Product: ASUS Prime B 350 Plus
Price: 76,24 pounds (98,7$)
Best Place to Buy: Amazon
Warranty: Standard 3-years from ASUS
B 350 Motherboards
ASUS Prime B 350 Plus is ASUS’ new budget motherboard for Ryzen processors. B350 are budget-oriented motherboards and while including a lot fewer features than the X370 enthusiast lineup of boards, they still pack great features for their price. B 350 boards do not support SLI configurations and while, theoretically, they support dual Radeon GPUs, it is not recommended to use them for multi-GPU configurations. B 350 motherboards also feature fewer SATA and USB port and PCIe 2x lanes.
On the other hand, B350 boards are perfect for those who want to plug in their CPU and get great out-of-the box performance. They support overclocking, which is a great aspect for 100$ motherboards, although the thermal capacity of the B350 is worse than what is being offered on the X370 boards. If you intend to buy a Ryzen 1700 and do not want to spend a fortune on an expensive mobo and run your CPU at a decent and stable overclock of 3,7 to 3,8 GHz you should definitely get a B350 board. M2 support is included, too so do not hesitate using your M.2 SSD drive with B350 boards. However, only 1x M.2 is available on the B 350 models.
Why ASUS Prime B350 Plus?
If you have made your decision to buy a B350 motherboard, you are way from done as there are several boards to choose from. Besides ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, and ASRock are great motherboard manufacturers with great products and the B350 market is no different.
Why ASUS then?
Asus Prime B 350 Plus is neither the best B350 board when it comes to features such as USB Ports and PCIe Lanes nor is it the best looking board out of the competition. As you will see in the specifications below the board does not even have RGB Lighting support. Well, why do I recommend this board at all then? Good question. There are far more important things than looks and features when you are choosing a proper motherboard. Stability, overclocking, BIOS support and safety features are the deciding factors here. And in these 4 areas, ASUS Prime B350 Plus is way ahead of its competition.
ASUS has been a motherboard manufacturer for over 30 years, their products are top notch, ASUS has great customer support and their motherboards have the best compatibility with other crucial components inside your rig. ASUS motherboards have survived stress testing many times, they are safe to use due to overvoltage protection and have the most stable BIOS. You can expect a 3200 Mhz DDR4 Ram Kit to run at the advertised speed without issues. Overclocking stability is a key characteristic here with ASUS Prime B 350 Plus offering the best overclocking out of all the B350 boards due to its improved BIOS.
Besides fancy features what you should really opt for when choosing a motherboard for your Ryzen CPU are stability, overclocking and BIOS support. In those fields, the ASUS Prime B 350 Plus really shines. But let us get on to the actual specs:
ASUS Prime B 350 Plus offers support for AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs up to 8 cores.
Maximum RAM support is 64 GB with 4 DIMM slots supporting RAM frequency up to 3200 MHz. If you want to know why high-speed RAM is needed especially in gaming scenarios, click here to learn more. The board has a 1x PCIe (x16) slot for your graphics card, and a second PCIe slot, which only supports x8 speed. Although you can hook up a second Radeon graphics card, it is recommended to get aX370 motherboard if you want to use multiple GPUs. A great thing about the ASUS Prime B 350 Plus is that it has 2xPCI x1 slots, perfect for adding an audio card.
The ASUS board features 4xUSB 3.0, 2xUSB 3.1 and 2xUSB 2.0 ports. Type C USB is not supported, which is ok if you consider the lucrative price point of this motherboard. For audio, there are only 3x audio jacks available, so if you have a 5.1 or 7.1 system you are better off spending some extra cash to get an x370 motherboard.
The ASUS Prime B 350 Plus includes a fan RGB header, although the board itself does not have embedded RGB lighting. In case you have an RGB lighting strip, you can use the RGB fan header to unleash the lighting in your system.
