Overclock.net › Member Blogs › Am4 Motherboard Manufacturers Make Overclocking Effortless On Motherboards People Want Am4 Board Revision 2 Or Am4 Refresh Opinion

AM4 Motherboard manufacturers , make overclocking effortless on motherboards people want. (AM4 board Revision 2 , or AM4 refresh) - Opinion

The easiest thing by far to do would have been to go with 6+2 for ALL X370 boards in the lineup. Then for the highest end one use the 60A phases and double them for the ultra high end. Strip off ICs as necessary to hit pricepoints. Focus on the three main non-power delivery things: audio, LAN, storage. Have RGB kits as a plug in option on midrange boards. $20 granularity is going to hurt all motherboard manufacturers after 6 months go by. You can't discount the motherboards much then.

4.0GHZ at about 1.4V Ryzen 7 consumes about 100-110A. By that notion a 6 core Ryzen 5 should consume about 80A. Examples of power components (Click to show)
Infineon 40A IR3553M , 4x6mm PQFN: efficiency > 91% until about 22A at 1.2V output ----> this implies six of these is just about right for 4GHz 8 cores because you need to factor in a 1.1x power loss multiplier for 1.4V V_Out
Infineon 45A IR3558 , 5x6mm PQFN: efficiency > 91% until 30A at 1.2V output
Infineon 50A IR3556 , 6x6mm PQFN
Infineon 60A IR3550 (possibly also the revised IR3555) , 6x6mm PQFN: efficiency > 91% until 45A at 1.2V output
TI NexFET 40A CSD87350Q5D , 5 x 6mm SON package: efficiency > 91% until 30A at 1.3V output ---> for 1.4V V_out factor in a 1.025X power loss multiplier

i.e.
Ultra high end $300-350 board = BLCK gen ,8+4 CPU power, 60A IR3555 phases 12 (doubled) +4 (doubled) with heatpipe heatsink and 2 IR3553 or TI NexFET for memory , 60A chokes, Tantalum capacitors, monoblock water cooling kit available for order, extra PCIE power for GPU overclocking, dual Intel LAN , ALC1220 w/ AMP & extra shielding, 2x M.2 PCIE , Asmedia extra USB 3.1 gen 2 backpanel and header, 1 M.2 (Key E) wifi add-in kit included, Tri or Quad SLI / CFX with PCi-e lane switching likely requiring PLX chip, debug LED, OC buttons including LN2 mode, V-check points, thermal sensor connectors, clear CMOS button,Power + Reset Switch , Multi BIOS or extra drop in BIOS chip included,Steel reinforced PCIE, RGB headers with RGB included , water-pump-fan header, NO display outputs on backpanel , quality check with certificate in every box (no DOA)
* nonexistent on the X370 platform , see ASUS ROG Extreme / Gigabyte SOC Force / MSI XPower on non AMD boards

High end $250 board = BCLK gen, 8+4 CPU power, 60A IR3555 phases 12 (doubled) + 4 (doubled) with heatpipe heatsink and 2 phases memory , 60A chokes/inductors, 10K or 12K caps, dual LAN , one Intel LAN and other of whatever brand whether Realtek/Killer/etc , ALC1220 w/ AMP & extra shielding, 2x M.2 PCIE, Asmedia extra USB 3.1 gen 2 backpanel and/or header, 1 M.2 (Key E) wifi add-in kit , water-pump-fan header, thermal sensor connectors, SLI / CFX, debug LED, clear CMOS button, V-check points, Multi BIOS, Steel reinforced PCIE, SLI Bridge, RGB headers with RGB included, NO display outputs on backpanel, quality check with certificate in every box (no DOA)
* What an Asrock X370 OC Formula , ASUS Crosshair VI Formula , MSI X370 MPower, or Gigabyte X370 OC would be expected to be
* The Crosshair VI Hero doesn't ship with an anti-static bag. It's a $250 board... how is this acceptable?

enthusiast $200 board = BLCK gen , 60A phases IR3555 6+4 (doubled) with heatpipe heatsink and 2 phases memory , 60A chokes/inductors, 10K or 12K caps, 1x Intel LAN , ALC1220 w/ extra shielding, Asmedia extra USB 3.1 gen 2 back panel, 1 M.2 (Key E) wifi slot , SLI/CFX, debug LED, clear CMOS button, power/reset button, Steel reinforced PCIE, SLI Bridge , RGB headers only, NO display outputs on backpanel
* i.e. Asrock X370 Taichi , ASUS Crosshair VI Hero, Gigabyte Gaming K7 / Biostar GT7 , X370 GAMING PRO CARBON (VRM weaker than this pricepoint should be)... all with changes

midrange $150 board = no BCLK gen, 45-50A IR3558/IR3556 phases 6+2 and 2 phase memory with functional heatsink, 50A or 60A chokes/inductors, 10K or 12K caps, 1x Intel LAN ?, ALC1220 ,USB 3.1 Gen 2 from chipset , SLI/CFX, debug LED, clear CMOS button, Steel reinforced PCIE, Displayport , RGB headers only
* i.e. ASUS X370 Prime Pro ... with changes (see Asus Z270-A , which has Power-on button , Clear CMOS header) , Gigabyte X370 Gaming 5 with changes

entry X370 $130 board = no BLCK gen , 6+2 with doubled low side and 2 phase memory with functional heatsink, 45A or 50A chokes/inductors, 10K caps, 1 X Intel LAN, ALC1220 , USB 3.1 Gen 2 from chipset , SLI/CFX, Steel reinforced PCIE, Displayport , RGB header only
* i.e. Asrock X370 Fatal1ty K4, Gigabyte X370 Gaming K5 , MSI X370 SLI PLUS ... all with changes
* Maximum Drain current must NOT be package limited to < 40A , something like an OnSemi 4C05N, 4983N, or 4935N lowside would be nice , RDS(on) < 4 mΩ

B350 $110 board = no BCLK gen, 6+2 phases Low RDS(on) mosfets ~ 30-40A with doubled low side and 2 phase memory with functional heatsink over CPU phases, 45A or 50A chokes/inductors, 10K caps, ALC 892 , Realtek LAN, mATX , USB 3.1 Gen 2 from chipset , Steel reinforced PCIE, Displayport + HDMI , RGB header only (with add on RGB kit available for purchase)
* i.e. GA-AB350M-Gaming 3, MSI B350M Mortar , Asrock AB350M Pro4 with changes
* Maximum Drain current must NOT be package limited to < 40A , something like an OnSemi 4C05N , 4983N, or 4935N lowside would be nice
* Must have 4 DIMMs similar to ATX boards

B350 $90 board = no BCLK gen, 4+3 phase Low RDS(on) mosfets with ~ 30-40A doubled low side and 1 phase memory with functional heatsink over CPU phases, 45A chokes/inductors, 5K caps, ALC 892 , Realtek LAN, mATX , USB 3.1 Gen 2 from chipset , Displayport + HDMI , RGB header only
* i.e. MSI B350 PC Mate , Gigabyte GA-AB350M-D3H , Asrock AB350M , Asus Prime B350M-A with changes

X300 $200 board = no BCLK gen, 45A IR3558 phases 6+2 and 2 phase memory with functional heatsink, 60A chokes/inductors, 10K or 12K caps (Tantalum if no daughterboard is used), 1x Intel LAN ?, ALC1220 ,USB 3.1 Gen 2 from chipset , 1 M.2 (Key E) wifi slot with wifi card and antennas included , ITX, clear CMOS button, Post Code LED on IO cover if possible, Steel reinforced PCIE, RGB headers only
* see ASUS ROG Impact boards or Asrock Fatal1ty Z170 or Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac

---- Examples of $170-190 boards based on existing boards ----

$210 Asrock X370 Taichi MSRP
- $20 wifi , assume it costs Asrock $10 for antennas + M.2 wifi +BT card
- $5 ASM1061 extra SATA3 6Gbps, assume it costs Asrock $5 in bulk
- $10 remove Quad SLI traces and associated chips and the SLI bridge
- $5 remove 2nd M.2 slot & associated traces
+ $5 power+reset button from Fatal1ty Pro , assuming 100% markup (for example https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10441)
(missing DualBIOS)
= $175 MSRP for an X370 Extreme 6 based off the Taichi

For the Gigabyte Gaming K7 I'd strip it down and change the B.O.M. to a Ultra Durable board ( I think there's no more Ultra Durable due to Aorus) or OC branding .... see Biostar GT7 pricing for what I mean
$210
- $15 RGB LED strip on the right side & RGB strip header based on pricing for 24 5050 LEDs w/ led driver (https://octopart.com/2862-adafruit+industries-71108774)
- $10 RGB Fusion elements on the heatsinks , motherboard, and memory ... based on pricing for LED
- $15 Killer Ethernet --- a guess
+ $30 change IR3553 to IR3555 60A phases for the CPU assuming $3 each (https://octopart.com/search?q=IR3555) ... this is generous since the price per 1000 of IR3553 and IR3555 are not much different
- $10 remove SATA Express connections
- $5 remove second ALC 1220 chip (~$3 based off ALC 892 https://octopart.com/alc892-gr-realtek-50577570)
+ $5 add memory phase
+ $10 add heatpipe to heatsink ?
= $200 (in actuality this should be $170 if the actual price differential between IR3553 and IR3555 is considered)

For Biostar X370GT7 with $180-200 MSRP , a Tpower board like older times:
-$15 remove all LED stuff at I/O cover (VIVID LED DJ rolleyes.gif should have read "GT7" or RYZEN)
- $10 remove all silk screening
+$15 Intel LAN (optional)
- $1 remove DVI connector & traces (a DVI connector is below $1)
- $0 remove carbon fiber accents (optional) for functional heatsink
+$5 Nuvoton SuperIO instead of ITE IT8625E that doesn't support the use of 3 pin chassis fans (price for SuperIO is $3 https://octopart.com/nct6779d-nuvoton-22455475)
+$5 ditch Anpec memory VRM PWM for a more reputable one from OnSemi / uPi / Richtek / IR etc (to help alleviate memory compatibility issues)
+ $20 BCLK gen option w/ associated traces although I figure the BCLK chip itself to be about $3 (as per http://www.mouser.com/Semiconductors/Integrated-Circuits-ICs/Clock-Timer-ICs/_/N-6j748/) , less necessary due to the AGESA code in May
+$0 BIOS polishing
= $164-199 depending on Intel LAN usage

