Cheap Coffee Lake: Three Intel H370 and B360 Motherboards, Tested

Status
Not open for further replies.

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
We can see that MSI tried to push the top end of the B360 range with the Micro ATX sample submitted, so I wouldn't be surprised to see lesser B360 boards for $80. Below that will be H310, and I doubt anyone wants to show those off.
 

1_rick

Honorable
Mar 7, 2014
47
1
10,545
2


Newegg's got about a dozen sub-$80 boards, mostly H310, but several B360s.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
Thanks Rick, I figured the bottom of the B360 market would be around $80 and with in-store discounts maybe a bit less. I don't think I'd recommend the H310 for much.

 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald

When is the last time you checked?

Newegg has new GTX 1080's starting at $610, GTX 1060's from $270, and RX 580's from $350.

Not exactly cheap, but prices have been dropping every week, for nearly a month.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator

Amen to that brudda!


Yeah, miners! :'(

Nice article/review/writeup Thomas. Keep up the great work!
 

sunsanvil

Distinguished
Feb 22, 2010
49
0
18,530
0
I would have been very interested in seeing you evaluate these boards with an upper end non-K processor. Its one thing to say that less expensive boards will tend to be coupled with lower end CPUs, but in the case of the Intel x70 family, the Z370 is all but pointless for anything which does not have a K at the end of it. That means that finding out how H and B boards make out with something like an i5-8600 or i7-8700 would be quite relevant, particularly as it relates to power delivery during all-core max turbo situations.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
There are of course other reasons to use a Z, including support for DDR4-3200 etc, SLI/Crossfire, and CPU-based NVMe.

Your point is also appropriate, and the combination of these two points could leave one question why I didn't use the 8700K in the first place and tell readers "if the board can handle this it can certainly handle that". We used to do things that way until angry budget-gamers came in and said "we don't use expensive CPUs on cheap motherboards". And so we'd be left testing the boards on at least two processors...and heck the higher one might as well be the 8700K since we already have it right? And we'd at least get to show whether or not these boards can lock-in the highest "stock" Turbo Boost ratio with that one, right?

 

sunsanvil

Distinguished
Feb 22, 2010
49
0
18,530
0


Personally that's what I would like to see, but I understand the arduous task of dealing with a global peanut gallery. :)

Of the crop featured here the MSI is the most interesting to me in that, anecdotally at least, I see an awful lot of builds go their entire life with nothing beyond CPU, RAM, a single GPU, a SATA drive or two, and more recently an M.2 maybe, yet people still want the highest build quality and core performance.
 

gaurav71189

Reputable
Dec 26, 2014
98
1
4,665
18
A correction needed:

"the remaining six HSIO serve the three USB 3.1 Gen2 ports"

There are only 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (one type A and one type C at the back). Only one HSIO is used for the third USB 3.1 Gen1 port that is available as a header for type C. I believe the remaining 1 HSIO lane would be allocated to the GbE port. I'm not sure if the CNVi uses a lane.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
Well what do you know, I must have temporarily mistaken it for an honest USB 3.1 Gen2 front-panel port rather than a sham version. As for the Ethernet, it's an i219V so it has an independent path and...oh crap, I checked the original table against the version you're seeing, they REMOVED i219V and replaced it with the word "Intel", as if that was useful. Thanks for asking a question I'd already answered, otherwise I wouldn't have looked for the error.

See if this makes more sense ;)
"The first PCIe x16 slot is fed by the CPU’s PCIe controller and doesn’t count toward the chipset’s 30-lane limit. The second x16-length slot has four chipset lanes, the four x1 slots have fixed pathways, and only one of the six SATA ports is a potential share (in the unlikely event that it gets lost to a SATA-based M.2 card). The upper and lower M.2 drive slots consume four and two lanes (respectively), the two rear-panel USB 3.0 ports takes up two more HSIO resources, the front-panel USB 3.0 header consumes only one HSIO through a USB hub, the USB 3.1 front-panel header consumes one HSIO since it's only connected to a Gen1 interface, and our math says that the four of the remaining six HSIO serve rear-panel USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. The two remaining HSIO pathways would seam to go to an unused M.2 Key-E interface, since the CNVi connector is cross-compatible with Key-E devices. All that said, for a budget-minded PC, the second (two-path) M.2 storage slot may likely go unused, rendering its lane count moot. "
 

gaurav71189

Reputable
Dec 26, 2014
98
1
4,665
18


There seems to be a confusion again with the H370!

