Review Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X Review: Budget Board Bliss?

Jul 26, 2019
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why review a year old Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X when the Gigabyte X570 Gaming X just came out? according to newegg the gaming x is the 2nd best seller for X570 but you wont find any reviews for it.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Don't really see the "budget" aspect of a board that you have to pay 400 for a CPU for anyway. Because if you're not running a 9900K what do you need Z390 for?
9600K. Testing with the heavy power load of the 9900K is just overkill enough to assure you that you can do anything you wish with the 9600k. And what else would you use with any current, unlocked Intel 1151 processor?
why review a year old Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X when the Gigabyte X570 Gaming X just came out? according to newegg the gaming x is the 2nd best seller for X570 but you wont find any reviews for it.
Not a year old in review options, it wasn't available to us until November. We procured this in May as an alternative to the Gaming SLI, which was cut from US distribution shortly after being awarded. It was supposed to have been a June review but X570 coverage started before I got around to writing this review's conclusion.
 
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9600K. Testing with the heavy power load of the 9900K is just overkill enough to assure you that you can do anything you wish with the 9600k. And what else would you use with any current, unlocked Intel 1151 processor?
Not a year old in review options, it wasn't available to us until November. We procured this in May as an alternative to the Gaming SLI, which was cut from US distribution shortly after being awarded. It was supposed to have been a June review but X570 coverage started before I got around to writing this review's conclusion.
Or you could just get a Z370 board? Also why would ANYONE buy the 9600k? It's a 6c Chip with no HT. You can get a 6c/12t R5 for just over half the price with a b450 board that goes for under 100. Or you could get a 3600 with for less than the 9600K with a board for the same price for the set and have features like PCIE 4. Literally the only reason to buy an intel platform now is the Adobe suite to use the iGPU for rendering and 240Hz gaming because in everything else AMD has either caught or exceeded intel at a lower price.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Or you could just get a Z370 board? Also why would ANYONE buy the 9600k? It's a 6c Chip with no HT. You can get a 6c/12t R5 for just over half the price with a b450 board that goes for under 100. Or you could get a 3600 with for less than the 9600K with a board for the same price for the set and have features like PCIE 4. Literally the only reason to buy an intel platform now is the Adobe suite to use the iGPU for rendering and 240Hz gaming because in everything else AMD has either caught or exceeded intel at a lower price.
What's still available for Z370? The Z390 is basically Z370 with integrated USB3 Gen2. And I don't know why anyone would bring AMD processors into a Z390 motherboard discussion.
 
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What's still available for Z370? The Z390 is basically Z370 with integrated USB3 Gen2. And I don't know why anyone would bring AMD processors into a Z390 motherboard discussion.
Z370 boards are also cheaper and not advised for the higher end chips like the 9900K.

Because the only thing you can put into a Z390 board is a 8th or 9th gen intel CPU. For the board reviewed, it's decent. It's not great, you could get a lot more for not much more investment. AMD is brought up because very few people should actually buy intel chips at the current time. For most tasks the much cheaper R5 2600 and a B450 board would do fine and for not much more you can get an X570 board and a ryzen 3000 series chip which for a start the 3700x is over £100 cheaper than the 9900K, the R9 3900X which demolishes the 9900K in productivity is the same price once you factor in the cooler you have to buy for the 9900K and all down the stack AMD is the cheaper and better option. The 3600 6c/12t for 200 vs the 6 core 6 threaded 9600K at 220 again without a cooler. The 9700k is 365 for 8 cores where the 3700x has 8 with SMT for 320 but includes a cooler. Intel chips are too expensive for what they are, they offer no HT against AMD chip that do, AMD has caught up on IPC even though speed is still capped about 0.5Ghz slower, they are more energy efficent and have implemented new tech like PCIE 4 that Z390 boards don't have.

Doesn't matter how "good" the board is if the platforms position is untenable to everyone who doesn't need quick rendering times on adobe premiere.
 
And I don't know why anyone would bring AMD processors into a Z390 motherboard discussion.
It's clearly relevant to look at all available products, not just one particular ecosystem, especially when "budget" is brought up. It's a bit of a stretch to consider a 9600K, Z390 motherboard and a capable cooler as a good "budget" offering.

Also why would ANYONE buy the 9600k?
Some may be primarily interested in lightly-threaded performance for the specific software they run. But while a 6-core, 6-thread 9600K might currently run the vast majority of games and applications rather well, it's probably not going to hold up as well over time. And if that leaked roadmap for Intel's 10th-gen processors is to be believed, and they enable hyperthreading across their lineup to match AMD on thread count for their next CPUs, the 9600K may only be i3-level performance by around the end of the year, and the new i5s may perform more like the current i7s. The pricing just doesn't make much sense now. Once you figure in the cost of a capable cooler, it's priced within reach of an 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 3700X, which in terms of multithreaded performance is most comparable to an i9-9900K, let alone the much lower-priced 6-core, 12-thread 3600.

As far as gaming performance is concerned, with most common graphics card / resolution pairings, the slightly better per-thread performance of a 9600K is arguably not worth giving up SMT for, especially when you are paying a premium for it. For most gaming systems, the added cost of a 9600K over a 3600 would likely be better put toward graphics hardware.
 
It's clearly relevant to look at all available products, not just one particular ecosystem, especially when "budget" is brought up. It's a bit of a stretch to consider a 9600K, Z390 motherboard and a capable cooler as a good "budget" offering.

Some may be primarily interested in lightly-threaded performance for the specific software they run. But while a 6-core, 6-thread 9600K might currently run the vast majority of games and applications rather well, it's probably not going to hold up as well over time. And if that leaked roadmap for Intel's 10th-gen processors is to be believed, and they enable hyperthreading across their lineup to match AMD on thread count for their next CPUs, the 9600K may only be i3-level performance by around the end of the year, and the new i5s may perform more like the current i7s. The pricing just doesn't make much sense now. Once you figure in the cost of a capable cooler, it's priced within reach of an 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 3700X, which in terms of multithreaded performance is most comparable to an i9-9900K, let alone the much lower-priced 6-core, 12-thread 3600.

As far as gaming performance is concerned, with most common graphics card / resolution pairings, the slightly better per-thread performance of a 9600K is arguably not worth giving up SMT for, especially when you are paying a premium for it. For most gaming systems, the added cost of a 9600K over a 3600 would likely be better put toward graphics hardware.
Wouldn't really believe Intels roadmaps at this point anyway. 10nm was supposed to be due at 8th gen which was what 2018? Doubt they put HT on the i5's though cos then they'd need HT on the i7 which means they'd have to bump the core count on the i9 and then they'd have thermal issues when trying to hit 5Ghz which is their only selling point right now. Unless they get 10nm out I don't see what intel could do to compete with AMD other than dropping prices which they seem reluctant to do. They have inferior products throughout the stack for higher prices (for the majority of applications) and people seem to just be buying them cos of intel inside or just pure fanboyism/lack of common sense because the 9900K might net you however much more FPS over a 3700X with a 2080Ti but the vast majority of people do not have a grands worth of GPU and with a say 2070 you might be within margin of for the 2080Tin is 200FPS over 180 FPS really worth the extra 100+ in cost? I mean that's another TB of SSD storage there, a good mech keyboard or headphones
 
Sep 6, 2019
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First timer here. Just need a little clarification.

"the Z390 Gaming X really needs a fan to be very close to its CPU socket just to keep the voltage regulator from throttling back the CPU under heavy loads."

Don't exactly know what this means for my build.
I plan on using my PC solely for Audio production. I will likely NOT be overclocking the cpu.
My setup will consist of an:
i5-9600k (using integrated graphics rather than dedicated GPU)
Hyper Evo 212 cpu cooler
Meshify C case with the stock front and rear 120mm fans + an additional 120mm fan in front.
Would this setup provide enough air flow to prevent cpu throttling?

