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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.


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.


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The Intel Core i9-9900KS: the gigahertz vs Ryzen

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The whole story of the appearance on the market of Core i9-9900KS from its very beginning made us feel deja vu. Why? It’s very simple, similar events we found sixteen years ago, when AMD released its revolutionary Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX to a class of Hammer. Then, to repel these innovations, Intel urgently organized the release is equipped with 2 MB L3-cache of the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, hastily converted from a server chip Xeon MP. Now, of course, the situation is somewhat different scenario, but the General plot outline remains the same. Without the ability to symmetrically respond to the daring encroachments of rival, Intel gets out as he can and instead of the new product family offers temporary flagship processors “rapid response”.

Core i9-9900KS is such made from scrap materials response Ryzen third generation. Remember, the announcement of the impending release of the Intel CPU made in early June at Computex – just a few days before the announcement Ryzen 3000. The significance of this step was easily guessed is just that, at which point it was made, because in reality, the Core i9-9900KS made it to the market only a few months in November. At that, what about Core i9-9900KS would have to say so far in advance, there is is a slightly overclocked version of OCTA-core Core i9-9900K, which in reality should be the main trump card of Intel only for the next few weeks, high pre-Christmas demand.

A full answer to Intel Ryzen 3000 we will see soon enough. Issue 10-core processors in Comet Lake is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. But if you want to put new Intel under the tree, the content will be Core i9-9900KS. However, do not think that it would be something like a “consolation” gift. Intel about skromnosti says about Core i9-9900KS this: “based on the Core i9-9900K, we made the world’s best gaming CPU is even better, “and it seems to be true.

Translated to marketing, this thesis means that received in the sale of Core i9-9900KS is a special version of the Core i9-9900K, built on selected semiconductor crystals, able to work at even higher clock frequencies. Moreover, the “special” literally: letter S that appeared in the end of the model number – it is short for Special Edition. Formal specs are such that Core i9-9900KS able to work on “beautiful” 5.0 GHz with simultaneous load on all eight cores. Confuses only one: the warranty period of such accelerated processor is limited to one year, while on a conventional Core i9-9900K (in single package) is given a three-year warranty.

The exclusivity of the Core i9-9900KS manufacturer underlines with a story that, for the manufacture of such a CPU it has to use a special procedure for the selection of semiconductor chips, causing the circulation of such processors becomes quite small. What specific number of “special” chips will be put on the market not reported, but you can be sure that in the next year to buy a Core i9-9900KS in the store will be problematic. This is due in part to the fact that the margin for the tab for the Special Edition and 5-GHz frequency is not so large and not able to become a major obstacle for buyers. The recommended price of the Core i9-9900KS — $513 for just $25 more than the cost of conventional Core i9-9900K.

However, the question of whether or not to chase it for a Core i9-9900KS, still remains, and the answer is we will try in this review in which we compare the new Intel with available alternatives from the same price category, among which the most interesting is not even the usual Core i9-9900K, and 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.

#Read more about Core i9-9900KS

Core i9-9900KS was the fifth member of the family Coffee Lake Refresh received model number 9900. His colleagues have always offered eight cores with support for Hyper-Threading technology and had a 16-megabyte L3-cache, but differed thermal package, with overclocking potential, the target frequencies and the presence or absence of the integrated graphics core. At the Core i9-9900KS as the culmination of the evolution of the ninth generation Core, all of these characteristics are unscrewed on a maximum value, but when matching with a previously released related processors, formal specification of Core i9-9900KS imagination does not impress.

Core i9-9900KS Core i9-9900K Core i9-9900KF Core i9-9900 Core i9-9900T
Cores/threads 8/16 8/16 8/16 8/16 8/16
Base frequency, GHz 4,0 3,6 3,6 3,1 2,1
Turbo frequency (max) GHz 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 4,4
L3 cache MB 16 16 16 16 16
Acceleration There There There No No
Integrated graphics UHD 630 UHD 630 No UHD 630 UHD 630
Memory, DDR4 2 × 2666 2 × 2666 2 × 2666 2 × 2666 2 × 2666
TDP, watts 127 95 95 65 35
Price $513 $488 $463 $439 $439

Imposing this table looks, except the calculated dissipation Core i9-9900KS — 127 watts. However, among the mass of processors there have been instances and hotter enough to remember, for example, about Intel Core 2 Extreme or AMD FX Black Edition thousandth series.

More high than the other 9900, the base frequency of the Core i9-9900KS absolutely nothing. First, as we know it, Intel never really work, and the real frequency determines the aggressiveness of the technology Turbo Boost 2.0. Second, the growth of the base frequency is a direct result of raising the heat of the package, because under the current wording, TDP just is defined as the dissipation of the processor at nominal base frequency.

Therefore, in order to assess the uniqueness of Core i9-9900KS fully, you need to look deeper, up to the maximum achievable within the turbo mode frequency when the load on different number of cores. It’s funny that recently Intel decided to remove information about the value of open access, and now the company is faced with the fact that this was done completely in vain, because without this advantage, Core i9-9900KS not to show it. However, with some patience the value of turbo frequencies can be ascertained experimentally or by using diagnostic utilities.

And only in this case the advantages of Core i9-9900KS become clearer: when the load on the six and more cores that the processor is allowed to operate at 300 MHz or 6.3% faster than Core i9-9900K and Core i9-9900KF.

  Base frequency, MHz Maximum frequency in turbo mode, MHz
8 cores 7 cores 6 cores 5 cores 4 cores 3 core 2 cores 1 core
Core i9-9900KS 4,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0 5,0
Core i9-9900K 3,6 4,7 4,7 4,7 4,8 4,8 4,9 5,0 5,0
Core i9-9900KF 3,6 4,7 4,7 4,7 4,8 4,8 4,9 5,0 5,0
Core i9-9900 3,1 4,6 4,7 4,7 4,8 4,8 4,9 5,0 5,0
Core i9-9900T 2,1 3,6 3,8 3,9 4,0 4,1 4,2 4,3 4,4

In fact, however, all this does not mean that by selecting Core i9-9900KS for your system, you will get 5.0 GHz at any load. Don’t forget that the turbo frequency is the maximum autorange, which is possible, but not guaranteed. The Turbo Boost technology 2.0 automatically increases CPU frequency not just on the basis of the number of operating cores, and taking into account other parameters, in particular, the nature of the load and, most importantly, caused by her consumption. The theory of sets of power consumption of the processor in turbo mode two limit values PL1 and PL2, which limits its short-term and long-term loads. Limit PL2, specifies the maximum consumption for long time intervals, is assumed to be the nameplate value TDP. The same limit PL1 is typically set to one quarter above PL2, allowing the processor to consume more than laid down in TDP, but only for small periods of time. Limit the duration of such time intervals is defined by the constant τ, which, according to the specification, can be selected in the range from 1 to 8 seconds.

All this means that when designing the Core i9-9900KS was laid, that he will consume no more than 127 watts when used for long periods and not more than 159 W for short. And consumption limits with a 5-gigagertsevogo frequency is clearly incompatible. For example, even Core i9-9900K at its turbo frequency of 4.7 GHz in multithreaded rendering in Cinebench R20 consumes around 195 watts. The new Core i9-9900KS at a frequency of 5.0 GHz in this test shows a consumption of about 220 watts.

So if all was fair and in accordance with the specification, it would be no 5.0 GHz we would not have seen even close. The following chart illustrates this, where we have built a frequency curve Core i9-9900KS depending on the load in Cinebench R20, built upon the work of the CPU with the correct limits PL1 and PL2 mounted to 127 and 159 watts. Immediately given, and a similar curve for Core i9-9900K, which are the limits in accordance with the specification set to a quarter lower at 95 watts and 119 watts.

Although Core i9-9900KS and operates with significantly higher frequency compared to Core i9-9900K, about any 5 GHz under full load it still is not. This frequency can be observed if the number of busy threads does not exceed six, and no more. Maximum load in the multi-threaded Cinebench R20 cuts the frequency of Core i9-9900KS to 4.5 GHz due to the fact that silicon Coffee Lake Refresh, produced by 14-nm technology, crossing the line in the 4.4-4.5 GHz is always sharply increasing energy appetite.

However, all of these concerning the frequency of surveys is interesting theoretically, because motherboard manufacturers with the tacit consent of Intel simply ignore the limits PL1 and PL2, setting them to maximum. To meet some meaningful setting these limits is possible only on low-cost motherboards with weak power, the overwhelming majority of Z390 platforms the default is twisting these limitations in maximum and obviously unattainable values. And that’s why reducing the frequency with the growth of power consumption within specification TDP in reality, Intel is not observed.

Until now, such a liberal attitude to power settings went Intel and motherboard makers with it. Everyone was happy, because the users eventually received while not as economical as stated in the specifications, but automatically overclock to the maximum turbo mode frequency of the system with improved performance.

But the Core i9-9900KS this focus takes place with difficulty. Operating at a frequency of 5.0 GHz, this CPU produces so much heat that can deal with it only selected cooling system. For example, during testing of our copy Core i9-9900KS we are faced with the failure of our usual air supercooler Noctua NH-U14S and NH-D15. And with a one-body and two-piece tower CPU when running Prime95 29.8 quickly reached the limit temperature of 115 degrees and sinking into the throttle. To achieve stable operation Core i9-9900KS at a frequency of 5.0 GHz in any program, without exception, was possible only after the transition to liquid cooling. Not aby what, and one of the most effective LSS closed loop NZXT Kraken X72, which includes a 360-mm radiator.

NZXT Kraken X72

NZXT Kraken X72

But even with such a powerful DLC the CPU temperature during the tests reached values of 108 degrees, which, however, is natural, given the 275-watt power Core i9-9900KS under heavy load, seasoned with AVX2 instructions.

All this means that the owners of the Core i9-9900KS unprepared cooling this processor properly, you can easily deal with temperature was throttling, even if they are armed with quite a powerful cooling system and will not overclock it. We are confident that soon the forums and groups in social networks will be swamped with complaints about overheating Core i9-9900KS with the default settings. From Intel there is only one way to avoid this: how to negotiate with producers of motherboards, that at least in the case of Core i9-9900KS they didn’t ignore setting consumption limits.

Of course, you need to keep in mind that we checked the temperature in Prime95 29.8 program, very much warming the processors search for the Mersenne numbers. Such heating occurs in the common problems not so often, but, for example, a high risk of overheating is, in the transcoding of video content modern encoders or rendering. Therefore, by setting the system Core i9-9900KS, better some time to devote to checking temperature and setting it up. We would recommend either to manually pick the consumption limits PL1 and PL2, or set down amendment to the frequency when using AVX instructions, or try to reduce the voltage. And the stories about the 5.0 GHz out of the box always and everywhere do not need to believe: this is hyperbole (literary exaggeration).

Here there is a reasonable question, and it better Core i9-9900KS than Core i9-9900K, if the 25-dollar overpayments for this CPU ensures no overheating to 5.0 GHz and also inevitably dooms the user to careful selection of cooling and additional configuration of the system? But the answer is still positive. As a minimum, Core i9-9900KS really based on selected crystal Lake Coffee Refresh, resulting in slightly lower temperatures and consumption at the same frequency and voltage. For example, we compared the thermal and power characteristics at our disposal copies of Core i9-9900KS and Core i9-9900K at a frequency of 4.7 GHz at a voltage of 1.25 V with liquid cooling system NZXT Kraken X72. And as can be seen from the results obtained when running a stress test like Prime95, Core i9-9900KS really is ceteris paribus more efficient and colder.

4.7 GHz, 1.25 V The maximum temperature Maximum consumption
Core i9-9900KS 86°C 218 W
Core i9-9900K 90°C 226 W

In addition, the Intel Core i9-9900KS, in contrast to Core i9-9900K and Core i9-9900KF guaranteed based on semiconducting crystals of R0 stepping CPU. This means that they have appeared hardware patches for some high-profile vulnerabilities, in particular Fallout and the Spectre V4 (Speculative Store Bypass). However, from a practical point of view it means not too much. Hardware fixes, like their software counterparts, about the same performance impact, and, ultimately, users of Core i9-9900KS did not win, except for the lack of the need to update the firmware and install critical operating system updates and software.


Given how heated Core i9-9900KS when working in nominal mode at 5.0 GHz, to expect from him some of the feats of acceleration would be weird. However, to achieve higher frequencies, overclockers can use special spare tool that helps with overclocking HEDT-Core processors, X-series. Namely, the limit frequency when operating the CPU with AVX instructions.

That in the case of Core i9-9900KS it can have a positive impact on the result, he says, for example, that resort to it all the foreign shops offering samples of Core i9-9900KS with a guarantee of overclocking. And Caseking.deand when you sort processor share reduction amendment -2 or -3 for the coefficient of multiplication when working with AVX instructions.

But it did not help. Our copy Core i9-9900KS could not ensure stability at the frequency of 5.1 GHz when working with resource-consuming programs, even if they did not use AVX instructions. In other words, the processor was actually, without any overclocking potential, 5.0 GHz – his ceiling.

However, to be surprised about this absolutely should not be. We are dealing with already pre-overclocked factory CPU that was selected among the usual Core i9-9900K just on the principle of performance at 5.0 GHz. And if its overclocking potential would allow to take a more distant frontiers, Intel probably would have used it to improve the performance of its proposal, because it is not a mass product, but on a special limited-edition series of processors.

In fact, all this is well corroborated by the results of the selection of the most successful representatives of family Core i9-9900KS, which is conducted by specialists of the store Collected them according to the statistics dispersed on 5.0 GHz only one of the three copies of Core i9-9900KS. And we obviously “happy” chip this time not got.


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Review AMD Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500: Zen 2 for Russia and China

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Hardly anyone would argue with the fact that the processors Ryzen 3000 could significantly strengthen the position of AMD in the desktop segment. “Thank you” for this is to say microarchitecture Zen 2, which was much better than the Zen and Zen+ used in processors Ryzen before. The increase in specific productivity in Zen 2 noticeable 15% in the aggregate 5% increase in clock frequency,is provided with a 7-nm process technology, doubling the capacity of the cache memory of the third level and double extension block floating point operations gave an undeniable synergistic effect. As a result, processors Ryzen first and second generations, which until recently seemed pretty good options for desktop systems, now permanently dropped to the second League, speaking on background Ryzen 3000 exclusively in the role of “poor relatives”. Yes there past Ryzen, new members of the family is now possible even in a fair number of cases, to flout the actual mass Intel processors, offering at comparable price the best computational performance.

Illustrates that giant leap forward, which could make AMD, the situation with prices Ryzen different generations: the flagship CPU microarchitecture Zen+, Ryzen 7 2700X, now sold for $190, that is cheaper one of the youngest media micro Zen 2, Ryzen 5 3600. It turns out that the invisible hand of the market quickly pushed all of Ryzen the first and second generations, the solution below the average level, while the upper market segments were completely at the mercy of members of the family Ryzen 3000.

In fact, it is for this reason AMD did not release based on the microarchitecture Zen 2 processors priced below $200 – the emergence of such models would not allow her to sell the chips to past generations, which stocks in the warehouses of the company, obviously, is far from depletion. So do not expect that in the foreseeable future the market will be cheap Ryzen members of the series 3000, which, for example, to the class Ryzen 3. Strap the entrance to the club owners, the media micro Zen 2 will remain at a high level for a long time.

But even the strictest rules there are exceptions, and the situation with the new Junior model Ryzen 3000 – a case in point. The fact that AMD is a flexible company that continually analyzes market conditions and are ready to quickly make targeted decisions to strengthen their positions. In the result of this analysis, it was observed that in some regions a very high popular six-core processor-level Intel Core i5-9400 and i5-9400Fthat many users are willing to choose as the basis for a relatively inexpensive gaming builds. Among the current proposals like AMD for the price and gaming performance options initially was not provided, leading to loss of company of a certain share of the market.

