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Details about Intel H370, B360 and H310: what will have to tolerate those who will save on the motherboard

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Intel Coffee Lake are present on the market since October of last year, and their release was a great event in the life of a computer community. For the first time in many years, Intel made a step in the direction of increasing the number of cores, significantly improving the performance of their processors in each price segment. It is considered that such an act is microprocessor giant has pushed action of AMD, which has a very good multi-core Ryzen, and Coffee Lake is a kind of response to Intel, allowing it to save the changed market landscape the competitiveness of their proposals. Anyway, the announcement of the first batch of Coffee Lake was really accelerated, and, until recently, Intel as a temporary solution offered six models of desktop processors of this family and one chipset that is compatible with them – Z370. The full announcement of the Coffee Lake and associated desktop platform took place only last month when pioneer modifications added an additional 18 desktop CPU and four additional chipset.

Held extension of the model range is a very important stage of the implementation of the new platform. The fact that until recently any of the processors Coffee Lake could only be used with a relatively expensive overclocking motherboards, regardless of whether he has the acceleration or not. And if the Intel Core i7-8700K and Core i5-8600K motherboard on base of chipset Z370 looked quite organically, for buyers more affordable locked processors like the Core i3-or Core i5 8100-8400, they were not just meaningless, but expensive for the price. This ultimately increased the cost of ownership platform in a cheap Coffee Lake and did not allow them to become a viable alternative for Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3, which AMD from the beginning offered a wide selection of compatible platforms in different price categories. In other words, without having to buy the motherboard fully disclosed to the market potential Coffee Lake had no chance.

But now everything fell into place. The release of fresh sets of logic H370, B360 and H310 solves all the problems with high cost platforms for the Coffee Lake. The motherboard is built on a new associated with Coffee Lake “hub controller platform” (PCH – platform controller hub) must have a much more affordable and allow to build a relatively inexpensive build on those processors with the increased number of cores. But interesting they are not only this.

With the announcement of new chipsets for Coffee Lake is associated a curious fact, which largely was the reason for the appearance of this material. Despite the fact that the new chipsets are deprived of any possibilities to overclock the CPU and DDR4 SDRAM, truncated versions Z370 they really are not. The fact is that while the previously proposed overclocking chipset for Coffee Lake was only adapted modification based on Kaby Lake processors chipset Z270, new chipsets for Coffee Lake is a separate series of circuits related to the next generation. What this means from a practical point of view, we try to understand this material.

#Chipsets three hundredth series: what’s new

Intel has accustomed us to the fact that the sets of system logic, marked with the letter Z – it’s not just overclocking platform, but the chipset, which is the maximum possible among the entire family. However, in the case Z370 it is not so. Despite the fact that Intel has included Z370 old and new H370, B360 and H310 in single series c three hundred rooms, this is a fundamentally different product, with different origins, and therefore markedly different in the details. Internal generic name of three hundred new chipset taken Intel – “Cannon Lake PCH”. It indicates that H370, B360 and H310 were intended for the seriously delayed 10-nm processors (according to new data, wait for them before 2019, alas, not worth it). The same set of system logic Z370 terms of design refers to a series of Kaby Lake PCH, that is, it is a close relative of the two hundredth series chipsets and Z270 in particular. There is therefore nothing surprising in the fact that many things H370, B360 and H310 were better and osnashenie “senior” Z370.

These chipsets differ even from the industrial point of view. While the Z370 is manufactured using 22 nm process, the new chipsets three hundred series have been translated into more modern process technology with the norms of 14 nm. Thus, in the updated version of the platform LGA 1151v2 processor and the chipset was manufactured by the same production standards, that still never happened. Therefore, the chip H370, B360 and H310 compared to the Z370 needs at least less warm at work.

Cannon Lake PCH

Cannon Lake PCH

But only one that benefits from the new chipsets are not limited. The first key innovation is to consider appeared native support for up to six ports USB 3.1 Gen 2 with a bandwidth of 10 Gbit/s. Previously, such ports in those chipsets were not supported at all, and the motherboard manufacturers had to implement them, resorting to external controllers, most of the production Cost. Now it is in the past. However, the innate support ports Type-C in the chipset however has not appeared. This means that adding on fees of symmetric connectors still require the motherboard manufacturers additional spending on chip redriver, so cheap computers new-fangled double-sided USB connector, apparently EN masse until you get.

Appeared in the new chipsets and support for promising Thunderbolt interface, although many were expecting. Implementation of high-speed Thunderbolt ports, as before, will require integration of on-Board external chip connected to two PCI Express. This means that the widespread introduction of Thunderbolt in the near future to wait still not worth it.

The second key feature of the three hundredth series chipsets should be considered the integration part of the components required for implementing Wi-Fi wireless controllers (2T2R 802.11 ac) with a capacity of up to 1733 Mbps. Scheme chipsetov Wi-Fi was taken from the platform Gemini Lake. The bottom line is that the chipset is integrated the most complex and expensive functional units such as logic, memory, and MAC, while the controller of the physical layer and the antenna must be placed on the external radio frequency module that is installed in the dedicated M. 2 slot or raspravama on the Board. As for the connection between chipsety logic and the external physical controller you intend to use proprietary CNVi-interface. Compatible with CNVi external M. 2 2230-modules 9560 Wireless AC (2T2R), Wireless AC 9462 (1T1R) Wireless AC and 9461 (1T1R) are present in the range of Intel, beginning in the summer of 2017.

However, as in the case with the ports of the USB Type-C, the widespread emergence of integrated Wi-Fi on the new LGA 1151v2 cards is not worth waiting for. The fact that the implementation of the necessary circuits and equipment motherboard RF module-companion increases the cost of the final product by about $15. As a result, to receive support for Wi-Fi has a chance only in a relatively expensive platforms where the producers not to chase the lowest price.

