Best Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard For Ryzen and APUs

If you are waiting for best mini ITX for the AM4 motherboard, or desire to build the second rig for multimedia and gaming purpose with compact size, well, this year 2018 many of motherboard already releasing their small form factor motherboard. A zen-based processor such as Ryzen and the next APUs (Raven Ridge) CPU’s physically much larger than the Intel, so, at first it gives a reason why there are not many mini ITX for the Zen-based processor in the market available after almost one year. But It’s not entirely accurate, after Asus and MSI also push into this segmented market in late 2017, and this niche market could grow as the new APUs will release in Q2 2018.

It’s not an easy task for the engineer to produce the best layout for a mini motherboard, even harder with Ryzen CPU’s size. It needs some time and experience to make everything fit at just 6.7” x 6.7” dimensions with a bunch of features, liquid cooling, slots, ports, and RGB LEDs implementation also the best sound solution.

The motherboard manufactures challenge are not only about the layout but also the how well their board handle the Ryzen performance, with all Ryzen are fully unlocked for an overclocking and massive potential room. It’s gonna waste if you are bough Ryzen without touching and tweaking the processor speed clocks.

Does the Raven Ridge APUs will fully work with all AM4 motherboards?

Should be, just like AMD promises to support AM4 until 2020, the older AM4 motherboard needs to update Bios to supports the brand-new processor within the same socket. But for sure, some of latest features from the newest motherboard can’t be used for the older motherboard with just updating Bios.

Raven Ridge APUs HDMI 2.0?

Bristol and Raven Ridge support HDMI 2.0, but until now there is no AMD motherboard supports that features because of chipset limitation.  HDMI 2.0 has backward compatibility with HDMI 1.4 without any problem. When an APU fit s a socket, then HDMI will work, but the 1.4 only supports the 4K resolution up to 30Hz and 2.0 supports 4K up to 60Hz and also some other new features.

If you don’t need APUs 4K(60Hz) then that not big deal for you. AMD still not confirm when they release a motherboard with HDMI 2.0, so don’t waste your time to wait if not your primary need. And also the first Ryzen processor doesn’t have an internal graphics processor, so if you want to pair with this mini ITX, you still need to get the separate graphics card.

 

So, let’s straightforward to the best Mini-ITX AM4 mainboards that available on the market until now.

 

