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Overview motherboard ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII: Formula for first Ryzen

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Not so long ago on our website an overview of the Gigabyte Aorus X570 Xtreme first fell into our hands motherboard for Socket AM4-of CPU cycles, which cost about $ 700. However, as it turned out, this is not the only product of its kind. The developers of motherboards so inspired by the emergence of third-generation processors Ryzen that, not saying a word, significantly raised the upper limit of the price of the platforms, which are based on a new chipset X570. The result of the $ 700 fee under the mass of the AMD is now in the range of almost every self-respecting manufacturer of the motherboard. And as if confirming this thesis, followed by premium Gigabyte in the laboratory 3DNews arrived ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is another flagship platform with the price of the same scale.

Immediately it should be noted that stuffed heartily Socket AM4 Plata in the representation of developers of ASUS looks quite different from how it is represented in Gigabyte. In other words, the top-level products from different manufacturers turned out to be quite dissimilar. ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII loses a bit of its facilities and not so perfect in layout and design, but in her arms there are other cards. ASUS has added to its flagship product the possibility to include it in the circuit liquid cooling system out of the box, worked hard on the BIOS and season it all with a cocktail of several proprietary technologies that improve system stability when overclocking. The result was a very interesting product that is sure to attract the attention of enthusiasts and it undoubtedly deserves a detailed review.

Besides the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII and is interesting for another reason. This is the first motherboard Formula class among the solutions ASUS for processors Ryzen. In the hierarchy ROG products, the names of which incorporated the epithet Formula, differ in two specific features. First, their cooling system is being developed in collaboration with specialists from EK Water Blocks and has an integrated water block. Second, they carry a special aesthetic in their design used “armour”, almost completely hiding the entire front surface of the Board.

Until today, ASUS believed that to release such hardware for the platform Socket AM4 is meaningless, because the owners Ryzen is an unpretentious audience that will not appreciate these design refinements. But now the situation has changed, because among processors, AMD introduced the high-level proposals that can compete not only with the Core i9-9900K, but also with the decisions of the class HEDT. It is obvious that the enthusiasts who liked processors like Ryzen 3800X 7 or 9 Ryzen 3900X, and focuses the ASUS: ROG Crosshair Formula VIII will be a solid frame for these “stones”.

However, there is a suspicion that the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is not the maximum scenario gaming platform ASUS, which will eventually be available in the model range of products of this manufacturer on the basis of a set of logic X570. Although we haven’t heard anything about VIII Crosshair Extreme, this motherboard will likely also be released, but it will happen a little later, when the market will come uncompromising 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X.

But while the “extreme” Board is in sight, lets look at ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is the best option platform ASUS for AMD Ryzen today.

#Specifications

At the moment we know about the existence of the family ROG Crosshair VIII, based on the new AMD Radeon X570, four models of motherboards. In addition to the flagship 700-dollar Formula company ASUS intends to soon bring to market a Mini-ITX platform Impact, and two full-sized tab – Hero (Wi-Fi) and the Hero is already available in stores. In this case it so happened that the recommended price is closest to the Formula for the positioning of the Hero (Wi-Fi) is only $380, but the characteristics it is very similar to her. Yes, the design of Hero (Wi-Fi) cannot accommodate two-way reservation and the possibility of liquid cooling the VRM, but the majority of consumer properties, including construction of the Converter of CPU power, it is not inferior to the older sister. Hence the conclusion: ROG Crosshair Formula VIII – frankly the premium offer, the high cost which is largely determined by not so much technical “bells and whistles” as status and elitism. However, it makes acquaintance with the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is even more interesting.

