shielding cap. There is another chip from Realtek — S210, exactly the same was in the recently reviewed high-end model ASUS ROG Strix B550-E Gaming, it is necessary for the operation of symmetrical USB in a rack with audio outputs.
A set of four diagnostic Q-LEDs is located at the top right. The upper edge is occupied by three sites for fans or pumps and two more for additional LED equipment. The CPU power socket contains eight reinforced, molded conductors.
The radiators on the power circuits are not connected to each other, one is completely low, and the second is larger, but in general, its dimensions do not cause concern, since even the decorative visor over the ports on the rear panel is noticeably higher.
Removing it is no problem and allows you to find a lithium battery glued to one of the port racks.
Radiators are ribbed from different sides, which only adds points to the device in question.
ASP1900B is a relabeled PWM controller that appears to be eight-phase. Six assemblies are used for CPU voltage, and two more for iGPU. There are no external phase doublers. Models of elements — NCP302045 manufactured by ON Semiconductor, in a word, the base is identical to that used in the design of ASUS Prime Z490-A. The IO and SA voltages have a single source based on a Richtek RT8125DGQW single-phase PWM controller, the transistors are again from ON Semiconductor, marked 4C06B and 4C10B, moreover, one of them is without contact with the radiator, so I would not subject this node to extreme loads . Closer to the RAM slots is the power sector of this node on the board, all the chokes are very close. Capacitors of «military» reliability class with a service life of up to five thousand hours at elevated temperatures.
There are comments both to the area of thermal pads and to the heat sinks themselves, the surface is clearly not enough for full contact with transistors, but the situation can be much worse, because everything is done relatively well here. Surprisingly little light spacer will get the future SSD (and it has already leaked).
It is difficult to find fault with the filling of the back panel, even with all the desire, as for a modern assembly there is everything you need.