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Help with 3700x build, motherboard/ram advise please

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Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
My current motherboard PCIe graphics slot seems to have gone kaput. And gaming/watching 4K movies on the iGPU of the 4790k isn't something I'd want to do (or could :rolleyes: ). It's served me well (bought it first month of release), and although there are still socket 1150 boards being sold, I'd much rather invest in new hardware to last me another 5+ years.

That being said, I have not kept up with computer hardware since the 4790k was purchased, and I don't really know what to look for in regards to a 3700x compatible board, other then that I should get 3200 rated ram, 3600 if budget allows. Or just as important, what hardware to avoid if I don't want constant RMA or other issues.

My requirements for a motherboard:

  • ATX sized, as I make use of PCIe slots for add in cards, and of course plenty of PCIe slots. I will not SLI/Crossfire, but I do need 8x and 4x slots for cards other then the 16x for gpu.
  • I plan on getting a 3700x, so obviously it must support that cpu (power phases?). I have no plans on upgrading the cpu later on as the 4790k was more then capable of doing anything I threw at it. I read that overclocking isn't so great on these cpus, so I'll just stick with the AMD o/c utility and be done with it.
  • I always max the ram on my builds, so motherboard should support 32GiB minimum, 64GiB preferred.
  • Should have plenty of SATA ports, at least 8 would be best. Also support NVME, though with enough PCIe slots I could just use a add in card.
  • I don't care about or need RGB lighting, but if the best bang for buck board comes with it, I can live with the leds and figure out some way to disable them later.
  • And of course, what boards to avoid like the plaque?
  • What ram brand/make should I avoid? What ram should I prefer?

I don't have a budget for the build, but I don't want to break the bank either. I just need a best bang for the buck board that doesn't cost an arm or a leg, and will last me for years. So please throw me some suggestions. :thup:
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
What's your budget? For x570 the Asus TUF Gaming seems to be a popular choice in the $200 price range.

There are a ton of boards that support 8c CPUs. When you start using 12c or 16c CPUs is when you really need to start worrying about the board. Most AM4 boards will run an 8c CPU stock, while some attention is required if OC is desired. I would still suggest an x570 board vs saving a little money going with an older x470 or b450 board, since comparability (especially with MSI?) issues seem to continue cropping up (i.e. memory not running at XMP speeds). If you're willing to deal with the headaches some money can be saved. Any X570 motherboard will handle an 8 core CPU, however some have better VRM than others.

Here are some interesting videos if you want to truly dive in:
,
(skipped to the $300 and below price range discussion). If you do wish to go with a x470 or b450 motherboard, be aware that an older CPU may be needed to flash the BIOS (depending on motherboard features). And of course some charts: https://www.anandtech.com/show/14161/the-amd-x570-motherboard-overview/2, https://i.redd.it/7n48gewun0p21.png, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...FnsZYZiW1pfiDZnKCjaXyzd1o/edit#gid=2112472504

I always max the ram on my builds, so motherboard should support 32GiB minimum, 64GiB preferred.
Not sure how well this will work on Zen2 and x570, but using higher amounts of ram had a significant impact on memory OC with x470/b450 and Zen and Zen+ CPUs. If you truly need/want that much memory (most people can't use more than 16GB), I would do the research on how it will impact your memory speeds, since they do have a substantial impact on performance.

Should have plenty of SATA ports, at least 8 would be best. Also support NVME, though with enough PCIe slots I could just use a add in card.
They all support NVMe at this point (usually 2+ m.2 slots). x570 supports PCIe gen 4 which allows for even faster gen 4 NVMe drives. Some x570 boards still only have 6 SATA ports, however the TUF mentioned above has 8.

I don't care about or need RGB lighting, but if the best bang for buck board comes with it, I can live with the leds and figure out some way to disable them later.
Only one without it that I know of is the EVGA "dark," which isn't for AMD.

And of course, what boards to avoid like the plaque?
anything with the A320 chipset, some b450 boards, especially under $150 although there are some that are serviceable.

What ram brand/make should I avoid? What ram should I prefer?
I don't think it matters. Look at the QVL for your motherboard. Alternatively, G.skill (probably most popular, but nothing is wrong with other brands) has a compatibility finder on it's webpage.
 
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EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
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Dec 15, 2008
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What he said, lol! ^^

Note on most (all?) boards you can simply disable the RGB lighting.
 
OP
Mpegger

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
As I've been looking around and seeing what prices are at, I'm shooting for anything less then $250 US for the board alone. I'm basically buying a whole new system (cpu & ram as well), and if I can save some here and there, I might splurge for a NVMe drive as my current SSD lifespan is starting to count down.

As I was searching, I kept on coming across recommendations in favor of MSI. I'm actually eyeing the MSI MPG x570 Gaming Edge, as it almost fits the bill. Yey/Nay? Any similar board that's better recommended?

I noticed many boards would knock the main x16 slot down to x8 (or lower) if something was using the second x16 slot. That MSI board seems to keep the first slot at x16 if the second is used. I would have preferred the 2nd x16 to be further away from the first, but this board at least fits the bill. 2nd slot is also x4, which is the minimum I need for a 10Gbe card.

