I would like to thank Asus, Cooler Master, Apacer, and Team Group for supplying the parts for this article.
The TUF Gaming Alliance, spearheaded by ASUS, aims to give potential buyers who are budget conscious a streamlined set of hardware components by taking out the guesswork of what is a mainstream gaming component. This sub-brand has the same driving factor as their ROG products. However, ROG targeting the high-end segment. TUF stands for The Ultimate Force, and each item features the unique TUF branding. ASUS has partnered with various brands in the industry who then provide TUF-branded products, which essentially means you can easily build a mainstream gaming rig with not only a nice balance of price vs. performance, but a cohesive color and branding theme across all the parts. For this article, we are combining components from ASUS, Cooler Master, Teamgroup, and Apacer for a complete TUF build.
Motherboard - ASUS X470 TUF-PLUS Gaming
ASUS tends to release various TUF-branded motherboards for each generation of chipsets, which naturally fall into that balanced price vs. performance segment. We are using the AMD-based X470-PLUS Gaming board and combine it with a Ryzen 5 CPU. If you are looking to go for the latest generation, there is the ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus for AMD as well.
The box is naturally heavily branded with TUF elements, and even the motherboard is silk-screened with pretty cool military elements all over it. One reason some may prefer the X470 over the newer generation X570 boards is the fact that these are cooled passively.
The board comes with several elements to underline that it is a TUF unit, including higher-grade chokes, capacitors, and MOSFETs, as well as a sturdier PCIe slot setup. On top of that, ASUS has embedded additional surge protection measures for the LAN part and covers and a TUF-branded shielding for your onboard audio.
Several special branding elements that sport the TUF logo can be found on the shroud, chipset heatsink, and a TUF Gaming logo that actually lights up when the system is powered on.
Memory - Apacer Panther TUF Edition
There are several memory brands out there that offer products with the TUF brand. Apacer may be lesser known, but offers potent, cool-looking, RGB-equipped memory modules from their Panther series which come with additional yellow color touches to fit in well with the dual-tone board.
While the TUF branding varies across products, Apacer basically piggy backs off their Panther line-up, so there isn't too much additional branding on the aluminium heatspreaders. Naturally, you will clearly be able to see the RGB lighting elements once the system is turned on. By going with the TUF memory, Apacer basically puts the spotlight on the fact that their Panther series is a great choice for mainstream gamers.
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