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What are you looking for in a Motherboard Review?

ir_cow

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Before going future please keep this discussion civil. You may have a strong opposing viewpoint, but understand there is no "wrong answer" here. If you have a counter argument for someone, please avoid being an ass. The goal here is to improve content, not to trash talk each other!

Hello everyone!

With AMD new socket on the horizon, I figured it was time to reflex on current reviews and see where I can improve. This is where I need your help. Tell me what you want to see in a motherboard review!

A little background about myself and why I care about making great content.
I started reviewing computer hardware just under 10 years ago and at the time it just happened to work out. I saw a job posting and without any experience prior in the tech writing field I applied and got the job. I Started off with Mice and Keyboards. Eventually moved to Cases and CPU coolers. In the last few years before joining the TechPowerUp team, I moved onto the bigger stuff like SSDs, Memory, Video Cards and Motherboards. Here at TechPowerUp, I am the current motherboards and system memory reviewer.

Initially became interested reviewing computer hardware because at the time when I wanted to buy something, I did all the usually research of reading plenty of reviews. But every so often, I get the product and its just total shit and no review prepared me for it. So I often thought to myself after this happened, did the reviewer just not experience the same problem(s)? Now I have been doing this for a number of years, I can say that its a mixture of paid for good reviews (score or award), inexperienced reviewers and 1-2 day turnaround times (can) make weaker content. I still comes across these rosy / glossy reviews where my review of a product ends up being nearly the polar opposite. This is why I advocate to check multiple sources before spending money.

How does TPU community fit into all of this?
A one point in time, 20 years ago I found a few sites that got me in computers as a hobby. The review content was great and explained to me features I didn't even know I wanted. Those sites are all gone now. Reddit, Discord, mega corporations and YouTube have taken over the industry. I can honestly say, I don't trust any big YouTubers to provide a honest review. I'm sure a few small channels exist, but I don't know of them. When it comes to other good hardware review sites....ummm few and far between is the nicest way to put it.

This is your opportunity to request better coverage of certain features, more benchmarks, less benchmarks or whatever you want. What do YOU want to read about in a motherboard review?

Will all requests be accommodated? Doubtful, but the conversation has to start somewhere. Your feedback makes better content, which in turns drives more traffic to TPU. I just know as a reviewer I cannot become complacent. I simply do not know what each person is looking for, therefore I cover what I believe is important and what I want to read in a review. Yet I am only one person with a single opinion. Help makes these reviews better and share your thoughts!


Quick google search and here is other reviews of the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme / Glacier for a example comparison.

Anandtech: Link (Glacier)
Pause Hardware: Link (Glacier )
DigitalCitizen: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme
Eteknix: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme
TechPowerUp: Link (Glacier)
TweakTown: Link (Glacier)
TomsHardware: Link (Glacier)
Overclockers: Link (Glacier)
Overclockers Russia: Link (Glacier)
Versus: Link (Glacier)
 
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Reviews don't always tell you what you want, I look at negative reviews and see how many vs good reviews of the product, if a product has consistent bad reviews (eg doa, died after a couple days/weeks/months) I might avoid it for something with less bad reviews.

If the product is new I like to see "works as expected" or "failed spectacularly" so I know whether or not to buy one.

Specifically I want to see things pushed as far as they're designed to go like maxing out fclk or the memory limit to see what it can do when paired with different cpu's, and whether or not it supports certain cpu's like 5950x. With memory I like to see how it overclocks/down-clocks and whether or not it plays well with tighter timings.
 
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I'll make some general comments, many of which might seem to be common sense but a fair number of people on the Internet don't seem to have that for reasons I don't understand.

First of all, no one can please everyone all the time. And not just PC hardware reviews. Anything. The short order cook in the breakfast diner, the umpire in last night's baseball game, your mom, etc.

Not everyone has years/decades of buying PC components. Some people here tend to ignore that. There are new people every day starting their very first build. Some people like building PCs more than playing games, others are the opposite. Overclocking CPU, memory, GPU? Yes or no? Las Vegas style addressable RGB lightshow or old school non-visible components?

Remember that for every armchair electrical engineer who obsesses over PSU test results, there are ten Joe Consumers who just want to buy something that'll work reliably. The line between being detailed and pedantic obsessing about minutiae varies from person to person.

Yet I am only one person with a single opinion.
... and using a sample size of one unit. From what I vaguely remember from my basic statistics course at college, that sample size is insignificant.

