ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming AM4 Motherboard Review

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ASUS Strix X370F Feature

ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming AM4 Motherboard Review

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STRIX means gaming and gaming means STRIX? Weird question, but that’s exactly what the world’s number 1 selling motherboard vendor ASUS want you to know, not just think, but know. When you combine the STRIX branding with a popular and top chipset, it should give a recipe for success, right? Well sure, theoretically and on paper this would be true, but if that was the case, things wouldn’t need to be reviewed based on performance and facts, would they? That being said, today we’ll be feasting our eyes on a board for the red team (AMD) in the shape of the STRIX X370-F Gaming ATX AM4 motherboard from ASUS Republic of Gamers!

ASUS Strix X370F Box

ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming Technical Specifications & Features

  • Powered by AMD® Ryzen™ AM4 and 7th generation Athlon™ processors to maximize connectivity and speed with NVMe M.2, front-panel USB 3.1 and Gigabit LAN
  • 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning and Fan Xpert 4 automatically tailors overclocking profiles to your unique build for maximum OC performance and dynamic system cooling
  • Unmatched Personalization with ASUS exclusive AURA Sync RGB lighting, two additional RGB headers and a 3D-printing friendly design
  • Dual Patent-pending SafeSlot features an injection molding process that integrates metal framing for a stronger, firmly anchored PCIe slot built for heavyweight GPUs
  • Industry-leading 8-channel HD audio driven by Japanese capacitors features an onboard LED-illuminated design
 

Product Specifications

CPU AMD AM4 Socket for AMD Ryzen™/7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors
Supports AM4 Socket 14 nm CPU
Supports CPU up to 8 cores
* Refer to www.asus.com(link is external) for CPU support list
Chipset AMD X370
Memory AMD Ryzen™ Processors
4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3200(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz ECC and non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors
4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *Dual Channel Memory Architecture
** Refer to www.asus.com(link is external) for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots AMD Ryzen™ Processors
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode)AMD X370 chipset
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode) *1
3 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Storage AMD Ryzen™ Processors
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA mode)AMD X370 chipset
8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
Support Raid 0, 1, 10
LAN Intel® I211-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Anti-surge LANGuard
ROG GameFirst Technology
Audio AMD Ryzen™/7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue)AMD X370 chipset
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector port(s)
6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 4 at mid-board)
4 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 2 at mid-board)ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port(s) (2 at back panel, red, Type-A + USB Type-CTM)
ROG Exclusive Features ROG RAMCache II
ROG CPU-Z
ROG CloneDrive
Overwolf
GameFirst IV
Special Features 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
– Whole system optimization with a single click!
– 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Xpert 4, and Turbo App together.
– 5-Way Optimization provides better CPU performance, efficient power saving, precise digital power control, whole system cooling and even tailor your own app usages.TPU
– Auto Tuning, TurboV, GPU Boost
– Fan Xpert 4 featuring Fan Auto Tuning function and multiple thermistors Gamer’s Guardian
– ESD Guards on LAN, Audio, KBMS and USB3.0/2.0 ports
– DRAM Overcurrent Protection
– Stainless Steel Back I/O
– Highly Durable Components
– DIGI+ VRM
– SafeSlot ASUS EPU
– EPU AURA
– Aura Lighting Control ASUS Exclusive Features
– AI Suite 3
– Ai Charger ASUS EZ DIY
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
– ASUS EZ Flash 3 ASUS Q-Design
– ASUS Q-Shield
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, Boot Device LED)
– ASUS Q-Slot
– ASUS Q-DIMM Gaming Aesthetics
– 3D printing friendly
– AURA-RGB Lighting
– Digi+VRM
Back I/O Ports 1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A + USB Type-CTM
6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
Internal I/O Ports 2 x RGB Header(s)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)
1 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x TPM connector(s)
8 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x AIO_PUMP connector
1 x W_PUMP+ connector
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x System panel connector
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector
Accessories User’s manual
I/O Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)
1 x ROG Strix stickers
1 x 10-in-1 ROG cable label
1 x Cable ties pack(s)
1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (80 cm)
1 x 3D printing mount package
BIOS 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0 ACPI 6.1, Multi-language BIOS,ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
Manageability WfM 2.0, DMI 3.0, WOL by PME, PXE
Support Disc Drivers
ASUS Utilities
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Operating System Windows® 10 64-bit
Form Factor ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )
Note *1 PCIEX16_3 Socket shares bandwidth witch PCIEX1_2 and PCIEX1_3
*2 Due to limitations in HDA bandwidth, 32-Bit/192kHz is not supported for 8-Channel audio.
*3 ROG GameFirst IV is only available for Windows® 10 64-bit.

 

ROG STRIX X370-F Board Inspection & Overview

So, what’s cooking with the STRIX X370-F Gaming motherboard? Well aside from the waves of classic looking grey and black PCB real estate, the I/O heat sink and shroud takes a predominant place on the board as being the stand-out aesthetical feature for me. There’s plenty going on within the PCB, with the board having 3 x PCIe x16 slots with the top being directly fed by the CPU itself and sitting encased in metallic SafeSlot Armor; these are complemented by a total of 3 x PCIe x1 slots for additional expansion cards such as dedicated sound cards, network adapters, and even RAID controllers. Up to NVIDIA Two-way SLI and AMD 3-way CrossFireX multi-graphics configurations.