AMD quickly realized that to resolve this situation it is necessary to release a slightly more affordable model Ryzen 3000, which would be an alternative to the Junior Intel shestiyaderny and pulled on his interest buyers cheap gaming PC. But in order not to undermine the implementation channel Ryzen past generations, to sell the Junior processors Ryzen 3000, it was decided not globally, but only in those countries where the popular Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F is really high. “Tricky” models, selectively opposed to the younger versions of the Core i5, steel Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5, as well as their target audience has been selected, users from China, Russia and some Eastern European countries, where demand has historically shifted towards cheaper models of CPU. And it could work: on the one hand, Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 got the value of $150, allowing them to make Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F in one market segment, and on the other they have six cores Zen 2, providing a quite competitive level of performance, at least at first glance.

However, Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 still differ markedly from the more expensive six-core processors Ryzen Ryzen 3600X and 5 5 3600. In their regional AMD chips shut off the SMT technology, that is, each core Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 can perform only one and not a pair of computing threads. But their juxtaposition against the Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F it absolutely doesn’t, because six-core Intel processors also do not support Hyper-Threading. As for the difference between Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5, it is not too obvious and is not in clock frequencies, and the size of the cache memory of the third level: the Junior model L3-cache is reduced from 32 to 16 MB.

AMD’s original plan was to offer Ryzen 5 3500X in the Chinese market, and Ryzen 5 3500 in Russia. But in reality, domestic users are luckier because they can get their hands on as he and another processor. In particular, Ryzen 5 3500 gradually appears on the Windows of the large computer shops, while Ryzen 5 3500X you can buy on Aliexpress. As such, we felt duty-bound to conduct detailed testing of both processors in order to establish whether it was true, they can be considered a good alternative to Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F; how their performance is worse than the usual 5 shestiyaderny Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3600X 3600; and whether it is necessary to deal with these artificially reduced native architecture Zen 2, when for the same or even less you can buy some of the full Ryzen processors of the previous generation.

#5 about Ryzen Ryzen 3500X 3500 and 5 more

With the advent of processors under Ryzen 5 3600 model number desktop media micro Zen 2 was better.

Cores/ Threads Base frequency, MHz Turbo frequency MHz L3 cache MB TDP, watts Chipley Price
Ryzen 9 3950X 16/32 3,5 4,7 64 105 2×CCD + I/O $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12/24 3,8 4,6 64 105 2×CCD + I/O $499
Ryzen 7 3800X 8/16 3,9 4,5 32 105 CCD + I/O $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8/16 3,6 4,4 32 65 CCD + I/O $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6/12 3,8 4,4 32 95 CCD + I/O $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6/12 3,6 4,2 32 65 CCD + I/O $199
Ryzen 5 3500X 6/6 3,6 4,1 32 65 CCD + I/O ~$170
Ryzen 5 3500 6/6 3,6 4,1 16 65 CCD + I/O ~$155

Immediately evident that Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 look at the background of Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3600X 3600 5 somewhat alien. Senior and Junior model class Ryzen 5 close clock frequencies, but they have different nuclear formula. Although all of these processors – shestiyaderny in Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 number of simultaneously executed threads is six, i.e. twice less than in 5 and 3600X Ryzen Ryzen 5 3600. Generally, users Ryzen for such a serious distinction of characteristics within the same class of processors is already accustomed to. For example, in the past generation of processors under the brand Ryzen 5 AMD offered at the same time and six-core and Quad-core CPU. Now the number of cores different Ryzen 5 remained the same, but in the younger members of the series of disconnected technology SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading), which previously were blocked by the manufacturer solely in the processor class Ryzen 3.

And it would be a quite normal approach for differentiating one class if he didn’t break the whole paradigm of AMD. Still the basis of the company’s strategy in the consumer market were to offer users the best possibilities of multi-threading compared to Intel in the same price category. New Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 for the number of cores and threads fully on par with the Core i5 processors. However, this does not mean that AMD did a kind of “analogue Core i5-9400F” the microarchitecture Zen 2. In fact, considering the novelty is still superior to Intel processors for a number specification.

Ryzen 5 3500X Ryzen 5 3500 Core i5-9400 Core i5-9400F
The number of cores 6 6 6 6
The number of threads 6 6 6 6
Base frequency, GHz 3,6 3,6 2,9 2,9
Turbo frequency, GHz 4,1 4,1 4,1 4,1
L3 cache MB 32 16 9 9
TDP, watts 65 65 65 65
Memory, DDR4 2 x 3200 2 x 3200 2 x 2666 2 x 2666
Graphics core No No UHD 630 No
Average price 10 500 RUB 10 000 RUB 12 000 RUB 11 000 RUB

Speaking about the merits of Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500, AMD can focus on two things. First, younger Ryzen 5 compared to the Core i5 have more volume L3 cache, which is not inferior cache in the third level Refresh Coffee Lake from the point of view of latency. Moreover, this is true not only for Chinese Ryzen 5 3500X with a 32-megabyte L3-cache, but even for Russian Ryzen 5 3500, despite the fact that most affordable modification Ryzen 5 cache memory is reduced in volume by half.

