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The review and testing of the motherboard ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac)

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As you probably remember, along with the processors Ryzen second generation (Pinnacle Ridge), AMD introduced a new chipset X470, thereby enabling motherboard manufacturers to bring to market an updated flagship Socket AM4 platform. And this really makes sense: the design boards on the previous chipset for the older Ryzen, X370, often left much to be desired. Most of these products were designed prior to the release of the first processor microarchitecture Zen, and at that time few believed that the new solution from AMD will be so good that I can seriously compete with intelocking CPU. This had an impact on the approach to the design: even among platforms based on the older Socket AM4-chipset X370 many of them contain certain compromises that are not too feature-rich and does not seem to be the flagship platforms.

X470 should solve the issue. That is capable of AMD Ryzen, it is now understood very well, so motherboard manufacturers can, without fear, to create a fancy and expensive platform. That the demand for them will, no doubt. This wave appeared a lot of new solutions, and almost all of such charges compared to their predecessors, used chipset X370, do differ markedly improved characteristics.

However, the very core of this transformation of the flagship boards in the new chipset X470 did almost nothing. If we compare the characteristics of the chipsets X470 and X370, it appears that support PCI Express, SATA, and USB ports, they are absolutely identical.

  Acceleration XFR2 /PB2 GPU USB 3.1 Gen2 USB 3.0 USB 2.0 PCIe 3.0 PCIe 2.0 SATA RAID StoreMI
X470 Yes Yes x8/x8 2 6 6 0 8 8 Yes Yes
X370 Yes Yes* x8/x8 2 6 6 0 8 8 Yes No
B350 Yes No x16 2 2 6 0 6 6 Yes No
A320 No No x16 1 2 6 0 4 6 Yes No

* Support XFRPrecision 2 and Boost 2 is added to c with BIOS updates

In fact, the only significant hardware change X470 compared to the predecessor was the reduction of energy consumption from 6.8 to 4.8 W at full load. Curiously, this has been achieved without any modification of process technology: a new X470 is made at TSMC on the same 55-nm technology as the X370. Helped exclusively the redesign of the power infrastructure of the chip.

Two small innovations were added to the software level. First, X470 appeared StoreMI technology that allows you to compile in a single volume high-speed SSD (any type) and bulk HDD, a single hybrid data warehouse with high speed and capacity. Second, characteristic for processors Ryzen two thousandth series technologies Precision Boost 2, XFR2, according to official information, originally only work in motherboards based on the new chipset.

All these innovations can hardly be called fundamental. The decrease in heat dissipation of the chipset on a few watts in a desktop PC will generally imperceptible; StoreMI – only malofontannaya function; and support for Precision Boost 2, XFR2 is important only where the CPU is running without overclocking, and even then, the performance gains provided by these technologies, not too noticeable. In addition, in recent versions of firmware support for these technologies appeared in motherboards based on chipset X370. And this means that the difference in fees on the basis of the X470 and X370 is for the most part only the result of experience, and the changed attitude to the platform on the part of engineers.

In this article we will focus on the new X470-Board top-level company ASUS – Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac), which just serves to illustrate the above. At first glance, it is almost the same as the last Board Crosshair VI Hero on the basis of the X370, but more detailed acquaintance emerge differences, minor that does not name.

A new Board has better power subsystem, which is now involved not 10, and 12 phases. In addition to fees added asynchronous mode overclocking the base clock generator, allowing to supply to processor cores, DRAM Infinity Fabric and different values of the BCLK frequency. Changes were made in the monitoring of voltages, which now became more accurate. A number of innovations is in the UEFI BIOS. For example, ASUS engineers have implemented new technology-based Precision Boost the acceleration system Performance Enhancer and also could make for Crosshair VII Hero Stealth mode completely turns off all illumination.

In other words, the scale (and not) changes sufficiently, and in order to get familiar with them, we did this review.


Crosshair ASUS ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac)
Supported processors AMD Ryzen second generation (Pinnacle Ridge), Ryzen graphics Radeon Vega (Raven Ridge), Ryzen first generation (Summit Ridge), Athlon/A-series (Bristol Ridge) seventh generation in performance Socket AM4
Chipset AMD X470
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 64 GB;
dual channel mode memory;
support modules with frequency 3400(O. C.)/3200(O. C.)/2933(O. C.)/2666(O. C.)/2400/ 2133/1866 MHz;
support XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
Connectors for expansion boards 2 PCI Express 3.0 x16 modes x16/x0 or x8/x8;
1 slot PCI Express 2.0 x16, x4 mode;
2 PCI Express 2.0 x1
The scalability of the video NVIDIA 2-way SLI Technology;
AMD 3-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface The AMD X470:
– 6 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6 Gbps (supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10);
AMD Ryzen:
– 1 × M. 2 (PCI Express x4 Gen3/SATA), supports drives format 2242/2260/2280/22110;
– 1 × M. 2 (PCI Express x4 Gen3), supports drives format 2242/2260/2280/22110
Network interface Network controller Intel I211AT (10/100/1000 Mbps);
Support of technology Anti-surge LANGuard ROG GameFirst and IV
Wireless technology Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac;
Support for MU-MIMO;
Support three bands: 2.4 and 5 GHz + 60GHz;
Support Bluetooth V4.2
Audio ROG SupremeFX 8-CH HD audio codec S1220:
Separate determination of the impedance for headphone outputs on front and rear panels;
Support for autodetection of audio, multiple streams, override the audio outputs on the front panel;
The ratio of “signal to noise” 120dB when playing and 113 dB during recording;
Support sampling rate at 32-Bit/192kHz;
Audio technologies:
Optical S/PDIF-out on back panel;
Sonic Radar III;
Sonic Studio III
USB interface The AMD X470:
– 1 port USB 3.1 Gen2 (connected to the connector on the Board);
– 6 USB 3.0 ports (4 on back panel, 2 – connect to the connectors on the Board);
– 5 USB 2.0 ports (2 on back panel, 3 – connect to the connectors on the Board).
AMD Ryzen:
– 4 USB 3.0 ports (all on rear panel).
Controller ASMedia ASM2142:
– 2 ports USB 3.1 Gen2 (both on the rear panel, Type-C and Type-A)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel 1 combo PS/2 port for mouse or keyboard;
1 network LAN-socket RJ-45;
2 ports USB 2.0;
1 optical S/PDIF-out;
1 Clear CMOS switch;
1 button USB BIOS Flashback;
1 ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.1);
5 audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In);
8 ports USB 3.0;
2 port USB 3.1 (Type-A and Type-C)
Internal connectors on the system Board 2 × Aura managed connector for RGB led strips;
2 × Aura connector for led strips;
1 × M. 2 slot with a key of type M and support form factors 2242/2260/2280/22110 for SATA or PCIE SSD;
1 × M. 2 slot with a key of type M and support form factors for PCIE SSD 2242/2260/2280;
6 × SATA 3;
6 × SATA 6 Gbps ports;
1 × CPU Fan connector;
1 × CPU OPT Fan connector;
3 x Chassis Fan connectors;
1 × AIO_PUMP connector;
1 × H_AMP fan connector;
1 × W_PUMP+ connector;
1 × 24-pin EATX power connector;
1 × 8-pin ATX 12V power;
1 × 4-pin ATX 12V power;
1 × 5-pin EXT_FAN (Extension Fan) connector;
1 × Front panel audio connector (AAFP);
1 x Thermal sensor connector;
1 x Slow Mode switch;
1 x LN2 Mode jumper;
1 × Start button;
1 × Reset button;
1 x Safe Boot button;
1 × ReTry button;
1 x ROG Extension (ROG_EXT) connector;
1 x Slow Mode switch;
1 x LN2 Mode jumper;
1 x System panel connector (Q-Connector);
1 × W_IN connector;
1 × W_OUT connector;
1 × W_FLOW connector;
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector for the front panel;
1 × USB 3.0 connector supports 2 USB 3.0 ports;
1 × USB 2.0 connector supports 2 USB 2.0 ports;
1 × connector for system dynamics
BIOS 256 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 5.0;
support PnP 1.0 a;
WfM 2.0 support;
support SM BIOS 3.0;
3 ASUS EZ Flash, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect)
Corporate functions, technology and exclusive features ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5:
– 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Expert 4, and Turbo App.
Gamer’s Guardian:
– SafeSlot;
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3;
– ASUS EZ Flash 3;
ASUS Q-Design:
– ASUS Q-Code;
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED);
– ASUS Q-Slot;
– ASUS Q-Connector;
– Aura Lighting Control;
– Aura RGB Strip Headers;
– Aura Addressable RGB Strip Headers;
ASUS Exclusive Features:
– AI Suite 3;
– AI Charger;
Clear CMOS button;
MemOK! Button;
Slow Mode;
ReTry Button;
Safe Boot Button;
Start Button;
Reset Button;
LN2 Mode;
GameFirst IV;
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
– MicroFine Alloy Chokes;
– NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET;
– 10K Black Metallic Capacitors;
Mem TweakIt;
UEFI BIOS features :
– Tweakers’ Paradise;
– ROG SSD Secure Erase;
– Graphic Card Information Preview;
Extreme Tweaker;
USB BIOS Flashback;
Form factor, dimensions (mm) ATX, 305 × 244 mm

