Wednesday, June 28th 2017

Intel X299 Platform Called a "VRM Disaster" by Overclocker der8auer

It would seem Intel's X299 platform is already having some teething issues, with user "der8auer" of overclocking fame claiming the platform is essentially a complete "VRM disaster." In the video in which these claims are made, he levies the blame to both Intel and the motherboard manufacturers "50/50." For Intel's part, he blames them for the short product launch which was pulled in from August to June, giving the motherboard manufacturers in der8auer's words "almost zero time for developing proper products."

In the video, der8auer elaborates to basically claim a completely lack of consistency among the quality of VRMs and their heatsinks in various manufacturers. In his first test, he takes a CPU that is known to do 5.0 GHz and on a Gigabyte Aorus branded mainboard found himself unable to even hit 4.6 GHz with dangerously high VRM temperatures. He goes on to blame the heatsinks on the VRMs, going so far to call the Gigabyte solution more of a "heat insulation" device than a cooler, as a simple small fan over the bare VRM array did many magnitudes better than a simple standard install with the stock VRM cooler attached. After an MSI-branded board did similar, it became clear this was not an isolated issue.
der8auer also went on to criticize the lack of voltage input in the form of many boards having only a "single 8-pin connector" which der8auer claims is not nearly enough. He claims a cable temperature of nearly 65 degrees Celsius on the 8-pin EPS cable which is obviously disconcerting, though TechPowerUp has been in discussions with renowned PSU-tester Jon Gerow (Jonnyguru) who feels the "all-in-one" cable design on the Super Flower PSU shown in the video may be partially to blame here for the heat level with that current draw. It's hard to tell which part is more at fault for that temperature and we will update that as we know more. Until then, here's is Jon Gerow's direct comment on the matter:

"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"

The frustrations expressed here have also been shared by Overclock.net user "Silicon Lottery," who sells prebinned overclockable CPUs to the general public. His statements on the matter mirror user der8auer's concerns, stating the following in a forum post at Overclock.net:

"I am having trouble with some of these X299 motherboards. I've bought a wide variety for this launch, and none of them are really handling the load of an overclocked 7900X as well as I'd expect. VRM temps through the roof and boards throttling."

One thing is for certain: The VRM situation is far from consistent at this point in time, and overclocking results on one board may not be consistent to another. Heatsinks may be inadequate, and as far as overclocking is concerned, it may get interesting folks, and not in a good way. In the end der8auer concluded he couldn't really give a solid recommendation to any of the launch boards put past his desk, all of them having one issue or another with VRM heat at some point.Sources: Youtube user der8auer, Overclock.net user "Silicon Lottery"
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80 Comments on Intel X299 Platform Called a "VRM Disaster" by Overclocker der8auer

#1
FR@NK
Well yea it should be common knowledge that if you use a water block, then you need a fan on the VRMs...

I'm waiting for the Rampage VI APEX to be released before I upgrade to 10 cores.
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#2
chaosmassive
No worries; with Intel size they can fucking up their product, still able to tank the hit and get away with it
but one thing is certain : this wont last for very long if they keep doing this
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#3
Prima.Vera
I personally love those videos. Those present the exact reality over the PR BS those IT companies are spreading over fakeish presentations and commercials.
Posted on Reply
#4
gigantor21
chaosmassive said:
No worries; with Intel size they can fucking up their product, still able to tank the hit and get away with it
but one thing is certain : this wont last for very long if they keep doing this
Especially if people have viable alternatives.
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#5
R-T-B
FR@NK said:
Well yea it should be common knowledge that if you use a water block, then you need a fan on the VRMs...

I'm waiting for the Rampage VI APEX to be released before I upgrade to 10 cores.
The issue here is more that the quality of the VRM heatsinks is piss poor in almost every conceivable situation, if I understand it correctly. Silicon Lottery is not only binning on water I'm reasonably certain.
Posted on Reply
#6
chaosmassive
Prima.Vera said:
I personally love those videos. Those present the exact reality over the PR BS those IT companies are spreading over fakeish presentations and commercials.
this release of whole Core i9 extreme thingy remind me of Pentium 4 Gallatin EE which they try to steal the AMD spotlight on Athon CPU series
Posted on Reply
#7
FR@NK
R-T-B said:
The issue here is more that the quality of the VRM heatsinks is piss poor in almost every conceivable situation, if I understand it correctly. Silicon Lottery is not only binning on water I'm reasonably certain.
Read the comments on his youtube video:



You know part of the CPU heatsink's job is to move air over the VRM heatsink right? When you use a water block you dont have air moving around the socket and thus you get overheated VRMs. I guess der8auer just expects board manufacturers to start using VRM heatsinks with active fans. I dont think this is necessary, atleast not on the low end boards hes talking about ie. gigabyte gaming 3 or asus prime.

