New MSI MEG Z390 Godlike vs ACE

Michael Jacky

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Hi,

So, yes I know they only just come out (barely even) and we don't have benchmarks for the new CPUs and stuff, but I want to ask a few other things unrelated to that.
I have a Full-Tower build, and as such I like having an E-ATX in it, because well, that's what they were made for, essentially... This would put me in the direction of buying a Godlike, but it's like double the price of an ACE, so is it worth it?

Now, I plan to add more M.2 drives, I have 1 already in my build, but I plan to buy another pretty soon. Now, the thing is, I'd prefer if I could avoid any incompatibility with my SATA drives and DVD-readers, which would make me interested in an M.2 expansion card. One, supporting 2 M.2, already comes with the Godlike, while the ACE doesn't get that luxury.
Now, I could buy an ASUS Hyper M.2 and get 4 slots instead of 2 on my expansion card, though the one that comes with Godlike has thermal pads that cover mor of the M.2 cards.
Thing is, as far as I know, M.2 drives are x4 PCI-E, meaning (if I'm correct) if you had that ASUS Hyper M.2 expansion card, it'd need a x16 slot running at x16 and not at x8 like most MOBOs do, both Godlike and ACE are like this (while my current Z170 has 4 PCI-E x16 slots two running at x16 and two at x8). But, most consumer processors, like my current 6700K, the 7700K, 8700K, the upcoming 9700K and 9900K, none support two x16 slots...
So, in the end, is a 4 slot M.2 expansion card even useful when it can only run at x8 instead of x16?
Is it fine as long as the drives don't work full-speed at the same time?
Anyhow, how will this affect my experience?

On top of that, in JayzTwoCents review of the Godlike, he briefly mentioned and explained the OC turning knob on it that supposedly would help you OC easier, but how does that integrate with th 9700K which has a supposedly guaranteed OC, turbo speed, of 4.9GHz?
Cause I know when you OC from scratch, your CPU starts from base clock, which on the 9700K is 3.6GHz. Will the knob actually make you go above 4.9 if you want to?
Like, I don't really fully understand or see how well these would work together.
Would I be better off just overclocking on my own without a knob? If so, that'd give another plus to the ACE. Also, btw, whilst we're on the topic, if I save and buy an ACE instead, do you think buying the 9900K is more worth it than the 9700K?

The Godlike has a lot of quality of life stuff that I want, but is it really worth the extra $300?
Bare in mind I'm in Sweden so manufacturer-to-retail shipping as well and 25% tax bumps up the prices significantly.
Money isn't an issue necessarily, I got plenty, I just want a second (third, fourth, fifth...) opinion of this. My perfectionism feels more at ease with an E-ATX in my case rather than the cramped AT, also how will and ATX affect my air-flow? (I have a Corsair Graphite 780T case)
But again, is the price worth it? Is the MSI M.2 Xpander-Z expansion card better than the ASUS Hyper?

Feel free to smack my fingers with a ruler and teach me a bit about computers that I don't know. xD

 
I'm not an advocate of expensive motherboards. You will typically get little if any benefit once you hit the $150 range. $600 for a motherboard is plain ridiculous. Typically a solid $150 board will overclock the same, just get a good VRM board. The ACE or a Asrock taichi are plenty.
 

Aeacus

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With MSI Z390 Godlike MoBo, you'll get all the latest tech there is when it comes to the MoBos, with little older tech on it. E.g USB 2.0 ports at the rear of the MoBo which Godlike doesn't have but Z390 ACE does. Both MoBos still have 2x USB 2.0 internal headers since may components use those headers (e.g almost all AIOs).

Of course, there are other differences as well, which you can see if you compare those two on MSI site. E.g:
* Z390 ACE max RAM OC caps out at 4500 Mhz while Z390 Godlike also offers 4533 Mhz and 4600 Mhz
* Z390 ACE has 3x PCI-E x16 slots while Z390 Godlike has 4x PCI-E x16 slots, making quad-Crossfire possible
* Z390 Godlike has U.2 port and TPM header as well
etc.

With MoBos, the selection mainly comes down to the budget. But if the money isn't the issue then selection comes down to the features MoBo has, including it's color theme. So, if you think you may need the extra features Z390 Godlike gives to you, go for it. But if there's no use for those extra features at the time being, getting a better MoBo may still prove useful long term.