Motherboard ASUS Crosshair VII Hero represented on store shelves in two versions – with built-in Wi-Fi-controller and without it. Version WiFi/ac has a recommended price of $300, and the version without wireless support is $20 cheaper. While a similar fee on the basis of chipset X370, Crosshair VI Hero, is now sold a cheaper new for $40. From this we can conclude that the transition to a X470, indeed, involve some appreciation of the platform Socket AM4.

#Packaging equipment

As befits a luxury product series Republic of Gamers, the new ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero comes in at the same time bright and simply decorated box. The front side of the box contains only the name of the series, model and a brief enumeration of supported technologies in the form of large icons.

On the back of the box provides detailed Board specifications, private labels marked its merits, and lists the inputs and outputs on the interface panel. On the sticker from one side of the box you can find the serial number and a short list of characteristics.

Inside the main package are inserted two flat boxes, one of which bears the fee, additionally covered with a plastic lid with clamps, and other parts and accessories.

Along with the cost supplied four SATA cables with latches, two screw fastening the M. 2 modules, hard connective HB-bridge for SLI, the connector for connecting the cables of the system case unit Q-Connector, two extension cable to tapes, external lighting and Wi-Fi dual-band 2T2R antenna.

Also included in the kit instruction manual and DVD with drivers and utilities, and as a bonus there is a whole array of stickers of different types and purposes.

Fee is manufactured in China, and it is a three-year warranty. Allotted for the test instance ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) refers to version 1.02. In Russia this model can be purchased for the price of 20 thousand rubles.

#Design and features

The ROG series is developed by ASUS since 2006, and throughout this time, the producer pays great attention to how its constituent motherboard look like. In Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) evolution came down to the fact that the Board has acquired the most “dark” design: PCB slots, heat sinks, casing in the back – everything is black, which interrupt only the gray labels on the PCB and the decorative stripes on the radiators. Develops dark skin and a new mode of operation decorative lighting – Stealth Mode, in which the Board owner can turn off all the glowing elements: not only RGB illumination, but also numerous diagnostic or informational led.

Fans of the unicorns, by contrast, is addressed to the backlit RGB-insert in a protective casing back of the card, and the glowing ROG logo in the chipset. In addition to this Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) allows you to connect four RGB strips: two regular and two addressable. Algorithms of all this illumination, as usual, are configured through specialized software ASUS Aura.

Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) has a standard form factor ATX size 305 × 244 mm. I Must say that this Board is just Packed with various components. The possibilities are very rich, and for their implementation of only one chip AMD X470 and on-chip SoC is not enough, so ASUS engineers had to resort to using a large number of additional controllers. However, the typical format they come out, and moreover, the surroundings of the CPU socket on the motherboard was quite a lot of space, making Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) is convenient in practical use in a traditional enclosure and the stand.

The reverse side of the Board for the most part free of any elements. She made only some of the control components of the power circuit of the processor.

The fact that the charge is among the flagship products for overclockers and gamers, clearly visible on the vehicle its rear panel. In addition to the usual things on it there are two buttons to reset the settings of UEFI BIOS and forced flashing, and even such Exotica as the PS/2 port to connect a mouse or keyboard. In addition, there are two Wi-Fi antenna output, two USB 2.0 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, one USB port 3.1 Gen2 performance of Type-A and Type-C plug socket for connection Gigabit network, S/PDIF output and a set of five gold plated analog audio jacks. The rear panel ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) supplied from the preset panel I/O Shield, which significantly simplifies the system Assembly in the housing.

Please note: under consideration Board has no display outputs. This means that even when the Raven Ridge processors with integrated graphics, it will take a discrete graphics card.

One of the main differences ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) from its predecessor (Crosshair VI Hero) concerns the allocation of lines PCI Express slots. On the new Board has three PCIe x16 slots where the first pair is controlled by a processor and can run at x16/x0 or x8/x8 while the third slot refers to the chipset. So he could only offer mode PCI Express 2.0 x4, and mechanical boost SafeSlots to effectively withstand the loads encountered during installation of heavy graphics cards with only the first two PCIe x16 slots.

Also the Board has two M. 2 connectors, which claimed to support PCI Express 3.0 x4 drives. Both these slots are to the CPU, but differ in their implementation. Slot, rests against the processor, and an indoor brand of radiator, divides the line graphic bus. So installing it on the drive causes the CPU PCIe x16 slots and forced into the as x8/x4.

No effect on the throughput of the graphical interface only the M. 2 slot is located at the bottom of the Board. And by the way, except he NVMe drives, and supports SATA SSD.