Did the vendor send you a review sample? If so, how do you know they didn't cherry pick a better sample?

Which leads into the next point: if a vendor sends you a review sample, are you more inclined to cough up some something positive to say about it, regardless if 99% of the rest of it completely sucks? If you don't, do you expect the vendor to keep sending review samples?

A reviewer can sugar coat a turd and some people will see right through that. Others might fail to pick that up.

One thing that's missing from pretty much every PC hardware component review is long-term reliability. Consumer Reports actually has an expected reliability score for many things they test. Yes, yes, I know. Consumer Reports' reviews are flawed but whose aren't?

Other things that are often ignored: performance-per-dollar/value, warranty coverage, vendor's technical support quality and responsiveness. Also frequently ignored is the software quality: ASUS Armoury Crate versus MSI Center versus [whatever].

Another thing that is often quickly glossed over are thermals and acoustics (with the notable exception of graphics cards). Motherboard power consumption is rarely mentioned. Does an X570 motherboard consume more power than a B550? I know one chipset runs far hotter...

In the end, you need to write about what strikes you, both good and bad.

For sure, reviewers have a finite amount of time and limited access to components. In a perfect world, every reviewer would review everything: every single B550 motherboard, every single X570 motherboard, etc. and rank them based on usage cases (gaming, case size, price point, thermals, etc.). Do you have time to do that?

I know as a reviewer, the standard practice is not to say, Product A is better than Product B and Product C. But a consumer who is trying to make a purchase decision, that is precisely what they are trying to do. You just don't know their criteria, if Joe Gamer is reading your review right now, or someone else who just wants to build a system for a family member who spends most of their time doing office work, the occasional game, web surfing, watching YouTube, etc.

As far as I can tell, there is no way to write a review that will satisfy every reader's needs.

I think it's noble that you care and are striving to improve your reviews. I hate to say this but if there's something deficient in your reviews, some people will point it out in the comments. A lot of online feedback is negative. Even restaurant chefs read Yelp comments with the clear understanding that some of this is pure noise, entitlement, misunderstanding, whatever.

All I can ask for is honesty. Remember: trust is earned.
 
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tabascosauz

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@ir_cow you've been a great reviewer! Most of the usual stuff I'd suggest are things you already cover.

One thing I'd like to see more of is an overview of the software-visible sensor list. ie. what the board reports in HWInfo. I'm not too familiar with the Intel side (but with so many ISL69269 and now RAA229131 surely it can't be bad?).

On AM4 midrange and higher Gigabyte and MSI generally provide good sensors. But Asus loves locking down everything below Strix-E with tight-lipped SuperI/O and their Richtek RT8894-derived ASP1106 that provides either nonsensical or nonexistent information. Only into high Strix and ROG territory is it not ASP1106 anymore and they're generous enough to sprinkle PCH temp and VRM temp in there as an extra Embedded Controller.

Always in the same block of board sensors, sometimes two blocks of board sensors, plus a few blocks for VRM telemetry if the PWM controller is smart enough (IR35201, XDPE, RAA229004).

If the board has a dedicated VRM temp sensor, it'd be nice to see a quick check to see if it's accurate by comparing to your thermalcouple data during VRM tests.

c8i hwinfo sensors.png
 

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VRM adequate cooling, components quality, bios quirks, quality/price ratio, performance, current that fan headers can take, I don´t care about RGB so..., that's about it mostly, the base and then the extra features, I hope it helps in some way
I second the notion of knowing how much current the headers can take! I’m the sort that I wants to go as crazy as I can with it, and it lets me know if I’ll need powered fan hubs.
 

ir_cow

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I'm taking notes here :) . I have a few questions so far.

Component quality: How do you find this out. Like is Vishay actually better than Renesas? This goes down a rabbit hole like what determines the quality of a component. We could do facts like Renesas sells higher amp MOSFETS, but is it actually better in the same class. Datasheets are often not available and those efficiency curves are generally "best case.

Also Curious about the current (amps) in a fan header. If the manual doesn't list it, does anyone know a good way to measure this? Should I just daisy chain fans until the fans stop spinning?
 
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My personal list, pretty much in order:

- VRM components+thermals under max reasonable ambient load (i.e. 5950X for AM4 mobos)
- Max memory frequency overclock w/ appropriate DIMMs (i.e. SS Micron Rev.B for DDR4), & seperately, tightest timings at most common speeds (i.e. 3600 or 3800 for AM4)
- Storage speed, do the M.2 slots perform at their expected gen w/ compatible drives?
 
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I already think you do a good job reviewing boards maybe even one of if not the best reviewers period in print form.

I stick to upper end boards only so I rarely need a review to tell me what board to buy for myself but what I do like seeing is lower end boards and how they handle the top end cpus my belief is that all Z boards from intel and all X boards from amd should easily handle whatever cpu you can socket into them so personally I'm most interested in vrm testing both in stock and overclocked scenarios.
 
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Much more than individual motherboard reviews, I'm interested in an overview of motherboards, comparisons, feature lists. Something that allows me to "quickly" pick a board fitting my needs from the pool of boards that are out there.
Also board-only power draw and VRM efficiency. Is this something to be concerned with, does it matter to my power bill?
 

tabascosauz

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Component quality: How do you find this out. Like is Vishay actually better than Renesas? This goes down a rabbit hole like what determines the quality of a component. We could do facts like Renesas sells higher amp MOSFETS, but is it actually better in the same class. Datasheets are often not available and those efficiency curves are generally "best case.

Just disclosing the parts used is enough, and VRM temp testing. Board vendors going crazy with phase counts now, as long as it has DrMOS, a decent amount of phases, and a decent heatsink there's not much cause to worry. The lower-end boards are still most of the problem, and you don't get a generous selection of DrMOS and SPS to compare there.

There's no point in a single board review commenting on part quality. Way too many factors at play to say (Vcore phases, heatsink size, heatsink design, thermal pads used, pad contact, PWM programming, LLC, Gigabyte aggressive stock Vcore, etc.). Only exception is using stuff from the bottom of the discrete scrap heap (ON 4C06, Sinopower SM4337, Sira12DP), where garbage is well and truly garbage no matter the heatsink size.

There are no real classes anymore. I'd say back in the B450/X570 days when Vishay just hit the market with their dirt cheap 50A parts, and PowIR/dual N-fet started to fade, and SPS was just starting to show up, there were clearer segments amongst DrMOS. Now the 50/60/80/90/105A labels doesn't connotate a distinct level of performance anymore.
 

ir_cow

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Did the vendor send you a review sample? If so, how do you know they didn't cherry pick a better sample?

Which leads into the next point: if a vendor sends you a review sample, are you more inclined to cough up some something positive to say about it, regardless if 99% of the rest of it completely sucks? If you don't, do you expect the vendor to keep sending review samples?

A reviewer can sugar coat a turd and some people will see right through that. Others might fail to pick that up.
Well for motherboards this one is a easy. The only thing that can be cherrypicked is a company sends you known working one. If its a review for a platform launch, I will accept it may have been opened and tested before shipping. Sometimes they have a pre-production BIOS. Just depends on when it ships. I flash it the newest BIOS anyways and that comes in a later email if its not already on the website.

I should say that I have not been pressured while working at TechPowerUp to give a good review. It has happened before to me personally when I first started (years ago). I think it was some keyboard and I didn't publish it upon request after I said it was crap. Giving good reviews so you can get more future samples is a thing on some sites / YouTubers. I also have been "ghosted". Never blacklisted, but my emails went unanswered for upcoming products forever on.

However, the landscape has changed since I started. The blame of a bad review use to be solely on the reviewer, regardless if its a bad product. I have noticed more and more marketing firms and less of the companies directly sending samples. Their goal is to send a sample they think will be a hit. If you clear in the review about the strengths and weakness of said product, you are good. No hard feelings and you will here again from someone for the next round. Corsair is a good example of understanding. I said not so good things about ICUE and I have received another kit since and another coming next month. Is the RGB problem fixed? nope. So clearly I was being more neutral about the issue, otherwise why would anyone send me more stuff if I was just going to trash talk again.

Other things that are often ignored: performance-per-dollar/value, warranty coverage, vendor's technical support quality and responsiveness. Also frequently ignored is the software quality: ASUS Armoury Crate versus MSI Center versus [whatever].
These are hard subject to cover. Anyone with input on how to tackle is welcome to comment.

I use to be all about price, until I realized not ever region has the same prices. Also sales and used market exist. I think anyone with two brain cells can look at something and say, "yeah that is over my budget". If its mediocre and overpriced, no one will buy it. The price doesn't have to be a focus in the review.

