Value for Money - 89%
Quality - 89%
Look/Feel - 93%
Extra's/Features - 88%
Up until now we only had the Intel Z370 chipset for the shiny new Intel Coffee Lake CPU, this was ok for your overclockers and hardcore enthusiasts…until today. ASUS just released today there new Coffee Lake board, the ASUS ROG STRIX B360-F Gaming motherboard. Well, what does this mean for us average joe builders, a cheaper board of course! Basically, the B360 chipset is a cut-down version of the Z370 chipset(the big daddy of the Coffee Lake chipsets).
Dressed in all black, with a hint of greys and some RGB(the rear IO shield has an RGB ROG logo) the ASUS ROG STRIX B360-F Gaming looks gorgeous! To let the board stand out a bit more ASUS included almost a poster art style of text on the board, which to me makes it stand out even more. As standard on the ROG line, the board also supports ASUS Aura Sync with one 12V RGB header for all your multicolour pc builds. The board also features 3D Printing mounts for that extra special builds.
The ROG STRIX B360-F Gaming comes only with 2 PCIe x16 slots instead of 3 and only one of the slots runs at full x16 mode when you have two cards in your system(the other one runs at x4 mode). The board can run up to 64GB of DDR4 ram with a maximum frequency of 2666MHz. The ROG STRIX B360-F Gaming also boasts 2 M.2 storage connectors and 6 SATA 6Gbps ports. The board also has Intel Gigabit Lan port and because of the built-in GPU on the Coffee Lake CPU, you get a DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI-D connector(for when you still waiting for the 1080GTX). The main PCIe X16 slot also has a metal jacket to help with the support of your GPU weight and for the gamer that likes to break there PCIe slots when they take it out. Speaking of your M.2 slots, the main M.2 slot(the one that has the Heatsink on) is located near the CPU socket. The reason why I mention this is that if you use an Air cooler(like the Cooler Master MA620 I am using for this review) then you get a bit of extra cooling on your M.2!
Now all these specs are nice and all but can it game like its bigger brother? I can say without a doubt that it can! I fired up the new Final Fantasy XV Windows benchmark and got a high score for the system. This was also based on me using my ROG STRIX GTX970 as the GPU for these tests. Next up I also played some Dawn of War III and Totalwar Warhammer 2, and I did pick-up a big performance increase in both games compared to my Skylake system that I am currently running at home. I also gave Rise of the Tomb Raider a spin and the system just kept running, again better than my Skylake system. The only bottleneck in the system was GPU.
This new B360 chipset makes it worthwhile for gamers like me to upgrade to the new Coffee Lake CPU’s as the board itself is really not that expensive! Coming in at R2399 RRP it really is a steal and makes the rest of the build better. Plus with the R1000+- saving you make on the board you can get better gaming ram or even SSD. Now the only people that would make a fuss about the board would be overclockers and enthusiast level gamers. The only reason for this is that the board doesn’t cater for them at all.
Overall I am really pleased with the ASUS ROG STRIX B360-F Gaming, it boasts good features for your normal gamer and DIY pc builder. You don’t have to struggle with the IO Shield as its pre-mounted(had trouble with a few in the past) and the fact that you can upgrade to the latest Intel chipset for R1000 cheaper, makes it worthwhile board to invest in. I would recommend this board to your average joe gamer and system builders, the guys that are buying systems for the long term. Overclockers and enthusiast aren’t really catered for here, but that is not to say they can’t use it. The overall look of the board is gorgeous and will look awesome in most system builds and let’s not forget that it would have ASUS’s 2-3Year warranty. This is your local mad scientist signing out….looks like its time for a pc upgrade
- ASUS Aura Sync
- Main M.2 has a ROG Heatsink
- Pre-Mounted I/O Shield
- 3D Printing mounting points
Recommended Retail Price – R2399
- Love the fact that the ROG Strix B360-F Gaming has a pre-mounted I/O board
- It’s about an R1000 cheaper than its bigger brother the Z370!
- Made for the casual DIY build gamer
- The ASUS ROG Strix B360-f Gaming is not a big fan of overclocking