However, this “full” connector – open, it does not feature the brand Ossowski radiator.

The storage media can be connected to the SATA ports, which are under consideration, the Board has six pieces. Thus, in the organization of the disk subsystem Crosshair ROG VII Hero differs markedly from the preceding fee: added a second M. 2 slot, but the number of SATA ports decreased by two.

Even a cursory acquaintance with the ASUS Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) evident that it scattered atypical large number of connectors for connection of fans – as many as eight. Like Arsenal – a rarity, but also, the Board has developed control devices that are connected to these connectors, and supports adjustable speed via PWM, and the old voltage. In addition, two of the fan connectors support increased to 3 A current, and two are for pumps of liquid cooling systems and, by default, always work in full-speed mode. A pair of connectors for fans the CPU cooler uses the combined control.

In addition, ASUS did not forget to add the cost of a traditional connector for daughter card FAN Extension, which allows you to extend the array of connected fans. However, the card itself at this time, in the not supplied. To the motherboard you can connect an additional temperature sensor. Incidentally, it is quite possible to place on the abdomen of the processor: in order to be able to stretch the cable with a thermocouple inside the socket there is a hole.

In the upper right corner of the Board near the 24-pin power connector, arranged a kind of “control center”. Put back the Start button and the Reset indicator POST-code LEDs Q-LED showing the initialization process of the Board, as well as checkpoints to check key voltages with a multimeter.

Radom are connectors for led strips (addressable and conventional), as well as USB 3.1 Gen2 for connection of the respective body of the port.

The other half of the connectors and control elements on the circuit Board attributed to its lower bound. There are connectors for connection of sensors of flow and temperature liquid cooling system, additional connector for thermocouples, a couple of connectors for incorporation of led strips and connectors USB 2.0 ports and USB 3.0. There is also the ROG Extension connector, mode switches for extreme overclocking Slow Mode and LN2, and is also useful for overclocking experiments buttons Safe Boot and Retry.

All radiators available on the ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac), mounted on the screws and adjacent to the cooling components via elastic thermal pads.

An exception only one radiator for the M. 2 drive. He is used as a thermal interface thermally conductive double-sided adhesive tape, the manufacturer, before using need to put in “combat state”.

For the detailed circuitry underlying the Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) boards have been removed all the radiators and decorative casing covering the rear face.

First and foremost interest is the power of the processor. The fact that ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi ac) ASUS engineers have changed its design. Supply CPU phases became 2 more and also changed their location on the Board.

This significantly improved temperature control: the power components in the Converter power now warmed up 10-15 degrees less when compared with the cost on the basis of the X370, Crosshair ROG VI Hero.

Along with this, ASUS engineers have improved the VRM and the radiator – it’s not just two aluminum bars, connected heat pipe, and sticks with fins.

VRM in the new Board is assembled on the principle of 10+2 (VCORE + VSoC) on the basis of the PWM controller (EPU) ASP1405I which apparently is parameterone IR35201.

This means that the real phases for the CPU power five, but they are doubled when using doublers IR3599 mounted on the reverse side of the Board. Each phase uses 60-amp integrated circuit IR3555M PowlRstage and an inductor Micro-Fine Alloy.

It should be noted that this time ASUS has come up with an interesting solution – two phase power SoC split an array of ten phases of the Vcore in space into two groups – this allows you to improve the sink. Given the high power VRM to power the processor, the Board provides two 12-volt connector: standard 8-pin and additional 4 pin. Additional connector may be required in experiments on extreme overclocking.

The power supply circuit of the memory subsystem are collected in a two-phase system generated by the PWM controller ASP1103 with integrated drivers and field effect transistors ON Semiconductor.

Interesting on the ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) there is external clock generator ICS 9VRS4883BKLF. Its presence means that the Board allows you to overclock the CPU not only multipliers, but also through the increase in BCLK frequency.

External clock generator is found on the flagship Socket AM4-boards quite often. But the solution is a feature of the ASUS: ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac) supports the new asynchronous mode in which the increased carrier frequency is applied to only the processor core and the Infinity Fabric, the memory controller and the PCIe bus remain on a standard 100 MHz.

The audio path in Crosshair ROG VII Hero (WiFi/ac) based on codec Realtek ALC1220. Also in the circuit is the DAC ESS Sabre ES9023P and amplifier Texas Instruments RC4580I. To reduce noise in analog part is separated from the other components of the non-conductive area on the circuit Board, and in addition, the manufacturer has not stinted on the special audiophile grade electrolytic capacitors Nichicon Gold series. As before, asososca sound scheme has special protection from the loud clicks of the speakers when turning on and off, and headphones that are able to “pump” the audio outputs of the Board, can have a resistance of 600 Ohms.

Wired Gigabit network is represented on a given Board, with Intel i211T, complemented by brand protection against electrical discharges LANGuard.

Wireless network Wi-Fi 802.11 ac 2 × 2 2.4/5GHz MU-MIMO is implemented as a separate module for Realtek RTL8822BE established in located in the area of the rear panel a special M. 2 slot type E.

Exactly what is provided by the simultaneous existence of Crosshair ROG VII Hero with either wireless networking support, and without Plata can be equipped with this module, and can be supplied without it.

Ports USB 3.1 Gen2, derived on the rear panel of the Board, working through an additional controller ASMedia ASM3142, which is reinforced by the switch ASMedia ASM1543 for the implementation of the port Type-C. the same Chipset USB ports 3.1 Gen2 announced at VII Hero ROG Crosshair to the inner connector, which is equipped with redriver Pericom PI3EQX, allowing you to connect it directly to the connectors of Type-C.

For the realization of the basic functions of I / o, including PS/2 ports, meets chip ITE IT8665E. Expand monitoring and fan control brand essovskie controllers ROG and TPU. But for a more accurate determination of voltages supplied to the CPU, the motherboard appeared differential operational amplifier AS324M-E1. This enhancement Crosshair ROG VII Hero can boast of a more accurate monitoring of voltages than most other boards, including authorship of the same ASUS.

To control the led backlight ASUS developers have implemented the whole scheme including the signature and AURA chip microcontroller ST Micro STM32F.

Getting acquainted with the ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi/ac), we met another interesting detail: the BIOS chip on this Board has a capacity of 256 MB, while on other boards for Socket AM4 processors used twice less capacious chips ROM.

Nevertheless, the very ASUS says that now she only uses half of the available volume, and the second half is for the future, in case when the output of the promising processors, AMD wants to increase the size of the BIOS.


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PC / Laptop

The review and testing of the motherboard ASUS Prime Z390-A

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In the range of ASUS, there are 19 motherboard on the chipset Intel Z390. Potential buyer can choose from models like the elite series ROG or TUF ultra-reliable and Prime, has a more democratic prices. Received by us on the testing Board just refers to the last series, and even in Russia is slightly more than 12 thousand rubles, for solutions Intel Z390 relatively inexpensive. We will focus on models of the ASUS Prime Z390-A.