Here are the basic specifications such expensive fees:

ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII
Supported processors AMD Ryzen 2nd and 3rd generations
Chipset AMD X570
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4, up to 128 GB, up to DDR4-4800, two channels
Expansion slots 2 × PCI Express 3.0/4.0 x16 (modes x16/x0 or x8/x8);
1 × 4.0 PCI Express x16 (mode x4);
1 × PCI Express x1 4.0
The storage interface 8 × SATA 6GB/s;
2 × M. 2 (PCI-E 4.0/3.0 x4/SATA 6GB/s devices format 2242/2260/2280)
USB ports 4 × USB 3.2 Gen2/Gen1 rear panel (depending on CPU);
3 × USB 3.2 Gen2 on the rear panel;
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C rear panel;
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 internal connectors;
4 × USB 3.2 Gen1 on the rear panel;
4 × USB Gen1 3.2 internal connectors;
4 × USB 2.0 internal connectors
Network controllers 1 × Intel WGI211AT (Ethernet 1 Gbps);
1 × Aquantia AQtion AQC111C (Ethernet 5 Gbps);
1 × Intel Dual Band Wireless AX200NGW/CNVi (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5 GHz) + Bluetooth 5.0)
Audio 1 × SupremeFX S1220 (7.1) + ESS Sabre DAC ES9023P
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × USB Gen2 3.2 (Type-C);
4 × USB Gen2 3.2/1 (Type-A);
3 × 3.2 Gen2 USB (Type-A);
4 × 3.2 Gen1 USB (Type-A);
2 × RJ-45;
5 x audio jacks are of type minijack;
1 × S/P-DIF (optical, output);
2 × antenna connectors;
button ClearCMOS;
button BIOS FlashBack
Form factor ATX (305 × 244 mm)
Price $699 (recommended)

In a perfect world, motherboard with max price should offer the maximum of opportunity. However, some features ROG Crosshair Formula VIII, as it turns out, but max has not been completed. And this means that among the AM4 Socket boards, you can find products are equipped with richer. One of the examples is not necessary. The flagship ROG Board is equipped with only two slots M. 2, and has a 10 Gigabit network controller, having these parameters, the alternatives from other manufacturers. It is therefore very likely that ASUS really soon offer an even more powerful card Extreme class. This should happen at least for the sake of all fell into place.

However, it would be unfair to say that the possibility of ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is insufficient. This fee will be an excellent Foundation for high-performance computer based on older processors Ryzen 3000. Moreover, the system with this Board and CPU like 9 or 3900X Ryzen Ryzen 9 3950X may be able to compete in terms of equipment and performance of a real workstation class HEDT. Lose platform based on an ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII only the number of memory channels and the number of supported PCIe devices. But here is affected by restrictions processors Ryzen 3000, besides huge amounts of memory and multi-component arrays of graphics cards and NVMe drives are used not so often.

Speaking about the characteristics of ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII, it is impossible to ignore and one more important point: this Board is well suited to systems that use custom liquid cooling. The fact that a regular complete, it can be included in the LC loop due to the special design of the VRM cooling system, which was developed with the participation of the engineers of the company EK Water Blocks. Socket AM4-boards that are compatible with liquid cooling right out of the box, the phenomenon is not unique, however, not so much, and every such an example deserves special mention.

#Packaging equipment

ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII comes in a large colorful box decorated in the standard series motherboards ROG style. On the upper surface of the package is the name of the prisoner inside the product. The reverse side contains a picture card with the description of the main characteristics and technologies.

 

ASUS marketing Department thought it necessary to draw the attention of the potential buyer on a strong power system ROG Crosshair Formula VIII, the scan OLED display LiveDash, to support the cost of Wi-Fi and 6 wired network with throughput up to 5 Gbps, and CrossChill III EK – waterblock special design for heat dissipation from the power supply circuit of the processor.

The supplied ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is quite standard — given the fact that this Board refers to the upper price range. In addition to the actual motherboard and a large volume of printing products in the box fit:

  • six SATA cables;
  • one cable to connect addressable led strips;
  • one connection cable for led RGB strips;
  • one of the two-component dual-band Wi-Fi antenna;
  • module Q-Connector for easy connection LEDs, and buttons of the housing;
  • set of screws for mounting the M. 2 drives.

It is worth to pay attention to a few things. First, two of the six SATA cables that came with the Board, have woven braid that gives this simple accessory a more noble appearance.

Second, ASUS has replaced two required for modern Wi-Fi adapters antenna one working in the mode of 2 × 2. In addition, the manufacturer never declared by its gain factor.

