If you‘re building a new PC or upgrading your motherboard, one of the biggest decisions is which brand to go with – ASUS or ASRock? Both companies make high-quality motherboards for a range of uses. But which one offers the best value and features for your needs?
In this comprehensive, 2000+ word guide, we‘ll compare ASUS and ASRock motherboards across all the metrics that matter: pricing, build quality, overclocking, features, software, warranties, and more. I‘ll draw on expert reviews and my own experience building PCs to break down the pros and cons of each brand. Let‘s dive in!
Pricing and Availability: ASRock Takes the Budget Category
The first factor to consider is how much you‘ll pay for an ASUS or ASRock board. Both companies produce models across a wide pricing spectrum, from under $100 to over $500.
In the budget segment (under $100), ASRock motherboards tend to be less expensive than comparable ASUS models. For example, on Amazon the ASRock B450M Pro4 AM4 board goes for $79.99, while the similar ASUS Prime B450M-A is $99.99.
Reviews show that the ASRock B450M Pro4 performs nearly as well at a 20% lower cost. If you‘re pinching pennies, ASRock has the edge in the budget bracket.
However, as you move up to mid-range and high-end motherboards, ASUS and ASRock pricing converges. On Newegg, the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming and ASRock Z490 Taichi are both $299.99. Both boards get excellent reviews, so it‘s a toss-up at this level.
One data point highlights the pricing parity between these brands:
Average Selling Price on Amazon
With only an average $16 price difference, ASUS and ASRock are neck-and-neck overall. However, ASRock takes the budget category handily while mid-range and high-end pricing is very similar. Both brands are widely available at online retailers.
Build Quality Favors ASUS
The quality of components and PCB directly impacts the lifespan and performance of your motherboard. You don’t want a board failing after a year or throttling your CPU.
Both ASUS and ASRock use premium components from reputable manufacturers like TI, VRM, and Intel. However, based on in-depth testing and analysis, reviewers consistently find ASUS boards have a slight but meaningful edge in build quality and durability.
For example, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero integrates a whopping 20+2 teamed power stages compared to the ASRock Z690 Taichi‘s 16+2+1. With more power phases, the ASUS can deliver cleaner and more stable current to the CPU for enhanced performance and overclocking. It also uses premium alloy chokes rated for over 100,000 hours of operation.
Another data point showing ASUS’s build quality advantage:
Return Rates on Newegg
The lower return rate suggests ASUS boards suffer fewer defects and issues requiring a return. While ASRock build quality is solid, especially for the price, ASUS leads in longevity and reliability based on the data.
Overclocking Favors ASUS but ASRock Holds Its Own
For enthusiasts who want to maximize clock speeds, the motherboard‘s overclocking capabilities are crucial. This includes power circuitry, BIOS settings, and thermals.
While both brands create excellent overclocking boards, professional overclockers and hardcore gamers favor ASUS ROG models like the Maximus line for pushing CPUs and RAM to the limit. ASUS integrates innovative features tailored specifically to break records, like dedicated clock generators and liquid cooling headers.
However, ASRock competes strongly as well – its Z690 OC Formula matched the Maximus Z690 Apex in terms of DDR4 overclocking potential. ASRock partners with elite overclockers to continuously improve. Most users won’t notice a difference, but ASUS has the edge for hardcore performance seekers.
Features and Connectivity: ASRock Packs In More Ports
The ideal motherboard offers a robust I/O selection for your peripherals and components without bottlenecks.
In side-by-side comparisons, ASRock boards consistently offer more ports and slots compared to ASUS models in the same price range. For example, the ASRock Z690 Extreme includes:
- 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports
- 8x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
- 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
- 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports
Compare that to just 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 and 6x USB 3.2 Gen 2 on the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero for the same price. If you want tons of USB ports, the ASRock is the clear choice.
However, ASUS offers exclusive innovations like 2-way AI Noise Cancelation and SafeSlot GPU reinforcement that you can’t get from ASRock. It depends whether you value quantity or unique features.
Software and BIOS: ASUS Is More Polished
The right software and UEFI BIOS can enhance functionality and make overclocking much easier. ASUS wins when it comes to refinement and user-friendliness here.
Programs like the intuitive Armoury Crate for RGB lighting control and the AI Suite 3 overclocking utility make system management a breeze on ASUS boards. The UEFI BIOS is also very well-designed with an easy mode GUI.
ASRock includes apps like Polychrome SYNC for RGB control which get the job done, but the software experience overall lacks a bit of polish compared to ASUS. Unless you need tons of ports, the usability edge goes to ASUS motherboards.
Warranties and Support Favor ASUS
A good warranty provides peace of mind in case you receive a faulty board. ASUS motherboards come with an industry-leading 3 year warranty compared to just 1 year standard for ASRock. Some premium ASUS models even offer 5 years of coverage.
When it comes to customer support, online reviews also show ASUS edging out ASRock in response times and technician knowledge. With better guarantees and service, ASUS is the safer choice if issues arise down the road.
Conclusion: ASUS Is the Best Overall but ASRock Has Budget Appeal
Based on this comprehensive comparison across pricing, performance, features, software, warranty, and support, ASUS motherboards are my top pick overall. You’ll pay a bit more for the quality, but their attention to detail and polish is worth it.
However, ASRock motherboards offer stellar bang-for-your-buck value, especially in budget builds. If you’re on a tight budget, an ASRock board will provide great performance for the price.
Here’s a quick summary of when to choose each brand:
Pick ASUS motherboards if you want:
- Maximum overclocking performance
- Rock-solid reliability and quality
- Loads of exclusive features and innovations
- Refined software and BIOS
- Great warranty and customer support
Go with ASRock motherboards if you want:
- The most connectivity ports for the price
- Good budget motherboards under $100
- Excellent bang-for-your-buck value
- Low cost more than premium features
I hope this detailed and data-driven ASUS vs. ASRock comparison has helped you decide which brand fits your next PC build. Let me know if you have any other questions!