Having on Board all necessary to create a game system or a productive workstation, fee slightly simplified developers touched on almost everything from the CPU power circuit and ending ports. Thus all the possibilities for overclocking the CPU and RAM in the ASUS Prime Z390-A is. More about all this we will tell you in this article.


The technical characteristics and cost

Supported processors Intel Core i9 / Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron
performed by LGA1151 eighth and ninth generation microarchitecture Core
Chipset Intel Z390 Express
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 64 GB;
dual channel mode memory;
support modules with frequency of 4266(O. C.)/4133(O. C.)/4000(O. C.)/3866(O. C.)/3733(O. C.)/
3600(O. C.)/3466(O. C.)/3400(O. C.)/3333(O. C.)/3300(O. C.)/3200(O. C.)/3100(O. C.)/
3066(O. C.)/3000(O. C.)/2800(O. C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz;
support Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
GUI The integrated graphics core processor allows you to use the ports HDMI and DisplayPort;
supports resolutions up to 4K inclusive (4096 × 2160 at 30 Hz);
maximum shared memory of 1 GB;
support Intel InTru 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider
Connectors for expansion boards 2 PCI Express x16 3.0, modes of x16, x8/x8, x8/x4+x4 and x8+x4+x4/x0;
1 slot PCI Express x16 (mode x4), Gen 3;
3 PCI Express x1 slots, Gen 3
The scalability of the video NVIDIA 2-way SLI Technology;
AMD 2-way/3-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface Intel Z390 Express:
– 6 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6GB/s;
– support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, Intel Rapid Storage, Intel Smart Connect Technology and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug;
– 2 × M. 2, bandwidth of each up to 32 GB/s (M. 2_1 supports only PCI Express memory length from 42 to 110 mm, M. 2_2 supports SATA and PCI Express storage devices ranging in length from 42 to 80 mm);
– support Intel Optane Memory
Gigabit Ethernet controller Intel Gigabit LAN I219V (10/100/1000 Mbit);
with the support of technology ASUS Turbo LAN Utility;
technology support ASUS LAN Guard
Audio 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC S1220A;
the ratio of signal to noise ratio (SNR) – 120 dB;
the level of SNR on the linear input 113 dB;
audio Nichicon fine gold audio caps (7 pieces);
preregulator power;
built-in headphone amplifier;
the different layers of the PCB for the left and right channels;
isolated from PCB sound card
USB interface Intel Z390 Express:
– 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 on back panel, 4 connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 4 port USB 3.1 Gen1 (2 on back panel, 2 are connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 4 port USB 3.1 Gen2 (back panel Board, 3 Type-A and Type 1-C);
– 1 port USB 3.1 Gen1 (connects to the connector on the system Board)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel Combo PS/2 port and two USB ports 2.0/1.1;
ports USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A;
HDMI and DysplayPort;
two port USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A;
two port USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and network LAN-socket RJ-45;
1 optical S/PDIF output interface;
5 3.5 mm gold-plated audio connectors
Internal connectors on the PCB 24-pin ATX power connector;
8-pin ATX 12V power;
6 SATA 3;
2 M. 2;
4-pin connector CPU fan with PWM support;
4-pin connector for the CPU_OPT fan with PWM support;
2 4-pin connector for fan Chassis Fan with PWM support
4-pin connector for the pump AIO_PUMP;
4-pin connector for the pump W_PUMP;
connector EXT_Fan;
M. 2 socket Fan;
connector temperature sensor;
2 4-pin Aura addressable RGB Strip connector;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 to connect 1 port Type-C;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 to connect 2 ports;
2 USB 2.0/1.1 for connecting 4 ports;
connector TPM (Trusted Platform Module);
COM port connector;
connector S/PDIF;
the Thunderbolt connector;
a group of connectors for the front panel (Q-Connector);
audio connector for the front panel;
switch MemOK!;
connector CPU OV;
the power button;
connector Clear CMOS;
connector Node
BIOS 128 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 6.1;
support PnP 1.0 a;
support SM BIOS 3.1;
technology support ASUS EZ Flash 3
Controller I/O Nuvoton NCT6798D
Corporate functions, technologies and features 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5:
– 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Xpert, 4, and Turbo Core App.
– Procool Power connector design;
– Auto Tuning, TPU, GPU Boost;
Fan Xpert4:
– Fan Xpert 4 featuring Fan Auto Tuning function and multiple thermistors selection for optimized system cooling control;
ASUS 5X Protection III:
– ASUS SafeSlot Core: Fortified PCIe Slot prevents damage;
– ASUS LANGuard: LAN Protects against surges, lightning strikes and static-electricity discharges!;
– ASUS Overvoltage Protection: World-class circuit-protecting power design;
– ASUS Stainless Steel Back I/O: 3X corrosion-resistance for greater durability!;
– ASUS DIGI+ VRM: Digital 9 phase power design with Dr. MOS;
ASUS Optimem II:
– Improved DDR4 Stability;
ASUS Exclusive Features:
– MemOK! II;
– AI Suite 3;
– Ai Charger;
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution:
– Stylish Fanless Design Heat-sink solution & MOS Heatsink;
– ASUS Fan Xpert 4;
– ASUS O. C. Tuner;
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3;
– ASUS EZ Flash 3;
ASUS Q-Design:
– ASUS Q-Shield;
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED);
– ASUS Q-Slot;
– ASUS Q-Connector;
AURA: RGB Lighting Control;
Turbo APP:
– featuring tuning system performance for selected applications;
M. 2 Onboard
Form factor, dimensions (mm) ATX, 305 × 244
Operating system support Windows 10 x64
The warranty of the manufacturer, years 3
Minimum retail value for you! 12 460

#Packaging equipment

ASUS Prime Z390-sealed in A small cardboard box on the front side which shows the Board itself is marked with the model name and series and lists the technologies supported. Not forgotten and a mention of the support system backlight ASUS Aura Sync.


According to the information on the reverse side of the Board you can find almost everything, including characteristics and key features. Very briefly the characteristics of the product mentioned on the sticker from the end of the box.

Inside the box for more protect to pay no — she’s just laying on a cardboard tray and sealed in anti-static bag.

The contents are pretty standard: two SATA cable, plug on the rear panel, CD with drivers and utilities connection bridge for 2-way SLI, manual and screws to secure the drives in the M. 2 ports.

The bonus is a coupon for a twenty percent discount when buying brand cables in the store CableMod.

Board is produced in China, and provides a three year warranty. We will add that in Russian stores it is already being sold at a price of 12,5 thousand rubles.

#Design and features

Design ASUS Prime Z390-A modest and concise. On the PCB there is no bright inserts or the attention-grabbing detail, and all the colors consists of a combination of white and black color and silvery color of the radiators. This fee can hardly be called boring, even though it’s the last thing you can pay attention to when choosing the basis for the system average performance.


From the individual design elements highlight the plastic covers on the ports I / o and the chipset.


