Question MOBO choice?

Feb 23, 2019
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So I’ve got every part needed for my new build other than my motherboard. Seeing as I have to grab a mAtx board due to my case(Corsair 280x rgb), I was curious on some of your opinions for a motherboard. New build consists of:

Corsair 280x case
Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 650w
Ryzen 7 2700x(using the stock cooler)
G.skill trident 3200 rgb ram
Gigabyte GTX 1060 6gb

As there are not a lot of options for a micro atx board, after some research, I’ve narrowed my choices down to the ASRock b450m Pro4, ASRock b450m steel legend, and the MSI b450m mortar. Now I know a lot of people preach the mortar, but is it worth it now to spend double the price basically of the others. The pro4 I can grab for less than 80 dollars. I see the pro4 and the mortar have good vrm’s. Not sure on the steel legend but I am a RGB Fan, so I do like the looks. Don’t know much on performance. I am not a heavy overclocker, but will dabble a bit. Nothing crazy. I have the b350m bazooka now and with my latest bios update, should be able to run the 2700x now if I don’t grab a mobo right away. So, if a higher end board is needed, I could do it later down the road. Just curious what everybody else thinks in reference to choice. I also see the b450m bazooka V2 seems to be a decent mobo. I know there isn’t really a wrong choice, but again curious as to what others think. Appreciate the help.
 
...Now I know a lot of people preach the mortar, but is it worth it now to spend double the price basically of the others.
That is a very good point. It seems the Mortar is no longer available in the US and the only one(s) are probably being imported at retail, hence the terrific price.

Don't forget MSI B450M Gaming Plus. I like that one much more than Bazooka V2 if for no other reason than the VRM heatsink, even with that gaudy red-flash color scheme.

The hands-down value leader will be the b450m pro4, but I'd be choosing between Gaming Plus and Steel Legend. Probably the Legend because of the 5 pump/fan headers and i simply can't get past all that red.
 
Feb 23, 2019
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That is a very good point. It seems the Mortar is no longer available in the US and the only one(s) are probably being imported at retail, hence the terrific price.

Don't forget MSI B450M Gaming Plus. I like that one much more than Bazooka V2 if for no other reason than the VRM heatsink, even with that gaudy red-flash color scheme.

The hands-down value leader will be the b450m pro4, but I'd be choosing between Gaming Plus and Steel Legend. Probably the Legend because of the 5 pump/fan headers and i simply can't get past all that red.
Appreciate the good info. I looked at the gaming plus from MSI and just couldn’t talk myself into it. And you are correct about the mortar. Everything is coming from overseas, basically doubling the price. I did notice all the fan/pump headers on the steel legend and thought that was pretty cool for a Matx, just couldn’t find as much info on them as I could the pro4 and mortar. Everyone preaches VRM, VRM, VRM on these, so a lot of my thoughts were based on that. I think I will look into the steel legend.
 
Appreciate the good info. I looked at the gaming plus from MSI and just couldn’t talk myself into it. And you are correct about the mortar. Everything is coming from overseas, basically doubling the price. I did notice all the fan/pump headers on the steel legend and thought that was pretty cool for a Matx, just couldn’t find as much info on them as I could the pro4 and mortar. Everyone preaches VRM, VRM, VRM on these, so a lot of my thoughts were based on that. I think I will look into the steel legend.
Most all b450 boards are very similar in features...audio, LAN USB ports, NVME. None are outstanding with high-end audio or an Intel LAN or whatever. In fact, the ONLY thing that significantly distinguishes them from each other aside from aesthetics and niggling things (like fan headers)...or even lower cost A320 boards...is the VRM.

So my thinking is, if you're hard-over not going to overclock just go get an A320 but if you're entertaining that notion at any level be sure to get one with a better VRM so you can do it right.

And Ryzen is just so simple to overclock people will wind up doing it.
 
Feb 23, 2019
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Most all b450 boards are very similar in features...audio, LAN USB ports, NVME. None are outstanding with high-end audio or an Intel LAN or whatever. In fact, the ONLY thing that significantly distinguishes them from each other aside from aesthetics and niggling things (like fan headers)...or even lower cost A320 boards...is the VRM.

So my thinking is, if you're hard-over not going to overclock just go get an A320 but if you're entertaining that notion at any level be sure to get one with a better VRM so you can do it right.

And Ryzen is just so simple to overclock people will wind up doing it.
Good to know. And yes Ryzen is extremely simple which got me doing little overclocking on my little 1400. And I saw a decent difference compared to stock in CineBench and still being stable in Aida64. In your opinion, in choosing one strictly for VRM, is there a way to truly see/tell/read as to which one of my choices provides a better VRM layout? I’ll keep my B350 bazooka for now but will be purchasing a board within a couple weeks
 
Good to know. And yes Ryzen is extremely simple which got me doing little overclocking on my little 1400. And I saw a decent difference compared to stock in CineBench and still being stable in Aida64. In your opinion, in choosing one strictly for VRM, is there a way to truly see/tell/read as to which one of my choices provides a better VRM layout? I’ll keep my B350 bazooka for now but will be purchasing a board within a couple weeks
Sadly, there's no really good way to know how good the VRM of a board is aside from board reviews by overclocking fans. You can look at heatsinks, the bigger and better finned ones that are solidly mounted by screws are obvious for instance. But what lurks underneath is a mystery. You can't even count the inductors since mfr's have started putting parallel inductors in place to fool you into thinking there are more phases than there are.

But you also have to be a bit careful when reading/watching overclocking fan reviews. Many, if not most, of them are looking for hardware they can do competitive benchmarking with...so they want extreme capability. Nothing on B450 mATX is really good for extreme overclocking so you get them complaining about how bad they are even while demonstrating a 1700 solid stable at 4.0Ghz. But most of us aren't extreme, we want to get something for stable 24/7 use and there are clearly better products and clearly worse ones.

B350 Tomahawk wasn't that great for 8 core chips. I had a B350 Mortar, essentially the same, and while I could get my 1700 to 3.9Ghz on it, stable, the VRM ran very hot in stress testing. It would be fine for a 1400 though... you should be able to get 3.9-4.0Ghz if you're willing to push the voltage. Just remember: AMD recommends 1.425V as a long-term limit for daily use.
 
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Feb 23, 2019
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Sadly, there's no really good way to know how good the VRM of a board is aside from board reviews by overclocking fans. You can look at heatsinks, the bigger and better finned ones that are solidly mounted by screws are obvious for instance. But what lurks underneath is a mystery. You can't even count the inductors since mfr's have started putting parallel inductors in place to fool you into thinking there are more phases than there are.

But you also have to be a bit careful when reading/watching overclocking fan reviews. Many, if not most, of them are looking for hardware they can do competitive benchmarking with...so they want extreme capability. Nothing on B450 mATX is really good for extreme overclocking so you get them complaining about how bad they are even while demonstrating a 1700 solid stable at 4.0Ghz. But most of us aren't extreme, we want to get something for stable 24/7 use and there are clearly better products and clearly worse ones.

B350 Tomahawk wasn't that great for 8 core chips. I had a B350 Mortar, essentially the same, and while I could get my 1700 to 3.9Ghz on it, stable, the VRM ran very hot in stress testing. It would be fine for a 1400 though... you should be able to get 3.9-4.0Ghz if you're willing to push the voltage. Just remember: AMD recommends 1.425V as a long-term limit for daily use.
Again I appreciate the knowledge youve been giving me. As far as overclocking the 1400, thats more of my everyday{fiances' PC} so I dont mess with it as much. Where as the newer one Im about to put together will be the 2700x. And even then i wont be getting crazy overclocking. Maybe just a little more than factory base clock, or to simplify it, an all core clock within reason, as the 2700x is already fast enough for the video/photo editing I do with some FPS gaming on the side. After our discussion this morning, Ill be grabbing the Steel Legend, as it seems to fit most the criteria, some added headers, and decent rgb lighting for my case and cooler. Again thanks for taking the time to give some worthwhile answers for me
 

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