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How do I know if a motherboard is any good for overclocking?

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Hello,

 

Earlier today I was trying to overclock my FX-8350 and I encountered strange issues. After some discussion on the LTT Discord, it became clear that it was vrm throttling due to a motherboard of low quality. As the FX-8350 is extremely old, and there will be new Ryzen CPUs coming out soon, I am considering upgrading my computer to an entirely new one. When I do so, however, I want to ensure that I get a motherboard that won't hold my CPU back from overclocking. How can I do this? I prefer advice that includes why something is superior as opposed to some guideline such as using a specific brand, looking for a heatsink over VRMs, etc.

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Ok well... you pretty much answered your own question. VRM heatsinks. MSI B450/X470 boards are overall a pretty good choice. If you want to know why, they use quality VRMs, have a good 4 (or more) phase power delivery, and other stuff I don’t know anything about.

 

My Build, v2.1 --- CPU: i7-8700K @ 5.2GHz/1.288v || MoBo: Asus ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming || RAM: 4x4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 2666 14-14-14-33 || Cooler: Custom Loop || GPU: EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC Black, on water || PSU: EVGA G2 850W || Case: Corsair 450D || SSD: 850 Evo 250GB, Intel 660p 2TB || Storage: WD Blue 2TB || G502 & Glorious PCGR Fully Custom 80% Keyboard || MX34VQ, PG278Q, PB278Q

Audio --- Headphones: Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX || Amp: Schiit Audio Magni 3 || DAC: Schiit Audio Modi 3 || Mic: Blue Yeti

 

[Under Construction]

 

My Truck --- 2002 F-350 7.3 Powerstroke || 6-speed

My Car --- 2006 Mustang GT || 5-speed || BBK LTs, O/R X, MBRP Cat-back || BBK Lowering Springs, LCAs || 2007 GT500 wheels w/ 245s/285s

 

The Experiment --- CPU: i5-3570K @ 4.0 GHz || MoBo: Asus P8Z77-V LK || RAM: 16GB Corsair 1600 4x4 || Cooler: CM Hyper 212 Evo || GPUs: Asus GTX 750 Ti, || PSU: Corsair TX750M Gold || Case: Thermaltake Core G21 TG || SSD: 840 Pro 128GB || HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB

 

R.I.P. Asus X99-A motherboard, April 2016 - October 2018, may you rest in peace. 5820K, if I ever buy you a new board, it'll be a good one.

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11 minutes ago, Cereal5 said:

snippety snip

Although MSI's BIOS is pretty bad.

 

Source: me having a MSI board

Main PC:  MacBook Air (M1, 2020), 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage; running macOS, but waiting for Linux to be ported to the M1

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1 minute ago, NunoLava1998 said:

Although MSI's BIOS is pretty bad.

 

Source: me having a MSI board

Yeah, I know. Asus boards are alright and have amazing BIOSs. Higher end ASRock boards are very good and probably rank second in BIOS

My Build, v2.1 --- CPU: i7-8700K @ 5.2GHz/1.288v || MoBo: Asus ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming || RAM: 4x4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 2666 14-14-14-33 || Cooler: Custom Loop || GPU: EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC Black, on water || PSU: EVGA G2 850W || Case: Corsair 450D || SSD: 850 Evo 250GB, Intel 660p 2TB || Storage: WD Blue 2TB || G502 & Glorious PCGR Fully Custom 80% Keyboard || MX34VQ, PG278Q, PB278Q

Audio --- Headphones: Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX || Amp: Schiit Audio Magni 3 || DAC: Schiit Audio Modi 3 || Mic: Blue Yeti

 

[Under Construction]

 

My Truck --- 2002 F-350 7.3 Powerstroke || 6-speed

My Car --- 2006 Mustang GT || 5-speed || BBK LTs, O/R X, MBRP Cat-back || BBK Lowering Springs, LCAs || 2007 GT500 wheels w/ 245s/285s

 

The Experiment --- CPU: i5-3570K @ 4.0 GHz || MoBo: Asus P8Z77-V LK || RAM: 16GB Corsair 1600 4x4 || Cooler: CM Hyper 212 Evo || GPUs: Asus GTX 750 Ti, || PSU: Corsair TX750M Gold || Case: Thermaltake Core G21 TG || SSD: 840 Pro 128GB || HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB

 

R.I.P. Asus X99-A motherboard, April 2016 - October 2018, may you rest in peace. 5820K, if I ever buy you a new board, it'll be a good one.

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Here is an short answer: VRMs, VRMs phases and VRM Cooling.

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Also, If you still want to eek out more performance on your current build. Active cooling is always better than passive(though louder), so if you just throw a fan blowing directly on the VRM, you will definitely get a better outcome.

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16 hours ago, thx1138 said:

Also, If you still want to eek out more performance on your current build. Active cooling is always better than passive(though louder), so if you just throw a fan blowing directly on the VRM, you will definitely get a better outcome.

The person on the LTT Discord specifically advised against this by saying that it will reduce the temperatures and thus allow the vrms to run above their rating for longer, and then become an explosion hazard.

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