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7 Best AMD B450 Motherboards That Are Perfect for Budget Gaming Builds

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Asus ROG Strix B450-I

The motherboard is one of the most important components in any PC. While there are those that come with all of the bells and whistles, they are too pricey and a lot of people do not want to buy them because they are better off saving some money to allot to a better graphics card or CPU.

If you want to build a budget AMD PC soon, do read further to find out the best AMD B450 motherboards that you can buy that are perfect for budget gaming PCs.

Best B450 Motherboards

1.MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

Price: $125-$150

MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

The best B450 motherboard that you can buy on the market today is the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max. It has the best VRM thermal performance compared to others and it is priced just right.

Now, why do you need a motherboard with good VRM thermals? Well, that is so that it can run any AMD PC you can throw at it without any issues. This is especially true if you are going to place a 3900X or a 3950X for that matter.

Aside from its impressive VRMs, it also has a pretty good black and gray aesthetic that is perfect for almost all people.

People that have plenty of USB peripherals would love the fact that the Tomahawk Max has a couple of ports at its back IO but you can also connect up to three USB 3.0 front panel ports as well.

Another feature that is pretty interesting is the BIOS flash. This basically means that you are allowed to flash a new BIOS even if there is no CPU installed currently on the motherboard. This is great if you are intending to use this particular product when the Ryzen 4000 processors are released sometime in the future.

Now, you might notice that there is a non-Max version of this thing, I would still urge you to get this version instead.

If you are wondering what the difference is, you do not have to flash a new BIOS since it can already support Ryzen 3000 processors right out of the box.

2.AsRock B450M Pro 4

Price: $108

AsRock B450M Pro 4

People that want a relatively compact motherboard should look at the AsRock B450M Pro 4. This is an m-ATX motherboard that is perfect for m-ATX PC Cases.

Despite its smaller form factor, the B450 Pro 4 still has plenty to offer. For starters, it has a 9-power phase design that can support even the most power-hungry processors like the 3900X, for example.

It has the right number of PCI Express slots and there are also a wealth of SATA ports and an M.2 slot if you want to plug in your favorite SSD.

Just like the Tomahawk Max, this motherboard does don the same black and gray aesthetic which should fit most builds.

While it does run hotter than the previous recommendation, this is one of the better m-ATX motherboards that can support a Ryzen 3000 processor.

Speaking of which, if you do intend to buy any Ryzen 3000 CPUs, it is important that you have the latest BIOS so that it can support it immediately.

If you are uneasy about flashing the BIOS yourself, you can have the option of having the retailer do it for you.

3.Asus ROG Strix B450-F

Price: $130

Asus ROG Strix B450-F

Asus is a trusted brand when it comes to PC components and peripherals and the ROG Strix B450-F is definitely one that I will recommend for people who love that RGB bling.

This motherboard is just so sexy to look at and there are a couple of RGB lighting zones that you can adjust using the Asus Aura Sync software.

At the back, you will be surprised by the number of USB ports this thing has. You not only have a couple of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports but the board also has a Type-C port, as well as a PS/2 port if you have an old mechanical keyboard lying around.

This board comes with a lot of fan headers so that even if you plug in as many fans in your PC case as possible, it can support it nonetheless.

Since this is an Asus motherboard, you will have the option of using its 5-way optimization feature that will instantly set a couple of different settings to eke more performance out of your processor. This is a hit-or-miss feature, though, so your mileage may vary.

I do love the fact that this board has one of the better audio implementations out there. Thanks to the company’s inclusion of the FX 1220A drivers with Japanese capacitors, you get unparalleled sound without any distortions whatsoever.

My only gripe with this board is that it is one of the most expensive B450 boards on the market, but if you have the money to spend on this sexy thing, I do suggest buying this one over the others.

4.Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro Wifi

Price: $130

Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro Wifi

Another great B450 motherboard is the Gigabyte Aorus Pro WiFi. As the name implies, this board comes with a built-in WiFI AC module, as well as a Bluetooth 5 receiver so that you can plug in your favorite Bluetooth headphones.

This motherboard looks sexy, though you might be turned off by some of the company’s orange accents put here and there.

There is so much to love about this thing. Aside from the onboard WiFi and Bluetooth modules, you also get a lot of RGB zones on the board itself which you can control using the RGB Fusion software.

Aside from that, it is equipped with the Realtek ALC1220 audio solution that delivers amazing sound whether you are using some PC speakers or your preferred headphones.

It also supports two M.2 drives and you get a bevy of SATA 3 ports for your hard drives or SSDs.

It is also worth noting that this is one of the only boards that support dual BIOS. This means that you have full confidence that you will not brick your motherboard because you can easily switch to the other BIOS if there are any problems with the current one.

While the board has plenty to offer, I am just bummed by the fact that it only has a few USB ports at the back. You do have USB Type-C but if you are the type of person that connects a lot of USB peripherals, you may have to invest in a hub if that is the case.

Other than that, the Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro WiFi is another solid B450 board.

5.MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

Price: $150

MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

When you go over different forums online, you will find that MSI is always one of the brands that pop up when someone asks for the ‘best’ motherboards that can support the Ryzen 3000 series of processors.

Well, there are a couple of reasons why that is. First, the company uses a pretty good VRM solution. Second, they incorporate a lot of features that their customers will surely love. And third, the company’s B450 lineup has the best memory overclocking performance of the bunch.

The MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is certainly one of the best in terms of RAM overclocking. The BIOS is easy to use and the board itself has all of the makings of a great overclocker.

For those of you who do not know, the MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC can support RAM frequencies of up to 4133 MHz. That means that you can overclock your RAM so high that you need not spend a lot of money on expensive kits. I do have to warn you that your mileage may vary (or you could say it is up to the silicon lottery).

Aside from its impressive overclocking capabilities, this particular motherboard comes with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth modules so you can easily connect to your network wirelessly, as well as use your other wireless peripherals.

You also get some RGB lighting in different zones on the board itself and they can be controlled using the company’s Mystic Light program.

Just like the motherboard above, the MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC only has a few USB ports which means that if you intend on plugging in a lot of things on its back IO, you will need an external hub to remedy the issue.

You might also have noticed that this is the most expensive B450 motherboard at the time of writing so if you do not like the price, you can choose other great motherboards as well.

6.AsRock B450 Steel Legend

Price: $110

AsRock B450 Steel Legend

If you are looking for a cheap B450 motherboard without compromises, then turn your attention toward the AsRock B450 Steel Legend.

This thing supports Ryzen 3000 processors right out of the box which means that you no longer have to worry about flashing a new BIOS yourself.

The board has a combination of white, black, and gray aesthetics which all blend together in perfect harmony.

You also have some RGB lighting zones in the VRM area, as well as the area where the B450 chipset resides.

You get two m.2 slots for faster storage and you also get PCI-e shielding so that your graphics card will not sag.

It is interesting to find a PS/2 port at the back of a motherboard in this day and age but you do have the option to stick a peripheral with that connector on this board if you want.

Now, the only negative that I can point out here is that while it supports fast memory sticks, the board can only support a maximum of 3533MHz frequency which means that you are not going to be taking full advantage of fast DDR4 RAM kits. If you are running a budget build, this should not bother you though.

7.Asus ROG Strix B450-I

Price: $140

Asus ROG Strix B450-I

People that want to buy an ITX B450 motherboard will not be left out. The last board on this list is none other than the Asus ROG Strix B450-I. It is considered the best one out there for this particular chipset.

Anyway, despite its more compact form factor, this motherboard actually offers a lot. Aside from its amazing FX Audio Supreme modules, you also have two M.2 drives, Intel Gigabit Lan, and a Bluetooth and WiFi receiver that can be attached at the back IO.

Since this is an Asus ROG product, you can also inspect some RGB headers and lighting zones as well if you want to go for that full rainbow look.

Although this is priced higher than your standard ATX board, the Asus ROG Strix B450-I does provide more than any other B450 ITX motherboard you can find on the market today.

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Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review- The Company’s Best Mouse Goes Wireless

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Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review

Among all of Razer’s peripherals, it is the Razer Deathadder that consistently ranks among one of the best gaming mice on the market for so many years.

Much of it has to do with its design and ergonomics as the mouse is quite comfortable and it suits all grip styles.

The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just improves upon the original formula by making the mouse a bit more lightweight and it is completely wireless now.

Read my review of this thing to find out if I recommend this one or not.

Design

From a design standpoint, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro is actually quite similar to the past versions, albeit there are some notable (and welcome) differences.

For one, you now have two DPI profile buttons situated just below the scroll wheel. These two buttons can cycle through the different DPI settings that you’ve configured using the Razer Synapse software (though you can set it to do other commands if you wish).

Second, both the thumb and the ring finger/pinky areas of the mouse now have rubberized textures which can really help gamers with sweaty hands grip the peripheral device better compared to the previous versions.

Lastly, I feel that the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro now has a more textured coating overall which adds to the better feel while you are wielding the mouse.

You also have some RGB lighting on the scroll wheel, as well as the infamous tri-headed Razer logo in the palm area of the device.

On the underside, you will find a switch that allows you to change to different modes depending on what you want to use.

This mouse can be utilized on your tablet, for example, as it now has a Bluetooth connectivity mode just for that.

You can also choose to use this thing with its wireless dongle (which is recommended for maximum performance) and you can even use this completely wired if you want to charge and play games at the same time.

Speaking of charging, while there is an included braided cable that you can insert into the device to charge this thing, it doesn’t come with the wireless charging dock that you can find in the Razer Viper Ultimate. That means that if you want the dock, you will need to be spending more on that as it is sold separately.

If you ask me, I suggest that you get the charging dock as it provides a seamless and convenient way of topping the device up, especially when it is not in use.

Mouse Sensor and Buttons

Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review 2020

According to the company, the Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the second version of the company’s optical switches. That means that it is also rated to last up to 70 million clicks, albeit it provides a better feel on every button press.

To be honest, I didn’t really feel any difference between the first version of the optical switches and this one, but I guess you just have to take the company’s word for it.

As for the mouse sensor, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the Focus+ sensor that has a maximum DPI of 20,000. The absurd DPI support is mainly for marketing purposes, but the main takeaway here is that the mouse remains fairly consistent from an accuracy standpoint.

Among all of Razer’s new gaming mice, the Deathadder V2 Pro should be in line with the Razer Viper Ultimate, at least, in terms of gaming performance.

Gaming Performance

Razer Deathadder V2 Pro

Before I begin, let me just say that I have fairly large hands which means that my natural grip style is palm-grip. And, as a palm-grip user, I really love the ergonomics of the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro because it just feels so natural to hold.

This mouse has a grip width of 61.7mm, a height of 42.7mm, and a weight of 88 grams (when used completely wireless). For a wireless gaming mouse, that is pretty impressive.

When you are using the wireless 2.4GHz USB dongle or if you use the company’s included Speedflex cable, the Deathadder V2 Pro performed admirably well in all of the games that I play.

I can now confidently say that people can safely transition to using a wireless gaming peripheral as they are now in-line with their wired counterparts in terms of accuracy and overall performance.

I do have to say that there is a bit of a delay when using this thing on Bluetooth connection, but this is only evident when using it on a mobile device and not on the PC. This is to be expected, especially if you are still using a phone or tablet that uses a Bluetooth 4.2 connection.

