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Good AM4 motherboard for "future proofing"?

MrMonolitasMrMonolitas Member UncommonPosts: 252
edited November 2017 in Hardware
Hey guys, so black Friday and cyber Monday are on the nose. I already see ryzen cpus drop prices by 20%~ here in my country. And im looking forward to grab my beloved 1800x for a nice bargain with dark rock pro 3 cooler. Al thou, i have a small problem, all this time i thought i will get msi 350b carbon mother board and be good with it.  But knowing that ryzen cpus will be refreshed and supported till 2020 makes me wonder to spend little bit more to get better VRM and more solid board overall so i can switch my processor and still be able to get out the most out of it. So i was looking into motherboard which are overkill for current ryzen processors. Also paid attention to good VRM and power delivery.In addition 3200Ghz memory on 32gb kit is priority. But after all of research i've done, i came to the conclusion that i still dont know anything. 
Well the boards which are most interesting to me are 370x of course. I dont really care about sli or corssfire, but what can i do. Seems taht 370x boards are slightly better. So let me give you why i was looking into those first.

ASRock x370 Taichi 
Good VRM 12 phase
Wifi
Not the best memory support 

Gigabyte Aorus AX370 Gaming K7
No wifi (other decent wifi solution?)
Dual bios

Asus crosshair hero VI wifi
The most expensive of them all.
Tons of usb ports, more than ever you would need.
Good memory support.
Good VRM

So i came here to ask you another advice. What should i get? Do you have different view and can offer different solution? Or should i get cheaper mother board and not think about what future might bring? Might be a miss after all.

Best Answers

  • CleffyCleffy RarePosts: 6,252
    edited November 2017 Answer ✓
    I have the MSI X370 Titanium, personally I would go with a mother board that has a clock generator which would not be my MSI board. The main issue that Ryzen based systems have is the memory. Higher memory speeds allow you to achieve better results due to the extra bandwidth through the infinity fabric. The clock generator allows you to seperate the CPU from the Memory in clock speeds so you can hit the memory limits when you already hit the CPU limits. Nexus Games did an in depth look at these motherboards. I would go with their recommendation. Personally, I think the Taichi is the best this generation. Biostar also did a good attempt this generation, but it's Biostar.
    The memory support from the motherboard is not really an issue. Most will take a 3200mhz memory dimm when looking at the X370 mobos. The issue is more with the processor than the motherboard. According to people diving into memory support on the platform, the first run of CPUs are not capable to get to 3200mhz, but subsequent runs have a higher probability. Since they only support 2133 mhz for 4 dimms, or 2400 mhz for 2 dimms it isn't really an issue for AMD as it would fall into overclocked settings.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical LegendaryPosts: 22,125
    Answer ✓
    If you're not going to use SLI/CrossFire, then I don't see any compelling reason to go with an X370 motherboard.  Besides, the Ryzen die "only" has 32 PCI Express lanes coming off of it, some of which are repurposed for other things, so you can't have two PCI Express 3.0 x16 connections to video cards at once.

    In order to have the option to upgrade your CPU later (and preferably to something better than is available today), what you need is a socket that supports the newer CPU and an updated motherboard BIOS that supports it.  With AMD having announced that AM4 will be used for quite a while, that should be possible.

    Still, there's the question of exactly what upgrades will be available.  I wouldn't count on being able to get a CPU with more than 8 cores in Socket AM4.  If more cores is what you want, then get Threadripper and call it a day.

    What's far more likely to happen is to get cores that are faster and/or use less power.  As successive die shrinks make CPU cores successively smaller, the power density is getting ridiculous, so using less power per core seems to be the way things are headed.  There should still be IPC improvements, and possibly also clock speed increases, so it's plausible that two years from now, AMD will offer a new 8 core CPU that is 20% faster than the 1800X and with a TDP of 65 W.

    The question is whether you'd find that an interesting upgrade--and interesting enough to pay $300 for it.  If so, then have at it.  If not, then I'm not sure what you're hoping for in futureproofing.

    You should also be aware that PCI Express 4.0 is coming, and it's likely that there will be newer motherboards that support it, but a motherboard that you buy today won't.  It will be backward compatible to PCI Express 3.0, so it's not like video cards will suddenly stop working.  There may be other improvements coming, too, so any motherboard you can buy today paired with a CPU that launches 2 or 3 years from now won't be quite as good as pairing that future CPU with a future motherboard with all of the latest features.

Answers

  • MrMonolitasMrMonolitas Member UncommonPosts: 252
    Cleffy said:
    I have the MSI X370 Titanium, personally I would go with a mother board that has a clock generator which would not be my MSI board. The main issue that Ryzen based systems have is the memory. Higher memory speeds allow you to achieve better results due to the extra bandwidth through the infinity fabric. The clock generator allows you to seperate the CPU from the Memory in clock speeds so you can hit the memory limits when you already hit the CPU limits. Nexus Games did an in depth look at these motherboards. I would go with their recommendation. Personally, I think the Taichi is the best this generation. Biostar also did a good attempt this generation, but it's Biostar.
    The memory support from the motherboard is not really an issue. Most will take a 3200mhz memory dimm when looking at the X370 mobos. The issue is more with the processor than the motherboard. According to people diving into memory support on the platform, the first run of CPUs are not capable to get to 3200mhz, but subsequent runs have a higher probability. Since they only support 2133 mhz for 4 dimms, or 2400 mhz for 2 dimms it isn't really an issue for AMD as it would fall into overclocked settings.

