Question How much do VRMs really matter for an i7-9700k?

Feb 10, 2019
I'm about to finally upgrade my computer, and am trying to decide on the motherboard. I'll be getting a 9700k, and plan to overclock it to 5.0-5.2GHz. The RAM I'll likely get will be rated at 3200 MHz CL14. The only further OC that I'll do there is setting command rate to 1.

I know Gigabyte BIOS is pretty bad (I'm upgrading from a Gigabyte board with a 4790k), but they apparently have the best VRMs right now. I also know Asus has the best BIOS, but apparently use questionable VRMs.

For the above OC, will I be running into problems with VRM throttling on the 9700k?

Also, can anybody comment about sound quality of Asus Crystal Sound 3 vs SupremeFX vs Gigabyte Sabre?

Thank you.


Apr 3, 2018
Where I cannot comment specifically on those motherboards, I will say that the higher the power requirement of your processor, and particularly with a known hot and power hungry one like that i7, I would say of paramount importance both on quality and heat sink.
Considering that you will be counting on them for even power delivery and ability to stay cool even on the stock clock, with an OC it will become even more critical.
Gigabytes makes very good OCing motherboards.
Remember is not all about VRMs, you need a well ventilated (cooled) computer case.
Here are some that will allow OC to that frequency..

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Elite
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme


What I find strange about that is Asus holds almost every record for high, stable OC on Intel platforms, most of AMD platforms. There's a scattering of MSI and ASRock, yet Gigabyte is nowhere to be found.
I'd only say 'questionable' about Asus since they do have more models out than Gigabyte including many low-end models with 'questionable' heatsinking and are not really designed for anything more than what the Asus OC software can supply.

Considering your target OC, either brand appropriate mobo would be fine, as long as you stick to the ability of the mobo, not the size of your mobo budget.
Feb 10, 2019
The reviews I've read reporting VRM overheating seemed to almost always be with the 9900k. Are there any reports, or has anyone here seen VRM related throttling with the 9700k on the Asus boards? I'm not against other brands; I've just had bad experiences with my current Gigabyte board, and most of it is related the BIOS (for example, disabling turbo doesn't really disable it. I run prime95 and see it go DOWN to turbo speed, unless I set the turbo the same as my target clock before disabling it).

edit: my temps were fine in the above example. I'll be reusing my Noctua D15 and case/fans with excellent airflow in my new build.
I had issues in the pass with Gigabyte motherboards from 2nd to 4th gen Intel platform.
Gigabyte have come a long way and these days those issues are gone. Of course you could find a defective motherboard from any manufacturer.

You need to be specific about which Asus motherboard you are referring. Asus have entry level Z390 starting at $140 to enthusiast motherboard for $600.
So, if you got for the cheapest entry level motherboard with a with 9700k it will throttle, it doesn't matter the manufacturer.
If you want OCing then you should start at a mid-range to high-end motherboard.
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E
MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk

Pretty much all manufactures have "entry level", "mid-range", "high-end (enthusiast)" and "I have money to to throw at you" level like the $550-$850 ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme, GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XTREME WATERFORCE and MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE.