Do Not Use Z490 Motherboard Auto Settings: Excessive Voltage, Power, & Heat

by birtanpublished on August 25, 2020

Motherboard manufacturers are constantly vying over drawing the sword from the stone to see who can become the king of bullshit a lot and that's what we're talking about today it's the marketing angle and how motherboard makers have it really tough they're trying to market a

Product whose performance is mostly contingent on which CPU or GPU is socketed into it and it gets difficult to market on things like power delivery because most users don't care or understand what it is and so they have

To start figuring out other ways to market their product and that mostly boils down to sort of cheating the numbers who are slightly fudging things like B clock and changing it 0.3 megahertz to try and make their numbers

Look higher than the next person's numbers in a chart now we're just tweaking what Intel or AMD does out of the box and that's not really fair especially if you're expecting users or reviewers to compare numbers with one

Another because now it's all meaningless so we really talking about MCE once again and showing you a massive assortment of charts on what the different D 490 boards do when they violate or don't violate the Intel

Official guidance before that this video is brought to you by us and our brand new gamers Nexus wireframe mouse mat aside from being the best way to directly support our long-form investigative reporting you can also get

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To get through today so to really set the stage first we have a separate video on this but the short of it is Intel's official guidance which is what it's technically called is not technically an Intel spec but we often call it that

Because ultimately this comes down to being reasonable as a consumer as a user of the hardware and Intel's marketing the processors a certain and the markets their processors a certain way our job is to test that the

Marketing claims line up with reality not that the motherboard manufacturer who effectively pre over clocks at 700 megahertz all core is lining up with Intel's claims that's not our job because that's a motherboard review or

At least some kind of weird like pre overclocked review thing so we're gonna be talking about PL one PL 2 and tau again but this time with a lot more detail including charts with vcore we really showing thermals and the massive

Thermal impact that a motherboard can have on the cpu will also be exploring how a lot of the times the Intel is hot and high power consumption is tied to something the motherboard is doing more so than the CPU itself

These aren't wholly untrue things to say but the degree to which they are true is variable and variable truth is one of the most difficult things to work with as an objective reviewer we've talked about Intel turbo and multi-core

Enhancement many times in the past this serves as a companion piece to the most recent of these which is our Intel I 9/10 900k power consumption explained video to reiterate Intel's specification and Intel's official

Guidance are technically two different things but that's getting into a semantics discussion that we'll talk about later Intel spec it defines turbo limits the multipliers for boosting on one core 2 cores etc all the way up to

An all core turbo boost and it also defines a base clock for example the 10900 K is limited Core turbo multiplier at the max is 53 X on some cores and 49 X on all course when the CPU is operating below 70 degrees Celsius 40 VB

Or thermal velocity boost in order to hit 53 X for the limited core boosting breaking these turbo limits is considered overclocking if you want to 54 for example or 52 all core Intel also has guidelines for short-term power draw

Long term power draw and for booster ation these variables are not technically part of the enforced specification so breaking the suggested limits is not considered overclocking and motherboard manufacturers can go

Wild pushing these limits to the highest values that the assigned bytes can hold this results in the problem we're talking about today thermal issues and performance issues that are completely out of line with

What the processors at lists capabilities would suggest or even just being unstable for example @n 900k will run at 4.9 gigahertz under an all core load forever in many boards whereas stock testing

With the Intel stock limits applied shows the cpu running at 4.1 to 4.2 gigahertz all core after a 56 second period to reinforce this recently we've even had several of you tweeted us or post comments about how MCE and similar

Basically overclocking features caused system instability blue screens or other troubleshooting challenges while the board was running at what you thought was stock and that's because it was effectively pre overclocked by the

Manufacturer just without asking you pay close attention though to our use of the word effectively here because it isn't officially overclocking ultimately that's what's going on the clock is higher than expected you

Might even say it's over what the expected value is and so we ignore the semantics of spec guidance and overclocking and instead go with what makes the most actual sense for the user bullshit marketing labels aside here's a

Preview of the problem we'll get into more testing results in methodology in a moment but this sets the stage each of these numbers on the screen now was taken with a current clamp over the EPS 12-volt cables before vrm efficiency

Losses but after the wall the vendor measurement both within the 56 second window and after the 5 minute mark helps show what settings are either used or ignored the difference between using Intel guidelines and using some form of

