Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra

ASUS Strix BIOS SA Settings

Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra

ASUS BIOS

Before we get to the overclocking and results of these three motherboards we need to stop and take a moment to discuss the Strix BIOS. Although we can't imagine that this will be the case for much longer, it's worth noting that the board ships with an extremely high System Agent voltage by default. 1.5v. This pumps way more heat into our Intel Core i9-10900K than we, or you, would wish. It's within Intel specifications but as the colour-coding in the BIOS shots you can see below it's definitely not within ASUS specifications, or even what we'd run. You have to significantly drop the SA voltage before the BIOS is happy. The last screenshot is the voltage we'll be using for our testing, and it's worth noting that both the MSI and Gigabyte boards are here out of the box. Just something to bear in mind if you buy the Strix that you'll need to manually sort the voltage out to prolong the life of your components and also keep your CPU temperatures this side of sane.

We're going to quickly show you the BIOS setup for the ASUS, and at the bottom of the page is a graph which compares the "out of the box" voltages of the three motherboards we have on test today, including the actual setup we're going to use on the Strix (labelled Mod).

Image 1 - Default / Auto - 1.52V Full auto - board is doing what it wants. Want to make perfectly clear that this was with 3600MHz memory with only the XMP setting enabled, everything else was auto.

Image 2 - Manualy 1.5v - its red..... Big no no in the Asus bios colour scheme for a normal user.

Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra  

Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra  

1.3V is purple. Not a good colour.


Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra  

1.2V finally drops things to "you sure about this" levels of yellow.


Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra  

1.15V still remains yellow.


Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra  

At 1.1V the BIOS is happier with your life choices. Its worth noting - this tested stable.


Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra  

We've also dropped the VCCIO voltage sharply too. The voltages below are those we'll be using for the ASUS in our testing.


Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra  

Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra  

 

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