Battery

Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse

Razer said that the Deathadder V2 Pro can last up to 120 hours on wireless mode, but that is only true if you are not enabling its Chroma lighting feature.

When you use the 2.4GHz mode alongside all of this mouse’s RGB goodness, you should be able to get roughly 75 hours of continuous use.

The good thing is that when you are using the charging dock, a 10-minute charge would allow you to use this mouse for 12 hours even with Chroma lighting enabled. That is seriously impressive.

What’s more, you can use this mouse completely wired using the Speedflex cable that is included in the box and you will not see any drop in performance whatsoever. It takes a bit more time to charge the device when using the cable though, but the fact that you can still use it when it is plugged in just means that it is pretty convenient no matter what charging method you want to use.

Verdict

The era where people are afraid to use wireless gaming mice is over and the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just proves that it can go head-to-head with wired gaming mice in the market.

There are some notable improvements on this mouse. The textured finish, the optical buttons, and the mouse sensor are great, and I love the fact that the company was able to make this device lighter even though it is a wireless peripheral.

This just reinforces the notion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fit it; just improve upon the original formula and you should have a winning product.

Although I would have loved it if the company had included the charging dock in the package, I guess doing so would jack up the price of this thing considerably.The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro costs $129.99 and for the price, it is actually pretty good for a highly competitive wireless gaming mouse. Do keep in mind that the charging dock is sold separately, but I would still recommend that you get one since it is also compatible with the company’s other wireless gaming mice as well.

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Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review- Configured to Win

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Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review

Dell’s subsidiary gaming division, Alienware, is at it again. This time, the company has released the new Alienware Aurora R11 and you can configure it to come equipped with the latest Intel processors along with an Nvidia graphics card of your choosing.

In this article, I will go over everything that you need to know about this gaming PC and find out why you can win with this thing if you configure it properly.

Design

First and foremost, the Alienware Aurora R11 is fully configurable which means that you are in complete control of what chassis you want to use, as well as the components that are going to be installed inside of it.

In my testing, I went with a mid-range model that costs a little over $1,400 and I went with the Intel Core i7-10700F and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 graphics card. As you can tell, it is a modest system but it is actually quite competent enough to handle all games with considerable frame rate values.

As you can expect from a product that comes from Alienware, the Aurora R11 has two different design options that you can choose. You can either go with the Dark of the Moon model (as tested) which is a chassis with an all-black aesthetic and the Lunar Light edition which is predominantly white with a black front panel.

Both of the said PC cases have a blue halo light that is reminiscent of old space movies, so you could definitely say that this is ‘Alienware’.

I am happy that you get a wealth of USB ports both at the front and at the back I/O panel which means that there is plenty of room for you to plug in all of your USB peripherals.

There is also an option for you to get one with WiFi connectivity. If you want the cheapest option, you can go with a Dell WiFi AC adapter but if you want to future-proof this device, you can go with the Killer WiFi AX adapter instead. The latter should be considered if you have a WiFi 6 router at home for better data throughput.

Although this thing comes with a Z490 motherboard, the only thing that you can overclock here is the graphics card. You could, however, buy the more expensive Intel chip but you will have to spend quite a bit of money just to get the higher model.

The chassis is quite big in height but I love the fact that it doesn’t take too much space on the desk.

Performance

Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review 1

My particular configuration doesn’t come with an overclockable processor which means that in most cases, its performance is a little bit subpar when it comes to multi-core workloads.

That being said, this thing is still no slouch as I’ve scored 33,335 on Geekbench on the multi-core tests and about 4,401 on the single-core benchmark which is still respectable in most instances.

I’ve also tested its mettle using PCMark 10 and it scored a little under 7,000 so you could say that this thing indeed has gaming prowess.

Speaking of games, this configuration can easily go more than 100 frames per second in most titles, while some of the most challenging ones would limit you to just 45-55 fps.

While playing Destiny 2, I was able to get more than 144 frames per second in most areas, while the frame rates dip a little bit when I am stationed in the tower.

I’ve also played Control which is one of the more demanding titles on the PC, and I was still able to get roughly 45-50 fps in max settings which is quite admirable.

Since MOBA games are quite popular, I tested this thing on League of Legends and Dota 2 as well. It’s good to know that this thing can output more than 144 frames per second even in heavy clashes.

So really, even with a modest configuration such as mine, I was still able to play games at really good frame rates across the board.

Software

Alienware Aurora R11 (2020)

The Alienware Aurora R11 that I have comes with Windows 10 Home already pre-installed. Because this is a gaming PC from Alienware, the Alienware Command Center also comes pre-installed as well.

The said program can be used to look at the PC’s components at a glance while also changing its performance modes as well.

I find it to be fairly intuitive and I can really see the difference between performance modes. If you want the best of both worlds (meaning, acoustics and performance), setting it to balanced mode should suffice.

However, I find that the balanced mode doesn’t ramp the system’s fans good enough to maintain lower temperatures, so you may want to try out the performance mode while you are playing games.

Specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10700F
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4-2933
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD (Boot), 1TB 7200RPM HDD (Storage)
  • Chassis: Dark Side of the Moon
  • Weight: 39.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17 x 8.8 x 18.9 Inches
  • Operating System/Software: Windows 10 Home, Alienware Command Center
  • Ports: [Front] 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (1 port with PowerShare), 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen1, headphone/line out port, microphone/line in port; [Back] 6x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.2 Gen1, Coaxial S/PDIF port, Optical S/PDIF port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), USB 3.2 Gen 2, Side L/R surround port, Microphone port, Front L/R surround line-out port, Line-in port, Rear L/R surround port, Network port

Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Side

Verdict

Despite my modest configuration, the Alienware Aurora R11 that I had was an able performer- both in productivity tasks and gaming. The Alienware command center provides a good overview of the system’s components and you can set its performance modes based on what you feel is apt for the moment.

