Friday, May 12th 2017

ASUS Announces a Pair of ROG STRIX Mini-ITX Motherboards: H270I and B250I

ASUS has further increased its Intel 200-series chipset-based motherboards with the addition of two Mini-ITX motherboards. The H270I and B250I join the ROG staple of motherboards from ASUS, which means these come packed with features and are being marketed for gamers. Though the features are looking a bit thin, which was to be somewhat expected given the lack of PCB real-estate to house them.

These two motherboards do not support any kind of OC, and memory speeds are thus limited to the stock Intel 2400 MHz (and further limited to two sticks of memory up to a 32 GB total.) Furthermore, there is a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, a gaping absence of PCI ports, but a saving grace of two M.2 ports in each motherboard. Which are, yes, very hard to see: one of them fits in the front of the PCB, under the double-decker heatsink design over the PCH that allows an M.2 drive to be stacked on top of it, which means the PCH and the M.2 drive are cooled by the top of the heatsink. The other, which we can't see in the pictures, is located on the back of the motherboard. Both M.2 connectors can handle full-speed PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSDs, as well as Intel Optane Memory, but only one of them supports SATA-based M.2 solid state drives.
Let's dive on connectivity: both motherboards have 4x SATA 6Gb/s ports and support Intel Rapid Storage Technology, although only the Strix H270I has RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and Intel SRT capabilities. The H270I supports 8x USB 3.0 ports (6x rear, one header for 2x front ports) and the B250I supports 6x USB 3.0 ports (4x rear, one header for 2x front ports) and two USB 2.0 ports (two rear). The H270-based model also has 2x gigabit LAN ports (1x Intel I219V and 1x Realtek RTL8111H), while the B250-based model only has 1x gigabit LAN port powered by Intel's I219V controller.
Both motherboards feature on-board dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1, and a 2x2 external antenna. Display outputs come in at 1x HDMI 1.4 and 1x DisplayPort 1.2 video for Intel's IGPs, while onboard audio duties are handled by a ROG SupremeFX eight-channel HD audio solution, based on the Realtek ALC1220A codec. There are 3x fan headers - one that supports a water pump or a high amperage fan - and access to ASUS' Fan Xpert 4 UEFI/software fan controls.Source: AnandTech
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14 Comments on ASUS Announces a Pair of ROG STRIX Mini-ITX Motherboards: H270I and B250I

#1
alucasa
This... has been out for a while, no? I recall seeing them on Newegg for a while.
Posted on Reply
#2
theonedub
habe fidem
alucasa said:
This... has been out for a while, no? I recall seeing them on Newegg for a while.
Pretty sure only the Z version has been out and on sale at retailers- not the B or H series.
Posted on Reply
#3
Upgrayedd
ROG used to actually mean a little something. When I think of ROG I usually think of stuff like Ares, Poseidon, Rampage and Formula.
I guess now even B series chipsets are ROG..
Posted on Reply
#4
notb
Upgrayedd said:
ROG used to actually mean a little something. When I think of ROG I usually think of stuff like Ares, Poseidon, Rampage and Formula.
I guess now even B series chipsets are ROG..
What's wrong with these motherboards?
They have basically all the goodies that Z270 variant has - just the chipset is different.
Posted on Reply
#5
lZKoce
Some tough competition for the B-version of ROG from Gigabyte's GA-B250N Phoenix-WIFI, which costs about 125 EUR. I do not see any prices here in the news, but I suppose ROG's version will cost more, while for the most part Gigabyte has a solid board as well.
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#7
notb
lZKoce said:
Some tough competition for the B-version of ROG from Gigabyte's GA-B250N Phoenix-WIFI, which costs about 125 EUR. I do not see any prices here in the news, but I suppose ROG's version will cost more, while for the most part Gigabyte has a solid board as well.
For me the key selling point of these boards are two M.2 interfaces. This is in fact an important thing in the whole ASUS lineup: they're also offering fairly affordable dual M.2 mATX boards (both connectors at the front). Most other manufacturers give you that only in ATX models.

Also the audio on ASUS ROG is usually above average..

But most significantly, ASUS mobos generally are known for long and trouble-free operation - an opinion that's fully in-line with my experience (albeit with the CSM/PRO models, not gaming stuff).
Gigabyte is trying to be a more cutting-edge manufacturer... And the only way to keep your gear up to date is to replace often...

