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The B450 chipset from AMD offers a few minor improvements to the previous B350 series, but it still remains as a great mid-range choice for Ryzen PCs that can overclock decently. The B450 motherboard models are ideal for gamers looking to build a powerful PC without trying to overclock their Ryzen processors extensively, and that is exactly what has made them so popular among Ryzen PC builders.
Best B450 Motherboard for Gaming Reviewed
Unlike Intel who only offers overclocking and unlocked CPU usage on their premium and expensive Z370/390 motherboards, AMD offers it on the more budget-friendly chipsets as well. The B450 chipset by AMD is designed to offer great performance and overclocking ability at a lower price than their flagship X470 chipset. Of course, you won’t be able to achieve the same overclocks, but it’s still an excellent and viable option for any Ryzen build that keeps budget in mind.
We’ve picked our favorite B450 motherboards for gaming and reviewed them, highlighting their key features and what makes them so great. Let’s get started.
Best High-end B450 Board
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F
Powerful Overclocker with Lots of Features
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F is the flagship B450 motherboard from the leading motherboard manufacturer. As expected from a ROG Strix series motherboard, this is a powerful platform for your PC components that gives excellent overclocking options, integrated RGB lighting and ASUS Aura Sync RGB control schemes, and a plethora of port options.
For anyone looking to buy a high-quality B450 motherboard with all the looks and great overclocking potential, the ASUS ROG Strix B450-F is the right way to go.
- Memory: Up to 64GB DDR4-3466MHz (OC)
- Expansion Slots: 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (@ x16 or x8/x4) 1 x PCIe 2.0 x 16 (max. @ x4) 3 x PCIe 2.0 x 1
- Storage: 2 x m.2, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
- Network: Intel® I211-AT Gigabit LAN Controller
- RGB: 2 x Aura Addressable Strip Headers, Integrated RGB Lighting on Heatsink
The ROG Strix line of products from ASUS have become the go-to brand for many PC gamers because of their high-end functionality, excellent performance, and high quality builds. The ROG Strix X470-F is the king of AMD-based motherboards, offering the highest-end AMD chipset in a complete package.
The B450 chipset is designed to be more affordable, but that hasn’t stopped ASUS from going all out with the ROG Strix B450-F. This motherboard has it all, and it’s surprisingly capable at overclocking despite the inferior chipset. It’s an intricate balance of cost-effectiveness and excellent performance. And of course, as you’d expect from a ROG (Republic of Gamers) product, there are plenty of gamer-focused features in this motherboard as well.
The most obvious is the appealing design of the motherboard. The black PCB and heatsinks on the chip and VRM aren’t shy of being inundated with all sorts of writings. RGB base is fully covered on this motherboard as well. The ROG logo lights up on the VRM heatsink and there’s plenty of backlighting on the southbridge heatsink. ASUS succeeds in making this product look appealing without being gaudy, though that may vary depending on who you ask. There are two addressable strip headers at the bottom as well for extra RGB goodness.
The ROG Strix comes with 2 m.2 slots, one distinctly capable of handling 22110 formats. Oddly enough though, there’s not a single heatsink on offer on either m.2 slots. The heatsink on at least one slot is now common in most high-end motherboards, and it’s a little strange from ASUS to opt out in this department.
Of the three full-length PCIe slots available on this motherboard, two are shielded to endure the heaviest graphics cards out there. If you’re a fan of all things ROG Strix, you’ll know just how massive and weighty some of their high-end graphics cards can be, so it makes sense for ASUS to have two of the PCIe slots reinforced.
When it comes to audio, the ROG Strix B450-F is sporting SupremeFX. The associated Japanese capacitors are of extremely high quality and provide a neutral audio output with great clarity.
One of the key selling points for ASUS that make it such a dominant figure in the motherboard industry is their BIOS. Although the ROG Strix B450 doesn’t sport the most feature-rich BIOS ASUS has offered with its motherboards, it’s still head and shoulders above anything MSI, Gigabyte, or ASRock can produce at the moment. It’s important to note though that if you’re coming from a higher-end chipset ROG Strix models like the X470/X370 or Intel Z370/390, you’ll notice some rather important omissions from this motherboard’s BIOS.
Still, the overclocking on offer here is nothing to scoff at. It’s arguably the best overclocker among all high-end B450 motherboards, making it an excellent affordable alternative to costlier X470 motherboards available that provide good overclocking performance.
