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WAT
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Hello,

Anyone have suggestions for ram to purchase, speed/brand/latency, to pair up with a 9900k and a MSI MEG Z390 ACE? ACE arrives later this week, and collecting parts in anticipation of the chip arriving 10 days from now. Able to spend, so wondering if it is worth it getting faster Ram? Intend to overclock with a 240mm AIO water setup.
 

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Msi low end mobos seem to be 5+1
There are five little ic for the vcore. Without seeing the markings on these ic we are hard to tell they are doublers or drivers.
 

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The MSI Ace is a horrible value for money if you don't care for a Debug Code LED instead of 4 category (CPU/VGA/RAM/HDD) LEDs specifying the error , don't particularly need USB 3.1 front panel header, or plan on using over 3600 RAM divider , confirmed:
View attachment 222958
(translates to "back of board temp" , LinX is an AVX load)
View attachment 222960
https://ithardware.pl/testyirecenzje/msi_meg_z390_ace_test_plyty_glownej-7424-15.html


Power draw is listed around 200-215W in that test ; I'm not quite sure if it is whole system draw (idle is roughly 55-65W per the other graphs).

https://ithardware.pl/testyirecenzje/gigabyte_z390_aorus_pro_test_plyty_glownej-7423-17.html



As far as value for money goes:
At $290 the Ace is priced against the Taichi Ultimate (which is above the Taichi obviously) , Maximus Hero , and Aorus Master (which is above the Aorus Ultra). The Ace also notably only has 2 USB 3.1 gen 2 at the back panel (one type A and one type C). Aorus Pro WIFI could be one of the best midrange boards because it isn't cut down too far from the Ultra (which has the advantage of a better heatsink , ESS9118 at the audio section, USB 3.1 gen 2 front panel connector, 3rd M.2, + debug LED). The "Elite" board below the "Pro" and Pro WIFI drops the heatpipe , loses USB 3.1 gen 2 type C connector (only type-A), and goes with Apaq Taiwanese capacitors instead of the black Japanese FP caps. The Elite also seems to drop the temperature sensor and fan header count , so the $20 or so to step up from the Elite to the Pro WIFI is well worth it (per Newegg it's $10 for Elite to Pro so if you don't need WIFI that's an even better option). This is also the case when I checked prices in Europe.

If you compare the supposed midrange STRIX Z390-H for example, the IO at the back panel is pretty mediocre in comparison to the MSI/Gigabyte offerings and even their own Prime Z390-A. The Z390-H also has the unfortunate disadvantage of no auto overclocking capability, something that is present on the Z390-A and all other STRIX Boards in the Z390 lineup. It's a similar situation with the Asrock Phantom Gaming 6 , they haven't ditched D-Sub I hated in the Z370 version although it does have HDMI+DP instead of the DVI+HDMI combo. In addition, the Phantom Gaming 6 is technically a downgrade in power delivery from Z370 K6. The Z390 Pro Carbon also seems to have the anemic IO issue , the MPG Edge is a further downgrade overall despite a $190 price tag (~$10 less than the Pro Carbon on Newegg).


At $170-180 the Z390 Extreme4 isn't that compelling especially with the replacement of the PWM with the up9521, it isn't like the $120-150 the Z370 version ran when every other vendor was using 4 phase midrange VRMs with simply doubled up mosfets on boards up to ~$200 and absolute garbage at the $100-140 MSRP pricepoints. In fact the Z370 Extreme4 is $165 now ($10 MIR available to reduce it further) and the Z370 Fatal1ty ITX board is around $155-165 as well. The Z390 version of the Extreme4 is definitely not a board to buy at launch and I'd struggle with reasons to use it over a Z370 Extreme4 (required BIOS flashing for i7-9700K maybe).


At the lower price brackets: Similarly the Z390 Gaming Plus from MSI isn't that compelling in my opinion. It's missing the top VRM heatsink on at least one of the CPU Core phases (likely two) and the audio isn't shielded whatsoever. It still manages to MSRP at $150 / ~ €140 . The Z390 MAG Tomahawk should fare better at $160 / € 150 as it's a relatively minor price bump , one thing I definitely noticed was the presence of four USB 3.1 gen 2 at the back panel.
The ASUS TUF boards received an audio upgrade to ALC1220 , ALC892 is present on the MSI Z390 Tomahawk + Mortar (mATX), but the Gigabyte UD board still is stuck with ALC887 (try to go with Aorus boards if you go with Gigabyte, really) the Gaming X has ALC892 and until you get to the SLI PLUS you won't get ALC1220 on Gigabyte's lineup (which is understandable).



If you look at the older Z370s with power delivery capable for the new 9th gen CPUs:
Asus Maximus X Code runs $260 on Amazon & Microcenter's web shop , which is lower than the $270ish the Hero is costing

Gigabyte Z370 Gaming 7 runs $220 on Newegg / Amazon / Microcenter web shop

Asrock Z370 Taichi runs $220 ($210 after MIR) on Newegg / Amazon
Asrock Z370 Fatal1ty ITX runs around $150-160 on Newegg / Microcenter web shop

EVGA Z370 FTW is a mere $120 on Amazon , is about on par with the $160-170 Z390 cheaper boards --- this is an option for i7-9700K 8 core provided the power draw is lower



In short, I'd expect massive downward price swings on many boards after a few months (one fiscal quarter). If you decide to buy anything early make sure to get price protection from your credit card or something similar in nature. The price volatility should turn out to be quite high.


https://www.chiphell.com/thread-1916382-1-1.html will the asrock z370 Taichi able to play well with an 9900k at 5-5.1 like the Z390 variant?
I'd expect them to be quite similar in performance. When an AVX load is introduced there might be differences due to the thermal characteristics at higher amperages but at the end of the day:
the Z370 Taichi uses 10 drivers with 10x Sinopower SM7341EHKP or Fairchild FDPC5030SG powerblocks (~90-92% efficient each)

the Z390 Taichi uses 5 doublers with 10x TI NExFET 87350 powerblocks (90% efficient up to ~25A each)
 

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The MSI Ace is a horrible value for money if you don't care for a Debug Code LED instead of 4 category (CPU/VGA/RAM/HDD) LEDs specifying the error , don't particularly need USB 3.1 front panel header, or plan on using over 3600 RAM divider , confirmed:
View attachment 222958
(translates to "back of board temp" , LinX is an AVX load)
View attachment 222960
https://ithardware.pl/testyirecenzje/msi_meg_z390_ace_test_plyty_glownej-7424-15.html


Power draw is listed around 200-215W in that test ; I'm not quite sure if it is whole system draw (idle is roughly 55-65W per the other graphs).

https://ithardware.pl/testyirecenzje/gigabyte_z390_aorus_pro_test_plyty_glownej-7423-17.html



As far as value for money goes:
At $290 the Ace is priced against the Taichi Ultimate (which is above the Taichi obviously) , Maximus Hero , and Aorus Master (which is above the Aorus Ultra). The Ace also notably only has 2 USB 3.1 gen 2 at the back panel (one type A and one type C). Aorus Pro WIFI could be one of the best midrange boards because it isn't cut down too far from the Ultra (which has the advantage of a better heatsink , ESS9118 at the audio section, USB 3.1 gen 2 front panel connector, 3rd M.2, + debug LED). The "Elite" board below the "Pro" and Pro WIFI drops the heatpipe , loses USB 3.1 gen 2 type C connector (only type-A), and goes with Apaq Taiwanese capacitors instead of the black Japanese FP caps. The Elite also seems to drop the temperature sensor and fan header count , so the $20 or so to step up from the Elite to the Pro WIFI is well worth it (per Newegg it's $10 for Elite to Pro so if you don't need WIFI that's an even better option). This is also the case when I checked prices in Europe.

