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VRMs and power phases?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I hope this is the right spot for this.

I see a lot of people talk about VRMs and power phases and it seems they're really important when it comes to overclocking stability, but I've never seen these terms explained. Could someone provide an explanation of what VRMs and power phases are, what they do, why they're important, why it matters how many phases there are, how they affect stability, etc? I'm not afraid of technical details so please don't hold back if you know a lot on this subject.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 5
VRM = Voltage Regulator Modules


Your GPU and CPU receive +12v from the PSU. Then VRMs/power phases stepdown this voltage to around 1.0-1.5v depending on component. This is your Vcore. The more phases available and/or the better the VRM, the more current they can handle and the better they are at keeping the voltage to the desired values.
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post #3 of 5
Basicly the provide the gpu and other components with electricity. They provide clean/stable volts and amps to the gpu. The more and the better quality they are, the cleaner/stable the volt is. They tend to get really hot by nature, but when they get too fot they affect oc in general, as heat is a performance killer. Also its been proven that if they are cooled well they will preform better and much more efficient.
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The bottleneck
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The bottleneck
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post #4 of 5
I'm not entirely sure what the precise details are, but my understanding is as follows:
Power phases (made by the VRMs on your board) are what provides power to your CPU and memory etc. The more you have of them, the more power is available, and the less voltage droop you will suffer under heavy load situations.
This is most important on older designs like the C2D and AMD platforms, which all suck lots of power at high clocks.
With a low number of power phases available, you'll suffer a lot of vdroop, and usually be forced to increase your voltages even more than you otherwise would to maintain a stable clock.
The other risk of limited VRM capacity is that they will be more stressed when providing those higher voltages, and potentially burn up.
Quite a lot of lower end AMD boards have the minimum 4+1 phase VRM setup, and several of those have caught fire when overclocking.

TL;DR version: More power phases, and power with cooling = better overclocks without exploding your board.
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post #5 of 5
Members had explained well so I don’t repeat here. Particularly in cpu OC case, stability is the key especially for Quad and up so more phases are better. Many purse a mobo with 10 and more phases but I find 8+ should be fine.
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