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Socket Power Phases: How much is enough?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm still somewhat of a noob with system building, and this socket power phases stuff is an area I'd like to get a better understanding of. From what I can tell, using more phases gives the voltage regulator tighter control of the voltage signal when responding to amperage changes and visa versa. But really, how much is enough? I see mobos that claim 32 or even 48 phase power: is this overkill? Is is possible that such VRs really do eliminate the voltage spikes associated with LLC?

Also, will these extra phases allow a processor to run more efficiently, such that high OCs can be reached with lower voltages and/or temperatures?

My mobo, basically a mid-line 1156, has 12+2 phase power (12 vcore + 2 vtt) which Asus claims is "16 phase hybrid" since its coupled with their t-probe regulating chip. Any thoughts on this Asus t-probe stuff? Thanks for reading.
Edited by *AcidBath* - 12/20/10 at 4:20pm
post #2 of 10
My motherboard have the 48 hybrid phases according to asus, and this boards are made to run ONLY with LLC Enabled. I set 1.3125 voltage on the bios, and my CPUZ reads 1.312 during full load, 1.312 at idle. Theres some reviews on the internet that shows how the p7p55d premium with the phase powers. I have seen people here with p7p55d-e LX that with LLC have a 0.1v drop under full load. I don't know how many are "enough", but the more the better, because each phase have to deliver less amount and be more efficient.
Also the T.Probe thing, it's a chip that regulates the load of the phases evenly so they have an average temp.
    
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post #3 of 10
The P7P55D is a 32+3 phase design motherboard. You can tell the number of phases by the number of Driver Mosfets or set of Mosfets the board has as well as the number of core chokes. BUT the number of phases means nothing if the driver MOSFETs aren't putting out that much amperage. Here is how it works, you have a PWM pulse width modulator, and this PWM controls the phase array, the PWM controllers the Driver MOSFETs, the driver MOSFETs convert the power from 12v-5v input to 1.0-2.1v output along with the conversion is an amperage generated, the ones on the P7P55D by my examinations output 20 amps each maximum (NOT driver MOSFETs, just low RSD(ON) MOSFETS), then when the DC signal(voltage) is converted it goes through capacitors that reduce ripple then the voltage goes through a core choke which reduces voltage fluctuation. In the end you do get all the voltage output of all the phases. in the end you have 20 amps x35 phases=700 amps

A few notes #1 in the past and just recently the idea of Driver MOSFETs were introduced to replace 3 separate devices, High side MOSFET, low side MOSFET, and driver chip that controlled the MOSFETs, so now you have 3 in one chip. The P7P55D used low RDS on MOSFETS, right behind its successor the Driver MOSFET.

Right now the best Analogue VRm design is from Gigabyte, with their 24 phase Driver MOSFETs, can put out 35 amps a piece max so 24x35=840 amps. If these were low RDS on MOSFETs there woudl be 48.

in the end to get wattage output you can multiply by 2.1v on each of them and get total wattage from amperage x voltage=wattage.

Now you also have Digital PWMs systems, and they use Low RDS ON MOSFETs which are like a highside and lowside MOSFET in one, they do not have driver because the digital PWM is smarter than the analogue one. The benefits of Digital PWM are better voltage control, better precision, better ripple control (because of the need for only one capacitor), and better loadline equation control. BUT it does come at a cost, because of thier size and lack of analogue system their efficiency is low, and power output isn't as high. Right now Analogue VRm design has very close to the precision and loadline control, as there aren't spikes anymore on top end gigabyte and asus boards both with their own analogue gigabyte and digital asus.

With Digital PWM design you save so much board real estate and thus bencher love them because they can insulate the board easier. BUT there are even more things to consider, the digital PWm runs on firmware while analogue is all hardware, so while user can control digital they can't analogue, but errors do occur with firmware as hardware doesn't. Then you have the speed of response. Analogue is by far faster, because while the PWm is digital, other aspects aren't, so the digital PWm has like 5-6 DAC and ADC digital to analogue and analog to digital converters.

Digital PWMs have been around since 2001, while analogue has been around for over 30 years. I have had many fights with ASUS about their digital PWMs, the truth is they can't give me any proof that digital is better for OCing.

Check out the P67A-UD7 review for more info on analogue v digital, and look at the X58A-UD5 rev 2.0 review to learn about analogue vrm design. Both are right below in my signature.
Edited by Sin0822 - 12/20/10 at 5:57pm
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post #4 of 10
Holy crap Sin, do you build mobo's for a living. Thanks for the lesson +rep
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post #5 of 10
no i definitely do not, those are just very basics, phases have a lot to do with inductance, and capacitance and switching frequency and many other qualities that I did not discuss. With more phases there is less need for inductors like the long brick like things you see on digital vrms, with large arrays of phases efficiency is so high that the need for such an inductor is non-existent, then you have to deal with capacitors and the quality really judges and defines undershoot and overshoot. There is just so much more to it, but that is the basic anatomy.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I read your reviews, excellent work there! Now I don't scour the internet looking for mobo reviews, but this stuff about high end VRMs is something that, at best, gets a quick one sentence (or less) mention in the popular review sites such as Anandtech. It seems to me that if so much effort goes into implementing these VRMs that the mobo makers would want to show off with very detailed specifications of their performance (including realtime scope plots), and that review sites would bench test these specs with high end scopes when reviewing and comparing mobos. I've yet to see anything like this; do any review sites do this sort of exhaustive testing? I mean, what's the worth of this VRM capability if its true benefit is unknown (but then I'd also have to consider the opposite: it's more "smoke and mirrors" than anything else).
Edited by *AcidBath* - 12/21/10 at 1:47pm
post #7 of 10
Not that I have seen, those highend scopes are very expensive like over 50K, and many cannot afford them, like I cannot. but Anandtech Can, yet you also need an intel device that mimics a CPu load and everything. Some places i have seen do this, a guy that works for interstill wrote an article in here: http://www.theoverclocker.com/backis...r-Issue-09.pdf

