Question Which LGA 1200 Motherboard gives best NVme speed?

Feb 5, 2021
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Hello,

I just got a B460 HD3 for a 10900K, I'm not happy to know the NVme slot is capped at around 3.5 GBps. I haven't opened the box yet so I can exchange it with a better one. But the hight end Z490 Aorus Master also says NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 (same as B460 HD3).

As an intel guy is there anything I can do to have my NVme perform any faster than the 3.5 GBps limit except waiting for the intel 11th gen?
 
Firstly, that board is not really suitable for an i9 10900k. Vrms just aren't good enough for those 150watts.

Aside from that, any intel 10th gen cpu only has pci-e 3.0 lanes. It's part of their IO, and cannot be altered.
11th gen will support pci-e 4.0 in their IO controller, But Like AMD before them, I doubt B460 will have gen 4.0 support, Though they already said that all Z490 boards will support it.

So, no. PCI-E 3.0, with 4 lanes is the maximum you can do for 1 drive. (3.5-4gbp/s)
You also will need a pci-e 4.0 compliant ssd (It will only run at 3.0 speeds until an 11th gen chip is installed), which right now cost a lot.

The only way to get faster ssds in a 3.0 motherboard that will resemble 4.0 speed, would be to raid 0, 2 3.0 drives, though that is less reliable, and NVME raid is still in it's infancy.


Now as a side note, 4.0 ssds are just, not faster than 3.0 ones in any meaningful way. They are faster almost exclusively in sequential numbers, which mean absolutely nothing for most people unless you have a really fast network, like, 40gbp/s+. (even a 3.0 drive is 3.5GBp/s which is 28gbp/s)
They are NOT faster in "random" operations which actually help in day to day usage, and even that is only to a point, since even optane, or ramdisks which are tens or even hundreds of times faster in random, yet still feel exactly the same in a normal computer.
 
Truth is that you as a user(vs. synthetic benchmarks) will notice any difference on pcie3.0 vs 4.0, or even for sata for that matter.

Most of what windows does is small random I/o and not sequential.
In actual usage, the quality of the ssd and the controller is much more important.

Since you have the ability to return the motherboard, I would return it in favor of one with a Z590 chipset.
They are out now amd a suitable one may well cost much less than the Z490 Aorus Master.
On general principles when buying new, look for the latest gen product.
The next gen products are likely to manage voltage demands of a 10900K better.
 
Feb 5, 2021
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Firstly, that board is not really suitable for an i9 10900k. Vrms just aren't good enough for those 150watts.

Aside from that, any intel 10th gen cpu only has pci-e 3.0 lanes. It's part of their IO, and cannot be altered.
11th gen will support pci-e 4.0 in their IO controller, But Like AMD before them, I doubt B460 will have gen 4.0 support, Though they already said that all Z490 boards will support it.

So, no. PCI-E 3.0, with 4 lanes is the maximum you can do for 1 drive. (3.5-4gbp/s)
You also will need a pci-e 4.0 compliant ssd (It will only run at 3.0 speeds until an 11th gen chip is installed), which right now cost a lot.

The only way to get faster ssds in a 3.0 motherboard that will resemble 4.0 speed, would be to raid 0, 2 3.0 drives, though that is less reliable, and NVME raid is still in it's infancy.


Now as a side note, 4.0 ssds are just, not faster than 3.0 ones in any meaningful way. They are faster almost exclusively in sequential numbers, which mean absolutely nothing for most people unless you have a really fast network, like, 40gbp/s+. (even a 3.0 drive is 3.5GBp/s which is 28gbp/s)
They are NOT faster in "random" operations which actually help in day to day usage, and even that is only to a point, since even optane, or ramdisks which are tens or even hundreds of times faster in random, yet still feel exactly the same in a normal computer.

