Who needs eight 10Gbps USB ports on the I/O panel? With all of the X570 platform’s USB 3.x ports offering that bandwidth, a better question might be why Asus’s competitors (specifically the MSI MEG X570 Ace, Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master and ASRock X570 Taichi) are substituting some of those with 5Gbps ports. But who would be willing to give up one of the competitor’s three M.2 slots for four SATA ports? If that sounds like you, the ROG Strix X570-E Gaming ($330 / £326) beckons. With these features nailed down, the only remaining question is why Asus labels this board “gaming” rather than “pro.”
ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming Specs
10Gbps: (7) Type-C, (1) Type A
2.5GbE, Gigabit Ethernet, (2) Wi-Fi Antenna
(5) Analog, (1) Digital Out
BIOS Flashback Button
(3) v3.0 (x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4)
(*x2 mode when 2nd PCIe x1 is filled)
(2) v4.0 (2nd shared with PCIe x16-3)
3x / 2x
(2) PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA
(1) v3.x Gen2, (1) v3.x Gen1, (2) v2.0, (1) AMD fan LED
System (Beep-code) Speaker
FP-Audio, Asus NODE, Thermistor, (2) RGB LED, (2) ARGB LED
RTL8125AG PCIe, WGI211AT PCIe
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
Intel AX200 802.11ax (2.4 Gb/s) / BT 5.0 Combo
HD Audio Codec
Motherboard designers typically go for obvious choices: When AMD announced that its latest platform would support one NVMe M.2 drive from the CPU and up to 16 high-speed connections from the X570 PCH, it was obvious that most manufacturers would deploy twelve of those PCH lanes as a second and third M.2 interface plus a PCIe x4 slot. Those designers were then left to figure out whether to use those final four lanes for SATA, USB3 or additional PCIe. And that’s where lane sharing that disables one interface to enable another begins. Asus took a different track in its ROG Strix X570-E Gaming: It has only two M.2 slots total.
The Strix X570-E Gaming also has eight SATA ports, whereas some competing models have shaved those down to four so that the other four lanes could be used for PCIe (typically a third M.2 slot). And just when you thought you’d at least get four lanes to the third x16-length PCIe slot, you realize that it gets kicked down to x2 mode whenever the second x1 slot is used. Most people won’t use the second x1 slot because of its location, but that notion makes us question why it’s even included on a gaming-focused motherboard.
Asus’s efforts appear more earnest on the I/O panel, where we find eight USB3 Gen2 ports. Gen1 ports wouldn’t make sense here from a chipset perspective, since the platform’s USB3 ports are all Gen2 compliant, yet several of Asus’ competitors have chosen to limit their I/O anyway. We’re happy to see Asus take the high road here, though we’d have still liked to see a pair of USB 2.0 ports for a keyboard and mouse -- connecting those to USB3 is a waste of the platform’s resources.
USB support is the big differentiator here, since Asus uses the same Realtek 2.5Gbps/Intel Gigabit Ethernet/802.11ax controller combo as similarly-priced boards from Gigabyte and MSI, but there are smaller differences such as the inclusion of DisplayPort and HDMI and the exclusion of a CLR_CMOS button on this Asus board, along with four more SATA ports and one less M.2 slot than those two competitors.
Perhaps it’s the association between gaming and overclocking that earns the Strix X570-E Gaming its name. From above we see sixteen chokes that are each tied to a 50A MOSFET in a 12+4 arrangement, meaning that users could push up to 600A of current to the CPU core. We also see three 4-pin fan headers at the top edge, three at the bottom edge, and one forward of the I/O panel’s audio jacks to help those who build for overclocking to keep everything cool. And let’s not forget the two RGB and two ARGB headers, repeated at the top and bottom of the board, that could be used to control fan lighting (in addition to RGB strips, of course).
Looking at the Strix X570-E Gaming’s lower half, we see that the PCH cover is mesh and secured with two screws. Unfortunately, that cover must be removed to access the forward screws of the two M.2-drive heat spreaders. Anyone who doesn’t need those heat spreaders can ease M.2 access by leaving them off, which then makes removing the PCH fan cover unnecessary.
Front-panel audio, Asus Node, thermistor, two USB 2.0 and one USB3 Gen1 dual-port, three fan, RGB ARGB, Intel-style front-panel button/switch, and a beep-code speaker header line the Strix X570-E Gaming’s bottom edge, while the single-port USB3 Gen2 front-panel header sits halfway up its front edge. Also found on the bottom edge is a two-digit status code display.
The Strix X570-E Gaming includes a multi-language user manual, driver and application disc, four SATA cables, a thermistor lead, and RGB and ARGB extension cables. Also included is a thank-you card, a Cablemod coupon, an ROG sticker sheet, several cable ties, a 2T2R Wi-Fi antenna, and a hanging doorknob card.
Image Credits: Tom's Hardware
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