And some sites do this type of testing but they are not in english. They put teh UD9 24 phase VRm to the test and concluded it could provide over 1600watts.
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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin0822 View Post
The P7P55D is a 32+3 phase design motherboard. You can tell the number of phases by the number of Driver Mosfets or set of Mosfets the board has as well as the number of core chokes. BUT the number of phases means nothing if the driver MOSFETs aren't putting out that much amperage. Here is how it works, you have a PWM pulse width modulator, and this PWM controls the phase array, the PWM controllers the Driver MOSFETs, the driver MOSFETs convert the power from 12v-5v input to 1.0-2.1v output along with the conversion is an amperage generated, the ones on the P7P55D by my examinations output 20 amps each maximum (NOT driver MOSFETs, just low RSD(ON) MOSFETS), then when the DC signal(voltage) is converted it goes through capacitors that reduce ripple then the voltage goes through a core choke which reduces voltage fluctuation. In the end you do get all the voltage output of all the phases. in the end you have 20 amps x35 phases=700 amps

A few notes #1 in the past and just recently the idea of Driver MOSFETs were introduced to replace 3 separate devices, High side MOSFET, low side MOSFET, and driver chip that controlled the MOSFETs, so now you have 3 in one chip. The P7P55D used low RDS on MOSFETS, right behind its successor the Driver MOSFET.

Right now the best Analogue VRm design is from Gigabyte, with their 24 phase Driver MOSFETs, can put out 35 amps a piece max so 24x35=840 amps. If these were low RDS on MOSFETs there woudl be 48.

in the end to get wattage output you can multiply by 2.1v on each of them and get total wattage from amperage x voltage=wattage.

Now you also have Digital PWMs systems, and they use Low RDS ON MOSFETs which are like a highside and lowside MOSFET in one, they do not have driver because the digital PWM is smarter than the analogue one. The benefits of Digital PWM are better voltage control, better precision, better ripple control (because of the need for only one capacitor), and better loadline equation control. BUT it does come at a cost, because of thier size and lack of analogue system their efficiency is low, and power output isn't as high. Right now Analogue VRm design has very close to the precision and loadline control, as there aren't spikes anymore on top end gigabyte and asus boards both with their own analogue gigabyte and digital asus.

With Digital PWM design you save so much board real estate and thus bencher love them because they can insulate the board easier. BUT there are even more things to consider, the digital PWm runs on firmware while analogue is all hardware, so while user can control digital they can't analogue, but errors do occur with firmware as hardware doesn't. Then you have the speed of response. Analogue is by far faster, because while the PWm is digital, other aspects aren't, so the digital PWm has like 5-6 DAC and ADC digital to analogue and analog to digital converters.

Digital PWMs have been around since 2001, while analogue has been around for over 30 years. I have had many fights with ASUS about their digital PWMs, the truth is they can't give me any proof that digital is better for OCing, so **** them.

Check out the P67A-UD7 review for more info on analogue v digital, and look at the X58A-UD5 rev 2.0 review to learn about analogue vrm design. Both are right below in my signature.

again very good read, Thx sin


so we all should get gigabyte boards XD? and those the lower model of gigabyte boards(such as UD3 or 4) still have spikes in their VRMs?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin0822 View Post
Not that I have seen, those highend scopes are very expensive like over 50K, and many cannot afford them, like I cannot. but Anandtech Can, yet you also need an intel device that mimics a CPu load and everything. Some places i have seen do this, a guy that works for interstill wrote an article in here: http://www.theoverclocker.com/backis...r-Issue-09.pdf

And some sites do this type of testing but they are not in english. They put teh UD9 24 phase VRm to the test and concluded it could provide over 1600watts.
That 'The Overclocker' review was spot on for what I'd hope to see at Anandtech and others; thanks for the link. One would think that that's the sort of info that be demanded by the hardcore enthusists.

Also, the development and test lab I that work at always rents their scopes, but I'm sure even that is very pricey. BTW, there are scopes that go well past the $50K price range too.
post #10 of 10
Yea that is what I was saying the good ones are at least 50K.

Yea but Ijust don't think they know enoughorhave been educated enough to knwo what to do and look for. Also they are outto makea buck, not educate people like me, I liketo convey myknowledge, not keep it to myself as there is no point. i don't charge for it. The thing is a lot of these sites think that their target audience is the general public or they want ti to be them, or the average OCer knows a good deal aboutOCingbut not about VRm design so they don't go deep into it.
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