They have semi-transparent Windows, through which is visible light. We will add that the fee is equal to 305 × 244 mm, that is, it refers to the ATX format.

Among the main advantages of the ASUS Prime Z390-A manufacturer allocates power circuit elements DrMOS, eight-channel sound Crystal Sound, as well as support for all modern ports and interfaces.

Before a detailed analysis of the components of the motherboard will give their location on the diagram provided in the instruction manual.


On the rear panel of the Board displayed eight USB ports, three types, combo PS/2 port, two video outputs, mains socket, optical output and five audio connectors.

As you can see, all modestly and without frills, but it is unlikely the developers here can be accused of compromise, because the base set of ports, is implemented here.

All the radiators and shrouds are attached to the PCB with screws. Their removal took less than a couple of minutes, then ASUS Prime Z390-A appeared in its natural form.

The textolite is not overloaded with elements, a lot of free of chip areas, but it is quite typical for motherboards of a mainstream segment.

CPU socket LGA1151-v2 is not characterized by some signature features — it is completely standard.

In the specifications of the motherboard claimed to support all modern Intel processors this socket, including the recently released Intel Core i9-9900KFfor which you need to flash BIOS 0702 or later.

The system processor power on ASUS Prime Z390-A is organized according to the scheme 4 × 2 + 1. In the power circuit uses assemblies DrMOS integrated drivers NCP302045 production ON Semiconductor is able to withstand peak loads up to 75 A (the average current is 45 A).

Power management on-Board digital controller Digi+ АЅР1400СТВ.

The power Board is provided by two connectors — 24 – and 8-pin.


The connectors are made of ProCool technology to which the stated more secure connection to cables with lower resistance and improved heat distribution. This visual differences from the normal connectors on the other boards was revealed.

No differences in Intel Z390, crystal which is in contact with a small heat sink through thermal pads.

However, here they could not be.

Board is equipped with four DIMM slots for RAM standard DDR4, which in pairs are painted in different colors. Priority to install one pair of modules are light gray slots that are marked directly on the PCB.

The total amount of memory can reach 64 GB, and the maximum frequency stated in the specs – 4266 MHz. However, to achieve this frequency will have to try to pick up as a good processor and the memory, but proprietary technology OptiMem II should be possible to facilitate rest. By the way, the list of officially tested modules on the Board today contains 17 pages of fine print, but even if your memory it will not, then with a probability of 99.9 % for Prime Z390 Is A will to work with her, because motherboards are extremely omnivorous to the memory modules and, as a rule, well, they dispersed. We would add that the power system memory single channel.

ASUS Prime Z390-A is equipped with six PCI Express slots. Three of them are made in a design of x16, and two slots have a metallic shell. First x16 slot is connected to the processor and the processor uses 16 lines PCI-E.

The second slot of the same form factor can only work in mode PCI-Express x8, so the fee is, of course, supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD CorssFireX, but only in combination x8/x8. The third long PCI-Express slot only works at x4 speed using chipset line. In addition, the Board has three PCI-Express 3.0 x1, also implemented by the chipset Intel.

The operation mode of the PCI-Express implemented circuits-switches ASM1480 production ASMedia.

As for the video output Board with built-in graphics core, they are implemented by the controller ASM1442K.

The Board has the standard six SATA III ports with a throughput of up to 6GB/s implemented by the possibilities of the same set of system logic Intel Z390. In their placement on the PCB of the developers do not have anything wise and arranged all the connectors of one group in a horizontal orientation.

There are on-Board ports and M. 2 in the amount of two pieces. Top, M. 2_1, supports PCI-E and SATA devices up to a length of 8 cm and when you install a SATA drive-type disables the port SATA_2.

At the bottom you can only install PCI-E drives up to 11 cm, additionally it is equipped with a plate heat sink with thermal pad.

A total of 17 on-Board USB ports. Eight of them are displayed on the rear panel, where you can find two USB 2.0, two USB 3.1 Gen1, and four USB 3.1 Gen2 (one of the format Type-C). Six USB 2.0 can be connected to two pads on the Board (use an additional hub), in the same way you can display and dual USB 3.1 Gen1. In addition to them, to the Board connects a single USB 3.1 Gen1 for the front panel of the system unit. A very comprehensive set of ports.

As the network controller on ASUS Prime Z390-A widely used common chip Intel I219-V .


Hardware protection against static electricity and surge will provide a block of LANGuard and software optimization of traffic it is possible to spend utility Turbo LAN.

The basis of the audio section of the Board is a processor Realtek S1220A with the stated ratio of signal to noise ratio (SNR) on the linear audio output of 120 dB and SNR level on line input – 113 dB.

Such values are achieved including through the use of Japanese capacitors with premium, the breeding left and right channels in different layers of the PCB, insulation audiosony on the PCB from the rest of the elements of the conductive strip.

At the software level supported surround sound technology DTS Headphone:X.

For monitoring and fan control on the Board is provided Nuvoton NCT6798D.

In total, facilities include seven fans, each of which can be configured individually by PWM signal or voltage. There is a separate socket for connection of pump cooling system, outstanding current 3 A.

Connector EXT_FAN is possible to connect an expansion Board with extra connectors for fans and thermal sensors, which then can also be controlled from BIOS.

Setting the automatic overclocking on ASUS Prime Z390-A is implemented by the microcontroller TPU KB3724Q.

To connect to the external tapes of led backlighting, the Board provides two connectors for Aura RGB.

Supported tape length up to three meters. On the PCB Board highlighted area casing exits and a small portion of the radiator of the chipset, and adjusting the illumination color and choice of modes available through the app ASUS Aura.

Other connectors on the bottom edge of the PCB, select the new connector NODE, which can connect the power supply units ASUS for the monitoring of energy consumption and fan speed.

But the lack of an indicator POST-codes on the Board are not happy, even though her mainstream class.

Cooling the VRM circuits Board involved two separate aluminum radiator with pads. In turn, the chipset consumes less than 6 watts, cool small 2-3 mm plate.

The same thickness and the plate to drive in the lower M. 2 port. Moreover, the manufacturer promises a 20-degree decrease in temperature storage in comparison with the indicators at all without the radiator.


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Overview of ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4: tell me no overclocking

Box-shaped wireless speaker Compatible with any Bluetooth device Delivers powerful, clear sound Available in Blue, Red & Black 3.5mm jack USB charging port Built-in microphone

At the end of last year, Intel is trying to cope with a sudden shortage of production capacity process technology 14 nm++, has released a set of system logic Intel B365 according to the norms of 22-nm process technology. His task is to close the gap in the segment of inexpensive motherboards, the lack of which, according to some analysts, Intel is not allowed to actively promote their new processors-the ninth generation. The chipset, like its 14-nm counterparts, remained within the thermal pack, 6W, received 20 lines PCI Express 3.0 and support for Windows 7, but was stripped of the USB 3.1 Gen2 and built-in Wireless AC module. Overclocking with the new chipset is also not friendly.

