Asus ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi review


If you’re looking for a Mini-ITX motherboard, you’ll usually have to accept some almost inevitable compromises. There’s simply no way you can fit a comprehensive feature set onto a 17cm x 17cm motherboard in the same way you can on a similarly priced ATX board. Whether there is a?

An impressive feat of engineering that effectively eliminates some of the compromises inherent to Mini-ITX motherboards.

The Asus ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi aims to give users more than they could expect from a Mini-ITX motherboard. Instead of trying to cram everything onto a two-dimensional circuit board, Asus went to the third dimension. It’s moved several features to riser cards, and there’s an additional USB-connected audio device that also acts as something of an external dock. The Strix X670E-I WiFi is an impressive display of engineering that largely eliminates the compromises inherent to Mini-ITX motherboards, although the ability to install multiple M.2 drives is still a step too far.

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On $399 / 409 pounds / 639 Australian dollars, it’s certainly an high-priced piece of kit, but it’s still competitive with upper mid-range ATX options and well below the price of flagship boards. This is a board for those who want the best AMD Mini-ITX system. It already has a BIOS that supports the next-generation Ryzen 9000 series processors.

The awkwardly named Asus ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi features a 10+2+1 phase VRM with a current of 110 A per stage. It can easily meet the demands of the Ryzen 9 7950X processor and certainly the high-end SKUs that will be released in the future. The heatsink isn’t what you’d call gigantic, but there is a diminutive fan built in in case it gets a little scorching. It supports up to DDR5-8000 memory, but who knows what it will be capable of when the next-gen processors debut.

Asus ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi Specs

(Image credit: Future)

Electric socket: AMD AM5
Processor Compatibility: AMD Ryzen 7000 and 8000 series processors
Form factor: Mini-ITX
Memory support: DDR5-8000+(OC), up to 96 GB
Storage: 2x M.2, 2x SATA
USB: Up to 2x USB 4, 6x USB 10Gbps, 2x USB 5Gbps, 3x USB 2.0
Display: 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x USB4
Networking: Intel 2.5G LAN, Intel Wi-Fi 6E
Audio: Realtek ALC897
Price: $399 / 409 pounds / 639 Australian dollars

The board includes both a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot and a primary M.2 slot. There’s a second slot that supports a Gen 4 drive. They’re stacked together. This part of the board is incredibly impressive. It includes a detachable daughterboard for the second slot, and on the bottom of the stack are layers of heatsinks designed to frosty the chipset and the two drives sitting on it. There’s another diminutive fan that cools the whole assembly, but it can only be set to spin up if things get a little scorching under the hood. Keep in mind that a Gen5 SSD will inevitably reach higher temperatures than you’d see compared to an isolated drive on an ATX board. Decent airflow within the case is still a must, which can be hard to achieve with a diminutive form factor design.

The two M.2 drives are connected via two SATA ports. This is probably the only weakness of the board. File collectors will not be satisfied with the support for only four drives, although thanks to the USB4 on board, you can always add rapid external drives.

The two SATA ports are located on the slave card, which Asus calls the FPS-II card. It connects to the board via a pair of USB Type-C connectors and includes the aforementioned SATA ports, chassis connectors, USB 2.0 connectors, an overclock mode switch, and a Clear CMOS button. This is a relatively uncomplicated but clever way to reclaim some of the constrained space of a Mini-ITX board.

Even more impressive is an external device connected via USB, called ROG Hive. This is an external sound card based on the Realtek ALC4050 codec, but also includes an ESS Saber 9260Q digital-to-analog converter. This is a key example of thinking outside the box, as such components and their associated circuitry could not fit into the constrained space of a Mini-ITX PCB.

However, Hive offers much more. It has a Precision Boost Overdrive button, a programmable Flex button, and another 10Gbps Type-C port and another Type-A port for BIOS flashing. This is an impressive and exceptionally well-built little device.

The rear I/O puts almost every other Mini-ITX board to shame. The highlight is a pair of USB4 ports, both of which can support Type-C monitors. They are joined by five 10Gb/s Type A ports and three USB 2.0 ports. Ten ports on the back of a Mini-ITX board is a rarity, and thanks to the various connectors and ports on the ROG Hive, it really is front USB charging.

There is an HDMI port, and you also get Intel WiFi 6E and 2.5G LAN. It would be nice to have 5G LAN and/or WiFi 7, but this is an X670 board. WiFi 7 wasn’t available when the board launched, and 5G LAN was considered a flagship feature. You’ll have to wait for the X870 boards if you want a faster network.

System performance

Gaming Performance

Test stand

PROCESSOR: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 in the founder’s version
ARIES: 2x 16 GB G.Skill Trident Z5 DDR5-6000 C36
Storage: 2TB Kingston KC3000
Cooling: Cooler Master PL360 Flux 360mm AIO
Charger: Corsair HX1000i

Gone are the early days of minor hiccups and spotty DDR5 support on the AM5 platform. The ROG Strix X670E WiFi has received over a dozen BIOS updates and in my testing, it exhibited none of the issues I encountered during the first wave of X670 releases. The X670 and Socket AM5 can be considered a mature platform overall.

The board’s performance was stable and satisfactory on the Samsung-based G.Skill DDR5-6000 test set, which wasn’t always the case with other motherboards I’ve tested with BIOSes from before the launch of the Ryzen 7000 series.

Buy if…

You want a Mini-ITX board with a few compromises: With support for a Gen 5 GPU and SSDs, along with USB4 and good quality audio, the X670E-I is a significant step up from almost all other Mini-ITX motherboards.

You want lots of USB ports: USB4 is very welcome. It can support external monitors or allows you to connect rapid external SSD drives. There are also plenty of USB 3.x ports for all your devices.

Don’t buy if…

❌ You want to install more than four internal drives: Only two M.2 slots and two SATA ports are disappointing. File collectors will need to look elsewhere unless external USB drives are more than enough for you.

I came away really impressed with the Asus ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi. It somehow manages to cram a high-end feature set into a Mini-ITX form factor with few compromises. I particularly like the presence of two USB 4 ports, and the ability to support a PCIe 5.0 SSD and next-gen PCIe 5.0 GPU is also welcome.

ROG Hive is also an attraction. It’s a great idea to move the bulky audio circuitry from the circuit board to an external device. But instead of simply designating it as an external sound card, Asus went much further and added some useful features with even more USB ports and even an AMD PBO button.

Speaking of USB ports, Asus gives you another eight ports on top of the USB4 ports on the rear panel. Hive adds more, and thanks to the chassis’ USB ports, the X670E-I offers a truly comprehensive set of USB ports for all kinds of devices and peripherals.

The board’s only glaring weakness is its storage addition. Asus could put a third M.2 slot on the back of the board or make the FPS-II card a bit bigger by adding two additional SATA ports. The latter, however, might be too much to ask of its USB-C connector.

At $399 / £409 / AU$639, the Asus ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi is an high-priced proposition, but not overly so considering what it manages to pack into its diminutive size. There are many ATX boards at this price. Given its unique features and the presence of ROG Hive and daughter boards, this would require a lot of R&D, so it’s understandable that Asus charges a premium on this basis alone.

Since AMD says it intends to support AM5 for years to come, it’s also a good investment. With BIOS updates, you’ll be able to fit the high-core Ryzen 9 9950X, future X3D models, and certainly Zen 6 processors.

The Asus ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi stands out as a premium Mini-ITX motherboard for users looking to build a high-end AMD system. We have no problem recommending this little ROG board. It’s in a class of its own.

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