It should be noted that the necessary drivers and software to motherboard ASUS continues to put on a CD-ROM, which frankly, in modern conditions seems somehow anachronistic. However, if your system will be optical device to come to the aid of technology Armoury Crate which allows you to automatically download and install software over the Internet. It works in Windows 8 and 10 using the function of the Windows Platform Binary Table that performs automatic backup of UEFI and the startup after loading a pre-trained manufacturer service utilities.

Equipment fees after experience leaves a feeling of light disappointment in their flagship Board, ASUS has been generous even for external temperature sensors. A set of supplied cables to connect the RGB ribbons on the composition equal to that placed in the boxes of their boards by other manufacturers.

#Design and capabilities

The first thing that catches the eye when removing your ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII out of the box is its size. Manufacturers have accustomed us to the fact that if the Board refers to the upper price segment, it must have an increased size E-ATX. But ROG Crosshair Formula VIII, by contrast, made more widespread and more compact standard form factor ATX, which significantly expands many of the buildings in which it can comfortably be located.

However, because of this, ROG Crosshair Formula VIII has amassed a number of problems associated with the inability to place all of the many components on its surface so that they were really convenient to use. In the process of testing revealed two rather unpleasant moment.

The first is an acute lack of space around the CPU socket. The first slot is PCIe x16 for Socket AM4 is so close that the tower coolers, designed for 140mm fans, get up on it with some problems. If the graphics card is equipped with a rear plate, even not too large thickness, between it and the edge of the radiator, the cooler remains very narrow gap in which are placed bad (frankly, do not fit) the mounting bracket of the fan. And that means ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is much more comfortable to use with liquid cooling systems than air supernumerary.

The second point concerns the placement of the last PCIe x16 slot is directly at the bottom edge of the Board. The problem with this arrangement is that installation of any expansion card will lead to the overlap of the access located on the bottom edge controls, including popular buttons Safe Boot and Retry Button.

All this is clearly seen in the conceptual graphic of the Board. Even it perfectly clear that all significant components “moved out” of the plane of the PCB down.

But the main question for ASUS ROG Crosshair Formula VIII concerns the placement of the slots and controls, and cooling. The fact that in the whole lineup based on the X570 motherboard ASUS engineers decided to use separate cooling for the chipset and VRM. The chipset is always cooled by the air cooler. The same scheme is implemented in ROG Crosshair Formula VIII. That is, despite the fact that this Board is supposed liquid cooled VRM, heat from the chipset in any case will still be given air. And what a strange and irrational decision.

Cooling the chipset cooler also raises certain questions related to its design. It is a fairly massive aluminum radiator with edges directed to the rear side of the Board. The fan drives the airflow along the edges, while the exhaust air is discharged to the rear of the PCIe slots through a slit in the cover that protects the surface of the Board.

While ASUS and assures that the Board uses a Delta fan with ball bearings for up to seven years of continuous operation, you need to understand that we are talking about a centrifugal fan with a diameter of 40 mm and the ability to develop a sufficiently high speed. Although in normal condition it rotates with a frequency of about 2500 rpm at which the noise level is minimal, its speed when increasing temperature markedly increases. A negative role here can play what air intake chipsety cooler carries the right of the first PCIe x16 slot, that is where a graphics card emit hot air from their cooling systems.

In our test system we used the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition, and run it, for example, the “donut” Furmark even outdoor stand led to an increase in the temperature of the chipset to 75 degrees and dispersal chipsetov fan to 3800 RPM at which the noise became clearly visible.

In other words, from a flagship motherboard, we expected more elaborate cooling.

But in regard to cooling Converter power ROG Crosshair Formula VIII, the engineers, by contrast, did a great job.

 

The cooling system is a single massive l-shaped aluminum waterblock with a copper core, which, because of its size, can operate in and in the passive mode as an ordinary radiator.

 

He firmly held on the power Board elements with powerful screw mount, and in addition, the VRM area is cooled and the back side of the Board. The bottom surface of the circuit Board is covered with galvanized steel plate, which not only protects it from damage, but also takes heat from under Converter supply.

