ASUS B450 Prime Plus Review
Published: 31st July 2018 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
The Prime packaging always reminds us of the motherboards we grew up with. Lacking the ROG logo and similar "whoo we're a gaming product" type highlights it's very much about the product shot, model name, moving on.
Although the packaging might remind us of older motherboards we weren't expecting the B450 Prime Plus itself to also look like AMD motherboards of yore. Even though the Prime range has never been famous for its aesthetics the B450 take definitely seems seriously cut down. A glance across the space on the PCB or at the gaps in the IO section show that this is definitely at the affordable end of the market.
At the top edge of the Prime Plus we have a RGB LED Strip header along with headers for two CPU fans. The power phase heatsinks aren't going to win any beauty contests and aren't over-engineered. However, as long as they do the job then keeping the Prime Plus affordable is more important than some flashy elements.
Normally vertical SATA ports are there because the motherboard is either super-affordable, or the PCB is already utterly festooned with elements meaning they are used for space reasons. Looking at how much nothing there is around the SATA ports, we know which of those two boxes the ASUS B450 Prime Plus ticks. Just because a motherboard is affordable it shouldn't look cheap, and vertical ports always look cheap.
With the two fan ports at the top edge of the Prime it is clear that with the B450 ASUS intend you to run a 120mm AIO as the headers for the pump and a single fan are just above the top PCI Express slot for mounting in the exhaust slot of your case.
It's a general rule of thumb that you can get a feel for the pricing of a motherboard from the amount of connection ports in the IO section of the motherboard, and if that is the case then the Prime looks like ASUS should be paying you to take it away. Just about enough of everything, but those of you with a standard selection of peripherals - mouse, keyboard, headset, gamepad - will quickly find yourself running out of USB ports.