- Memory: Up to 64GB DDR4-3200MHz (OC)
- Expansion Slots: 1xPCIe 3.0 x16, 1xPCIe 2.0 x4 / 2xPCIe 2.0 x1
- Storage: 2 x m.2 (2280 and 22110), 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
- Network: Intel® Gbe Gigabit LAN Controller, Intel Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- RGB: RGB Fusion 2.0 with Multi-zone LED Light Show Design, Integrated RGB on motherboard
The Gigaybyte B450 comes in at second as one of the best high-end motherboards you can buy right now. Compared to the ASUS ROG StrX B450-F, Gigabyte is generous enough to offer heat spreaders for both m.2 slots. Additionally, the motherboard has dedicated dual-band Wi-Fi.
However, the Gigabyte BIOS cannot match what ASUS has to offer, and so the overclocking performance of the motherboard takes a serious hit. Furthermore, there have been instances with the motherboard failing after a few months of use, which indicates some quality control issues with this specific series of motherboards, giving how Gigabyte otherwise is a reliable manufacturer.
Best Mid-range B450 Board
ASRock B450 Steel Legend
Rocking the Mid-Range Price point
The ASROCK B450 Steel Legend is a great motherboard in the mid-range price tag that not only looks great but performs superbly, with overclocking support, plenty of RGB light and storage options.
You do not have to pay a lot to get a quality motherboard, the ASROCK B450 Steel Legend proves that with just a little above a grand you get such amazing features along with a stylish motherboard that you can show off.
- Memory: Up to 64GB DDR4-3533MHz (OC)
- Expansion Slots: 6x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slots and 4x PCI Express 2.0 x1
- Storage: 2 x m.2, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
- Network: RealTek 8111H Gigabit LAN Controller
- RGB: 1 x Addressable Strip Headers, 1x RGB Header, Integrated RGB on Chipset Heatsink and Rear IO Heatsink
This award winning motherboard offers variety of pre-built and bright RGB on the chipset heatsink and on the rear IO heatsink. The board itself has a great look, with a camo pattern, not to make it blend in but to show it off even more.
But aesthetics aren’t the only thing the ASROCK B450 Steel Legend has to offer, it has 2x M.2 Slots, one with a heatsink that allows the drive to perform its best and stay under favorable conditions. One is right below the chipset heatsink, so you have plenty of lightning-fast storage options.
Other than the M.2 Slots you have 6x SATA III connection options on the ASROCK B450 Steel Legend for installing hard drives to store all your data and games in.
Other than the already pre-built RGB, you get 1x ARGB header and 1x RGB header if you want to add in more RGB lighting in your casing to enhance your gaming experience even further.
With 4x DIMM slots you can install up to 64GB of RAM, so if you want to perform some memory heavy tasks on this motherboard, you can do so easily. With overclocking you can squeeze more out of your memory sticks as well.
Other features are with enough PCIe Slots available you can install multiple Radeon graphics cards thanks to CrossFireX support. So when one GPU isn’t enough to satisfy your gaming needs and you want to max out your graphics on the game you love, you can install more GPUs. If you are pro team AMD, you can go all the way and get Radeon GPUs and get more mileage out of this board.
Let’s talk connectivity options, in the rear IO we have 1x HDMI Port and 1x DisplayPort 1.2, in case you want to run your system on the Vega Integrated graphics. But we are sure you will ditch these ports soon enough when you install your GPU. But it’s always a welcome addition to have on a motherboard, so plus points to ASROCK B450 Steel Legend.
For USB we have 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 USB Type-A and 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 USB Type-C ports. Type-C ports are being introduced in almost all peripherals so it is great to have one on your motherboard. You also have 4x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports to attach your other peripherals. You have 1 Ethernet port and HD audio jacks which for audio connectivity which are gold plated for long-lasting durability.
Lastly, we just want to say for the price point this board is being sold, you can hardly find any better motherboards with such awesome specs and looks. It is hard to emphasize how great this board performed for our review, we were not expecting ASROCK B450 Steel Legend to go that far.
- Memory: Up to 64GB DDR4-3200MHz (OC)
- Expansion Slots: 1 x PCIe 3.0 X16 (@ x16 or x8) 1 x PCIe 2.0 x 16 (max. @ x4) 3 x PCIe 2.0 X 1
- Storage: 1 x m.2, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
- Network: Intel® I211-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller, Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- RGB: 1 x Aura Addressable Strip Header
While ASUS is certainly the overall top motherboard manufacturer, their mid-range lineup of B450 motherboards aren’t the great. The TUF series is worth ignoring for what MSI and Gigabyte offer, and the ASUS Prime, although really good, doesn’t have enough features to warrant a position over the MSI Tomahawk.