As a side note:
I will be using a WD Blue 500gb NVMe ssd boot drive.
Should I install this in the top M.2 connector, with the heat spreader, or the bottom location?

Also I have already purchased a Seasonic Focus Gold 550w PSU, which does not have the extra
4-pin, 12v connector for the cpu. I believe I won't need the extra power if I am not running a GPU card or overclocking the cpu. Am I right in making this assumption? Or, do I need a PSU with the
8 pin and 4 pin power connectors to power the cpu?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't really know what I'm doing.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
First timer here. Just need a little clarification.

"the Z390 Gaming X really needs a fan to be very close to its CPU socket just to keep the voltage regulator from throttling back the CPU under heavy loads."

Don't exactly know what this means for my build.
I plan on using my PC solely for Audio production. I will likely NOT be overclocking the cpu.
My setup will consist of an:
i5-9600k (using integrated graphics rather than dedicated GPU)
Hyper Evo 212 cpu cooler
Meshify C case with the stock front and rear 120mm fans + an additional 120mm fan in front.
Would this setup provide enough air flow to prevent cpu throttling?

As a side note:
I will be using a WD Blue 500gb NVMe ssd boot drive.
Should I install this in the top M.2 connector, with the heat spreader, or the bottom location?

Also I have already purchased a Seasonic Focus Gold 550w PSU, which does not have the extra
4-pin, 12v connector for the cpu. I believe I won't need the extra power if I am not running a GPU card or overclocking the cpu. Am I right in making this assumption? Or, do I need a PSU with the
8 pin and 4 pin power connectors to power the cpu?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't really know what I'm doing.
You're using a CPU cooler that provides sufficient airflow around the voltage regulator to support nearly any CPU. The problem is primarily with users of liquid coolers who don't take airflow around the voltage regulator into consideration.

I'd put the SSD in the top M.2. Using it with or without the heatsink are both options.

You don't need to connect the redundant power connector. Hardly anyone does.
 
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beno

Distinguished
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You're using a CPU cooler that provides sufficient airflow around the voltage regulator to support nearly any CPU. The problem is primarily with users of liquid coolers who don't take airflow around the voltage regulator into consideration.

I'd put the SSD in the top M.2. Using it with or without the heatsink are both options.

You don't need to connect the redundant power connector. Hardly anyone does.
You're using a CPU cooler that provides sufficient airflow around the voltage regulator to support nearly any CPU. The problem is primarily with users of liquid coolers who don't take airflow around the voltage regulator into consideration.

I'd put the SSD in the top M.2. Using it with or without the heatsink are both options.

You don't need to connect the redundant power connector. Hardly anyone does.

Hi,

I really need your reply

i am planning to get a motheboard for my i7 9700 CPU and was looking for that one Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X but you review for that heat issue got me

I do have alreay CPU Cooler Hyper Evo 212, so how exactly and how much this heat issue of voltage regalutor going to affect cpu ? or should i look into another board like ASUS TUF Z390 Pro Gaming
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Hi,

I really need your reply

i am planning to get a motheboard for my i7 9700 CPU and was looking for that one Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X but you review for that heat issue got me

I do have alreay CPU Cooler Hyper Evo 212, so how exactly and how much this heat issue of voltage regalutor going to affect cpu ? or should i look into another board like ASUS TUF Z390 Pro Gaming
I don't remember the board, but can look at the data. First I'd like to point out that the 9700 draws quite a bit less power than the 9900K in our power test. Your CPU cooler should be sufficient at full fan speed, which I'll assume you're using when the CPU is at full load. You can pick your fan profile in BIOS.

So the board should be sufficient under all loads with your hardware. If you're looking for something "better than sufficient", consider the price difference.
 

beno

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I don't remember the board, but can look at the data. First I'd like to point out that the 9700 draws quite a bit less power than the 9900K in our power test. Your CPU cooler should be sufficient at full fan speed, which I'll assume you're using when the CPU is at full load. You can pick your fan profile in BIOS.

So the board should be sufficient under all loads with your hardware. If you're looking for something "better than sufficient", consider the price difference.
Hi, Thanks for reply.
Yeah, it was my bad i got it mixed thought you were the one made the review.
So, i am fine to go with this Motherboard with no concern about that heating issue of VRMs as i am not planning for any overclocks either by the way?

Another thing i wanted to ask if you migh help me about
Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X is supporting Intel Turbo Boost Technology , is it right?
but in BIOS settings what i can't see the same exact name option but can see that option called Enhanced Multicore Performance, does it refer to Intel Tubro Boost Technology?
However, through some search EMP max all cores at once instead of Intel TBT allowing specified processor cores "not all of them" to run faster than the rated operating frequency if they’re operating below power, current, and temperature specification limits.

View: https://imgur.com/tz407ev
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Hi, Thanks for reply.
Yeah, it was my bad i got it mixed thought you were the one made the review.
So, i am fine to go with this Motherboard with no concern about that heating issue of VRMs as i am not planning for any overclocks either by the way?

Another thing i wanted to ask if you migh help me about
Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X is supporting Intel Turbo Boost Technology , is it right?
but in BIOS settings what i can't see the same exact name option but can see that option called Enhanced Multicore Performance, does it refer to Intel Tubro Boost Technology?
However, through some search EMP max all cores at once instead of Intel TBT allowing specified processor cores "not all of them" to run faster than the rated operating frequency if they’re operating below power, current, and temperature specification limits.

View: https://imgur.com/tz407ev
I did the review nearly a year ago, hence I don't remember any hands-on experience.
"Enhanced" boost modes push the CPU to its 1-core-loaded turbo boost speed even when all cores are loaded. It's a form of overclocking. After doing this for many years, motherboard manufacturers eventually got Intel to quit labeling it as such.
 

beno

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I did the review nearly a year ago, hence I don't remember any hands-on experience.
"Enhanced" boost modes push the CPU to its 1-core-loaded turbo boost speed even when all cores are loaded. It's a form of overclocking. After doing this for many years, motherboard manufacturers eventually got Intel to quit labeling it as such.
Sry didn't catch you well.
If you could explain it again? difference between Intel Turbo Boost Technology and option included in attached photo in my previous post Enhanced Multi-Core Performance? are they the same thing or they are different from each other ?!
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Sry didn't catch you well.
If you could explain it again? difference between Intel Turbo Boost Technology and option included in attached photo in my previous post Enhanced Multi-Core Performance? are they the same thing or they are different from each other ?!
Different. Intel Turbo Boost has different "boost levels" depending on the number of cores that are heavily loaded. Intel does this to keep the CPU under a certain power and heat level. It allows an application that uses perhaps two threads to run those two cores at higher frequency and voltage (HOT) while relying on the larger heat spreader and the remainder of the CPU to dissipate the extra heat. When you load it up with an app that uses perhaps six cores, you'll find that it's a couple hundred MHz lower, and that the core voltage is lower, so that the increase in power consumption and heat is not threefold, but only perhaps 50%. Rather than "three times as much power" being used when three times the cores are being used, the power consumption might only go up by 50%.

For example, here's what Tom's Hardware published for the 9700K:
1 Core loaded: 4.9 GHz
2 Cores loaded: 4.8 GHz
4 Cores loaded: 4.7 GHz
8 Cores loaded: 4.6 GHz

"Enhanced" means that the board will pick the higher 4.90 GHz and corresponding voltage, even if 8 cores are loaded. And that means the CPU will push FAR beyond Intel's power and thermal ratings.

