1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

stuck on FM2+ kaveri 7850k supported motherboard & cooling decision

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by kn00tcn, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. kn00tcn

    kn00tcn

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    262
    Location:
    Toronto
    unusual for me to ask for help, but after hours of reading.... i'm still struggling to choose a mobo :banghead:

    i'm looking at an A88X based chipset, mATX most likely (ATX is 'fine' but i wont be using all those slots & the cost goes up? miniITX is a little cramped, do the screw holes fit in old ATX cases?)

    -should i worry about power phases? not all brands & models list them though... half the boards on asrock's site comparison tool lacked the text
    -should i worry about mosfet/vrm cooling? is blowing air without a heatsink on them enough? i can probably add little heatsinks manually, but where would i order them?
    -it needs to support 2133mhz 9-11-11-31 1.65v ram, i have seen some that only specify 1800 max with newegg reviews of 2133 users, but most manuals dont tell you the limits you can input in the bios to know if it's doable
    -from what i saw, every gigabyte mobo is made before kaveri launched, therefore i wont be able to boot to update bios, so avoid them all? or did i not look close enough? they do have 'revisions', but who knows what stock stores carry
    -how loud is the AMD stock cooler? which aftermarket coolers can be used on FM2+? (FM2 has the same measurements, what about FM1 or other 'old' coolers that came out years ago?)

    technically i could deal with the kaveri support by buying the cheapest FM2 cpu or finding someone on hardwarecanucks to borrow from in person just to update the bios... but that sucks (or are there methods of updating a bios without posting or having video output?)

    here a few boards that caught my eye:

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/FM2A88M-DG3+/index.us.asp?cat=CPU
    http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/FM2A88M+ BTC/index.us.asp?cat=CPU really like the colors, has power cooling, but not easy to find in stores for some reason!
    http://us.msi.com/product/mb/A88XME35.html
    http://us.msi.com/product/mb/A88XME45.html like the colors, has cooling, newegg reviews say you can post with kaveri enough to update the bios, except one person claimed it used 'older' power delivery components since the heatsink still got hot, this might be the best mATX choice so far

    any sort of input would be useful, thanks for reading
     
  2. eroldru

    eroldru

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    16 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Why go Kaveri, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  3. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Bullet Dodging Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    18,573 (4.80/day)
    Thanks Received:
    4,499
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    I like the Asus A88XM-E (or even the A version) MATX board, it fulfills your memory requirements and comes in at a reasonable price. My cousin has one (the E), he is not really an overclocker but is overclocking through Asus software without issue, he is very happy with his, I wouldnt worry too much about VRM cooling, apparently these run pretty cool ...........

    http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/A88XMA/specifications/
     
    kn00tcn says thanks.
    10 Year Member at TPU
  4. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    9,421 (5.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    4,525
    Location:
    Concord, NH
    I agree that the last MSI board you linked looks the best out of those you listed.

    If you don't mind ASUS, this might be a good option as well: http://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/A88XMPLUSCSM/

    Considering how much power APUs can draw, a heatsink on the VRMs isn't a bad idea. You can't go wrong with one there versus one without it IMHO. The memory speed depends more on the CPU than the motherboard doesn't it? The ASUS board there says it supports 2133Mhz FWIW though.
     
    kn00tcn says thanks.
  5. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,371 (3.97/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,938
    Location:
    Texas
    Well do you have a case already? I am guessing based on the way you worded it you do so ill give you a bit of my experience with Kaveri and the A88X chipset ive had recently.

    Yes I would avoid gigabyte sadly on these boards, I have built 2 Kaveri machines using gigabyte boards and both failed to boot due to bios update needed (Thank god I had a spare Trinity chip laying around) and had to update the bios. Now they should be fine at this point because they put the revision on them very soon but its better safe than sorry.

    I have built in the last 2 month for a friend a MITX build using the 7850k, DDR3 2400mhz ram, an Dual 120mm Rad cooler, in a Mitx case (Bitfenix Prodigy) and in all honesty it was great. The board choice with the Asrock MITX board and managed a great overclock on both the iGPU and CPU (4.5ghz CPU, 1006mhz iGPU) without board temps being an issue. The boards only qualm was with the Gskill Trident X 2400mhz ram running above 2133 but a bios update resolved that (Which I used the Kaveri chip to do so Kaveri worked out of the box).

    I built another using the MSI A88XM board and managed to grab an overclock of 4.7ghz and 1ghz on the iGPU using an H80i. I love this board series as they seem to provide alot of extra features and just an overall nice look.

    So here is my thoughts:
    If you want to overclock, you can achieve decent overclocks even without mosfet heatsinks So Long as you have a fan blowing down (I had the CPU cooler pulling air in from the top of the Bitfenix Prodigy) but with a board that has a Mosfet Heatsink as long as you have a basic airflow your more than fine to punch these chips to their limits.

    Of the choices you provided, I would say this, avoid the BTC boards in my book because they lack alot of cool features in exchange for power house amount of card support/powering. I have noticed that on alot of the Asrock BTC boards that they lack a rich feature set but provide ample support to handle loads of GPU's (At least power them).

    Of the boards listed, I went and looked at the price range you were looking at and decided I would just throw a couple other options for your consideration:
    Asus A88XM-E (good value overall, only lacking extra USB ports)
    MSI A88X-G43 (Good value if your only going to use up to DDR3 2133 Ram, but I would say if you can and if you intend to use the iGPU to go for 2400 as it does help especially when you mix it with overclocking the iGPU)
     
    kn00tcn says thanks.
  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    22,947 (5.84/day)
    Thanks Received:
    8,915
    In my experience, the VRM is not as important with Kaveri if you are using air cooling. You'll hit the thermal limit of the processor, thanks to the TIM under the IHS, before you start to overload the VRM on any of the decent motherboards. Though I would get a board that has a heatsink on the VRM just to be safe.

    The memory controller is on the CPU, so the CPU determines what options you have for memory. With
    Trinity/Richland you were limited to 1866, with Kaveri you are limited to 2133.

    A lot of the manufacturers had boards launched before Kaveri. By now the pre-Kaveri stock should be gone, and the boards on sale now have been flashed at the factory with a bios that supports Kaveri.

    The stock cooler that comes with these is crap, it is just a block of aluminum, and under load it definitely is audible. As for aftermarket coolers, you can use pretty much anything. FM2+ is the same as FM2, FM1, and AM3+. So pretty much every aftermarket cooler out there supports it. I'm a fan of the Xigmatek Prime SD1484 right now, it is only $30 and performs very well.

    Oh, and I know I saw you ask, but I didn't quote it, but yes a miniITX board will fit in an ATX case, the screw holes do line up.
     
    kn00tcn says thanks.
    10 Year Member at TPU Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  7. kn00tcn

    kn00tcn

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    262
    Location:
    Toronto
    it's not for me, but i do want to see what a little apu can do

    any temperature readings? from what i read, people are dropping 10-15 C just by adding a heatsink, & of course the overclockers are having failures (not just FM2 but other AMD platforms as well)

    http://www.overclock.net/t/943109/about-vrms-mosfets-motherboard-safety-with-125w-tdp-processors
    http://www.overclock.net/a/database-of-motherboard-vrm-failure-incidents
    http://www.overclock.net/t/946407/amd-motherboards-vrm-info-database

    too bad these links are a little old

    i was considering that, but there are several unusually bad newegg reviews (especially the one where guy has the same parts as friend except for mobo, getting 20% worse performance)

    the current plan is hacky... i have a hard drive + ram + apu, all i need is a mobo that i will put on its box next to a tower... then plug in the psu from the tower onto the mobo & drive

    this is going to replace another tower that's in an antec 900 case, but i still need those old parts to boot, so i'm still not sure if i'll get some htpc case or if this small fm2 build will go into the giant antec

    your multiple build experiences are putting me at ease :laugh: , also i'm sure many of the older mobos are fine... i just REALLY need to be able to boot the first time unless i can find someone locally to borrow an older apu from

    that MSI... am i being shallow for wanting less than full ATX? it just seems wasteful to have so many empty slots, also requires larger cases & more delicate handling

    sure would hope the stock is newer... but cant be sure without inspecting the boxes, though a high traffic store like newegg might be safer than my other options (ncix, canadacomputers, tigerdirect)

    glad there should be plenty of cooling options out there, i'll probably pick one that blows back down into the mobo
     
  8. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    9,421 (5.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    4,525
    Location:
    Concord, NH
    Hardware reviews, like ones does by @cadaveca does or the buyer reviews on the website where you're buying it? NewEgg had a lot of mediocre reviews for my P9X79 Deluxe and it has worked flawlessly and is fully loaded with features. Not to mention he recommended the board. Maybe @cadaveca might have a recommendation considering he has used more motherboards than most of us, so his recommendation would probably be pretty useful. It was for me.
     
    kn00tcn says thanks.
  9. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Bullet Dodging Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    18,573 (4.80/day)
    Thanks Received:
    4,499
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    If your concerned about VRM cooling, which I can understand, even though I have seen several reviews of systems using 88X FM2+ boards overclocking to 4.4gig plus with nominal VRM temps you could go with the still very reasonable but slightly more expensive next MATX model up in the Asus range, the PLUS model, this board adds a couple of extra "bells & whistles" (for example you get 4 rather than 2 memory slots) but in addition has VRM cooling :) it also gets decent reviews......

    http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/motherboards/1305724/asus-a88xm-plus
     
    kn00tcn says thanks.
    10 Year Member at TPU
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,371 (3.97/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,938
    Location:
    Texas
    Well in that case if your worried about slots depending on what you want you could go for one of these boards:

    MSI A88XM Gaming

    Asus A88XM-A

    Asrock A88X-ITX (Personally messed with this board, great board and great features!!!. Only thing is no VRM heatsink, but like I said before I pushed a 7850k to 4.5ghz and the iGPU R7 to 1006mhz and the VRM's did not exceed the upper 50's. The 240mm AIO though was pulling air through the top down so that did help).

