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Z490 mobo suggestion please

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mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
The i5-10600 I won in a competition I think has just been sent as I got a shipping notification and I'm not expecting anything else by that method. Although it is not a "k" CPU, I still want a good Z490 board. In part, to prevent any problems from getting cheaper boards. In part, I may drop in something else heavier in future. Also having access to the wider set of OC options is not a bad thing even if the CPU is locked. I could still do something with ram for example.

Anyway, which board? I don't want to spend a lot, but I also don't want to get a cheap board that may lead to stability problems. I suspect many problems I've had with both Intel and AMD CPUs may be due to me getting lower end boards with not so great power delivery. I'll set a hard budget of £200, lower is better. I'd consider 2.5G ethernet a major plus, as that'll save me £30 on a PCIe card, but otherwise not fussed on exact feature set.

I've already done some poking around, and I think Gigabyte Z490 AORUS ELITE AC is top of my shortlist at the moment. It is both priced ok and generally available. Any other suggestions?
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
here you go - https://www.overclockers.co.uk/msi-...1200-ddr4-mini-itx-motherboard-mb-34x-ms.html
£199.99 so fits the budget :)

AX WiFI, TB3, 2.5Gb LAN from Realtek so no issues with routers etc, great for overclocking (memory mostly but bclk 103MHz and you get that 100MHz more on cores)

I know it's ITX but I sold all Z490 motherboards that I had except this one as it's the best and it runs with 10900K right now :)

... if you say you want ATX then https://www.overclockers.co.uk/msi-...-lga-1200-ddr4-atx-motherboard-mb-34y-ms.html but it's £30 above the budget
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I'd think I'd like ATX more purely as I may want more expansion in future, especially I may need all 4 ram slots for capacity without having to buy 32GB modules. The MEG Unify does seem to be a pretty high end board, without the really high end pricing. Seems to have a highly rated power delivery, above that of the Aorus Elite I was looking at. The question I have for myself is if that is really worth it for the price delta, keeping in mind I have no specific plans beyond the i5! If I drop anything newer into it (like Rocket Lake) is unknown.

Another thing making me hesitate is that the last OC boards I got from MSI (Z170 era) were... not fun. Bios was rather horrible and unpredictable at times. While I don't have the same feelings about Gigabyte, I haven't owned any of their boards recently either with the newest being X99.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
New MSI are pretty good. Especially memory compatibility and OC is great. There is nothing else that I could recommend in this price. ASUS Strix Z490-G Gaming WiFi has good reviews and it wasn't bad when I was testing it but it costs a bit more than the ATX Unify and isn't really better. New Gigabyte have pretty good reviews but I think that Elite is a "cheaper" version of Pro and isn't much cheaper than the MSI Unify which is simply better option.
 

SPL Tech

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
New MSI are pretty good. Especially memory compatibility and OC is great. There is nothing else that I could recommend in this price. ASUS Strix Z490-G Gaming WiFi has good reviews and it wasn't bad when I was testing it but it costs a bit more than the ATX Unify and isn't really better. New Gigabyte have pretty good reviews but I think that Elite is a "cheaper" version of Pro and isn't much cheaper than the MSI Unify which is simply better option.

I had a lot of trouble with my Z390 MSI. MSI tech support is utter trash. Some chick from Korea trying to tell me to restart the computer-level crap. Honestly, pretty much every manufacturer except Evga sucks. The entire mobo industry in general is kind of crap. It's all made in china cheap crap that's exported over to the USA.
 

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
The ASUS TUF line are nice. I still use my old Z170 in a pc to this day without problems. They generally are not the best overclockers which won't matter with that CPU but the board is built well. Also if you ever do get an unlocked chip it will get you overclocking.

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E168131...f&cm_re=z490_asus tuf-_-13-119-271R-_-Product

EDIT: I realized I posted an open box link. Here is the new.

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E168131...uf&cm_re=z490_asus tuf-_-13-119-271-_-Product
 
OP
mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
New MSI are pretty good. Especially memory compatibility and OC is great. There is nothing else that I could recommend in this price. ASUS Strix Z490-G Gaming WiFi has good reviews and it wasn't bad when I was testing it but it costs a bit more than the ATX Unify and isn't really better. New Gigabyte have pretty good reviews but I think that Elite is a "cheaper" version of Pro and isn't much cheaper than the MSI Unify which is simply better option.