Thanks for the info but I'm confused. On some motherboard product pages it says PCI3x4 then a bit towards the bottom of the page when it gets to the slots it says "PCIe 4.0* Hardware Design ". For example: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z490-UD-rev-10#kf

Also I'm not familiar with Vrms, is that a big issue? do you suggest I should definitely exchange B460 HD3 with a Z490?
 
Thanks for the info but I'm confused. On some motherboard product pages it says PCI3x4 then a bit towards the bottom of the page when it gets to the slots it says "PCIe 4.0* Hardware Design ". For example: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z490-UD-rev-10#kf

Also I'm not familiar with Vrms, is that a big issue? do you suggest I should definitely exchange B460 HD3 with a Z490?
As USAFRet said, and as I also mentioned above, those motherboards are gen 4.0 capable, all they really need to do to be compatible with gen 4 is have good traces on the motherboard.
But the cpu IO controller (a part of the cpu that talks with the ram, chipset, pci-e and stuff like that) needs to also support it.
 
Feb 5, 2021
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As USAFRet said, and as I also mentioned above, those motherboards are gen 4.0 capable, all they really need to do to be compatible with gen 4 is have good traces on the motherboard.
But the cpu IO controller (a part of the cpu that talks with the ram, chipset, pci-e and stuff like that) needs to also support it.
Alright thanks.

In case you missed my other question,
"Also I'm not familiar with Vrms, is that a big issue? do you suggest I should definitely exchange B460 HD3 with a Z490? "
 
I9-10900K is currently the strongest desktop available from Intel.
Under full load, it will draw a considerable amount of power.
That requires good voltage handling capabilities which lower end motherboards do not have.
While they can, indeed run a 10900K, they can not do so sufficiently well to get the performance you paid for.
The Z motherboards, in general, can. And even within that group, the cheapest ones do not do as well.
I might add that you need a very strong cooler in a well ventilated case to be able to dissipate the heat that such a processor can handle.
Read some reviews of prospective motherboards, many will have been tested with a i9-10900K.
 

hotaru.hino

Commendable
Sep 1, 2020
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"Also I'm not familiar with Vrms, is that a big issue? do you suggest I should definitely exchange B460 HD3 with a Z490? "
Which chipset the board has is not indicative of how good the VRM is. You have to look at the spec sheet or the board itself to make sure you're getting a good VRM.

Though I'm sure someone here knows what numbers to look for.
 
Feb 5, 2021
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I9-10900K is currently the strongest desktop available from Intel.
Under full load, it will draw a considerable amount of power.
That requires good voltage handling capabilities which lower end motherboards do not have.
While they can, indeed run a 10900K, they can not do so sufficiently well to get the performance you paid for.
The Z motherboards, in general, can. And even within that group, the cheapest ones do not do as well.
I might add that you need a very strong cooler in a well ventilated case to be able to dissipate the heat that such a processor can handle.
Read some reviews of prospective motherboards, many will have been tested with a i9-10900K.
I'm not a tech guy :(
A while ago I was asking around to see what board to get, some were like get the cheapest if you don't OC, it won't matter. So I went for B460 HD3. But now I hear even cheap Z series aren't good enough, aaaaah! Can you please suggest the cheapest board in the Z group with good vrm? I'm not sure what information to look for even in reviews.
 
Alright thanks.

In case you missed my other question,
"Also I'm not familiar with Vrms, is that a big issue? do you suggest I should definitely exchange B460 HD3 with a Z490? "
Ah right.
Z490 is just the chipset, not the actual VRMs. Z490 boards have better VRMs usually, since they are higher end.
IMO Unlike geofelt said, a lower tier motherboard usually won't cap your actual performance, but having such a high wattage consuming cpu in them will definitely shorten their life span, and in general, is not a good move.
Don't put a 500$ cpu in a 70$ motherboard, and don't put a 50$ cpu in a 1000$ motherboard.
Gotta keep things balanced ya get me?
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yPS3hj_K7EPT4RBWCyjdKNP56pnwDz-IgBc0975-FUg/edit#gid=0
This is a spreadsheet of al LGA1200 boards listed by their VRM layout and how good it is.
It is quite complicated and even I don't get it really, but if you wanted to REALLY dive in and get the best one, look there.

