ASUS ROG STRIX B360-I Gaming Motherboard Review

It seems there is a new mini-ITX motherboard model every time you turn around. We’ve often looked at the higher end of the spectrum on these little power houses. This time we switch gears and look at a more budget oriented option than we are used to, how does this $128 motherboard hold up to its more expensive brethren?

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Motherboard Overclocking Software

ASUS does include its AI Suite III software with the ASUS ROG STRIX B360-I Gaming. However, this software only offers the features that the platform is capable of. Since the ASUS ROG STRIX B360-I Gaming doesn’t support overclocking, there isn’t really all that much available in the way of tuning in AI Suite III. All the same fan control, power savings, PC health monitoring and other features are still present as the ROG STRIX B360-I Gaming motherboard still supports them.

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Oddly, the application defaults to the DIGI+VRM menu as there isn’t the usual 5-Way optimization menu. The DIGI+VRM menu allows for some control over the motherboards power phases and CPU-load line calibration settings. VRM switching frequencies are controllable here, although I’m not sure why you would, given the lack of overclocking capability here.

Navigation is controlled from the flyout on the left-hand side which is easy to miss if you haven’t used the application before. It’s the chief issue with the application as it's not the most intuitive thing. PC health monitoring is something the utility does very well. PC health information is always shown in the bottom quarter of the application window. The EPU menu is what provides control over power savings features. It allows for customization of the presets, and its relatively easy to use.

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The TurboV Evo menu takes you to a menu which allows overclocking of graphics cards. There are four adjustments plus some fan controls. It’s a simple menu, but it doesn’t need to be complex to work for this purpose. The fan control menus are the same as they are for the higher end motherboards. You can rename fan locations, auto-tune fans, or manually adjust them based on PWM or DC modes. Fan spin up and spin down times are adjustable, which is a fantastic feature, especially for a small form factor build.

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While the system monitoring information is always visible, you can expand these menus to show additional information. The gear button on the far right allows you to open up a menu where you can set warning thresholds for specific hardware conditions such as certain voltage or temperature ranges. Overall, the utility is more robust than that of ASUS’ peers. It isn’t always the most intuitive software but the learning curve shrinks rapidly once you figure out the basic navigation. The two main inconsistencies in the interface being the only real deterrent to that. The gear icon for the warning thresholds is out of place, as is the navigation menu. The menus don’t support a back function like a browser, and it should. Even with the navigation menu, you have to actually click on something rather than just backing out to a home screen of sorts. Effectively, the DIGI+VRM menu is the default menu here.

ASUS Aura

Sadly, I lost the screen grabs of the Aura software, and had to get the test CPU back to Kyle for something he was doing. As a result, I don’t have the screenshots of this, however the Aura software is identical to what we’ve seen on any recent ASUS motherboard. Essentially, the software supports setting up RGB LEDs by zone and allows for synchronizing the onboard LEDs with other devices that support this feature. An RGB LED header is provided on the motherboard for expanding the LED lighting. Also, several visual effects can be applied to the lighting and ASUS allows the user to set specific settings while the system is shutdown. This is something ASUS handles better than any other manufacturer.