ASUS ROG STRIX X470-I Gaming Motherboard Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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ASUS ROG STRIX X470-I Gaming Motherboard Review

ASUS has another mini-ITX powerhouse on its hands, and this time its for AMD’s 2nd Generation Ryzen processors. The ASUS ROG STRIX X470-I Gaming promises a lot, and frankly we expect a lot from these motherboards. ASUS practically set the standard for enthusiast class mini-ITX motherboards and it has set the bar very high in the past.


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1_rick

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I bought one of these about two weeks ago, to replace the ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming ITX/ac that was a little wonky, and the Asus seems to be a lot more stable. The one thing I don't like is that every once in a while--actually only twice so far--when waking up from sleep, the mouse isn't recognized, and I have to unplug it and plug it back in.
 

MrDeaf

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nice review.

I am not 100% convinced that VRM heatsink is a good design because the fin orientation looks silly from the perspective of how airflow tends to go in cases.
And then the back I/O cover, literally, covers up all of that area to further restrict airflow, which is already impeded by the network+usb jack and the 12V 8pin connector on the opposite side.

I can see the design being acceptable on an open bench, or maybe by ditching the I/O cover with negative air pressure, but with rumors of more than 8 cores being a possibility, I can't help but wonder why asus insists on these stylish, but bad vrm heatsink designs.
 
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Ritorix

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Awesome. I've had good results running the full-size big brother, the x470-F Strix, with my Ryzen.
 

Neapolitan6th

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Its cool to see some using the rear 3.0x4 m.2 slot to run extra PCIE cards in ITX systems while not compromising on having a NVME boot drive.

(Useful for something such as running a 1080ti and an elgato 4k capture card)
 

HydrasunGQ

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I have this board since launch and it has been pretty easy to work with. The only thing that took me a bit to figure out being that this was my first AMD build since the Athlon FX-62 on a M2N32-SLI Deluxe was how to setup RAID-0 with the two M.2 drives.
 

Neapolitan6th

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I have this board since launch and it has been pretty easy to work with. The only thing that took me a bit to figure out being that this was my first AMD build since the Athlon FX-62 on a M2N32-SLI Deluxe was how to setup RAID-0 with the two M.2 drives.
Was there a motherboard raid option, or was the only option a software one?
 

Kor

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The Cinebench and Civ 6 results seem a little odd, there must be one hell of a latency jump with how the traces are laid out vs the Hero. Nice little board though.
 

FrgMstr

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The Cinebench and Civ 6 results seem a little odd, there must be one hell of a latency jump with how the traces are laid out vs the Hero. Nice little board though.
I am not so sure that is it. We have been keeping those games updated and I think we are seeing a manifestation of engine changes, but not sure yet.
 

Incognito

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Thanks for the review!

Does it concern you that the lanes are cut to x8 when using a 2nd m.2?

How would that affect gaming with a 1080 or 1080ti?

Thanks again!
 

FrgMstr

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Does it concern you that the lanes are cut to x8 when using a 2nd m.2?

If you are concerned with that, do not buy it.

How would that affect gaming with a 1080 or 1080ti?

While this might impact level loads by a small margin in real world gaming, it is not going to have anything to do with gaming framerates.
 

Dan_D

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Thanks for the review!

Does it concern you that the lanes are cut to x8 when using a 2nd m.2?

How would that affect gaming with a 1080 or 1080ti?

Thanks again!

Not at all. This has been tested numerous times and the difference is minuscule in most cases.
 
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Doward

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Would it be a recommended upgrade over an X370-i? I assume not, just curious :)
 

Neapolitan6th

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Yeah, that's what I figured. I'm interested in XFR2, but that's about it for now. I've got DDR-3400 running on the X370-i (Patriot PV416G340C6K) on the XMP profile, with an R7-1700x. Really can't complain thus far :) Guess I'll give it until Ryzen2 shows up, and upgrade around then.
The main difference I can think of is I believe the X370 board maintains its 3.0 x16 when using 2 m.2 SSDs, but as a tradeoff the 2nd m.2 is restricted to PCIE 2.0 from the chipset (can't remember if x4 or by x8)

The X470 is 2 3.0x4 M.2 SSDs, (4x from the CPU, and 4x from the chipset I believe) And the when using the 2nd M.2, the main slot switches to x8 mode.
 

Pillars

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This motherboard has some great upsides.. however there is one glaring problem. Sound quality. Compared to my Z370i the X470i is abysmal in this department. Probably due to the stupid riser/m.2 ssd design. There is no optical SPDIF out either, which is essential for us highend gear folks as it sounds better and more etched than my DACs USB module by a solid amount. I hope the future X570i design addresses this problem.
 