Back in the day (2 years ago or so) when i was building my Skylake build (full specs with pics in my sig), there was an option for me to go with B150 chipset MoBo. That MoBo would've gave me all that i needed at that time while costing half the price. But since i knew that i'll keep my rig for years to come with upgrades to keep up with time, i specifically got high-end MoBo (MSI Z170A Gaming M5) with plenty of extra features. Those include: 2x M.2 slots, 3x PCI-E x16 slots with support for 3-way SLI/Crossfire, TMP header, nice black&red color theme and few more features.
At the time of my purchase, i didn't used any of those extra features and some may say i overpaid for my MoBo. At that time and at current time (2 years later), i disagree since now i'm running M.2 NVMe SSD as OS drive, which wouldn't be possible if i would've bought B150 chipset MoBo which doesn't have M.2 slots. And since my MoBo has 2x M.2 slots, i'm thinking to get 2nd M.2 NVMe SSD as well. Though, i'm still running single GPU setup but i'm also thinking about 2-way SLI since i know my MoBo supports it. If my MoBo wouldn't support SLI/Crossfire, i'd be stuck using single GPU setup until i'd replace the MoBo with one that supports it.

To put it short: if you have the ability (money) to get more than you currently need then why not to get it? Since you never know when you'll need the extra features. And when the need does rise (like i had with M.2 drives), it's good to have the feature(s) support available, rather than spending time and money to replace the MoBo with one that has the needed feature(s).

As far as that Asus 4x port M.2 card goes, that one is useful with X-series MoBos (server MoBos) since server chips (LGA2011-v3) offer far more PCI-E lanes per CPU than consumer chips offer. In consumer MoBo (e.g Z390), max what you can make that Asus M.2 expansion card to run is 8x PCI-E lanes, unless you put it into 1st (upper) PCI-E slot, which i highly doubt since that slot is exclusively used by GPU.
 

Michael Jacky

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Even-though much didn't get answered, I appreciate the reply and will take that into account on future purchases.
As well as my this one.

I've actually read around a bit more and apparently MSI has really bad QC (Quality Control), so whenever people have asked whether they should get MSI or Asus, everyone always recommends Asus, and I've heard Asus mobos are really good with overclocking, so I'm thinking of an Asus ROG MAXIMUS XI EXTREME (Z390, E-ATX) which is 1000 SEK cheaper than the Godlike and has much of what I want, but I'm yet unsure about the M.2 drives being connected in the extra DIMM slot... Dunno how that affects it's performance...
I built my current right 2 years ago too, so my 6700K handles itself fine in most games, but some are so CPU intensive it's silly, so getting a 9700K or possibly a 9900K, would be very nice, which is why I update. But in this time I've really gotten to use this right FULLY, on my current E-ATX Mobo I use 5 SATA slots (3HDD, 1 SSD, 1 DVD-RW) and 1 M.2 slot. It's got so many expansion options. But, since my 6700K is only able to reach 4.3GHz through the enhanced performance profile in the BIOS and not any higher, it's lagging behind (since newer games require more performance and old games, as well as many new ones, only use 1 core).
Hopefully this upgrade will last for a little longer, but who knows with this Intel/AMD feud, maybe next year they'll have revolutionised with a new chipset and I'll be mad about it...

Anyhow, when it comes to the M.2, most mobos (pretty much ALL) only has 1 PCI-Ex16 slot running at x16, and all other slots at x8 or x4, chipset hasn't changed much since Z170 really...
Meaning an M.2 expansion card will never be able to utilise x16 speed, but it really shouldn't need to either, considering you probably won't put much load on all your M.2s at the same time. So maybe I'm fine.

I mean unless you doubt I have lost the silicon lottery and I can really increase my 6700K clock speed, and you'd be able to give me tips about how to go about reaching the notorious 4.5GHz, I think I've decided on the Asus ROG MAXIMUS XI EXTREME with an 9900K...




If anyone else has more suggestions or insights worthy sharing, please keep discussing.
 

