Better phases beats average heatsinks?

Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by Mac29, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Mac29

    Mac29 n00b

    Jan 10, 2015
    I'm going for a cheap Ryzen build. In the future I may want to OC a better Ryzen chip. I think this also shows if I shoot for boards with better VRM they'll help no matter how many cores & no matter how high you try to OC. (Not talking anything crazy like a 180W 12 core on a $130 board here.) Because they'll improve stability, ripple, etc.

    If the mosfetts are "well matched" do you think, generally, a 6 phase is better than a 4 phase? Some say smart power stages instead of basic mosfets can improve your waste heat. So if that's the goal then I'd think all things being equal, yes.

    Obviously if I were to find an X370 board w/very good VRM, and I didn't care about losing a few features on a B450 w/cheaper VRM & heatsinks, it's highly probable the X370 would get me a better OC. Disregarding the silicon lottery.

    On a stock 6 core no noticable difference, but say for a 3700X, the higher you try to OC the more that better VRM is going to effect your outcome.

    Now I know the Ryzens don't OC too much so this is half academic. But would you say according to this chart that I should disregard the phases and simply consider the amp boxes, as far as quality of the VRMs of each board? Then consider price?

    I've already narrowed down a short list by features.


    Gamer X likes this.
  2. Concillian

    Concillian Limp Gawd

    Jun 14, 2005
    For the most part, outside of technicalities, VRM are pretty binary. Either they support the current you need at reasonable temperatures or they dont. Now there are definite technicalities like ripple and responsiveness to droop and such, but these are not something that a person seeking a 24/7 for years kind of overclock has to worry about. These are the kinds of things are for people doing fairly extreme things have to worry about. Unless you're shopping $300+ boards and know you need that kind of board, I wouldn't worry much about choosing a board over another strictly due to VRM differences. Make sure it's enough VRM for your needs, but don't obsess over 4 vs 6 vs 14 phases. If it's enough, it's enough. If it's not enough, point a fan on it and it probably will be enough.

    For normal just 24/7 type of conditions, you really don't need to worry about the VRM as much as the various internet forums seem to be going on and on about right now.

    That list you linked to assumes open loop water cooling and pushing your chip to the max. If you're on air or AIO cooling, you can pretty much move green half to one CPU higher. As you noted the OC capability of the chips makes this all mostly moot, as it's almost optimal to just leave them stock and let the stock boost algorithm do it's thing.
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  3. Keljian

    Keljian Gawd

    Nov 7, 2006

    The difficult argument. Does having more VRMs matter?

    More VRMs means the heat created by them is managed across more surface area/more devices.

    Do the math :
    1.2v x 300A = 360W
    1.3V x 100A = 130W
    1.4V x 150A = 210W

    You do not want to be running right at the peak of the board's capability, but you don't want to overcapitalise either.

    TLDR: there was a deal on the Asus X370-prime pro not that long ago... it has pretty good VRMs...
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  4. Aluminum

    Aluminum Gawd

    Sep 18, 2015
    There is some truth to this: overbuilt VRMs will run cooler, to the point a very high spec VRM setup doesn't even need heatsinks with stock or 'typical' overclocking. The recent high end gigabyte boards are an example of this.

    The converse is true, you can have a CPU that is definitely within spec for VRMs and it will be stable but get hot enough to require active cooling. Some of the earlier TR boards are like this with the WX cpus, the Asus one is an example.

    I don't think I would chalk up paper VRM specs to stability though, an OEM may use some overbuilt components but if the board design, layout, soldering, QA and BIOS support are lacking: crap will still be crap.

    Buy a board because the whole thing is good for your needs, not just for a single marketing point.

    If you're shopping X370 for quality I would point at the Taichi (but nothing lower from asrock), the CH6 was a turd for awhile (maybe they finally saved it with bios fixes a year+ later? too late in my book) and nothing from MSI/Gigabyte stood out. The prime pro is 'ok', hell was better than CH6 for not bricking your shit.

    For X470 Asus got off its butt and CH7 is decent, though they still haven't put out a proper Zen2 bios as of yesterday. Asrock taichi is still good but again nothing lower, the other guys got somewhat better too but I'd still stick to the As myself.

    X570 seems to have shaken things up a lot, honestly its a bit early to call. Real solid BIOS support is going to make or break this generation. That chipset fan on everything though...god damnit. I think we are going to see an X570 board model refresh a lot sooner than normal.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  5. Gamer X

    Gamer X Limp Gawd

    Jul 5, 2019
    x570 is overspec'ed, because it is PCIe4.0... and when PCIe5.0 comes out... the design won't change.
  6. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon [H]ard|Gawd

    Dec 14, 2014
    This whole post, right here. A lot of people are obsessing over VRMs online because they watched Buildzoid’s YouTube videos without considering the fact that he’s on LN2 trying to pull the most insane overclock possible.

    A few things to consider as well:

    1) Ryzen 3 power draw is lower than Ryzen 2.

    2) Overclocking the Ryzen 3 is essentially pointless. The performance gains to be realized over the stock algorithm are practically non-existent based on every review I’ve consulted, so you might as well just keep the warranty valid at this point and leave it alone. AMD’s engineers themselves said don’t bother, just let the algorithm do its thing.