TUF boards tend to have two diagnostic LEDs on the board in addition to software monitoring. ROG boards have a few more digital/analog and USB ports, but come at the expense of losing some SATA ports.
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TUF (The Ultimate Force)
This isn’t really a motherboard line anymore since Asus just slapped it onto everything, but originally it was for gaming boards that were built to survive accidental damage during shipping or rough handling while traveling. They also had features like reinforced PCIe slots and onboard buttons for overclocking without using the software. In fact, nowadays most TUF boards are more expensive than their non-TUF counterparts because they include things like 10+2 power phases which can occasionally be useful but are otherwise overrated for the average user.
ROG (Republic Of Gamers)
These are Asus’ gaming boards, made with enthusiasts in mind and geared towards performance at a fairly high price point. They include improvements like better audio (an addition if a motherboard has it), improved power delivery, extra features like an LED-lit diagnostic display or game/network port LEDs, etc. The higher up the ROG chain you go, the more features there are.
Battery Boost – This is Asus’ attempt at improving battery life on laptops. The way it works is that the motherboard can identify when a laptop will be running from battery power and adjusts settings to maximize performance while minimizing power draw. You could do this yourself by overclocking lightly while on battery, but you might not get quite as much mileage since Battery Boost has been tuned specifically for Asus products (although there are reports of varying success with other brands). It can also work alongside Intel’s SpeedStep technology:
So when it comes to gaming boards Asus has a few options. The ROG line (such as the Maximus VIII Hero ) includes an onboard DAC and amplifier in addition to the 10+2 power phases for better audio quality. However, if you don’t care about such things you can save $30 by opting for a TUF Gaming board like the Prime Z270-A.
TUF vs ROG MB Differences
CPU support : In general ROG support newer CPUs than TUF (even if they have less on-board features). This is because ROG plans to sell boards to gamers who will want the latest and greatest for bragging rights, while TUF wants to appeal to those looking for a solid gaming experience and are less concerned about specs.
ROG MBs also have an extra set of “Mem TweakIt” buttons that allow you to do things like toggle XMP mode or disable onboard graphics without using software. This is nice if your BIOS doesn’t have a GUI (graphical user interface) like some older models, but in general I’ve found they can be annoying as well since it’s easy to accidentally press them during regular use (like taking out RAM).