For the $170 ASUS X370 Prime Pro I'd say it needs to add on to the Bill of Materials
+ $10-20 Post Code LED and associated traces + debug
+ $5 memory phase (https://octopart.com/csd87350q5d-texas+instruments-19874993) ... this is super generous as one NexFET is ~$2 but there may be extra manhours to implement an additional phase
+ $20 BCLK gen option w/ associated traces although I figure the BCLK chip itself to be about $3 (as per http://www.mouser.com/Semiconductors/Integrated-Circuits-ICs/Clock-Timer-ICs/_/N-6j748/) , less necessary due to the AGESA code in May
+ $5 power+reset button
+ $5 audio shielding (EMI cover)
+ $10 better fan control & additional fan headers via Nuvoton SuperIO (optional , ~$3 for SuperIO https://octopart.com/nct6779d-nuvoton-22455475)
(missing dual BIOS)
~ $195-205 ,which isn't that wonderful , for a Prime "Expert" or Prime Deluxe
Keep in mind that more man-hours are used to add stuff than to take away stuff

For the $150 MSI X370 Krait Gaming , I'd say:
+ $10-20 Post Code LED and associated traces + debug
+ $5 memory phase
- $5 remove all the white silk screen everywhere
+ $10 proper phase doubling via IR3598/IR3599? (see reviews suggesting that it is just using doubled components without phase interleaving at tweaktown)
+ $20 BCLK gen option w/ associated traces although I figure the BCLK chip itself to be about $3 (as per http://www.mouser.com/Semiconductors/Integrated-Circuits-ICs/Clock-Timer-ICs/_/N-6j748/) , less necessary due to the AGESA code in May
+ $5 power+reset button
+ $0 switch DVI output to Displayport
+ $5 ALC1220 instead of ALC 892 ? (see ALC898 & ALC892 pricing)
(Missing Dual BIOS)
~$180 ,for a MPower-like board which isn't that great at all given the X370 Pro Carbon pricing let alone other manufacturers' pricing
Keep in mind that more man-hours are used to add stuff than to take away stuff

Part pricing at 1000+ quantity (so about 100 motherboards if 6+4 phase count):
On Semi 4C09N is about $0.25 each in 1000+ quantity https://octopart.com/ntmfs4c09nt1g-on+semiconductor-26105567
On Semi 4C10N is also about that amount https://octopart.com/search?q=4C10N+mosfet
On Semi 4C06N is about $0.30 each in 1000+ quantity https://octopart.com/search?q=mosfet+4C06N
NIKOS PK632BA is about $0.30 each according to a variety of Asian places (aliexpress/alibaba/ etc)
Vishay SIRA12DP (used on Gigabytes mainstream Z97 / Z170 / Z270) ~ $0.40 https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/vishay-siliconix/SIRA12DP-T1-GE3/SIRA12DP-T1-GE3CT-ND/3178384
Vishay SIRA18DP (used on Gigabytes mainstream Z97 / Z170 / Z270) ~ $0.40 https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/vishay-siliconix/SIRA12DP-T1-GE3/SIRA12DP-T1-GE3CT-ND/3178384
TI NexFET is about $2 each in 1000+ quantity https://octopart.com/csd87350q5d-texas+instruments-19874993
IR3553 PowIRStage ~$3.50 each https://octopart.com/ir3553mtrpbf-infineon-65873046
IR3555 PowIRStage ~$3 each in 1000+ quantity https://octopart.com/search?q=IR3555
ISL95712 PWM ~ $7 https://octopart.com/search?q=ISL95712
IR35201 PWM ~ $3 https://octopart.com/ir35201mtrpbf-international+rectifier-73098642
ALC898 ~ $3.59 https://octopart.com/alc898-gr-realtek-52738233
ALC892 ~ $3.08 https://octopart.com/alc892-gr-realtek-50577570
NCT6779D Nuvoton SuperIO ~$3 https://octopart.com/nct6779d-nuvoton-22455475
Push button < $0.35 https://www.sparkfun.com/products/97
Surface mount right angle switch < $0.86 https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10860
8 position dip switch < $1.35 https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8034

Comments (1)

This is a great article, it really shows how invested you have been in learning all this subject matter. Thanks for writing this up. I too find the current motherboards absoletely lack-luster. An elegant midrange overclocker friendly board without a bazillion LEDs / 3d printed parts/ etc, but having extensive IO options would be nice. Like my current board, http://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-990XA-UD3-rev-1x#ov
Overclock.net › Member Blogs › Am4 Motherboard Manufacturers Make Overclocking Effortless On Motherboards People Want Am4 Board Revision 2 Or Am4 Refresh Opinion