Although ASUS says that the ROG connect Crosshair Formula VIII to the circuit liquid cooling, the temperature of the VRM can be reduced to a 29 degree, to survive because of the high temperature of the power circuit will not have even if the cooling of the power Converter will work as is in passive mode.

The fact that poorly heated itself this scheme: it is collected on high-performance elements, which have relatively low heat dissipation. The maximum temperature of the Converter of CPU power, which we managed to capture during overclocking tests with air cooling the VRM was only 55 degrees. And this is logical: the heat dissipation of each of the 16 power stage Infineon PowIRstage IR3555 on the basis of which assembled power circuit currents at the required senior Ryzen 3000, even acceleration does not exceed 1.0 to 1.5 watts.

It is curious that, despite the use of the VRM 16 sets of the power stage, solid state capacitors and chokes MicroFine Alloy, the entire design is driven by OCTA-core PWM controller ASP 1405I (Infineon IR35201). This means that “good” channels in the Converter power only eight – seven on the CPU and one to SoC. Twice the number of elements used for their superalliance in the channels, allowing the power Converter to handle higher loads. However, you need to understand that VRM is clearly excessive: the maximum output can reach 900 watts, which is not able to consume none of the processors Ryzen 3000, even in the incredible acceleration.

In General, the projected ROG Crosshair Formula VIII with a clear eye on overclockers and enthusiasts. And colossal power VRM is not the only outstanding is a sign. Card comes with a set of handy hardware buttons, including brand Safe_Boot and Retry_Button, and the usual Reset button you can even reassign functions, for example, are able to switch the RGB illumination or by means of BIOS (DirectKey). Close to all key units of the Board are led indicators Q-Led, with which you can quickly diagnose problems. In addition, the Board is fully equipped located in the center of the rear ports OLED screen LiveDash that when you start the system replaces the indicator POST-codes, and then can display selected features hardware monitoring or just a random custom animation.

However, perhaps the main advantage of the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is, as implemented on this motherboard DIMM slots. For them, the Diasy Chain topology, which allows to achieve the best overclocking results when using a pair of modules DDR4 SDRAM, and the food memory is more powerful than most other cards, the two-phase scheme. This, together with the optimized trace tracks ASUS calls the technology OptiMem III, promising that the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII will achieve in overclocking memory the best results. This is reflected in BOMs: the promised possibility of a stable operation mode memory DDR4-4800, however, this is recommended only one specific variety modules – recently announced Corsair Vengeance LPX CMK16GX4M2Z4800C18 ver3.3.

In addition, a lot of attention in the design of the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is given to the hardware monitoring. Board is able to monitor the temperature of CPU, chipset and VRM design, and also has a connector for the external sensor. There are four points to connect the case fans. For CPU cooling system, there are two special fan connectors, and some connector to enable the pump factory SVO. If the user wants to collect the liquid cooling alone, in which case the fee will be able to provide connectors to enable the temperature sensors, and fluid flow as well as a dedicated slot to power the pump is consuming current up to 3 A.

In the construction ROG Crosshair Formula VIII, there are three full-size PCIe x16 and one PCIe x1. Two PCIe x16 slot connected to the processor and can work in either x16/x0 or as x8/x8, while the last PCIe x16 slot is connected to only four PCI Express 4.0 chipset.

The first PCIe x16 slot much removed from the rest, so the video card installed in him, would feel quite at ease, even if it is to have a massive cooling system.

But with the placement of the M. 2 slots the developers of ASUS made an experiment, the results of which can hardly be called positive. First, the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII can be only two M. 2-drive — add to the Board the third slot engineers felt unnecessary. Second, both M. 2 slot for one CPU and another chipset is under the second PCIe x16 slot and located in a special compartment “towards each other”. This imposes certain restrictions on the size of M. 2 storage devices, allowing to charge a few M. 2 SSD only if they have the format 2280 or less.

In this storage compartment is closed with aluminum lid, concurrently playing the role of a means of cooling the SSD, but this cover is with the chipset not reported and transfers the heat only by its own heat-dissipating capabilities.

The lack of reporting on the Board of the third M. 2 slot kompensiruet increased number of SATA ports on the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII, as many as eight pieces. They all work using the X570 chipset, so ASUS should be interesting to fans of multicomponent RAID.