And yeah, i saw hardly any boards with 8 Sata ports, or plenty of Pcie slots for expansion (x1 slots are almost pointless imo). I kept reading how Gen 3 would have so many PCIe lanes but it looks like their all going to multiple NVMe slots and USB 3. :eh?:

Ouch. Those MSI board temps are just horrible. This will go in a case that although is properly cooled, I control the fans to minimize noise as much as possible, for hours and days at a time. I'll have to take a look at the Gigabyte board again.
 
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EarthDog

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I noticed many boards would knock the main x16 slot down to x8 (or lower) if something was using the second x16 slot. That MSI board seems to keep the first slot at x16 if the second is used. I would have preferred the 2nd x16 to be further away from the first, but this board at least fits the bill. 2nd slot is also x4, which is the minimum I need for a 10Gbe card.
Unless you get into HEDT or a more expensive board with a PLX chip to make lanes, they all split to 8x/8x. Also, its PCIe 4.0 which doubles the bandwidth from 3.0. So, in essence, your PCIe 4.0 x8 lanes are equal to 3.0 x16. That said, going down to 3.0 x8 yields a mere 1% performance loss from a GPU... clearly not a big issue.

Do you really need 8 SATA ports??? Even with 2 or more M.2 slots on the board?

x1 slots may be pointless to you, but plenty of things can go in there and not be hampered. Again, its a PCIe 4.0 x1 slot so its bandwidth is also doubled from 3.0.
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Hopefully the last chart I linked can help you with your PCIe needs. Please do note though that one of the x16 may be using lanes from the chipset rather than the CPU, then going to the CPU via an x4 interconnect. It's not something I know a lot about since I just used a GPU and a single SATA m.2 drive right now. If your IO / PCIe requirements are high (as in you want to truly saturate the x16 lanes routinely) it may be worth considering an HEDT platform, as they have significantly more PCIe lanes.

re: the gaming edge, you should keep in mind that he is running an overclocked 12c CPU in that video on an open bench with no airflow. The 3700X will not be as demanding, and I wouldn't expect the VRM to throttle with an 8c CPU, but yeah they are not as efficient as other boards per that test. You can also see what buildzoid has to say (although his is just, "I looked at the pictures and this is what I think," but he's familiar with all the different VRM components) about the board in the second video. In other words, if it's the only board you can find with the other features you need in your price point, then it should be serviceable for the 3700X. However if an otherwise competitive board for your purposes has a more robust / efficient VRM, then I would go that way. Of course I purchased a board with enough VRM for 16c to run a 6c CPU.
 
OP
Mpegger

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Unless you get into HEDT or a more expensive board with a PLX chip to make lanes, they all split to 8x/8x. Also, its PCIe 4.0 which doubles the bandwidth from 3.0. So, in essence, your PCIe 4.0 x8 lanes are equal to 3.0 x16. That said, going down to 3.0 x8 yields a mere 1% performance loss from a GPU... clearly not a big issue.

Do you really need 8 SATA ports??? Even with 2 or more M.2 slots on the board?

x1 slots may be pointless to you, but plenty of things can go in there and not be hampered. Again, its a PCIe 4.0 x1 slot so its bandwidth is also doubled from 3.0.
Just want to keep myself a little future proofed, you never know what video card requirements might be in a couple of years. 8K video editing, playback, and gaming with multiple 8K screens from a single gpu? :beer: But yeah with current gen video cards it wouldn't be a problem.

I have no NVMe so everything is currently SATA, of which I have 7 in use. Would be 8 if I used the last port for a eSATA drive, but luckily the USB3 interface works just as fast. I can drop the drive count, maybe even consolidate SSDs by buying a larger one to replace the smaller ones, but that would be added cost, as well as drives laying around gathering dust.

Lots of older gen PCIe add in cards require more then a x1 electrically to operate properly and/or at maximum speeds, mainly network cards. I've just recently upgraded part of my network to 10Gbe, so I'm back down to 1 card, but you never know if I might need to add in another network card in the future.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
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Location
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I wouldn't sweat looking for a board that splits up lanes x16/x16... it just isn't worth it for future-proofing IMO.

With M.2 storage becoming more the norm and cheaper, you may want to consider starting that consolidation sooner than later. You can even run SATA based M.2 drives for cheaper large capacity storage and use an NVMe based M.2 module for OS and anything fast. :)
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Of course it's worth considering that a SATA m.2 will usually disable a SATA port and NVMe using PCIe lanes, there's no free lunch. But using 7 drives when new SSDs cost $1 per GB? I agree with EarthDog there.
 

EarthDog

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There's plenty of free lunch on the AMD platform, Zer! ;)

..unless AIBs are leaving that info out on the manuals?? Maybe if 3 are in use?

For example, from the manual of the board mpegger was looking at...there isn't a mention on page 30-33 about lane sharing.
bdmsi.jpg
 
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Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Good to know! Thanks for catching that. The NVMe slots have their own lanes. What about SATA m.2 drives? Will these still disable a SATA port? I'm unable to download a manual right now.
 
OP
Mpegger

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
I checked out the Gigabyte Aorus Elite and that should fit the bill. The price is good too, though I wish Microcenter had the non-wifi version to shave off $10. They should have a combo deal with the 3700x to save more $, but I'm currently not seeing an option via their website. All I'll need now is to pick out some ram sticks and I should be good to go.

Yey or nay on the Aorus Elite? Doesn't seems to be much bad posts about it other then some having issues updating the bios, or the chipset fan broken (too noisy).
 

EarthDog

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@ Zer - That is what I was inferring when earlier I mentioned the page numbers from the manual (nor specs) mentioning anything about lane sharing.



The Elite is solid as well. Budget end, but will serve your purpose.
 

Bustos

Member
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Dec 29, 2012
Location
KS, USA
Good to know! Thanks for catching that. The NVMe slots have their own lanes. What about SATA m.2 drives? Will these still disable a SATA port? I'm unable to download a manual right now.

The M.2 slots utilize their own lanes, SATA or NVMe. So this will not disable the SATA ports. I believe this is the case for all X570 mobos. I also believe the X470s and below are the mobos that have the disabling issue. ‘The future is now old man.’
 
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Mpegger

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Welp, I splurged abit and got the components yesterday. A 3700x, the Aorus Elite, some Crucial 16GiBx4 3200 CL16 ram, and a Evo 970 500GiB M2. Microcenter had a combo deal on the cpu and motherboard ($50 off), the ram ($25 off for each pair, was only $10 off earlier that morning :) ), and I think it was $10 off for the Evo. So the combo savings paid for the tax. Still a good chunk of change, but I guess change was needed. RIP Z97 board. :salute:
 
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DaveB

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Welp, I splurged abit and got the components yesterday. A 3700x, the Aorus Elite, some Crucial 16GiBx4 3200 CL16 ram, and a Evo 970 500GiB M2. Microcenter had a combo deal on the cpu and motherboard ($50 off), the ram ($25 off for each pair, was only $10 off earlier that morning :) ), and I think it was $10 off for the Evo. So the combo savings paid for the tax. Still a good chunk of change, but I guess change was needed. RIP Z97 board. :salute:

Yep nice deals at Microcenter, which is where I get most of my components plus they're great with returns. My store always has a nice inventory of open box GPUs at a good price also. I got my latest EVGA GTX 1660 Ti there for just $160 and it runs perfectly in my mini ITX box. Sounds like a really nice build you should enjoy for years. :thup:
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Congrats, let us know how it goes. One thing we didn't cover was cooling. Are you planning to use the stock cooler? This generation of Ryzen will boost higher and for longer with better cooling. Gamers Nexus found that PBO and AutoOC did not have an impact in all core clocks, because of the three factors that limited all core boost clocks (power, clock and temperature) only temperature was a factor. It could be different for different samples. To keep in perspective, they saw an improvement of about 225MHz decreasing temps from 84C to 55C, and a further improvement of 75 MHz from 55C down to -80C https://www.gamersnexus.net/news-pc/3492-ryzen-cpu-thermals-matter-coolers-and-cases.
 
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Mpegger

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Got the BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 from the previous setup. Just need to get the adapter for the AM4 mount as I purchased it long ago in my quest for silence.

And speaking of silence, I may end up upgrading the video card as well cause I had to go back to the OEM blower on the Vega. I was using a Morpheus on the Vega, but that cooler and the fans turn a 2 slot vid card into a 5 slot pig. That was fine on the Z97 board as I still had a PCIe x4 slot at the edge of the board to support my network card, but not on this x570 board. So I either need to find someone selling their stock aftermarket cooler for a OEM Vega board, or get a new video card eventually.
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
yikes, the morpheus is good stuff, I'm sure someone will take it off your hands. What about getting 15mm fans for it, or moving the GPU down a slot?
 
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Mpegger

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
It's literally 5 full slots with the heat sink and fans. Moving down a slot would put the graphics card in a x4 slot, and the fans with no space against a hard drive and little space to the bottom of the case. 15mm fan wouldn't help in either slot. I've actually been looking at water solutions for the past couple of months as I just didn't like the ugly behemoth staring at me through the side panel of my case, but the more I looked, the less I wanted to even try, especially considering that there was no cheap easy solution, and this case isn't a full tower and would be very crammed with a DIY loop. I've thought about it all day and I'd much rather just bite the bullet and get a new graphics card already with a multi-fan solution instead of spending more time and money trying to quiet down this video card (again...). The Vega 56 + Morpheus + fans alone cost me more then a new 5700 xt would now. Throwing more money at it doesn't make sense, as I would probably replace it within another year or two either way.

I've already decided on the PowerColor RX 5700 xt Red Devil, well in stock at the Microcenter I just went to. I probably should have went ahead and bought it at the same time, could have probably gotten a discount.

And so far the system is running great, though I had to already turn the stock cpu cooler from High to Low setting because of its noise. Just gotta wait till I get the adapter for the Dark Rock in.

Btw, I have the same exact monitor you do Zerileous. :rock: