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How to decide on a motherboard?

escape_velocity
  • 8 months ago

So I’ve been working on and off for the past 6 months on assembling a part list. I’ve had no previous experience beforehand and learned a lot of things but still am a dumbass with purchase anxiety. My biggest concern was always the motherboard. I initially selected an Asus Prime Z370-A just because it was recommended by a hardware magazine. After doing some more research I noticed several people on the Internet said that a Z390 was generally the better choice. I looked up the differences between z370 and z390, but I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it for me. So I asked for feedback on the forums and someone recommended me the MSI - MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon. It looked fine to me and I thought to myself “ok now I have a z390, that’s off the list”. But I wanted to be sure that I made the right choice, so I posted my part list (https://de.pcpartpicker.com/list/VPJCNQ ) again on the forums. The response I got was this:

The motherboard VRMs aren't good for a 9900K but should be fine for an 8700K. You may want to check how many rear USB ports you need in your setup, because this board is somewhat limited there.You should aim for a 400A binned GPU. Especially since the XC Ultra is cheaper than Black you have selected.A VRM that can handle a 9900K, more USB options (and cheaper) on this motherboard.Up to 12% better GPU performance (and cheaper) GPU.

EDIT: Also, if you don't need 12 threads, the 9700K is a bit faster and €4 cheaper than the 8700K

(https://de.pcpartpicker.com/list/wfGmbX). The guy that i quoted here happens to use the exact same parts he recommended me, so I don’t know how biased this opinion is, the GPU is in fact better than the previous one, which is nice but I’m not sure if a binned GPU (never heard that term before, had to look it up) makes the whole thing so much better.

Now what do I make of this? I have no Idea how I should know if the VRMs are good or bad for my setup, infact I never thought about them before. I only plan on just using two monitors https://de.pcpartpicker.com/product/ZBZ2FT and https://de.pcpartpicker.com/product/kXH48d , keyboard+mouse and headphones. The thing is, my current monitor, the Philips one, only has a HDMI and a VGA port so I guess I’ll probably use an adapter for it. So what would be the best course of action? I browsed some motherboards and noticed that most of them have less USB ports than the current one on my list while having a USB Type-C port which the Aorus Elite seems to miss. Again I have no idea if I should have one, the only thing I can think of that uses one is my phone, but since most motherboards have one there is probably a good reason for that. One that stood out was the ASRock - Z390 Phantom Gaming 6 ATX (https://de.pcpartpicker.com/product/LsrmP6 ), that has a VGA-port - which would be convenient, but then again, I could just get myself an adapter. So many options, and I have absolutely no idea what my decision should be and what to base it on. And this doesn’t even factor in VRMs and all that extra stuff (I don’t care about RGB and have no plans on overclocking right now, I might consider it in the future, but I honestly have no idea).

How do I make a decision here? Or am I just overthinking all of this? Any ideas?

Quick sidenote at the end, ever since I had a z390 on my list, pcpartpicker notifies me of this thing with M.2 slots disabling SATA-ports. Is this an issue or doesn’t it matter as long as I don’t plan on connecting additional stuff to the motherboard?

Comments

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

For the build...

The i7-9700K is the newer processor. It may be a bit faster depending the application in question, but it costs almost like an i7-8700K and yeah it's never, so there is no pont of getting an i7-8700K.

I changed the board with the MSI MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE AC, that board features 5 CPU phases and very good heat-sinks over the VRMs.

The mosfets are even split horizontally and diagonally over the CPU socket, so mosfet thermals are split between the VRM heat-sinks in a pair or 3 and 2.

https://imgur.com/JHyMx2o

Everything else is fine.

Now for almost the same amount of money, you can even get a board with more CPU phase like the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Elite.

https://de.pcpartpicker.com/product/GPdxFT/gigabyte-z390-aorus-elite-atx-lga1151-motherboard-z390-aorus-elite

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Core i7-9700K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor €375.00 @ Amazon Deutschland
CPU Cooler Thermalright - Le Grand Macho RT 73.6 CFM CPU Cooler €59.90 @ Amazon Deutschland
Motherboard MSI - MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE AC ATX LGA1151 Motherboard €178.94 @ Mindfactory
Memory Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory €79.90 @ Amazon Deutschland
Storage Crucial - P1 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive €68.90 @ Amazon Deutschland
Storage Seagate - Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive €61.90 @ Amazon Deutschland
Video Card EVGA - GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB Black Video Card €528.69 @ Alza
Case Corsair - Carbide Series 275R ATX Mid Tower Case €70.26 @ Amazon Deutschland
Power Supply SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply €91.93 @ Mindfactory
Case Fan Corsair - SP120 57.24 CFM 120 mm Fan €11.99 @ Amazon Deutschland
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total €1527.41
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-06-15 20:47 CEST+0200

Quick sidenote at the end, ever since I had a z390 on my list, pcpartpicker notifies me of this thing with M.2 slots disabling SATA-ports. Is this an issue or doesn’t it matter as long as I don’t plan on connecting additional stuff to the motherboard?