Michael Jacky

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I won't ever get a mobo for $150 here in Sweden with the features I want. Forget that. I'm not an advocate for m-ATX (which is what you'd get for that price) or any of that sort either, not enough expansion options. I need ATX, mininmum, nothing smaller than that.
Also, if a more expensive board can future proof you for a while, with possibly upgrades and expansions, then buying a budget mobo won't do you much, unless it's some really well planned out budget mobo, which it won't be because anthing properly planned out is expensive...
 
I'm talking US prices, $150 isn't a budget or mATX. It's your money, but the godlike and similar models are overpriced. You could still buy an extremely good motherboard such as a Asrock taichi and a new motherboard with new features in 2-3 years for the same price. You realize in 2 years there is pcie 4 and DDR 5 coming? No money spent on a motherboard now will future proof you for that. Get a quality high end motherboard and you will be just fine. Asrock taichi, taichi ultimate or phantom gaming 9. Gigabyte Aurous Ultra. Asus Maximus XI are all sufficient.
 

Aeacus

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Besides MSI, Asus would be my 2nd choice when it comes to the MoBos and their build quality. (Though, i prefer MSI over Asus since MSI MoBos do look better and their MoBo features suit my needs best but that's personal preference.)
Also, i can't say that MSI has QC issues. I have 2x MSI MoBos and 2x MSI GPUs in use and i have 0 issues with any of my MSI products. As far as AsRock and Gigabyte goes, i, personally, avoid them. Back in the day (80/90/100 series MoBos), AsRock MoBos had somewhat low quality than the others and Gigabyte bluntly cheated users with their MoBo revisions (link).
Also, AsRock Z390 Taichi, which is suggested above, didn't do best with the small roundup of Z390 MoBo's Tom's Hardware did about a week ago,
link: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z390-motherboard-preview,5838.html

Though, before buying a MoBo, i'd wait for a bit until proper reviews of E-ATX Z390 MoBos are released. This way, you can read in which aspects MoBo excels and in which aspects it falls short.

Also, there are some changes between chipsets, though nothing groundbreaking. Here's Intel Z-series chipset comparison, starting from Z97 up to the latest Z390,
link: https://ark.intel.com/compare/133293,125903,98089,90591,82012

To get more out of your i7-6700K, here's one in-depth guide for you to read,
link: https://www.tweaktown.com/guides/7481/tweaktowns-ultimate-intel-skylake-overclocking-guide/index.html
(Tip: for best performance/highest OC, don't use OC profiles. Do all the tweaking manually within BIOS. Guide above helps a lot in that matter.)
 
I actually have 3 Asrock motherboards in use, 2 z370 and 1 z270, I've used Asus, MSI, gigabyte and,Asrock in the past and use what is best reviewed and meets my needs based on price/performance.

I'm not sure where you gathered the z390 taichi didn't fair well. I have read the article 3 times now and don't see anything to back that statement up. I see that the Z370 taichi needed efficient VRM cooling to handle the additional power required for an 8 core,CPU which isn't bad considering it wasn't made for 8 core CPUs. The MSI model completely failed, yet you support MSI? Feel free to use whatever you like, you posted asking for advice and I gave it. I'm sure, as already stated, any motherboard I listed above as well as comparable MSI models will,do,what you like but I myself think MSI is number 4 out of the top manufacturers.
 

Michael Jacky

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Well, US prices don't apply to me. In Sweden you get a mobo for $150 if it's a budget or <ATX sized...
Also, I'm getting an INTEL processor not AMD...
On top of the the Taichi, according to the manual, does NOT support my current M.2 SSD (Samsung 960 Pro), or maybe it's just a typo since they wrote 960 EVO twice, but who knows?
They claim both the Taichi and Taichi Ultimate support quad-SLI on the top feature list, yet there's only 3 PCI-Ex16 slots on the board, and claims only dual-SLI (more probable) in another list further down, hmmmmmm... This is all very inconsistent and I don't trust inconsistencies like that. But, hey, maybe it has some hidden ability?



If you look at the link he posted, you can clearly see on the PCI-Ex16 slots, it only supports x16/x0/x0, x8/x8/x0, x8/x4/x4. So, if I use a GPU i nthe first slot, and it uses x16, the other PCI-E slots won't do anything, they're useless...
There's good reason why they tested it against these low spec mobos from Gigabyte and MSI and not the flagship mobos. Because it's not on the same level, feature wise. (I never even heard of those MSI and Gigabyte models before... except the Aorus "branding")

If you're fine with Asrock and they worked for you, that's fine, but they don't apply to me.
 
