Z490 ITX Roundup, ASUS Strix vs MSI Unify vs Gigabyte Aorus Ultra
Published: 16th August 2020 | Source: OC3D | Price: £259.99 - £299.99 |
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.
1.3V is purple. Not a good colour.
1.2V finally drops things to "you sure about this" levels of yellow.
1.15V still remains yellow.
At 1.1V the BIOS is happier with your life choices. Its worth noting - this tested stable.
We've also dropped the VCCIO voltage sharply too. The voltages below are those we'll be using for the ASUS in our testing.