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Review ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING: what is the fee required for overclocking 8-core Intel chips

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Motherboard manufacturers are thoroughly prepared for the release of a-series chips Coffee Lake Refresh — especially the 8-core models Core i7 and Core i9 9700K-9900K. Reveal a little mystery: the editors met with various devices, and ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING is the first “swallow”, which is tested from the test lab. Details about the peculiarities of the Z390 Express chipset you can read the review of the latest 8-core “coffee” chips. Now let’s see what (including in terms of acceleration) can charge the middle class. Or the new 8-core, you need something more fancy?

ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING

ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING

#Specifications and packaging

As always, all main features are shown in the table below. I note only that ASUS on its official website at the time of writing this review, already posted information about 11 boards on the basis of Z390-chipset. ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING — a typical representative of the middle class, the steeper it only motherboard MAXIMUS series XI, which will be described in the other reviews.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING
Supported processors Intel 9-th and 8-th generations (Core, Pentium and Celeron Gold) for LGA1151 platform-v2
Chipset Intel Z390 Express
Memory subsystem 4 × DIMM slots, up to 64 GB of DDR4-2133-4266 (OC)
Expansion slots 3 × PCI Express x16
3 × PCI Express x1
The storage interface 1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280), support a SATA 6GB/s and PCI Express x4
1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280/22110) with support for PCI Express x4
6 × SATA 6GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 10
LAN Intel I219V, 10/100/1000 Mbps
Wireless network Intel Wireless-AC 9560
Audio ROG SupremeFX (S1220A) 7.1 HD
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × HDMI
1 × DisplayPort
1 × RJ-45
1 × optical S/PDIF
3 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C
2 × USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A
2 × USB 2.0 Type A
5 × 3.5 mm audio
Form factor ATX
Price No data

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

  • User manual, stickers with the logo of ROG, stickers for your SATA cables, badge on the door knob, and optical media with software and drivers;
  • The antenna for the wireless communication module;
  • Four SATA cable;
  • Two extensions to connect the RGB strip;
  • Additional screws for securing the SSD;
  • Nylon ties;
  • 40 mm fan and mounting tool;
  • Thermocouple;
  • HB SLI-bridge to connect two graphics cards.
 

The attentive reader may have noticed a lack of one important accessory which is essential for the Assembly of the computer housing. Well, let’s look at the Board design in more detail.

#Design and capabilities

It would be strange if the device-level ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING gathered on the basis of a stripped-down PCB. No, the design of the products ASUS uses a full sized (305х244 mm) printed circuit Board, and this fact can not but rejoice.

With the wiring of the expansion slots and other connectors at the ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING all right. Thus, the device has three ports PCI Express x1, and the same PCI Express x16. The first PEG port intended for graphics cards, so underneath no slots no in 2018 should still try to find online discrete adapter, cooling system which will not take two or more expansion slots in the housing. Of course, ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING technology supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire both PCI Express x16 in this case, it will work according to the scheme x8+x8. By the way, this couple PEG ports are further reinforced. Metal frame called SafeSlot, according to ASUS, increases the strength of the port by 1.8 times under the load of fracture, and 1.6 times when the load on the pulling.

The third PCI Express x16 slot always runs at x4 speed.

Personally, I was most struck by the presence on the Board from seven (!) connectors for fans. All — 4-pin. Finally, before manufacturers realize that a lot is not enough. Moreover, in the case form factor Midi-Tower may use six or more impellers. Because modern boards are able to adjust the frequency of rotation not only the “Carlson” with PWM, then there is no need to use additional “trimmings” like a fan controller, or pick a case with a built-in controller for the fans. Beauty!

The engineers decided to place three pads for connecting fans in the lower right part of the PCB next to the SATA ports. There are connectors marked M. 2_FAN, W_PUMP and CHA_FAN2. From the names of these connectors is already clear what they are. On the ASUS website, for example, to download the drawing of the special fasteners for the fan that comes in the kit, and use it to cool the M. 2 drive. Port W_PUMP useful to those who will collect custom DLC — tank pump usually mounted in the lower part of the Tower housing.

Next to the socket there is a connector AIO_PUMP, it is designed to connect the pump unattended “dropsy”. In General, on the basis of the ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING to really build a powerful system with lots of fans. To me this approach is like!

 

Another fashion is the use of two M. 2 ports on the Board. The primary connector supports drives with a length of 42, 60 and 80 mm, they can be connected through the interface PCI Express x4 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/s (in this case, it will shut down the port marked SATA6G_2). This M. 2 port is located very well, in my opinion. First installed here SSD will not be blocked by the graphics card and there will be no additional warm up. Secondly, when using the air cooling system the SSD will be further Abdovitsa.

The second M. 2 slot with a video card only when using CrossFire or SLI array. This connector supports drives with a length of 42, 60, 80 and even 110 mm, but it works in mode PCI Express x4. Both M. 2 slot is equipped with aluminum radiators for additional cooling of the SSD. With chip and memory chips, these plates are in contact with the pads.

In addition to a couple M. 2 soldered on the Board pads, six SATA 6 GB/s — they are located in the usual ATX-mainboard.

Among the internal connectors note the internal USB 3.1 Gen2, which is soldered next to the 24-pin power connector of the motherboard. In the bottom of the Board there are pads for connecting the F-audio, COM, 12-volt RGB strips, NODE, TPM, EXT_FAN, USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 Gen1. In the upper part of the PCB near the 4-pin connectors for fans, there is one connector for connecting the 12-volt RGB tape. And near ports SATA 6 GB/s — one for 5-volt modding accessories. Connector NODE allows you to monitor and control the system using other devices connected to the Board. For example, In Win introduced the case with an integrated OLED panel. And FSP is the PSU HydroDPM that you can just connect to your ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING. Port EXT_FAN you can connect three fan. However, complete no wires required for this operation, I have not found.

As for the backlight, on the card is the logo of “Republic” and inscription below.

If I remember correctly, it is ASUS first started to get rid of the stubs I/O panel for the case. In my opinion, it’s very simple but at the same time very effective design move.

As for the interfaces, the panel I / o I note the presence of four ports USB 3.1 Gen2, which are now implemented through the chipset. One of them connectors — C type, and it works by the controller ASMedia ASM1543. Chip ASMedia ASM1442K provides the video output HDMI version 1.4.