Simultaneously with the announcement of Intel B365 motherboard manufacturers introduced their new models, which are based on, and formed the chipset. Do not stay aside and the company ASRock, has released five motherboard Intel B365. Overall, these announcements have gone quietly and without fanfare, as is often the case in products of this class. However, demand such fees definitely will use. One of the new – ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 – we will study and test in today’s article.

#Specifications and cost

ASROck B365M Phantom Gaming4
Supported processors Intel Core i9 / Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron
performed by LGA1151 eighth and ninth generation microarchitecture Core
Chipset Intel B365
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 64 GB;
dual channel mode memory;
support modules with frequency 2666/2400/2133 MHz;
support Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
GUI The integrated graphics core processor allows you to use HDMI version 1.4 and DisplayPort version 1.2;
supports resolutions up to 4K inclusive (4096 × 2160 at 30 Hz);
maximum shared memory of 1 GB
Connectors for expansion boards 2 PCI Express 3.0 x16 modes x16 or x16/x4;
1 slot PCI Express x1 Gen 3
The scalability of the video AMD 2-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface Intel B365:
– 6 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6 Gbps (supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, Intel Rapid Storage, Intel Smart Connect Technology and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug);
– 2 × M. 2 (M. 2_1 supports only PCI Express flash drives, ranging in length from 42 to 80 mm, M. 2_2 supports SATA and PCI Express storage devices ranging in length from 42 to 110 mm);
– support Intel Optane Memory
Gigabit Ethernet controller Intel Gigabit LAN I219V (10/100/1000 Mbit);
technology supports Wake-On-LAN, Lightning/ESD Protection, PXE
Audio 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC1200;
audiophile grade audio capacitors (5 PCs.);
gold plated audio connectors;
isolated from the PCB of the sound card;
support technology Surge Protection, DTS Connect, Premium Blu-ray Audio
USB interface Intel B365:
– 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 on back panel, 4 connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 6 ports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (4 on back panel, 2 are connected to the connector on the system Board);
– 1 port USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C rear panel)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel Combo PS/2 port and two USB 2.0 ports;
the HDMI and DisplayPort;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C;
two port USB 3.1 Gen 1;
two port USB 3.1 Gen 1 and network plug RJ-45;
1 optical S/PDIF output interface;
5 3.5 mm gold-plated audio connectors
Internal connectors on the PCB 24-pin ATX power connector;
8-pin ATX 12V power;
6 SATA 3;
2 M. 2;
1 M. 2 Key E;
4-pin connector CPU fan with PWM support;
4-pin connector for the pump DLC (supports Smart Fan Speed Control);
3 4-pin connectors for case fans with PWM support (Smart Fan Speed Control);
1 4-pin addressable RGB LED connector;
2 4-pin RGB LED connector;
a group of connectors for the front panel;
audio connector for the front panel;
connector TPM (Trusted Platform Module);
2 USB 2.0 ports for connecting 4 ports;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 to connect 2 ports;
connector COM Port;
jumper Chassis Intrusion Header and Speaker;
indicators, POST Status Checker (PSC)
BIOS 128-Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 6.0;
support SM BIOS 2.7
Controller I/O Nuvoton NCT6791D
Corporate functions, technologies and features ASRock Super Alloy:
– Premium 50A Power Choke;
– Nichicon 12K Black Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors);
– I/O Armor;
– Shaped PCB Design;
– Matte Black PCB;
– High Density Glass Fabric PCB;
ASRock Intel 4-Layer Memory POOL (Planes on Outer Layers) Technology;
ASRock Steel Slot;
ASRock M. 2 Full Coverage Heat Sink;
ASRock Ultra M. 2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3);
ASRock POST Status Checker (PSC);
ASRock Full Spike Protection (for all USB, Audio, LAN Ports);
ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
Form factor, dimensions (mm) Micro ATX 244 × 242
Operating system support Windows 10 x64
The warranty of the manufacturer, years 3
Minimum retail value for you! n/a

#Packaging equipment

The Board comes in a relatively compact cardboard box, decorated in typical ASRock style products. Its front side is nothing remarkable stands out, and the reverse will briefly tell you about all the features of the Board and its technical characteristics.


On a small sticker on the end of the box to find your serial Board number and the batch number, the size and weight and country of manufacture — Vietnam.

Inside of the carton Board is on a soft substrate made of polyethylene foam to which it is pressed against the plastic ties, and further Packed in anti-static bag.

The complete set modest, as the majority of Vietnamese. Together with the cost of the box showed only two SATA-cable, three screws for drives installed in the M. 2 ports, the cover on the rear panel, installation instructions and CD with drivers.

On ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 three-year warranty, and its recommended price is not yet announced. It is hoped that it is so low that it even hesitate to call. However, on the basis of retail prices for boards with close characteristics chipset H370, it can be assumed that this model in Russia will cost about 6 thousand rubles.

#Design and features

ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 is made in the form factor micro ATX and has dimensions of 244 × 242 mm. Board looks pretty interesting: almost black PCB is painted scarlet and white strokes on the cover of the interface panel shows the name of the series, and on the chipset – logo.


The layout of the major components on the PCB can be studied according to the scheme of the instruction manual.


The modest capabilities of the chipset Intel B365 and no additional controllers on the Board directly affect the view of the rear, showing a minimal set of ports: seven USB (without 3.1 Gen 2), combo PS/2 port, video outputs HDMI and DisplayPort, socket, optical output and five audio connectors.

It would seem that there was a large window for outflow of heated air from the heatsink VRM, but, alas, from the inside it almost completely blocked the radiator.

Despite the fact that ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 refers to the lower-price segment, all add-on components on its PCB, attached with screws and not irritating plastic “studs”. Radiators and the housing fee as follows.

As you can see, the layout of the classic and the usual plat form factor ATX, the model distinguishes only a smaller length. Here, as in the more expensive ASRock boards use the PCB of high density, more resistant to powerful electric load and humidity.

Any brand features CPU socket LGA1151-v2 stands out, is the hole for the temperature sensor to the PCB no.

Above and to the left of the CPU socket houses the power circuit elements. In total there are nine groups/phases, each of which includes 50-amp power chokes and capacitors Nichicon 12K.

Stated, that the power of the CPU allotted eight phases (or rather four, but with doublers uPI uP1961S) is probably still one left on the integrated graphics core and the power circuit. Note that the group power supply components of the four phases does not cooled.

For power management of the processor on-Board soldered controller uPI uP9521P.

The power Board is provided by two standard connectors with 24 and 8 pins.


Both connectors are oriented the latches outwards, that is, in our opinion, it is more convenient when you have to disconnect the cables.

Crystal chipset Intel B365 significantly larger than the crystal Z390 Intel, which is not surprising, given the difference in the fabrication process.

It is in contact with a small heat sink through thermal pads.

ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 is equipped with four DIMM slots for latch on one side only.