Although it usually comes with crapware, you should blame Microsoft Windows for this and not the company. The good thing is that there are programs that can ‘decrapify’ a common Windows installation, so there’s that.

I love that the chassis doesn’t take up too much desk space, though if you are going to place this inside drawer, you may have to be wary about its height because it is definitely higher than the others.

If you have plenty of money, you can configure it ‘balls to the wall’ with the latest and greatest products from Intel and Nvidia, though keep in mind that because this model was released in 2020, you cannot expect the new Nvidia 3000 graphics cards to be present when you are purchasing this thing.

In summary, the Alienware Aurora R11 is a pretty good gaming machine- both in aesthetics and performance.

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Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review- The $75 ‘G Pro’ Lite

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Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review

The Logitech G Pro is highly praised by the gaming community, especially those that are playing first-person shooters. It is lightweight and it is wireless which is something that was unprecedented before its release.

There is only one issue: That mouse was expensive. Fortunately, you can get the Logitech G305 Lightspeed for a much cheaper price.

Read further to find out why I think the G305 is what I would consider as the ‘G Pro’ lite.

Design

The Logitech G305 Lightspeed looks quite similar to the Logitech G Pro mentioned above. At first glance, you might think that this peripheral is an ambidextrous mouse, but that is actually not the case.

You see, while it has an ambidextrous design, the side buttons are actually located only on the left side of the peripheral. This is an odd choice considering that this can be construed as a mouse that can also be used left-handed, but this is something that you need to know if you are a left-handed gamer.

Its dimensions are 4.59 x 2.45 x 1.50 inches and it weighs 98 grams with the AA battery on. That’s right, you will need a single AA battery for this thing to operate, but the good thing is that a single AA battery can last up to three months with consistent use.

Much of the power-saving features come from the company’s own HERO sensor which doesn’t require a lot of battery to operate while still providing you with a competitive performance in games. More on this later.

This mouse is a bit on the smaller side and is perfectly suited for people who use the fingertip or claw grip styles. This could also work for a hybrid claw/finger grip style as well. 

Because of its smaller dimensions, it should go without saying that people with larger hands might have a hard time grasping this mouse, so I wouldn’t recommend this for people that have bigger hands than others.

Despite its much cheaper price, I am glad that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed still feels premium. It is predominantly made with plastic and it has a matte finish so that it won’t easily get out of your grasps when you are playing even with sweaty hands.

On the underside, you will find four mouse feet for easier glide and you can also find the on/off switch as well. I love the fact that you can tell if it is turned on or off based on the color that you see depending on the switch’s orientation.

If you see the switch’s color turn blue, that means that the mouse is turned on. If it is on orange, then the peripheral is turned off.

I should also mention that there is no RGB lighting on this mouse at all and that is okay considering that you are running this thing with non-rechargeable batteries.

The Logitech G305 Lightspeed doesn’t have rechargeable batteries, but you might wonder why there is an included cable in the box. Well, that actually acts as an extender for the wireless USB dongle. This is used for better wireless coverage to ensure that the peripheral’s performance remains consistent across the board.

Performance

Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review 2020

As mentioned earlier, the Logitech G305 Lightspeed comes equipped with the company’s HERO sensor which is derived from the popular Pixart 3366 sensor. For the people who are familiar with the latter, you know that this thing can perform admirably even in competitive situations.

The good thing about Logitech’s implementation is that the HERO sensor eats so little energy that a single AA battery can last up to 3-4 months with consistent use. That is truly impressive since you do not have to worry about losing battery life while you are using it.

The HERO sensor here is a cut-down version of what you can see in Logitech’s other gaming mice as it can only reach a maximum of 12,000 DPI (compared to the 16,000 DPI in others). This is still okay because, in more practical uses, I don’t think that people would go as high as that number anyway.

I am blown away by how smooth the mouse glides on my mouse mat. The sensor provides consistent performance and I am glad that this thing won’t spin out in games.

I’ve tried this in FPS games like Valorant and I’ve had no problems with aiming at all. This experience is coming from a person who uses a gaming mouse using a palm grip by the way. My aim would have been better if I used the fingertip or claw grip styles.

I’ve also tested this on some MOBA games as well and I never experienced any dropouts or performance issues at all.

Software

Logitech G305 Lightspeed

This mouse has 6 programmable buttons and if you want to configure them, you will need to download the company’s G Hub software.

You can download and use it for free and is available for both Windows and Mac. I love the aesthetic of the software as it is intuitive to use and the menus are easy to understand.

I am just surprised by one thing, however. You see, the button that is directly below the scroll wheel is supposed to be the DPI switch button which means that pressing it would cycle through the different DPI profiles that you’ve set in the G Hub software. Or at least, that is how it should work in theory.

However, even though you can change the DPI to whatever value you want so long as it is within its range (up to 12,000), you cannot set more than one DPI setting which virtually renders the DPI cycle button useless, at least, in this regard.

You could set the button to do an entirely different thing like you can set it to a particular key on the keyboard so every time you press on the button, it does that. But, it is just interesting to me that its original purpose is not actually implemented in reality.

Verdict

Normally, a wireless gaming mouse would typically cost more than $100 because of the use of wireless technology, along with the usual goodies that you can find in such a device. But, I am pleased that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed costs $75.

For its price, you are getting a very competitive gaming mouse that can last a couple of months using just a single AA battery. Of course, this changes depending on the battery that is used (brand and capacity), but for the most part, it should remain fairly consistent in terms of battery life.

The HERO sensor has also given me an amazing experience. I never would have thought that a wireless mouse can provide a similar experience to that of its wired counterparts.

All in all, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Logitech G305 Lightspeed unless of course if you are a palm-grip user.