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Dan_D

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This motherboard has some great upsides.. however there is one glaring problem. Sound quality. Compared to my Z370i the X470i is abysmal in this department. Probably due to the stupid riser/m.2 ssd design. There is no optical SPDIF out either, which is essential for us highend gear folks as it sounds better and more etched than my DACs USB module by a solid amount. The X570i needs to rectify this problem!

That isn't a chipset issue. That has to do with how the sound hardware is implemented on the motherboard. ASUS or anyone else could do things very differently on any given motherboard. It isn't something that you will see fixed on a theoretical X570-I that doesn't or may not ever exist.
 

Neapolitan6th

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This motherboard has some great upsides.. however there is one glaring problem. Sound quality. Compared to my Z370i the X470i is abysmal in this department. Probably due to the stupid riser/m.2 ssd design. There is no optical SPDIF out either, which is essential for us highend gear folks as it sounds better and more etched than my DACs USB module by a solid amount. The X570i needs to rectify this problem!
Interesting, I was expecting the opposite just looking at it. I think most would say the X470 is definitely lacking some rear I/O vs the competition.

I know Schiit Audio may have some solutions for you if you are looking for that Optical solution ("USB to SPIDF Converter").

Also if you had to and had an extra slot, you could run a ribbon cable from either the wifi card (mini-pcie?) or second m.2 so you could install a soumdcard that would allow for optical passthrough.
 

Pillars

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Interesting, I was expecting the opposite just looking at it. I think most would say the X470 is definitely lacking some rear I/O vs the competition.

I know Schiit Audio may have some solutions for you if you are looking for that Optical solution ("USB to SPIDF Converter").

Also if you had to and had an extra slot, you could run a ribbon cable from either the wifi card (mini-pcie?) or second m.2 so you could install a soumdcard that would allow for optical passthrough.

I bought the X470i knowing it didn't have SPDIF. I can complain about it sure, but in the end I knew it wasn't there despite my preference for SPDIF over USB (I own a highend solution). The problem I found with this board is significantly worse sound quality compared to the other Asus boards due to the M.2 Riser/Sound combo card's implementation. Since most PC users use onboard this is good info for people to be aware of. There is no mistaking it even if you use a cheaper pair of headphones. Onboard sound issues aside, this is one of the best motherboards I've owned as far as overclocking simplicity, temps and ease of configuration goes - everything this review touched on.
 

bobzdar

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Yeah, that's what I figured. I'm interested in XFR2, but that's about it for now. I've got DDR-3400 running on the X370-i (Patriot PV416G340C6K) on the XMP profile, with an R7-1700x. Really can't complain thus far :) Guess I'll give it until Ryzen2 shows up, and upgrade around then.

Xfr2 and pb2 work on the 3xx boards, so you're not missing out.
 

bobzdar

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This motherboard has some great upsides.. however there is one glaring problem. Sound quality. Compared to my Z370i the X470i is abysmal in this department. Probably due to the stupid riser/m.2 ssd design. There is no optical SPDIF out either, which is essential for us highend gear folks as it sounds better and more etched than my DACs USB module by a solid amount. I hope the future X570i design addresses this problem.

Use hdmi, that's the only way to get uncompressed sound >2 channels anyway, so for anything other than stereo it will be better. For stereo it will be the same. Unless you have older equipment that doesn't support hdmi...

I have the biostar x370gtn mitx which has spdif out if that is a requirement. You'd only really be giving up storemi vs the x470 in that case. Oh and it'd draw 2W more system power.
 
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carpe

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Does this board have a sabre dac? This review says it has ESS SABRRE DAC (ESS9018Q2C) but newegg says it has ess sabre ES9023P dac. Asus website only shows SupremeFX S1220A codec with dual opamps but no sabre dac. I can't find any information on the Asus website saying this motherboard has a sabre dac. The inclusion of the sabre dac is what really interests me about this board.
 

123Lanoix

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Would it be a recommended upgrade over an X370-i? I assume not, just curious :)


I would like to know as well? I have the x370-i and it's a great board running 2700x. What i want to know is what stock clocks did the x470-i get with the 2700x. My X370-i seems to run the 2700x like a 2700 I'm only hitting 4.1ghz boost clock.
 

pavel

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I bought the X470i knowing it didn't have SPDIF. I can complain about it sure, but in the end I knew it wasn't there despite my preference for SPDIF over USB (I own a highend solution). The problem I found with this board is significantly worse sound quality compared to the other Asus boards due to the M.2 Riser/Sound combo card's implementation. Since most PC users use onboard this is good info for people to be aware of. There is no mistaking it even if you use a cheaper pair of headphones. Onboard sound issues aside, this is one of the best motherboards I've owned as far as overclocking simplicity, temps and ease of configuration goes - everything this review touched on.
Can one use a DAC or is that where the SPDIF comes in? I don't know too much about 'adding different' sound options. I use a discrete sound card but it's a PCI card that almost for certain won't be moved to a modern day motherboard.