ASUS Strix X370F Main

Like a lot of premium AM4 motherboards, ASUS has gone all out with a decent and effective 8+2 digital power phase design for the CPU; this allows for stable power delivery as well as keeping things efficient. The board combines multiple storage connections with 8 x SATA 6Gbps ports and a single M.2 port supporting NVMe enabled M.2 drives up to 110mm in overall length.

ASUS has included an insulated ROG SupremeFX S1220A audio codec which features an array of supporting gold Nichon Japanese audio capacitors. For networking purposes, ASUS has gone with a simple, but effective Intel I211-AT Gigabit network controller.

ASUS Strix X370F M2

Looking at the rear I/O, there’s actually a decent supplement of ports provided by ASUS which includes:

2 x USB 2.0 ports
6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (1 x Type-A & 1 x Type-C)
5 x 3.5mm audio jacks
1 x S/PDIF Optical output
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI port

Plenty of rear I/O real estate and for such a premium, but seemingly budget ranged board, ASUS has got it right, even though a PS/2 port would have been nice, although not necessarily in the new age.

ASUS Strix X370F IO

The ASUS STRIX X370-F Gaming, Ryzen CPU supporting, AM4 motherboard looks great on paper specifications wise and looks great in the flesh too. The main question, however, all comes down to performance and how does this good looking, well-priced motherboard actually do? Time to find out…

Test Setup & Performance

Test Setup

Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8 Core @ Stock settings
CPU Cooling: be quiet! Silent Loop 240mm
GPU: ASUS ROG GTX 1060 STRIX 6GB
RAM: Ballistix Elite 3000MHz 16GB (2x8GB)
PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1000w
OS: Windows 10 Professional x64

2D Benchmark Performance Results

AIDA64

AIDA64 CPU Queen

AIDA64 CPU AES

AIDA64 CPU Photoworxx

AIDA64 Memory Read

AIDA64 Memory Write

AIDA64 Memory Copy

AIDA64 Memory Latency

Cinebench R15

CInebench R15 CPU

Cinebench R15 OpenGL

PCMark 8

PCMark 8

3D Benchmark Performance Results

3DMark

3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Time Spy

Ashes of The Singularity

AOTS 1080p

Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2 1080p

Tom Clancy’s: The Division

The Division 1080p

Thief

Thief 1080p

Total War: WARHAMMER

Conclusion

The AMD Ryzen CPU was a massive financial and PR success for the AMD team and even though Intel has responded twice since then no less, Ryzen still has a solid foothold in the desktop CPU segment. ASUS being the top-selling motherboard vendor currently and having such a wide variety of models, it’s likely you have considered purchasing one or you’re already a member of the ROG army. If you haven’t already bought one and you’re looking at building a new Ryzen system or simply upgrading from an older chipset, you’re probably wondering if the STRIX X370-F is a worthwhile purchase or not? Let’s take a look shall we…

Performance

The STRIX X370-F is a very nice board on the surface and deep inside at the heart of the performance is a board of very sound and competent performer. All throughout our bench suite, the performance showed no abnormalities and back in the previous testing, we did have issues setting XMP on our 3000MHz kit thanks to memory compatibility issues. The AGESA wave of BIOS updates fixed this issue across all of our Ryzen boards that we’ve tested. Performance using our Ryzen 7 1700 CPU was decent even though performance in gaming wasn’t topping the tables, but again, no anomalies even during gaming and everything is working as it should…marvellous!

Design & Value

I have to admit, I like the minimalistic nature and design of the PCB and heat sinks; the metallic heat sinks look fantastic in different angles of light. Even the PCB layout is decent and a nice array of fan headers, USB front panel headers, and expansion slots are present on this particular model. There’s a lot of different models throughout the STRIX range, but the F is the premium gaming model which bridges between the top end STRIX boards and lower placed MAXIMUS boards; if that even makes sense to you!

The value element is selective to your own personal budget, but you can pick up the STRIX X370-F for around £175-190 depending on your retailer/store preference. This pricing represents great value for money and the STRIX X370-F is a board that truly encapsulates the effort ASUS put into their research/design, their marketing, their focus and of course, the quality of the components used!

Huge thanks to ASUS for sending a sample in for review.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for building a new AMD Ryzen themed system and want a solid board with tons of useful features at a great price, then the X370-F STRIX sets the bar for the AM4 platform for all-around performing, well designed and great value boards!

awards-gold

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

Pros:

- Great subtle, but classy design
- Comes in at a fantastic and highly competitive price point
- Plenty of rear I/O real estate
- Good performance throughout
- 8 x SATA 6 ports at the expensive of a single M.2 slot
- Looks good, performs well and is priced excellently

Cons:

- None

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