When it comes to tech support. I've read of bad support, I've also have received great support. I thought of this idea a few years back to RMA a product and seeing how long it takes. But first, if it works, they are probably going to reject it. Second, if I intentionally break it, that is reaching into fraudulent actives.

Next is the software quality. I think directly comparison between companies leads to more bias opinions. Might be good for a Op-Ed, but maybe not in a motherboard review.

Another thing that is often quickly glossed over are thermals and acoustics (with the notable exception of graphics cards).
Does motherboards have acoustics? Are you referring to coil whine?

Motherboard power consumption is rarely mentioned. Does an X570 motherboard consume more power than a B550? I know one chipset runs far hotter...
Does this actually matter? Question for everyone here.
 
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For expensive boards, what overall performance is like with expected high end hardware, ease of installation, memory and system settings.

Mainstream boards compatible and then non comparable memory, how they perform in mini cases with limited airflow, how would or do they work for office light productivity boxes.

Cheap boards, with cheap CPUs and memory, cheap drives, cheap coolers cheap in cheap cases with almost no airflow. Cause cheap boxes for people, Al what’s the best $100 to spend on more performance for longer.
 
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Next is the software quality. I think directly comparison between companies leads to more bias opinions. Might be good for a Op-Ed, but maybe not in a motherboard review.


Does motherboards have acoustics? Are you referring to coil whine?


Does this actually matter? Question for everyone here.
Acoustics - pch fan? Pretty rare apart from X570.

Power draw? Might be a good one for our friends with extremely expensive energy.

Software could be a minefield, but it would be nice to know if all of the advertised features are plug-and-play, one-time setup, or require constant-running software. If it does, it would also be nice to know a couple of details such as RAM/CPU usage and if it requires network. Just my $.02 though.
 
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Well for motherboards this one is a easy. The only thing that can be cherrypicked is a company sends you known working one. If its a review for a platform launch, I will accept it may have been opened and tested before shipping. Sometimes they have a pre-production BIOS. Just depends on when it ships. I flash it the newest BIOS anyways and that comes in a later email if its not already on the website.

I should say that I have not been pressured while working at TechPowerUp to give a good review. It has happened before to me personally when I first started (years ago). I think it was some keyboard and I didn't publish it upon request after I said it was crap. Giving good reviews so you can get more future samples is a thing on some sites / YouTubers. I also have been "ghosted". Never blacklisted, but my emails went unanswered for upcoming products forever on.
Well, being ghosted is effectively the same as being blacklisted, isn't it? It accomplishes the same end result: you don't get review samples. They put you on their blacklist and letting their silence tell you.

However, the landscape has changed since I started. The blame of a bad review use to be solely on the reviewer, regardless if its a bad product. I have noticed more and more marketing firms and less of the companies directly sending samples. Their goal is to send a sample they think will be a hit.
Pretty much all companies with a large product portfolio will do this. The marketing department will sample out what they think will get good press.

If you clear in the review about the strengths and weakness of said product, you are good. No hard feelings and you will here again from someone for the next round. Corsair is a good example of understanding. I said not so good things about ICUE and I have received another kit since and another coming next month. Is the RGB problem fixed? nope. So clearly I was being more neutral about the issue, otherwise why would anyone send me more stuff if I was just going to trash talk again.

It's good to note poor/busted implementations. Tom's Hardware pointedly notes that Corsair iCue and NZXT CAM software aren't universally loved.

I use to be all about price, until I realized not ever region has the same prices. Also sales and used market exist. I think anyone with two brain cells can look at something and say, "yeah that is over my budget".
Price is relative to others available to the buyer. I care about USA pricing because that's where I am. I don't care about German retail pricing or what I can get in the used market in Japan. Look at all of the other big hardware review sites. Forget about used pricing, refurbs. If you're going to compare apples to apples, you compare one vendor's MSRP to another vendor's MSRP, not individual retailer pricing.

If its mediocre and overpriced, no one will buy it.

Funny, every time I mention than I have Noctua fans (and I never claim they are the best, I just state that I own them), there are usually a couple of TPU community members who immediately scream out that Noctua is overpriced.

The price doesn't have to be a focus in the review.
Not the primary focus but worth mentioning. Read The FPS Review's latest PSU review of a Deep Cool unit. The reviewer's conclusion is that this is a decent PSU but at its price point, it really doesn't stand out.

Here's a PSU example. Let's say Unit A and Unit B are very similar in performance/test results. Unit A is $20 cheaper and has a 7-year warranty. Unit B has a 10-year warranty. Mention these differences.