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

Sound in ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING meets the audio codec, Supreme FX, which is based on the familiar Realtek chip ALC1220A. The manufacturer claims that he gets “exclusive version” of this chip, therefore, the name of the second letter “A”. Compared to the “standard” Realtek ALC1220 the ratio of “signal to noise” from “elite,” 113 vs 108 dB. Traditionally, expensive boards in the composition of the audio included high-quality Nichicon capacitors and operational amplifier RC4580 and OPA1688 from Texas Instruments. The audio chip is shielded, and all elements of the sound system is separated from the other components of the PCB strip, which does not conduct current.

 

Field-effect transistors of the power Converter are cooled by two rather large aluminum radiators. With MOSFET they are in contact with two pads. One of the radiators is equipped with a special metal frame. It is possible to lift and secure it using the 40 mm fan is the one that comes in the kit. How the impeller works and whether it is necessary at all, I’ll explain in a second part of the article.

The Converter has 10 power phases. Eight channels are intended for the CPU, two for the integrated GPU. The composition of each phase consists of one inductor and field-effect transistor ON NCP302045. Controls the voltage of the PWM controller Digi+ ASP1400CTB. The same chip is used for example in the mother Board ASUS ROG Strix B360-F Gaming.

What’s interesting is that a similar model, ASUS ROG SSTRIX Z370-E GAMING, which is also compatible with processors Coffee Lake Refresh, power Converter have a different configuration. Directly to the CPU are four phases, each channel consists of two inductors and four field-effect transistor (build SiRA12DP and SiRA14DP from Vishay Intertechnology). Maybe to shovel the VRM area ASUS engineers made the release of 8-core Intel chips.

About how effectively the system works cooling the VRM area in the acceleration, I will tell you next.

SOURCE

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PC / Laptop

The Intel Core i5-9600K: shestiyadernik of osmeteria of shestiyadernik

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Coming to the CPU market Intel Refresh Coffee Lake has become a landmark event. Still, with the advent of processors with eight cores completely stuck in the role of standard option for the productive desktop, leaving no space in this niche for chips past generations with six or four cores. So it is not surprising that the new osmeterium we try to pay as much attention they really deserve. And at the moment we have published three expanded material about eight Coffee Lake Refresh, which is strongly recommended reading:

However, Coffee Lake Refresh is not only fosmidomycin. It is an absolutely full-fledged processor family, which in the relatively near term will stretch across all market segments, starting from the top, which is now home to the processors with eight cores, and ending with the budget, which are intended for Quad core or even dual core CPU. The massive expansion of the habitat Coffee Lake Refresh is expected by the end of the first quarter of next year, when Intel will finally be able to more or less cope with all your production problems, but now such processors to identify with only one osmeterium impossible.

The fact that the family of Coffee Lake Refresh Core models thousandth of the series, in its present form includes three members of which have eight cores, only two. Along with the OCTA-core Core i9 shestnadcatiletnim-9900K and OCTA core, but devoid of support Hyper-Threading Core i7-9700K, microprocessor giant was released also six-core processor Core i5-9600K. At first glance it looks like the long-available Core i5-8600K. However, it is a full analogue of the he did not is because Core i5-9600K using the same semiconductor base, as in the eight-core Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K. That is, Core i5-9600K is a six-core processor built on eight-semiconductor crystal Lake Coffee Refresh with a couple of deactivated cores.

To understand the causes of Core i5-9600K one company with Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K not so difficult. No matter how perfected to the present time the 14-nm process technology, Intel is still in need of implementation of the chips defective in the production of senior Coffee Lake Refresh. Semiconductor crystals eight cores have an area of about 174 mm2, and the appearance defective chips in the defective individual cores or partly failure of the cache memory when it is inevitable. The existence of Core i5-9600K lets not write them off to the scrap and to use efficiently – in a processor with reduced a quarter the number of cores.

Technological affinity is a Core i5-9600K with eight-core Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K, not Core i5-8600K something even plays into the hands of users. Use to release a six-core derivative of the Coffee Lake Refresh the approaches and processes of making Core i5-9600K unique offer – shestiyadernik with solder under the CPU lid. And this means that the Core i5-9600K may be much more interesting to overclock than the Core i5-8600K, where internal is polymer thermal interface thermal grease with a fairly mediocre thermal conductivity. In other words, Core i5-9600K better than the Core i5-8600K, at least the fact that it does not need to scalp.

While Core i5-9600K inherited one of the main trumps its predecessor – a relatively affordable price. Officially, the new shestiyadernik valued at $262, that is, it is more expensive than the Core i5-8600K, just four dollars. And what’s more, at a price close to the recommended, it is really possible to buy, in contrast to the same Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K, the availability of which sell extremely limited, but real retail prices have nothing to do with the official.

It is not surprising that practical aspects of the operation of such a processor are of genuine interest. After all, Core i5-9600K in the family Coffee Lake seems to Refresh the current reality the most beneficial option in terms of performance and price, since it offers the lowest unit cost of the core. Given all this, we decided to dedicate six-core Core i5-9600K a separate review which will definitely answer the question of how consumer quality of this novelty are correlated with the its predecessor, the Core i5-8600K.

#Core i5-9600K in detail

So, Core i5-9600K is the most affordable desktop processor Intel, built on the design of the Coffee Lake Refresh. He has only six, not eight cores, but he is younger and cheaper OCTA-core sibling in the face of Core i7-9700K — 30% from the point of view of official prices or more than 40%, in terms of real prices.

  Core i9-9900K Core i7-9700K Core i5-9600K
Code name Coffee Lake Refresh Coffee Lake Refresh Coffee Lake Refresh
Production technology 14++ nm 14++ nm 14++ nm
Socket LGA1151v2 LGA1151v2 LGA1151v2
Cores/Threads 8/16 8/8 6/6
Base frequency, GHz 3,6 3,6 3.7 V
Maximum frequency in turbo mode, GHz 5,0 4,9 4,6
L3 cache MB 16 12 9
TDP, watts 95 95 95
Memory support DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666
PCI Express 3.0 16 16 16
Graphics core UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630
Price (official) $488 $374 $262

Like its relatives, Core i5-9600K is a modern version of intelliscore 14-nm process with the conditional name “++ nm 14” and has an unlocked multiplier, theoretically allowing for easy overclocking. Like all other proposals for the platform LGA1151v2, Core i5-9600K is based on the microarchitecture Coffee Lake and is equipped with integrated graphics core UHD 630 Graphics (GT2).

Despite the fact that according to the model number between the Core i5-9600K and Core i5-8600K an abyss, the processors are quite similar in passport characteristics. The translation series Core i5 design Coffee Lake Refresh Intel did not change any fundamental parameters. Core i5-9600K as Core i5-8600K, remained shestiyadernik without the support of Hyper-Threading with the cache memory of third level rate of 1.5 MB per core (9 MB in total).

At the same time, the diagnostic utility CPU-Z allows you to verify that the basis of the Core i5-9600K on a different semiconductor chip, a new modification of the P0, U0 and not used in processors Coffee Lake last generation, in which the number of compute cores was not more than six.

This means that from the point of view of the internal structure Core i5-9600K – only a distant relative Core i5-8600K. In the new shestiyadernik uses the same OCTA-core semiconductor chip, as in Intel Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K, but with the pair locked at the stage of production of cores. And from this follow important conclusions. First, this means that Core i5-9600K present the first hardware package fixes against vulnerabilities Meltdown and L1TF (Foreshadow). Second, the memory controller that the processor is certified to support 128 GB DDR4 SDRAM, which will be set after an upcoming appearance in the sale of a 32-Gigabyte modules.

Notable differences Core i5-9600K Core i5-8600K is in clock frequencies. New shestiyadernik has a 100 MHz higher base frequency and more aggressive turbo mode, allowing it to accelerate to 4.6 GHz with low-flow load vs 4.3 GHz its predecessor. Best clock speed in turbo mode Core i5-9600K promises and under full load on all cores. Set it to 4.3 GHz, while the Core i5-8600K in the same conditions works only on 4.1 GHz.

Fully frequency characteristics of turbo for new and old LGA1151v2 processor collected in a table.

Base frequency, GHz Frequency in turbo mode, GHz
1 core 2 cores 3 core 4 cores 5 cores 6 cores 7 cores 8 cores
Core i9-9900K 3,6 5,0 5,0 4,8 4,8 4,7 4,7 4,7 4,7
Core i7-9700K 3,6 4,9 4,8 4,7 4,7 4,6 4,6 4,6 4,6
Core i7-8700K 3.7 V 4,7 4,6 4,4 4,4 4,3 4,3
Core i7-8086K 4,0 5,0 4,6 4,5 4,4 4,4 4,3
Core i5-9600K 3.7 V 4,6 4,5 4,4 4,4 4,3 4,3
Core i5-8600K 3,6 4,3 4,2 4,2 4,2 4,1 4,1

Speaking of Intel Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K, we noted that their operation on the maximum frequency stated for turbo speed, leads to higher heat dissipation and power consumption far beyond the limits of TDP, traditionally installed in a 95 watts. Therefore, the work of fosmidomycin on the frequencies given in the table above, is possible only with active functions of the Multi-Core Enhancements, which abolishes all restrictions on energy consumption, and assuming the use of high-quality motherboards and powerful cooling systems. With Core i5-9600K situation should be easier. In multi-threaded load stress test Prime 95 29.4 (Small FFT with AVX), real consumption Core i5-9600K a quasi-nominal mode with active Multi-Core Enhancements at a frequency of 4.3 GHz is “only” 115 watts. And this means that in a typical common applications, this processor is working at maximum turbocheetah, most likely, 95-watt border will appear.

Core i5-9600K, like other desktop processors generation Coffee Lake Refresh, compatible with any LGA1151v2-motherboards, built with the help of those chipsets with the numbers from the fourth hundreds. In boards based on Intel Z390 new shestiyadernik will work out of the box, and for boards on Intel Z370, H370, B360 and H310 may need a BIOS upgrade.

#Temperature and energy consumption

The Coffee Lake Refresh processors differ from their predecessors not only the increased clock rates and increased (in older versions) number of compute cores. At the Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K also changed the internal termoenergetyczny material laid between the semiconductor crystal of the CPU and the CPU cover. In all three models is the polymer thermal paste now use metal solders with much higher conductivity.

The appearance of solder at fosmidomycin – partly as a necessary if not an efficient thermal interface, Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K would not be able to take those frequencies that are promised to them turbo because of banal overheating. The same six-core Core i5-9600K got the solder out of inertia, and it is in this processor, the positive impact of thermal interface with high conductivity can be seen more clearly.

To illustrate, we carried out a simple experiment: compare temperatures and energy consumption Core i5-8600K and Core i5-9600K when configuring them on the same frequencies with the same supply voltage. The results are presented below: the tables below show the limit value virtually measured temperature and energy consumption of CPU when checking stability in the stress test Prime95 29.4 (six strand under full load Small FFT AVX c). The cooling of the processors during the test was carried out the same air cooler Noctua NH-U14S.

Core i5-8600K:

Core i5-9600K:

The results allow to make several conclusions in relation to the semiconductor crystal Lake Coffee Refresh and a new internal thermal interface. But first and foremost catches the eye is the fact that, despite the use for the production of processors, Coffee Lake Coffee Lake and Refresh the same process technology 14 nm++, as newer semiconductor crystals has really improved. It is expressed in that the Core i5-9600K is able to take the same frequency as Core i5-8600K, at a lower voltage.

At the same time, the new six-core processor with a design Refresh Coffee Lake shows ceteris paribus the higher power consumption. If you select the same voltage and frequency of the Core i5-9600K consumes 15-25% more power compared to the Core i5-8600K that is obviously due to the increased size and complexity of the underlying semiconductor crystal.

However, increased power consumption and heat generation Core i5-9600K to the growth temperature does not. On the contrary, new shestiyadernik is prone to functioning in a more benign temperature conditions. At equal voltage and frequency of Core i5-9600K is about two to three degrees cooler than its predecessor. But if to compare between a state with roughly the same power consumption and heat dissipation, the advantage of the representative of the family of Coffee Lake Coffee Lake Refresh before they reach the level of 10-15 degrees. That is exactly what manifests the positive impact of the new thermal interface: it allows to cool the CPU crystal is more efficient than before, when Intel used solder, thermal compound and the polymer. And this, in turn, enables Core i5-9600K to work without overheating at a much higher heat dissipation.

In the end, the advantage in temperature entails and the best acceleration. As follows from experimental data, the frequency of the Core i5-9600K manages to raise about 100 MHz higher than Core i5-8600K. However, this advantage can hardly be considered some special success. High heat dissipation Core i5-9600K, originally built on an eight-semiconductor crystal, almost completely negates the entire gain in the temperatures derived from the solder. Overall, therefore, no special overclocking achievements from the new shestiyadernik is not expected. And moreover, it seems that the best results in overclocking you can achieve all the same Core i5-8600K if pre-scalp.