If you compare the supposed midrange STRIX Z390-H for example, the IO at the back panel is pretty mediocre in comparison to the MSI/Gigabyte offerings and even their own Prime Z390-A. The Z390-H also has the unfortunate disadvantage of no auto overclocking capability, something that is present on the Z390-A and all other STRIX Boards in the Z390 lineup. It's a similar situation with the Asrock Phantom Gaming 6 , they haven't ditched D-Sub I hated in the Z370 version although it does have HDMI+DP instead of the DVI+HDMI combo. In addition, the Phantom Gaming 6 is technically a downgrade in power delivery from Z370 K6. The Z390 Pro Carbon also seems to have the anemic IO issue , the MPG Edge is a further downgrade overall despite a $190 price tag (~$10 less than the Pro Carbon on Newegg).


At $170-180 the Z390 Extreme4 isn't that compelling especially with the replacement of the PWM with the up9521, it isn't like the $120-150 the Z370 version ran when every other vendor was using 4 phase midrange VRMs with simply doubled up mosfets on boards up to ~$200 and absolute garbage at the $100-140 MSRP pricepoints. In fact the Z370 Extreme4 is $165 now ($10 MIR available to reduce it further) and the Z370 Fatal1ty ITX board is around $155-165 as well. The Z390 version of the Extreme4 is definitely not a board to buy at launch and I'd struggle with reasons to use it over a Z370 Extreme4 (required BIOS flashing for i7-9700K maybe).


At the lower price brackets: Similarly the Z390 Gaming Plus from MSI isn't that compelling in my opinion. It's missing the top VRM heatsink on at least one of the CPU Core phases (likely two) and the audio isn't shielded whatsoever. It still manages to MSRP at $150 / ~ €140 . The Z390 MAG Tomahawk should fare better at $160 / € 150 as it's a relatively minor price bump , one thing I definitely noticed was the presence of four USB 3.1 gen 2 at the back panel.
The ASUS TUF boards received an audio upgrade to ALC1220 , ALC892 is present on the MSI Z390 Tomahawk + Mortar (mATX), but the Gigabyte UD board still is stuck with ALC887 (try to go with Aorus boards if you go with Gigabyte, really) the Gaming X has ALC892 and until you get to the SLI PLUS you won't get ALC1220 on Gigabyte's lineup (which is understandable).



If you look at the older Z370s with power delivery capable for the new 9th gen CPUs:
Asus Maximus X Code runs $260 on Amazon & Microcenter's web shop , which is lower than the $270ish the Hero is costing

Gigabyte Z370 Gaming 7 runs $220 on Newegg / Amazon / Microcenter web shop

Asrock Z370 Taichi runs $220 ($210 after MIR) on Newegg / Amazon
Asrock Z370 Fatal1ty ITX runs around $150-160 on Newegg / Microcenter web shop

EVGA Z370 FTW is a mere $120 on Amazon , is about on par with the $160-170 Z390 cheaper boards --- this is an option for i7-9700K 8 core provided the power draw is lower



In short, I'd expect massive downward price swings on many boards after a few months (one fiscal quarter). If you decide to buy anything early make sure to get price protection from your credit card or something similar in nature. The price volatility should turn out to be quite high.




I'd expect them to be quite similar in performance. When an AVX load is introduced there might be differences due to the thermal characteristics at higher amperages but at the end of the day:
the Z370 Taichi uses 10 drivers with 10x Sinopower SM7341EHKP or Fairchild FDPC5030SG powerblocks (~90-92% efficient each)

the Z390 Taichi uses 5 doublers with 10x TI NExFET 87350 powerblocks (90% efficient up to ~25A each)
Helpful post as always. Any thoughts on the VRM throttling Tom's noted here: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z390-motherboard-preview,5838-2.html

Trying to decide if I should should upgrade my z370 Taichi to a Maximus Formula, as I have a custom loop, and want to get at least a 5.1+ ghz OC.
 