Second, the AMD processors support faster memory. Formally, we are talking about DDR4-3200, but in fact Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500, like any other mass AMD processors based on the microarchitecture Zen 2 is compatible with faster memory, up to DDR4-3600. Moreover, due to improvements in Ryzen third generation memory controller, high-speed DDR4 SDRAM can be used in all motherboards, including those based on older chipsets X470, even B450 and B350. At the same time, for Intel Core i5-9400 and Core i5-9400F in the specs the performance is declared only with DDR4-2666. In part, this condition is also formally: if the Core i5 processor installed in the motherboard the chipset Z370 or Z390, the memory can operate at arbitrarily high frequencies – this is no problem. However, in low-cost platforms using chipsets H370, B360 (B365) or H310 specifications and the limitation starts to play a role in such cases to operate the memory with a higher than DDR4-2666 frequency will not work.

We should also mention the clock frequency. Although advertised for 5 Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3500X 3500 base frequency values substantially higher than the Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F, in reality, all these processors are operating at the same frequency. Turbo mode in Core i5-9400 and Core i5-9400F even load on all six cores keep them running at 3.9 GHz, about the same frequency you can see at full load and at Ryzen Ryzen 5 or 5 3500X 3500.

Ryzen 5 3500X

Ryzen 5 3500X

Ryzen 5 3500

Ryzen 5 3500

As seen in the screenshots, and 5 3500X Ryzen, Ryzen 5 and 3500 under load on all cores develop the frequency of 3.95 GHz. And this is about 100-150 MHz below the frequency at which full load working shestiyaderny AMD higher class Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3600X 3600 5, although younger shestiyaderny and stated exactly the same base frequency as for Ryzen 5 3600.

Speed L3 cache and the memory subsystem in the Junior six-core Ryzen there are no surprises. Despite the fact that Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 differ dramatically in the amount of L3 cache, it is his capacity, not bandwidth or latency is a major cause of the difference in their performance. That is, a full-sized 32-magarity and trimmed the 16-megabyte L3-cache in this processor offers approximately the same performance.

Ryzen 5 3500X

Ryzen 5 3500X

Ryzen 5 3500

Ryzen 5 3500

However, with the synthetic CacheMem test from the Aida64 package to notice some differences in bandwidth and latency path is still possible. The cache is a smaller size Ryzen 5 3500 slightly faster than the full-size version, but at the same time at the speed of memory operation is a small the advantage is over Ryzen 5 3500X with full L3-cache capacity of 32 MB. However, the differences are in any case unimportant: if we talk about latency, it is no more than two bars.

The apparent lack of differences between Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 is not surprising. These processors are based on the same silicon basis, common to all desktop AMD offerings to a class of Zen 2 and the number of cores not more than eight. Both CPU are under the CPU cover, two semiconductor crystal, one of which is the standard eight-core 7-nm crystal CCD, and the second on 12-nm crystal cIOD that contains the memory controller, the logical part of the tire Infinity Fabric and elements of the SoC. Lock for the considered models Ryzen 5 two “extra” cores and SMT technology, as truncating the cache Ryzen 5 3500 runs at the production stage logically, however, the possibility of restoring lost characteristics by the user hope not. The last time unlocking cores and cache, AMD has allowed the processors of the Phenom, and it was a very long time. In addition, you need to understand that processors like Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 convenient for the manufacturer so that they can be widely applied in the sorting of partially inoperative semiconductor crystals with defects of single cores or cache.


We usually say that the overclocking Ryzen third generation is deprived practical sense: the manufacturer its technology Autonomous dynamic overclocking Precision Boost 2.0 already squeezed them dry. However, the nominal clock frequency Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5 are somewhat lower than more expensive counterparts, even in comparison with other shestidennomu. For example, Ryzen 5 3600X under load on all cores running at a frequency of about 4.1 GHz, and for 5 and 3500X Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500 that is the limit in turbo mode.

So deliberately expunged from consideration overclocking potential, referring to its insignificance, we will not. Moreover, the possibility of increasing the frequency above the rated values is another competitive plus Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 5 3500X 3500 in the fight against the Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F, which surely will be remembered as in advertising and in online discussions. And it’s true: the younger shestiyaderny Intel is certainly not dispersed, and all processors Ryzen, including today’s heroes, have a free multiplier, which gives a chance to further improve performance.

However, as shown, to a noticeable acceleration of the Junior shestiyaderny better not to hope. These processors can get quite “weak” semiconductor crystals capable of stable operation only in the neighborhood of the nominal clock frequency. So it was that we were able to sample Chinese Ryzen 5 3500X. It is with great difficulty mastered the frequency is increased to 4.05 GHz, which required to raise its voltage to 1.4 V – level, which is the case if acceleration is planned to be used constantly, is “on the verge”.

At higher frequencies the processor is not passed the stability check, which we traditionally hold in 29.8 Prime95 in Small FFT mode with enabled AVX instructions. But even at the relatively low frequency of 4.05 GHz heating during tests reached 86 degrees with that cooling system using a productive cooler Noctua NH-U14S.

But the second CPU, the Russian Ryzen 5 3500, by contrast, turned out to be overclocking very malleable. It easily managed to bring the frequency to 4.3 GHz, but this record acceleration for all tested until now, members of the family Ryzen 3000. Moreover, to ensure the stable operation of Ryzen 5 3500 at this frequency does not even require a particularly strong bully of his food. No stability issues have not arisen when choosing a voltage of 1.35 V.

Temperature Ryzen 5 3500 under load with the cooler Noctua NH-U14S reached 90 degrees, but we have long been accustomed that the 7-nm processors AMD hot chips. In addition, based on overclocking results, we can conclude that the inherited instance CPU has a fairly high leakage currents.

If you compile two fundamentally different result of dispersal Ryzen Ryzen 5 3500X 3500 and 5, we can conclude that in these AMD processors can use much different in quality of semiconductor crystals. They can get as second grade who couldn’t find use processors with higher clock frequencies and very good in the sense of the frequency potential of the chip. Here could be as lucky, so that cheap shestiyadernik can significantly disperse, it is better not to rely on.

The point here is in the fact that all of the model series 3000 Ryzen in fact designed to work about the same clock frequency in the neighborhood of 4.0-4.2 GHz. For the differentiation of varieties of AMD relies on other features – the number of cores, TDP and now the SMT technology and the size of the cache memory. Therefore the usual principle that the younger the processors is almost always possible to disperse the frequency to the level of a senior in this case means almost nothing. Acceleration of any Ryzen 3000, especially one that is not using the function Precision Boost Override, and synchronous across all cores, can bring performance improvements at best only a few percent.


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Overview of ASRock X570 Steel Legend: elementary level X570

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Still, we were introduced exclusively with expensive boards representatives on the basis of a set of logic X570. They are definitely interesting, but the interest is more theoretical. In practice, the majority of consumers with a lot more emphasis on the platforms cheaper. Despite the fact that AMD considers itself a new Socket AM4-chipset X570 among the flagship options, manufacturers can offer not only expensive, but relatively affordable motherboard based on it. And if you delve into the comparison specification X570-boards with radically different price positioning, it suddenly turns out that the $ 700 fee like the recently reviewed ASUS Crosshair Formula VIII is not so much superior card at a price of about $200. And if so, whether it is worth to pay more for the flagship product of premium level?

To answer this question, we will help motherboard ASRock X570 Steel Legend. This popular 200-dollar platform for processors Ryzen 3000, which was in our lab. With its help we try to thoroughly analyze what you will lose customers on Board the chipset X570, if they decide not to spend money on expensive motherboard. Although we will further discuss about the specific offer of the company ASRock, in fact, the name of the manufacturer there is almost no role — similar to X570 Steel Legend at a price and generally similar in meaning X570 solution is from other manufacturers: ASUS TUF Gaming it will be X570-Plus, Gigabyte – Aorus X570 Elite, and MSI – MPG X570 Gaming Edge. All boards in this price range have a fairly predictable list of differences from products with a high cost: they are deprived of rich RGB-backlight, they use more simple power supply circuit, no detailed hardware diagnostics, connected to the processor only a single slot PCI Express x16 slot, network capability is restricted to a single Gigabit controller, as well as, most likely, there are some limits on the number of SATA ports and USB.

All this, of course, doesn’t look any catastrophic flaws, but the devil, as you know, is in the details. In this case, these parts are the design and layout. Not to distinguish the 200-dollar cost of the more expensive products it is impossible: it immediately raises many questions concerning ease of use. On the other hand, the layout is mostly subjective. While enthusiasts typically choose a Board aimed at conducting a variety of tests and experiments, the mass audience is far from such scenarios. Many actually pick out my own computer once and then close it in the case and don’t do any optimization or modernization. And in this case, inexpensive cards can be justified and rational.

In this review, we describe in more detail where complications can arise in active use $ 200 ASRock X570 Steel Legend as a platform for experiments and try to explain why for the ordinary lowly users, this is quite a decent option.

However, detailed familiarity with the next charge will not be the only storyline of this material. As if to confirm the thesis that the AM4 Socket is a platform for experimentation, AMD recently released a new version of AGESA library ABBA, which adjusted the frequency formula of processors Ryzen 3000. A new BIOS should improve their operating frequencies and, consequently, performance. At this point, we also pay special attention to the example of the ASRock X570 Steel Legend check to see if your when you update the firmware of the motherboard, the owners of AMD processors can increase the performance of their systems.


ASRock has traditionally produced a wide range of motherboards based on chipset X570. To the class of the mainstream decision among them can be referred ASRock X570 X570 Steel Legend and Extreme4. Furthermore, along with this pair there are cheaper fees for X570: Phantom Gaming X570 X570 4 and Pro4. However, ASRock X570 Steel Legend looks among all of these alternatives as the Golden mean. On the one hand, the price does not bite, and the other — in features no signs of obvious savings.

