Motherboards are one of the most important parts of any powerful gaming PC, as they essentially act as the central nervous system of your rig. Using a low-quality motherboard is risky and can result in underwhelming performance or even potential damage to your hardware; therefore, it’s important to make sure that you’re using a well-designed and dependable motherboard that you can rely on.
For the last few years, one of the best motherboard lines available has been ASUS’ B450 series due to its high performance, robust durability, and the wide range of options to choose from. Recently, ASUS has refreshed this line with the new B450 II series of motherboards that are even better than their predecessors. Here’s a look at what’s new, as well as who each of the new B450 II motherboards are for.
Back and better than ever
The biggest difference between the refreshed B450 II line and the original B450 series is that B450 II motherboards have improved VRMs and cooling features. This means that B450 II motherboards are even better than their already-excellent predecessors at power delivery, power regulation, and keeping temperatures down during intense gaming sessions.
Another advantage of B450 II boards is that they have ASUS’ BIOS FlashBack technology that allows you to install firmware upgrades without a CPU. This is incredibly convenient for users who are in the process of finishing their build.
Additionally, Ryzen CPU support is broader than ever thanks to the high-capacity firmware chips used in B450 II boards. You can use first-gen, second-gen, and Ryzen 3000 series CPUs in the boards right out of the box, and with a simple BIOS update (opens in new tab) you can even use cutting-edge Ryzen 5000 series processors as well.
If you make use of a lot of peripheral accessories, you’ll love that B450 II boards have a larger collection of USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, USB-C connectors, and USB 3.2 Gen 1 headers. There are more M.2 slots as well, which is perfect for people who enjoy the value of SSDs.
Finally, B450 II motherboards come with a cool new feature called AI Noise Cancelling. This works to automatically clear up background noise from your microphone while you’re speaking, ensuring that your voice comes through crystal clear while in-game.
Which B450 II motherboard is right for you?
There are four different B450 II motherboards available to choose from, and while all of them are fantastic, each one offers some strengths and weaknesses that will appeal to different people.
If you’re looking for the best possible performance that will be suitable for overclocking, look no further than the ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II (opens in new tab). With a stellar physical design, the best VRM and cooling available, and plenty of ports, this motherboard is ideal for elite gaming rigs.
People that need something in the mid-range should opt for the ASUS TUF Gaming B450-PLUS II (opens in new tab). Its VRM and cooling features aren’t quite as powerful as what you’ll get with the ROG Strix, but it’s also more affordable while also featuring a durable and rugged design. Overall, this board is perfect for people who don’t mind settling for performance that’s great instead of top-notch if it means they can save some money.
If you’re in need of a board with reduced dimensions, the ASUS TUF Gaming B450M-PLUS II (opens in new tab) will be right up your alley. Offering near-identical performance to the regular ASUS TUF Gaming B450 II but featuring a smaller overall footprint, this board is the best choice for compact mATX builds.
Finally, budget-buyers will love the ASUS Prime B450M-A II (opens in new tab). It has the least impressive performance out of all of the available B450 II motherboards, but it’s also the most affordable of the bunch – perfect for people who need to get a lot of bang for their buck. It’s important to note that the performance of this board is still quite good overall; it’s just not as good as the pricier motherboards in the B450 II series.
For more details on each of the B450 II motherboards, we recommend checking out ASUS’ B450 II product page (opens in new tab). It has all the information you’ll need about each of the boards. Additionally, people who are looking for the absolute best motherboards out there may prefer ASUS’ AM4 boards (opens in new tab) that are designed specifically with Ryzen 5000-series CPUs in mind.