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If you look at the older Z370s with power delivery capable for the new 9th gen CPUs:
Asus Maximus X Code runs $260 on Amazon & Microcenter's web shop , which is lower than the $270ish the Hero is costing
How well do you expect the Maximus X Hero/Code to fair on the 9900k in overclocking? I purchased it about a month ago for $200 new on Amazon during a sale, and was hoping the higher end VRM would support the 9900k, but the Toms Hardware report that VRM thermals and throttling are concerning with Z370 boards. Do you think I'll be limited on everyday overclock levels around 5-5.3Ghz? I'm using an AIO 280mm cooler as well, so the only airflow is the 120mm Maglev exhaust fan above in my H500i case. I'm starting to think I'll have to pony up another $100 for a Z390 Taichi or Maximus XI Hero instead (and I only have ~6 days left in my return window to come up with a decision).
 

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As a current MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon owner, does it make sense to upgrade to Z390? I will be getting the 9900K. I will of course be overclocking, on air, Noctua nh-d15s.
 

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I will be closely watching this thread in the comming weeks as I try to find a board for my 9900k.

Alot of the things in here are way over my head so hopefully some one does a basic buyers guide at given price points when the dust settles.


Overclocking and on board audio are most important to me.
 

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+1

Very interested in this board
Me too. I am currently running ITX but it is just a tad small for all these monster GPUs that are getting released. I wish mATX would make a comeback because it would be ideal since there is less need for cases with a lot of HD Mounts and add-on cards etc. There are absolutely no high end AMD mATX boards and a handle full of intel ones for Z370 and it looks like even less for Z390.
 

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How well do you expect the Maximus X Hero/Code to fair on the 9900k in overclocking? I purchased it about a month ago for $200 new on Amazon during a sale, and was hoping the higher end VRM would support the 9900k, but the Toms Hardware report that VRM thermals and throttling are concerning with Z370 boards. Do you think I'll be limited on everyday overclock levels around 5-5.3Ghz? I'm using an AIO 280mm cooler as well, so the only airflow is the 120mm Maglev exhaust fan above in my H500i case. I'm starting to think I'll have to pony up another $100 for a Z390 Taichi or Maximus XI Hero instead (and I only have ~6 days left in my return window to come up with a decision).
same (except the return possibility)... would love to know if my MXH is good enough for 5Ghz 9900k (with AVX)
 

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Helpful post as always. Any thoughts on the VRM throttling Tom's noted here: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z390-motherboard-preview,5838-2.html

Trying to decide if I should should upgrade my z370 Taichi to a Maximus Formula, as I have a custom loop, and want to get at least a 5.1+ ghz OC.

Tom's hardware USA is terrible at testing things as OCN users have noted in the past and they don't provide any evidence of where their numbers came from or how they derived their load, I've seen inconsistencies between their reviews and every hwbot overclocking team's site (i.e. lab501 , overclockers.ru, overclockers.ua, etc.). You should look toward Tom's hardware Europe (FR / DE) for stuff from Igor Wallossek as he usually uses FLIR thermal image pictures and shows the PCB shots as well as temperature / noise graphs with thermal imagery video.
read: https://www.tweaktown.com/news/62951/internal-struggles-toms-hardware-go-public/index.html

The takeaways from the Toms hardware "non-article" (using Prime95 small FFT) with a i9-9900K are : all boards reached relatively the same frequency ("129%" - "131%") Z370 Gaming 7 heatsink isn't scaling great with airflow (not surprised), Z370 Taichi heatsink isn't great in general because 158CFM doesn't seem to affect it, Z390 Taichi has voltage fluctuation suggesting immature BIOS, Z390 Pro Carbon tripped Overcurrent protection, Z370 Pro Carbon unusable.

It could just be early pre-embargo BIOS might not have proper power limits. I9-9900k testing is still under embargo which is why I'm hesitant to say anything definitive as Z370 Taichi is a solid board. Basing it mainly off power draw, feature-set, and what was obviously removed for cost savings that is my impression. YMMV depending on BIOS implementation (version and bugs) , chip quality, and motherboard anomalies.


