When looking for a motherboard to buy, an important thing to look at is the differences between its predecessor model (or models) and the one you are looking at now. You can often find a great price-performance motherboard by going for the previous model just before a new one is released, though the new model may have small improvements.
B350 vs B450 Motherboard
The first thing I will cover is the changes between the two different B350 and B450 motherboards from the difference between the ASrock B350TN/CSM and the ASRock B350 Gaming K4. The main differences center around 2 things: the included wifi module, and the audio chipset.
The B350TN/CSM has a Realtek ALC892 audio chipset, which is an HD audio codec; while the B350 Gaming K4 has an ALC1220 audio chipset, which is an improved HD audio codec. The ALC1220 has an improved automatic gain control, which helps prevent distortion for higher volume levels; as well as premium Nichicon audio capacitors, which are designed to deliver a warmer sound similar to Alnico magnet speakers. I will be covering both of these in more detail later.
ASRock B350 Gaming K4
The real difference between the two boards comes in with the included WiFi module: The B350TN/CSM includes a Realtek 8111H module, while the B350 Gaming K4 includes a Killer Wireless-AC 1550 WiFi Module from Qualcomm Atheros. The B350 Gaming K4 also has an additional 3 antennas for improved WiFi signal range.
If you don’t need the wireless capabilities, the B350TN/CSM is a great board.
The Audio Capacitors: Nichicon vs. Alnico
Nichicon and Alnicos are both considered good capacitor brands. Nichicon is a Japanese brand known for its quality capacitors, while Alnico is an American brand that has a similar reputation.
One of the things that set Nichicon apart from Alnico is the fact that it creates capacitors using more.
This gives Nichicon capacitors a longer lifespan than Alnico.
I’ve seen this in action on a car audio amplifier I built and installed, which was using Nichicon caps, the amplifier’s lifespan went from 14 years to 17. I’ve also seen this with some of my electronics,