Pro Overclocker der8auer calls Intel X299 a “VRM Disaster”

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. — jonny

 

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. 

 

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. — jonny

 

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.