As for the 8 pin CPU power connector, its rated for 336 watts but his power supply only uses 6 wires for that 8 pin cable so I'm not surprised that its overheating.
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#8
xkm1948
X299 has been a trainwreck from the start. Worse IPC, worse design. Damn.... Poor intel so eager to deliver.
Posted on Reply
#9
R-T-B
FR@NK said:
Read the comments on his youtube video:



You know part of the CPU heatsink's job is to move air over the VRM heatsink right? When you use a water block you dont have air moving around the socket and thus you get overheated VRMs. I guess der8auer just expects board manufacturers to start using VRM heatsinks with active fans. I dont think this is necessary, atleast not on the low end boards hes talking about ie. gigabyte gaming 3 or asus prime.

As for the 8 pin CPU power connector, its rated for 336 watts but his power supply only uses 6 wires for that 8 pin cable so I'm not surprised that its overheating.
He's referencing his 30mm fan he directly mounted to the heatsinks I'm pretty sure. That's quite different than the airflow a standard CPU aircooler will provide. It still did better without the heatsinks, mind you.

The PSU 6-wire issue was mentioned in the article and it would seem there is definitely more investigation needed there.
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#10
jboydgolfer
i always make sure the moBo i purchase has decent Phases & VRM sinks that do more than look like a Gundam Robots armor ;) (which in many cases the looks seem to be the main goal)
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#11
FR@NK
xkm1948 said:
Worse IPC
The IPC is similar to 1151 kaby lake...with some variation because of the new cache hierarchy.

SOURCE
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#12
Chaitanya
Another garbage launch from intel, this time around a very expensive garbage. Guess like 7700k we will soon hear from intel not to overclock all the K series SKUs to avoid problems.
Posted on Reply
#13
hat
Enthusiast
Meanwhile, at Intel headquarters parking lot...