The maximum amount of memory installed on your card, up to 64 GB, but its frequency may not exceed 2,667 GHz and get around this limitation, no one has yet succeeded. Supports dual-channel mode working memory profiles XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) and a large list of certified for this memory kits. We will add that system memory power single-phase using the same components as in the CPU power circuit.

On the Board, only three PCI-Express, but only the first, connected to the processor lines, has an aluminum shell ASRock Steel Slot.

Formally, the Board supports the merger of the two AMD graphics cards in CrossFireX mode, but they will work under the scheme x16/x4. “Shorty” PCI Express x1 has an open end, that is, it is possible to install long expansion cards.

Board is equipped with six SATA III ports with a throughput up to 6 Gbps, four of which are oriented horizontally and two vertically.


Also have ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 there are two M. 2 port, and the top got a plate cooler with a thermal pad.

The top port, M. 2_1, only supports PCI Express flash drives, ranging in length from 42 to 80 mm, and lower, M. 2_2, ready to take SATA, and PCI Express flash drives, ranging in length from 42 to 110 mm. if in the port of M. 2_2 will be installed the SATA drive, the SATA3_0 port will not be available for devices of the appropriate type. Also add that just below the photo shows the connector M. 2 Key E for expansion cards Wi-Fi;

All USB ports on ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 are implemented by the chipset. Their total number is equal to 13: 6 internal and 7 external. On the rear panel two USB 2.0/1.1, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 and one Gen 1 SB 3.1 Type-C.

In turn, the internal USB ports is represented by four USB 2.0/1.1 and a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1. No high speed USB 3.1 Gen 2 on the Board, unfortunately.

The network interface is implemented here Gigabit controller Intel I219-V.

Declared support technology Wake-On-LAN, Lightning/ESD Protection and PXE.

The basis of the sound path formed Board 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC1200.

In its composition there are five “adipisci” capacitors, and the area of the elements of the sound channel is separated from the rest of the Board non-conductive strips.

In addition, the audio connectors on the rear panel and internal audio connector on the PCB Board covered with gold leaf.

The functions of the Multi I/O and monitoring implemented by the controller Nuvoton NCT6791D.

All facilities include five fans with PWM-control, including the CPU fan (1 A, 12 watts) and pump liquid cooling system (2 A, 24 watts).

The fee is endowed with a proprietary lighting system ASRock Polychrome RGB. On the PCB of the LEDs is illuminated in the rear portion of the right side with the name of the series, as well as a narrow strip on the plastic housing.

In addition, the Board has three connectors for connecting the led strips, backlights, one of which allows the use of individually addressable strips.

On the bottom edge of the PCB Board there is no convenient indicator POST-codes, but it is partially replaced by four LEDs POST Status Checker (PSC), indicating a problem of CPU, memory, graphics card or boot stage.

As for the cooling Board, it is extremely simple: a small fan on the power supply circuit of the processor, the chipset and the drive in the first M. 2.

No heat-pipe here. Moreover, as we mentioned above, four phase CPU power circuit and is left without a radiator.


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Review of the AMD Athlon 240GE, 220GE and 200GE in the right place at the right time

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Recent familiarity with processors Ryzen 5 2500X and Ryzen 3 2300X showed that AMD considers it necessary to strengthen their own lineup of strong budget proposals that could attract buyers in the era of scarcity of available processors competitor. Such innovations do well to solve their problem, proving a more than worthy alternatives for processors the Core i3 series. But only two new products AMD is not going to be limited. Along the way, the company has taken the offensive and in the lower price segment, releasing even more cheap chips capable of inflicting a blow to the popular “hyperpnea” (Pentium Hyper-Threading). So on the market appeared Athlon two hundredth series – new dual-core processors for the platform Socket AM4 with a price of less than $100.

It is worth Recalling that in the model number of AMD’s budget Athlon Socket AM4-performance existed before. For example, a fairly widespread Quad-core Athlon X4 950. However, this CPU is based on outdated design Bristol Ridge microarchitecture Excavator. Because of this he is not able to compete with the members of the family of Pentium in performance and is only of interest because it can be “plug connector”, which allows to exploit the AM4 Socket-a system till the moment it will be installed full processor family Ryzen.

New Athlon for that matter much more modern and therefore more interesting. And although they again are greatly reduced versions of the chips in this time to create used current-based Raven Ridge. For this reason, such proposals can be considered as an alternative to the current Pentium Gold. Having a price from $55 to $75, fresh budget processors from AMD can, as budget Intel chips, to offer two computing cores capable to execute four threads, and a relatively decent graphics core.

It should be understood that the main advantage of the new Athlon is not so much in their characteristics, but in the fact that they are really can be bought at a reasonable price. The fact that the issue with the backorders of their Intel decides to “top-down”. This means that firstly, the orders for expensive chips series Core i7 and Core i9 and also of the application server market. Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron are thus at a disadvantage: they are produced and delivered by a residual principle, and the cheaper the processor, the less of a chance to meet him in the sale. Eventually this led to the fact that the members of the series Pentium Gold or disappeared entirely from store shelves or sold at prices significantly higher than normal. In such circumstances, the new Athlon to be almost the only variant of the processor on which it is advisable to pay attention to the price category “below $100”.

In fact, thanks to the new Athlon, AMD has already managed to win several large OEM contracts: low-cost model of office personal computers, it is highly marketable. Cheap processors for such systems are needed in large quantities, and Athlon has offered an easy way out in a situation when Pentium Gold to buy almost impossible. However, we are interested in a slightly different question: can we rely on the Athlon series of two hundred individual users looking for an affordable option for the home system? On the one hand, Athlon — almost the same as Pentium and Gold. However, on the other – those CPUs higher clock rate and better is the case with single-threaded performance. So to say that terms of speed Athlon 200GE, 220GE or 240GE is almost the same as “hyperpen”, need any confirmation. We’ll try to get testing of the new AMD business and gaming applications.

#New Athlon in detail

The overall strategy of AMD is that the company tries to offer processors with more developed multithreading than similar price models from Intel. This is true for almost all market segments, but not for the lower. All three models Athlon two hundred series have only two active nuclei Zen technology-enabled SMT. This means that from the point of view of the number of executable threads, they are no different from the current modifications of Pentium Gold.

Besides, the Athlon has no support turboradial. No technology Core Performance Boost or even more of the XFR/XFR2 are not available, and hence, at any load they operate at a constant clock frequency. By the way, this frequency is relatively low: the Junior model, Athlon 200GE, operates at 3.2 GHz and older, Athlon 240GE – on 3.5 GHz. There is another significant loss: AMD in their Junior processors cut the cache and memory controller. Volume cache of the third level reduced to 4 MB and a maximum supported memory DDR4-2666. And in this case we are talking not about the formal, but the actual limit: required to traktowania memory at a higher frequency multipliers are simply not available, and to overclock the DDR4 SDRAM will not work.

