Asus have announced a string of new motherboards for the launch of Intel’s latest 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPU chipsets. Arriving in ROG Strix, Prime and Tuf Gaming brand flavours, these new H370 and B360 boards aim to bring more connectivity at a price that should (hopefully) keep those tears of despair at bay if you decide to use as the foundation for your next PC – which is a lot more than can be said for current graphics card prices right now.
Previously, potential Coffee Lake buyers were limited to high-end Z370 motherboards, as this was the only chipset available when Intel first launched their 8th Gen CPUs. Now, however, the Z370 chipset is being joined by several new platforms, including the H370, B360, H310 and Q370, offering a wider array of features across a broader range of prices.
This should hopefully give PC builders a bit more flexibility when it comes to upgrading their system, and Asus’ new boards are hoping to distinguish themselves by offering improved cooling when playing games – provided you’ve got the right Asus graphics card, that is.
Assuming you’ve got the right gear, though, Asus’ new H370 and B360 boards will adjust the speed of your system fans based on the temperature of the GPU itself – not the temperature of the CPU or chassis like most other boards. This should hopefully improve stability and help prevent any potential throttling, but I’ll be putting them through their paces with some proper testing very soon.
Each new Asus board will also incorporate the second generation of the USB 3.1 standard, offering a bit of future-proofing for forthcoming peripherals, as well as optional 802.11ac Wi-Fi. All of them will also support Intel’s ultra-fast Optane Memory storage tech, but you’ll need an H370 board if you want turbocharged storage performance with bootable RAID arrays for your NVMe and SATA drives.
Other shared features include dual M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs, support for DDR4 2666MHz RAM, Asus’ Aura Sync LED tech, Asus’ Fan Xpert 4, which offers even more control over your PC’s various system fans, and Asus’ easy-to-use UEFI BIOS interface. The latter in particular has been updated with a number of new features, including a search function for easy system management, configuration profiles that can be saved and shared (even after your firmware’s been updated), as well as an integrated firmware updater that can download and apply the latest update without booting into your OS.
So how much will all of these cost? UK pricing is yet to be confirmed, but the cheapest one in the US – the micro-ATX-sized Asus Prime H370M-Plus – starts at $100. The most expensive models, meanwhile – the Asus ROG Strix H370-F Gaming (ATX), Asus ROG Strix H370-I Gaming (mini-ITX) and the Asus ROG Strix B360-F Gaming (ATX) – max out at $140.
This makes them considerably less expensive than Asus’ Z370 boards, which can currently be found anywhere in the region of $160-$300, but stay tuned for our full review to see if they’re worth the extra saving.