In addition to the SATA ports the Board has an internal USB port connector 3.2 Gen2 connector and two USB ports 3.2 Gen1.

Pleased with the abundance of connectors and the rear panel Board. Number of external USB ports brought to 12, among them – one USB port 3.2 Gen2 Type-C, seven USB ports 3.2 Gen2 Type-A and four USB ports 3.2 Gen1. In addition to the rear panel derived two wired network ports for Gigabit and 5-Gigabit connectivity and two ports for wifi antennas. There are five analog audio and optical S/P-DIF. Also there are two buttons – Clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback.

The list of external ports of the Board draws attention to its advanced networking options. In addition to the usual Gigabit Intel i211-at, at ROG Crosshair Formula VIII there is another network controller – Aquantia AQtion AQC111C support Gigabit, and 2.5 – or 5-Gigabit connection. Naturally, higher speeds require the support of the corresponding functionality from the network infrastructure, and this is probably why the developers did not put on the ROG Crosshair Formula VIII 10 Gigabit controller, although the flagship boards from other manufacturers are often equipped with more powerful network chips Aquantia AQtion AQC107.

As for the wireless network, for her work meets the latest module Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200. It is compatible with the IEEE 802.11 ax and configuration 2T2R capable of providing data transmission speeds to 2.4 GB/s. Also in the module AX200 supported standard Bluetooth 5.

Sound system under consideration motherboard ASUS uses a 10-channel codec Realtek SupremeFX S1220 ratio “signal — noise” dB 113 in combination with the discrete ESS ES9023P DAC and operational amplifier Texas Instruments RC4580. Naturally, the engineers have not forgotten to isolate the audio circuit from the rest of the Board and cast a high-quality Japanese Nichicon capacitors.

However, summing up all said, we have to admit that their opportunities ROG Crosshair Formula VIII is still not amazing. Board on the basis of the X570 premium level, which offered other producers in certain properties may look better than the ASUS. But what is ROG Crosshair Formula VIII definitely spit all the alternatives, so it is in appearance.

Simply aligning the cut lines and monochrome colors with mirrored panels inside which are hidden RGB-backlight, ASUS was able to ensure that the Board does not look pretentious, but on the contrary, is perceived as a high-tech and utilitarian, but at the same time elegant device.

SOURCE

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Motherboard MSI Creator X299: and creating, and playing, and dispersing

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The new HEDT processors Intel core Cascade Lake-X and a dramatic decline in the rates has launched a major update motherboard connector LGA2066. No, of course, the old (or should I say “existing”) of the Board working successfully with the new Intel Core i9-10xxx, which is enough to update the BIOS. However, due to the markedly increased level of energy consumption (not stated in the specs, but real) to such boards now increased demands on nutrition and providing cooling. Even the Board is not averse to earn some money on the new models, which are often endowed with new possibilities.

The first one of these models was presented by MSI, without any hesitation calling it the Creator X299. It has much in common with the previously released pay – MEG Creator X299, which is an obvious gaming orientation and much more expensive. In turn, the Creator X299 designed for high-performance workstations with cards the Thunderbolt and M. 2 M3 Xpander-Aero. Let’s look at the new details.