According to tracking I will hopefully receive the CPU within the next few hours and so I should decide on a mobo.

In a quick look, the AORUS Elite I was looking at before has dropped to £175 on Amazon UK. The MEG Unify is still around £230. I'm sure the Unify is better, but is it £55 better?

Also, is it my imagination, but have people largely stopped doing mobo reviews? We don't see the massive group tests we might have from years gone by. It was always fun trying looking at the top of the charts for that 0.1% difference between them, and at the other end wonder why there were the one or two a few % off for whatever reason. Actually, I take that back. The Elite doesn't have much on it by way of written reviews, but there are plenty on the Unify. I guess higher end boards still attract the additional attention than more middle of the pack boards. Time to do some reading.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Motherboard reviews in most cases have no point as it's like copy/paste of mobo features and +/-1% difference in benchmarks. It's like to read product pages. Also, no matter if it's better or worse website, all give good scores because most reviewers/websites are afraid that vendors stop giving them samples ... many others simply have no idea what they are reviewing and simply put stuff from vendor websites. Top brands as for example Gigabyte will make you to delete everything negative from reviews and others simply won't send you samples. ASRock was different but they have changed their whole department into Asian style so it's about the same now. ASUS is the same and I have no idea what about MSI as I had no contact with their marketing since PR guy said he doesn't care to work with me because he has no bonus from articles written on non-Polish websites.

As you may see, reviews nowadays are really bad, no matter if it's less or more popular website. There are single reviewers who keep higher level of their articles. Most others just give basic info without any self experience. More often vendors rather give samples to youtubers who make unpacking videos than to real reviewers.

If I were you then I would sell the i5-10600 and just buy something from new AMD or try to catch Ryzen 4000 as it's more fun, even though slower. If you keep the 10600 then you can live with even cheaper motherboard. I just gave an example of something good as I wasn't really satisfied with some other motherboards.

If you keep the CPU then try to play with undervolting. These chips are pretty efficient at lower voltages. I could run i5-10500 at 1.05V with 4.5GHz and AVX -3 at which it was using around 90W.
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
CPU just arrived, confirming it is 10600k. There is no point for me buying AMD at this moment. I already have a 3700X that finally seems stable at stock now I gave it some positive voltage offset. I wouldn't mind a Zen 3 at some point but I'm not paying the asking price for current models, putting aside that you can't get them anyway. So AMD are essentially out until Zen 4. Any OC fun is secondary to me just wanting a reliable system for gaming use. 10600k is still a small upgrade from my 8086k system.

Edit: ordered the Elite. I'm not feeling this system would benefit from the extra cost of the Unify.
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Probably you are right. Every above-average motherboard is good enough. You pay a premium for additional features which are usually not required.
Re Zen 3, I have no problems buying them. The only problem is that I find anything below 5900X not worth buying. I already had 5600X, 5800X and now I have 5900X. 5900X is great, both lower models were disappointing. On the other hand, Ryzen 5000 is really expensive, and an upgrade from Ryzen 3000 series isn't really the best idea for most users.
I find Ryzen 4000 more fun and it costs significantly less. It's also a lower power CPU and has IGP. Just good luck buying them in retail stores. I will use mine in ITX build soon while 5900X in benching/review rig. In my gaming PC is undervolted 10900K which runs at all cores at 4.6GHz and uses ~120W max, typically ~70W in games :)

Still play with undervolting as I found it really interesting on these new chips :)
 
OP
mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Still play with undervolting as I found it really interesting on these new chips :)

I'll see how I feel, but prime95-like software is a secondary workload for me, so voltage reduction is not likely something I can engage in.

I mentioned it elsewhere, but I'm not feeling as rich as I used to. I'm feeling a switch over from "best" to "good enough". I've been selling out excess systems and that's still far from complete. I wanted 8 cores to be at parity with latest gen consoles, but the reality is the reduction going to 6 cores, for now at least, isn't significant.

Zen 3 I want to try as with all previous gens just to get a handle on how it performs. The more unified L3 cache is a long time wish list feature, although I'd still want to keep to one CCD models as above that you get fragmented cache once again. But I don't need or want a top model for a given core count. I want the lowest model which doesn't exist yet. A lower end 8 core would be sweet spot I think. A new Zen 2 CPU wouldn't give me anything new as such.