MCE can be the difference between 118 watts and 244 watts as seen here that's also the difference in cooler choice because now you're dealing with substantially more power and the cooler needs to be able to handle that it's

Further the difference in stability for some systems depending on how well the motherboard maker has tuned this we've picked a selection of motherboards from different manufacturers and tested them at default settings using an eye 9/10

900k and the RAM and GPU from our CPU review bench when we say motherboard default settings what we mean is resetting the board entirely to defaults with no changes other than maxing out the fan speeds for some control this is

In contrast to the stock CPU task we do for reviews where we set RAM frequency and timings manually we explicitly disable MCE we set the correct voltage a couple of other things as well

And we also make sure that beat clock is 100 point zero zero the latest publicly available BIOS was used for all motherboards shown in the testing today except for the MSI ace where we used a reviewer BIOS to avoid some other

Potential issues outside of the scope of this content beast the Asus extreme also used our reviewer BIOS that we use for the comet like CP reviews and the tenth generation of Intel CPUs we use a crack in X 62 CLC at Mac's pump and fan speeds

For all desktop class CPU testing and you can learn more about our CPU testbench component selection and methodology and our standalone test methods piece the temperature is getting charted now were calculated by averaging

The per core temperature and taking a delta against the ambient room temperature which was measured every second of the test with a separate meter the truncated scale is to help illustrate the change on the line block

And it tops out at 50 because it's DT over ambient and we're trying to see the difference the ten 900k installed in the gigabyte master which we already know from our first chart consume the most power during this test reached a steady

State at about 49 degrees celsius over ambient meanwhile the same cpu in the more conservative asus hero leveled out at 22 degrees celsius delta T over Ameth note that there are significant differences between all of the boards

Even the two that obeys stock limits are significantly different anyone running the 10 900 K at default settings in the Taichi the ACE or the master would conclude that it's a much hotter CPU at stock settings then we know it to be

From our review it's hard to overstate how huge a gap 27 degrees Celsius is at steady state that's orders of magnitude higher than what we see for Delta's and cooler reviews and we can put one of those on

The screen if we put a CPU cooler chart on the screen from our liquid freezer to review it becomes clear that the cooler itself matters a lot less than the power going into the CPU especially when the same CPU under a what a user would

Presume is stock settings can draw 100 watts more in one board versus the next without these are actually changing anything so the CPU despite being the thing that sets the requirement for coolers to begin with

Should be relatively consistent at least if it's not manually overclocked and in this case it wasn't it was overclocked by the board by default back to our thermal line plot now it's clear where Intel gets it's hot and

Power-hungry meme status online and that's wrong on some other board partners although the other boards run at a higher frequency they also run at over-aggressive voltage settings and are responsible for the high temperatures

You see most of the time that said Intel CPUs certainly are less efficient in most instances then and these directly competing parts meaning that although the AMD part might draw 25 more watts like the r9 3900 XOR is the 10 900k the

AMD part is able to complete most tasks but not all with reduced time so although the 3900 X here is drawing more power for more cores it's also completing the renders in significantly less time and therefore is more

Efficient but either way the hot and power-hungry status of the 10 series is largely attributable to motherboards not Intel Intel's not as bad as it's being made out to look for a clue as to what's going on we can next look at V core as

Represented by hardware info to really do this properly we'd hook up a DMM into each board and look at it that way so this is a quick spot check using Saucer unfortunately as Rox board reported an obviously incorrect number and hardware

Info hadn't yet labeled the vcore entry for the MSI ace at the time of testing we could go back and log with the DMM or a scope as we have for pieces about mcg in the past but this is enough to get the point across that we're making here

The asus extreme reports a V core of 1.1 to 8 volts under all core load and then it drops sharply to 1.0 one two or one point two oh three volts after the 56 seconds turbo limit expires even with whatever error exists in the software

Approach the point is still clear there's a firm drop as the need to maintain stable high frequency is also reduced the hero follows the same trend but with a slightly lower auto v core after the time limit the gigabyte master

On the other hand reported exactly one point two seven two volts flat throughout the entirety of the test that's one point 270 volts for an all core frequency only four point nine gigahertz four perspective we achieved