#Acceleration

If you carefully read the preceding section, you probably know that you can count on some epic overclocking Core i5-9600K clearly not worth it. So, the maximum frequency at which our instance of processor was able to work steadily and to undergo stress testing, steel 5.0 GHz. Performance in this mode was achieved when setting the VCORE in the range from 1.25 to 1.28 In with the inclusion of the penultimate level Load-Line Calibration.

As you can see from the above screenshot, more serious overclocking is due to high energy consumption and heat dissipation Core i5-9600K. If you raise the voltage above 1.28 is In, the temperature of the CPU cores goes straight out of bounds, causing the throttle. But if the tension leaving at this level, for frequencies above 5.0 GHz the processor does not pass the test on the stability in the stress test Prime 29.4 (Small FFT with AVX).

Nevertheless, Core i5-9600K accelerates still better than all eight Coffee Lake Refresh that have passed through our hands before. The previously tested Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K overclocked reached frequency of about 4.8 GHz, and this allows to conclude that reducing the number of active cores in the Core i5-9600K slightly lowered his dissipation and increased frequency potential. But this is still not enough to Core i5-9600K it would be possible to calculate more advantageous alternative for overclocking Core i5-8600K. The difference within the overclocking of these processors are not as essential, while the classic Coffee, Lake in the reserve there is a hidden reserve: it at desire it is possible to scalp.

In addition, when overclocking Core i5-9600K unusually large attention should be paid to cooling. The dissipation of this processor when overclocking is not less than fosmidomycin, and to remove and dissipate more than 200 watts only the chosen coolers with high efficiency. For example, in the experiments we used the super-cooler Noctua NH-U14S, and rely on the cooling system less efficient, we would not recommend it. Much in overclocking Core i5-9600K depends on the quality of the implementation of the power Converter on the motherboard, which should provide a stable voltage with a significant increase in current. Unfortunately, on the market of motherboards meet this requirement, not all products even the ones that are relatively expensive.

This time we overclocked the processor without lowering the multiplier in the performance of AVX-instructions. However, as in the case with the older Coffee Lake Refresh, setting a negative 200-megagertsevym Delta for CPU frequency when working with AVX instructions would allow to obtain higher performance in applications that do not use vector data. In other words, the frequency of 5.2 GHz when you work exclusively when working with 32 – bit and 64-bit scalar data for Core i5-9600K quite real.

SOURCE

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How to overclock Core i7-9700K or Oh it

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With the release of the desktop Core processors, the ninth generation, Intel was finally able convincingly to answer his age-old rival, began deliveries to mass market chips with eight cores. Innovations in the face of the Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K immediately appeared in the center of attention, but largely not for the most obvious reason. At the fore is not so much a discussion of the advantages of these processors before senior Ryzen how pricing and availability is to buy the Intel fosmidomycin at the prices close to the recommended, today is simply unrealistic.

However, no matter how many complained about the high cost of ordinary people, staunch supporters of Intel is not stopping. If we talk about the capabilities and performance of the language of facts, in addition to increased to eight the number of cores older Core thousandth of a series of bribery and high nominal frequencies. As a result, their performance is certainly higher than the older mass Ryzen processors and Core i7 past generations. So it seems that Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K – a kind of uber-processors, which not only has no equal in the mass segment, but also who will hold the position of flagship in the foreseeable future, becoming a sort of Islands of stability in a changing world desktop where the paradigm shift and transition from chetyrehjadernogo to cosmedent has just happened in the last couple of years.

As for the cost, today the youngest of those of fosmidomycin, Core i7-9700K, already can be considered as an option for the top-level configurations. Of course, the price of 35 thousand rubles at the officially announced value of $374 it is difficult to call humane, but at least against the prices of older graphics cards family GeForce RTX this amount does not cause complete rejection. So it is not surprising that buyers on Core i7-9700K are, and, as experience shows, it is sufficient.

And I must say that those who are not waiting for the cheaper Core i9-9900K, and takes Core i7-9700K right now, it is possible to understand. Considering all the pros and cons, we cannot say that the flagship of the family Core i9 by far the better of his brother with a lower positioning. The fundamental difference between Core i7-9700K is the lack of support for Hyper-Threading, but due to the nature of the technology used to perform two independent flows of resources of a single computing core, many modern games and applications not only benefit from growth, but often on the contrary, suffer from it. In addition, according to the latest news, Hyper-Threading is a serious problem in the security system, and some developers are even calling for its complete shutdown. Therefore, the configuration built on the younger inalaska osmeteria latest generation Core i7-9700K – quite good option, which is not ashamed to recommend how to work a computer, and for “maximum” gaming build.

In this article we decided to discuss in detail how the owners of the systems built for Core i7-9700K, can further “improve” their platform. We will focus on acceleration. One of the key features Core thousandth of the series was the return of Intel to use between the heat-dissipating cover and the CPU crystal beshlyaga solder with high thermal conductivity.

For this reason, many were waiting for new fosmidomycin another step forward in the part of overclocking potential. But there it was: generation Refresh Coffee Lake was very hot even without any overclocking and, as shown by the initial testing, and so they operate at frequencies close to the limit.

However, we decided to go back to overclocking the Core i7-9700K again. This time we turned to our long-time partner, computer store,”regard“, and took for testing multiple serial processors. With their help, we have tried to establish as far as possible to raise the performance of the platform on the basis of the usual Junior intelestage of osmeteria, if we approach the question carefully and systematically. And as a result we were able to deduce the algorithm that, in spite of all obstacles, allows you to overclock average retail Core i7-9700K to “beautiful” rate of 5 GHz.

#Core i7-9700K: characteristics and features

So, Core i7-9700K – it is the most affordable desktop Intel CPU with eight cores. Its price is set at $374, and from the point of view of formal positioning it is between $ 500 osmeterium Core i9-9900K 262 and $ shestiyadernik Core i5-9600K. Like its relatives, this processor is the most modern version intelliscore 14-nm process with the conditional name “++ nm 14” and has an unlocked multiplier, theoretically allowing for easy overclocking. Like all other proposals for the platform LGA1151v2, Core i7-9700K is based on the microarchitecture Coffee Lake and has an integrated graphics core UHD 630 Graphics (GT2). Built-in dual channel memory controller of this CPU officially supports modes up to DDR4-2666 that no news is not, but at the same time he is able to address up to 128 GB of memory to install in the system will become possible after the advent of 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM. It should also be noted that in the Core i7-9700K appeared first hardware security patches Meltdown and L1TF (Foreshadow).