For storage, 6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors will give you plenty of headroom to install multiple hard drives and SSDs. Internal fan connectors are limited to 1x CPU fan header and 2x fan headers, which will make it difficult for you if you want to install multiple fans in your case. Get an x370 board if that is the case.
The package of the board includes the user’s manual, an I/O shield, 2 SATA cables, 1 M.2 Screw package and 1 DVD with the drivers, which you do not need anyway because you can download all the latest drivers, tools and BIOS from the manufacturer’s website to ensure that you will have the latest versions installed.
The board provides a VGA and DVI-D port if you use the board with an APU processor with integrated graphics. Ryzen CPUs do not have integrated graphics, so these ports will be of no use to you as you will connect your HDMI or display port to your GPU anyway. Two LAN ports and an Ethernet port are also included.
One thing that stands out is the audio shielding, which is situated on the down left corner of the motherboard providing noise isolation to ensure that there will be no interference with other components. A nice feature to have on a budget board like this, quite unexpected actually.
Other features are not worth mentioning as they are common for all motherboards like the 24x pin power connector for the motherboard, the 8x pin connector for the CPU and the HD audio connector as well as a CMOS jumper. Pretty basic stuff here.
One key element on the ASUS Prime B 350 Plus is the electrostatic discharge protection. A major problem many boards face is electrostatic discharge caused by inadequate grounding before working on the Pc’s components. While it is always recommended to ground yourself before touching the inner parts of your system, ASUS eliminates most possibilities by providing an electrostatic discharge protection.
Excellent choice for first-time builders
If you have never build a custom Pc before or are rather inexperienced in building computers, this motherboard will make life easier for you. Building on this motherboard is really easy, there is nothing complicated going on, ASUS’ user manual is simple to comprehend, the BIOS is easy to navigate and to update. All internal connections are easy to reach, CPU installation is rather simple, too. The ASUS Prime B 350 Plus is pretty much a plug and play motherboard. Simply connect your parts to the mainboard, turn the Pc on, update the BIOS, download the latest drivers and optional tools from the manufacturer’s website and you are good to go.
I recommend getting a fully modular power supply, in order to use only the necessary cables. This will improve air circulation and cable management because you will not have to deal with unnecessary cables. Fewer cables mean more free room inside your case and which also improves appearance. No one wants a bunch of cables stored next to the power supply. When using only the absolute necessary cables, you eliminate that problem. Check out my guide for choosing a proper power supply for your rig.
If you are looking for a great motherboard for your newly bought Ryzen 1700 or Ryzen 1600 but you do want to spend too much money on a premium X 370 board while getting a stable overclock of 3,7 to 3,8 GHz, the ASUS Prime B 350 Plus is your best bet. It may not have the best features compared to other B 350 boards and may not look particularly stunning, but it has the best BIOS, the best overclocking stability and is the safest to use due to its overvolting and electrostatic discharge protection. Moreover, the board is easy to install and has all the necessary features you need. If you decide to buy the ASUS Prime B 350 Plus, you invest in quality instead of quantity. A great board for a great price.
However, if you want to overclock your CPU to 4 GHz with an aftermarket cooler or want to install a second graphics card, the ASUS Prime B 350 is not for you. In this case, spend the extra money to buy an X370 board, which has better overclocking support and allows for multi-GPU configurations.
Always remember that quality is what you should be looking for when choosing Pc parts. The fanciest part is rarely the best to use. You should never go cheap on components, although, that does not mean that the most expensive parts are always the best ones. Choosing Pc components is something that sounds really easy at first, but it is not always as easy as it sounds. ASUS Prime B 350 Plus is available for 65 pounds(98$) on Amazon and while only being 20$ more expensive than A320 boards, its build quality is top notch and is considered almost on par with the X370 platform, with a bunch of features cut off to justify the 100$ price mark. An excellent choice all around.
I hope that you liked my review. If you happen to own this board and would like to share your opinion of it, leave a comment below.