Power Phases of motherboards

I just built a new system with the components in my sig. I am trying to learn more about the Haswell platform after-the-fact. One spec that I have run across that relates to overclockability is the number of power phases of a board. Can someone please explain what the "power phases" of a MB are and how they relate to overclocking?

Thanks,

Yogi
 

Sakkura

Illustrious
They basically constitute a little power supply on the motherboard, and they convert the 12V supplied by the (regular) power supply to the voltage required by the CPU (in the neighborhood of 1-1.5V, and can change dynamically). A quality power supply is important for the system as a whole, and the same goes again for the CPUs little dedicated power supply.

More power phases is a good thing because then the load on each power phase is reduced. That means they generate less heat, and that's great because heat makes them less efficient and stable. And in the worst case scenario, the VRM (Voltage Regulator Module, with X number of power phases) can even overheat and be damaged.

For more information about VRM, check the excellent tutorial at Hardwaresecrets, or the VRM/motherboard guide at overclockers.net.

PS: Haswell moved part of the VRM onto the CPU itself. This is part of the reason Haswell runs hotter than Ivy Bridge.
 

Sakkura

Illustrious
They basically constitute a little power supply on the motherboard, and they convert the 12V supplied by the (regular) power supply to the voltage required by the CPU (in the neighborhood of 1-1.5V, and can change dynamically). A quality power supply is important for the system as a whole, and the same goes again for the CPUs little dedicated power supply.

More power phases is a good thing because then the load on each power phase is reduced. That means they generate less heat, and that's great because heat makes them less efficient and stable. And in the worst case scenario, the VRM (Voltage Regulator Module, with X number of power phases) can even overheat and be damaged.

For more information about VRM, check the excellent tutorial at Hardwaresecrets, or the VRM/motherboard guide at overclockers.net.

PS: Haswell moved part of the VRM onto the CPU itself. This is part of the reason Haswell runs hotter than Ivy Bridge.
 


Thank you, Sakkura! I'll definitely check out the info in those links that you provided.

Yogi

 

mscir

Honorable
Feb 3, 2014
5
0
10,510
0


Thanks for a great explanation. The first link is dead. The second link moved to here
http://www.overclock.net/a/about-vrms-mosfets-motherboard-safety-with-high-tdp-processors

Do you have a guideline for picking a m/b with a good to great number of phases?
 

Sakkura

Illustrious


Well it's been over three years...

The first link moved here.

If you're getting a CPU that doesn't draw much power, and aren't overclocking, you generally won't really have to worry about VRMs. But with a power-hungry CPU and/or overclocking, it's worth getting a board with more solid power delivery. Make sure there's a heatsink on the VRMs, and ideally check if there's more than 4+1 chokes (grey/black cubes) next to the VRMs.
 

SliceT

Reputable
Jan 25, 2015
102
0
4,710
14



If your looking for 1151 mobo with a very decent power circuit you should take a look at the Z170 Extreme, the 4 I think has 8 phases, which is plenty but if you want to overclock a bit more hardcore you could go for the extreme 6 which has 10!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS