Question Need HELP to Better Understand the VRM and Overclocking my MB

ganymede-

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Jul 25, 2008
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TLDR - I was planning on buying the Asus PRIME Z390-A motherboard. But now, with additional information that I discovered, I’m confused about what type of board to purchase. This morning I learned about the voltage regulator module (VRM) component and its importance when overclocking your CPU, which I intend to do. The Asus PRIME Z390-A has a VRM of 4x2=8, or it reads simply the number eight, which I understand to be misleading bc the x2 multiplier or whatever the x2 is called is not the same as a straight eight VRM. It was suggested that the Asus PRIME Z390-A would not overclock as well as a board that had a no multiplier in the VRM. Then I read that 4x2 is a good enough VRM to extreme overclock the CPU. I then looked into the Asus MAXIMUS series MBs that start at close to $300 which would really squeeze my budget. Again, to my surprise, the MAXIMUS XI HERO had the same VRM of 4x2, but it does mention having doublers, which I imagine increases or helps the VRM in some capacity, but I do not understand how.

I would appreciate if someone would please explain to me what is the difference between having a VRM of 4x2=8 and one that is just 8? And whether or not doublers are very important. And, finally, will I be able to effectively overclock to the extreme if I have a motherboard w a VRM of 4x2=8. Thanks. (For a more detailed description of the issues just keep scrolling down.)
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Hi, I’m doing my second build right now. After performing research, which included talking w a MicroCenter technician about a good Asus board that was preferably under $200, I ended up purchasing an Asus PRIME Z390 - A from Amazon for a reasonable $183.00 price. However, the motherboard ended up having a defective DDR4 slot and had to be mailed back. I’m presently waiting for the credit.

In the meantime, I have continued my research on Asus MBs bc I have a fondness for the brand as well as the ease at which you can push the overclock speed to its maximum by adjusting a few settings in the AI Suite or in the BIOS. I’m not sure if other motherboard vendors offer the same type of super simple overclocking options and a BIOS that is easy to navigate w your mouse.

This morning I stumbled upon something I was not familiar with on motherboards. I learned about voltage regulator modules (VRM) and how important they are in controlling the smoothness of voltage leaving the PSU and going to the CPU and GPU. I did not grasp all that I read, but it was clear that a higher VRM seemed to be necessary or beneficial if I intended to seriously overclock my CPU.

I have an Intel i5 9600K CPU and I intend to overclock it to the extreme. My CPU runs regularly at a 3.7Ghz speed and I hope to push it to approximately 4.6Ghz, if at all possible. I have a Corsair H150i Pro (360mm radiator) to cool my CPU down, supported by eight 120mm Corsair LL series fans, so moving a lot of air for further cooling of my case.

Now back to the VRM issue, for the Asus PRIME Z390 - A, it has a VRM of 4x2=8 or 4. Apparently, the x2 added to the VRM number does not make it an 8 VRM. I’m guessing that the x2 is some kind of multiplier maybe or the article referred to doublers. Does the x2 represent two doublers? I’m confused here.
After finding out about the VRM, I looked at a slightly more expensive MB ($230) from Asus. It was the Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming MB for 9th generation CPUs. It initially looked good on paper, but then I found out that the VRM on this MB was also limited to a 4x2, which did not make sense to me bc this MB is marketed as a gaming MB, so I would expect a higher VRM over the lower end PRIME Z390 MB I was planning on buying again.

I need a strong rationale to justify and to stretch my budget for this build to include a MB from the high-end Asus Maximus series MBs which start at about $290. But the Maximus XI Hero again has a VRM of 4x2=8, plus it does mention having doublers, which reads like a component that improves performance, though I am unclear of the exact function of doublers, I do believe that the previous two MBs mentioned, may not had doublers bc I did not see that word, as I saw it on the Maximus MB.

Could someone please explain to me what is the difference between having a VRM of 4x2=8 and one that is just 8? And whether or not doublers are very important. And, finally, will I be able to effectively overclock to the extreme if I have a motherboard w a VRM of 4x2=8, bc in a couple reviews of the Asus lower-end MBs I cited above, there were reviewers who claimed that the 4x2 VRM was enough to push their CPUs to almost 5Ghz.



I appreciate your feedback as I am treaded in unfamiliar territory here. Thanks.
 

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