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Asus B450 II (Refresh) Motherboards Released – Budget-Friendly “Future-Proof”?

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Asus recently announced six B450 motherboards with AMD’s Socket AM4. These are cheaper alternatives to the B550 and X570 motherboards in the market. These new B450 II motherboards don’t have the faster PCIe 4.0 connection, unlike the B550 and X570. According to the company, they are boosting the bang-for-the-buck of this platform with this refresh B450 II motherboards. Interestingly, Asus also mentioned that these motherboards “hosts a 256Mb firmware chip with an eye toward future upgrades and broad CPU support”. Does it mean it will support the upcoming Zen 3 CPUs as well? Anyway, check out these new motherboards below.

Asus B450 II Refresh Motherboards

Asus B450 II Series AM4 Motherboard – “Expertly Tuned and Cooled”

The new Asus B450 II refresh motherboards (now) include Asus’ BIOS FlashBack feature for easy firmware upgrades without a CPU. They are built with high-capacity firmware chips across the lineup for the broadest possible Ryzen CPU support. Most of these refreshed boards have been fitted with upgraded power delivery and cooling, extra M.2 slots, and an improved selection of 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, USB-C connectors, and USB 3.2 Gen 1 front-panel headers.

The new B450 II refresh motherboards are the ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II; TUF Gaming B450-Plus II; TUF Gaming B450M-Pro II; TUF Gaming B450M-Plus II; Prime B450M-A II; and Prime B450M-K II. Let’s discuss the ROG Strix first.

Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II ATX Motherboard

Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II

The Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II is what the company calls an enthusiast and wallet-friendly motherboard. This one gets the most boost among the new series. From the top, the VRM on the B450-F Gaming II now uses a sturdy 8+4 discrete MOSFET layout. The individual VRM components are sandwiched between an improved heatsink with high-grade thermal pads and a new backplate that’s an integral part of the power-delivery cooling stack.

Right of the CPU socket are four memory slots that can handle up to 128GB of DDR4 memory; and up to 4400MHz of memory clock speed. There are also two M.2 sockets for storage and support RAID arrays as well. Unfortunately, this will only support PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSDs and not the faster Gen4 M.2 SSDs.

The main M.2 socket features an aluminum heatsink to keep the SSD’s temperature at bay. This B450 II motherboard doesn’t have built-in WiFi connectivity, but there is an E-key M.2 for Wi-Fi 6 networking upgrade.

The rear panel includes eight USB ports; two 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A connectors; and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port. One USB port handles BIOS FlashBack duties, allowing for a firmware upgrade or reflash with nothing more than a PSU and a USB thumb drive.

When it comes to aesthetics, the Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II shares the same concept and design with the other ROG Strix components. It features an all-black design, with some “cybertext motifs” and a ROG logo that lights up. While there is no (other) RGB lighting on the motherboard, it does have headers for RGB LED strips. Plus, it features Asus’ AI noise-canceling microphone software that efficiently cuts down your microphone’s background chatter.

Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II Specifications

SizeATX
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 4400+ (OC)
Multi-GPU3 x CrossFireX
PCIe2 PCIe 3.0 x16: x16 or x8/x4
1 PCIe 2.0 x16: x4
3 PCIe 2.0 x1
Storage1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 4.0 x4)
1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingIntel I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet
M.2 E-key socket for Wi-Fi cards
AudioSupremeFX S1220A codec
USB3.2 Gen 2: 2 x Type-A
3.2 Gen 1: 3 x Type-A, 1 x Type-C, 2 x front
2.0: 2 x Type-A, 2 x front
Aura2 x strip headers,
1 x Gen 2 addressable headers
Cooling1 x pump headers
5 x fan headers

Asus TUF Gaming B450-Plus II Motherboard

Asus TUF Gaming B450-Plus II

The new TUF Gaming B450 II motherboards feature LANGuard electrostatic discharge protection; SafeSlot reinforcements; and “carefully planned” power and cooling designs. Asus also added TurboLAN traffic shaping and AI noise-canceling microphone software.

Like most TUF components, the Asus TUF Gaming B450-Plus II features black-and-yellow battle stripes. It has enlarged heatsinks and has 8+2 discrete MOSFET VRM that is said to be capable of handling higher-end Ryzen CPUs.

There are also two M.2 slots for Gen3 SSDs and it now supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connector alongside a Type-A port. At the rear IO port, Asus added a DisplayPort for those who plan to use an APU instead of a dedicated graphics card. There are also two RGB LED strip headers if you plan to install additional lighting for the system.

