ASUS ROG Announces the B85M-Gamer Motherboardby Ian Cutress on January 31, 2015 11:06 AM EST
In recent months it would seem that ASUS’ Republic of Gamers brand has split into some very distinct segments. We used to only have three SKUs to choose from: the Extreme, the Formula and the mATX Gene. Along came the mini-ITX Impact, then the Ranger, and then something called the Pro Gamer.
Today we received a press release regarding the announcement of the B85M-Gamer, which has very little mentioning of ROG at all. Typically ROG is ASUS’ high-end gaming brand, so it would make sense to align something more budget just under the ‘Gamer’ name rather than a full blown ROG. The B85M-Gamer, despite being a business chipset, it going for the cheaper Intel market which already includes non-overclocking products from GIGABYTE and MSI. This market attacks the price/performance segment for home users and gamers along with the system integrators or businesses such as cyber cafés in Asia who want a gaming angle.
The board is mostly black with red accents featuring a four-phase DIGI+ power solution, four SATA 6 Gbps, two SATA 3 Gbps, and a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. Audio comes under the ROG SupremeFX banner, meaning an enhanced Realtek ALC1150 solution with PCB separation, additional filter caps, a headphone amplifier for up to 300 ohm headphones and an EMI shield. The Intel NIC is paired with LANGuard for surge protection to defend against lightning strikes, and one would assume that the AI Suite 3 software also caters for some element of networking control. ASUS is reporting that the configuration they have selected has better UDP throughput for gaming than other solutions.
Four USB 3.0 ports and support for 32GB of DRAM is also present. ASUS hope that pairing this board with a Pentium, Core i3 or even an i5, as well as a mid-range graphics card, can provide an effective gaming tool in the B85 market for mATX builds.
As this press release came via ROG rather than ASUS USA, it is hard to tell if it will be stocked in the US or is more focused in Europe/Asia. As a result, no pricing or release date has been attached.
Source: ASUS ROG
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Spoelie - Sunday, February 1, 2015 - linkWhat about dpc latency? IIRC the 8 series chipset had a bug resulting in abnormally high dpc latency. This was fixed in the 9 series.
nunya112 - Monday, February 2, 2015 - linkthis is what sucks about enthusiasts motherboards. im an enthusiast I just dont need 4 way SLI and all the other crap. what I do need is
digi VRM's 12 phase, gold contacts on cpu, ram, and pci/pci/e slots, high end audio, no overclocking, good fan control and a solid base chipset.
so in other words. I want a seriously stable mobo with the highest quality stuff, and no over the top BS
Harry Lloyd - Monday, February 2, 2015 - linkThat does not look like a good board. The PCI-E slot layout is bad if you have anything other than a graphics card. Only HDMI and VGA, and only four USB ports on the back?
I have seen better regular boards, without some pointless "gamer" labels.
cjs150 - Monday, February 2, 2015 - linkLack of USB ports is an issue (I prefer wired keyboards) not so sure about PCI-E layout though - apart from usual problem with all M-atx boards, the first PCI-E slot is far, far too close to the bottom of the memory slots. Moving it down 5mm would make a big difference
SirKnobsworth - Monday, February 2, 2015 - linkThe position of the PCIe slots isn't adjustable, since everything has to line up in standardized cases. What they could have done is move the x16 slot down to the 2nd slot, swapping it with the first x1 slot. This would make both more useful.
DanNeely - Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - linkWhat I wish they would've done with DDR4 was to make the DIMMs slightly shorter. DIMMs and GPUs in the first slot has been a major pain point for years.
jardows2 - Monday, February 2, 2015 - linkI have been impressed by the B85 chipset boards for everyday use. I don't need or use all the features of the higher-end chipsets, but I do miss some of the extras that do not have anything to do with the chipset.
What I really like about this board:
B85 chipset - no fluff
AC 1150 - high end audio
What I do not like about the board:
Practically useless PCIe x1 slots limiting expandability.
So close to what I want in a motherboard, but not quite there.
DanNeely - Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - linkWhat are you looking for instead? B85 won't let you split the CPU lanes into an 8/8 config; and there's no legacy PCI available without using a bridge chip. An x4 off the chipset might be possible (in that it looks like only 2 lanes are used, ethernet and audio); but aside from gaming that's even more of a niche option than 1x slots. For gaming an 8/8 split works much better; nVidia won't allow SLI with an x4 off the chipset, and IIRC 16/4 is lopsided enough to impact xFire a bit even if AMD doesn't ban the config.
anolesoul - Thursday, February 5, 2015 - linkOnly 4 slots...for RAM? Bummer....
vision33r - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - linkIt's all marketing, I've built a lot of systems for customers and majority of them never overclock. If they overclock they wouldn't need someone to build it for them. Then I tell customers that they can save some money and just got for a H or B chipset motherboard but people just want everything. So they have a Z chipset but they never overclock or change multipliers yet why do they want an unlocked CPU for $30-40 more?
You better off invest more money in a higher spec GPU for more value.