Internal: power supply and overclocking features
On average, the Ryzen 2 processors consume a little more than their predecessors, so it's not surprising to see that the X470 motherboards generally have a somewhat better power supply. The table below shows the number of power phases broken down into the phases for the processor scores themselves and for the other parts of the chip, such as the various integrated controllers and in the case of Raven Ridge the iGPU.
With cheaper motherboards, we see that Intersil or Richtek PWM controllers are usually used. Both the Intersil ISL95712 and the Richtek RT8894A can only control four primary power phases, while in practice more phases are often connected. In fact, two coils share a single channel of the controller, making them less efficient than the same number of 'real phases'. Nevertheless, eight 'double' phases, for example, are still preferable to four 'single' phases.
In the high-end segment, the IR35201 controller dominates, due to Asus' use of the pseudonym Digi+ ASP1405I. This controller can control up to eight phases, for example 8+0 or 6+2. Almost every high-end board uses doublers to be able to offer a higher number of phases. The configuration of the Asus RoG Strix X470-F Gaming is striking, as it only doubles the secondary phases.
(CPU + misc.)
|ASRock X470 Gaming-ITX/AC||6+2||Intersil ISL95712||Fairchild FDPC5030SG|
|ASRock X470 Gaming K4||8+4||Intersil ISL95712||Sinopower SM4336NSKP + SM4337NSKP|
|ASRock X470 Master SLI||8+4||Intersil ISL95712||Sinopower SM4336NSKP + SM4337NSKP|
|ASRock X470 Taichi||12+4||IR35201||TI 87350D (DSM)|
|Asus RoG Crosshair VII Hero WiFi||10+2||Digi+ ASP1405I||IR3555M|
|Asus RoG Strix X470-F Gaming||6+4||Digi+ ASP1405I||IR3555M|
|Asus RoG Strix X470-I Gaming||6+1||Digi+ ASP1405I||IR3553M|
|Asus TUF X470-Plus Gaming||4+2||Digi+ ASP1106||ON Semiconductor 4C06B + 4C10B|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5 WiFi||8+3||Intersil ISL95712||ON Semiconductor 4C06N + 4C10N|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi||10+2||IR35201||IR3553M + IR3556M|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming||8+3||Intersil ISL95712||ON Semiconductor 4C06N + 4C10N|
|MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC||12+2||IR35201||ON Semiconductor 4C024+ 4C029|
|MSI X470 Gaming Plus||8+2||Richtek RT8894A||ON Semiconductor 4C024+ 4C029|
|MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC||10+2||IR35201||ON Semiconductor 4C024+ 4C029|
In principle you can overclock on any motherboard with a decent power supply, but especially suitable motherboards distinguish themselves with features that make life easier for the overclocker. The table below shows the most important differences between the boards in this respect.
The possibility of flashing the BIOS without a processor installed is currently only found on the Asus Crosshair VII Hero and the MSI Gaming M7. Suppose you buy a hypothetical Ryzen 3 CPU in the future, then you have to update the BIOS on boards without that function first with an older socket AM4 chip. We hope that this function will also find its way into lower segments in the future.
Almost indispensable for overclockers is a form of problem diagnosis. Mid-range boards often have a number of debugging LEDs that give you an idea of whether you should look for the problem with the CPU, the video card or the memory, while more luxurious boards feature a HEX display, on which they can display more detailed error codes.
Extreme overclockers often do not mount their motherboard in a case, so in that case on-board buttons to turn the system on or off are also very practical. These are only found in this round-up on the top models of Asus, Gigabyte and MSI. On the ASRock Taichi there are soldering tips for such buttons, but they are only applied to the even more expensive (but based on the same PCB) X470 Taichi Ultimate.
|Fan headers||Max. CPU voltage||Flashing BIOS without CPU||Problem diagnosis||On-board buttons||Voltage measure points|
|ASRock X470 Gaming-ITX/AC||3||1.85 V|
|ASRock X470 Gaming K4||5||1.55 V||HEX display|
|ASRock X470 Master SLI||5||1.55 V|
|ASRock X470 Taichi||5||1.55 V||HEX display|
|Asus RoG Crosshair VII Hero WiFi||9||1.7 V||HEX display|
|Asus RoG Strix X470-F Gaming||7||2 V||Debug LEDs|
|Asus RoG Strix X470-I Gaming||3||2 V||Debug LEDs|
|Asus TUF X470-Plus Gaming||5||1.7 V|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5 WiFi||8||1.7 V|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi||8||1.7 V||HEX display|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming||8||1.7 V||Debug LEDs|
|MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC||6||2 V||HEX display|
|MSI X470 Gaming Plus||6||1.55 V||Debug LEDs|
|MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC||6||1.7 V||Debug LEDs|