Most boards have 6 SATA ports. So even if one or two of them aren't available, you still have 4 SATA ports left for additional storage devices.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

It is not clear as to what you intended usage is but if it is a general gaming PC then the 9700K is a great choice. It offers high clocks speeds is much easier to cool than the 9900K and overclocks well.

With this is mind I can tell you any Z390 board will be able to handle the 9700K at stock and overclocked from ASUS line up.

This means the Z390-A to the STRIX Z390-E or MAXIMUS XI HERO. The choice comes down to the feature set you prefer on the boards.

While there will be differences in the VRM Design some components being higher end with greater efficiency it will not considerably affect your experience even when overclocked. All of the VRM will be able to cover the increased wattage.

Think of it like buying a power supply you only need 450 WATTs but you are buying a board with at least 600 and then each one goes up to lets say 1000. All of then handle that 450 WATT. Some may offer more options for tuning or may be more efficient meaning they will run a little cooler but overall none will limit your stability, reliability or OC experience. I can tell you that from real world hands on experience with all the boards I have noted.

What you will note more will be items like the aesthetics of the board how many RGB headers does it have for lighting How many USB ports Does it have WiFi What type of sound design does it have What type of fan headers and cooling control does it offer etc.

My recommendation would be the STRIX Z390-E Gaming if you want to go for a solid choice. To help provide some contrast as to how a board may differ please see some feedback I have provided to another user with a similar question -

The main benefits of moving over to a higher end board like the HERO as opposed to the STRIX would be

Audio - The HERO features the same audio suite codec 1220 ( supreme FX ) but also includes an ESS SABRE DAC. This provides improvements to music, movies/video & games it is clearer, sharper and provides better tonality. The AMP also extends/enhances volume range. That being noted the audio on the -E is already good. This is for those that just want better.

More RGB connectivity - 4 headers for more connections to RGB accessories the STRIX has 2. Additionally, it has more onboard lighting zones.

Advanced watercooling support - The HERO has specialized headers for custom water cooling for temperature and flow monitoring

Larger heatsinks - The HERO has much larger heatsinks with a heat pipe. The STRIX-E has solid 2 stage heatsink design and also includes a VRM fan for active cooling. You do not need the HERO to acheive 5GHz. The benefit is lower operating temps. Think of like a Noctua 12US vs a 14US. The are both great but the 14US will offer lower temps at the same clocks.

The VRM is upgraded compared to the STRIX-E but again both are great and will offer you more than enough for overclocking ( both the CPU and RAM side ).

Richer software suite - The core gaming software and RGB software and overclocking software is all the same AURA, AiSuite ( including OC and Fan Controls ), Game First packet priority software, Audio software ( SupremeFX ), RamCache ( lets you apply memory to your storage to improve read performance )

The HERO offers all of this along with RamDisk - let's you create a drive from your memory. This is maintained between reboots and is great for installing your web browser or small applications. you can also junction it to game folders. Also included is a full 1 year license of Kaspersky AV

Last but not least they both offer support for

NODE header - A special expansion header for some chassis and accessories on the market allowing for monitoring and control Fan Extension Card - A special header than lets you add a card to easily enhance and extend the number of headers for number of fans to be powered and controled by the motherboard ( adds an additioanl 3 fan headers )

There are a few other specific items that have some value but hopefully, this helps add some clarity in the differences and the feature set and what you can feel confident you get out of the OC experience between these boards.

With this noted as you see the HERO can offer more but everything that almost all builders would want exists on the STRIX Z390-E.

For some notes on other items

The cooler you picked is great but I would consider the Noctua U14S it is more compact and is great in regards to cooling and build quality and will let you see more of the board in your system

For the same price on RAM you can get RGB enabled memory if it is important to you

The chassis also maybe consider checking on P series from Phanteks. I think you will get a little more for around the same and have RGB lighting integration and little better intake airflow although this is not critical.

Hope this helps, if you have other questions let me know.

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