ASUS ROG Strix X470-I Gaming review

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Final Words 

Small is the new sexy, and yeah, it is hard to grasp how small this motherboard is, and then see the product perform as it does? You can mount a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti on there if you wanted too, as well as two super fast NVMe M2 SSDs. That's all fairly crazy stuff, and it doesn't stop there as you get AC WIFI and a nice audio solution as well. Of course, you are limited in the number of PCIe slots, (just the one x16 slot) and sure some extra SATA connectors but yeah, this is good stuff. Features and perf wise, it's all a bit of the same though, so brand preference will be a thing with your purchasing preferences. The small mobo offers most the connectivity and features you need. AMD made a very nice step forward with what pretty much is a bit of a die-shrink and tweaking. When you look at absolute numbers the 2700X is a good 10% faster than a 1800X, however, what you really need to be comparing to is the 1700X, and that's a 20% difference in performance. Now everything, however, has to do with the increased clock-frequency, over time the platform that houses Ryzen has evolved and matured as well, it all adds up from lower latency, better memory support, faster base clock, higher turbo bins, the accumulation of it all is what has become Ryzen 2000. It is a truly fast threading processor! Game performance at the lowest resolution, hey Intel still wins there but the margin and gap have become smaller. I stated in the original Ryzen review already that 1080p gaming really isn't an issue, except, maybe in that grey matter in between your ears. Everything is trivial towards pricing, and what I did not see coming is the price level of the 2700X. 

The motherboard

It functions well and offers a wide feature set. Please make sure that you flash the latest firmware to this new platform. That said, at roughly €210 the Asus ROG Strix X470-I Gaming is not cheap, but then again not too expensive either? The motherboard used seems pretty well tuned, we had no stability issues. You get an 8-pin power header for a bit of tweaking. Overall it feels solid, a well-designed board. Memory (2 DIMMs only though) worked straight out of the box, we tried both the 3200 and 3400 MHz kits we have from G.Skill. Tweaking wise, the motherboards will not be any limitation, not from any brand as the Zen+ processor all will reach that 4.2 up to 4.4 GHz domain. Cooling will be key here.

Gaming performance

Previous Ryzen reviews have taught me that it is extremely hard to convince a big part of the guru3d community and reader base that Ryzen is plenty fast for gaming. The new Zen+ processors and the respective platform overall bring a bit more oomph compared to last years Ryzen. The fact remains, that if you take a Core i7 8700K it will still beat Ryzen in CPU bound gaming situations (low resolutions or extremely high refresh rate where a game is not GPU bound). The difference and gap towards Intel are getting smaller though. Get yourself a nice G.Skill FlareX memory kit at 3200 MHz and you've covered your gaming bases. Keep in mind that a CPU bottleneck always has been far less important compared to a GPU bottleneck, which why I'll keep saying it, that differential is trivial at best. Honestly, with the money you save on this processor compared directly to the cheapest eight-core Intel processor you can find, you probably should invest in a faster graphics cards. 










Ryzen 7 2700X






Wraith Prism (LED)


Ryzen 7 2700






Wraith Spire (LED)


Ryzen 5 2600X






Wraith Spire


Ryzen 5 2600






Wraith Stealth


DDR4 Memory

The latest firmware for both the older 300 chipsets series and the new 400 Chipset series including the X470 have matured and is an accumulation of DDR4 memory support that evolved when the original Ryzen series was released. Memory compatibility should not and likely will not be an issue as long as you stick to recently released DIMMs. I'll keep repeating this, but there are some really good Ryzen optimized kits out there. The G.Skill Flare X series at 3200 MHz CL14 is hitting a nice sweet-spot and is 100% stable + optimized for your Ryzen infrastructure. We also tested the new Ryzen Sniper X optimized kit from G.Skill, it runs 3400 MHz straight out of the box and will bring your memory bandwidth in the 50K rangers. However, take my advice:  Flare X at 3200 MHz CL14. Install it, activate the profile in the BIOS, restart ...  and never look back. 

Energy efficiency

With The 2700X processor now fabbed at 12nm TDP now has risen towards 105 Watts, that is a bit steep. Realistically, does anyone really care? I doubt it. A full PC at idle will sit in the 50 Watt range with a dedicated graphics card installed (GeForce GTX 1080 / 16 GB memory / SSD and the motherboard). When we stressed the processors with a Prime 1024M run we reached roughly 166 Watts. A threaded CB15 run, however, reveals close to 200 Watts of power consumption (for the entire PC). That certainly is on the high side. When we game we hover at 270~280 Watts, but obviously that factor is dependant on the type of game and graphics card you use of course. So yeah, it's all a notch higher with the 2700X for sure, it's up to you whether or not this is a relevant thing for your purchasing choices. Remember, this is a fully locked & loaded eight-core and 16-threads processor. 


The conclusion

The smaller motherboards get, the sexier they seem to be. At roughly 210 bucks it isn't exactly cheap though, but as far as Mini ITX goes, ASUS did stretch features to the maximum. The mini ITX form factor allows you to build a very tiny compact PC, that potentially oozes out really nice numbers in performance and features.  Obviously, the compact design equals some limitations, these would be two DIMM slots and thus a max of 32GB memory installed, and just that one PCIe x16 slot. Then again, you have AC WIFI, GigE Ethernet, audio, fully fetched and fast M2 slots, two four SATA3 ports and a platform that can hold any Ryzen 3, 5 or 7 processor (both gen1 and Gen2) as well as the 2x00G APUs, and sure, the option of tweaking it quite easily in the BIOS. There isn't too much-LED activity, other then the bottom side of the PCB + you get two RGB connectors you can use and the M2 top shield has a pretty cool LED lit ROG logo. It's a nice motherboard, nice features, fast and also we like the ASUS BIOS. If you're gonna tweak the proc, that BIOS certainly helps. ASUS offers a nice looking board that is Aura LED configurable and then offers all the usuals as long as it fits on that 17x17cm. Of course, dual M.2 slots are golden. Features like USB 3.1 are plentiful as well. Though AC WIFI is onboard, we would have like to see the industry more aggressive with 5/10 GBit compatible Ethernet jacks, you know ..  to make yourself a little more future proof. The motherboard otherwise feels stable thanks to a really quality build with proper components used. Concluding, this is something small and tiny that comes at a fair enough price (but you get to decide on that of course) while being feature-packed on that 17x17cm form factor. Definitely recommended and approved.

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.”

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