Asus continues to expand its TUF Gaming Motherboard series, and this time it is on the AMD platform with the new TUF B450M-Pro Gaming. As the name implies, this is a Micro-ATX size board with Asus positioning it above the TUF B450M-Plus Gaming. The Pro Gaming version features two M.2 slots (versus one on the Plus Gaming), as well as more fan headers. In addition, the CPU VRM was beefed up, and VRM heatsinks were added and enlarged. Even with the new additions, the B450M-Pro Gaming commands an entry-level price of around $99.
Credit AsusThe most obvious changes to the board are the larger heatsinks and what's hiding underneath. The Pro Gaming uses a much beefier 10-phase VRM design compared to the 6-phases on the Plus Gaming. Since the VRM changed and more was extended on top, there's a second heatsink to keep them under control. These can be helpful overclocking AMD Ryzen CPUs, which is possible on the Intel B450 chipset (see our AMD B450 vs. Intel B360 Face-Off for a comparison of the mid-range chipsets).
Another difference comes on the storage side with the addition of another M.2 slot. Some PCIe ports had to be moved around, but now the top slot will support both SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4, with the bottom slot wired PCIe 2.0 x2 and SATA.
The last major update on the board was moving from a more entry-level audio CODEC in the ALC887 to the premium Realtek ALC1220A CODEC sporting a better S/N ratio and better sound overall.
Outside of those changes, the B450-based AMD motherboard is essentially the same and will support AMD Ryzen AM4-based CPUs and up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM (DDR4-3533 speeds max overclock). The location of the PCIe slots changed to accommodate the second M.2 slot but still includes two full-length slots supporting AMD Crossfire X multi-GPU technology (no Nvidia SLI), with the top slot reinforced using the Asus Safeslot. The board is also equipped with six SATA ports to complement the two M.2 slots.
In its announcement, Asus said the board will cost around $100, and at the time of writing it was on Amazon for $97 / £110.47 via third-party seller. If you're looking to save money on a motherboard while having a robust VRM for overclocking, multiple M.2 slots and improved audio, this looks like a solid improvement over the B450M-Plus Gaming; although, we'll have to reserve true judgement until we test it ourselves.