- Socket: LGA 1151
- Chipset: Intel H370
- RAM Slots: 4
- Memory: 2666/2400/2133 dual-channel DDR4
- Ports: 1x PS/2, 1x Gigabit LAN, 1x DVI-D, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 4 x USB 2.0, 5x Audio port, 1x Optical (SPDIF)
- Lots of cooling options
Of the three new chipsets from Intel, the H370 will probably see the most mainstream consumer use. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many brands will be focusing on it when it comes to midrange Intel setups. From the ASUS camp, we have the ROG Strix H370-F Gaming.
Although the chipset is mainly targeted at the mainstream market, the ROG Strix H370-F Gaming doesn’t give that impression. Its all-black and metallic look gives it a far more premium feel than regular mainstream options. Also, while it shares the same colour scheme as its Z370 equivalent, the layout and design are slightly different.
Putting that aside first, the H370-F Gaming has four DDR4 RAM slots, two PCIe x16 slots (one of which has metal reinforcing the bracket), and four PCIe x1 slots – enough for most users. For storage, the two M.2 slots and six SATA ports will also be more than enough. The M.2 slot placed in the middle of the board uses a heatsink too, providing much needed cooling for high-speed NVMe SSDs that tend to run hot. Lastly, a total of seven fan headers have been provided, so you can put anything you want on it and have enough options for cooling. This includes two for CPU fans, another for an AIO pump, and four for chassis fans.
For the back I/O ports, it has everything most people would need. This includes legacy ports like PS/2 and DVI-D, along with the following ports: Gigabit LAN, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-C, two USB 3.1 Type-A, and four USB 2.0 ports. In addition, the ports come with a pre-installed plate covering them.
Besides the above, this motherboard also has mounts near the bottom right. These can be used with 3D prints for either decorative purposes, or to add your own heatsink for the second M.2 slot that’s placed near that area. RGB illumination is also available here. With Aura Sync, you can even synchronise compatible RGB LED lights connected to the system, such as RGB strips or even ROG monitors. Other onboard features include the Q-LEDs that are useful for diagnostics, fan hub/extension support, and headers that can be use with thermal sensors.
In terms of performance, the H370-F Gaming is above average. However, the chipset doesn’t allow for overclocking, so it won’t be able do more than that. Also, the two M.2 slots use PCIe x4 and x2 mode respectively, which means you can only run one high-speed SSD at most.
CHIP CONCLUDE: With premium features and a great design, this motherboard is a good choice for those who want something high-end but can’t be bothered to overclock.
(previously published in issue June 2018)