Posted on Reply
#14
Hood
xkm1948 said:
X299 has been a trainwreck from the start. Worse IPC, worse design. Damn.... Poor intel so eager to deliver.
So eager, they released the fastest consumer CPU ever made, on the best HEDT platform ever, with better single core performance than almost every other CPU (except for their own i7-7700K), and did it at a much lower price than the last generation. You call that a trainwreck? I call it brilliant! Granted, they rushed the release by a couple months, and this thinned out the number of motherboards that were available at launch. But are you really heartbroken about that? Were you planning a knee-jerk upgrade from your present X99 rig? I'd wait for the better motherboards, myself, let the platform mature a few months. Are you upset because they run so much faster than X99 CPUs (10-15%), or because they cost so much less (and you feel that you paid too much for your X99 system)? I'm not trying to be a smartass, I really am curious as to why a few reasonable, intelligent people are having such a negative reaction to X299, which seems all out of proportion to any perceived shortcomings. Also, nobody is forcing anyone to buy this platform. I just don't understand your position, except for seeing that it pushed some kind of emotional button in you, not a considered rational response. Okay, it's not perfect - please tell me a better alternative (past, present, or known future).
Posted on Reply
#15
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
Hood said:
So eager, they released the fastest consumer CPU ever made, on the best HEDT platform ever, with better single core performance than almost every other CPU (except for their own i7-7700K), and did it at a much lower price than the last generation. You call that a trainwreck? I call it brilliant! Granted, they rushed the release by a couple months, and this thinned out the number of motherboards that were available at launch. But are you really heartbroken about that? Were you planning a knee-jerk upgrade from your present X99 rig? I'd wait for the better motherboards, myself, let the platform mature a few months. Are you upset because they run so much faster than X99 CPUs (10-15%), or because they cost so much less (and you feel that you paid too much for your X99 system)? I'm not trying to be a smartass, I really am curious as to why a few reasonable, intelligent people are having such a negative reaction to X299, which seems all out of proportion to any perceived shortcomings. Also, nobody is forcing anyone to buy this platform. I just don't understand your position, except for seeing that it pushed some kind of emotional button in you, not a considered rational response. Okay, it's not perfect - please tell me a better alternative (past, present, or known future).
Id probably go Ryzen or upcoming Threadripper before x299.
Posted on Reply
#16
dwade
It's the mobo makers' fault. The heatsink itself works well. It's the gimmicky plastic addons attached to the heatsink that wrecks the temperature. Asrock looks like the best option.
Posted on Reply
#17
dwade
Hood said:
So eager, they released the fastest consumer CPU ever made, on the best HEDT platform ever, with better single core performance than almost every other CPU (except for their own i7-7700K), and did it at a much lower price than the last generation. You call that a trainwreck? I call it brilliant! Granted, they rushed the release by a couple months, and this thinned out the number of motherboards that were available at launch. But are you really heartbroken about that? Were you planning a knee-jerk upgrade from your present X99 rig? I'd wait for the better motherboards, myself, let the platform mature a few months. Are you upset because they run so much faster than X99 CPUs (10-15%), or because they cost so much less (and you feel that you paid too much for your X99 system)? I'm not trying to be a smartass, I really am curious as to why a few reasonable, intelligent people are having such a negative reaction to X299, which seems all out of proportion to any perceived shortcomings. Also, nobody is forcing anyone to buy this platform. I just don't understand your position, except for seeing that it pushed some kind of emotional button in you, not a considered rational response. Okay, it's not perfect - please tell me a better alternative (past, present, or known future).
There's no alternative. Threadripper needs too many slower cores to match the lesser but significantly faster cores from Intel. For consumers, too many cores become a liability---too hot to cool, lower clocks hinders singlethread performance. Quantity over quality model can only go so far, which is why Apple is smart enough to imitate Intel with highquality single-threadrd performance with adequate amount of cores to boot. Ryzen makes more sense for servers.
Posted on Reply
#18
Tomorrow
Hood said:
they released the fastest consumer CPU ever made,
Not consumer. Prosumer. Consumer/Mainstream platform is socket 1151. Also 7900X is not de facto the fastest CPU out there. 6950X beats it in multiple occasions in syntethics and 7700K trounces it in gaming.
Hood said:
on the best HEDT platform ever,
That's arguable. They may fix a lot of issues in the coming months but not everything that's wrong with X299 can be fixed with a new BIOS. X99 is for the moment best HEDT platform.
Hood said:
and did it at a much lower price than the last generation.
Yes but at the same exact price than generation before that. 7900X only seems like a good value if you compare it to the ridiculously overpriced 1700 dollar 6950X. Not so much compared to 5960X.
Hood said:
You call that a trainwreck?
High prices? Check
Immature platform? Check
High load temps due to TIM underneath heatspreader? Check
Less PCI-E lanes compared to soon arriving Threadripper? Check
Bad VRM designs on X299 motherboards? Check
Inconsistent performance due to tweaked cache structure? Check
CPU segmentiting forcing you to buy atleast a thousand dollar CPU to get the full 44 PCI-E lanes (wich is still 20 short of Threadripper)? Check
Kaby Lake-X abominations that should not even exist? Check
Limitations forcing you to buy RAID keys separately for extra money to use full feature set already present on boards and CPUs? Check
Shady marketing claiming VR and 12K (wow) capability when i truth the mainstream platform can handle these? Check
Hood said:
I call it brilliant!
I wish you luck if indeed you decide to go to X299. For me personally i see too many shortcomings. Atleast in order to justify some of these and look the other way 7900X and all currently released 3 Skylake-X parts should be #1 #2 #3 in every benchmark (exept maybe in gaming). But they're not. So you get a lot of issues for performance that is not even on the top in every scenario.
Hood said:
Granted, they rushed the release by a couple months,
That's an understatement considering everything above 10c/20t was a last minute addition as a kneejerk reaction Threadripper. So last minute that they won't be out until the next quarter. Not only that but Intel didn't even have time to make proper substrate for these CPUs and on Skylake-X parts uses Xeon substrate (you can verify that by looking at the RFID chip in the corner next to the IHS wich is deactivated on Skylake-X but active on Xeon).
Hood said:
Are you upset because they run so much faster than X99 CPUs (10-15%),
That's a best case scenario. There a cases where they are 15% slower instead.
Hood said:
or because they cost so much less (and you feel that you paid too much for your X99 system)?
Again - only when comparing to 6950X.
Hood said:
I really am curious as to why a few reasonable, intelligent people are having such a negative reaction to X299,
which seems all out of proportion to any perceived shortcomings.
Not at all out of proportion considering the list of negatives i managed to come up with from the top of my head. It seems every bit of news coming about X299 is just another negative.
Hood said:
Also, nobody is forcing anyone to buy this platform.
True but if a product exists it should be as good as possible. This can't be a justification for bad and/or overpriced products - just don't buy them.
Hood said:
please tell me a better alternative (past, present, or known future).
Threadripper. Tho it won't be able to match the best performance examples of Skylake-X it will bring much lower prices, more cores for less price, proper soldered IHS and feature parity for all models and 20 more PCI-E lanes compared to Skylake-X.
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#20
RejZoR
It's nice to see Intel taking all the shit for a change. It's good for the market that AMD gains some traction now that Intel is fucking everything up. Any % of market share towards AMD because of this is good for everyone.
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#21
xkm1948
RejZoR said:
It's nice to see Intel taking all the shit for a change. It's good for the market that AMD gains some traction now that Intel is fucking everything up. Any % of market share towards AMD because of this is good for everyone.
At the end of the day, only solid product/technology matters. So yeah, I am really happy Intel is getting some major kicks in the nut-sack.
Posted on Reply
#22
ShurikN
Not trying to defend the board manufacturers, as they clearly fucked up, but maybe they didn't take into consideration the 7900X consumes 250W.
The VRMs prolly would get a chance to stay cool if Intel didn't design a power hungry monstrosity.

inb4 Intel comes with the statement not to OC your $1000 unlocked cpu...
Posted on Reply
#23
RejZoR
ShurikN said:
Not trying to defend the board manufacturers, as they clearly fucked up, but maybe they didn't take into consideration the 7900X consumes 250W.
The VRMs prolly would get a chance to stay cool if Intel didn't design a power hungry monstrosity.

inb4 Intel comes with the statement not to OC your $1000 unlocked cpu...
Board makers didn't fuck up (at least not everything). Intel (and AMD) have to be VERY clear and strict about minimum specs for the VRM. Board makers have to strictly obey that. They can go crazy and overdo the VRM segment of their boards, but they are NOT allowed to go below what Intel or AMD specify for their processors. Only fuck up by the board makers is the fact that Intel has now given them single board that takes anything from crappy quad core up to insane 10 cores. This means VRM needs to be bonkers on all boards even if they'll be primarily bought by budget people for their "high end" quad cores. If board makers try to save things on their own here, that's another thing. It's also possible Intel did fuck up. They can have loads of $ to throw at anything, but rushing things can lead to mistakes even if you have billions to throw around.
Posted on Reply
#24
zzzaac
RejZoR said:
It's nice to see Intel taking all the shit for a change. It's good for the market that AMD gains some traction now that Intel is fucking everything up. Any % of market share towards AMD because of this is good for everyone.
It helps that AMD has finally something good. Frankly their previous CPU's were not competitive.
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#25
RejZoR
I agree. It's also sad that now AMD has very competitive products, lets face it, Ryzen CPU's are amazing, they still aren't making good enough traction because of initial quite honestly, flawed reviews and shit taken by the Intel fanboys who still swear to vastly inferior but highly clocked quad cores (like 7700K) just because they posted better scores in games that were essentially specifically written for them. But there is no freaking way in this world that 500-900MHz higher clock can offset a lack of 4 physical cores (and 8 freaking threads!). That's like missing a whole quad core CPU! Ryzen has a tiny clock penalty with single threaded or lower threaded apps and games, but even as things stand now, Ryzen is not far behind. And if you buy CPU for long term and lets face it, we usually do, Ryzen will fare far better for far longer with more moderately clocked octa core than Intel will with higher clocked quad core. Games are already going past 4 cores in usage and it'll just get even worse as time goes on.
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