#Specifications and cost

Supported processors Intel Core X in the performance LGA2066 (10000/9000/78xx);
support Turbo Boost technology 3.0 Max
Chipset Intel Express X299
Memory subsystem 8 x DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 256 GB;
Quad channel memory mode;
support modules with frequency of 4266(O. C.)/4133(O. C.)/4000(O. C.)/3866(O. C.)/3800(O. C.)/
3733(O. C.)/3666(O. C.)/3600(O. C.)/3466(O. C.)/3400(O. C.)/3333(O. C.)/3300(O. C.)/3200(O. C.)/
3000(O. C.)/2933/2800/2666/2400/2133 MHz;
support Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
GUI Missing
Connectors for expansion boards 4 slot PCI Express x16 3.0, modes x8/x8/x16/x8 and x16/x0/x16/x8 processor with 48 PCI-E; x8/x8/x16/x8 and x16/x0/x16/x8 with the processor 44 with PCI-E; x8/x8/x8/x0 and x16/x0/x8/x0 with a CPU with 28 PCI-E
The scalability of the video NVIDIA 4-way SLI Technology;
AMD 4-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface Intel X Express 299 :
– 8 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6GB/s;
– support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, Intel Rapid Start, Intel Smart Connect Technology and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug;
– 1 × M. 2, bandwidth up to 32 Gbps (supports SATA and PCI Express storage devices ranging in length from 42 to 110 mm);
– support Intel Optane Memory.
– 1 × U. 2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe storage.
Intel Core i 9:
– 2 × M. 2, bandwidth of each up to 32 GB/s (both support only PCI Express memory length from 42 to 110 mm)
Network
interfaces
2 Gigabit Ethernet controller Intel I219-V (10/100/1000 Mbps) and Aquantia AQC107 (10 Gbps);
wireless controller Intel wifi 6 AX200 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax: frequency range 2.4 GHz and 5GHz, support Bluetooth 5, wireless communication standard 11ac (160 MHz range, a bandwidth of up to 2.4 GB/s)
Audio Shielded 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC1220;
audio capacitors Chemicon (9 PCs.);
technology support 3 in speed and performance;
left and right channels are separated in different layers of the PCB;
isolated from PCB sound card
USB interface Intel X Express 299:
– 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 on back panel, 4 connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 4 port USB 3.2 Gen1 (connect to the connectors on the system Board).
Controller ASMedia ASM3242:
– 1 USB port 3.2 Gen2x2 20G (Type-C rear panel).
Controller ASMedia ASM3142:
– 1 USB port Gen2 3.2 (Type-C, is connected to the connector on the system Board).
The controller ASMedia ASM1074:
– 7 ports USB 3.2 Gen1 (all on rear panel)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel The button Clear CMOS and Flash BIOS;
two gold plated connector for the antenna of the wireless communication module (2T2R);
the PS/2 port and two USB 2.0 ports;
4 port USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A);
USB port 3.2 Gen2x2 20G (Type-C), USB port 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A) and LAN-socket RJ-45;
2 port USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A) and LAN-socket RJ-45;
optical S/PDIF output interface;
5 3.5 mm gold-plated audio connectors
Internal connectors on the PCB 24-pin ATX power connector;
3 × 8-pin power connector ATX 12 V;
4-pin power connector ATX 12 V;
8 × SATA 3;
3 × M. 2 port.
port U. 2;
2 USB 2.0 ports for connecting 4 ports;
2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 to connect 4 ports;
USB connector 3.2 Gen2 to connect port, Type-C;
4-pin connector for CPU fan;
4-pin connector for pumps DLC;
6 × 4-pin connectors for case fans with PWM support;
connector Water Flow;
a group of connectors for the front panel;
TPM connector;
connector Chassis Intrusion;
2 connectors for temperature sensors;
the Thunderbolt connector;
connector Virtual RAID on the CPU;
audio connector for front panel
BIOS 2 × 128 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 6.1;
support SM BIOS 2.8
Controller I/O Nuvoton NCT6797D-M
Form factor, dimensions (mm) E-ATX, 305 × 272
Operating system support Windows 10 x64
The warranty of the manufacturer, years 3
Minimum retail value for you! 36 000

#Packaging equipment

MSI Creator X299 comes in a dazzling white box vertical orientation. On top of the box there is a plastic handle, which always comes handy, since the model is quite heavy.

The reverse side of the package is not overloaded with information, but everything you need is on it, including the list of interfaces.

The complete set is very rich and corresponds to the status of the product. In additional box is divided into compartments, contains numerous cables, the antenna of the wireless communication module 2T2R WLAN and a flash drive with drivers and software. Complement this set of detailed and brief instructions, stickers for your SATA cables as well as various bonus coupons.

 

But that’s not all. The main difference between MSI Creator X299 from other models on an Intel X299 Express are two cards in the set. The first – to-Board M. 2 Xpander-Aero, looks like the graphics card is entry level. It can be set from four drives of format M. 2 up to 110 mm, using only one connector PCI Express x16. Obviously, what drives this Board will be perfectly cool, and support for PCIe 4.0 x16 can be useful for the future.

 

The second expansion card – Thunderbolt M3 (PCIe 3.0 x4) support high speed interface of the same name. It is equipped with two ports USB 3.1 Gen2 and two video outputs DisplayPort 1.4.

The motherboard is manufactured in China and provides a three year warranty. Its cost in Russia starts with a mark of 36 thousand rubles – it is a typical price for motherboards of this level.

#Design and features

The design of MSI Creator X299 can be called calm. On the Board there is no bright inserts and some highly eye-catching components. It is all done in dark tones, including radiators and shrouds that is true, because the product is not gaming or youth and professional level with the corresponding cost.

 

And yet, on the PCB there were two places in order to slightly dilute the seriousness of the deliberate design of the Board: panels of mirror, plastic, made on the housing interface Board and the chipset.

 

Both of these area boards are equipped with led backlight. Add that to MSI Creator X299 made in the form factor E-ATX and has dimensions of 305 × 272 mm.

Traditionally, before a detailed analysis of all components of the Board will present its scheme of instruction manual.

Plate interface panel privernuty to the casing of the motherboard. And there literally is no space, so closely placed exits and connectors. However, it should be on the motherboard level MSI Creator X299.

So, it contains two buttons firmware BIOS and clearing the CMOS, two gold-plated connector antenna wireless module, combined PS/2 port, ten USB ports, two network sockets RJ-45, optical, and five gold-plated audio jacks.

In terms of disassembly fee is difficult because of attachment to her radiators and casings involved about 30 different screws. Pure MSI Creator X299 pleasing to the eye ideality soldering and density of the layout.

On the Board with a standard connector LGA2066 category which was developed by Foxconn and is compatible with any Intel Core microarchitecture, manufactured in this design.

Supports all Intel CPUs Sky Lake-Cascade Lake X or-X: Core i7-7800 to thunderstorm power supply Core i9-10980XE. The full list can be find by clicking the link.

In the power supply system of the processor involved in 13 phases: twelve ISL99360 (90 A) the given processor core and one TDA21472 (70 A) OptiMOS Powerstage for Uncore. Doublers on the PCB is not detected. Circuit used titanium chokes of the second generation with improved 30% efficiency.

 

Over the food placed as many as three eight-pin power connector, and the left – controller with marking Nova-1 QL3 BN4, recognize which failed. There is a suspicion that this is one of the Infineon controllers remarked.

In addition to three eight-pin connectors on the Board are soldered standard 24-pin connector and the additional connector PATA-the type that you want to connect when set to charge three or four graphics cards.

 

All eight DIMM slots for RAM standard DDR4 on an MSI Creator X299 have a metallic sheath of Steel Armor and extra soldering points on the back side of the PCB.

The total cost, it is possible to install 256GB of memory in eight modules, and if we talk about the maximum frequency, the application support modules with frequency of 4266 MHz, which now is no longer something extraordinary, but the effect on buyers will still produce. Of course, there is XMP support and an extensive list of officially qualified for this card modules.

For each of the four modules uses a dual-channel system power supply and a separate controller the Infineon IR35204.

 

Chipset Intel Express X299 (22 nm/6 W) is in contact with the radiator via a fabric pad impregnated with, the remains of which can be seen in the crystal after removal from the radiator.

It’s current flagship chipset Intel, although released two-and-a-half years ago. The recommended price is $ 74 US, it is not surprising that the price of a decent motherboard on this chipset is rarely below $ 300.

The MSI Creator X299 four full-size PCI Express 3.0, clad in Steel Armor sheath. Thus according to the soldering on the back side of the PCB is easy to determine that only the first and third can work at full x16 modes, and the lot of the second and the fourth is only x8.

 

This was confirmed by the specs of the Board, and more about the operation modes of the PCI Express slots for different processors and storage in ports, M. 2 says the following scheme.

Everything seems great (especially for processors with 48 lines PCI Express), but if you on-Board MSI Creator X299 will use the overall cooling system, it is next to the CPU socket slot will be blocked radiator (tested with supernumerary Noctua and Phanteks).

When using one graphics card it has no effect, because it can always be installed in the third slot, but a couple of graphics cards on this motherboard can be installed, only if your CPU waterblock, not supercooler.

Go on. Eight on-Board free chipset SATA ports 3 disposed in a horizontal orientation, and one port U. 2 (PCIe 3.0 x4). The last and previously was little demand, and now, in the era of high-speed and regularly falling SSD, it lost its relevance. But MSI apparently decided that a flagship Board should be all existing interfaces for drives.

In addition to the SATA on the Board has three port M. 2 with a capacity of up to 32 GB/s. the Upper is connected to the chipset and supports both SATA and PCI Express storage devices ranging in length from 42 to 110 mm.

Middle and lower are connected to the CPU and only supports PCI Express drives the same length. Over all ports of the installed plate-the implementation with the spacers.

In total, nineteen MSI Creator X299 USB ports. On the interface panel has 10 USB ports, including two USB 2.0 free chipset, seven USB 3.2 Gen1 (via ASMedia ASM1074) and one high-speed USB Gen2х2 3.2 Type-C implemented by the controller ASMedia ASM3242 and having bandwidth up to 20 GB/s.

Internal ports is represented by four ipsecname USB 2.0, four USB 3.2 Gen1 and one Gen2 3.2 USB Type-C (using ASMedia ASM3142) for the front panel of the system unit.

And let’s not forget about the additional ports on the expansion card Thunderbolt 3, which we told above.

On Board two wired network controller. First implemented by Intel I219-V c technology cFosSpeed.

The second is a high speed controller Aquantia AQC107 with a bandwidth of 10 Gbps.

The MSI Creator X299 there’s a wireless controller Intel wifi 6 AX200 supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax and Bluetooth 5, which can operate in frequency bands 2.4 and 5 GHz (160 MHz) with a bandwidth up to 2.4 Gbps and support for multi-interface MIMO (MU-MIMO).

The main audio chip on the Board is 7.1 channel HD audio Realtek ALC1220P.

Next soldered the Japanese Chemicon capacitors and gold-plated needle connector internal audio connector.

Additional optimizations of the audio path select breeding left and right channels in different layers of the PCB and the isolation of all audio components from the rest of the elements on the PCB is non-conductive strips. Declared support technology surround 3 in speed and performance.

For the functions of the Super I/O and monitoring on the Board is provided by controller Nuvoton NCT6797D-M.

Facilities include 8 fans with the regulation voltage or PWM. Each fan is individually adjusted in the BIOS or in the app.

Besides them, the MSI Creator X299 there is a connector to the flow velocity of fluid in the DLC, seven internal temperature sensor and one connector for external. The set is more than sufficient for any task.

Dual BIOS on the Board, with the support of the technology of automatic image restore the main chip from the backup. In addition, through a separate USB 2.0 port, you can update the BIOS without installing a CPU and RAM.

Despite not overclocking the positioning of the MSI Creator X299, the Board has not only led Boot/VGA/DRAM/CPU, but the indicator POST-codes, as well as the switch of operating modes of the CPU OC GENIE 4 Knob.

He has eleven pieces, each of which for a particular model of processor sets its frequency. The line switch and frequencies for each processor model is given in the table.

The backlight on the motherboard installed in the upper part of the casing of the interface panel and over the chipset heatsink. In addition, there are three connectors for the led strips, and control of the lighting system Mystic Light Infinity is possible through the same application, which is available to 26 different modes.

Lighting really looks nice and, most importantly, unobtrusive. The two connectors of the backlight located on the bottom edge of the PCB Board where they are combined with the power connectors, USB 2.0 connectors for fans.

The cooling system motherboard has no complaints. On the chipset is placed a massive radiator, which are connected to three plate heat spreader M. 2 drives.

The radiator circuit VRM processor power is relatively compact, but it is connected to 6-mm heat pipe with a massive radiator mounted behind interface panel.

The radiator has multiple fins and is further cooled by airflow from the CPU cooler. It does its job 100%, since temperatures above 65 degrees on the VRM circuits during the tests we recorded.

SOURCE

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