I was planning on using onboard sound - I thought this mobo used the Realtek ALC1220 (?) chipset so it's really disappointing to hear the sound quality is poor. Does anyone else have this card? Sorry, but do you mind if I inquire with other owners? I do trust you but I was considering this board for a potential ITX build but I don't poor sound. I'm no Audiophile or expert but I like to think I could tell if it was particularly poor.

Although, I don't use any high quality/standard audio equipment. I'm just using computer speakers at the moment. Maybe a DAC would solve this problem?
 

Neapolitan6th

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Can one use a DAC or is that where the SPDIF comes in? I don't know too much about 'adding different' sound options. I use a discrete sound card but it's a PCI card that almost for certain won't be moved to a modern day motherboard.

I was planning on using onboard sound - I thought this mobo used the Realtek ALC1220 (?) chipset so it's really disappointing to hear the sound quality is poor. Does anyone else have this card? Sorry, but do you mind if I inquire with other owners? I do trust you but I was considering this board for a potential ITX build but I don't poor sound. I'm no Audiophile or expert but I like to think I could tell if it was particularly poor.

Although, I don't use any high quality/standard audio equipment. I'm just using computer speakers at the moment. Maybe a DAC would solve this problem?
You could always add a DAC no problem. Most DACs accept USB input. If its not up to your expectations you can always grab a cheap DAC for $20-$30 that I'd think would meet integrated motherboard audio levels of quality.
 

lightsout

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Yes, those two motherboards are identical in most respects. That's the point I was making in the conclusion of the article. I'm running the X470-I in one of my rigs and if I had to do it again, I'd just as easily have gone for the B450-I. It's 90% the same or better for less money. VRM wise they are identical although I'm not 100% certain the B450-I has all the same options in the UEFI BIOS. Sometimes you get greater voltage ranges and what not on the higher end motherboards. That said, I achieved the same overclock using the same CPU on both motherboards. I don't think the difference is all that meaningful in this case.
Thank you thats what it seems. I have the B450 version and the bios is very robust like most ATX boards I have used. Good to know I have no need to long for x470. I think for a lot of usages it is pointless with AMD.
 

Dan_D

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Thank you thats what it seems. I have the B450 version and the bios is very robust like most ATX boards I have used. Good to know I have no need to long for x470. I think for a lot of usages it is pointless with AMD.

What the B450 chipset lacks compared to X470 really makes no difference on mini-ITX motherboards. Extra PCIe lanes, more USB and SATA ports aren't generally featured in the same quantities on a mini-ITX board as they would be on a full sized motherboard. The extra PCIe lanes go unused given the lack of expansion slots. If we were talking about a full sized ATX or E-ATX motherboard, I might have had a different conclusion depending on the price point each board sold at, but in this case the B450 is the better buy. That said, the cost difference isn't Earth shattering but you don't exactly gain a lot for the added expense of the ROG STRIX X470-I Gaming over its B450 based counterpart.
 

lightsout

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What the B450 chipset lacks compared to X470 really makes no difference on mini-ITX motherboards. Extra PCIe lanes, more USB and SATA ports aren't generally featured in the same quantities on a mini-ITX board as they would be on a full sized motherboard. The extra PCIe lanes go unused given the lack of expansion slots. If we were talking about a full sized ATX or E-ATX motherboard, I might have had a different conclusion depending on the price point each board sold at, but in this case the B450 is the better buy. That said, the cost difference isn't Earth shattering but you don't exactly gain a lot for the added expense of the ROG STRIX X470-I Gaming over its B450 based counterpart.
For sure that makes sense depending on the needs of the user. The price difference here isn't huge, but could be the difference between slower and faster ram or a "non x" vs an "x"chip. Asus already charging some Asus tax here compared to the rest of the B450 boards.
 

123Lanoix

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hi does this x470-i board have the same VRM's & cooling etc as the X370-i board ??
 

123Lanoix

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the VRM's would dictate the performance of something like a 2700x. like on x370-i my 2700x on stock won't clock up to 4.3ghz it hits 4.2ghz on XFR2 Mostly 4.1. So basically due to VRMS and temps 2700x will run slower on these itx motherboards.
 
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