Athlon 200GE

Athlon 200GE

Athlon 220GE

Athlon 220GE

Athlon 240GE

Athlon 240GE

But the new Athlon can boast of a very moderate power consumption and heat dissipation. Their thermal Suite is defined by the value of the 35 watts that’s one of the most economical AMD processors for desktops. Such a characterization of TDP can boast except Ryzen E-series, which the company officially supplying only to OEMs. Here AMD was able to outperform even Pentium Gold: heat pack budget Intel is 58 watts. It is therefore not surprising that in the boxed versions of Athlon two hundred versions come with a simple aluminum cooler c 65-mm fan, which causes persistent Association with cooling systems under the classical era Athlon XP Socket A.

An important distinction of modern processors Athlon two hundredth series from those Athlon X4, AMD has offered to date, is that now they have a graphics core. The basis of Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE are design Raven Ridge and the same 14-nm semiconductor core, as in processors Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G. However, the performance of the integrated GPU is significantly undervalued. The manufacturer says about the graphics level GeForce Vega 3, which is converted in three computing module with 192 unified shaders, 12 texture units and 4 ROP units. By the way, this configuration provides the GPU and the youngest mobile Ryzen 3 2200U.

The characteristics of the new Athlon fit into the existing range of cheap AMD processors in the following way.

Design Cores/ Threads Base frequency, GHz Turbocheetah, GHz L3 cache MB Memory Graph. the core Lines PCIe TDP, watts
Ryzen 3 2300X Pinnacle Ridge 4/4 3,5 4,0 8 DDR4‑2933 No 24 65
Ryzen 3 2200G Raven Ridge 4/4 3,5 3.7 V 4 DDR4‑2933 Vega 8 16 65
Ryzen 3 1300X Summit Ridge 4/4 3,5 3.7 V 8 DDR4‑2666 No 24 65
Ryzen 3 1200 Summit Ridge 4/4 3,1 3,4 8 DDR4‑2666 No 24 65
Athlon 240GE Raven Ridge 2/4 3,5 4 DDR4‑2666 Vega 3 12 35
Athlon 220GE Raven Ridge 2/4 3,4 4 DDR4‑2666 Vega 3 12 35
Athlon 200GE Raven Ridge 2/4 3,2 4 DDR4‑2666 Vega 3 12 35

In their marketing materials AMD Athlon contrasts the two hundredth series intelliskin Pentium Gold. However, the fact that they can offer comparable performance to something other than graphics, there is quite reasonable doubt. Where they come from, it should be clear from the following table, where the mapped features of the budget AMD and Intel processors.

AMD Athlon Intel Pentium Gold
Cores/threads 2/4 2/4
Microarchitecture Zen Coffee Lake
Platform Socket AM4 LGA1151v2
Frequency A 3.2-3.5 GHz The 3.7-3.9 GHz
L2-cache 512 KB per core 256 KB per core
L3-cache 4 MB 4 MB
SIMD instructions AVX/AVX2 SSE 4.1/4.2
Integrated graphics Vega 3 (192 SP) UHD 630/610 (23/12 EU)
GPU frequency 1000 MHz 1050-1100 MHz
Memory DDR4-2666 DDR4-2400
TDP 35 W 58 W
The official price $55-$75 $64-$86

The new Athlon is a relatively low clock frequency. However, but they offer lower heat dissipation and, apparently, more powerful graphics, which outperforms Intel UHD 610 Graphics (GT1) and certainly no worse than the UHD 630 Graphics (GT2).

However, here you need to make three significant reservations. The first relates to prices. The fact that due to problems with the supply of the Pentium Gold it is impossible to buy at the “right” price, which is indicated in the table above. While Junior Athlon 200GE actually buy for 3 thousand rubles, Pentium Gold g5400 is cheaper than 5 thousand in sales now is not to find, not to mention the fact that the Pentium Gold G5500 model with a production-level integrated GPU GT2 will cost from 6 thousand and above.

The second point is about acceleration. Unexpectedly turned out, the Athlon generation Raven Ridge can be configured to work at higher than declared by the manufacturer, clock frequency. AMD itself of that opportunity does not advertise and sometimes even denied, but the fact is that the new BIOS for the vast majority AM4 Socket-a motherboards, which are based on AGESA version, I suggest really working the function to change the multiplier frequency. We cannot guarantee that this opportunity will not be blocked in the future, but at the moment the situation is such that the working frequency of Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE can be increased by 10-20% rather simple manipulations.

Have Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE third feature. The AMD approach to the formation of inexpensive processors is somewhat different from interesnogo. In Athlon, the company reduced the number of cores and compute units of the GPU, but did not turn off any of the properties of the microarchitecture. So, for example, budget Socket AM4 processors continue to support AVX instructions, while the Pentium Gold in their execution impossible.

In conclusion, we should say that support Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE have all motherboards for Socket AM4, which can operate with Raven Ridge. In other words, the problem to find a platform for these processors will not occur. And here it is appropriate to recall the existence of a set of logic A320, which AMD was designed for the most budget configurations. Thanks to him, the prices of motherboards with Socket AM4 start with a mark of 3.5 thousand rubles, which allows you to create highly available platform with modern components AMD. And we are talking about is really relevant boards that can offer support for NVMe drives, USB 3.1 ports and versions of video outputs with support for 4K resolution.


Given the fact that the Athlon two hundred series are constructed on the same semiconductor crystal as their older brothers Ryzen Ryzen 2200G 3 and 5 2400G, some unexpectedly high overclocking results is not expected. We checked all three arrived in our lab processor — Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE, and the maximum acceleration for them was achieving a frequency of 4.0 GHz. To work stably in this condition are two processors of the three – 200GE and 220GE. Senior representative in the series could only please steady performance at 3.9 GHz.

Therefore, in practical tests we concentrated on those instances that were able to conquer the symbolic threshold. However, the increase in frequency in any case, did not require any substantial effort: to achieve the stability needed just a little (to 1.35-1,375) increase in processor supply voltage.

The tests we carried out with our usual cooler Noctua NH-U14S, but it is clear that the restriction in the dispersal here is not the heat of the processor, and the capabilities of the silicon. Therefore, similar results can be obtained those users who prefer air cooling easier. However, with the standard aluminum cooler 4-gigagertsevogo frequency, obviously, will not succeed. In this case, you will have to limit ourselves to a weaker market.

Also it is worth mentioning that cheap motherboards on base of chipset A320 do not support overclocking at all. To increase the frequency of the desired charge on the chipset B350, and they are a bit more expensive.

Unfortunately, the acceleration allows to eliminate just one of the shortcomings of the new Athlon – their low clock frequency. But two other negative factors remain in force. First, the Athlon memory will still run at maximum frequency DDR4-2666 – around this border have a budget AMD is impossible. Second, Athlon allocated for maintenance of the primary PCIe slot is only 4 lanes of PCI Express 3.0. And this means that the discrete graphics card installed in a system with an Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE, will run through heavily cut-down on bandwidth bus. However, some motherboard this birth defect still able to fix it by translating the graphics slot in the higher speed mode of PCI Express 3.0 x8.


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