I am okay with people having opinions. For reviewers, make sure facts are clearly facts and opinions are clearly opinions. You can say that you'd personally take Unit B for 36 months of extra warranty coverage and pay the $20 premium for it.

When it comes to tech support. I've read of bad support, I've also have received great support. I thought of this idea a few years back to RMA a product and seeing how long it takes. But first, if it works, they are probably going to reject it. Second, if I intentionally break it, that is reaching into fraudulent actives.

Next is the software quality. I think directly comparison between companies leads to more bias opinions. Might be good for a Op-Ed, but maybe not in a motherboard review.
Well, there's one review topic we disagree on. I want motherboard reviews to include the vendor's software (Armoury Crate, AI3, MSI Center, etc.).

Does motherboards have acoustics? Are you referring to coil whine?
At least two of my motherboards (one X570, one B550) have at least one fan on the motherboard; the X570 board has two (COV/VRM and Chipset). At least one board has a fan on the built-in m.2 heatsink.

To reiterate, my initial reply was about reviews in general (and often not PC equipment specific) and not directed at you or any other specific reviewers.

Since no one can please everyone all the time, I end up reading several reviews on a product that I am interested in. I try to compare the pros and cons each reviewer lists and weigh how much I trust each reviewer before I come up with a consensus judgment, sort of like a Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes score.

It's important to understand that sometimes people can purchase several products of the same category (like motherboards) for different reasons. I use the X570 in my primary gaming build. I have other builds based on the B550 motherboards because I use them for different usage cases than the gaming build. So yeah, the X570 board was the most expensive, but for its usage, I was fine paying for it. Did I want to pay that amount for the other builds? No.
 
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ir_cow

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Well, there's one review topic we disagree on. I want motherboard reviews to include the vendor's software (Armoury Crate, AI3, MSI Center, etc.).
I agree checking out the software and give a bit of info on each program is helpful. But saying for example ASUS Armoury Crate is better and MSI Center is shit is over reaching. Does the program work? Yes or No. Does it do what is says? Yes or No. That is about the extent of it. I think it would be great to have a article dedicated to these programs. That way I could link back to it and not have to write about it every time. This isn't something I want to personally do though. Maybe someone wants to work with me on this one in the future. If Wiz approves, you get paid :)
 
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I agree checking out the software and give a bit of info on each program is helpful. But saying for example ASUS Armoury Crate is better and MSI Center is shit is over reaching. Does the program work? Yes or No. Does it do what is says? Yes or No. That is about the extent of it.
It's not just "Does it work? Yes or no." I've never seen 100% bug free software, there's always something busted.

Maybe motherboard reviews should also include something about the vendor's UEFI interface. I certainly have encountered more than a handful of UEFI bugs over the years, some of them quite annoying.

What this really adds up to is a more comprehensive review of the total ownership experience of a motherboard.

I think it would be great to have a article dedicated to these programs. That way I could link back to it and not have to write about it every time. This isn't something I want to personally do though. Maybe someone wants to work with me on this one in the future. If Wiz approves, you get paid :)
Well I have no personal interest in writing product reviews (hardware, software, services) but it would be worth reading a comparison between the various motherboard vendors' software packages.

Ideally though, motherboard software should be part of the product review because it's tied to the hardware. I can't run MSI Center on my ASUS ROG Strix B550-I.

At least we've identified a number of motherboard review topics that you personally don't want to expand on.

:D
 
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ir_cow

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At least we've identified a number of motherboard review topics that you personally don't want to expand on.

:D
Kinda hahaa. I'm just expressing my thoughts. Doesn't mean I won't in the future. Just spinning the wheels on possible solutions.
 

cadaveca

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Also Curious about the current (amps) in a fan header. If the manual doesn't list it, does anyone know a good way to measure this? Should I just daisy chain fans until the fans stop spinning?
Specifically; this is a good way to kill some motherboards.

It's best to ask. Most headers support 1A only. OR when I reviewed, boards, that's how it was. :p
 

ir_cow

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Specifically; this is a good way to kill some motherboards.

It's best to ask. Most headers support 1A only. OR when I reviewed, boards, that's how it was. :p
I haven't seen the amps listed in the manual for years now. Use to be it was say like 1-3 amps and you would calculate with the fans you had. Each one is 0.10 or whatever. Now this information is missing. I'm looking at a Bifenix fan right now. Says 0.18A. Now the question is does multiple fan headers share the same power. Now that would be useful... Hmm now to figure out how to check for it. I guess I could try metering one header while plugging into another... Hmm maybe someone knows a easy way to do this.
 
