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Intel X299 Platform Appears to Have Serious VRM Issues

Category: Motherboards
Posted: 04:20PM

With AMD's successful Ryzen processors, competition has returned to the CPU market, but Intel may have dropped the ball with its recent launch of the X299 platform for its X-Series processors. This series of processors is supposed to span from a lowly 4-core all the way up to an 18-core/36-thread behemoth, though only the CPUs up to the 10-core/20-thread i9-7900X are available now. The catch is that it seems Intel decided to move up the platform launch in response to AMD's success and impending Ryzen Threadripper launch and cut out too much time for motherboard manufacturers to get it right.

According to overclocker "der8auer," the platform is currently a "VRM disaster" with temperatures reaching far too high, leading to issues of inconsistency between different motherboards. When he was testing a CPU known to reach 5.0 GHz in a Gigabyte Aorus motherboard he found he could not even reach 4.6 GHz because of dangerously high VRM temperatures. An MSI board demonstrated similar issues, indicating this is not isolated. He also found that removing the stock heatsink from the VRMs, which der8auer likened to 'heat insulation' more than a cooler, and placing a small fan over the bare VRMs did a significantly better job.

Additionally der8auer feels the single 8-pin connector on some motherboards is not enough to provide the necessary power to the CPU. However the PSU-tester Jon Gerow, or Jonnyguru, has suggested the PSU shown in the video has a poor design leading to a higher cable temperature than would be seen with other power supplies.

What this appears to come down to is that Intel may have rushed the X299 platform out so early that it left motherboard manufacturers without enough time to properly develop their products. Of course the Gigabyte and MSI motherboards this has been found on are entry to mid-range options, so their more expensive brethren may not have these issues. These still seem to be unfortunate and likely avoidable problems that perhaps Intel cannot afford to make opposite AMD Ryzen's success.

Source: TechPowerUp and der8auer YouTube video

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Waco on July 04, 2017 17:52
5 GHz on that many cores? Color me not surprised that cheap boards (relatively) don't cut it.
ccokeman on July 04, 2017 22:35

There is no way he cooled a chip running a full 10 core/20 thread load at 5Ghz without going sub zero. If running sub zero the VRM would have been adequately cooled. 

ir_cow on July 04, 2017 23:31

What about watercooling the VRMS? I wonder if cooling the motherboard is going to make a big difference again.

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