NationsAnarchy said:
Now what I want is a Ryzen mITX board T.T
You're not alone. I got tired of waiting and went Intel (I generally preferred Intel CPUs anyway - just wanted to see what Ryzen stuff will offer).
The rumor is that designing an AM4 mITX mobo is not easy. I find this very weird considering it's a SoC and everyone expected great scalability - important for laptops and AIOs.
Instead we get a suggestion that it was not possible to convert any of already available LGA1150 designs...
Posted on Reply
#8
Upgrayedd
lZKoce said:
I suppose ROG's version will cost more, while for the most part Gigabyte has a solid board as well.
Of course it will cost more they made a plain ass motherboard and threw on the ROG name. ROG means "money" now, not "overpacked with features" like it used to.
Posted on Reply
#9
kenkickr
I have the Z270 of this board and it has been rock stable. The only thing I wish the Z270 had that the H270 has is the dual nic especially since Intel now offers teaming on their newest drivers.
Posted on Reply
#10
claes
Furthermore, there is a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, a gaping absence of PCI ports, but a saving grace of two M.2 ports in each motherboard.
Some lofty expectations for ITX...
Posted on Reply
#11
Caring1
notb said:
ASUS mobos generally are known for long and trouble-free operation -
:roll::roll::roll::roll:
Thanks for that laugh.
Posted on Reply
#12
9700 Pro
Upgrayedd said:
ROG used to actually mean a little something. When I think of ROG I usually think of stuff like Ares, Poseidon, Rampage and Formula.
I guess now even B series chipsets are ROG..
Exactly. ROG seems to be the brand of almost every "gaming" product from Asus these days.. o_O
Posted on Reply
#13
notb
9700 Pro said:
Exactly. ROG seems to be the brand of almost every "gaming" product from Asus these days.. o_O
That seems correct.
Since Kaby Lake motherboards are divided into: ROG, Prime, TUF, Commercial and Workstation.
Now ROG is the universal gaming brand (Pro Gaming was removed).
Similarly, Prime became the new consumer brand (including models that used to have no special name earlier).

These 2 mITX mobos are succeeding the (highly regarded) mITX Pro Gaming models from previous generations. They were really missed by clients.

Upgrayedd said:
Of course it will cost more they made a plain ass motherboard and threw on the ROG name. ROG means "money" now, not "overpacked with features" like it used to.
I don't understand your problem. They're fixing the lineup a bit and that's welcome - it was a mess lately.
Snobbery? :) You have an expensive ROG mobo and you don't want lesser stuff to share the premium name? ;)
Do you wear a ROG T-shirt? :P
Posted on Reply
#14
Upgrayedd
notb said:
That seems correct.
Since Kaby Lake motherboards are divided into: ROG, Prime, TUF, Commercial and Workstation.
Now ROG is the universal gaming brand (Pro Gaming was removed).
Similarly, Prime became the new consumer brand (including models that used to have no special name earlier).

These 2 mITX mobos are succeeding the (highly regarded) mITX Pro Gaming models from previous generations. They were really missed by clients.


I don't understand your problem. They're fixing the lineup a bit and that's welcome - it was a mess lately.
Snobbery? :) You have an expensive ROG mobo and you don't want lesser stuff to share the premium name? ;)
Do you wear a ROG T-shirt? :p
To me this is similar to putting a new exhaust, wheels, tinted windows on a family sedan and calling it a race car. Its shameful to actual race cars. Just say its a nice car or even nicer now.
Nothing wrong with expanding product line ups.
Just don't ruin a good name by throwing in lesser names. That's how brands fail.
My next board will be an ASRock OC Formula board. Tired of gimmicks from ASUS. I had a ROG board with that GameFirst shitware and all it did was throttle my 1Gbps fiber connection, after disabling I got full speed back.
Fixing their lineup? Fixing their prices more like it. B series mobo, nothing special. Slap on special ROG and ROG becomes not so special anymore and the brand loses reputation. Then they use the STRIX name along with ROG branding, talk about messy naming schemes.

I thought B chipset could only support a single M.2 x4 drive?
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