Video Games Tutorials and News - How Much Does Your Motherboard Affect Performance
there is only one motherboard because your system needs only one CPU, but with so many options, all with different configurations of power phases. PCI Express Lanes and m. well The Micro Center sponsored this article and sent us 10 motherboards from various manufacturers to test, and, let me put it this way, if the results surprised us, then they're almost definitely going to surprise you.
This was not the biggest loser, not by a long shot, and neither is Micro Center. Get the best prices and best selection on PC hardware and other technology at any of Micro Center's 25 locations across the United States. New customers can get a free 240 gigabyte SSD at the Micro Center offer, valid in-store only, no purchase necessary.
For We tore down and rebuilt the exact same test bench. You were using the same memory, CPU, cooler, power supply, SSD, and graphics card. We even made sure to grab the exact same type of thermal paste for the last few boards when our first tube ran out. This is to control our variables as tightly as possible.
We even tested every system in the same climate-controlled environment after building each bench. By the way, we immediately found an important reason to choose one board over the other. Not every UEFI BIOS is created equally. Some of these didn't even allow us to change the pl1 and PLT power limits that much, if at all, and while most of them did, we had to dig through advanced CPU settings to find them.
In some cases, after powering on, we updated the BIOS, enabled XMP, and maxed out our long-duration power limits whenever possible. We could have gone for a more, you know, vanilla configuration here, but given this is a more enthusiast-oriented exploration and that we are looking for the benefits of more premium motherboards, we felt this was the right approach.
The reality is modern CPUs. I have gotten really good at knowing exactly when it is okay to boost and when it is not. These days, it's actually pretty hard to break a CPU, and on most boards you'll get some kind of warning when you toy with the settings that can do so enthusiastically. Cooling has also gotten really good, with most performance-tier gaming systems being equipped with a 240 millimeter AIO water cooler or a large tower heatsink.
We used a noctua nhd15, which will run you about 115 bucks at Microcenter and should give our processor plenty of room to stretch its legs while providing some incidental cooling to the vrms, which could help performance. Something to note is that even with a great cooler, our cinebench and blender tests never saw our CPU push past the 250 watt mark, and this is in spite of setting the power limits to the maximum, like 44,000 watts in some cases.
So, what gives with that? Well, the thing is, even if we do find some performance differences from board to board, increasing the power limits is kind of like removing the governor on a car. The speedometer goes up to 300 miles an hour, but your engine is still going to max out on its own and, as it occurs, you can open up some more headroom by increasing voltage, adjusting load line calibration, and manually changing the frequency of your chip, but that's a topic for another article like this one or for you to explore by subscribing to an extreme or clocker like your Bauer. This article is all about outside of the factory performance, and right out of the gate I'm really surprised.
Our big winner was Msi's gone like z590, which ended up with the highest cinebench score and the fastest blender render times. To be clear, this is a 900 motherboard, competing against boards in the 100 to 200 category, but I mean, even in the days when motherboards affected system performance by a lot, it was common to see expensive boards that were loaded up with features, in this case.
Thunderbolt, 4 Wi-Fi, 6E, and obviously super Premium Power Delivery, but it didn't actually offer a clear performance advantage unless you were trying to break Sub-Zero. Of course, that performance advantage was still pretty small, so let's take a look at the board that came in second place, at least in terms of cinebench.
Our ASRock z590 Pro 4 was behind by just 19 points in Cinebench and ran only a couple of seconds slower in the renders, yet managed a whopping one percent more FPS in CS. Okay, that last bit doesn't sound that impressive, but it costs a fraction as much at 185 US dollars, and while it only has 14 power phases with 50 amp chokes, 2.5 gigabit LAN, and no onboard Wi-Fi, the choice is pretty clear.
If you care about value, buy one of these instead. Maybe use the money you saved at ltstore, Com.
The beanie and the water bottle are a great combo. As for the rest of our results, they're mostly what we expected. They're more integrated than ever these days, so motherboards don't contribute like they used to, but there are some outliers.
For instance, MSI wins the crown for the best Micro ATX b560 board as well, beating out three other z590 boards at least in Cinebench. The b560m mag mortar was slower to render by eight or seven percent in BMW and classroom, respectively, but it had the third highest cinebench score, the second highest FPS in CS GO, and the second fastest turn time in Civ 6.
B550s aren't supposed to overclock, so picking up a supposedly lower tier board for its performance is a little unintuitive. In the meantime, MSI z590a, Pro lost the city bench by just 17 points, but how? Well, you could explain this with some simple run-to-run variants; that's such a narrow victory.
The more robust solution you pick, the higher they push both the long- and short-duration power limits. Since an NHD-15 is basically as good as a solid water cooling setup, we chose water cooling instead of a tower cooler, and it maxed out the limits for us at 4000 watts. Of course, you could easily achieve the same on a different brand, but this kind of user friendliness is something the others could learn from.
Of course, performance isn't the entire story. Msi's Z590 board managed to stay about 10 degrees cooler on the vrms, so while the 90 plus degrees of our b560m mag mortar isn't out of spec for these kinds of components, a hot day could easily push that to 100 or 110, and remember we have some airflow around the socket. If you're using an AIO or you're in a tight situation, you might not as for our losers.