Question How to spot decent VRM / phaze power rather than marketing BS

spikeysonic

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How do you tell if a mother board has a proper 16 phase vrm and not a marketing cheat with is it doubling, parallel etc.

ie good quality 16 phase or 8 phase.

Heard several brands are using marketing speak and numbers much like mobile phone manufactures market a 30mp camera thats still rubbish whilst one with say 12 mp may be way better like on google phones.

What should you really look for to read between the lines of BS to see whats is good quality
 
How do you tell if a mother board has a proper 16 phase vrm and not a marketing cheat with is it doubling, parallel etc.

ie good quality 16 phase or 8 phase.

Heard several brands are using marketing speak and numbers much like mobile phone manufactures market a 30mp camera thats still rubbish whilst one with say 12 mp may be way better like on google phones.

What should you really look for to read between the lines of BS to see whats is good quality
Definitely agree...trustworthy reviews are the best. But problem is, not many of them do it properly. For instance, there are good ways and bad ways of doubling or even paralleling. So just seeing that it's done shouldn't be the discriminator.

Also, unless you're one of the very few who're 'extreme' overclocking it's probably also true that knowing the details of circuit design aren't really material. A good reviewer will let you know if the board is stable and cool-running with a reasonable overclock the average person will attempt. That should be enough.

A decent review of a motherboard VRM that would be useful to a more extreme overclocker demands fairly detailed analysis. Check out Buildzoids channel on Youtube. He does PCB 'breakdown' analysis of many leading boards to give you an idea of what's what, from an overclocker's perspective. He rambles but gives you a lot of good info that, once you've seen a few, will leave you with an idea of what to look for.
 
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is the way to work out what quality a phase or vrm is by looking at how high the ampage is?
Not always. You also have to look at the control scheme being used and the type of FET's or power stages. There are 50 amp power stages that are just as good, or better, than 70 amp discrete FET's due to efficiency offered by the power stage.

It's really complicated, unless you want to get into an education on buck converter design don't dig too much into the weeds. And lastly, over-speccing a VRM really gets you nothing unless your goal is extreme overclocking.
 
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spikeysonic

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Both.
What EXACT Motherboards are you considering ?

ALL of these would be TRX40 motherboard as it is for a Threadripper 3 Processor.

Was looking at the

  • ASUS ROG STRIX TRX40-E GAMING £493
(Mainly as it appears in all the custom TR3 system configurators on the likes of the PC Specialist, SCAN 3sx and other custom workstation suppliers who seem to stick with ASUS motherboards only... though seen a few Gigabyte ones lately)

Seems to have some sort of AI auto Bios for sorting things like overclocking.

Only 2x SLI
3 full speed 16 x pCIE and 1 x4 speed PCIe
2.5gm lan
7 USB 3,2 Gen 2 USA ports and 4 USB 2

2 RJ45 lan connectord

No add in cards



The ASUS Prime Pro seems to lack features and the ASUS ROG ZenithII Extreame seems too pricy.

  • ASROCK TRX40 TAICHI £479
  • ASROCK CREATOR
The creator only seems to do 8 phaze but 90amps per phaze but has four full PCEi 16x speed slots at full 16x speed each plus 10gb lan internet and 4way SLI
but only 2 Gen 2 USB 3.2 ports

The Taichi comes with a 4th gen SSD addon card which can hold an extra 4 m.2 SSD drives and full 16 phase 90 amps each power, but just 2.5 ghz lanand only 2 Gen 2 3.2usb A ports but both AsROCK BOARDS SEEM TO HAVE ahci, ncq AND nvmE BOOT via an M.2 slot.

Head there are not so good at cooling though.


  • The GIGABYTE TRX40 DESIGNARE. £623
This one comes with a Thunderbolt 3 addin card, (GC-TITAN RIDGE )did better in cooling tests... not sure if as a brand it has a better reputation for reliability or bios than ASroc

16 phase direct (no doubler)

4way SLI

4xc SLI BUT only 2 full 16 speed PCiE 16 slots (2 8x and 2 16 x) plus 1 PCEi 4 x 1 slot.

Dont know if it can dop NVMe boot... no info I can find

Has room for four times Gen4 M.2 SSDs

5 USB 3.2 Gen2 USB ports on back as well as the 2x 3.2 gen USB C ports and 2 thunderbolt ports on the add in card so

It does not appear to have 2.5, 5 or 10GB LAN but does have a double gigbyte Lan

Qflash for the bios on its own with no processor


Also been looking at the


NVMe boot for M.2 SSDs is not listed . (Does this mean you cannot have your operating system on a M2 drive?

A dual ie has a second backup bios incase first one goes wrong.

  • MSI TRX40 Creator £679
This also comes with a 4 gen 4 M.2 SSd holding add on card.
3x SLI

Can only support 6 SATA drives

All 4 of its PCIe slots are the full 16 x speed

Has 10gb lan

Can support 3 M.2 ssds on the board and another 4 on the add on card

One review said it had the best cooling and passive (most of the others have fans).

----------------

how does double ethernet lan work for the boards with 2?




So that was the


  • ASUS ROG STRIX TRX40-E GAMING £493
  • ASROCK TRX40 TAICHI £479
  • ASROCK CREATOR
  • GIGABYTE TRX40 DESIGNARE. £623
  • MSI TRX40 Creator £679

However things like is it reliable, does the bios suck balls, is the build quality rubbish and bendy and breakable, other than it being 16 or 8 phase is the power biut good quality etc does not appear in their marketign speach other supplier comparsion charts the the scan one
 

RodroX

Estimable
Yeah I agree, Buildzoids knows what hes talking about. I really don't think that at this price level, and the cpu segment this boards are oriented for, you will find bendy boards or breakable under normal usage. Of course electronics may and can break, but if it was well packed and transported it should be fine for many years.

Heres a good round up of almost all TRX 40 mobos:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4NuROfYhug

Cheers!
 

TJ Hooker

Glorious
Ambassador
ALL of these would be TRX40 motherboard as it is for a Threadripper 3 Processor.
[...]
Are all the pros and cons you list really relevant to you?

For instance, is only 2 way SLI actually something that would affect you? Nvidia doesn't even support more than 2 way SLI starting with the GeForce 10 series, and most games have terrible scaling beyond two cards anyway.

Are you going to use >1 Gbps ethernet? I.e. your switch and other machine(s) are multi gigabit ethernet, and your use case actually benefits from faster LAN speeds? If you just want a multi gigabit NIC to 'future-proof', could you just buy an PCIe NIC at a later date if required?

How many drives (SATA or M.2) are you realistically going to be using?

Rather than look at every differentiating feature between each board just focus on the ones that will matter to you.
 
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spikeysonic

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Are all the pros and cons you list really relevant to you?

For instance, is only 2 way SLI actually something that would affect you? Nvidia doesn't even support more than 2 way SLI starting with the GeForce 10 series, and most games have terrible scaling beyond two cards anyway.

Are you going to use >1 Gbps ethernet? I.e. your switch and other machine(s) are multi gigabit ethernet, and your use case actually benefits from faster LAN speeds? If you just want a multi gigabit NIC to 'future-proof', could you just buy an PCIe NIC at a later date if required?

How many drives (SATA or M.2) are you realistically going to be using?

Rather than look at every differentiating feature between each board just focus on the ones that will matter to you.

That helps so the SLI issue can be downgraded

Likewise the Internet

Gigabytes Thunderbolt card looked useful. Seems to make sense to have as many of the PCEi slots full 16 speed for whatever will be in them.

Overclocking is new to me as been used to box standard laptops. But is seems to be a big thing most talk about

Reliability very important as would things like raid 1 as have had hard drives brick before including one with most uni work on from my whole degree. Looking o add this to the operating system ssd and have seen suppliers suggest use of scratch and project drives for things like video editing.

Maybe adding some sort of sound and video capture card at a later date.

Also looking to get things like a green screen and podcasting set up

Tend to get requests for lots of audition videos needed for the next day do rendering speed and content creation very important.

Much of the software Im looking to use has not been practical to use with the low grade systems so some of this will not work out till get and try and use the system



This would be for things like

Video editing, Composting and visual effects, rendering, encoding, podcasting, graphics, cad, 3d printing, 3d animation etc
 

TJ Hooker

Glorious
Ambassador
What exactly do you think you'll be using Thunderbolt 3 for? Just an FYI, the Designare comes bundled with the TB3 card, but you can buy it separately too and will work with any board that has a TB3 header. I'm not sure how many do, but for example the GB TRX40 Aorus Pro does.

You're probably better off just doing regular backups (which is something everyone should be doing for any data they care about) rather than RAID. Whether external hard drive, NAS, cloud storage etc., can choose whichever method works best for you.

Regarding the VRMs, even the 8 phase Creator seems capable of running the 3970X about as well as the other high end boards. https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-trx40-creator-motherboard/2
Realistically you're probably going to have CPU thermal issues before you run into the VRM limits anyway (they were using a high end custom loop water cooler).

Edit: To try and summarize, based on the information you've provided I don't see your choice of motherboard among any of the options you've listed making much if any noticeable difference for you.
 
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