There are sets of logic H370, B360 and H310 and the third big contrast to the Z370. It concerns energy saving: along with the new chipsets in desktop computers comes support energy-saving States of the CPU C8-C10, which were originally presented in the solutions for ultrabook-class Haswell ULT. Furthermore, additional energy saving mode S0ix got themselves chipsets.

In the list of the platform Coffee Lake with access H370, B360 and H310 were added and Intel Modern Standby. Thanks to her desktop had the opportunity like intelligent column “listen live” and solve some background tasks like checking e-mail even in the sleep state. This functionality already has been implemented in laptops, and now may find a place in desktop computers.

#Perspective: Intel Z390

Speaking of new sets of logic for Coffee Lake, belonging to the family Cannon Lake PCH, mention should be on Z390, which has not yet been announced by Intel. Now it so happened that the younger chipsets H370, B360 and H310 has gained tangible benefits in the possibilities of overclocking on Z370. But this should not be. Aimed at use in the most tricked-out systems, the chipset needs to be a leader in everything, therefore, to replace the suddenly outdated Z370 soon will come an improved version of Z390.

Z390 announcement scheduled for the second half of the year, and, apparently, already at Computex in early June, we will see samples of motherboards based on it. However, the official announcement and start of sales will likely take place later, for example, in anticipation of the start of the season back-to-school in late summer.

However, do not think that the Z390 can lead the platform LGA1151v2 on some new level. This chipset, in fact, be another variation of Cannon Lake PCH with a view to overclocking the system. That is, in comparison with the Z370 he will offer the same improvement in the capabilities that are already in H370, B360 and H310: native support of ports USB 3.1 Gen2 and embedded controller 802.11 ac channel level.

Roughly speaking, about Z390 can be thought of as analogous H370 with support for overclocking, and also slightly increased the maximum number of lines PCI Express, and the maximum number of ports USB 3.1 Gen2.

#Specifications Intel H370, B360 and H310

Generally speaking, the number of new sets of logic includes four products: H370, Q370, B360 and H310. But in this article we are only talking about three products, but says nothing about Q370. This is due to the fact that the chipsets group Q aimed at the corporate market, and is unlikely to meet ordinary users. In General, however, Q370 can be described as advanced version H370-enabled advanced security and administration for Intel VPro technology. As for consumer of three chipsets, then their main characteristics are in the table below, where they are simultaneously mapped to the familiar set of system logic Intel Z370.

  Z370 H370 B360 H310
Processor support Intel LGA 1151v2 (Coffee Lake)
Process technology 22 nm 14 nm
PCI Express 3.0 (via CPU) 1×16
Memory channels/DIMM per channel 2/2 2/1
HSIO ports only 30 24 14
PCI Express 3.0 (via chipset) 24 20 12 6 (PCIe 2.0)
Support overclocking There No
USB ports, just 14 12 10
Ports USB 3.1 Gen2/Gen1 0/10 4/8 4/6 0/4
SATA ports 6 4
Rapid Storage Technology (RST) There No
The number of PCIe devices that support the RST 3 2 1 0
RAID support There No
Support to the RST of the devices connected to CPU There No
Intel Optane Memory There No
Intel Gigabit LAN There
Integrated WLAN-ac (CNVi) No There
The price (roughly) $$$$ $$$ $$ $

With the advent of new chipsets no successor Z370 have not yet formed. So until then, until it is announced Z390, it Z370 will continue to be the “gold standard” for enthusiasts. Because this is the only option that allows you to overclock the processors and memory on the platform LGA1151v2. In addition, this set of logic laid the greatest number of lines PCI Express 3.0 and the highest number of USB 3.1 ports (though only with a bandwidth of 5 Gbps). Added to this are the most extensive means of Rapid Storage Technology with the capability to collect RAID arrays from SATA and NVMe storage devices.

But the old Z370 new chipsets and 300-series belong to different generations PCH, and this leads to the fact that H370 on a number of characteristics superior fellow with a higher positioning. Earlier chipsets group H was repeated characteristics Z with the exception of the support for the dispersal and dividing lines the processor interface PCI Express. Now the situation has changed dramatically. Overclocking in the H370 and no, as there is no support for bifurcation 16 processor lines of PCI Express, but this chipset has to offer absent in Z370 USB 3.1 Gen2 with a bandwidth of 10 GB/s and integrated 802.11 ac Wi-Fi. In total, this means that in cases where acceleration is not required, the Board on the basis H370 can be interesting not only from the point of view of prices, but the characteristics.

However, there are nuances. Despite the fact that Z370, H370 have the same set of 30 HSIO ports, configure them in lines PCI Express 3.0. Board on the basis of the older chipset can use up to 24 chipset lines PCI Express 3.0, while in the case H370 is available in 4 lines less. In addition, Z370 – the only chipsets for desktop processors Coffee Lake, which allows you to assemble RAID arrays from NVMe storage connected to the processor lines of PCI Express.

Despite the fact that H370 seems the best-equipped variant of the second wave three hundredth series chipsets, we are not inclined to think that he will be able to gain widespread popularity due to relatively high prices and excessive opportunities for low-cost systems. A much more appropriate choice in this case seems B360 or perhaps a very stripped-down and cheap H310. It is interesting that Intel put away in Z370 Wi-Fi controller, even in its most simple set of logic. However, since the implementation of Wi-Fi on the boards requires adding an additional controller to the physical level, it is unlikely that wireless network is often to meet in real platforms H310.

Anyway, in the background, what are the limitations inherent in the H310, the presence integrirovannoi Wi-Fi like some kind of mockery. In particular, the boards on this chipset can be equipped with only two DIMM-slots and lack of technology Optane Memory. In addition, H310 no support for USB 3.1 Gen2 and PCI Express 3.0. The number of high-speed ports in HSIO H310 is limited to 14 pieces, which should be divided between the ports SATA, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 standard. In other words, H310 is very similar to the “old man” H110 and difficult to characterize as anything other than a bunch of compromises. It is obvious that due to the lack of resources it is quite ill-suited to create a full-sized motherboards of the current level. Most likely, a typical habitat H310 will be simple and extremely cheap motherboard Micro-ATX with a price range from $50 to $80.

The most balanced option to the mass LGA1151v2-motherboards seem to be a set of logic B360. There is ample support for the modern system the number of 24 HSIO ports, which somehow will be divided into 6 SATA ports, 12 USB ports (6 of which can work in the USB 3.0 standard and 4 – in the USB 3.1 Gen2) and 12 lines PCI Express 3.0. Cut in B360 only legkoizvlekaemye functions, for example, support for RAID arrays, or division of the processor lines of PCI Express. At the same time, in the B360 is Intel Optane Memory, has high speed USB ports with a bandwidth of 10 Gbps, and there is an integrated Wi-Fi. In sum, it gives the opportunity to build on the basis of this set of logic is quite functional and modern system processors Coffee Lake, but the average price of plat on the basis of the B360 is projected no higher symbolic boundary of $100.

#Overclocking no, but what about Multi-Core Enhancements?

Traditionally, the boost function of Intel processors is available only on motherboards based on the chipsets of the group Z. there is no change has not occurred: if you want to overclock a Core i5-or Core i7 8600K-8700K to frequencies in the neighborhood of 5 GHz, the choice of appropriate platforms is limited only by the motherboard based on set logic Z370 (and in the future – Z390).

But overclocking in relation to Coffee Lake exists in various forms and can be not only to increase the CPU multiplier, which is available at a special unlocked CPU. There is another approach – Multi-Core Enhancements, which are quite legitimately be considered the Lite version of acceleration, suitable for all models of processors.

Recall, the inclusion of Multi-Core Enhancements allows output of the processor to the maximum allowed by the specification frequency, regardless of what level of energy consumption at this point he demonstrates. Roughly speaking, Multi-Core Enhancements “pumping” Turbo Boost technology 2.0 processor and displays the limits of inherent TDP. The advantages of Multi-Core Enhancements in the case of Coffee Lake is obvious: the processors of this type have an increased number of computing cores, and high stress quickly leads to excess heat generation and power consumption limits of the thermal packet 65 or 95 watts. In normal conditions, this would have entailed resetting the clock frequency of the CPU to normalize the electrical and thermal performance, but the Multi-Core Enhancements allows to neglect this and allows the processor to work on a frequency, which is the maximum allowed to load on all cores.

This trick is akin to gentle acceleration and allows significantly raise the effective frequency of six-core Coffee Lake in the modes with high load, and it works well for neversmokers versions of the CPU. As an illustration, look at how the frequency of six-core Core i5-8400 with passport design dissipation 65 W when testing in LinX 0.9.2 in its normal mode:

And when you enable Multi-Core Enhancements.

The differences can say, dramatically. If you do not resort to the inclusion of the Multi-Core Enhancements, then under high load, the Core i5-8400 operates at a frequency of 3.1-3.3 GHz, although maybe 3.8 GHz is the frequency is maximal for the mode with the load on all cores. But to get to the maximum gives the energy consumption. At a frequency of 3.8 GHz in LinX CPU requires 100 watts of electricity. In order to allow the processor to go beyond the TDP and need a Multi-Core Enhancements, which essentially disables the internal control over consumption and has built in mechanisms to throttle frequency.

Second example: here’s the picture with the frequency observed in 95-watt Core i5-8600K in the nominal mode.

And this is when you enable Multi-Core Enhancements.

This processor is initially more liberal TDP – 95 W, so the restrictions on the power consumption here is not as critical. However, the maximum permitted load on all six cores frequency of 4.1 GHz LinX consumption can reach up to 110 watts, so without the function of Multi-Core Enhancements, the frequency is forcibly reduced from 4.1 to 3.8-3.9 GHz.

All this, naturally, affects productivity, for example, in the benchmark Linpack 2018.2.010, which is based LinX application.


Core i5-8400 (65 W)

Core i5-8600K (95 W)
MCE off 262 GFlops 312 GFlops
MCE included 304 GFlops 321 GFlops
Performance increase 16 % 3 %

Of course you need to keep in mind that Linpack draws some border picture, since this test actively uses energy-intensive instructions set AVX2. But still the results are striking: enable Multi-Core Enhancements 65-watt processor can add to their performance of 16 percent. And this, incidentally, demonstrates once again that the new six-core processors Intel is not so economical as one would think, looking at the specs, their performance is artificially slaughtered boundaries of the thermal package.

Thus, the Multi-Core Enhancements – an important tool to increase the performance of a new generation of Coffee Lake. The greatest efficiency it provides in conjunction with the blocked powerbrokers processors with the reduced to 65 watts within a heat pack.

In light of this, it naturally arises the question about the function support Multi-Core Enhancements the new motherboards built on the chipsets H370, B360 and H310. And the short answer is Yes: despite the fact that the acceleration in the classical meaning of these chipsets is not supported, a new generation of cards, however, allows you to cancel for Coffee Lake the boundaries of the thermal packet and bring them to the maximum allowed frequency. However, in the General case, it is not as straightforward as in the case of circuit boards on the basis of the Z370, which in the UEFI BIOS prepared the corresponding option, which is also frequently activated by default and does not require any user intervention.

Of course, much depends on how the BIOS is programmed a specific motherboard, but none of the boards on the basis H370, B360 and H310 that have passed through our hands, and one simple switch to Multi-Core Enhancements in the UEFI shell had. Moreover, the boards is the new generation most often, this functionality is deactivated by default. That is, the vast majority of people who have decided to opt for LGA1151v2 – overclockers motherboards on chipsets, we recommend you to devote some time fine-tuning the processor and to remove the limiting performance in demanding applications limits the heat dissipation and power consumption.