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7 Best AMD B450 Motherboards That Are Perfect for Budget Gaming Builds

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Asus ROG Strix B450-I

The motherboard is one of the most important components in any PC. While there are those that come with all of the bells and whistles, they are too pricey and a lot of people do not want to buy them because they are better off saving some money to allot to a better graphics card or CPU.

If you want to build a budget AMD PC soon, do read further to find out the best AMD B450 motherboards that you can buy that are perfect for budget gaming PCs.

Best B450 Motherboards

1.MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

Price: $125-$150

MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

The best B450 motherboard that you can buy on the market today is the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max. It has the best VRM thermal performance compared to others and it is priced just right.

Now, why do you need a motherboard with good VRM thermals? Well, that is so that it can run any AMD PC you can throw at it without any issues. This is especially true if you are going to place a 3900X or a 3950X for that matter.

Aside from its impressive VRMs, it also has a pretty good black and gray aesthetic that is perfect for almost all people.

People that have plenty of USB peripherals would love the fact that the Tomahawk Max has a couple of ports at its back IO but you can also connect up to three USB 3.0 front panel ports as well.

Another feature that is pretty interesting is the BIOS flash. This basically means that you are allowed to flash a new BIOS even if there is no CPU installed currently on the motherboard. This is great if you are intending to use this particular product when the Ryzen 4000 processors are released sometime in the future.

Now, you might notice that there is a non-Max version of this thing, I would still urge you to get this version instead.

If you are wondering what the difference is, you do not have to flash a new BIOS since it can already support Ryzen 3000 processors right out of the box.

2.AsRock B450M Pro 4

Price: $108

AsRock B450M Pro 4

People that want a relatively compact motherboard should look at the AsRock B450M Pro 4. This is an m-ATX motherboard that is perfect for m-ATX PC Cases.

Despite its smaller form factor, the B450 Pro 4 still has plenty to offer. For starters, it has a 9-power phase design that can support even the most power-hungry processors like the 3900X, for example.

It has the right number of PCI Express slots and there are also a wealth of SATA ports and an M.2 slot if you want to plug in your favorite SSD.

Just like the Tomahawk Max, this motherboard does don the same black and gray aesthetic which should fit most builds.

While it does run hotter than the previous recommendation, this is one of the better m-ATX motherboards that can support a Ryzen 3000 processor.

Speaking of which, if you do intend to buy any Ryzen 3000 CPUs, it is important that you have the latest BIOS so that it can support it immediately.

If you are uneasy about flashing the BIOS yourself, you can have the option of having the retailer do it for you.

3.Asus ROG Strix B450-F

Price: $130

Asus ROG Strix B450-F

Asus is a trusted brand when it comes to PC components and peripherals and the ROG Strix B450-F is definitely one that I will recommend for people who love that RGB bling.

This motherboard is just so sexy to look at and there are a couple of RGB lighting zones that you can adjust using the Asus Aura Sync software.

At the back, you will be surprised by the number of USB ports this thing has. You not only have a couple of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports but the board also has a Type-C port, as well as a PS/2 port if you have an old mechanical keyboard lying around.

This board comes with a lot of fan headers so that even if you plug in as many fans in your PC case as possible, it can support it nonetheless.

Since this is an Asus motherboard, you will have the option of using its 5-way optimization feature that will instantly set a couple of different settings to eke more performance out of your processor. This is a hit-or-miss feature, though, so your mileage may vary.

I do love the fact that this board has one of the better audio implementations out there. Thanks to the company’s inclusion of the FX 1220A drivers with Japanese capacitors, you get unparalleled sound without any distortions whatsoever.

My only gripe with this board is that it is one of the most expensive B450 boards on the market, but if you have the money to spend on this sexy thing, I do suggest buying this one over the others.

4.Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro Wifi

Price: $130

Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro Wifi

Another great B450 motherboard is the Gigabyte Aorus Pro WiFi. As the name implies, this board comes with a built-in WiFI AC module, as well as a Bluetooth 5 receiver so that you can plug in your favorite Bluetooth headphones.

This motherboard looks sexy, though you might be turned off by some of the company’s orange accents put here and there.

There is so much to love about this thing. Aside from the onboard WiFi and Bluetooth modules, you also get a lot of RGB zones on the board itself which you can control using the RGB Fusion software.

Aside from that, it is equipped with the Realtek ALC1220 audio solution that delivers amazing sound whether you are using some PC speakers or your preferred headphones.

It also supports two M.2 drives and you get a bevy of SATA 3 ports for your hard drives or SSDs.

It is also worth noting that this is one of the only boards that support dual BIOS. This means that you have full confidence that you will not brick your motherboard because you can easily switch to the other BIOS if there are any problems with the current one.

While the board has plenty to offer, I am just bummed by the fact that it only has a few USB ports at the back. You do have USB Type-C but if you are the type of person that connects a lot of USB peripherals, you may have to invest in a hub if that is the case.

Other than that, the Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro WiFi is another solid B450 board.

5.MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

Price: $150

MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

When you go over different forums online, you will find that MSI is always one of the brands that pop up when someone asks for the ‘best’ motherboards that can support the Ryzen 3000 series of processors.

Well, there are a couple of reasons why that is. First, the company uses a pretty good VRM solution. Second, they incorporate a lot of features that their customers will surely love. And third, the company’s B450 lineup has the best memory overclocking performance of the bunch.

The MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is certainly one of the best in terms of RAM overclocking. The BIOS is easy to use and the board itself has all of the makings of a great overclocker.

For those of you who do not know, the MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC can support RAM frequencies of up to 4133 MHz. That means that you can overclock your RAM so high that you need not spend a lot of money on expensive kits. I do have to warn you that your mileage may vary (or you could say it is up to the silicon lottery).

