Pro Overclocker der8auer calls Intel X299 a "VRM Disaster"

Pro Overclocker der8auer calls Intel X299 a

Pro Overclocker der8auer calls Intel X299 a

Pro Overclocker der8auer calls Intel X299 a "VRM Disaster"

The Pro Overclocker der8auer, the pioneer behind X299 delidding, has called Intel X299 platform a "VRM Disaster", reporting a lot of inconsistencies with VRM temperatures and reports overheating/thermal throttling when overclocking.
der8auer delivered this damning report after testing several motherboards and finding that many of them delivered high VRM temperatures and were unable to keep his i9 7900X at 4.6GHz, despite the fact that this chip can remain stable at 5GHz on other motherboards. This testing was conducted on the behalf of Caseking so that he could offer hardware recommendations for future pre-build systems, though what he found was ultra-high VRM temperatures, so much so that he called the heatsink on his Gigabyte Aorus board a "heat insulation" device. der8auer also reports that a simple 120mm fan over the VRM actially cools the VRM beter than the motherboard's stock heatsink. 
After testing motherboards from other manufacturers, this was found to not be an isolated issue, with the overclocking blaming Intel for moving forward the launch of X299 from August to June, forcing motherboard makers to develop motherboards without an adequate amount of time, and motherboard manufacturers for (allegedly) not conducting proper testing on their VRM cooling solutions. 
That being said, at OC3D we have tested one of the motherboards that he had damned, the ASUS X299-A, which we were able to use with our i9 7900X to overclock to 4.8GHz without any issues. Looking back at the board we have also found no issues when using our own thermal probes when using the motherboard inside a chassis. 
der8auer's testing, when viewed with our own, does show some inconsistency. We have reached out to ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte for comment and will be conducting VRM thermal testing on future X299 motherboard reviews to help either prove or disprove these claims. So far none of our X299 motherboard samples have had these thermal issues, though it is still early days for the X299 platform. 



One other factor that der8auer slammed Intel's X299 platform for was the fact that most lower-end motherboards only included a single 8-pin EPS connector, which he states is not enough to safely deliver power to an overclocked i9 7900X. 

In his testing, the cables of his 8-pin EPS connector was 65 degrees Celsius beside the main body of the PSU, which was a Super Flower unit. While this seems concerning, a lot of this heat stems from Super Flower's universal 9-pin PSU connector, which contains a LED, have less conductors than other modular PSU connector designs and must offer +5V and +3.3V support as well as +12V for EPS/CPU power, showing that the PSU is at fault and not X299.  

While splitting the power across extra cables, like when using a motherboard with an 8+4 or 8+8 EPS power solution will alleviate this issue on the Super Flower PSU, so would using a PSU with a more traditional modular connection design. Below is a comment from Jon Gerow, the world-class PSU expert known as "Johnny Guru". 


If you used the SuperFlower PSU in the video with the crystal connectors, that's part of your problem. Those "universal 9-pin connectors" have less conductors than most other modular PSUs because the same connector that's used for EPS12V, PCIe, etc. has to also support +5V and +3.3V for Molex and SATA and then there's an "LED pin" which, when grounded to a ground pin, turns on the interface's LED. A horribly bad design. This is why the wires would be so hot.

I suggest checking the voltage at the PSU and then at the motherboard's EPS12V to see what the drop looks like under load. If the voltage is significantly lower than +12V, the board is going to have to pull more current than it normally would. I then suggest using that AX1500i you have on the shelf behind you and see if you end up with the same results since that modular cable for the EPS12V is four +12V pins and four grounds. --


This story will no doubt develop over time, especially as we continue to review additional X299 motherboards and test their VRM cooling solutions. At a minimum, motherboards are acting inconsistently, though at this time it is unknown whether or not these defects are restricted to just early X299 samples.  

One other concerning factor is that the i9 7900X is not the most powerful CPU in Intel's X299 lineup, with 12-core and up to 18-core CPUs on the way, all of which people will be interested in overclocking. Will these new CPUs be suitable for today's X299 motherboard offerings, or will they require more powerful X299 motherboard VRM solutions?   


You can join the discussion on der8auer calling X299 a VRM disaster on the OC3D Forums


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Most Recent Comments

29-06-2017, 06:18:04


/takes breath



29-06-2017, 06:41:15

Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post

/takes breath



I think the problem is fairly unique to him......


29-06-2017, 07:01:08

Which board are you testing Tom?

I also notice you have the board in a case with fans above it drawing/sucking. Any airflow at all improves the situation as he pointed out. It was similar with my old Asrock 4+1. No fan, throttle, add a fan blowing over the VRM cooler I could overclock.

Any way, what concerns me more (and why I was laughing) is 300w through the 8 pin. That is woefully short of power. If you think back to the days of X58 and 24 pins literally melting because the GPUs were drawing too much power through the board (dual 5970 or tri sli 480s as an example) then I would see that as far more dangerous. Drawing 300w through 4 quite thin wires is outright dangerous and why his cables got hot. One tiny spike and you have a fire on your hands.

And THAT is the problem when you make motherboards for a platform that is all over the bloody place. Quad cores, 10 cores, 18 cores... That's pretty bloody stupid.

It was the same story on Bulldozer and Piledriver. Companies (laughs at MSI, whose boards caught fire) were making 4+1 boards with no VRM cooling whatsoever and they were burning up. Why? because AMD decided to release their BD CPUs on a single socket so you could go from 2 cores all the way to 8 and the boards were mostly the same.

So now not only do you need to find a board for your X299 CPU you also need to find an appropriate board.

Which let's face it is quite complicated and tricky. Especially since mobo manus do not outright tell you how many phases a board has and whether it's suitable. They don't tell you anything of the sort unless they are boasting about it so the only way to usually find out is to take off the sinks and count the fets.

That's madness. Utter, utter madness.

Also, who is going to brag about their fets when they are crap? look at the MSI 370 Tit board. 6 phases. Can't see MSI bragging about that, especially on such an expensive board.Quote

29-06-2017, 07:56:25

Ive tried the X299-A - Gigabyte Gaming 7 and MSI Carbon today....

If an overclocker isnt cooling other parts of the board in an open test bench its not the boards fault

Also I dont think my normal airflow from a case would slash 30c off of temps, I think there is a bit more to it tbh.Quote

29-06-2017, 08:52:27

Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
Ive tried the X299-A - Gigabyte Gaming 7 and MSI Carbon today....

If an overclocker isnt cooling other parts of the board in an open test bench its not the boards fault

Also I dont think my normal airflow from a case would slash 30c off of temps, I think there is a bit more to it tbh.
That's what i think Tom... not 30C...
AMD is paying someone imo since that guy (a famous overclocker) should know better if this was in fact a PSU issue.Quote

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