#How to enable Multi-Core Enhancements?

To enable Multi-Core Enhancements on the motherboard does not support overclocking and has no corresponding item in the UEFI, will have to dig around in the settings for turbo mode. The fact that the implementation of the Multi-Core Enhancements is based not on the overclocking capabilities of the chipset and Turbo Boost technology 2.0, which is made for any LGA1151v2-configurable processors. Opportunities for power management and, as a consequence, the frequency put into it in order for the system builders can configure the settings for Turbo Boost 2.0 under specific operating conditions, given the chosen means of cooling, power supply and, in the end, formats system.

Overall, the Turbo Boost 2.0 enables you to boost the CPU frequency in those moments when the burden on computing resources is small, and such a “legalized acceleration” is not in danger of exceeding limits on temperature and power consumption.

Within the technology Turbo Boost 2.0 is defined by five modifiable variables:

  • Power Limit 1 (PL1) – the border for which should not exceed the average power consumption of the processor. By default, it is considered to be equal to the TDP of the processor;
  • Power Limit 2 (PL2) – the boundary to which a short-term excess of energy consumption. By default, this value is taken to do equal to 1.25∙TDP;
  • τ – the time during which it is allowed to exceed power level PL1 PL2 in the framework. Is set equal to from 1 to 127 seconds depending on the inertia of the cooling system.;
  • Power Limit 3 (PL3) and Power Limit 4 (PL4) – peak limiting short-term emissions of energy consumption not longer than 10 MS. In the desktop CPUs is disabled.

Thus, it becomes clear the essence of the Multi-Core Enhancements: this feature, in fact, raises the limit value PL1 above the TDP. This is what allows the processor within the technology Turbo Boost 2.0 to reach the maximum permitted frequency and not to drop them when the real long-term power consumption exceeds the rated TDP.

It remains only to clarify the question how the user can change the value of PL1 in practice. Here again, all highly dependent on manufacturers of motherboards, but most of the motherboards based on chipsets H370, B360 and H310 of the relevant option still not deprived, just need to know where it is in the structure of the UEFI BIOS and how it is called:

  • At ASUS it is called the Long Duration Package Power Limit and located under Ai Tweaker/CPU Power Management Internal;
  • ASRock have this option called Long Duration Power Limit and is available under OC Tweaker/CPU Configuration;
  • Gigabyte it can be found in the subsection M. I. T./Advanced CPU Core Setting called Package Power Limit1 – TDP;
  • At MSI it is located in the Overclocking/CPU Features called Long Duration Power Limit.

After assigning the appropriate parameter values large enough, which obviously exceeds achievable in practice, the power (e.g. 200 watts), you allow the CPU to always run at its maximum frequency, which is determined only by the number of utilized cores and not depend on what energy appetite shows CPU.

  TDP, watts Nominal frequency, GHz The maximum frequency depending on the load, GHz
6 cores 5 cores 4 cores 3 core 2 cores 1 core
Core i7-8700K 95 3.7 V 4,3 4,4 4,4 4,5 4,6 4,7
Core i7-8700 65 3,2 4,3 4,3 4,3 4,4 4,5 4,6
Core i5-8600K 95 3,6 4,1 4,1 4,2 4,2 4,2 4,3
Core i5-8600 65 3,1 4,1 4,1 4,2 4,2 4,2 4,3
Core i5-8500 65 3,0 3,9 3,9 4,0 4,0 4,0 4,1
Core i5-8400 65 2,8 3,8 3,8 3,9 3,9 3,9 4,0

In the end, even cheap motherboards have everything you need to ensure that the processors Coffee Lake worked for them in modes that go beyond the spec in the TDP. And it makes the platform with the chipset H370, B360 and H310 are much more attractive. Even if they do not support overclocking, but the frequency of about 4 GHz at full load with them quite unable to give any six-core processor family Core i5.

The second conclusion concerns the fact that the use of a card on chips H370, B360 and H310 overclocking Intel Core i7-8700K and Core i5-8600K makes no sense: almost the same performance if properly set will ensure a regular Core i7-8700 and Core i5-8600. The opposite is true: to buy CPUs other than Core i7-8700K and Core i5-8600K, the Board on the basis of the Z370 is clearly not worth the higher price they will not give any significant advantages. The Multi-Core Enhancements in one form or another is feasible in low-cost platforms, and this is important.

#Summary: the performance

Despite the fact that motherboards based on chipsets H370, B360 and H310 function in a Multi-Core Enhancements can be activated detours, in the General case, the performance of the systems based on them will still be slightly lower than that of systems with boards based on the Z370.

Yes, after correct configuration of the parameter Power Limit of 1 real operating frequency of the processor in both cases would be identical. However, the difference in performance may occur for other reasons, at the expense of memory. The fact that the sets of logic H370, B360 and H310 severely restrict the choice of modes DDR4 SDRAM, and do with it anything.

While the Board based on the Intel Z370 with any processor family Coffee Lake can run the memory at frequencies DDR4-4000 or even higher, the new platform without the support of the crackdown will give the memory as much as possible only the frequency which is designated in the specifications for the specific CPU. This means that the platforms H370, B360 and H310 memory frequency with CPU Core i7 and Core i5 will be limited to the mode DDR4-2666, and with processors Core i3 and Pentium – mode DDR4-2400.

Of course, the impact of memory speed on the performance of systems with Coffee Lake is not as significant as in the case of Ryzen. But to ignore this factor is still not worth it. In other words, the construction of the computer with the highest level of performance possible only with the use of boards based on Intel Z370. But how serious is this difference that should show the tests.