  Core i9-9900K Core i7-9700K Core i5-9600K
Code name Coffee Lake Refresh Coffee Lake Refresh Coffee Lake Refresh
Production technology 14++ nm 14++ nm 14++ nm
Socket LGA1151v2 LGA1151v2 LGA1151v2
Cores/Threads 8/16 8/8 6/6
Base frequency, GHz 3,6 3,6 3.7 V
Maximum frequency in turbo mode, GHz 5,0 4,9 4,6
L3 cache MB 16 12 9
TDP, watts 95 95 95
Memory support DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666
PCI Express 3.0 16 16 16
Graphics core UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630
Price (official) $488 $374 $262

Support Hyper-Threading technology have always been a mandatory attribute of the family of processors Core i7. But that was in the era of Quad-core and six-core CPU, when it allows such processors to process eight or twelve threads simultaneously. With the release of the Core i7-9700K everything changed: the virtual CPU number of cores does not support, but as the tests show, it is still in most cases significantly more productive Core i7-8700K, because the two additional physical cores able to make a greater contribution to performance in comparison with Hyper-Threading.

Like the Core i7-8700K, the new Core i7-9700K has a L3-cache and the volume of 12 MB. In other words, the amount of cache in terms of the core was reduced to 1.5 MB and this is another sign that the Junior OCTA core Coffee Lake Refresh differs from his older brother.

As the nominal clock frequency for the Core i7-9700K specified 3.6 GHz, which corresponds to the nameplate frequency Core i9-9900K and 100 MHz below the frequency of the Core i7-8700K. However, users in the assessment of consumer qualities have long been accustomed to look not at the nominal frequency, and the speed that is advertised to turbo mode. And it Core i7-9700K looks much more interesting 200-300 MHz surpassing the indicators defined for the Core i7-8700K. Unfortunately at 5.0 GHz under single threaded load Junior cosmedent still lacking, but nevertheless, at 4.6 GHz full load on all eight cores promise a very decent performance.

Base frequency, GHz Frequency in turbo mode, GHz
1 core 2 core 3 core 4 kernel 5 cores 6 cores 7 cores 8 cores
Core i9-9900K 3,6 5,0 5,0 4,8 4,8 4,7 4,7 4,7 4,7
Core i7-9700K 3,6 4,9 4,8 4,7 4,7 4,6 4,6 4,6 4,6
Core i7-8700K 3.7 V 4,7 4,6 4,4 4,4 4,3 4,3
Core i7-8086K 4,0 5,0 4,6 4,5 4,4 4,4 4,3

However, there is an important caveat, which is at the root of all change. Specification assumes that the operating frequency in turbo mode can increase only as long as the power consumption (and heat dissipation) of the processor remains within acceptable limits. These limits for those processors are defined three basic constants:

  • PL1 – limit processor power consumption, which should not be exceeded for long-term work;
  • PL2 is the peak processor power consumption, which should not be exceeded during short-term increase of the load;
  • Tau – the maximum time during which the power consumption of a processor is allowed to go beyond the PL1, remaining however below PL2.

Intel suggests that the PL1 limit should correspond to the thermal package of the processor, i.e. Core i7-9700K is 95 watts, while the limit PL2 is set to 120 W, and the time Tau during which the processor is allowed to consume more than 95 watts, but less than 120W, limited to 1 second. And it is very hard requirements, which severely restrict the frequency formula of the processor. That is, if we talk about the nominal specified antalovsky specification working mode Core i7-9700K, to accelerate to 4.6 GHz and higher it is able only in the case of quite light load. If we are talking about complex computational algorithms, the frequency determined by the parameters PL1 and PL2, are significantly below given in the table above highs.

As a simple illustration, we present the distribution of the real frequencies, which honestly is configured according to the specifications of Core i7-9700K when rendering in Blender using different numbers of compute cores.

As you can see, under heavy load, the achievement frequency of about 4.6 GHz is more the exception than the rule. High frequency close to the maximum allowed under the turbo mode, is achieved only under light load, when the power consumption of the processor does not cause any problems. In the case of load on all the cores the frequency is set closer to 4.2-4.3 GHz, that is by 300-400 MHz below the limit values. Naturally, the attainable frequency dependent on the nature executed by the processor algorithms, but the main thing here is that if you configure the CPU to be honest, the frequency formula Core i7-9700K, sandwiched within the 95-watt thermal package, looks not so great as it seems at first glance. But in this case, the consumption and dissipation of the processor really fit in the declared limits.

However what you can see in the graphs above is rather theoretical or even hypothetical situation. The fact is that in the pursuit of performance, motherboard manufacturers antalovsky specification is neglected. Into use long ago introduced the Multi-Core Enhancements, which negates all the requirements antalovsky specifications regarding the power consumption and heat dissipation, and outputs the processors to the maximum possible for a given load frequency. Formal language this means that the Board increase the threshold values PL1 and PL2 to unattainable in real life, and as a result, the processor gets the opportunity to work on unrestrained maximum frequency, depending only on the number of cores loaded with work.

Having exactly the same test Core i7-9700K when rendering in Blender with enabled Multi-Core Enhancements, you can observe quite a different picture frequency.

However, you need to understand that when the system is in this mode, neither of which is a 95-watt thermal package CPU it is not. Picture of real consumption begins to look like the following.

The conclusion from all this is quite simple. If you are going to use Core i7-9700K with the inclusion of Multi-Core Enhancements, the rated thermal package 95 W for you to absolutely nothing. In reality, the processor will consume up to 150 or even 200 watts, and the power supply and cooling system in this build you need to choose accordingly. Also, do not forget that Multi-Core Enhancements – a kind of acceleration, and guarantees long-term stable and trouble-free operation of the system in this mode, no one gives.

A little more about the practical part of this acceleration we will discuss in the next section. But before we get to the actual test results, a few words should be said about the processors that we tested. All the calculations made in this material is derived from testing five specimens of the serial Core i7-9700K series (FPO) L834F584.

The explanation of this marking allows to conclude that these processors are made in Malaysia at the end of August, that is two months late samples to the press that Intel offered for eight related innovations. And this means that all conclusions which will be made hereinafter, is absolutely relevant for students in the retail network, CPU.

#Overclocking Core i7-9700K enabling Multi-Core Enhancements

Through the efforts of motherboard makers feature Multi-Core Enhancements (MCE) is ubiquitous in common parlance and no longer perceived as a form of overclocking. However, it is this: MCE is the real acceleration, which switches the CPU to non-standard modes. Moreover, as we will show further practical examples, – acceleration in the case of Core i7-9700K hard enough.

The essence of MCE is that the processor when the operation is permitted not to follow their energy consumption and to achieve maximum possible under the turbo mode frequencies that depend only on one parameter – the number of busy cores. But if the Quad and partially shestidennomu such assumptions are not entailed any particular problems and had little or no consequences to obtain an additional performance boost, with Core i7-9700K not so simple. Devoid of any limitations on the power consumption OCTA core processor Refresh Coffee Lake are heated much stronger than the predecessors. This is not only because of the increased number of cores in the semiconductor chip, but also because they have a higher maximum permitted frequencies, the designated manufacturer of “arbitrary decision” without any preconditions in the form of improved process technology. And ultimately Core i7-9700K enabled MCE can consume electricity and, consequently, allocation heat two to two and a half times the amount specified in the spec of 95 watts.

This means that if you plan on a system with Core i7-9700K to use MCE, you should be sure to take care of a good motherboard with the powerful Converter power supply for high-quality cooling of the processor, which should be able to cope with the dissipation of over 200 watts of heat. We were convinced immediately when they began to check taken to test the processor in the nominal mode. Even a simple test of stability, Prime95 29.4 after enabling the MCE has become for them a problem. And despite the fact that for cooling we used a fairly productive ITS a Corsair Hydro Series H115i, temperature test osmeteria neared the maximum allowed.

The following table shows the results of the practical test five serial Core i7-9700K in Prime95 29.4 (full eight strand SmallFFT load c AVX) with active Multi-Core Enhancements.

Prime95 29.4
CPU instance VID, Max. the power consumption of the CPU, W Max. temperature, °C
The coldest core The hot core
1 Of 1.34 216 82 91
2 1,353 213 83 91
3 1,391 239 90 102
4 1,32 215 82 92
5 1,353 218 82 91

Obtained in the verification process, the results allow to make several conclusions. But the most important thing here is that a simple on MCE immediately translates Core i7-9700K in close to the limit mode. Moreover, some instances Core i7-9700K (as number 3 in our test), after you enable the MCE can even go beyond the maximum permissible temperature and to reduce the operating frequency because of the inclusion of a protection mechanism against overheating above 100 degrees – throttle. Moreover, recall that we performed the test with an efficient liquid cooling system, and therefore, when using more than simple coolers overheating and trottling CPU will provide almost one hundred percent probability.

In addition, you need to pay attention to another feature. Uniform removal of heat from the extruded multicore crystal Lake Coffee Refresh – not an easy task even with the Intel transition on efficient internal thermal interface. So eight cores always present a considerable temperature differential between cores, which can reach 10-12 degrees.

Overclocking with enable MCE BIOS of the motherboard is one of the simplest approaches, which on the one hand allows to obtain a significant performance increase, and with another – does not require any tedious setup. Moreover, contrary to the recommendations of Intel, on most motherboards MCE is enabled by default, and the user need only be attentive to the organization of the cooling of the CPU and make sure that in the process, there are no signs of thermal trottling.

Forcibly enable or disable the function of MCE can be in the motherboard BIOS. Usually basic CPU settings in the BIOS the option is rendered as a separate paragraph.

To activate the MCE is possible, and another, more low-level way – manually increasing the consumption limits PL1 and PL2 to unrealistically high values. The settings of these variables usually are in the BIOS section, dedicated power management processor.

Similarly, the values of these parameters to their certified values, 95 W, 120 W and 1 from the processor to ensure that it will function as intended by Intel and not as I wanted the manufacturer of the motherboard.

#Overclocking Core i7-9700K manually

Overall, overclocking Core i7-9700K manually, instead of using the finished profile Multi-Core Enhancements, usually allows you to achieve more. However, due to the very high heat dissipation new eight-core processors, too much should not be expected. As practice shows, shestiyaderny Core i7-8700K accelerates better new products, especially if the procedure frequency to Preface the scalping and replacement of internal polymer interface on the liquid metal.

Thus, stable operation at a frequency of 5.0 GHz for Core i7-8700K not considered something out of the ordinary. But to disperse similarly Core i7-9700K almost unreal. To get this processor stable on 5.0 GHz only serious assumptions and indulgences in the criteria. The fact that the new processors Coffee Lake Refresh the internal thermal interface is used solder, not thermal grease, no special trump card of these processors is not. A better internal thermal interface only compensates for the increased dissipation of osmeteria but to some impressive frequency during acceleration it allows.

By itself, the process of overclocking Core i7-9700K fairly typical and is based on the usual algorithm: the increase of the supply voltage to increase the operating frequency – stability check. But, as in the case of all other processors, osmeterium has its own nuances, which we will discuss a little further.

Check five copies of the series Core i7-9700K allows us to conclude that in most cases, you should rely on overclocking the CPU up to a frequency of 4.8 GHz. Below we provide detailed information about the dispersal of all tested processors: data on modes in which stable operation is achieved and the limit values of temperature and energy during the passage of the test in Prime95 29.4 (full eight strand SmallFFT load c AVX).

Instance 1:

Instance 2:

Instance 3:

Instance 4:

Instance 5:

Indeed, experience shows that the average result of overclocking Core i7-9700K – proven stability is the frequency of 4.8 GHz. Thus, there may be processors that are capable of taking and a higher frequency, but at the same time, we ran and unsuccessful instance, the maximum acceleration for which was the frequency of 4.7 GHz.

The obtained results fit well to the statistics of shop Silicon Lottery, which is engaged in pre-sorting of the processors on a regular basis. According to him the frequency of 4.7 GHz take 100% of the instances of the Core i7-9700K, stable and working on 4.8 GHz 69 % of all processors, and the frequency of 4.9 GHz submits in 29 % of cases.

The best overclocking Core i7-9700K is achieved when the voltage V– CORE from 1.3 to 1.375 V. plays an Important role and set Load-Line Calibration (LLC) to counter the voltage drop with increasing current through the Converter power CPU. As practice shows, the greatest efficiency showing average levels LLC, when the CPU voltage at extreme loads is still slightly sags relative to the selected level. For example, ASUS motherboards with eight-step adjustable LLC recommended levels of Level 5 or Level 6, for ASRock boards – Level 2.