Moreover, the credibility X570 Steel Legend cause at least that uses the same PCB design that X570 Extreme4, which is 20% more expensive. The “steel” Board has all the necessary elements of the cooling system, including the two heatsink on the VRM and the heat-dissipating plate on the M. 2 slots. Also in its favor is the fact that the elemental base Board is composed of high-quality and well-established controllers: network Intel I211AT and sound Realtek ALC1220. In other words, if you look at the Datasheet, it seems that ASRock X570 Steel Legend is a very decent choice for a strong Ryzen-secondary level.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend
Supported processors AMD Ryzen 2nd and 3rd generations
Chipset AMD X570
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4, up to 128 Gbytes, up to DDR4-4666, two channels
Expansion slots 1 × PCI Express 3.0/4.0 x16;
1 × 4.0 PCI Express x16 (mode x4);
3 × PCI Express x1 4.0
The storage interface 8 × SATA 6GB/s;
1 × M. 2 (PCI-E 4.0/3.0 x4 devices format 2242/2260/2280);
1 × M. 2 (PCI-E 4.0/3.0 x4/SATA 6GB/s devices format 2242/2260/2280/22100)
USB ports 1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 on the rear panel;
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C rear panel;
6 × 3.2 Gen1 USB on the rear panel;
4 × USB Gen1 3.2 internal connectors;
4 × USB 2.0 internal connectors
Network controllers 1 x Intel I211AT (Ethernet 1 Gbps)
Audio 1 × Realtek ALC1220 S1220 (7.1)
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × HDMI;
1 × DisplayPort 1.2;
1 × USB Gen2 3.2 (Type-C);
1 × 3.2 Gen2 USB (Type-A);
6 × 3.2 Gen1 USB (Type-A);
1 × RJ-45;
5 x audio connector type mini-Jack;
1 × S/PDIF (optical, output);
1 × PS/2 for mouse or keyboard
Form factor ATX (305 × 244 mm)
Price $200 (recommended)

If we compare ASRock X570 X570 Steel Legend with cards in the same price category from other manufacturers, it appears that the product-ASRock, offers a greater number of SATA ports and USB, has a slot M. 2 Type E for Wi-Fi module, and uses high-quality Intel network controller. In other words, X570 Steel Legend likable from the first minute Dating.

#Packaging equipment

ASRock X570 Steel Legend comes in a disproportionately large box, the design of which is hardly strict.


The front side is given over to the name Board, information about the most strong sides of the product can be found on the reverse side. ASRock’s marketing Department wished to highlight the presence of on-Board RGB led lights, and two slots M. 2 with support for PCI Express 4.0. In addition, attention is paid to high power Converter processor power (which is true only in part), mechanically reinforced steel frame PCI Express x16 4.0 and preloaded plug rear panel (I/O Shield), which for boards this price category is not found always.

We rarely engage in detailed analysis of boxes, but about how packages its products ASRock, it’s still worth to say. The fact that the Board of this manufacturer come dressed in a special transport frame, which should ensure their safety even when meeting the most severe riggers.

The supplied ASRock X570 Steel Legend poor, which makes sense for a relatively inexpensive product. In the box, in addition to the cost and paper manual, found four SATA cables, as well as two struts and the three screws for fastening the M. 2 drives or other fees.

#Design and capabilities

As already noted, the ASRock X570 Steel Legend has a close relationship with ASRock Extreme4 X570, differing from it only in design. While the Extreme4 received a more traditional look, X570 Steel Legend painted in some variant of black-and-white urban camouflage.

Individual decoration are the elements of the cooling system, preserving the natural aluminum color and have received a led backlight. However, the colors are not overwhelming fees are highlighted on the radiators only lettering and logos, and of emphasizing their line. The result X570 Steel Legend looks at least original, although it can be assumed that this design will satisfy everyone.

To talk more about the artistic value of ASRock X570 Steel Legend we won’t, because this Board there are far more pressing problems for the layout. Significant difficulties experienced by the potential user when building and upgrading systems with this Board for two.

First, all the expansion slots are shifted up one position, which is clearly seen on the diagram.

Therefore, the bottom Board is formed useless free region and in a vicinity of Socket AM4, on the contrary, getting too crowded. For example, if you want to put the CPU tower cooler has 140 mm fans, be ready to that bracket, the fan will scrape on the rear surface of the card. Moreover, we can assume that the card with thick plates generally back can rest against the radiator of the CPU cooler.

The second problem is that the cover of the chipset and teplosetevaya plate slots M. 2 represent a single detail. It turns out that to install any M. 2 drive you need to remove the entire casing as a whole, what to do when installed in the PCIe x16 slot the video card is impossible, since the first M. 2 slot is exactly under it. Thus, if the user at some point want to install in their system, and collected on the basis of ASRock X570 Steel Legend, the second M. 2 drive, it will have to completely disassemble the entire computer. Access to both M. 2 slots to get without pulling out the video card and the video card to withdraw very difficult, if the processor has a large cooler, which most likely will block access to the latch of the PCIe x16 slot. In other words, ASRock X570 Steel Legend – this Board is not for those who frequently change the hardware configuration of the system.

Complaints about the location of the PCIe x16 slot, designed for the installation of the graphics card, arise not only due to the fact that it rests too close to the CPU socket. The developers of ASRock for some reason decided to place in a narrow strip around the slot and the first slot is for M. 2 drives, and the chipset X570. How effectively we will be able to cool all these components – the big question.

Indeed: under the graphics card will get not only the NVMe drive, but the air intake fan is the chipset, which operates on the centrifugal principle. Aggravates the situation and shape of the sink is a flat plate with four symbolic edges.

See the chipset temperature is around 70 degrees under load on the GPU is a snap.

Even if the chipset is not occupied by any serious operations, it will easily heat up the video card.

While cooling the chipset and M. 2 slots have caused us numerous nitpicking, to the cooling of the Converter of CPU power no major problems. For a cheap Board it is enough. For heating elements installed two not connected with each other aluminum radiator not the most primitive form pressed to him screw fixation.

Even despite the fact that on the reverse side of the Board no reinforcing and heat distribution plates are not provided, such cooling copes with maintaining an acceptable temperature of the power circuit.