Best Mini ITX AM4 Motherboards Round-Up

Motherboards (Amazon Link)ChipsetForm FactorPCIe PortsMulti GPUSATAM.2U.2USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps)USB 3.1 Gen1 USB 2.0Memory SlotsOnboard GraphicsAudioAudio FeaturePower PhasesDual BiosNetworkingWirelessRGBLED strip headerFan HeaderThermal headerChassis Intrusion
ROG STRIX X370-I GAMINGX370Mini ITX Form Factor 6.7 x 6.7 inch1x PCIe 3.0 x1642-2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A port and Type-C port on the rear panel)6 (4 rear, blue, 2 headers)2 headers2x DDR4 (Max 32GB) 3600(OC) MhzSupremeFX S1220A CODEC (Dual OP amp)Sonic Studio III, Sonic Radar III, Sonic Studio III6 phase power design-Intel I211-AT, 1x Gigabit LANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band MU-MIMO + Bluetooth 4.2Aura Sync RGB lighting1x Addressable Strip + 1x RGB header3 Hybrid (1 dedicated power pump)1-
ROG STRIX B350-I GAMINGB350Mini ITX Form Factor 6.7 x 6.7 inch1x PCIe 3.0 x1642-2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A port and Type-C port on the rear panel)6 (4 rear, blue, 2 headers)2 headers2x DDR4 (Max 32GB) 3600(OC) MhzSupremeFX S1220A CODEC (Dual OP amp)Sonic Studio III, Sonic Radar III, Sonic Studio III6 phase power design-Intel I211-AT, 1x Gigabit LANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band MU-MIMO + Bluetooth 4.2Aura Sync RGB lighting1x Addressable Strip + 1x RGB header3 Hybrid (1 dedicated power pump)1-
Fatal1ty X370 Gaming-ITX/acX370Mini ITX Form Factor 6.7 x 6.7 inch1x PCIe 3.0 x16NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX (Bifurfication)41-6 (1 Type-C, 2 Front, 3 Rear)4 (2 on rear panel, 2 headers)2x DDR4 (Max 32GB) 3466(OC) Mhz2x HDMI (4K@24Hz)Realtek ALC1220Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 38 phase power designIntel I211-AT, 1x Gigabit LANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band + Bluetooth 4.21x RGB LED strip header3
Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/acB350Mini ITX Form Factor 6.7 x 6.7 inch1x PCIe 3.0 x16NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX (Bifurfication)41-6 (1 Type-C, 2 Front, 3 Rear)4 (2 on rear panel, 2 headers)2x DDR4 (Max 32GB) 3466(OC) Mhz2x HDMI (4K@24Hz)Realtek ALC1220Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 38 phase power designIntel I211-AT, 1x Gigabit LANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band + Bluetooth 4.21x RGB LED strip header3
BIOSTAR X370GTNX370Mini ITX Form Factor 6.7 x 6.7 inch1x PCIe 3.0 x1641-2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A port and Type-C port on the rear panel)5 (4 rear, 1 headers)1 header2x DDR4 (Max 32GB) 3200(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@24Hz), DVI-D (FHD@60Hz)Realtek ALC8927 phase power designRealtek RTL8118ASBIOSTAR VIVID LED DJ2x 5050 LED headers2-
GIGABYTE GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI B350Mini ITX Form Factor 6.7 x 6.7 inch1x PCIe 3.0 x1641-2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports Type-A on the rear panel6 (4 rear, 2 headers)4 (2 on rear panel, 2 headers)2x DDR4 (Max 32GB) 3200(OC) Mhz DisplayPort (4K@60Hz), HDMI (4K@24Hz)Realtek ALC1220 6 phase power design 1x Gigabit LANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band + Bluetooth 4.21x CPU cooler LED strip/RGB LED strip header + 1x RGB (RGBW) LED strip header5-1
MSI B350I PRO ACB350Mini ITX Form Factor 6.7 x 6.7 inch1x PCIe 3.0 x1641-2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports Type-A on the rear panel4 (2 rear, 2 headers)4 (2 on rear panel, 2 headers)2x DDR4 (Max 32GB) 3200(OC) Mhz DisplayPort (4K@60Hz), HDMI (4K@24Hz)Realtek ALC887Audio Boost9 phase powerdesign (6+2+1)Realtek 8111H, 1x Gigabit LAN1x Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 31682 x LED strip header5--

 

Best Mini ITX Motherboards

 

1. ROG Strix X370-I and B350-I Gaming motherboards

"Best X370 mini-ITX for Ryzen Processor."
Release in 2018, mini ITX, X370 Chipset, AMD® Ryzen™ AM4 and 7th generation Athlon™
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"Best B350 mini-ITX for Ryzen Processor."
Release in 2018, mini ITX, B3500 Chipset, AMD® Ryzen™ AM4 and 7th generation Athlon™
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ROG Strix X370-I and B350-I Gaming motherboards are identical twins motherboard, provide 6 phase power design, in general, it’s good enough for daily use and to ensure stable performance at moderate overclock. 1 PCIe slot and also 2 DIMM Slots max 64 GB with excellent memory compatibility and tweaking up to DDR4-3600.

For audio solution The SupremeFX already famous with how intense Asus put effort to satisfy gamers or movie geek ears. Its surpass somewhat what people think about the onboard sound quality. Its shielded and isolated S1220A from electrical interference, using audio grade premium Nichicon, the dual op-amp (Texas Instruments RC4580 and OPA1688 op-amps) for high gain. Also, Sonic Studio III application will help you to customize and find the personal taste. Moreover audio onboard quality is essential for mini ITX because of lack expansion room.