The best tool to check the stability of the Core i7-9700K today programme is 29.4 Prime95 in SmallFFT mode. Using mathematical algorithms and check for ease of Mersenne numbers, it creates very high computational load, which heats the CPU more than the most common common programs. And passing such a test allows to be sure that in everyday use overclocked CPU no incidents will not occur.

In the extreme case to a new generation Coffee Lake Refresh Intel has allowed to relax the requirements to the temperature of processor cores. The maximum heating for the 14-nm CPU crystal is considered to be 100 degrees, but Core i7-9700K enable temperature throttle you can now move on 10-15 degrees higher. For this purpose, the motherboard BIOS has a new setting.

To use this trick makes sense when you check the stability of the using specialized utilities that warm the processors obviously stronger than the regular program. For example, if the test in Prime95 will run without errors at temperatures slightly above 100 degrees, nothing wrong with that. In daily work such heating of the CPU, obviously, will not arise. That is why in some tests of processors on the dispersal we made the output of the temperature over the 100 degree limit.

Overclocking Core i7-9700K to 4.8 GHz seems pretty skoromniy result that only 4% improves the frequency, some turbo-mode to load on all cores. Is this the absolute maximum ability new consumer fosmidomycin? Actually no, if you remember that the utility is Prime95 29.4 actively uses 256-bit AVX vector instructions, and this factor causes a strong heating of the processor when using it. Such vector instructions is not all software, and especially do not add them into their products game developers. This knowledge allows certain assumptions to push the bar for maximum overclocking a bit further.

Like its predecessors, the Coffee Lake Refresh processors in case if executable algorithms contain AVX/AVX2 instructions, can reduce the clock frequency multiplier. This makes it possible to limit the CPU speed when dealing with demanding tasks, choose a higher frequency for the simple and ordinary modes. And as practice shows, at voltages VCORE range from 1.3 to 1.375 V At which achieved better overclocking results, the average Core i7-9700K, if we are not talking about the activation of the AVX/AVX2-blocks of the CPU to maintain stability on the 5.0 GHz frequency up.

To configure the dual-frequency mode is very simple. If we talk about the usual Core i7-9700K, error passing tests in Prime95 29.4 at a frequency of 4.8 GHz, the base frequency for this processor should select 5.0 GHz, by setting the AVX Instruction Core Ratio Negative Offset (from different manufacturers boards it is also known as the Offset Ratio AVX, AVX Offset or Offset CPU Ratio When Running AVX), which reduces the CPU multiplier in the performance of AVX/AVX2 code, ask the decreasing frequency of 200 MHz.

The decrease in the frequency of Core i7-9700K in the execution of AVX instructions on a 200 MHz can be considered a standard recommendation, allows to obtain better performance. However, the Delta 200 MHz is still not universal. For example, for the CPU 2, which could work stably in Prime95 29.4 at the frequency of 4.9 GHz, frequency without AVX we had to limit the same magnitude 5.0 GHz because of 5.1 GHz it was unstable. But overall it looks like typical dual-frequency acceleration for Core i7-9700K, which can the majority of instances, is a 5.0/4.8 GHz.

By the way, to check the stability of operation of the processor in modes without AVX can the same utility Prime95 29.4 – support vector instructions it is easily disabled by editing the configuration file local.txt.

It is believed that severe heat those processors without AVX load instructions do not exist, but the Core i7-9700K ready to break the stereotype. As shown in the screenshot above, this processor to 5.0 GHz even when ordinary operations may not warm up to 90 degrees and demonstrate higher power consumption 190 watts.

This is another compelling indication that before you embark on any experiments with overclocking the new those of osmeteria in the first place it is necessary to ensure sufficient power Converter power supply on the motherboard and good CPU cooling performance. From motherboards for overclocking LGA1151v2 OCTA-core processors, we suggest a model with a OCTA-core power Converter. And among the coolers is better to choose SVO with radiators, size 240 mm or more, or air supercooler with the design of the type “two-piece tower”.

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Review motherboard MSI MEG Z390 ACE: overclocking the 8-core Coffee Lake ready!

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I think it is unlikely for someone will be a secret that the newly released 8-core processors Coffee Lake will be affordable not for all computer enthusiasts. And if so, it is very unlikely that the potential owners of the Core i7 and Core i9 9700K-9900K going to save on other components — including the motherboard. For such chips requires a solid device, especially if you plan on overclocking these CPUs. Recently we reviewed the ASUS ROG STRIX model Z390-E GAMING, which belongs to the middle price range. In this review we will talk about one of the most clever devices — MEG Z390 ACE. Let’s see what the flagship solution of the company MSI.

MSI MEG Z390 ACE

MSI MEG Z390 ACE

#Specifications and packaging

At this time steeper MEG Z390 ACE in the list of MSI motherboards on base of chipset Express Z390 is only a model of the MEG Z390 Godlike, which we have been told in the news. However, personally, I can’t call Junior MEG version deprived of any features. Take a look at the basic specifications of the device to start.

<![CDATA[<![CDATA[<![CDATA[]]]]]]>]]]]>]]>

MSI MEG Z390 ACE
Supported processors
Intel 9-th and 8-th generations (Core, Pentium and Celeron Gold) for LGA1151 platform-v2
Chipset
Intel Z390 Express
Memory subsystem
4 × DIMM slots, up to 64 GB of DDR4-2133-4500 (OC)
Expansion slots
3 × PCI Express x16
3 × PCI Express x1
The storage interface
1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280/22110) with support for SATA 6 Gbps and PCI Express x4
1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280), support a SATA 6GB/s and PCI Express x4
1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280) with support for PCI Express x4
6 × SATA 6GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 10
LAN
Killer E2500, 10/100/1000 Mbps
Wireless network
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
Audio
ALC1220 Realtek 7.1 HD
Interfaces on the rear panel
1 × RJ-45
1 × optical S/PDIF
5 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C
4 × USB 2.0 Type A
5 × 3.5 mm audio
Form factor ATX
Price 25 000 rubles

The motherboard is Packed in a large and colorful cardboard box. In addition to the cost, it was a lot of both useful and not-so accessories:

  • User manual, sticker with the logo of the dragon stickers for your SATA cables, and a CD with software and drivers.
  • Antenna for the wireless module.
  • Four SATA cable.
  • Extension cables to connect the RGB strips.
  • Additional screws for securing the SSD.
  • HB SLI-bridge to connect two graphics cards NVIDIA GeForce.

#Design and capabilities

Unlike MEG Z390 Godlike, hero of today’s review is of the ATX form factor. Used full-size for the standard PCB, and other devices with the prefix “top”.