All z390 motherboards are x16x0x0. X8x8x0 or x8x4x4 if you want better, you have to buy an Intel x299 chipset. I never mentioned AMD. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about and are hostile for advice so good luck.
 

Michael Jacky

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I think the bad QC thing was mostly referring to mobos, and if the two you got work great for you, that's fine. Bad QC doesn't necessarily mean the boards won't work, but maybe they won't work AS WELL as other ones.
So, if MSI worked out for you, that's good, but have you actually benched everything? Have you tried to push more out of your systems? Like OC RAM, GPU, CPU?
I really like the looks on the Godlike, but when an Asus board, such as "ROG MAXIMUS XI EXTREME" is on par with the Godlike, is the extra 1000 SEK worth it for looks?

The chipset comparison list won't do me much good, I'm more worried about the PCH lane setup, How using a PCI-E x16 slot for M.2 expansion card or two M.2 slots will affect other PCI-E lanes and the SATA ports.

About the 6700K overclocking. Ihave done it manually, not using profiles, I followed guides, but it couldn't even get 4.2 stable when I had manual settings, on the preset profiles work. Idk what I do wrong, because I don't change much else than the profile does...
I'll see what that guide has to say...
 

Michael Jacky

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I do want advice, but for example, when I specifically say "bare in mind I'm in Sweden", I don't give 2 flying shit baskets about what US prices are, because they don't apply to me.
And another example, if you recommend a motherboard that is clearly inferior in many aspects and don't fill the needs I mentioned in my original post, you're not really helping.
I want advice, but from people who actually knows what they're talking about and have experience, instead of someone going "oh I don't recommend this and that because this is what I use and with this budget" when I clearly said money is not really an issue, I just don't want to buy anything too expensive when it doesn't deserve the pricetag.

I took Aecus advice to heart to wait until real testing comes out to give a better picture of what to buy, and that's what I intend to do for the time being.
This isn't a "oh god help me I'm noob" thread. This is a discussion thread. I want people to come with info, insights, experience so that I, and anyone stumbling upon this thread, can make good and educated decisions on what could be a good purchase and what's worth it.

EDIT: BTW, when I search the web and every single forum I read people say that MSI has bad QC and all recommend Asus, and now this one guy says the opposite; what should I believe? Because of all those other forum threads, I should, logically, lean towards Asus instead of MSI, so the more people come here with insight and experience, the better, because it gives me a better idea of what to get. I made this post before I even knew about the Maximus XI Extreme, but now that I know about it, I'm seriously considering it.
Help isn't as straight forward when this community is filled with brand fanboys who recommend something even if it's shit (not saying Aecus is like that, but who knows), and many have differing results.
 

Michael Jacky

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True, but which one has the lowest chance of of being shit? Which one will work best for my 9900K OC? Which one works best for 1080 Ti OC? Which one is best and still has all the SATA and M.2(or PCI-E for M.2 expansion card) slots that I want? And good BIOS that aren't buggy, etc.
Now, I get it barely anyone have even tried these boards yet, but surely there's a trend form the previous chipsets released these during these 2 years...
Now, I know my topic has the Godlike and ACE in the title, but that was because I was seriously considering the Godlike, but now I'm unsure and I've check Gigabyte, Asus had a quick look at ASRock, even looked at EVGA boards, to find one that is perfect for me.
 

Aeacus

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Thing with PC components is that sometimes they may arrive DOA or with defects, that's why there's warranty for them. And of course, some people will cry out about the defective component they received, be it from MSI, Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte etc. That's from where the bad publicity comes from.
Few topic examples:
Asus QC: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/id-3112356/opinion-asus-quality-control.html
AsRock QC: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-2669732/asrock-motherboard-quality.html

I too have received defective components. For example, i bought Corsair Obsidian 750D Airflow Edition case for my Haswell build since that case has all the features i need while also looking good. That, and Corsair cases are well known for their build quality (just like Phanteks cases are).
Since i payed €179.80 for that high-end full-tower ATX case, one may expect that their case arrives in pristine condition. Well, mine didn't. Several clips that held front fascia in place were broken and power button also didn't work. (At 1st boot up, had to short + and - pins on MoBo to start up the PC.)
Just because i had some bad luck and i received defective case doesn't mean that i need to go around the net and complain about Corsair's quality control. Bad things happen. I contacted Corsair customer support and while there was an option to RMA the whole case, i chose to receive spare parts so i can replace defective components on my own. Also, that incident hasn't deterred me for buying other Corsair products. Since then, i've bought a lot of Corsair peripherals as well (KB, mice, mouse pad, headset, headset stand). Though, i won't buy Corsair PSUs, especially cheaper ones. Regarding PSUs, i prefer Seasonic.

