ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi review: Mid-range power!

Rating

Building a new desktop computer with one of AMD’s latest Ryzen 7000 processors is rather costly. However, there are some things you can do to keep the costs in check, like choosing a mid-range motherboard. If you’re a gamer, one of the options you’ll find in online and retail stores nowadays is the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi motherboard. Although it’s based on an affordable AMD B650 chipset, it comes with gamer-oriented features, a beautiful design, and premium components. Are you curious to see what it has to offer and how it fares in real life? Then read this review and find out more about the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi:

ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi: Who is it good for?

The ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi motherboard is an excellent choice for:

  • Gamers who are looking to switch to the AMD AM5 platform with a Ryzen 7000 processor
  • Anyone who wants a high-quality mid-range motherboard with plenty of features
  • Those who don’t want to pay unreasonable amounts of money for their PC

Pros and cons

The most positive aspects of the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi are these:

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  • Its price is lower than that of motherboards based on AMD X670E, X670, or B650E chipsets
  • It has an attractive look and a nice design
  • The Voltage Regulator Modules (VRMs) are solid and have large heatsinks
  • You get PCI Express 5.0 and 4.0 slots, and quite a generous number of ports
  • It includes a Wi-Fi 6 chip
  • It proved stable even with a high-end AMD Ryzen 9 7900X processor

As for downsides:

  • The x16 (graphics) port is limited to PCIe 4.0; it’s not PCIe 5.0
Product rating 4.5/5

Verdict

Thanks to the fact that it’s based on the more affordable AMD B650 chipset, the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi shapes up to be quite an attractive motherboard. It has all the goodies of the AMD AM5 platform, including PCI Express 5.0 and PCI Express 4.0 support (say goodbye to PCIe 3.0!), a generous amount of ports, and a solid VRM (Voltage Module Regulator). Moreover, just like all ASUS TUF devices and hardware, the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi looks solidly built, and its components appear to be high-quality. If you also take into account its price, which is more affordable than what manufacturers ask for motherboards based on high-end chipsets, I believe that this motherboard should be on the shortlist for any gamer who wants to build a new desktop PC based on an AMD Ryzen 7000 processor. This is especially true if you’re looking into buying an AMD Ryzen 5 7600X and want to keep the overall costs in check.

Unboxing the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi motherboard

The ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi motherboard arrives in a beautiful box made of premium cardboard. Just like the packaging of all ASUS TUF devices, the main colors used are gray and orange. On the box, you’ll see images of the mainboard together with a generous amount of information about its features and specs.

The box of the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi

Inside the box, there’s the motherboard and a generous bundle of accessories that includes SATA 6Gb/s cables, an ASUS Wi-Fi antenna kit, a couple of screws, stickers, a DVD with drivers, the warranty, and the user guide.

ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi: What's inside the box

The box of the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi is good-looking, and the bundle inside is generous.

Hardware specifications and design

With a length of 30.5 cm (12 inches) and a width of 24.4 cm (9.6 inches), the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi is an ATX motherboard in terms of size. As it’s based on the mainstream AMD B650 chipset and has features targeted at gamers, I’d call it a mid-range gaming motherboard. However, we’ll see exactly what it can do in games later in this review. The mainboard is designed to work with AMD’s latest desktop processors from the Ryzen 7000 family, so it sports an AM5 socket and supports only DDR5 memory.

ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi is an AM5 motherboard

Similar to other TUF Gaming motherboards from ASUS, the B650-Plus WiFi has an overall rugged look that gives you confidence in its capabilities. The components appear to be high-quality, and the large heatsinks seem sturdy and efficient at their job. That’s especially true for the CPU VRM heatsink, which nicely blends into the input/output panel. The covers on top of the chipset and M.2 slots also feature an interesting “mathematical” design that makes the whole picture look rough but delicate at the same time.

The ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi looks solid

Although I wouldn’t say that a chipset like the AMD B650 is great for overclocking, this motherboard will probably perform above expectations if you try. I say that because the VRM (Voltage Regulator Module) is robust and offers a 12 + 2 phase processor power supply able to handle 60 amperes. The energy required by the CPU is delivered through two regular 8 + 4 EPS power connectors.

The VRM heat spreaders are large and robust

Towards the top-right corner of the mainboard, there’s a standard 24-pin ATX main power connector and next to it, the four DDR5 DIMM slots. The motherboard supports a maximum of 128 GB and a wide range of different memory frequencies, from 4800 MT/s (mega transfers per second) to over 6400 MT/s in overclocking mode.

This motherboard uses DDR5 RAM only

There are plenty of expansion and storage slots available on the motherboard, and they’re fast too. The PCI Express lanes that are routed to the processors include:

  • one PCIe 4.0 (x16 mode) slot for the graphics card
  • one M.2 PCIe 5.0 (x4 mode) slot for a fast solid-state drive (type 2242/2260/2280)
  • one M.2 PCIe 4.0 (x4 mode) slot for a fast solid-state drive (type 2242/2260/2280/22110)

The AMD B650 chipset of the motherboard has its own PCI Express lanes and the slots connected to it include:

  • one PCIe 4.0 x16 slot (x4 mode)
  • two PCIe 4.0 x1 slots
  • one PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot (x4 mode, type 2242/2260/2280)
  • four SATA 6Gb/s ports

The motherboard comes with PCI Express 5.0 and 4.0

In terms of connectivity, ASUS equipped the motherboard with a 2.5Gbps Realtek Ethernet chip and also with a MediaTek Wi-Fi 6 card with 2x2 MIMO and support for 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax standards on the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Of course, Bluetooth is also present: version 5.2 to be exact. For audio, we get a Realtek 7.1 surround sound high-definition codec that supports 24-Bit/192kHz playback.

On the rear I/O (input/output) panel, there’s one USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 port (Type-C), three USB 3.2 Gen 2 port (two Type-A and one Type-C), four USB 2.0 (Type-A), one DisplayPort, one HDMI port, one Wi-Fi module connection, the 2.5Gb Ethernet port, five audio jacks, and a BIOS FlashBack button.

The ports selection on the rear I/O panel

On the motherboard, there are other internal I/O connectors too. For your PC case front panel, you get a USB 3.2 Gen 1 connector that supports USB Type-C, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 header that supports two additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and two USB 2.0 headers that can accommodate four USB 2.0 ports.

Other internal connectors are available as well, including fan controllers (CPU, CPU OPT, AIO Pump, four chassis fans), RGB headers (three addressable, one Aura RGB), front panel audio, and even a Thunderbolt header.

The number of internal headers is above average

If you want to check all the bits and pieces of the technical information, you can visit the motherboard’s official webpage: ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi Tech Specs.

Because it’s based on the more affordable AMD B650 chipset, the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi is, theoretically, a mid-range motherboard. However, the choices ASUS made when designing it, and the premium components used to make this motherboard feel higher-end.

Read the next page of this review if you’re curious to see what results I got in benchmarks with a computer based on the ASUS TUF Gaming B650-Plus WiFi motherboard.

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