3 x LED-Illuminated Audio Jacks though it’s not having an impact in sound quality, it already tells you how detail Asus put effort on the motherboard looks, with AURA Lighting control there are so many lighting customizations, glowing from back at the right side of the board and ROG sign presently sparkles on your choice. Plus 5050 RGB strips header and addressable RGB header that can be connected to compatible lighting strips, fans, coolers, and PC cases. An addressable RGB LED extension cable is included but LED strips, and Aura Sync-compatible device is not. In, the conclusion it’s artistic effects if you are RGB LEDs lovers you should check more at their official website.

There are 4 SATA ports and dual M.2 slots on this motherboard, which is great for mini ITX storage solution, there no complaint about that. Networking solution Intel Gigabit Lan is a just neat solution, and integrated WiFi dual band MU-MIMO + high-speed Bluetooth seems to offer better and practical solution.

Although old mini ITX was typically hard to reach the top performance of overclocking, again it’s not entirely correct right now because modern processor becomes more stable and efficient over the last generation. And also Asus designer offer the new mini ITX motherboard with better optimization for water and air cooling solution, plus 3 PWMDC hybrid fan that is made easier to manage. With the help Asus application such as 5 Way Optimization technology for newbies or someone who want simple overclocking with a just single click.

Aside from the positive experience, there is a few concern about this motherboard. First, there is no onboard video output such as HDMI and DVI-D on this board, and that’s weird, it will okay as long as you will buy a separate graphics card, there will be no problem. And the second issue that might make a big deal for someone who needs extra graphics card slot, sadly this motherboard won’t supports bifurcation mode.

So both Asus motherboard theoretically won’t support APU and the next generation of APUs that will release in Q2 2018.

Pros.
  • Great layout.
  • Good overall performance.
  • Solid component.
  • Best mini ITX looking board and charming RBG LEDs.
  • 4 SATA slots and dual M.2.
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (back panel, Type-A)
Cons.
  • No HDMI? Why Asus?
  • Won’t support APU series.
  • PCIe Bifurcation.
  • Price.

 

2. ASRock’s X370 and AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac

"Great Overall Performance and Feature plus PCIe Bifurcation."
Release in 2017, mini ITX, X370 Chipset, AMD® Ryzen™ AM4 and 7th generation Athlon™
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"Great Overall Performance and Feature plus PCIe Bifurcation." (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Release in 2017, mini ITX, B350 Chipset, AMD® Ryzen™ AM4 and 7th generation Athlon™
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Another twins brother, ASRock X370 and AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac, using the same layout, VRM, and components but the only difference is about the wireless implementation, the X370 wireless networking will support up to 867 Mbps while the AB350 at only 433 Mbps at max. Just like Asus ROG mini twin, it’s hard to measure the performance difference between X370 and B350 chipset.

Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3 software handled the Reality 3D technology offer surround sound for an extra layer of transience whether you’re gaming or watching a movie. Utilizing Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec and audio grade component nichicon gold series and gold audio jacks for more solid sound delivery. It’s not the most brilliant solution over the other competitors, but it’s good enough to enhance sound quality and better audio experience from a small motherboard.

Not much for lighting implementation on the board but ASRock provide the outer AMD Fan LEDs header for lighting custom on this solid board. But still, Asus ROG is way better in this categories. Networking using Intel Gbit LAN, i211AT, and for wireless networking, ASRock operated with a 2T2R dual band 867 Mbps for X370 chipset and 433 Mbps for AB350, which granted substantial performance.

4 SATA ports and 1 M.2 slot that’s just normal for mini ITX right now, nothing special and sadly this motherboard doesn’t add any USB 3.1 gen 2 ports. That’s a little disappointing comparing Asrock Z370 chipset mini board that looks so complete feature and fabulous.