What I meant to say was:
2 lanes for 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports at the back
2 lanes for 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports header on board
1 lane for 1 USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C header on board
4 lanes for 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 ports at the back (one type-A and one type-C)
And the remaining PCIe (4 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1) + SATA (6) + M.2 (4 + 2)

This brings the count to 29 lanes. That would leave 1 port unaccounted for, unless it's used for either the GbE or the CNVi. Or it may even be shared? I'm not sure which one would account for the remaining 1.

I hope you've now understood my concern. I bought the H370 Aorus WiFi just a few days ago. Wonderful board though.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor

Please re-read what I quoted from the updated article:
4 lanes for the third x16 slot
4 lanes for the three x1 slots
6 lanes for SATA
4 lanes for the main M.2 storage slot
2 lanes for the second M.2 storage slot
2 lanes for the rear USB 3.0
1 lane for the front (dual port) USB 3.0 because it's on a hub
1 lane for the front (single port) USB 3.1 because its Gen1
4 lanes for the two REAR USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type A, C)
2 lanes for M.2 Key-E Wi-Fi card compatibility, even though they're not used.

4+4+6+4+2+2+1+1+4+2=30

The CNVi module doesn't require HSIO, but the slot itself is M.2 Key-E compatible so it still needs two PCIe pathways.

I hope I addressed your concern two posts ago ;)
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
What I'm saying is that your comments prompted me to recalculate the entire thing using missed information, and even though we didn't come up with the same answer, I'm crediting you, right here, for prompting me to do that recalculation.

 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
You seem to be on quite the charm offensive.

I'm simply dazzled.


Being right doesn't negate the benefits of being nice.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor

Doh! But if he hadn't mentioned the codec I wouldn't have found the info missing in the table! And he appeared not to read the new quote in his next response, prompting me to explain the quote in further detail. And his questions did help me to improve the article. And I even thanked him, so maybe I'm just not very good at being nice?

 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald

I'm making rather too big a deal out of those couple lines. If I were unfamiliar with your acerbic tone, I might not have picked up on them.

I apologize for overreacting. You took that rather better than I expected.
 

gaurav71189

Reputable
Dec 26, 2014
98
1
4,665
18


Thanks, I've now understood correctly. I'd misunderstood some of the points and was under the impression that the USB 3.1 Gen1 Header was not in a hub and that it used 2 full lanes. Also that the CNVi port (M.2 Key-E), as you mentioned has to use 2 lanes is what I've understood after your detailed explanation.



As long as it leads to the correctness of the calculations, we're both happy :)
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor

Sorry for the misunderstanding:
1.) CNVi doesn't use any lanes. CNVi uses a combination connector that has two interfaces, and the second interface is M.2 Key-E.

2.) M.2 Key-E has two PCIe lanes for Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 for Bluetooth.

3.) Since the board has combination slot compatible with both Key-E and CNVi devices, it has 1x CNVi, 2xPCIe, and 1xUSB 2.0 interfaces combined on that slot.

4.) Since the board comes with a CNVi module, the two PCIe pathways that go to the slot aren't used by the module.

5.) The unused PCIe pathways get used if you remove the CNVi module and replace it with an M.2 Key-E module.
 

gaurav71189

Reputable
Dec 26, 2014
98
1
4,665
18


Quite a confusing set of stuff! Got it now, thanks again :) So, that means 2x PCIe is potentially unused.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor

Right, it means its unused by default and available to a Key-E card if you ever feel the need to replace the CNVi with Key-E. Perhaps Gigabyte will have a cheaper model based on the same circuit board that uses the old 433Mbit Key-E module...or perhaps maintaining compatibility was a priority. The later would necessarily be true if Gigabyte sells a cheaper version of the board with an empty module slot.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS