Back in August ASUS announced their latest refresh of X570 motherboards which included high-end gaming boards like ROG Crosshair 8 Extreme and others. As part of this release we also got to see a board targeted at content creators: the ProArt X570-Creator Wi-Fi. A bit of time has gone by and we finally get to see it in person and it looks pretty slick. Let's see if it is worth buying.
Before we delve deeper into checking out this motherboard, it is important to understand ASUS motherboard naming conventions and what each series is designed for. For example TUF and ROG series are for gaming, Prime is an all-rounder, and CSM is focused on the enterprise market, which leaves Workstation and ProArt for creative workloads. Workstation class is mostly focused on Xeon and Threadripper systems, where you may need a massive amount of Cores, RAM and/or PCIE expansions. In a way you could call it a bulldozer of a system for large scale projects.
While ProArt motherboards are more targeting prosumers. This board that we have here is for the AMD AM4 socket CPUs and it supports almost every CPU from 2000 series, including G versions, but in this video we will focus on the latest Ryzen 5000 series.
Memory wise this board has 4 DIMM slots supporting a maximum of 128GB with speeds up to 4800 Mega Transfers (M/T).
If you plan to get this X570 board - I recommend checking out supported CPU and RAM configurations on ASUS website.
This motherboard is using 14+2 power stages that combine high side and low side mosfets into a single package topped with some chonky heatsinks to dissipate the heat. The CPU feeds off 8+4 pin connectors at the top.
In terms of expansions, there are 3x 16 PCIE ports and they are all wired to PCIE Gen 4 standard. The top two ports are connected to the CPU directly and can support up to 16 PCIE lanes each, but if both are used then they would max out at 8 lanes each.
The bottom slot is wired up to the X570 chipset and is limited to 4 PCIE lanes.
A thing to note - middle slot shares its bandwidth with the second m.2 slot which runs in PCIE Gen 4 or 3 with 8 lanes by default. Therefore if you install more than one NVME drive, then you will be limited to shared lanes on the 2nd port and also 8 lanes on the top port.
Talking about storage drives - this board has three NVME drives and they all support PCIE Gen 4. The bottom one runs from X570 chipset so its bandwidth could be drastically reduced if you are simultaneously using the drive, network and other IO.
There is also support for 6 SATA drives so you will certainly have enough ports to fill up most cases full of drives.
One simple yet very, very pleasant improvement I found on this board is that all NVME slots are using m.2 Q-Latch which makes it so much easier to install the drives without the little stupid screws that keep getting lost. I have had so many bad experiences with them, so I am thrilled to see this has finally evolved to a user friendlier method.
Next we have cooling - there are 6 PWM or DC fan headers as well as a separate liquid AIO header and one high amperage pump header allowing for up to 3 amps of power draw. With all of these ports, there are plenty of connectors to build even in a large case with loads of fans without the need for a fan expander. ASUS also boasts a whole stack of heat sensors for those who like to monitor every component.
Since this motherboard is based on the new X570 chipset, it also features fanless heatsink which eliminates the high pitch whine that can be found on some older X570 motherboards. Also, less moving parts is always better for longevity.
Even though this board is more for work rather than playing it does not mean you have to skip out on style, it features 3 ARGB headers and single standard RGB header so you can spice the PC up without a problem.
In terms of internal USB ports, it has one USB type C (10 gigabit speed) and one USB type A (5 gigabit speed), there are also three USB 2 headers for a maximum of 6 extra USB ports. I assume these are here for different kinds of panels and accessories that creators may need.
At the back of the board we have a great selection of ports, too, including HDMI 2.1 and display port IN. Yes, the display port is in not out. This is used for connecting GPU into the board to utilise the two Thunderbolt 4 ports just below, should you wish to have video out through them.
Inclusion of thunderbolt is nice as now this can be a great motherboard to also plug in high-end thunderbolt hub and have full speed functionality from it.
We also have four USB type A 10 gigabit ports, as well as four 5 gigabit ports and high quality audio ports at the bottom.
And it does not end here. This board features really high end networking, starting with Wi-Fi 6E. It is the latest of the standards which provides support for all the previous generations and brings 6 Gigahertz band for extremely high bandwidth. I suspect you won't need to upgrade this for a while.
Then again creators should use wired network anyway, but high end wireless can be used in a pinch. As to wired network we have dual ethernet with 2.5 and 10gb speeds. Having two separate connections may seem like a waste but there are many use cases, for example you could use a 2.5 gigabit connection to your main network and internet, leaving 10GB for direct connection to a storage server where projects are stored. This way the user only needs to have a 10 gigabit network card on the storage server without the need of upgrading the whole network infrastructure.
With all the key hardware out of the way, you also get some software that comes with this board. First is Creator hub - it includes a bunch of tools that may be of great use for non technology focused people which is a lot of creators - they just want the system to work. Things like task groups that open multiple apps at the same time or even colour calibration of ProArt displays if you have one.
The second piece of software is Control Center Express - it is a multi device management tool that is used by many successful businesses. This will not be particularly useful for a single creator, but if you plan to build multiple systems then deploying management software will help with exactly that - managing these devices. You can track hardware and software as well as blacklist software so your team does not end up installing malware or even games, and stay focused on the work at hand.
To sum this up - ProArt motherboard on a surface may look like all other motherboards on the market and in many ways it is, but there are a few quality of life improvements that will be great for any kind of creator or engineer. The support of PCIE Gen 4 on all expansion ports and NVME drives is very welcome as it provides great deal of flexibility, providing you are OK with the 20 PCIE lane limitation on the CPU.
I really like thunderbolt 4 here - I can see someone running 4 displays with a whole stack of peripherals over one cable. The connectivity on the board is also top of the line with options for 10 gigabit USBs and networking as well as the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard.
If you are on the market for a fully featured board then I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.