Question Msi b365m Pro-Vdh PCIe questions (pcie/power phases/vrm)

Nov 12, 2021
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G'day! I have a couple of questions regarding to my set up.

Does the m.2 slot on my motherboard use PCIe lanes from the PCH or the processor? If the latter is the case, would I gain performance by plugging my m.2 ssd into the pcie x16 slot via an adapter?

I am currently using an older PCIe 2.0 graphics card, which I have read may not be using all of the lanes in the x16 slot. Would anyone happen to know how many lanes said graphics card takes up or a way to find out? Let's say it uses 4 lanes and the m.2 slot uses PCH lanes, would there be any way to configure the leftover cpu PCIE lanes in the x16 slot to the m.2 slot if that helps with performance?

Finally, I would like to ask a question regarding the vrms/power phases: Would anyone happen to know how many power phases my board has and if there are any temperature sensors to monitor the vrms? (haven't been able to find them on the manufacturer webpage and manual, and the manufacturer was unhelpful when I contacted them).


In terms of performance I am not fussed about gaming as the desktop is predominantly used for music production.


Msi b365m Pro -VDH

i5 9600k

Asus Gtx 570 directCUii

Crucial P1 500GB NVMe M.2 2280 PCIe 3D NAND SSD CT500P1SSD8

Cheers!
 
Nov 12, 2021
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Edit: A couple of additional questions regarding vrm and music production...

After watching videos from youtubers such as gamers nexus and buildzoid, it seems vrm quality is only taken into account when you're running cpu's with high core counts and/or overclocking (I have no intention of overclocking). Does having good vrms improve performance overall, regardless of overclocking or say if I decide to upgrade to a 9700k/9900k?

Are there any other things to consider on a motherboard that may have an effect with performance in music production (other than the ram, cpu, thunderbolt connections etc.)?

usually my cpu usage is low but it can get up to 80% when using particular vsts, that is also using a DAW that seems to utilize all 6 of my cores evenly.

Thanks again
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
No, you can't "reconfigure" the use of lanes. Lane use is an integral part of the architecture and is not subject to user intervention or configuration. Hardware will automatically use the lanes allocated for use by that hardware if it is available, and will simply not if it is not. In your case, unless you are running multiple graphics cards and multiple M.2 drives, along with a full boat of SATA connected drives, it's really a non-issue that you shouldn't even be concerned about.

That board is the very lowest of the low (Pro-Vdh) for practically every chipset and generation for which the Pro-VDH has had a model for. It should, adequately anyhow, be ok for the i5-9600k but you should be aware that it simply isn't a very good board. VRMs are going to be bottom of the barrel as well as any other onboard components. This is, almost literally, one of the cheapest aftermarket series available from any of the four major aftermarket board manufacturers.

Since there are no professional reviews of this board, which generally means not worth spending the money on one to review when one is not out there and that the manufacturer knows this and has declined to send out review samples because it's just not a worthy venture, and since the only real VRM comparison of the more recent Intel chipset board configurations does not include this model, then it's hard to say anything definitively about the VRMs but looking at the board it looks like it is either a 5+1 or 4+2 design, both of which are extremely low in comparison to most other models for which any of the K sku CPUs ought to be used with. But you're obviously not overclocking on that chipset, especially given the lower tiered nature of that board, so for standard use especially if you are not trying to ride it hard as a gaming machine, should be ok. I would definitely have tried to steer you away from this board had you asked before buying it but since you already have it, it should work.

Might want to actually consider buying another board for your system now, while you still can get one for a semi-reasonable price, because before long these B365 and other compatible chipset models to your CPU are going to become obsolete and then finding one is going to become a very expensive proposition. Then you can retire the Pro VDH to backup status so that down the road this system doesn't become useless due to the inability to find a replacement motherboard. Unless of course you have an intention to upgrade to something newer before or when that happens.
 
Reactions: Vt456
Nov 12, 2021
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Thanks heaps Darkbreeze, much appreciated!

That really explains the lack of info on chipset/cpu pcie configuration for my board.

I'll definitely be looking to upgrade to either to the i7 or i9 in the future. When I do, would it improve general performance if I opted for a board with better vrms/phases?

So far I'm really happy with how my system handles music production, and I don't think I'll need to upgrade for at least few years. I was thinking of waiting to see how the 12th/13th gen intel processors/motherboards turn out and then try to snag a good 2nd hand deal down the track sometime 😊

Thanks again!
 
Nov 12, 2021
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I agree it may be worth getting an intermediate board in the near future in case either the prices for 12 gen and above remain really high for a long time or other issues that may arise.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
So, yes, it REALLY would be pretty much ESSENTIAL that you get a better board IF you have plans to run a compatible i7 or i9 at any point. This board, while technically supporting those models, will likely be like most every other iteration of the Pro VDH series, regardless of chipset or generation, and will probably struggle or have poor performance when paired with one of these higher core count, higher TDP processors. Especially the K sku models that have somewhat higher factory boost frequencies. At the least I'd imagine that it's pretty likely that at minimum there might be a reduction in the length of time cores remain boosted when under a demanding load due to throttling from the budget nature of the board and VRM configuration.

I can't say that for certain, because clearly there are no professional reviews or testing that has been done using this board and an i7 or i9 that I can see, but given past results on similar configurations it is certainly a probability. You just don't want to pair a higher end CPU with more cores and a higher TDP (Thermal design power) with a bottom of the barrel motherboard. It usually results in poor performance and tends to dramatically shorten the life of the motherboard.
 
Nov 12, 2021
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Hey @Darkbreeze sorry for not getting back to you.

I see, how about if intel turbo boost is turned off? Alot of performance features such as boost tends to be disabled in music production rigs, because they have been known to introduce audio glitches. Like would an i9 9900k running at its base speed throttle my vrms even if i got an aftermarket heat sink for them and made sure there was direct airflow to them?
thank you
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I've been doing this, including some music production and recording work here and there, for about 35 years, and I've never heard of nor experienced any kind of issues related to turbo boost. I've worked pretty extensively (For a layman who doesn't do music work for a living) with Adobe Audition, Audacity, Fruity loops, Virtual sound canvas and a bunch of others and never had issues with boost features on either Intel or AMD configurations.

Care to link me to data on this that verifies. I'd be interested to read about it.

As far as the running at base clock goes, that would make it pretty much pointless to even HAVE that CPU. And yes, I think you'd still have issues on that board with that CPU especially if you don't have an extremely capable cooler installed and a very good case fan configuration, and if you do, then then the board would still be the only thing holding you back which would make using it pretty pointless too. The bottom line here is that you simply can't or at least shouldn't run top shelf processors on the worst boards you can possibly find.
 
Reactions: Vt456

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I see they suggest it, but unlike for other suggestions they make in that article, they offer zero reasoning as to why you should do that. And, that is singularly the only reference to such a thing that I've ever seen. Now, I'm not suggesting that THEY have made that recommendation without any evidence or reasoning for doing it, but they certainly didn't offer it there. Considering that for some systems you are likely to give up anywhere from 20-30% of overall CPU performance by disabling the boost profile.

Also, this forum thread seems to indicate that those problems are only typical on older versions of Cubase, not on newer ones.

https://gearspace.com/board/steinberg-cubase-nuendo/1240836-intel-turbo-boost-hyperthreading.html

My advice would be to leave simultaneous multithreading and turbo boost ENABLED, and do some testing to determine if you actually encounter any problems, then RE-test with one or the other disabled, to see if the problems still exist. If they do, then enable the setting you disabled, disable the other setting, and check again. If you still have problems, THEN disable them both.

Also, if you are running an older version of Cubase, I'd highly recommend upgrading to a newer version because some problems might be due to older versions not being entirely compatible with newer versions of Windows AND with some drivers.
 
Reactions: Vt456
Nov 12, 2021
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@Darkbreeze what are your thoughts on overclocking your cpu/ram when it comes to music production? I've seen articles that have said it's a no-no but like the Steinberg article, they have no evidence/data to support their claims?
 

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