Overclocker Der8auer Calls X299 Platform a “Disaster” for Overclocking
Ben Jones / 2 years ago
Famed extreme overclocker Der8auer took to his YouTube channel to voice his problem with Intel‘s new X299 boards. It stems primarily from keeping the MOSFETs on the VRM cool. Understandably, aesthetics are now in the forefront when it comes to designing mainboards, but unfortunately, it seems that functionality is overlooked as well. Using thermocouples, Der8auer states that the temperatures are running far too hot under load. Measuring the front and the back of his AORUS X299 Gaming 3 board, the temperatures read 84.2 and 105.9 degrees Celcius. The heatsinks on the motherboards apparently are not enough to keep the MOSFET temperatures in check. He points out that his ASUS X299 Prime is even worse, hitting those temperatures in just under 10 minutes.
This is made even worse by the fact that this is only at 4.6GHz at 1.2V, which is very moderate for a 24/7 overclock. If it is reading as 105.9 degrees at the back of the board, the temperature of the MOSFET could actually be ~120 degrees Celcius. That is because there is a PCB in between that insulates it somewhat, hence the 105.9 degrees Celcius reading. Also, Der8auer states that this was after 15 minutes of Prime95 non-AVX load. If he used a CPU stress program that actually uses AVX, the temperatures will be even higher.
Which Motherboard is Affected?
Gigabyte uses the same VRM design for their entire X299 line, so it will be the same on their high-end Gaming 9. It comes down to the heatsink, which he says all seem to be heat traps rather than absorb and dissipate heat. Here is the bad news. according to Der8auer, all current motherboards are this poorly designed for overclocking. It is not just the heatsink that is the problem. In fact he says, that can just be solved with a 120mm fan directly on top of the heatsink. Even if the heatsink is removed and just actively cooled with a fan directly.
Apparently, the Skylake-X CPUs are drawing too much for only a single 8-pin feeding it. This results in higher temperatures and can even burn some power supply cables. With the thermocouple probe, the temperature on the 8-pin cable read 65C on an open air test bench. Once inside a 40C or higher case in the summer, those temperatures can climb up to 80 or 90C, which is dangerous.
That is why according to him, he cannot recommend ANY X299 motherboard with only a single 8-pin PSU connector. He suggests waiting a month or two for manufacturers to release new boards with better designs that fixes these issues. It does not matter whether it is Gigabyte, ASUS, ASRock, MSI, etc. No matter how good the VRM design claim is, if it only has an 8-pin power connecter feeding the CPU, stay away from it. Even the ASUS X299 Prime which has an 8-pin and a 4-pin, he does not recommend that people buy it because the VRM cooler is poor.
So Who is to Blame?
Der8auer does not necessarily put the blame on motherboard manufacturers. It came out several weeks ago that manufacturers have been put on a bind by Intel into rushing production. The launch was pulled in from August to June. The same is true with AMD and their Ryzen and upcoming Threadripper launch. Before a motherboard even hits retail shelves, it has to be planned, designed, tested and marketed. So with a rushed schedule, you can only assume that some of those steps were skipped. Der8auer says it is half Intel’s fault and half the vendor’s fault.