Also, i don't consider myself a fanboy. Fanboy, as such, is someone who unconditionally loves a brand regardless what others say about it and also recommends that brand to others, mostly because he/she likes it. While i've voiced my preferences about brands, i've presented those as my own personal preferences which no-one else needs to follow with me.
If you prefer Asus over MSI, it's fine by me. In the end, it's your PC and your decision, not my PC and my decision. Also, i'm not here to promote specific brand, i'm here to give people my honest opinion and advice based on my knowledge and experience, regardless the brand.
Do note that all the PC components that i've shared here in this topic (and elsewhere in the forums) are suggestions and not recommendations. Suggestion, as such, is an idea that i present for your consideration while backed up with additional data (specs page, reviews, comparisons etc) where you have easy to access for additional information. With suggestion, it's up to you to decide which part to go with. Recommendation, in the other hand, is a statement where i basically say that:"this is the one", without proving why i want you to go with this part and where you only have my word to rely on. If i do recommend something (happens very rarely), i also state that it's a recommendation.

Back to the topic.
Have i OC'd my builds with MSI MoBo in use? Yes.
My Skylake build has MSI Z170A Gaming M5 MoBo and i've OC'd CPU, GPU and RAM. My RAM is running at 3000 MHz which is considered RAM OC according to the JEDEC standard. For benchmarking (CinebenchR15, Unigine Valley/Heaven/Superposition), i've also OC'd my i5-6600K from 3.5 GHz to 4.1 GHz and my GPU from 1506 MHz Base / 1708 MHz Boost / 8008 MHz Memory to 1594 MHz Base / 1809 MHz Boost / 8108 MHz Memory. Though, i'm not into the CPU/GPU OC as some other people are and i don't care about e.g running my CPU at 4.6 GHz all the time. For me, CPU longevity is far more important than high core clock.

Without reviews, it's hard to say if MSI Z390 Godlike is worth the higher price it has over Asus Z390 ROG Maximus XI Extreme or not. But that much i can say that those high-end MoBos have premium price regardless. Since people who buy those, in most of the times, don't care how much it costs, as long as they get the best and latest tech.

To know how on-board M.2 slots will affect other PCI-E lanes and the SATA ports on a MoBo, you'll need to look MoBo manual.
Did some legwork:
Asus manual, pages 1-30 and 1-31 cover the M.2 slots and page 3-19 covers the configuration of PCI-E lanes,
link: https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1151/ROG_MAXIMUS_XI_EXTREME/E14681_ROG_MAXIMUS_XI_EXTREME_UM_V2_WEB.pdf
According to the Asus manual, 2x M.2 slots under chipset heatsink doesn't interfere with 6x SATA ports. But the 3rd PCI-E x16 slot (controlled by chipset) does disable 5th and 6th SATA port if you enable it to run in x2 or x4 mode. Also, 2x M.2 slots on the add-on card (next to RAM slots, DIMM.2) do share PCI-E lanes with CPU.

MSI manual, pages 39 and 40 show the SATA ports availability when you're using M.2 drives and pages 31-32 shows the PCI-E slots configuration with different population levels,
link: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/MEG-Z390-GODLIKE#down-manual
According to the MSI manual, if all 3x M.2 slots are populated with NVMe (PCI-E) drives, 5th and 6th SATA ports are disabled. Using any PCI-E slot won't interfere with SATA ports at all. (That's one place where Asus and MSI differ.)

Btw, i like this topic since you're one of the few who actually talks back and challenges said things, despite some other people here in the topic calling you hostile.
 

