The newly launched Asus B85-Pro Gamer series is the first board to be launched in the all new “Gamer” lineup, which is aimed towards the budget gamer contrary to the high end Republic Of Gamers lineup, the dawn of the “Gamer” series proves to be a bliss for the budget gamer and would definitely help the company to tighten its grip in the mainstream segment.
Asus boards at a glance
Asus is no doubt the most reputable brand as far as motherboards are concerned and their Graphic cards are fueled by the same top notch quality components as their motherboards too, each and every motherboard, being the most entry level board or the extreme end monster, is equipped with the durable and trustable quality components of which Asus is famous for and the company provides motherboards for each and every purpose, from an entry level HTPC to the Server based systems with Dual socket CPU connectivity. The flagship series of the brand known as the “Republic of Gamers” lineup or ROG is considered the badge of honor for the gamers boasting the equipment and feature the most advance chipset from Intel and AMD and even push it to new levels with the extreme end components and 3rd party controllers boosting the potential of the chipset to new levels for unprecedented gaming and no compromise over-clocks. Quality is the key component for every Asus product, from ROG series to the entry level board; the mainstream lineup features the entry level chipsets, mainstream and high end chipsets. It won’t be wrong to mention here that even the entry level and mainstream chipset boards that Asus manufactures bleeds quality and durability just like the ROG series so that means you may compromise on the features but the quality of every motherboard that comes out of the Asus factory remains durable as it should be.
A new league of B85 boards emerges
The only differences between the ROG lineup and mainstream boards are pricey, features and looks. Yes, unfortunately, the overall looks of the mainstream lineup never really did look like a budget gaming board, though it did what it should but the design was always practical. The top end series of every motherboard vendor has great looks and features compared to the mainstream boards of the same brand, like the MSI has MPower lineup, Gigabyte delivers the G1.Killer series for serious gamers and as said above, Asus boasts the ROG lineup. With the dawn of 8 series chipsets and LGA 1150 based Haswell CPUs, Asus picked up the golden color scheme for the mainstream lineup, all black PCB with golden color heatsinks and DIMM slots, which looked better than the previous Gen but still not up to the mark. MSI was the first to incorporate with the B85 chipset from Intel and implement it in its Gaming lineup of motherboards. It was the first time a manufacturer used a non-overclocking mid end chipset in their Gaming series motherboard, they also soon launched the Gaming board with H87 chipset. The main purpose was to deliver a gaming series board for the budget gamer who doesn’t intend to overclock and doesn’t need a multi GPU setup. Gigabyte followed MSI and launched the G1.SniperB5 which became the first board in the G1.Killer lineup to feature a mainstream chipset. ASRock (former underling of the Asustek) also launches the B85 killer motherboard in their Fatal1ty series. This did bridge the gap between the mainstream boards and the high end gaming boards. Asus too followed their path and unveiled the B85-Pro “Gamer” motherboard which would be the first board in the gaming lineup. The boards with other chipsets in the Gaming lineup would follow soon. With these kind of boards coming up, we can say that this would be a new league of motherboards targeted toward the more budget conscious gamer.
A closer view on the Asus B85-Pro Gamer
The B85 pro as said above is the debut board of the all new Gamer lineups from Asus, the boards belonging to this series is focused on bridging the gap between High end gaming boards and mainstream boards. Budget gamers looking for a B85 based rig or a higher end Z87 based rig might be interested in this series since these boards are designed for gamers with all the aggressive designs and red and black color scheme along with keeping the costs low by not including many enthusiasts level features like onboard Wi-Fi controller or 3rd party SATA ports, but doe proves to be a step over the formal looking mainstream golden boards. Now, coming to the boards, As the name suggests, the board is based on B85 PCH chipset, which features Intel’s Small Business Advantage tech and other basic B85 essentials like the LGA 1150 socket which could be paired with a number of Haswell CPUs but since being part of the B-series chipset won’t allow the K series CPUs to be over-clocked to the needs of the user. There are four DIMM slots which can support up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM with memory frequencies of 1333 MHZ/ 1600 MHz. This also means that you won’t be able to OC the RAM as well. Expansion options are more or less based on B85 only. One PCI-E 3.0 running a x16 to house in the dedicated GPU and other PCI-E slot but running at x4 thus making Multi-GPU setups not favorable, a pair of PCI-E x1 slots and three Legacy PCI slots comprises of the total Expansion options. The PCB is all black which favors the Red accents on the Heatsinks to make this look like a real Gaming boards. Rear panel sports two PS/2 ports, an HDMI port, four USB 2.0 ports, a DVI port, a VGA port, Gigabite Ethernet along with 7.1 CH analog HD audio. There’s a treat for audiophiles on this board since it features the SupremeFX audio circuitry for pretty decent audio output via headsets.
All in all we can say that the official declaration of the Gamer series from Asus would make the purely Gaming oriented boards from the house of Asus more and more affordable. One wouldn’t have to compromise on good looks or better audio if he didn’t get the ROG boards.