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PC / Laptop

Review ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI: Micro-ATX hard boiled

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Our website is one of the few online resources in the Russian segment, which still pays attention to motherboards and has been tested on latest devices all present on our market for the producers. However, by going to the “motherboard” 3DNews, we will see that the last review of the motherboard form factor mATX, which you can use to build a really powerful gaming PC, came out in early 2017. Such payment to and acceleration was all right, and with reliability and functionality. Basically, if we are talking about reviews, in the test lab hosted ATX and mini-ITX solutions are the current trend. Meanwhile, there are Micro-ATX case, which is quite suitable for the solution of the given task — they are well-organized cooling and they are able to accommodate powerful hardware. Thing is, it turns out, for small: need payment — and one of the few options left will be ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI. About all the pros and cons of the device read in this review.



#Specifications and packaging

The people series motherboards MAXIMUS GENE long dubbed the “Genicam”. Main features of the 11th version of “Eugene”, supporting processors, Coffee Lake (Refresh) that are listed in the table below.

Supported processors Intel 9-th and 8-th generations (Core, Pentium and Celeron Gold) for LGA1151 platform-v2
Chipset Intel Z390 Express
Memory subsystem 2 x DIMM slots, up to 64 GB of DDR4-2133-4700 (OC)
Expansion slots 1 × PCI Express x16
1 × PCI Express x4
The storage interface 2 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280) with support for PCI Express x4
1 × DIMM.2 PCI Express x8
4 × SATA 6GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 10
LAN Intel I219V, 10/100/1000 Mbps
Wireless network Intel Wireless-AC 9560
Audio ROG SupremeFX (S1220A) 7.1 HD
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × PS/2
1 × HDMI
1 × RJ-45
1 × optical S/PDIF
3 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C
6 × USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A
2 × USB 2.0 Type A
5 × 3.5 mm audio
Form factor mATX
Price 23 000 rubles

The device is Packed in a small but colorful cardboard box. In addition to the cost, it was a lot of accessories, both useful and not:

  • user guide, all kinds of stickers, cardboard stand for the mug, as well as optical media with software and drivers;
  • external antenna for wireless communication module;
  • two custom SATA cable;
  • one extension cable to connect the RGB strip;
  • the additional screws to install the SSD;
  • Q-connector for easy connection of buttons of the housing;
  • ROG DIMM module.2, support the installation of two SSD.

#Design and capabilities

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI established on the basis of a full form factor mATX, in which each side of the printed circuit Board has a length of 244 mm. We focus on it because the budget segment is common to encounter devices that have an even more reduced printed circuit boards approaching the size rather to the mini-ITX format.





Theoretically any Board form factor mATX allows you to unsolder the four expansion slots (compared to seven connectors from standard ATX). However, ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI includes just two ports, one of which — PEG, aka PCI Express x16 3.0. This connector is further reinforced. A makeshift metal frame called SafeSlot, according to ASUS, increases the strength of the port by 1.8 times under the load of fracture, and 1.6 times when the load on the pulling. Given the fact that “Jack” can realistically become the basis for a bench-bench, this strengthening PEG port clearly will not be superfluous, because sometimes a day has to switch the graphics card by 10 times and more.

Near to the CPU socket is a PCI Express x4 slot is four lines from the chipset, corresponding to the standard 3.0. The connector has no latch, so it can be set to anything — even video card. However, technologies like AMD CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI, consider the card does not support, so put here the graphics card makes no sense.

What PCI Express x4 wired, so to speak, the first is good. This fact, on the one hand, means that we can use in the system of a huge supercooler. So, no its Archon or Noctua NH-D15 does not overlap the main PEG port (as, however, and PCI Express x4).

Achilles ‘ heel ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is considered close proximity of the two DIMM sockets to the CPU socket LGA1151-v2. The distance from the center of the socket until the first slot is only (!) 45 mm. This means that most tower coolers will block the DIMM ports required for installation of RAM. The Board supports the installation of ultra-fast modules of standard DDR4, which means that the system can use sets of RAM with extra large heat sinks, which moreover do not get along with supernumerary.

It is obvious that ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI “adapted” to the use of maintenance-free liquid cooling system, but here we catch the problems. So, the new “dropsy” NZXT Kraken X62, used in the stand also blocked the DIMM slots — because pipe and fittings this WITH the right. In the end had to deploy the new “Kraken” at 90 degrees, and this, dear readers, is the farm, because “water” has a lighted logo that implies a definite location (although the backlight can be disabled in the cooling device). So here you need a responsible approach to the selection of water cooling. For example, AMD A80 you have such problems will not arise.

By the way, the number of DIMM slots, I have no complaints. ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is a device that will be used along with pricey components, therefore with very high probability the system will install the dual channel kit 32 GB. Install — and forget about the lack of RAM the next many years.

The DIMM slots are soldered so close to the CPU socket because of the attempts of engineers to ASUS to cram followed by another three connectors. Immediately behind the ports under the RAM are two M. 2 slots — they have a combined metal cap, which plays simultaneously the role of passive cooling. And behind them — DIMM connector.2 to install a special expansion card that is firmly entrenched in the top motherboards MAXIMUS series. Read more about it below.

M. 2 ports can install two SSD form factors 2242, 2260 and 2280 — each connector will only work in PCI Express 3.0 x4 (lines — chipset). They are covered with a large aluminum heatsink. He was, incidentally, can be removed only if the slot PCI Express x16 graphics card is not installed. To do this, Unscrew the two screws.

Hindsight, as you know, we are all strong. If I were the engineer at ASUS, the DIMM slots are pushed to the place under M. 2 drives, and the slots for the SSD ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI divided: one mounted above the PCI Express x4 or right of it, redoing chipsety radiator and moving the slot for the batteries; the second M. 2 would make vertical. Actually, the way it is implemented, for example, in ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe. Yes, that would be not so beautiful, but, in my opinion, more practical.

And still on the Board illuminated the entire right side and a large icon with the ROG on the plastic plug I/O panel. Also ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is equipped with two 4-pin connectors for connecting led strips and other RGB peripherals.