The design of the motherboard, if you compare MEG Z390 ACE, for example, Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, in my opinion, is somewhat changed, although once it is clear that before us the device MSI.

The model has six expansion slots: three PCI Express x16 and x1. The first (most proximal to the CPU socket) there is a PEG port to which 100% of cases will be installed graphics card. So the adjacent PCI Express x1, you will always be available. Primary slot for video cards pretty seriously removed from the LGA socket, but because MEG Z390 ACE without problems shelter air cooler of any size. So, the monster Noctua NH-D15 and its Archon SB-E X2 without any problems fit in the designated place for them.

All three PCI Express x16 reinforced — in Lenovo call it the gain ports of call technology Steel Armor. As stated by the manufacturer, the connectors get more soldering points on the PCB, which avoids damage to the Board if you install a massive graphics. Also in the product card States that these ports operate in three modes: x16/x0/x0, x8/x8/x0, or x8/x4/x4. MEG Z390 ACE supports technologies NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire.

“Chained” and the DIMM slots necessary for the installation of RAM. Technology Steel Armor and DDR4 Boost protect the motherboard from both mechanical damage and from overcurrent due to additional ground points. Electrical memory circuit is completely isolated strip is not conducting current of the PCB, which, according to MSI, ensures excellent stability and the performance of the RAM. In his performance the manufacturer indicates that MEG Z390 ACE supports even sets of RAM with effective frequency of 4500 MHz. In the list of compatible kits DDR4-4500 listed products of the companies Corsair and G. Skill.

It’s nice that on the Board are soldered six connectors for fans connection. The photo above shows the location of 4-pin connectors on the whole successful. The ports automatically detect the mode of operation of the connected systems — DC or PWM that allows you to adjust the fan speed with PWM and without.

One of the features of MEG Z390 ACE is the presence of three M. 2 slots. One of the ports, the bottom, even has a aluminum radiator, which is in contact with the SSD when using the pads. It is made specifically — for additional cooling M. 2 Shield Frozr will save the SSD from overheating if the system will use the second graphics card.

The primary M. 2 slot, in my opinion, is perfect, and it is between the PEG port and the CPU socket. In this case, the installed SSD there will be further cooled by the cooler fan. This M. 2 socket supports the installation of a storage device with a length of 42, 60, 80 and even 110 mm and works in both PCI Express x4 3.0, and SATA 6 GB/c. Similar characteristics has a second M. 2 port — it only supports installing SSDS with a maximum length of 80 mm. Finally, the third M. 2 port — one that is equipped with a heatsink — only works in mode PCI Express 3.0 x4, it is possible to install SSD with a length of 42, 60 or 80 mm.

Note that M. 2 connectors and pads SATA 6 GB/s, which charges as many as six pieces, share bandwidth with each other.

Among the internal connectors note the presence of two internal connectors USB 3.1 Gen2, which are wired next to 24-pin power connector of the motherboard. In the bottom of the Board there are pads for connecting the F-audio, 12 – and 5-volt RGB strip, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.1 Gen1. In the upper part of PCB, next to the indicator POST-signal, there is another module for connecting 12-volt RGB tape. And near ports SATA 6 GB/s ports — one internal USB 3.1 Gen 1, this port was rotated 90 degrees relative to the PCB. Well, we face a very functional device.

It seems that you have two or three connectors to connect the RGB strip and other modding accessories has become a real trend. This topic is in detail disclosed by us in this article. I will simply note that a plastic cover of MEG Z390 ACE is also equipped with RGB led, which during operation creates a mirror effect. MSI has called this feature Mystic Light Infinity. Backlight supports 16.8 million colors and 29 different modes.

And that’s what (for me) turns out to be really useful — so it’s extra overclocking “gadgets”. In the bottom of the Board are the power button and reboot, and the drum, activating the automatic overclocking Game Boost. More in detail I will tell about it in the second part of the article.

At the top of the Board there was a place for the indicator POST-codes — the thing is in many cases very useful. Here is a block EZ Debug LED showing at what stage the download is computer, and next to it there are pads applied to him the probe of the multimeter and watch the real indicators of stress such as CPU, DDR4, VCCSA, VCCIO, and PCH.

And on the I/O panel ACE MEG Z390 there are buttons that reset the BIOS settings and firmware updates via USB stick. In the second case, you only need to connect to the motherboard and power cables to install into the slot of USB 2.0, red frame, an external drive that has written the correct version of the program and press the corresponding key on the interface panel.

In General, the presence of such buttons next to the motherboard I think is a useful thing. However, very often to the ports of the device have to reach blindly — slash, and all the settings of your system dropped one accidentally press the button Clear CMOS. So it is better to place such keys, for example, directly on the PCB. Or equip them with any protective caps, cautionary accidental operation.

In addition to buttons will highlight, first, the presence of the I/O panel from the five ports USB 3.1 Gen2 A-type and one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C. second, focus your attention on the fact that MEG Z390 ACE devoid of any video outputs. But if discrete graphics system unit “screw” and will have some time to use built-in Coffee Lake core? Third, the interface does not require plug — a trend I fully support!

Sound subsystem Audio Boost HD based on the chip Realtek ALC1220. It is composed of capacitors, Chemi-Con and ESS DAC SABRE9018. Tract detached from other elements of the motherboard, and divorced each channel on a separate layer of the PCB.

For a wired connection meets a familiar Gigabit controller the Killer E2500, while wireless communication is implemented with built-in chipset controller Wireless-AC 9560, which, in addition to the standard Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with a capacity of up to 1733 Mbps, and supports Bluetooth 5.0.

I’m sure many readers have already noticed that MSI MEG Z390 ACE is equipped with two 8-pin connectors for CPU power. In my opinion, this wiring diagram useful for those who want to overclock an 8-core Coffee Lake in extreme conditions — for example, using liquid nitrogen.

The power subsystem of the motherboard consists of six dual phase and operates according to the scheme 5+1. Each channel has two chokes and four field-effect transistor (used Assembly ON Semiconductor NTMFS4C029N and NTMFS4C024N). The remaining elements are soldered around the socket LGA1151-v2, are responsible for voltage-CPU IO/SA. The stabilizer of the processor voltage based on eight-channel PWM controller from International Rectifier IR35201.

Cooled FETs two large aluminum heatsinks connected by a copper deplorable. Looks like that WITH, admittedly, very reliable. However, how effective are the radiators, I’ll tell you next.

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