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Cooling Apple proprietary
Memory 16GB 2666 MHz DDR4 PC4-21300 SDRAM
Video Card(s) integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 + Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB (via Sonnet eGPU)
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I haven't seen the amps listed in the manual for years now. Use to be it was say like 1-3 amps and you would calculate with the fans you had. Each one is 0.10 or whatever. Now this information is missing. I'm looking at a Bifenix fan right now. Says 0.18A. Now the question is does multiple fan headers share the same power. Now that would be useful... Hmm now to figure out how to check for it. I guess I could try metering one header while plugging into another... Hmm maybe someone knows a easy way to do this.
I checked one Asus and one MSI owners manual. Both have a table for the fan header amperage. The MSI manual states the default mode (Auto, PWM, or DC). ASUS lists the default fan control mode (Q-Fan Control or Full-Speed).

Both also list amperage for the four-pin RGB header and the three-pin addressable RGB header.

LOL, perhaps you should also include the documentation as part of your reviews. Maybe there's some correlation between the completeness of the documentation and the hardware quality...

;)
 
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ir_cow

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I checked one Asus and one MSI owners manual. Both have a table for the fan header amperage. The MSI manual states the default mode (Auto, PWM, or DC). ASUS lists the default fan control mode (Q-Fan Control or Full-Speed).
I just looked at the Gigabyte X570S Master. Not on the specification page (this is where it use to be always). It is under the Fan header page now that I am looking for it elsewhere. Good find!
 
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1. Power Phases - how many are there? What make and model and are they of good quality?
2. Quality of Mosfet, temperature rating, amperage rating.
3. Does the chipset get warm? too hot to touch?
4. Soldering quality. Good? Sloppy?
5. Temperature check of the chipset with heat gun when running benchmark.
6. Number of PCB layers.
7. Socket manufacturer - Lotes, Foxconn, etc?
8. Ease of installation of NVMe drives
9. This is subjective - how easy is it to tune the BIOS.
10. Subjective as well - quality of software that comes with the board
 
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For sure Roundup Reviews. ;) Jumping from generic review to review is mostly not telling anything.
A lot of reviews also taste like pure copy/pasta PR. Compare them to each other where they stand out or not.

  • roundup specs spreadsheet
  • board power (stock/OC)
  • Cinebench scores (stock/OC)
  • max. CPU OC
  • max. RAM OC
  • SSD performance (on each controller)
  • thermal performance (stock/OC)
  • thermal images of the boards (hotspots)
  • images of the boards at darkness (LED's)
  • images of the BIOS
  • opinion on the different BIOS'es
  • warranty, RMA & support rankings (f.e. based on user reviews, incl. from previous boards)
  • extra points for higher quality components
  • highlight unique features
  • negative points for wasteful/non recycable packaging
 
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  • Onboard audio quality (SNR, crosstalk, etc). Sometimes there is a big difference between ALC 1xxx vs 9xx audio chips through decent headphones.
  • VRM temps? Coil whine?
  • Power consumption? Probably more relevant now than ever.
  • BIOS limitations for manual voltage control (both overclocking & undervolting)?
  • "One month later..." updates of almost any product (assuming you are continuing to use it daily) are often 10x more useful than the initial review
  • Calling out deliberately crippled BS for the sake of "premium tier branding". Eg, analogue VGA output and no DP on 'ASUS Prime' 2022 boards is something that should have been nuked to the moon and back when you literally cannot even find a monitor to plug them into anymore (that stuff should be relegated to specialist CSM (Corporate Stable Model) industrial boards with long-term legacy support...) Same goes with BS "min 60%" fan speed limitations on some ASRock motherboards I've seen in the past.
  • If you're testing Mini-ITX versions, then how much hotter does the SSD + chipset run vs ATX / MATX due to the typical "double decker" heatsink (chipset underneath the SSD under one heatsink)? I've seen a loaded SSD drive up chipset +20-30c higher temps in the past and it was one reason I went back to MATX.
  • The insane bloat of vendor specific motherboard software is another thing that reviewers should have long been calling them out on.
  • Warranty length + returns process hassle, ie, if it breaks is there a national / regional address to send it to (especially for EU / South America) or will the user be told to ship it +9,000km to Hong Kong at their own expense?...
 
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