Aside from its impressive overclocking capabilities, this particular motherboard comes with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth modules so you can easily connect to your network wirelessly, as well as use your other wireless peripherals.

You also get some RGB lighting in different zones on the board itself and they can be controlled using the company’s Mystic Light program.

Just like the motherboard above, the MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC only has a few USB ports which means that if you intend on plugging in a lot of things on its back IO, you will need an external hub to remedy the issue.

You might also have noticed that this is the most expensive B450 motherboard at the time of writing so if you do not like the price, you can choose other great motherboards as well.

6.AsRock B450 Steel Legend

Price: $110

AsRock B450 Steel Legend

If you are looking for a cheap B450 motherboard without compromises, then turn your attention toward the AsRock B450 Steel Legend.

This thing supports Ryzen 3000 processors right out of the box which means that you no longer have to worry about flashing a new BIOS yourself.

The board has a combination of white, black, and gray aesthetics which all blend together in perfect harmony.

You also have some RGB lighting zones in the VRM area, as well as the area where the B450 chipset resides.

You get two m.2 slots for faster storage and you also get PCI-e shielding so that your graphics card will not sag.

It is interesting to find a PS/2 port at the back of a motherboard in this day and age but you do have the option to stick a peripheral with that connector on this board if you want.

Now, the only negative that I can point out here is that while it supports fast memory sticks, the board can only support a maximum of 3533MHz frequency which means that you are not going to be taking full advantage of fast DDR4 RAM kits. If you are running a budget build, this should not bother you though.

7.Asus ROG Strix B450-I

Price: $140

Asus ROG Strix B450-I

People that want to buy an ITX B450 motherboard will not be left out. The last board on this list is none other than the Asus ROG Strix B450-I. It is considered the best one out there for this particular chipset.

Anyway, despite its more compact form factor, this motherboard actually offers a lot. Aside from its amazing FX Audio Supreme modules, you also have two M.2 drives, Intel Gigabit Lan, and a Bluetooth and WiFi receiver that can be attached at the back IO.

Since this is an Asus ROG product, you can also inspect some RGB headers and lighting zones as well if you want to go for that full rainbow look.

Although this is priced higher than your standard ATX board, the Asus ROG Strix B450-I does provide more than any other B450 ITX motherboard you can find on the market today.

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Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review- The Company’s Best Mouse Goes Wireless

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Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review

Among all of Razer’s peripherals, it is the Razer Deathadder that consistently ranks among one of the best gaming mice on the market for so many years.

Much of it has to do with its design and ergonomics as the mouse is quite comfortable and it suits all grip styles.

The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just improves upon the original formula by making the mouse a bit more lightweight and it is completely wireless now.

Read my review of this thing to find out if I recommend this one or not.

Design

From a design standpoint, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro is actually quite similar to the past versions, albeit there are some notable (and welcome) differences.

For one, you now have two DPI profile buttons situated just below the scroll wheel. These two buttons can cycle through the different DPI settings that you’ve configured using the Razer Synapse software (though you can set it to do other commands if you wish).

Second, both the thumb and the ring finger/pinky areas of the mouse now have rubberized textures which can really help gamers with sweaty hands grip the peripheral device better compared to the previous versions.

Lastly, I feel that the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro now has a more textured coating overall which adds to the better feel while you are wielding the mouse.

You also have some RGB lighting on the scroll wheel, as well as the infamous tri-headed Razer logo in the palm area of the device.

On the underside, you will find a switch that allows you to change to different modes depending on what you want to use.

This mouse can be utilized on your tablet, for example, as it now has a Bluetooth connectivity mode just for that.

You can also choose to use this thing with its wireless dongle (which is recommended for maximum performance) and you can even use this completely wired if you want to charge and play games at the same time.

Speaking of charging, while there is an included braided cable that you can insert into the device to charge this thing, it doesn’t come with the wireless charging dock that you can find in the Razer Viper Ultimate. That means that if you want the dock, you will need to be spending more on that as it is sold separately.

If you ask me, I suggest that you get the charging dock as it provides a seamless and convenient way of topping the device up, especially when it is not in use.

Mouse Sensor and Buttons

Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review 2020

According to the company, the Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the second version of the company’s optical switches. That means that it is also rated to last up to 70 million clicks, albeit it provides a better feel on every button press.

To be honest, I didn’t really feel any difference between the first version of the optical switches and this one, but I guess you just have to take the company’s word for it.

As for the mouse sensor, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the Focus+ sensor that has a maximum DPI of 20,000. The absurd DPI support is mainly for marketing purposes, but the main takeaway here is that the mouse remains fairly consistent from an accuracy standpoint.

Among all of Razer’s new gaming mice, the Deathadder V2 Pro should be in line with the Razer Viper Ultimate, at least, in terms of gaming performance.

Gaming Performance

Razer Deathadder V2 Pro

Before I begin, let me just say that I have fairly large hands which means that my natural grip style is palm-grip. And, as a palm-grip user, I really love the ergonomics of the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro because it just feels so natural to hold.

This mouse has a grip width of 61.7mm, a height of 42.7mm, and a weight of 88 grams (when used completely wireless). For a wireless gaming mouse, that is pretty impressive.

When you are using the wireless 2.4GHz USB dongle or if you use the company’s included Speedflex cable, the Deathadder V2 Pro performed admirably well in all of the games that I play.

I can now confidently say that people can safely transition to using a wireless gaming peripheral as they are now in-line with their wired counterparts in terms of accuracy and overall performance.

I do have to say that there is a bit of a delay when using this thing on Bluetooth connection, but this is only evident when using it on a mobile device and not on the PC. This is to be expected, especially if you are still using a phone or tablet that uses a Bluetooth 4.2 connection.

Battery

Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse

Razer said that the Deathadder V2 Pro can last up to 120 hours on wireless mode, but that is only true if you are not enabling its Chroma lighting feature.

When you use the 2.4GHz mode alongside all of this mouse’s RGB goodness, you should be able to get roughly 75 hours of continuous use.

The good thing is that when you are using the charging dock, a 10-minute charge would allow you to use this mouse for 12 hours even with Chroma lighting enabled. That is seriously impressive.

What’s more, you can use this mouse completely wired using the Speedflex cable that is included in the box and you will not see any drop in performance whatsoever. It takes a bit more time to charge the device when using the cable though, but the fact that you can still use it when it is plugged in just means that it is pretty convenient no matter what charging method you want to use.

Verdict

The era where people are afraid to use wireless gaming mice is over and the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just proves that it can go head-to-head with wired gaming mice in the market.

There are some notable improvements on this mouse. The textured finish, the optical buttons, and the mouse sensor are great, and I love the fact that the company was able to make this device lighter even though it is a wireless peripheral.

This just reinforces the notion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fit it; just improve upon the original formula and you should have a winning product.

Although I would have loved it if the company had included the charging dock in the package, I guess doing so would jack up the price of this thing considerably.The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro costs $129.99 and for the price, it is actually pretty good for a highly competitive wireless gaming mouse. Do keep in mind that the charging dock is sold separately, but I would still recommend that you get one since it is also compatible with the company’s other wireless gaming mice as well.

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Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review- Configured to Win

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Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review

Dell’s subsidiary gaming division, Alienware, is at it again. This time, the company has released the new Alienware Aurora R11 and you can configure it to come equipped with the latest Intel processors along with an Nvidia graphics card of your choosing.

In this article, I will go over everything that you need to know about this gaming PC and find out why you can win with this thing if you configure it properly.

Design

First and foremost, the Alienware Aurora R11 is fully configurable which means that you are in complete control of what chassis you want to use, as well as the components that are going to be installed inside of it.

In my testing, I went with a mid-range model that costs a little over $1,400 and I went with the Intel Core i7-10700F and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 graphics card. As you can tell, it is a modest system but it is actually quite competent enough to handle all games with considerable frame rate values.

As you can expect from a product that comes from Alienware, the Aurora R11 has two different design options that you can choose. You can either go with the Dark of the Moon model (as tested) which is a chassis with an all-black aesthetic and the Lunar Light edition which is predominantly white with a black front panel.

Both of the said PC cases have a blue halo light that is reminiscent of old space movies, so you could definitely say that this is ‘Alienware’.

I am happy that you get a wealth of USB ports both at the front and at the back I/O panel which means that there is plenty of room for you to plug in all of your USB peripherals.

There is also an option for you to get one with WiFi connectivity. If you want the cheapest option, you can go with a Dell WiFi AC adapter but if you want to future-proof this device, you can go with the Killer WiFi AX adapter instead. The latter should be considered if you have a WiFi 6 router at home for better data throughput.

Although this thing comes with a Z490 motherboard, the only thing that you can overclock here is the graphics card. You could, however, buy the more expensive Intel chip but you will have to spend quite a bit of money just to get the higher model.

The chassis is quite big in height but I love the fact that it doesn’t take too much space on the desk.

Performance

Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review 1

My particular configuration doesn’t come with an overclockable processor which means that in most cases, its performance is a little bit subpar when it comes to multi-core workloads.

That being said, this thing is still no slouch as I’ve scored 33,335 on Geekbench on the multi-core tests and about 4,401 on the single-core benchmark which is still respectable in most instances.

I’ve also tested its mettle using PCMark 10 and it scored a little under 7,000 so you could say that this thing indeed has gaming prowess.

Speaking of games, this configuration can easily go more than 100 frames per second in most titles, while some of the most challenging ones would limit you to just 45-55 fps.

While playing Destiny 2, I was able to get more than 144 frames per second in most areas, while the frame rates dip a little bit when I am stationed in the tower.

I’ve also played Control which is one of the more demanding titles on the PC, and I was still able to get roughly 45-50 fps in max settings which is quite admirable.

Since MOBA games are quite popular, I tested this thing on League of Legends and Dota 2 as well. It’s good to know that this thing can output more than 144 frames per second even in heavy clashes.

So really, even with a modest configuration such as mine, I was still able to play games at really good frame rates across the board.

Software

Alienware Aurora R11 (2020)

The Alienware Aurora R11 that I have comes with Windows 10 Home already pre-installed. Because this is a gaming PC from Alienware, the Alienware Command Center also comes pre-installed as well.

The said program can be used to look at the PC’s components at a glance while also changing its performance modes as well.

I find it to be fairly intuitive and I can really see the difference between performance modes. If you want the best of both worlds (meaning, acoustics and performance), setting it to balanced mode should suffice.

However, I find that the balanced mode doesn’t ramp the system’s fans good enough to maintain lower temperatures, so you may want to try out the performance mode while you are playing games.

Specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10700F
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4-2933
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD (Boot), 1TB 7200RPM HDD (Storage)
  • Chassis: Dark Side of the Moon
  • Weight: 39.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17 x 8.8 x 18.9 Inches
  • Operating System/Software: Windows 10 Home, Alienware Command Center
  • Ports: [Front] 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (1 port with PowerShare), 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen1, headphone/line out port, microphone/line in port; [Back] 6x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.2 Gen1, Coaxial S/PDIF port, Optical S/PDIF port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), USB 3.2 Gen 2, Side L/R surround port, Microphone port, Front L/R surround line-out port, Line-in port, Rear L/R surround port, Network port

Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Side

Verdict

Despite my modest configuration, the Alienware Aurora R11 that I had was an able performer- both in productivity tasks and gaming. The Alienware command center provides a good overview of the system’s components and you can set its performance modes based on what you feel is apt for the moment.

Although it usually comes with crapware, you should blame Microsoft Windows for this and not the company. The good thing is that there are programs that can ‘decrapify’ a common Windows installation, so there’s that.

I love that the chassis doesn’t take up too much desk space, though if you are going to place this inside drawer, you may have to be wary about its height because it is definitely higher than the others.

If you have plenty of money, you can configure it ‘balls to the wall’ with the latest and greatest products from Intel and Nvidia, though keep in mind that because this model was released in 2020, you cannot expect the new Nvidia 3000 graphics cards to be present when you are purchasing this thing.

In summary, the Alienware Aurora R11 is a pretty good gaming machine- both in aesthetics and performance.

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Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review- The $75 ‘G Pro’ Lite

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Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review

The Logitech G Pro is highly praised by the gaming community, especially those that are playing first-person shooters. It is lightweight and it is wireless which is something that was unprecedented before its release.

There is only one issue: That mouse was expensive. Fortunately, you can get the Logitech G305 Lightspeed for a much cheaper price.

Read further to find out why I think the G305 is what I would consider as the ‘G Pro’ lite.

Design

The Logitech G305 Lightspeed looks quite similar to the Logitech G Pro mentioned above. At first glance, you might think that this peripheral is an ambidextrous mouse, but that is actually not the case.

You see, while it has an ambidextrous design, the side buttons are actually located only on the left side of the peripheral. This is an odd choice considering that this can be construed as a mouse that can also be used left-handed, but this is something that you need to know if you are a left-handed gamer.

Its dimensions are 4.59 x 2.45 x 1.50 inches and it weighs 98 grams with the AA battery on. That’s right, you will need a single AA battery for this thing to operate, but the good thing is that a single AA battery can last up to three months with consistent use.

Much of the power-saving features come from the company’s own HERO sensor which doesn’t require a lot of battery to operate while still providing you with a competitive performance in games. More on this later.

This mouse is a bit on the smaller side and is perfectly suited for people who use the fingertip or claw grip styles. This could also work for a hybrid claw/finger grip style as well. 

Because of its smaller dimensions, it should go without saying that people with larger hands might have a hard time grasping this mouse, so I wouldn’t recommend this for people that have bigger hands than others.

Despite its much cheaper price, I am glad that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed still feels premium. It is predominantly made with plastic and it has a matte finish so that it won’t easily get out of your grasps when you are playing even with sweaty hands.

On the underside, you will find four mouse feet for easier glide and you can also find the on/off switch as well. I love the fact that you can tell if it is turned on or off based on the color that you see depending on the switch’s orientation.

If you see the switch’s color turn blue, that means that the mouse is turned on. If it is on orange, then the peripheral is turned off.

I should also mention that there is no RGB lighting on this mouse at all and that is okay considering that you are running this thing with non-rechargeable batteries.

The Logitech G305 Lightspeed doesn’t have rechargeable batteries, but you might wonder why there is an included cable in the box. Well, that actually acts as an extender for the wireless USB dongle. This is used for better wireless coverage to ensure that the peripheral’s performance remains consistent across the board.

Performance

Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review 2020

As mentioned earlier, the Logitech G305 Lightspeed comes equipped with the company’s HERO sensor which is derived from the popular Pixart 3366 sensor. For the people who are familiar with the latter, you know that this thing can perform admirably even in competitive situations.

The good thing about Logitech’s implementation is that the HERO sensor eats so little energy that a single AA battery can last up to 3-4 months with consistent use. That is truly impressive since you do not have to worry about losing battery life while you are using it.

The HERO sensor here is a cut-down version of what you can see in Logitech’s other gaming mice as it can only reach a maximum of 12,000 DPI (compared to the 16,000 DPI in others). This is still okay because, in more practical uses, I don’t think that people would go as high as that number anyway.

I am blown away by how smooth the mouse glides on my mouse mat. The sensor provides consistent performance and I am glad that this thing won’t spin out in games.

I’ve tried this in FPS games like Valorant and I’ve had no problems with aiming at all. This experience is coming from a person who uses a gaming mouse using a palm grip by the way. My aim would have been better if I used the fingertip or claw grip styles.

I’ve also tested this on some MOBA games as well and I never experienced any dropouts or performance issues at all.

Software

Logitech G305 Lightspeed

This mouse has 6 programmable buttons and if you want to configure them, you will need to download the company’s G Hub software.

You can download and use it for free and is available for both Windows and Mac. I love the aesthetic of the software as it is intuitive to use and the menus are easy to understand.

I am just surprised by one thing, however. You see, the button that is directly below the scroll wheel is supposed to be the DPI switch button which means that pressing it would cycle through the different DPI profiles that you’ve set in the G Hub software. Or at least, that is how it should work in theory.

However, even though you can change the DPI to whatever value you want so long as it is within its range (up to 12,000), you cannot set more than one DPI setting which virtually renders the DPI cycle button useless, at least, in this regard.

You could set the button to do an entirely different thing like you can set it to a particular key on the keyboard so every time you press on the button, it does that. But, it is just interesting to me that its original purpose is not actually implemented in reality.

Verdict

Normally, a wireless gaming mouse would typically cost more than $100 because of the use of wireless technology, along with the usual goodies that you can find in such a device. But, I am pleased that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed costs $75.

For its price, you are getting a very competitive gaming mouse that can last a couple of months using just a single AA battery. Of course, this changes depending on the battery that is used (brand and capacity), but for the most part, it should remain fairly consistent in terms of battery life.

The HERO sensor has also given me an amazing experience. I never would have thought that a wireless mouse can provide a similar experience to that of its wired counterparts.

All in all, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Logitech G305 Lightspeed unless of course if you are a palm-grip user.

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