B540 out of stock, suggestions on that and build in general.

Shaun Jones

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Ok so basically this is what i'm looking at for my latest build, mostly for gaming and streaming, light video editing here and there. Likely to overclock in the future but not until necessary.

I have already ordered the CPU and GPU but then ran into a problem, the motherboard is pretty much none existent online at the moment most retailers are out of them.

So 2 questions

1. Should I wait till the mobo is available or are there other options I could go with for a similar price

2. Any suggestions in general on the build, anything I could change or swap out for something else that is either better for similar price or as good for cheaper


My Build:

AMD - Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz 8-Core Processor
Noctua - NH-U14S 82.52 CFM CPU Cooler
MSI - B450 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard
G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
MSI - GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3 GB GAMING X 3G Video Card
Zalman - Z1 Neo ATX Mid Tower Case
 


For me, personally, I'd go mATX :) so that is an MSI B450M Mortar, which I have. If I were to go ATX it would be the B450 Tomahawk. If I could find one at a reasonable price, otherwise the Asrock B450 Pro4.
 

Shaun Jones

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Is there no real difference between them all? I was told the Tomahawk was overall a better build and is actually usually cheaper than the others which is the main reason I asked, but was looking at a few of those earlier and it had me wondering.
 

Shaun Jones

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Thank you, I had just heard so much raving about the B450 Tomahawk that I assumed there was something more specific that made it stand out so much.

I was told that for overclocking in future that going for 8+ Power phase would be better so was originally looking at these 2, you mind giving me your opinion on them compared to any of those you listed? or is it literally just a matter of

"they are all pretty much the same even when overclocking"

ASUS ROG STRIX B450 STRIX-F Gaming - 8 Phase Digi+ VRM
MSI Performance Gaming B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC - 11 Phase Digital PWM

I've always been wary of my own lack of knowledge when it comes to motherboards and ram so just prefer to ask and be sure, so thanks for your help. i'll make sure to select your answer as the solution anyway.

I think as far as i've read there is just a more robust heatsink on the Tomahawk and that is really all.
 


In general, avoid Gigabyte and Asus B450 boards if serious overclocking is a consideration. Asrock and MSI boards have much stronger VRM's that can hold higher core count Ryzen's under load with all-core overclocks. There are, of course, exceptions.

The Asus B450 ROG Strix-F is not 8 phase V-core VRM. It has 4 phases with parallel inductors on each phase to look like 8 phases.

The Pro Carbon AC is also not 11 phase VRM, it's a 4 phase V-core VRM with parallel low-side FETs, parallel hi-side FETs and parallel inductors on all phases. It's the parallel FETs that make the difference; cool running and stable voltage under heavy load even for 8 core CPU's. Also the the big-ass heatsinks MSI uses.

The Tomahawk only lacks paralleled inductors on the phases to be identical to the pro carbon ac's VRM and its cool running VRM is one of the things that makes the B450Tomahawk stand out: it matches overclocking performance of many far more expensive X470 boards that have true high phase count VRM's. It's also very nicely featured and nice looking for an esthetic build and at a low cost.

Many of MSI's B450 boards share that VRM design. Refer to this site for good VRM tech details on AM4 socket motherboards:

https://www.hardwareluxx.de/community/f12/pga-am4-mainboard-vrm-liste-1155146.html#post25344552

Nobody really knows what's coming but rumors and leaks point to some crazy stuff for Ryzen 3000, if that is your concern. Its becoming apparent that the new high-end AM4 chips will need truly beefy VRM's, though. Makes one wonder if motherboard mfr's are looking at another round of releases to accomodate. It seems very much fantasy land to believe current boards can handle a 16core/32 thread CPU at 4.5-4.8 Ghz in a heavy load, or even when two or three cores want a boost to 5.0Ghz.

 

Shaun Jones

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Thank you so much for that, see I feel currently im likely to stop around 4.0 or 4.2 overclock anyway once I feel the need to.

I got my last Asrock Z87 extreme3 to 4.0 pretty easily and I found Asrock pretty nice to work with and understand, considering it was my first time overclocking aswell things went pretty smoothly.