    The generator, you mean BLCK? Biostar has terrible vrms i heard, similar as 320 boards. Ryzen can hit 3200ghz on memory pretty easy if its 8-16gb samsung single rank memory. But thinking about 3200 32gb its pretty hard since cpu doesnt like dual rank memory. But also the thing is that dual rank memory is faster than single rank. Also people on internet are saying multiple things, so you dont really know which is true anymore!!

    Quizzical said:
    If you're not going to use SLI/CrossFire, then I don't see any compelling reason to go with an X370 motherboard.  Besides, the Ryzen die "only" has 32 PCI Express lanes coming off of it, some of which are repurposed for other things, so you can't have two PCI Express 3.0 x16 connections to video cards at once.

    In order to have the option to upgrade your CPU later (and preferably to something better than is available today), what you need is a socket that supports the newer CPU and an updated motherboard BIOS that supports it.  With AMD having announced that AM4 will be used for quite a while, that should be possible.

    Still, there's the question of exactly what upgrades will be available.  I wouldn't count on being able to get a CPU with more than 8 cores in Socket AM4.  If more cores is what you want, then get Threadripper and call it a day.

    What's far more likely to happen is to get cores that are faster and/or use less power.  As successive die shrinks make CPU cores successively smaller, the power density is getting ridiculous, so using less power per core seems to be the way things are headed.  There should still be IPC improvements, and possibly also clock speed increases, so it's plausible that two years from now, AMD will offer a new 8 core CPU that is 20% faster than the 1800X and with a TDP of 65 W.

    The question is whether you'd find that an interesting upgrade--and interesting enough to pay $300 for it.  If so, then have at it.  If not, then I'm not sure what you're hoping for in futureproofing.

    You should also be aware that PCI Express 4.0 is coming, and it's likely that there will be newer motherboards that support it, but a motherboard that you buy today won't.  It will be backward compatible to PCI Express 3.0, so it's not like video cards will suddenly stop working.  There may be other improvements coming, too, so any motherboard you can buy today paired with a CPU that launches 2 or 3 years from now won't be quite as good as pairing that future CPU with a future motherboard with all of the latest features.
    Well 9 from 10 cases x370 boards have better components they say.  I assume thats where you see the price increase, because better components or more features?. And that 2nd 16x pcie lane doesnt add too much cost to my motherboard. Well, i dont really know how much does it add, does it add alot?. But if you know any 350b motherboard with same set of features and quality components as 370x i would like to know!. 

    Well maybe i hope more than amd will deliver from upcoming pinnacle ridge or even after that. But as it was new adapted architecture, i hope it will get big increase in clock speeds and it wont be limited to 4ghz. 
  • TheDarkrayneTheDarkrayne Member EpicPosts: 5,297
    edited November 2017

    Nevermind, misunderstood.
    Post edited by TheDarkrayne on
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125
    albers said:
    Well 9 from 10 cases x370 boards have better components they say.  I assume thats where you see the price increase, because better components or more features?. And that 2nd 16x pcie lane doesnt add too much cost to my motherboard. Well, i dont really know how much does it add, does it add alot?. But if you know any 350b motherboard with same set of features and quality components as 370x i would like to know!. 

    Well maybe i hope more than amd will deliver from upcoming pinnacle ridge or even after that. But as it was new adapted architecture, i hope it will get big increase in clock speeds and it wont be limited to 4ghz. 
    Part of the price difference is surely that AMD charges more for their X370 chipset than B350.  If they didn't, then there would be no reason for any motherboard manufacturers to ever use the B350 chipset.  Yes, motherboard manufacturers will tend to use better quality components on higher end motherboards, but that's not because of the chipset alone.
    MrMonolitas
  • LeningrLeningr Member UncommonPosts: 10
    I have Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 5, it is nice, no problem for now, runing my Corsair 3000mhz on 2993mhz with  XMP enable, and my 1700 running on 3.6ghz with stock Fun with F9a bios.
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,252
    edited November 2017
    There is not much discernable difference between the X370 and B350. There are 4 main ones that would sway me for or against. Memory support. The better components in an X370 motherboard may be more capable to support higher memory clocks. 2nd video card slot or more bandwidth for peripherals like USB 3.2. More likely to have overclocking features. Better aesthetics. The price difference may also be negligible.
    The A320 chipset will offer a more bargain feel.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125
    I'm not saying "avoid all X370 motherboards".  If you find a good motherboard at a good price that happens to have an X370 chipset, then have at it.  I am saying that the motherboard having an X370 chipset rather than B350 is something that adds to the cost of building it, but is a feature you won't have any use for.  There are a lot of other such motherboard features that you won't use, though.
  • MrMonolitasMrMonolitas Member UncommonPosts: 252
    edited November 2017
    Cleffy said:
    There is not much discernable difference between the X370 and B350. There are 4 main ones that would sway me for or against. Memory support. The better components in an X370 motherboard may be more capable to support higher memory clocks. 2nd video card slot or more bandwidth for peripherals like USB 3.2. More likely to have overclocking features. Better aesthetics. The price difference may also be negligible.
    The A320 chipset will offer a more bargain feel.
    Sure does make more sense to for 350b. But its just inferior to 370x. I dont think i ever will use 2nd pcie slot, but what can you do. They dont want to release more expensive motherboard without it. As you said i checked motherboards with BCLK capabilities, i did see only few. And those were not 350b. 