In the DIMM slots.2 is a ROG branded motherboard DIMM.2. For the first time this design feature the “Republican” motherboards came from ASUS Maximus IX Apex, which was published in 2017. To the slot supplied eight lines PCI Express 3.0 from the CPU. Therefore, if we use it, the only PEG-device port automatically operates in the x8 mode.

The design of the DIMM card.2 changed again, and the new variant is passive cooling for SSD. The Board itself allows you to install two M. 2-drive up to a length of 110 mm each.

Due to this configuration, the M. 2 ports, in particular, the motherboard has only four SATA connectors 6 GB/s. But the gaming PC, a number pad would be sufficient.

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is equipped with seven 4-pin connectors to plug the fans. For mATX Board is a great figure! In this part of connector (five) highlighted in black — they allow you to regulate the speed of not only the “Carlson” with a shim. Therefore, there is no need to use additional device like a fan controller, or pick a case with a built-in controller for the fans. Beauty! The remaining two connectors — white, they can’t lower the speed. They can “hang”, such as fans with originally low speeds.

There are 4-pin connectors, generally successfully. For example, we use a small Tower case and a two-piece DLC. Pump and fans “dropsy” are connected to the top row of connectors. Corpus impeller, located on the rear wall, to the socket near the PCI Express x4 slot, and the front Cabinet fan — port W_PUMP located on the bottom and deployed at 90 degrees. This port will be useful to those who collect custom DLC along with ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI tank with a pump usually mounted in the lower part of the Tower housing.

Yes, all the connectors are located at the bottom of the PCB, deployed 90 degrees. This is because the video card with a three slot cooler will simply cover that area of the motherboard. Interesting ports internal I note the presence W_IN/OUT W_Flow — these connectors are monitoring the temperature of the refrigerant and the speed of the liquid flow in the cooling system. And yet the Board there is a connector Node is required to connect a compatible power supply. If you do, you will be able to control the fan speed of the PSU, as well as to follow the input and output voltages. The list of compatible hardware can be found here.

Panel I / o Board is equipped with an integrated plug. It is quite tightly Packed the various ports — in addition to the five analog audio jacks and optical S/P-DIF output, it is possible to detect the display’s HDMI output, combo PS/2 port (still needed during extreme overclocking, since the USB controller in a stressful environment can “fall off”), set of USB ports, including a new-fangled Type-C, Gigabit network, and even two buttons ClearCMOS and USB BIOS Flashback.

Wired network connection is created using the Intel I219-V and wireless — by Wireless-AC 9560, which, in addition to the standard Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with a capacity of up to 1733 Mbps, and supports Bluetooth 5.0.

Sound in ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI, as in many other ROG-boards, meets the audio codec, Supreme FX, which is based on the familiar Realtek chip ALC1220A. The manufacturer claims that he gets “exclusive version” of this chip, therefore, the name of the second letter A. In comparison with the “standard” Realtek ALC1220 the ratio of “signal to noise” from “elite,” 113 vs 108 dB. Traditionally, expensive boards in the composition of the audio included high-quality Nichicon capacitors and operational amplifier RC4580 OPA1688 and production Texas Instruments. The audio chip is shielded, and all elements of the sound system is separated from the other components of the PCB strip, which does not conduct current.

All series motherboards MAXIMUS suitable for overclocking and ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI and for extreme overclocking. Therefore, the Board has several overclocking “uluchshayzerov” that make life easier for young and not so young enthusiasts. Buttons power and reset, as well as the POST indicator signals it is easy to notice. And in the right part of the PCB there are indicators QLED that demonstrate, at what stage is the computer is booted. There are also ReTry button (instantly reboots the system) and Safe Boot (runs stand with secure settings). Add to this the switches MemOK! Pause (the PC is put on pause so the user can change parameters during execution of the benchmark) and Slow Mode (instant reset CPU multiplier to 8x, to accommodate the computer severe tests). Finally, in the bottom of the device are the contact track ProbeIt, allows using the DMM to measure the exact parameters of the main stress system. It is really unfortunate. When you use graphics cards with three slot cooler for her not to get close (or get close, but then you have to work a soldering iron). Anyway to run the probe near the rotating fan 3D accelerator — so.


The power of the CPU is made by two 8-pin connectors. Don’t forget that power supply with this cable set do not occur very often, and basically we are talking about powerful devices — watts on the 700 and more. However, the additional power to the processor is necessary only in extreme cases.

At the core of the Converter power supply ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is a PWM controller ASP1405I. It may seem that the Board is equipped with 12 phases, but it is not. Each channel is responsible for the operation the CPU is equipped with two inductors and two assemblies IR3555. Two single-phase “look out” for iGPU. Looks power Converter very powerful.

During the cooling of field-effect transistors meets an array of a pair of aluminum radiators is of medium size, combined, however, copper deplorable. About how effectively the system works cooling the VRM area in the acceleration, I will tell you next.


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The Intel Core i5-9400F: fake Coffee Lake Refresh

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Despite the obvious difficulties with the production of 14-nm chips in sufficient quantities, Intel continues to gradually expand the lineup of Core processors, the ninth generation, known under the code name Coffee Lake Refresh. However, given it to her with varying degrees of success. That is, formally in the lineup really added new products, but in retail they appear very reluctant, and some models presented immediately after the New year novelties have been unable to check in the stores until now.

However, based on official data, now for the platform LGA1151v2 there are already at least nine desktop models of the Core pertaining to the thousandth of the series, including processors with four, six and eight cores. Moreover, the composition of this family includes not only the obvious representatives with predictable characteristics, but also unexpected CPU that is different from all predecessors ideologically. We are talking about CPUs F-series mass desktop chips, the specifications of which is not stated integrated graphics core.

Surprising in their appearance that these deals have expanded the range of consumer Intel for the first time in the last eight years, during which the company offered for mass segment only solution with integrated graphics. But now something has changed and the microprocessor giant has been forced to revise his principles. And we even know that: failures in planning and difficulties with the commissioning process with a 10-nm standards has led to a serious lack of Intel on the market, to mitigate which the company is trying by all means. The release of processors without integrated graphics – one of the rather apparent measures aimed at achieving this goal. Thanks to it the manufacturer has been able to set a serial processor previously considered defective semiconductor workpiece with a corrupted graphics core, which even at eight Coffee Lake Refresh “biting” up to 30 % of the area is 174 mm crystal. In other words, such a measure capable of increasing the yield and significantly reduce waste.

However, if Intel is the point in the release of processors F-series is quite obvious, that Benet from the emergence of such offers consumers the issue is very controversial. The chosen manufacturer of the tactic is that trimmed at its core, the processors are implemented without any discounts, for the same price as their “full” counterparts. In order to fully understand this situation, we decided to take the tests one of the Core lineup of the ninth generation, devoid of the integrated graphics and try to find his hidden advantages.

As the object for investigation was selected as Core i5-9400F Junior six-core CPU generation Coffee Lake Refresh. This chip of particular interest: its predecessor, the Core i5-8400, at the time, was very popular thanks to very attractive ratio of price and performance. Officially announced four months ago, Core i5-9400 (no F in the name) offers a slightly higher frequency such at the same price, but selling him is practically impossible. But the Core i5-9400F represented on the shelves everywhere, and, moreover, since the deficit of this model does not apply, its real value in retail as close as possible to recommended. However, this does not Core i5-9400F a good option for “basic” configurations automatically, because now AMD in the same price category offers six-core processors Ryzen 5, which, in contrast to the Core i5 series have the support for multithreading (SMT). That is why today’s quiz promises to be especially meaningful: it must give an answer to several questions and clearly show whether the Core i5-9400F chance to repeat the success of the legendary Core i5-8400.

#Lineup Refresh Coffee Lake

To date, there have been two waves of announcements of processors that are conditionally related to the generation of Coffee Lake Refresh. Despite the fact that such a CPU is largely similar to its predecessors from the family of Coffee Lake, Intel refer them to the ninth generation of Core numbers and indices, start with the number 9. And if the Core i7 and Core i9 this distinction may be partly justified, because they first obtained an eight compute cores, the new processors series Core i5 and Core i3 got an increase in model numbers for the most part. In fact, they only offer higher clock frequency.

While no improvements on the level microarchitecture can not speak at all. And surprise, to be honest, it doesn’t matter. Intel practiced the concept of development is that the profound changes in processors attached to the improvement of production technologies. Therefore, the delay in the implementation of the 10-nm process technology lead to the fact that we once again have to deal with the Skylake microarchitecture, released in 2015. However, what is surprising for some reason Intel does not seek to change features that do not require any noticeable change. For example, the official Coffee Lake Refresh continue to rely on dual DDR4-2666 memory, while AMD has repeatedly adds to its processors support high-speed modes, reaching in the latest versions of mobile Raven Ridge already up to DDR4-3200. The only thing that made Intel, is increased up to 128 GB of memory supported in systems based on Coffee Lake Refresh.

However, despite the absence of changes in microarchitecture, Intel still manages to produce quite an interesting model, extensive methods – increasing the number of cores and clock frequency. The first wave of announcements Coffee Lake Refresh, which took place in October last year, brought three flagship overclocking of the processor, to conquer new frontiers of performance: OCTA core Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K, as well as six-core Core i5-9600K. With the second wave of the Christmas list for the latest processors added another six CPU easier. In the end, the full nomenclature of the Refresh Coffee Lake began to look like the following.

Cores/ threads Base frequency, GHz Turbocheetah, GHz L3 cache MB iGPU IGPU frequency, GHz Memory TDP, watts Price
Core i9‑9900K 8/16 3,6 5,0 16 UHD 630 1,2 DDR4‑2666 95 $488
Core i9‑9900KF 8/16 3,6 5,0 16 No DDR4‑2666 95 $488
Core i7‑9700K 8/8 3,6 4,9 12 UHD 630 1,2 DDR4‑2666 95 $374
Core i7‑9700KF 8/8 3,6 4,9 12 No DDR4‑2666 95 $374
Core i5‑9600K 6/6 3.7 V 4,6 9 UHD 630 1,15 DDR4‑2666 95 $262
Core i5‑9600KF 6/6 3.7 V 4,6 9 No DDR4‑2666 95 $262
Core i5‑9400 6/6 2,9 4,1 9 UHD 630 1,05 DDR4‑2666 65 $182
Core i5‑9400F 6/6 2,9 4,1 9 No DDR4‑2666 65 $182
Core i3‑9350KF 4/4 4,0 4,6 8 No DDR4‑2400 91 $173

The main part of the processors added to the released in the first place overclocking K-models later, consists of chips, deprived of the integrated graphics core. Technically Core i9-9900KF, Core i7-9700KF and Core i5-9600KF are based on exactly the same semiconductor Foundation, and have absolutely the same characteristics as the Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K, differing only in the fact that they don’t offer the built-in GPU, in hardware blocks at the production stage.

But the list of innovations of the second wave can be seen and indeed a new model. First is the Core i3-9350KF is the only Coffee Lake Refresh Quad core processor with an unlocked multiplier. If you close your eyes to the lack of built-in GPU, it is possible to calculate an updated version of the Core i3-8350K, which was accelerated by adding Turbo Boost technology 2.0 and the newfound ability of automatic overclocking to 4.6 GHz.

Another more-or-less full new in the second wave it is possible to calculate Core i5-9400 and devoid of the integrated graphics Core i9 fellow-9400F. The value of these models lies in the fact that with their help, Intel has significantly lowered the cost of the Junior six-core Coffee Lake Refresh, allowing you to use the latest generation CPU in the configuration baseline. However, formal differences between Core i5-9400 from last year’s hit, Core i5-8400, not so much. Clock frequency increased by only 100 MHz, which is likely due to the desire of the microprocessor giant to leave your younger shestiyaderny within the 65-watt thermal package. As a result, the gap in the maximum frequency in turbo mode between the senior and the Junior six-core processors in the family Coffee Lake Refresh increased to 500 MHz, while in the generation of Coffee Lake it was only 300 MHz.

Judging from the specs, it seems that trump the new Core i5-9400 and Core i5-9400F on the background of the old Core i5-8400 really nothing. However, the specifications in this case do not give quite the full picture. During the announcement of the first Coffee Lake Refresh, Intel said, including about the advantages of an indirect nature. For example, for a new generation of chips was promised a change of the internal thermal interface: polymer place of thermal paste was to take a highly bestlady solder. But does this apply to the Junior six-core Core processors, the ninth generation? It turns out that not always.

#Details about Core i5-9400F

It so happened that, releasing the Coffee Lake Refresh processors, Intel raked in the pile, several different variants of semiconductor crystals with process technology 14 nm++, and not all of them are in fact new. Based on Core processors, the ninth generation may lie as semiconductor crystals, designed for them specifically, and relatively old versions of the silicon, which was used extensively including in the processors of the eighth generation ranked as family Coffee Lake.

In particular, at the moment aware of the existence of at least four stoppingof crystals that are set in a certain mass the Core of thousandth of the series:

  • P0 – the only “honest” option of the crystal, which is really unfair to make Coffee Lake Refresh. This crystal has eight cores and is used in overclocking the Intel Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K in their F-variations of the Core i9-9900KF, Core i7-9700KF and Core i5-9600KF, as well as the Intel Core i5-9400;
  • U0 – six-core crystal used in processors Coffee Lake, that is, in the eighth generation Core. Now it is used to create a six-core Core i5-9400F;
  • B0 the Quad – core chip, which is used for the Intel Core i3-9350K. This version of silicon, too, came into the Quad-core processor straight out of the Coffee Lake, including the Core i3-8350K;
  • R0 – a new stepping of a crystal, in which it is assumed will be the senior Core processors, the ninth generation, starting in may. Currently, the serial CPU does not occur, and therefore no specific information about its features and causes no.

Thus, the Core i5-9400F about which we are talking in this review, is the black sheep: one of a kind processor that may be internal to the device is different from the other six-core and eight-core counterparts-generation Coffee Lake Refresh. Strictly speaking, it is not a stripped-down or time-lapse version of the Core i5-9600K or Core i5-9400, and a slightly overclocked variant of the old Core i5-8400 with disabled graphics core.

And I must say, this is manifested not only in the screenshots diagnostic utilities that show for the Core i5-9400F old stepping U0 instead of a new P0. In Core i5-9400F in fact, there is no innovation peculiar to Coffee Lake Refresh. In particular, the Assembly of these chips soldering the die to the heat-spreading lid is not applied, and the internal thermal interface is exactly the same polymer compound used in processors Coffee Lake.

Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K без крышки. Фото momomo_us

Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K without a lid. Photo momomo_us

In addition, the Core i5-9400F, unlike the rest of a new generation of Coffee Lake Refresh going on the PCB with thinner the PCB is the same as used for conventional Coffee Lake.

Слева направо: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K

From left to right: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K

And moreover, even the shape of the heat-spreading lid Core i5-9400F gives the relationship of the Core CPU of the eighth generation. Because purebred Coffee Lake Refresh cover has changed.

Слева направо: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K

From left to right: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K

In other words, there is no doubt that the Core i5-9400F – in fact, no Coffee Lake Refresh and rejection of previous-generation processors with disabled graphics core. And this applies to all wholly supplied at present, the serial Core i5-9400F that largely explains the wide availability of these processors at a time when the mass supply of Coffee Lake Refresh others continue to experience significant problems. For example, formally announced simultaneously with the Core i5-9400F its “full” counterpart with integrated graphics UHD Graphics 630, which should be based on “fair” crystal stepping P0, in retail sales is still missing.

At the same time, the microprocessor giant doesn’t exclude the possibility of transfer Core i5-9400F on the “right” stepping P0 in the medium term. But it will happen, obviously, only when all accumulated in the warehouses of Coffee Lake with a defective integrated GPU will be successfully sold out.

However, for most users this fact of forgery of silicon crystals is unlikely to have any significance. Anyway, Core i5-9400F real shestiyadernik without support Hyper-Threading, which at any load is running at 100 MHz faster than its predecessor, Core i5-8400. This means that the frequency formula Core i5-9400F corresponds to $10 more expensive Core i5-8500.

Despite the fact that Core i5-9400F claimed comparatively low base frequency of 2.9 GHz, in reality this CPU is able to work much faster thanks to technology Turbo Boost 2.0. If enabled, the Multi-Core Enhancements (that is the default mode for the vast majority of motherboards) under full load, the Core i5-9400F able to keep the frequency of 3.9 GHz accelerating under load on one core to 4.1 GHz.

  Nominal frequency The maximum frequency Turbo Boost 2.0
1 core 2 cores 3 core 4 cores 5 cores 6 cores
Core i5-8400 2.8 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.8 GHz
Core i5-8500 3.0 GHz 4,1 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz
Core i5-9400(F) 2.9 GHz 4,1 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz

No overclocking capabilities in this speech, of course, is not. The most capable Core i5-9400F, for the maximum allowed in the technology Turbo Boost 2.0 frequency. And on motherboards with chipsets H370, B360 or H310 do not get to use and faster than DDR4-2666 memory. More speed modes available only on motherboards with older chipsets Z370 or Z390.


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Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare: when I checkered, and go

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In the laboratory 3DNews — Board with a full set of modern interfaces for any applications and support for overclocking, standing alone in the lineup Z390 solutions IBM and managed to present during testing, a pleasant surprise. Read more in our review of Gigabyte Z390 Designare SOURCE

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