Michael Jacky

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Wow, dude... Uhm, that's quite extensive xD
I didn't expect you to do ALL the research for me, but I do appreciate the clear up on M.2/SATA availability.
I didn't mena to call you a fanboy, btw, you just sort of got stuck in the crossfire xD

Question about that; on the Asus board, how will sharing PCI-E lanes with the CPU affect CPU performance? If you don't know, any clue as to where I can find out? Or will I simply have to wait for reviews?

Also, what's the actual difference between having something controlled by the chipset or CPU?

As much as you've described now, the MSI Godlike actually seems like it' s better. Worth the extra 1000 SEK to the Asus? Debateable, but it's more in line with what I actually want.
I also searched for alternatives, there'll be an EVGA Z390 Dark releasing soon, it looks nice, I'm hoping when the manuaæ becomes available that it'll be as nice as it looks, cause it has a few uncommon but smart design choices that could affect the whole look and cable management of my case, which could be a good thing.

But, much lile you said, I should wait for actual reviews, and on top of that, if I wait a week or two, maybe there'll be more E-ATX to choose from.
I remember there being quite a few E-ATX from every brand when I bought my current Gigabyte one.
And the reason I'm not dead set on a Gigabyte one is, even-though the one I have is pretty feature full, like very, I love this mobo, there are still a few things about GIGABYTE themselves that I dislike, for example the BIOS looks crap, not the standard one I had when I go it, but the latest version looks like complete shite, and it can't even seem to get it in the right resolution...
And on top of that, I don't understand the DualBIOS. Like what's the point of it?
 

Aeacus

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Well, i have my fare share of PC knowledge which i've collected over the past 20+ years and which i don't mind sharing either. ;)


In the Asus manual, page 3-19, there is written:
CPU PCIE Configuration Mode
This item allows you to configure the CPU PCIE configurations.
Configuration options: [PCIEX16_1 + PCIEX16_2] [DIMM.2_1 + PCIEX16_2] [DIMM.2_1 + DIMM.2_2]
And here's the explanation of those 3x possible configurations:

[PCIEX16_1 + PCIEX16_2] - If you pick this one then the 16x PCI-E lanes CPU has is allocated to the 1st and 2nd PCI-E x16 slots on MoBo. If you put GPU in 1st PCI-E x16 slot and leave the 2nd PCI-E x16 slot empty, all 16x PCI-E lanes are used by GPU. However, if you use 2-way SLI/Crossfire, CPU PCI-E lanes are split between those slots, leaving each GPU 8x PCI-E lanes to work with.

[DIMM.2_1 + PCIEX16_2] - In this mode, 8x PCI-E lanes are allocated for 1st M.2 drive in DIMM.2 slot while the rest 8x PCI-E lanes are allocated for 2nd PCI-E x16 slot. If you put GPU in there, it will run only with 8x PCI-E lanes. Also, there would be 0x PCI-E lanes for 1st PCI-E x16 slot and as far as i can tell, 1st PCI-E x16 slot will be disabled due to this.

[DIMM.2_1 + DIMM.2_2] - Basically same as above but now, all 16x PCI-E lanes CPU has are allocated to M.2 drives. Also, it seems that both, 1st and 2nd PCI-E x16 slots will be disabled since they only use CPU PCI-E lanes (according to the manual).

Thing with 2nd option is that it takes away half of the PCI-E lanes from GPU while 3rd option leaves no CPU PCI-E lanes for GPU. Unless you use 3rd PCI-E x16 slot for GPU which can run in 4x PCI-E lanes max and is controlled by the chipset. Of course, activating 3rd PCI-E x16 slot disables 2x SATA ports as well. Not ideal and far from high-end in my opinion.

While that DIMM.2 M.2 slot (that extra slot next to RAM slots) on Asus MoBo is improvement, it's only viable on server MoBos (e.g LGA2066). Since there, CPUs can have 40+ PCI-E lanes (e.g i9-7960X has 44x PCI-E lanes) and there's more than enough PCI-E lanes to go around for GPUs and M.2 drives as well. But on consumer MoBos, with limited PCI-E lanes in CPU (16x PCI-E lanes), that improvement is considerable handicap and i have no idea why Asus put that in their consumer MoBo in the first place.

