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Question How do i pick the right motherboard, and what's the performance differences between the chip sets (for AMD 3900x, NOT a build guide request)

Avinoam73

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May 1, 2012
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i understand that motherboards are priced according to their feature sets. and the different chipsets have different features
but i can't understand for the life of me where lies the performance difference between each motherboard, and each chipset in general.

let's say i own a 3900x and don't intend to use the pcie 4 slots for anything really.
is there a reason to buy anything other than a B450? if so, why? is it because better VRM=better preformance? because i've seen that there are many x570 boards with <Mod Edit> VRMs as well as B450 boards with great VRM.
now that the B550 series came out, and considering how it's priced all over the place, i'm really, REALLY confused.

in a nutshell, how do i know which motherboard is gonna be a good pairing, which one's gonna bottleneck, and which one's gonna improve performance?
and when the hell are they all coming back in stock??

planned build:
R9 3900x
next-gen GPU (amphere/big navi)
16 GB of 3600Mhz RAM (dual stick)
1TB of sata SSD and (maybe) 100gb of m.2 into PCIe4, and some old hard drives for the heck of it
 
Last edited by a moderator:

k1114

Titan
Moderator
Nothing on a mobo affects performance enough to bother with. The different chipsets exist simply because of different feature sets. You get the features and the price you want and you're done.

Vrm could "possibly" let you oc a tiny bit more which you could say affects performance but that's for more serious ocers pushing the limits. It doesn't affect performance otherwise.
 
look
i understand that motherboards are priced according to their feature sets. and the different chipsets have different features
but i can't understand for the life of me where lies the performance difference between each motherboard, and each chipset in general.

let's say i own a 3900x and don't intend to use the pcie 4 slots for anything really.
is there a reason to buy anything other than a B450? if so, why? is it because better VRM=better preformance? because i've seen that there are many x570 boards with <Mod Edit> VRMs as well as B450 boards with great VRM.
now that the B550 series came out, and considering how it's priced all over the place, i'm really, REALLY confused.

in a nutshell, how do i know which motherboard is gonna be a good pairing, which one's gonna bottleneck, and which one's gonna improve performance?
and when the hell are they all coming back in stock??

planned build:
R9 3900x
next-gen GPU (amphere/big navi)
16 GB of 3600Mhz RAM (dual stick)
1TB of sata SSD and (maybe) 100gb of m.2 into PCIe4, and some old hard drives for the heck of it
For B450 chipset MSI Tomahawk b450 Max has best VRM and is immediately compatible with 3000 series Ryzen.
Any x470 MB would also work fine providing BIOS version is compatible. Things you are loosing without 500 series chipset are only PCIe v4 including super fast NVME drives and 100% compatibility with 4000 series Ryzen.
 
but just so we're clear, putting the same components on 2 different motherbpards chipsets shouldn't yield different performances?
Performance wise, it depends on what motherboards you put. If you put a 3950X on an A320 it probably will run, but you'll throttle the VRM and won't maximise your performance. There's a VRM limit where you can maximise your CPU without throttling. For an OC'd 6/8 core a 4 phase Vcore w/ heatsink is fine. For the 12/16 cores you need a B450 Tomahawk the minimum.

Aside from that's it's just irrelevant stuff like PCI-E bandwidth, better network controller, better ADC/DAC for audio, etc.
 

Avinoam73

Distinguished
May 1, 2012
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Performance wise, it depends on what motherboards you put. If you put a 3950X on an A320 it probably will run, but you'll throttle the VRM and won't maximise your performance. There's a VRM limit where you can maximise your CPU without throttling. For an OC'd 6/8 core a 4 phase Vcore w/ heatsink is fine. For the 12/16 cores you need a B450 Tomahawk the minimum.

Aside from that's it's just irrelevant stuff like PCI-E bandwidth, better network controller, better ADC/DAC for audio, etc.
by "the minimum" you're reffering to the quality of the VRM? meaning it needs more than 4 Phases? like what makes the b450 "the minimum" and what board "makes more sense" and what's an overkill? i'm sorry i'm asking the same all of the time but i'm just really confused.

from what i've gathered, as long as i buy a good motherboard, with good reviews and the features i need, i'll be good to go regardless of the fact that the CPU is high end.

i guess it's just confusing to me that a high end CPU will work the same on an 80$ MOBO as on a 200$ one
 

k1114

Titan
Moderator
Why would a cpu work any different on a different mobo? If it works (without issues) then it works the same. It's not able to gain bandwidth or speed magically.

Power phases are not created equal. 4 phases on one mobo could be 8 on another. It's about design and quality. On the note of quality, I would be wary about cheap mobos with cheap quality. The minimum is having a mobo that could run your cpu without power issues. That means having sufficient vrm. If your cpu can't get enough power, it will run slower than normal speeds. More than that isn't necessary and would make no difference.
 

GarrettL

Commendable
Dec 4, 2019
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The thing you will need for best performance is a good aftermarket cpu cooler or AIO. The stock wraith will not prevent thermal throttling. You need a case with good airflow.
 

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