    Those are my personal favorite small boards for the FM2+ platform. I have not messed with all of them but the Asrock I have laid hands and and the bigger version of the Asus so I can safely say these boards are great. Plus the MSI gaming boards are very high quality.
     
    kn00tcn says thanks.
  11. kn00tcn

    kn00tcn

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    262
    Location:
    Toronto
    http://www.corsair.com/en/blog/2014/february/understanding-kaveri forgot to link this excellent article, 2133 is a nice sweet spot since it's officially supported by kaveri & it's an ok price with multiple competing brands at CL9

    i will dig at some more reviews, i know anandtech has had instability with stock boards & stock speeds during stress tests in their FM2+ reviews

    the cooling can be dealt with, i guess the biggest issue is if i will end up with stock that can boot without needing a bios update

    i know, usually user reviews are terrible, it's just that the specific one was using identical parts other than the mobo & even included BOTH trinity + kaveri

    of course, for all we know, a bios update could have fixed that, or maybe the user had some 'green' option enabled

    it would be nice if sites did some reviews that revisit things at least half a year old, especially gpu reviews that compare driver updates
     
  12. kn00tcn

    kn00tcn

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    262
    Location:
    Toronto
    guys... the southbridge heatsink is VERY hot, to the point not being able to touch for more than a couple seconds

    however i havent installed any amd drivers just yet... so i suppose it's running full speed? i also noticed the apu is full speed in the bios, the temps are at 56 with audible fan, but as soon as windows starts loading, it gets quiet

    i went with the MSI E45 http://us.msi.com/product/mb/A88XME45.html quite satisfied other than the lack of voltage adjustment to lower the apu's heat & how hot the a88x is (but that's amd's problem)

    here's my ghetto frankenstein arrangement

    [​IMG]

    i sure hope there's a new WHQL driver this week

    (yes, double post)
     
  13. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    22,947 (5.84/day)
    Thanks Received:
    8,915
    Wow, that heatsink MSI put on that board is down right anemic! I mean the southbridge heatsinks don't have to be supper big, but that heatsink is just junk. There are no actual fins, and it is really small. Shame on MSI.

    I mean, compared it to something like the heatsink on the FM2A88M Extreme4+, which has fins machined into it as well as being thicker and larger in basically every direction.

    Measure the distance between the heatsink pegs and see if you can find a replacement. Something like this might work, and you could take the fan off to make it silent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
    10 Year Member at TPU Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  14. kn00tcn

    kn00tcn

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    262
    Location:
    Toronto
    the MSI has some cuts/fins in it, but yes it's really small

    that asrock doesnt seem much larger though...

    coincidentally these parts are replacing an athlonxp build, which had its piece of crap loud NB fan die... so i got that classic zalman northbridge heatsink

    [​IMG] (hotlink source: http://pontoppidan.info/lars/index.php?proj=passivevga )

    would be hilarious if i end up doing the exact same thing to this new amd build

    anyway i thought these chips were under 8 watts? how hard can it be to cool that...
     
  15. Durvelle27

    Durvelle27

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,809 (1.86/day)
    Thanks Received:
    735
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I myself am using a Gigabyte F2A88X-UP4 with my A10-7850K
     
  16. kn00tcn

    kn00tcn

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    262
    Location:
    Toronto
    i forgot to mention, the mobo had the LAUNCH BIOS FROM DECEMBER, so no, i didnt get 'newer stock', although it's quite possible MSI didnt package updated boards since the launch ones can boot kaveri

    a little late for me, but did you start at those parts or did you have an older APU to boot with to update the bios?
     
  17. Durvelle27

    Durvelle27

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,809 (1.86/day)
    Thanks Received:
    735
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I started with these parts.
     
  18. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    22,947 (5.84/day)
    Thanks Received:
    8,915
    The original BIOS was from November, the December BIOS added kaveri support.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  19. kn00tcn

    kn00tcn

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    262
    Location:
    Toronto
    correction, according to my photo, the bios was 25.1 from december 6 2013

    was the mobo even for sale before this? "Date first available at Amazon.com: December 22, 2013"

    no matter, those gigabyte or asus ones that came out a year ago are much much riskier if you dont have an older APU to boot with
     
  20. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    22,947 (5.84/day)
    Thanks Received:
    8,915
    Not sure, but the original BIOS on their site was 25.0 dated Nov. 21 2013.

    More than likely there were review samples out by that time at least.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  21. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    9,421 (5.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    4,525
    Location:
    Concord, NH
    Well, if you had an old BIOS it would probably do what a handful of other AM2+ board with AM3 CPUs have done to me. Almost every time it happened it would boot into the BIOS just enough to let you FLASH it but not enough to do anything else. Hopefully that board will do something similar even if it's not clearly obvious.
     
  22. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    22,947 (5.84/day)
    Thanks Received:
    8,915
    Usually that tends to be what happens unless there is a massive architecture change. Like when Intel went from Pentium 4 to Core 2 on socket 775. On the boards that were out before Core 2 was released, if you didn't update the BIOS the machine wouldn't POST with a Core 2 installed.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  23. kn00tcn

    kn00tcn

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,136 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    262
    Location:
    Toronto
    it was too risky, most newegg reviews said they couldnt post or have video output, only a couple competing boards were able to post enough for flashing
     

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)