Asus TUF Gaming B450-Plus II Specifications

SizeATX
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 4400+ (OC)
Multi-GPU2 x CrossFireX
PCIe1 PCIe 3.0 x16: x16
1 PCIe 2.0 x16: x4
3 PCIe 2.0 x1
Storage1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 22180 (PCIe 2.0 x4)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingRealtek L8200A Gigabit Ethernet
AudioRealtek S1200A codec
DTS Custom
USB3.2 Gen 2: 1 x Type-C, 1 x Type-A
3.2 Gen 1: 4 x Type-A, 1 x front
2.0: 2 x Type-A, 4 x front
Aura2 x strip headers
Cooling1 x pump header
4 x fan headers

Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Pro II Micro ATX Motherboard

Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Pro II

For compact PC builders who still need room for expansion, the Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Pro II microATX motherboard would be a great fit. This motherboard is somewhat similar to the full-sized ATX TUF Gaming B450-Plus II motherboard above. It also features DisplayPort output, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C and Type-A connectors, and additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.

It features the same TUF Gaming DNA and design, with the first PCIe 3.0 x16 slot featuring a SafeSlot metal sheath. The heatsinks for the VRM are also made larger for heavy CPU loads. The four DIMM slots can support up to 128GB of DDR4 memory; and speeds of up to 4400MHz. Finally, there are two M.2 slots as well that supports fast Gen3 NVMe SSDs.

Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Pro II Specifications

SizemATX
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 4400+ (OC)
Multi-GPU2 x CrossFireX
PCIe1 PCIe 3.0 x16: x16
1 PCIe 2.0 x16: x4
1 PCIe 2.0 x4: x1
Storage1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 3.0 x2 or SATA)
4 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingRealtek RTL8111H Gigabit Ethernet
AudioRealtek S1200A codec
DTS Custom
USB3.2 Gen 2: 1 x Type-C, 1 x Type-A
3.2 Gen 1: 4 x Type-A, 2 x front
2.0: 2 x Type-A, 4 x front
Aura2 x strip headers
Cooling3 x fan headers

Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Plus II Micro ATX Motherboard

Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Plus II

At the bottom of the TUF B450 II series is a trimmed-down version of the TUF B450M-Pro II – the TUF Gaming B450M-Plus II. The naming scheme is a bit confusing since only the word “Pro” and “Plus” separates the two. The “Plus” variant is the cheaper one, designed with value and reliability in mind.

Looking from the photo of the motherboard itself, you can see that they are still somewhat similar. But notice that there’s only one M.2 slot in this variant and the VRM heatsink is noticeably smaller or fewer.

Nevertheless, the TUF Gaming B450M-Plus II board supports BIOS FlashBack for hassle-free firmware updates. It also has AI noise-canceling microphone software and Turbo LAN traffic shaping tools.

Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Plus II Specifications

SizemATX
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 4400+ (OC)
Multi-GPU2 x CrossFireX
PCIe1 PCIe 3.0 x16: x16
1 PCIe 3.0 x16: x4
1 PCIe 2.0 x4: x1
Storage1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 3.0 x2 or SATA)
4 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingRealtek RTL8111H Gigabit Ethernet
AudioRealtek ALC887 codec
DTS Custom
USB3.2 Gen 2: 1 x Type-A
3.2 Gen 1: 2 x Type-A, 1 x Type-C, 2 x front
2.0: 2 x Type-A, 4 x front
Aura1 x strip headers
Cooling3 x fan headers

Asus Prime B450M-A II Micro ATX Motherboard

Asus Prime B450M-A II

Asus calls this motherboard as the “Ryzen jack-of-all-trades”. If we compare this motherboard to the trimmed-down TUF B450M-Plus II, the Prime B450M-A II has even fewer features.

This motherboard has only one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, one M.2 slot, and several basic connectivity options. You can check out the rest of the specs from the table below.

Asus Prime B450M-A II Specifications

SizemATX
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 4400+ (OC)
Multi-GPUNA
PCIe1 PCIe 3.0 x16: x16
2 PCIe 3.0 x1
Storage1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 4.0 x4 or SATA)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingRealtek RTL8111H Gigabit Ethernet
AudioRealtek ALC887 codec
USB3.2 Gen 2: 2 x Type-A
3.2 Gen 1: 4 x Type-A, 2 x front
2.0: 4 x front
Aura1 x strip headers
Cooling3 x fan headers

AMD Micro ATX Motherboard

Asus Prime B450M-K II

If you think the Prime B450M-A II is the cheapest in this refresh, well meet the Prime B450M-K II. This is even a trimmed-down version of the B450M-A II, with nothing but only the essentials left. This is an entry-level motherboard for entry-level and light load purposes.

It doesn’t have any heatsink for the VRM, and there is only a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot as well as one M.2 slot. There are also only two DIMM slots that can support up to 64GB of DDR4 memory. The rest of its specs can be viewed below.

AMD Micro ATX Motherboard

SizemATX
Memory2 x DDR4 up to 4400+ (OC)
Multi-GPUNA
PCIe1 PCIe 3.0 x16: x16
2 PCIe 3.0 x1
Storage1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
4 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingRealtek 8111H Gigabit Ethernet
AudioRealtek ALC887
USB3.2 Gen 1: 4 x Type-A, 2 x front
2.0: 2 x Type-A, 4 x front
AuraNA
Cooling2 x fan headers
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I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!

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