The new Ryzen 7000-series processors are some of the most potent gaming chips you can get your hands on right now. But only premium motherboards were available at launch. Now, there are a lot more options to choose from, as ASUS is rolling out a wide assortment of B650 and B650E motherboards to suit the needs of gamers, creators, and everyone else looking to start a new build with optimal value in mind.
Gamers looking to always have the advantage in performance and style will find a match in ASUS’s ROG Strix or TUF Gaming Series. Creators can find their creative partner in the ASUS ProArt Series. And everyone who’s looking to maximize value will find the ASUS Prime Series.
A few things are common across all of ASUS’s B650 and B650E motherboards. You’ll find the AM5 socket necessary for you to install a Ryzen 7000-series processor The new socket uses a Land Grid Array, making it easier to install the processor without worrying about bent or broken pins. You’ll also find support for PCIe 5.0 on every single motherboard, providing immense bandwidth for the latest SSDs. B650E boards even bring PCIe 5.0 x16 slots for graphics cards. All of the boards support DDR5 memory, which unlocks faster transfer rates and comes with on-die error correction.
The latest internet connections meet their match with ASUS B650 motherboards. Every single board includes 2.5Gb Ethernet, so you can max out even the speeds you might be seeing from fiber internet providers. All of the WiFi-enabled models also support Wi-Fi 6, while the ROG Strix models bump up even higher to Wi-Fi 6E, allowing for you to get not only the speed benefits of Wi-Fi 6 but also tap into the recently introduced 6GHz band for extra-fast transmission speeds.
For a stylish and performant gaming PC build, ASUS has a handful of ROG Strix Series motherboards ready to build in. The ROG Strix B650E-E Gaming WiFi goes all in dual PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, dual PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 slots, and dual PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots. You can truly load this thing up with graphics, storage, and other add-ins. It’s loaded with 19 USB ports and headers and includes support for Thunderbolt and the new USB4. In addition to RGB on the board, it has four different aRGB headers to control system lighting and keep it all in sync. Sound also gets an upgrade with the Realtek ALC 4080 codec paired with a Savitech SV3H712 amplifier.
The ROG Strix B650E-F Gaming WiFi forgoes the extra PCIe 5.0 x16 and x4 slots of the B650E-E, letting you nab a more affordable variant that doesn’t miss out on much else. You’ll still find it overflowing with ports, aRGB headers, and the same audio system. It also comes in the same, stylish black finish.
While both of those boards are dark and built for larger PCs, ASUS has another pair of boards to offer more flexibility.
The ROG Strix B650E-I packs the latest tech into a Mini-ITX form factor. You’ll still find those next-gen PCIe slots for graphics and storage as well as a secondary PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot for an additional SSD. Despite the shrunk down motherboard, ASUS still includes the same upgraded audio codec and amp. It also won’t leave you hurting for I/O with eight USB ports on the back, including five running at 10Gbps and one running at 20Gbps that can support DisplayPort Alt Mode.
All black won’t do for every PC build, so ASUS has the ROG Strix B650-A Gaming WiFi motherboard. This option swaps many heat spreaders and heatsinks for white, letting it blend into lighter-colored builds. You can build quite the rig in this system with dual PCIe x16 slots and triple M.2 slots. The upgraded audio is on deck here as well, plus you’ll get support for Thunderbolt and USB4.
Built like a tank
The ASUS TUF Gaming motherboards are built to go the distance with sturdy design and reliable components. Their aesthetics emphasize this quality, and ASUS has partnered with other component makers to form the TUF Gaming Alliance, so you can find parts that will go together into a cohesive aesthetic.
The TUF Gaming B650 Series can be broken down into two groups: full-size ATX and micro-ATX. Each group includes a Wi-Fi and a non-Wi-Fi option.
All of the models feature four DIMM slots for up to 128GB of memory. They also all include dual x16-length PCIe slots, letting you fit in your graphics card and an additional add-in card. They’ll also offer two M.2 slots (one at PCIe 5.0 x4 and one at PCIe 4.0 x4), but the full-size ATX models include a third M.2 slot for even more storage.
While the number and variety of ports available will vary, all of the boards will offer a Thunderbolt/USB4 header and a 20Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C port.
These tough motherboards work to keep everything running cool with heat shields and heatsinks on critical components, including the VRMs.
Unleashing your creativity
Creators need much of the same performance capabilities from their machines as gamers do. The ASUS ProArt B650-Creator is here to deliver just that. Beyond its understated but elegant design, the ProArt B650-Creator is geared up to support the many configurations you might need from it.
You’ll find three x16-length PCIe slots, to support several add-in cards all at once. Two of them share bandwidth, letting you choose to run one at PCIe 4.0 x16 or run the pair of them each at PCIe 4.0 x8. While dual-graphics setups might be dead in gaming, that’s not true for creators. You’ll also land three M.2 slots, so you can load up on extra fast storage to house all of your project files. When you need to transfer your files off the computer, the many USB ports (including Thunderbolt, USB-4, and USB 3.2 Gen 2x2) and 2.5Gbps Ethernet port provide convenient ways to move data at extremely fast speeds. That USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 port coming through the front panel I/O also enables Quick Charge 4+, so you can top up the battery in external devices. A Type-C port on the back supports DP Alt Mode for a simple connection supporting up to 8K/60Hz displays, too.
Finally, there’s the Prime B650 Series. Like the TUF Gaming models, the Prime B650 Series is split between ATX and micro-ATX formats, and then further split between Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi models. This provides the flexibility for you to choose which features and capabilities you need, and which you don’t, so you can save here and there to maximize value.
Regardless of which board you choose, the Prime B650 Series will provide one PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, a pair of M.2 slots (one at PCIe 5.0 x4 and one at PCIe 4.0 x4), 2.5Gb Ethernet, and support for a host of USB ports in the rear and at the front of your chosen PC case. The full-size ATX motherboards support M.2 22110 drives, while the micro-ATX boards stick to M.2 2280 — fortunately that’s a very common size for SSDs. All of these models support BIOS Flashback, too, making it easy to update the motherboard’s BIOS even if you don’t have a CPU installed. That’s especially handy for newer builders.
So, whether you’re looking to build the ultimate gaming rig, just want something reliable, need a motherboard to support your entire creative tool kit, or are trying to maximize the performance-per-dollar of your system, you can find an ASUS B650 motherboard to fit the bill.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.