Five point two on the same CPU with a reported v core of about one point – nine six and the ACS Maximus extreme and we also got up to five point three in gaming with a similar voltage one of the greatest weaknesses of pushing

Ambitious default settings is that the motherboard makers have to cater to the lowest common denominator and the lowest quality silicon this is why websites like silicon mater com exist because they bin the parts to find the best part

And motherboard makers don't know what you're gonna end up with so if gigabyte decides that a 10 900k exists that needs one point 270 volts to run at 4.9 all core permanently forever they have to make that the all core voltage for every

10 900k ever – socket into these boards which is bad news for you again these are software logs of data reported by the motherboards and the current clamp chart at the beginning of this piece is a more objectively accurate depiction of

CPU power in watts but clearly the auto v core assigned to ten nine hundred K on a gigabyte board is both higher and sustained for longer this is illustrated clearly in our power logs from the clamp and it's not the first time that

Gigabyte has been guilty of excessive v core a piece that we wrote in 2017 demonstrated this exact issue that's how long we've been fighting this fight and there are people out there who've been fighting it for longer here's a chart

For package power a data point that's tracked on all five motherboards by Hardware info again the caveat about this being a softer report by each individual motherboard rather than an external measurement with a clamp still

Applies especially since the clamp reported the Taichi trying slightly more power on EPS 12 volt cables than the ACE further know that the clamp doesn't account for vrm efficiency losses so although the clamp numbers are

Considered good enough for CPU power measurement you need finer control for direct board to board comparisons but that's not really our goal here today and ultimately none of these options are perfect anyway nonetheless this method

Of measurement does appear to correspond directly with a PL 1 and PL 2 we saw above neither of the two Asus boards hit the 250 watt PL to limit in the initial turbo boost as they didn't require the Headroom and aren't as abusive on

Voltage as soon as the time was up both were locked down to the 125 watt PL 1 limit at whatever settings they required to hit that threshold the other words without any such limits reported much higher power levels with the master

Reaching to 37 watts package power reasonably close to the 244 watts check with the clamp now let's look at the actual CPU frequencies this is what dictates performance results in games or other applications and it's the most

Important takeaway from the point of fair performance comparisons between brands in this test the 10 900 K behaved similarly with the ACE and the Tai Chi which will plot first the Tai Chi was almost constantly at 5300 megahertz and

Boosting more than just the expected course this behavior would boost the results higher than other boards as well which would increase the scoring that makes asrock look better on the charts and is why they're doing it at the same

Time it threatens system stability in some use cases as our viewers have aptly voiced and it also requires a more serious cooling setup and power source the ACE is similar in its behavior the extreme shows us how the performance

Should look the Auris master exhibited the most stock behavior and giant air quotes they're staying at 5 foot 1 gigahertz for the most part with occasional bursts to 5.3 gigahertz on cores 8 & 9 the two asus boards

Followed the same pattern but with marginally higher frequencies due to some b clock manipulation that we'll discuss later on the Tai Chi and the ACE both kept at least one core boosted to 5.3 gigahertz much more often than the

Gigabyte or ASUS motherboards examining a couple of boards individually we can see that the Tai Chi boosts to 5.3 gigahertz on any court pleases often on three of four cores at once which breaks even the rules the motherboard has set

For itself since the three core active limit on the Tai Chi is reported to be still 51 X in contrast the extreme is only allowed to boost 253 acts on cores 8 & 9 and in this test it only actually uses core 8 and even then it boosts

Sparingly in our review we did see it used core 9 on occasion but it depends run to run this clearly can influence the performance massively depending on which board you're testing and how if testing with the asrock Taichi board at

Stock settings then you end up with a benchmark result that is influenced in a positive direction and primarily an unrealistically positive direction by using that boards stock settings again we view the a su stock settings as more

Correct but it too has some issues for the all core blender tests let's take the average core frequency rather than the maximum limited core boost the ACE master and Taichi all kept the $10 K lakhs to a study four point nine

Gigahertz through the entire test as could be predicted based on the MCE settings for point nine gigahertz is the maximum limited time all core turbo and increasing the limits will keep that turbo sustained forever and outside of

Guidance again if you're going to test like this or run your computer like this when you do your build it's functionally a pre overclock and it's also from a testing standpoint the reason we don't do it this way it's also unfair to AMD

To leave their power limits in place and it's unfair to Intel because now it looks like they're drawing more power in the running hotter so everybody loses here it's just that their individual wins depending on which graph you look

At the motherboard manufacturers and it's the happiest because the Intel takes the heat for the heat and the power and they get to look like they're better than the other guys both AMD and Intel have to be treated the same way

Regardless of semantics on the AC sports frequency quickly drops to just over forty eight hundred megahertz with a forty eight X multiplier we might expect to see 49 X here as well but the CPU is hitting other limits during this

Period the performance limit is flagged and hardware info with electrical design points or other ICC Max PL for SPID ddr4 or our APL being the problem after this point the two asus boards behave differently with the extreme sustain in

An average clock speed of about 40 to 60 megahertz and the hero sustaining about 4,000 20 megahertz or so about 4.0 to gigahertz after the first 56 seconds the limiting factor becomes pl-1 so the frequency is not directly limited and

Differences start to emerge finally we've also reported on motherboard manufacturers cheating performance by bumping base clock in the past this isn't what we're focusing on today but we've pointed out here to show that even

When manufacturers of a turbo guidelines there are other ways to fudge numbers ever-so-slightly the msi as rock and gigabyte boards reported a proper study base clock of

100 point zero zero three out the workloads with the master in particular showing zero deviation whatsoever while both of the asus boards fluctuated between 100 point 4 and 100 point 5 megahertz in the same test that means

That the 53 x max turbo multiplier of the 10 900k translates to a frequency of 50 321 250 327 megahertz for 56 seconds rather than 50 300 megahertz like it should be however please note that we manually configure be clocked 100 point

0 0 for CPU reviews so this has no impact on the results for the review as for the reason for the board's different behavior it becomes more obvious when we look with this tool the two asus boards obey stock guidelines for po1

P l2 current multipliers per number of active cores and multipliers for each individual core these are the limits that can and will be hit during normal use the ACE and the master take the typical MCE approach of maxing out PL 1

PL 2 and current but leave the actual turbo multipliers unchanged therefore the boards boost normally but do so forever regardless of the turbo limit duration setting since PL 1 and PL 2 are the same and the limits can't be hit the

Tai Chi has the strangest settings it's set up similarly to the msi ace and the gigabyte master but the per core multiplier is unlimited that means any core can boost to 5.3 gigahertz instead of just cores 8 or 9 so as reviewers

Then wrapping all this up Patrick and I find MCE unacceptable we don't think it's okay for a review of a CPU we can understand why other reviewers might think it is because from one angle as long as it's made exceptionally clear to

The audience you might be saying look this is how the CPU performs in this platform but that for us is kind of a problem because we don't want to show you how one CPU performs in one motherboard out of 67 of them we want to

Show you how the CPU performs baseline anything you get out of that afterwards from overclocking or whatever features the board has that aren't officially stock or if we use the correct wording official guidance same basic

Thing really anything you get beyond that cool that's on you and at that point you can just look at our overclocked numbers if that's what you want but we need a stock baseline and it has to be fair that's the whole goal of

Everything we do here is to make sure that the testing is fair and presenting both parties in this instance of duality with CPUs fairly so Andy's got settings like PBO and auto OSI those are all for Andy that's because AMD enforces that

Strictly with the motherboard makers Intel doesn't really have such a firm grasp of things when it comes to what the motherboard manufacturers are doing and so you end up with them doing all the stuff we just showed you and so the

End result is that if we start playing with fire and saying whose guidance are we allowed to ignore why are we allowed as reviewers to ignore Intel's official guidance and do whatever the motherboard maker says but not ignore and these

Official guidance is it just because Andy does a better job at enforcing their motherboard partners what like forcing them to do a certain thing because if that's the reason I can tell you right now the next thing that I am

These gonna stop doing it's gonna be telling the motherboard makers do whatever you want to make it better because that's the marketing arms race that's how it unravels from here all of this is doubly true for this generation

Of processors where the 53 X or 49 X thermal velocity boost multipliers are so far removed from the 42 X 41 X multiplier that the processor actually runs at under a sustained load when obeying Intel guidelines it's hugely

Different as an example if we were to forget to disable MCE or forget to double check the settings when we start doing a review we could conclude potentially erroneously that the stock 10900 K is much hotter much more power

Hungry and much higher performance than it really is which is why we're careful to adhere to the actually advertised specifications for a review until Andy both takes shots at each other for this and they review guides as we discussed

In the last episode they're each suggesting the places where the other party should have limits in place intel wants PBO off and the you want Intel suggested power limits applied we don't really care what either party

Watch from the other because they obviously just want to nerf the performance or make it a level playing field but their perspective of level is maybe different from ours as a third party so what we do is we follow the

Guidance from each party independently of what the other party says about is competitive the arms race between motherboard manufacturers means that it's unlikely there will be any self-motivated change from that quarter

So real change requires enforcement by Intel so that is to say that these guidelines should become actual official spec firmly specification Intel has to put its foot down at some point and say no you're doing it this way and if the

User wants extra they can turn it on they can flip the switch for MCE they can flip the switch to turn off all the power limits and tau whatever but it should shift this way stock that's where Intel has to step in because the

Motherboard makers are so constantly in a fight because of executives higher-ups who don't really know exactly what's going on at the lower end of things they're saying why is asrock ahead of us why is gigabyte ahead of us what can we

Do to be better and it's well raise the B clock by 0.3 raise the B clock by 0.8 where do you stop because at some point it starts to become exceptionally hot exceptionally high in power consumption or potentially unstable as we've seen

From our viewers in the audience and the arms race ultimately escalate so advertising a tame TDP which Intel does right now their TDP is 125 Watson's actually in reality that number is pretty close to want to want if tau is

Followed if PL 1 and 2 are followed that's where it lands after about 100 and well after about 56 seconds on these modern boards and CPUs it lands about 125 watts for real power consumption so no TDP and watts isn't technically the

Same as just straight power consumption but it's pretty damn close and I mean it lines up almost exactly in a lot of cases where all the limits are followed properly so it's close enough and either way it doesn't really matter if it's the

Same one-to-one because the intent is to say this is the power consumption but go it's something else which is the amount of cooling power needed to keep the Seaview cool and that's fine but advertising a team

And also allowing high-end motherboards or any motherboards to essentially Auto OSI the CPUs it's into house of sorry attempt at having its cake and eating it too and it's the motherboard makers shamelessly trying to race each other to

The bottom for the efficiency of the CPU and potentially stability so setting MCE to default or Auto should mean off not maybe on and it's further insane that if you think about this PC builders have to jump through a hoop

Just to enable X and P that's off by default why is this on by default why is 49 X all core so much more agreeable at one point three freakin vaults for 49 X only why is that so much more agreeable than XMP where's the line

John so this is our problem with it ultimately you get JEDEC involved too but either way most of them other word manufacturers are cheating with the numbers they have been and they will continue to do so

Will give a cease credit for being the closest to stock for the most part sans that one B clock chart we got them there but otherwise issues gets a lot of credit for having the simplest solution out of all these some reason no one else

Is copied yet ace who says push f1 or f2 when you start the system f1 is Intel default settings is what they call it and then f2 is optimized which is going to be basically a higher performing version with a higher boosting clock

That lasts longer again not more than 4 hours for that otherwise you need to talk to your technician but ace uses the closer there and the others probably need to follow suit on that

So no default BIOS settings that exceed Intel's guidelines aren't against the rules and they don't technically break the specification but the spirit of it is that they do and they aren't technically considered overclocking but

They misrepresent the CPUs and the motherboards affected depending on what metric you're looking at so we're all for the ability to overclock we do it in all of our reviews every single CPU that comes out that we can overclock we do

Sometimes with liquid nitrogen but toggling it on by default is irresponsible and all the boards should run CPUs and every their component at safe and stable settings for that CPU until the user

Specifies otherwise so you watch our recent video on high power consumption for more on that topic but the only time we think that there's a break from what we've just said is if let's say asus gigabyte EVGA whomever advertises this

Is an x OC board and this board will do XYZ this board has 100.8 b clock this board whatever if it's advertised as this will pre overclock your cpu that's okay but it needs to be extremely clear in the marketing and that's the problem

With all this so that's it for this one to support us directly go to store documents access dotnet or patreon.com slash gamers nexus thanks for watching subscribe for more and we'll see you all next time

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