ASUS Prime has no integrated RGB on the motherboard, supports lower max memory speeds, and like the MSI B450 Tomahawk motherboard comes with a single m.2 slot. It’s a great motherboard, but for the same price as the Tomahawk, there’s little reason not to go with MSI here.
Best Small Form Factor B450 Motherboard
ASUS ROG Strix B450-I
Small Yet Powerful
The ASUS ROG Strix B450-I takes a lot from the bigger ROG Strix B450-F and crams it into a smaller form factor. With just one PCIe slot available and a fewer number of storage options, the ROG Strix B450-I is a mini-ITX form factor board designed to appeal to those who want extreme power in a compact gaming PC.
The ASUS ROG Strix is the most powerful mini-ITX B450 motherboard you can buy. It comes with integrated RGB LED lighting, a powerful VRM, and a great set of features that make it one of the most viable platforms for a highly compact gaming PC.
- Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4-3600MHz (OC)
- Expansion Slots: 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (@ x16 or x8)
- Storage: 1 x m.2 (2280), 4 x SATA 6Gb/s
- Network: Intel® I211-AT 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller, 802.11ac Dual-band Wi-Fi
- RGB: 1 x Aura Addressable Strip Header, 1 x RGB Header, Integrated RGB
Don’t let the diminutive size of the ASUS ROG Strix B450-I mini-ITX motherboard fool you. This thing packs a lot of punch. In fact, this is without doubt the best and most capable B450 motherboard you can buy for a small form factor gaming PC.
The dogma that powerful gaming PCs need to be large is now a myth. While having a larger tower does certainly help in better airflow (provided you have enough fans), more compact mini-ITX gaming builds have become extremely popular because of how little they sacrifice. Furthermore, smaller gaming PCs are not only cost-effective to build, they also take up less desk space and are portable.
One of the great features of the mini-ITX B450-I is that it features DDR4 RAM speed compatibility of up to 3600MHz right of the box. Granted, the maximum memory capacity is limited to 32GB because of only two DIMM slots, but 32GB is more than enough for any modern game, and even in 2019 common practice is to use 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Running that at faster speeds however will greatly benefit the Ryzen processors, which are known to perform better with faster speeds.
The RGB lighting on the ROG Strix B450-I is a welcome addition, as it’s uncommon to see integrated RGB lighting on a motherboard of this size. The heatsinks don’t light up, but the back side of the board has enough addressable strips to give you all the eye-candy you need from your tiny gaming PC.
ASUS manages to cram in an m.2 slot into the motherboard as well, though it’s limited to the 2280 size. Regardless, that alone should give users enough options to integrate extremely fast NVMe SSDs into their compact system, which eliminates the need to cram in larger 2.5” SSDs.
The ASUS B450-I motherboard is quite peculiar in a few ways when compared to its ATX brother because it actually has a few more features that are absent from the ROG Strix B450-F. With this smaller form factor, we get a beefy heat spreader for the m.2 slot. Additionally, ASUS has also integrated dual-band Wi-Fi, which is a welcome addition.
Driving all this hardware is a powerful signature ASUS BIOS. Once updated to the latest version, the RAM speeds can be easily boosted to marketed speeds, and overclocking is as good as it can get with this form factor. You can’t expect to achieve head-turning speeds of course due to the limited VRM and thermal constraints of smaller builds, but you won’t find any mini-ITX B450 motherboard that can perform better.
This is certainly an expensive motherboard for this form factor, but it out-performs many full ATX boards in functionality and offering, and it’s hard not to recommend it over every other B450 mini-ITX board.
- Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4-3466MHz (OC)
- Expansion Slots: 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (@ x16 or x8)
- Storage: 1 x m.2, 4 x SATA 6Gb/s
- Network: Realtek 8111H 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller, Intel Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- RGB: 2 x 5050 RGB LED strip connectors
The MSI B450-I Gaming Plus is another great mini-ITX motherboard, but it can’t rival the ASUS ROG Strix B450-I in-terms of performance and features. There’s no integrated on-board RGB here, and the RAM speeds are limited to 3466MHz as opposed to the 3600 on offer with ASUS’s board. Furthermore, the m.2 slot is restricted to the back side and has no heat spreader.
While it’s certainly a great motherboard and an excellent alternative to the ASUS ROG Strix if the latter isn’t in your budget, it won’t perform in-terms of overclocking – nor does it have the most robust BIOS out there. An excellent option though if you’re looking to save a few bucks and still want a viable mini-ITX B450 motherboard for gaming.