In practice, what generally happens when you set "Enhanced" and run an eight core load is that the CPU or voltage regulator exceeds its power or thermal limit, and throttles back. So, were you to run eight cores of Prime95 small-FFTs, the CPU might bump up to 1.35V at 4.9 GHz for less than a second, then THERMAL THROTTLE to a lower level. Heck, it might even end up below 4.60 GHz, if the voltage is maintained at the non-spec setting.
 

beno

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Thanks for reply, i kinda get it now.
So, We can consider Intel Turbo Boost Technology is boosting method (simple auto overclocking) that is safe and supported by Intel. While, EMP is not a safe one and better not to use.


When you load it up with an app that uses perhaps six cores, you'll find that it's a couple hundred MHz lower, and that the core voltage is lower, so that the increase in power consumption and heat is not threefold, but only perhaps 50%. Rather than "three times as much power" being used when three times the cores are being used, the power consumption might only go up by 50%.

For example, here's what Tom's Hardware published for the 9700K:
1 Core loaded: 4.9 GHz
2 Cores loaded: 4.8 GHz
4 Cores loaded: 4.7 GHz
8 Cores loaded: 4.6 GHz
I didn't get that paragraph very well , Aren't all cores supposed to be able to reach Max Turbo Frequency through Intel Turbo Boosting Technology as per each core loaded ?

like saying i7 9700 which i am planning to buy, its Base Frequency is 3.00 GHz and under load it will reach out to 4.7 GHz for loaded cores through Intel Turbo Boosting Technology, right?
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Thanks for reply, i kinda get it now.
So, We can consider Intel Turbo Boost Technology is boosting method (simple auto overclocking) that is safe and supported by Intel. While, EMP is not a safe one and better not to use.




I didn't get that paragraph very well , Aren't all cores supposed to be able to reach Max Turbo Frequency through Intel Turbo Boosting Technology as per each core loaded ?

like saying i7 9700 which i am planning to buy, its Base Frequency is 3.00 GHz and under load it will reach out to 4.7 GHz for loaded cores through Intel Turbo Boosting Technology, right?
I'm trying to make this as simple for you as I can, but I think you're not understanding the concept of multithreading and its limitations.

Say you have a 10-year-old game that was designed to run on single-core processors. And when you install it and run it on a 9700K, it's using only one of the CPU's cores, even though you have eight.
-So, you have an Eight-Core processor, with one loaded at 100%. Maybe two others are loaded at 10% running background services etc. And four are completely idle: They have no tasks assigned.

Now, the Turbo Ratio for a single core load is 4.90 GHz. So, your 9700K runs at 4.90 GHz.

Say you load that same 9700K system with an application that's designed to spread its work across all eight cores. So, you have eight cores running at 100% load. Your 9700K runs at 4.6 GHz.

The above is the way Intel Turbo Boost is designed to work.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
I had to split this to avoid confusing anyone who doesn't understand the difference:
"Enhanced" turbo will attempt to set the 9700K to 4.90 GHz regardless of the load, as long as "some heavy load" is present. It will still "idle down" to a low power state when the load is extremely low (ie, waiting for email etc).

Now, 4.90 GHz requires a higher voltage than 4.60 GHz. And that means "Enhanced Turbo" will probably make the processor run too hot under a heavy load. Thermal protection will force it to throttle down.

Say it's an eight-core load. Intel says "4.60 GHz" at maybe 1.15V. The board (via "Enhanced Turbo" says "No, make that 4.90 GHz" at maybe 1.35V. If you have CPU-Z open, you'll SEE the CPU bump up to 1.35V and 4.90GHz for all of about one second before the CPU says "OH NO, SOMETHING'S WRONG, I'M SO FREAKING HOT!" and forces the throttle back down. And the board says "OH NO YOU DON'T" and tries to force it back up. And the CPU says "OH NO, I'M STILL HOT" and forces the clock even lower. Maybe to 3.60 GHz. I've seen that happen.

This is how the Enhanced mode works. It works best at lower loads and perfect cooling. For the the 9900K I used, it simply doesn't work.
 

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