Also, this reply here explains the PCI-E lanes, both CPU and chipset based ones quite well,
link: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-3101958/pch-pci-express-config-processor-pci-express-config.html#18181228


Yes, without reviews, it's hard to say if MSI MoBo is better than Asus MoBo but when looking at both MoBos appearance wise, at least to my eye, MSI MoBo looks far more high-end, while Asus MoBo looks like mid-end MoBo.

Is it just me or there really is only 2x RAM slots on EVGA Z390 Dark E-ATX MoBo? Last i checked, only cheap-end MoBos have 2x RAM slots.
Overview of EVGA Z390 Dark: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13407/intel-z390-motherboard-overview-every-motherboard-analyzed/3
This move by EVGA considerably handicaps any RAM upgrade anyone plans to do in the future. Since with 4x RAM slots and 2x 8GB in the system, you can easily upgrade your RAM to 32GB by buying 2nd set of 2x 8GB of RAM. But not with this MoBo from EVGA. To get 32GB, you'll need to buy 2x 16GB set while scrapping (or selling) your 2x 8GB set you had in there previously.


Gigabyte DualBIOS does have few positive features. Though, in an essence, it's on-board backup of BIOS.
Here are 3x situations where DualBIOS is helpful:
* if you mess up within BIOS settings and your PC fails to boot due to this (e.g too high OC level on CPU), you can use the on-board backup BIOS to revert all changes made within BIOS back to the factory default. Or you can pull the CMOS battery from the MoBo as well since it has the same effect.
* if you update your BIOS and your PC experiences power loss or the BIOS update is otherwise interrupted, MoBo will be bricked since it can't operate with broken BIOS. With backup BIOS chip on your MoBo, you can revert back to the factory version of the BIOS, thus saving your MoBo. But you'd still have older version of BIOS in use.
* if your system gets infected with malware that also corrupts your BIOS, you can restore your BIOS from the backup BIOS chip. Else-ways, your MoBo would be bricked.
Further reading about Gigabyte DualBIOS: https://www.gigabyte.com/fileupload/us/microsite/55/tech_081226_dualbios.htm
 

Michael Jacky

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Not a problem for me, 16GB is plenty for any gaming these days (I also always have like 20-30 Chrome tabs open, used to have like 100+, and I've never reached 100% memory usage). By the time I'll need more than that I'll be looking at building a whole new PC, new case, everything new.



Well, I guess DualBIOS has it's uses. I've never had to use it when OCing though...

BTW, speaking of OC, I managed to get my 6700K to 4.5, and so far it's stable, haven't actually play-tested it, but 3Dmark has had it's fun for a few hours now and it's working great. Previously when I used OCCT to stress it with LLC on "low" and Vcore at 1.35v it kept overheating, +95C, but if I tried lowering the voltage it kept saying random cores were getting errors like 0.5 - 6 sec into the stresstest, but ofc it doesn't state what the error was.
If this OC ends up being stable for any gaming, I might actually end up not buying a new mobo and processor at all, and instead wait until they make ACTUAL improvement to chipset and processors, beyond the couple more cores and slightly higher clock rates...
Cause more cores doesn't really affect gaming, does it? I've read people saying that most, almost all, games only use first physical core anyway, so the only thing that matters is clock speed on THAT.
 

Michael Jacky

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There are a few things that E-ATX has that "sub 200 boards" don't have.
Example is enough M.2 or SATA slots. Some of us has a lot of storage for all manner of things.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
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Nice to hear that you got more out of your CPU.

As far as gaming goes, most games use 4 cores (quad-core) while some (older) games use only 1 core (single-core). So, for gaming, quad-core CPU is more than enough. And yes, higher core clock benefits gaming more than having 6 or up core (multi-core) CPU. Multi-core CPUs, including 4 core / 8 threaded CPUs are great for production work (e.g video rendering). While CPUs with good single-core performance (e.g dual-core CPU) are best used for everyday tasks (web browsing) and in office PCs.

Of course, within gaming, things get more complicated since there are CPU bound games (e.g Cities:Skylines), GPU bound games (e.g Borderlands 2) and games that rely heavily on both (e.g Crysis 3). So, best gaming PC is PC that has good balance between CPU and GPU performance with enough RAM for OS, apps and games to use. E.g for 1080p: i5-6600K / i5-7600K / i3-8350K, GTX 1060 / RX 580, 16GB 3000 Mhz RAM.
 

Michael Jacky

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My friend is trying to fool me into thinking I will gain a heavy performance increase in a bunch of games by havign more cores. So instead of having my 4(8 logical) core 6700K, I suggested that I could get a X299 mobo(which has all the M.2 and SATA functionalities I want, I might be in love with the X299 chipset) and an i7 7820X processor, which has lower CPU clock (4.4 turbo), but since I'll have more cores, 8 (16 logical), I'll get a 4*4.4=17.6, 17.6GHz performance increase, which is just not true considering MOST games don't even utilise 8 cores, and those that do not completely.
It's really hard, because he talks as if he's an IT expert, but I can't help but thinking he's just bullshitting half the time, and this DEFINITELY is bullshitting.
He claims most game utilised that many cores (even though most games that utilise more cores only utilise 2 or possibly 4).
I know a fair bit about what games demand most out of what hardware, like I bought the 6700K specifically to run Arma 3 better because I knew it was very CPU intensive, and yes, I'd probably gain a lot in Arma 3 with the 7820X, but not anything else, and increasing performance in one game, that I barely play anymore, feels dumb...

Like for example, what started my search for a new mobo and processor was the fact that I needed faster clock speeds on Skyrim SE (my favourite game), due to heavy modding and I got told, since Skyrim SE only utilises 1 core, (which seems to be maxed out) I will need a faster CPU to keep my constant 60 FPS.
I could sacrifice a bit of visuals for more FPS, like not having those 2K stone walls, but I WANT it because I want Skyrim to be BEAUTIFUL, and I want my rig to handle it.

If the i9 9900X (yes X), gets released at an affordable price, I'll probably buy that and a X299 mobo (Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7). But if not, I'm considering just keeping ym current rig for 1 more year or two, until I see a significant disability to play new games.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Back in the day (around 2012), many also though that having more cores is better in games. Due to this, a lot of people went with FX-6300 (6 core) and FX-8350 (8 core) CPUs. At the same time, Intel released i7-3770K, which had half the cores while still 8 threads due to the hyperthreading. Performance wise, i7-3770K is about 30% better than FX-8350, despite that i7-3770K is clocked at 3.5 Ghz and FX-8350 runs at 4 Ghz,
comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-FX-8350-vs-Intel-Core-i7-3770K/1489vs1317

Few years back, when i was building my Skylake build, there were many so called:"experts" who said that future games are going to use more than 4 cores and games also benefit from hyperthreading. Meaning that, at that time, i7-6700K is best at gaming. Based on my own research in that matter and the fact that i5-6600K and i7-6700K have equal single- and quad-core performance, (which matters in gaming), i went with i5-6600K instead. i7-6700K is only better in multi-core performance since it has hyperthreading. Here's also one of my research sources from that time which tests hyperthreading performance in games,
link: https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/gaming-benchmarks-core-i7-6700k-hyperthreading-test.219417/

Fast forwarding time to this date, i have yet to see the mainstream trend where most games use more than 4 cores. My i5-6600K keeps up with time perfectly and i don't see a reason why to go with the latest tech. Also, if i need better CPU performance i can:
1. OC my CPU
2. Upgrade my CPU to i7-7700K (need to update BIOS first)
At current time, i'm not planning to give up my Z170 MoBo until Ice Lake or Tiger Lake CPUs are out (11th gen or 12th) and DDR5 is a thing. Also, one can hope that at that time, PCI-E 5.0 is also out in mainstream use.

As far as i9-9900K and i7-7820X goes, Core i9 seems to be a bit better,
comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i9-9900K-vs-Intel-Core-i7-7820X/4028vs3928
but only with 2x benches from Core i9, it's too early to say if it really is a bit better than i7-7820X.

Though with X299 chipset, you'll get far better support for your storage solution since i7-7820X has 28x PCI-E lanes while i9-9900K only has 16x PCI-E lanes to go around. But the new Skylake X Refresh CPUs seems promising, except the price (e.g i9-9900X MSRP is $989),
full list here: https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/cores/skylake_x_refresh

Also, here's some further reading about X299 chipset MoBos if you plan to go with this route,
link: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-motherboards,3984-2.html
2nd link as well for good measure: https://us.hardware.info/reviews/8023/the-best-intel-x299-motherboards
 
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