For example, when tests ASRock X570 Legend Steel outdoor stand with a processor Ryzen 9 3900X with liquid cooling, that is, in the absence of air flow in the vicinity of the Socket AM4 heating the CPU VRM area does not exceed 90 degrees, according to its own sensor, as applied for in the scheme of the power stage allowed operating temperatures up to 150 degrees.

However, no problems with heating power supply for ASRock X570 Steel Legend is not so much a well thought out cooling as a large power reserve. ASRock says on their website about a 10-phase VRM design, and in its composition is actually used ten power stage Vishay Integrated SiC632A: two for power SoC and eight computational cores. Given the fact that these integrated circuits can long-term to give a current up to 50 A, it turns out that X570 Steel Legend can stably supply the power the CPU is consuming up to 500 A. In reality, even the older Ryzen 3000, collected on the basis of two CCD, the maximum achievable for them to disperse more than 300 And not consume.

However, regarding the number of “good” phases of the power supply ASRock potential users several dezinformare. In fact, their on-X570 Steel Legend six in all – four for the CPU, two for the SoC. Controls the Converter PWM controller Intersil ISL69147, to which is added four doubler Intersil ISL6617A CPU phases, creating four “virtual” phase.

Four fair-processor phase – this is the minimal configuration of the VRM on motherboards using the chipset X570. And even among low-cost Board can be found such, where the CPU wound up five or even six power phases. As example, Gigabyte: Aorus Elite or X570 X570 Gaming X. But four phases – it’s not a disaster, the design of the Converter power supply uses a huge fleet of Socket AM4-motherboard the average, and the problem will not arise. And X570 Steel Legend, unlike the many boards on previous chipsets, used more powerful items.

Expensive motherboards X570 normally support SLI technology, allowing you to distribute the processor PCI Express 4.0 on two slots. To X570 Steel Legend is not true, it CPU the PCIe x16 slot only one — and it’s always running at x16. In addition, the Board displayed a further three PCIe x1 slots and one PCIe x16 slot working at x4 speed. For these slots meets the chipset. The PCIe x16 slot intended for graphics cards, is additionally reinforced with a metal frame and has gold plating on the contacts.

Under the first and second PCIe x16 slots are two slots for M. 2 drives. As well as the PCIe slots, they can work in mode PCI Express 4.0 (assuming the installation cost of modern processor Ryzen third generation). The difference between them is that AM4 Socket closest to the slot meets the processor, but for the far – chipset, plus in the long slot can be set not only a standard 8-inch, but “long” M. 2 module form factor 22110. In addition, X570 Steel Legend can be detected, and another M. 2 slot is located at the center of the Board. It is specially designed for installation of Wi-Fi adapters and is connected to the chipset not four, but only one line of PCI Express.

Drives with SATA-interface for ASRock X570 Steel Legend can be connected through the eight SATA ports serviced by the chipset. Speaking about the internal ports, it is also worth mentioning that the Board includes two needle Gen1 3.2 USB connector (USB 3.0) and two connectors USB 2.0. They are all located on the edges of the Board.

For work audio section X570 Steel Legend meets eight-channel codec Realtek ALC1220, which is slightly higher than the characteristics usually used in cheap motherboards ALC1200 chip. No additional DAC, like the expensive boards, not here, but the conclusions on the front panel of the case uses discrete amplifier Texas Instruments NE5532, able to “pump” high-impedance headphones. Of course, have not gone away, and all the other trappings of a modern integrated sound cards. The scheme uses special capacitors Nichicon “Fine Gold”, the left and right channels separated on different layers of the Board, and the entire audio path is completely electrically separated from the rest of the Board.

Network interface ASRock X570 Steel Legend only one responsible for it Gigabit Intel I211AT. And this is another advantage of this motherboard, as such price platforms are often equipped with a cheaper Realtek NICs.

In addition to the five analogue audio, optical S/P-DIF-out and Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 connector on the rear panel Board placed a monitor outputs, DisplayPort and HDMI (with support for resolutions up to 4096 × 2160 @ 60 FPS and HDCP 2.2 with HDR, you can use them during the installation cost of APU), as well as eight USB ports. Six of them are standard USB 3.2 Gen1, the other two high-speed USB 3.2 Gen2, and one of them is executed in the form of a symmetric connector Type-C. Also on the rear panel has one PS/2 connector for mouse and keyboard. It is noteworthy that the plug on the rear panel, which on ASRock X570 Steel Legend preinstalled, and even covered, just like on the boards is a high level, there are two openings intended for output to the outside of Wi-Fi antennas. So when you install this module card wireless network one problem will be less.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend endowed with a minimum of diagnostic tools. On this Board there are no hardware buttons and indicator POST-codes, but to understand in General terms the cause of problems if the system does not start, is still possible. The answer to this question will give four led indicators, showing which stage gets the process of passing POST. However, technologies that enable emergency flash BIOS in Astatula the system is not provided.

But in terms of hardware monitoring, all done very soundly. The Board allows the connection of two CPU and six case fans. All connection points support rpm control, and may deliver current up to 2 A, which is enough including pumps for liquid cooling systems. In addition, some attention paid to the connectivity Board for more decorative lighting. To X570 Steel Legend, you can connect two RGB led strips and a single addressable strip, consuming up to 36 and 15 W, respectively. All lighting can be controlled via a proprietary app ASRock Polychrome Sync.


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