ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming AMD Motherboard Review: Page 4 of 9
Posted by Damon Bailey on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 8:00am
A Closer Look
The ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F is a very sleek looking motherboard. Dressed in elegant grays and blacks, and sporting some angular accents and heatsink designs, the X370-F should go well with any build scheme. The X370-F follows the traditional ATX Layout that should be pretty familiar by now.
With the light at a different angle, you can really see the contrasting metallic angles on the chipset heatsink. The new USB 3.1 Gen 2 header is found right next to the 24-pin power cable and is a welcome addition to those with a compatible case and a strong dislike of the large and clunky Gen-1 headers we’ve lived with the last few years, and that doesn’t include the blistering 10Gbps speeds its capable of.
AMD’s AM4 socket will look fairly familiar if you have seen and used any other Pin Grid Array ZIF Socket with a single locking lever.
We have removed the factory mounting clips here to show you a rather nifty feature ASUS used on this board. If you Look closely, You’ll see there are actually 2 different mounting hole patterns cut in the board, one is the new AM4 Standard, the other allows you to use any AM1/2/3 or FM1/2 style cooler if you still have one you like. This opens up a nearly limitless amount of cooling options which is great for the end user.
The rear I/O area is completely covered for aesthetics, and merges into a heatsink stamped with the STRIX logo. The milky white strip along the edge near the middle is a full digital RGB light system that can be controlled via ASUS AURA software which we will cover in just a bit. A 4-pin fan header is just above the first PCIe slot to handle your rear case fan.
The Rear I/O is comprised of a huge pile of USB ports, 2x 2.0 ports, 6x 3.0 ports, and a pair of 3.1 gen 2 ports that include a type-A and a Type-C connector. The usual 8 channel Audio with optical output are found on the lower edge. The Display port and HDMI connector are non-functional with Ryzen CPU’s that do not include an integrated video solution. Upcoming AM4 based APU’s should output to these ports as needed.
Moving down to the rear corner of the board we get a good look at the chrome SupremeFX Audio cover. You can also see the empty line around this corner that physically separates the circuitry for crystal clear audio. Along the Bottom edge you get your front panel audio header, a TPM Module header, one of the two RGB headers, another fan header, and some other pins for clearing the CMOS, and connecting a sensor.
Just below the rear I/O Cover is a PCie X1 and the main PCIe X16 slot. The center of the picture here is one of the Two PCIe X16 physical slots which are heavily reinforced to handle heavy GPU’s, as well as improve signal transfer to your GPU’s by shielding the entire connection. Two PCie X1 and another PCIe X16 slot round out the I/O slots.
The front lower corner of the board is home to the single M.2 port. Capable of Full 32gbps speeds, as well as SATA 6.0Gbps on drives from 42 to 110mm in length, nearly any drive you can come up will work here with no compromises. Dual USB 3.1 Gen 1 headers, a USB 2.0 Header, as well as 2 4-pin headers for fans and power hungry pumps, as well as your front I/O connections can be found here. 8x SATA 6.0Gbps ports run up the front edge.
Note also the 3D Mount standoffs here. If you are an avid maker, or know someone with a 3D printer, you can download the file form ASUS and print a nice fan mount to cool you SSD, or go wild and make your own creation. 3D Mounting hardware is included with the board accessories.
Our final stop on the tour is the top right corner. Home to the other of two RGB headers, 3 4-pin headers for fans and Pumps, as well as the 4x DDR4-3200Mhz+ Dimm slots. Not very apparent, there are 4 LED’s in the top right corner that indicate what major component the system is working on booting. You won’t see the two digit readout found on many boards, but the cryptic hex codes are impossible to interpret without help anyway. The color coded LED’s will lead you right to issues with DRAM, CPU, and VGA. A final green BOOT led is akin to the old single beep that tells you everything is good to go. The normally flash for a few seconds during initial power on, but quickly disappear on a good boot, but one stuck on will indicate an issue with that sub-system so you can go investigate.