Knowing that I won't likely be pushing any overclocks to high for quite some time if ever, which Asrock would you suggest? and if I went with MSI im guessing maybe it's worth being patient and just getting the Tomahawk or would many of the MSI or Asrock B450 boards be fine for overlocking to around 4.2
 


Something to keep in mind: there are several MSI boards and Asrock boards that will work nicely for pushing a 2700 to 4.1 or 4.2 but that is the extreme range for overclocks in any circumstance. It will depend a lot on quality of silicon and you'll need really good cooling on the CPU and case; don't expect to do it with the stock cooler. If all you're doing is playing some games while streaming and occasional 30 minute video encodings these should do nicely, with adequate cooling of course. They'll even work well for a 2 or three hour encoding or rendering.

But if you have a use case that anticipates a 24/7 fully loaded workload for very long duration at those clock speeds you really should consider stepping up to one of the heavy-lifting X470 boards. The cost is gonna be considerably higher, but if you have to have a 3 day rendering completed in 3 days it's the best way to make sure it won't crash out on you in the middle. I just fully subscribe to the notion that a money making computer should be built with the robustness of a tank wherever possible.

For MSI, if the Tomahawk is out that B450 pro carbon ac is a great choice and includes WiFi but all those features drives up the cost.
MSI B450 Gaming Plus is very similar to Tomahawk but a bit more glitzy with a red flash color scheme.

For Asrock the B450 Pro4
and B450 Fatal1ty Gaming K4 are good choices and very economical. Probably can't be beat for their price.

 

Shaun Jones

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To be honest I had my i5-4570k overclocked to 4.0 for most of the past 4+ years but then it was an i5 and I built it on a very small budget haha.

This is how things look price wise for me with those options, which would you go for? considering the difference in price i'm fine with pretty much any of them just thought i'd ask which one you would buy personally.

£120 - MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC
£110 - MSI B450 Tomahawk
£90 - Asrock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4
£85 - MSI B450 GAMING PLUS
£83 - ASRock B450 PRO4

Thanks for your help I truly appreciate it.
 


For me, personally, I'd go mATX :) so that is an MSI B450M Mortar, which I have. If I were to go ATX it would be the B450 Tomahawk. If I could find one at a reasonable price, otherwise the Asrock B450 Pro4.
 

Shaun Jones

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Is the only real difference between the mortar and tomahawk the 2 PCIE slots vs 3 PCIE slots?

looked like that was where they saved on board space
 


mATX is a shorter board, so it fits in lower profile cases, but that usually means losing one or two slots. But even so, they somehow managed to slip a second NVME slot into the Mortar.

If those extra PCIe slots are important to you then you really need to study how the lanes are assigned as you add devices. B450 does have limited lanes to go around. For instance: on no B450 board is the second PCIe x16 wired as x16, they are actually wired as x4 even though you can put an x16 card in it. And further, on Mortar when you put an NVME in the 2nd M.2 socket that 2nd PCIe x16/4 loses the 4 lanes it had so it's useless.
 
At those price differences it would be the asrock k4 for me, extra usb 3.1 ports, a massive amount of fan headers, twin m2 slots, 2 5050 Rgb headers & an addressable rgb header - all extras that are only found on more expensive boards.

That said the pro carbon ac is pretty much the pinnacle of the B450 range if you don't mind paying the extra.
 

Shaun Jones

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Thanks, I know it's smaller I just wondered if that was what is sacrificed because honestly I only used the PCIe for my GPU anyway so i'm not worried about running out of room for more. But still that is good to know so that I can make sure of what i'm doing. Thanks again.
 

Shaun Jones

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Well i'm not too worried about the RGB stuff I won't lie, I barely see the inside of my PC due to my monitor placement anyway, but it is only £10 more than the tomahawk which I don't mind paying really.

I sold my R9-280x for £100 a few weeks back and bought the 1060 3gb because it was only £120 and after alot of coparison checking I found it performed pretty much as well as the 6gb 1060 and not far off the 580 and the 580 is £220

Most the videos comparing them showed around only 2fps difference when I checked.

But the extra fan headers is always tempting.
 

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