If you just want generally something that is good, firstly look at the features of the board, then compare that to price.
Usually mid end is more than enough.
Say, a Z490 TUF. Same overall feature set as the STRIX and just a little "weaker" in some areas, but much less expensive. (TUF is the mid range and STRIX is the high end of asus motherboards generally)
The TUF is more than capable to run an i9 10900k.

Just search for something in the middle of the price bracket, then check reviews + ask here if it's a good board and if it can run an i9 10900k.
 
Feb 5, 2021
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Ah right.
Z490 is just the chipset, not the actual VRMs. Z490 boards have better VRMs usually, since they are higher end.
IMO Unlike geofelt said, a lower tier motherboard usually won't cap your actual performance, but having such a high wattage consuming cpu in them will definitely shorten their life span, and in general, is not a good move.
Don't put a 500$ cpu in a 70$ motherboard, and don't put a 50$ cpu in a 1000$ motherboard.
Gotta keep things balanced ya get me?
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yPS3hj_K7EPT4RBWCyjdKNP56pnwDz-IgBc0975-FUg/edit#gid=0
This is a spreadsheet of al LGA1200 boards listed by their VRM layout and how good it is.
It is quite complicated and even I don't get it really, but if you wanted to REALLY dive in and get the best one, look there.

If you just want generally something that is good, firstly look at the features of the board, then compare that to price.
Usually mid end is more than enough.
Say, a Z490 TUF. Same overall feature set as the STRIX and just a little "weaker" in some areas, but much less expensive. (TUF is the mid range and STRIX is the high end of asus motherboards generally)
The TUF is more than capable to run an i9 10900k.

Just search for something in the middle of the price bracket, then check reviews + ask here if it's a good board and if it can run an i9 10900k.
Thanks for taking the time.
I found a review which I think was what I was looking for.
There are 4 charts provided here in the vrm temp test part of this review. (Using a 10900K):

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFNnekpGwSg


Three of the Z490 boards I can exchange with right now are:

Giga Aorus Elite
Asus Tuf Gaming Plus
Giga Gaming X

In those charts elite came out on top three times.

elite elite elite tuf
gaming x tuf tuf elite
tuf gaming gaming gaming

Am I right to assume Aorus Elite is the right pick for my 10900K?
 
Feb 5, 2021
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Actually considering the fact that I wouldn't lift the power limit I think I should go for Tuf since it had the lowest temps with power limit being there in vrm test in above video. Right?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I'm not a tech guy :(
A while ago I was asking around to see what board to get, some were like get the cheapest if you don't OC, it won't matter. So I went for B460 HD3. But now I hear even cheap Z series aren't good enough, aaaaah! Can you please suggest the cheapest board in the Z group with good vrm? I'm not sure what information to look for even in reviews.
A cheap motherboard is fine, if you don't get a top end K series CPU.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
VRM is Voltage Regulatory Mosfet. It's a special kind of transistor that takes the voltage supplied by the motherboard, cuts the voltage way down to 1.x Volts but increases the amperage upto 80A+ by doing so. Which creates a lot of heat. They need to be rated to handle that kind of amperage, not just on a spike, but consistently. VRM's are what supplys the cpu with power, so they are essential to the cpus needs.

A strong cpu like the 10900k needs heavy duty VRM's. What comes on the mid-grade boards is mid grade VRM's. What comes on the non-overclock boards is lighter duty VRM's.

It's like putting a 1000HP supercharged V8 502 in a Honda Civic. It'll work up until the point you step on the gas pedal, at which point the torque from that giant engine will rip that Honda apart, twisting it's sub-frame up like a pretzel.

B460 = Honda. Z490/Z590 = Nascar.
 

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