Luckily both X370 and AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac support PCIe bifurcation, and could be the only one mini ITX Ryzen motherboard brand that provides official bifurcation managing with the passive or active riser. It’s good news for multi GPU user, and it just works automatically and with a simple setting.

Both ASRock Gaming-ITX are fully supported dual HDMI, so it’s an advantage for someone who desires to pair this motherboard with next-generation APUs which coming on Q2 2018.

Though it’s not for extreme overclocking, it has decent VRM consisting of 8 phase power design, as good as standard ATX size motherboard moreover sufficient for moderate overclocking daily workload.

Pros.
  • Great layout.
  • Dual HDMI great advance for next APUs processor.
  • Bifurcation for multi-graphics support.
  • 4 SATA and 1 M.2.
  • WiFi.
  • Affordable.
Cons.
  •  RGB LEDs implementation.
  • No USB 1 gen2 port?

 

3. BIOSTAR X370GTN and B350TN

"Simple and Budget Option Motherboard."
Release in 2017, mini ITX, X370 Chipset, AMD® Ryzen™ AM4 and 7th generation Athlon™
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Biostar brand name already spread in Asia for the budget option motherboard but not in the US. People always concerning their reliability and quality motherboard because it’s rare to find any Biostar motherboard brand here. But just for a specific user, it could be great opportunity to get the cheap product with the same level of the chipset, and Biostar mini ITX is the most affordable, almost two times less expensive over the rival.
Also, it’s good for you that want to start loving small form factor build or just second multimedia PC build instead of only main rigs. However, this mobo also supports the next Zen-based Raven Ridge APUs with two video output DVI-D and HDMI 1.4 which is excellent for more budget choice.
Storage solution comes with 4 SATA ports, 1 M.2 slot, 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A and Type-C). And for networking Realtek Dragon-powered gigabit LAN without any built-in Wireless networking.Using old Realtek ALC892 codec to cut the technology cost, and headphone amp also isolation level it just offers standard quality, nothing so special but not the worst quality either. From how they look this mini mobo, lack of RGB lighting and straightforward external lighting aren’t the best because limited customization through the Vivid LED DJ application. In conclusion, It’s just basic RGB lighting with an extra two light strip headers.
The overclocking performance is not bad at all with the supports from 7 power phase, but sadly lack quality VRM cooling is the real limitation here. It’s better to do moderate overclocking for everyday activities or just leave it.
It’s hard to expect the best from the cheapest motherboard, on the other hand, it could be interesting for the non-enthusiast user.

Pros.
  • Cheapest SSF AM4 solution.
  • Supports next-gen APUs.
  • 4 SATA and 1 M.2.
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-A and Type-C).
Cons.
  • Not the best RGB LEDs solution.
  • Old Realtek ALC892 codec.
  • Overall cooling system.
  • No wireless networking.

 

4. Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming WiFi

"Best Ryzen Mini-ITX For The Money." (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Release in 2017, mini ITX, B350 Chipset, AMD® Ryzen™ AM4 and 7th generation Athlon™
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Gigabyte mini board with decent power delivery, 6 power phase design using IR’s 35201 regulators and good enough VRM cooling. This mini motherboard is excellent for daily overclocking and could be the best Ryzen mini ITX for memory RAM tweaking capabilities. However, mini ITX always have limitation so still not recommend for any extreme overclocking for daily use.

Looks so simple with the black color motherboard, slightly red and white, it’s not bad, but that is a matter of personal preference. And there are no any LEDs onboard anyway; you should add external light through RGB and AMD fan LEDs header.

For sound solution Realtek ALC1220 codec, which is just a standard quality benchmark for any motherboard this day, nothing so special about it. The RGB solution with four-pin header and bunch of LEDs down the rear side of the PCB next to the DIMM slots.

It’s hard to see some more feature on any mini ITX board, but the choice depends on what you really need. The AB350N-Gaming WiFi is an excellent choice board for a power mini-budget rig; Gigabyte AB350N also offers adequate feature such as built-in Wi-Fi, many USB, port and RGB LEDs.

Storage solution, 4 SATA ports, 1 M.2 slot, and 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports Type-A on the rear panel. Also, this motherboard will work with next APUs through DisplayPort and HDMI.

Pros.
  • Good overclocking performance.
  • VRM cooling.
  • Built-In WiFi.
  • Good Layout.
  • 4 SATA and 1 M.2.
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (back panel, Type-A).
  • Best Mini ITX for the money.
Cons.
  • RGB Fusion.
  • PCIe bifurcation.

 

5. MSI B350I PRO AC

NOT AVAILABLE YET"Best Power Delivery."
Release in 2018, mini ITX, B350 Chipset, AMD® Ryzen™ AM4 and 7th generation Athlon™
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MSI is offering 9 phase power design that MSI the only one manufacturer that implemented high-performance power delivery into AM4 Mini ITX and has pretty much all necessary features that you need. Military Class components ensure the performance stability for long-term use. 2x DIMM slots up to 32 GB of DDR4 and  3200 clock speed through overclocking in a dual-channel setup with the help of DDR4 Boost.

This motherboard looks so simple with mostly brown color, comes with 2x pin headers for additional RGB strips Mystic Light, allowing anyone to change the system LED colors while applying lighting effects. Too bad MSI using the old Realtek ALC887 codec and bump up quality byAudio Boost.

Moreover, there a built-in Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 3168 module and Bluetooth 4.2 delivers super stable signals and maximizes internet data transfer speeds for a flawless networking experience plus Gigabit LAN for networking purposes. For storage solution,4 SATA and 1x M.2  also 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 to enhance file transfer efficiency. This motherboard even ready for APU and the next gen of APUs as the put DisplayPort 1.2 and an HDMI 1.4 port on the rear I/O.

Overall it’s fascinating what MSI offer and price. Building a small form factor PC, whether it’s for productive activities, multimedia, and gaming rig.

Pros.
  • Insane power delivery implementation for mini-ITX board.
  • Affordable.
  • Bunch of features.
  • Built-In Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 3168 module.
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (back panel, Type-A)
Cons.
  • Old audio codec.
  • PCIe bifurcation.

 

In conclusion,

Asus is bringing the well rounded mini ITX into the market. Substantial component, the best look, charming RGB LEDs and high performance with a bunch of features, too bad, there’s no onboard video output so technically won’t support APUs, or you need to add a separate graphics card, and stuck with 1 PCIe slot available because not supports PCIe bifurcation. Overall it’s still the best and most powerful mini ITX.

If you want to build multi-GPU on mini size rig, then ASRock X370, and AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac series the only manufacturer that supports bifurcation mode, but be sure you will miss USB 3.1 gen2 on the Asrock series.

Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming WiFi also offers the excellent package at the relatively low price, excellent mainstream overclocker and bunch of feature set for mini ITX. MSI B350I provides the best power delivery and excellent VRM cooling at a reasonable price but hard to find this product right now.

BIOSTAR X370GTN and B350GTN is the simple and cheapest SSF solution although it’s rare product in the US market so you should recheck the cost.

 

So, here are the best mini ITX motherboards for Ryzen and APUs.

  1. ROG Strix X370-I and B350-I Gaming motherboards – The best mini ITX for Ryzen but won’t support APUs.
  2. ASRock X370, and AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac – The only one that supports PCIe Bifurcation.
  3. Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming WiFi – The reliable performance motherboard and best mobo for the money.
  4. MSI B350I PRO AC – The best power delivery.
  5. BIOSTAR X370GTN and B350GTN – The cheapest SFF solution but hard to get one.

 

will update soon,

thanks