You should also note which version of the Z370 Taichi you have, apparently there's two versions: a Fairchild FDPC5030SG and Sinopower SM7341EHKP version. You can tell by the memory section's powerblock mosfets.

How well do you expect the Maximus X Hero/Code to fair on the 9900k in overclocking? I purchased it about a month ago for $200 new on Amazon during a sale, and was hoping the higher end VRM would support the 9900k, but the Toms Hardware report that VRM thermals and throttling are concerning with Z370 boards. Do you think I'll be limited on everyday overclock levels around 5-5.3Ghz? I'm using an AIO 280mm cooler as well, so the only airflow is the 120mm Maglev exhaust fan above in my H500i case. I'm starting to think I'll have to pony up another $100 for a Z390 Taichi or Maximus XI Hero instead (and I only have ~6 days left in my return window to come up with a decision).
see above reason why I dont trust Tom's hardware USA. If you aren't using AVX instructions it should do fine as it uses 8x 60A powerblocks. At worst you can sell the Z370 off and get a Z390 but I highly doubt that it will be a large issue.



May be 10+2 phase since 12 chokes are used as opposed to an odd number such as 11 or 13. This assumes that IO + System Agent (SA) are not routed at that area. Mosfet quality is unknown , 10K FP caps from Japan are used. Impossible to tell anything definitive without heatsink removal or the back of the board.



same (except the return possibility)... would love to know if my MXH is good enough for 5Ghz 9900k (with AVX)
i9-9900k performance (power scaling with voltage, AVX power usage) is under embargo so anything to do with AVX or AVX2 enabled is truly unknown or a guess based off the 14nm i7-8086K at this point.


----


sdch , it looks like the Z390-I STRIX is using the same Onsemi NCP302045 powerstage (rated 45A) as the other STRIX boards. I truly doubt it can effortlessly handle over 160W or so , it's half the powerstages as the STRIX Z390-E and Z390-A. Peak efficiency for the powerstage is roughly 91% and that's without a ~1.1X scaling factor for 1.3 or 1.4V output voltage.
For example at 150W output and 1.3V you would have roughly 4.5W of power to be dissipated for each of the 4 powerstages (see figure 7 and figure 12). Even using the highly optimistic 12.4°C/W thermal resistance figure you'd be over 100°C quite easily ; using a realistic 20-30°C/W from an average VRM heatsink and you'd likely be well over the recommended 125°C. http://www.onsemi.com/pub/Collateral/NCP302045-D.PDF


Unless you have to buy an ASUS board I'd probably look into the Asrock Z370 Fatal1ty ITX or Asrock Z390 Phantom ITX as they are proven to be able to push older i7 hexcores with airflow due to using 5x thermally enhanced 60A ISL99227B powerstages that are more efficient , are normalized against a much higher 1.8V, and have lower thermal resistance due to the exposed junction (get hot less easily when heatsinked). It also comes with Thunderbolt 3 built in.


-----------


There's been ROG Maximus XI Hero testing vs the older Maximus X Hero :
https://www.allround-pc.com/artikel/mainboards/2018/test-asus-rog-maximus-xi-hero


The newer board actually fared worse at times with the i7-8700K either due to vulnerability patches or due to early firmware.
 

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Thanks a ton for the reply AlphaC. My primary uses are gaming and Adobe Premiere, which to my knowledge don't use AVX, so I'll keep the MXH for now. Worst case scenario if I notice issues, I'll sell it and grab a Maximus XI Code or something for the fancy overlay (If I'm spending another $100 on a mobo, whats $50 more in the process for looks, right? XD). Appreciate as always your dedication to the forum!
 

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Can anyone disway me from making the Maximus Formula as my motherboard of choice for z390? I am thinking it is the most obvious selection as i am already running a custom loop on my x99.
 
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