    Quizzical said:
    Part of the price difference is surely that AMD charges more for their X370 chipset than B350.  If they didn't, then there would be no reason for any motherboard manufacturers to ever use the B350 chipset.  Yes, motherboard manufacturers will tend to use better quality components on higher end motherboards, but that's not because of the chipset alone.
    Yes that i know, i heard about one company who made mini itx, maybe it was biostar, and they said that 350b and x370 motherboards are exactly the same, 370x just cost more because amd license cost more. Or something like that.  It is just their case. As i noticed many many x370 boards has more features.  It just make sense after all.

    But thank you guys for your opinions, that helped me.
    I decided to go in the middle. Not the strongest motherboard, but not the weakest either. Well, maybe its little bit above the middle. I chose ASUS Strix x370-f gaming, as much as i hate the fact that i pay for 2nd pcie slot and some RGB... I really dont think i could have gotten something like that without those things. Strix x370-f model features (base clock) BCLK, that was one of the factors to choose this board. Probably thats why it has great memory support. It does also have decent VRM.  
    Also with this board im losing some overclocking features, but it completely fine with me. As i am not hardcore overclocker. 
    Post edited by MrMonolitas on
  • MrMonolitasMrMonolitas Member UncommonPosts: 252
    Update: I returned my strix 370x f gaming motherboard. Reason i returned it is that as im not a hardcore overclocker i have no reason to have blck on my board, so to speak it make system unstable and downgrades pcie slot. I would consider strix 350b f gaming instead. 8phases vs 10 phases but its just enough for now. And its basically the same board as 370x. Future proofing it is not, but you dont know what standarts will come after few years. So i guess my advice would be. Dont think too much about 2-3 years from now. Alot can change in that time. Its like a gamble i suppose? :))
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061
    I didn't chime in earlier because I didn't want to dilute this conversation, but

    I don't believe in "futureproofing"

    Build your rig for what you need now. I'm not saying go right out to the skimpy minimum of what you need, but build out a comfortably adequate rig for now.

    Odds are, if/when you do need to upgrade in the future - something will have changed. A new generation (or two) of equipment, lower prices, better technology, something.

    I've very rarely seen a case of where a computer was "futureproofed" where the owner hasn't ... I wouldn't say "regret", that's a bit too strong, but wished they would have just held back a bit rather than waste a bunch of money up front in an effort to get a few more years out of the build.
    MrMonolitas
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125
    albers said:
    Update: I returned my strix 370x f gaming motherboard. Reason i returned it is that as im not a hardcore overclocker i have no reason to have blck on my board, so to speak it make system unstable and downgrades pcie slot. I would consider strix 350b f gaming instead. 8phases vs 10 phases but its just enough for now. And its basically the same board as 370x. Future proofing it is not, but you dont know what standarts will come after few years. So i guess my advice would be. Dont think too much about 2-3 years from now. Alot can change in that time. Its like a gamble i suppose? :))
    I'd think that the value of the hassle of returning one motherboard to get another would tend to exceed the money you save.  But it's your time, not mine.
  • MrMonolitasMrMonolitas Member UncommonPosts: 252
    edited December 2017
    Ridelynn said:
    I didn't chime in earlier because I didn't want to dilute this conversation, but

    I don't believe in "futureproofing"

    Build your rig for what you need now. I'm not saying go right out to the skimpy minimum of what you need, but build out a comfortably adequate rig for now.

    Odds are, if/when you do need to upgrade in the future - something will have changed. A new generation (or two) of equipment, lower prices, better technology, something.

    I've very rarely seen a case of where a computer was "futureproofed" where the owner hasn't ... I wouldn't say "regret", that's a bit too strong, but wished they would have just held back a bit rather than waste a bunch of money up front in an effort to get a few more years out of the build.

    Yeah, now i agree with you. Just get what you hardware based on your needs. I learned to think this way. 
     
    Dont hold yourself back next time, you can only contribute to the discussions :)

    Quizzical said:

    I'd think that the value of the hassle of returning one motherboard to get another would tend to exceed the money you save.  But it's your time, not mine.
    Yeah, it does take time, but i couldt let myself easy... I would kept thinking about it, it gave me peace of mind. Well, also i returned segfault processor, so two rabbits with one shot. But as far as returning go, i think they only will refund me. To avoid the hassle on holidays.
    Post edited by MrMonolitas on
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