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ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 5, 2015 2:54 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASUS

Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption

 

System power usage is measured at the AC/DC PSU (the Corsair AX1200i) which I have connected to another system to measure the test system and as a backup I have a wall meter to verify. The CPU power is measured through the 8-pin connector which is hooked up to a hall effect IC which measures current and puts out a voltage in proportion to the current. That voltage is logged by a National Instruments ADC which logs the DC voltage level, which I then convert into current.

 

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Note on Thermal Images: In the temperature section, we use our Seek thermal imaging camera to capture the surface temperatures of major components on the board; I look at the VRM and then all other things that light up the screen. If there is something to worry about then I will state it, otherwise I will just show the hotter running parts of the board for fun. Unless some component is over 80-90C then there really isn't anything to worry about.

 

All systems will act differently, so I will look for commonalities, such as how far from the VRM the heat spreads through the PCB and the difference in temperature between the front side and backside of the PCB. Keep in mind that the majority of the heat from the VRM goes into the PCB as it is a giant soldered on copper heat sink. A larger difference in temperature between the back and front of the PCB points towards a more effective heat sink.

 

Thermal Testing at Stock Speeds:

 

The image on the left is always at idle and the image on the right is at load.

 

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Full frontal.

 

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Up-close of the front of the VRM.

 

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Up-close of the back of the VRM.

 

Thermal Testing at 4.5GHz Overclocked Speeds:

 

During overclocking, the fans above the VRM that cool the CPU cooler's radiator are turned on to high, which cools down the VRM much more than at idle.

 

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Full frontal.

 

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Up-close of the front of the VRM.

 

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Up-close of the back of the VRM.

 

ASUS has done a great job sourcing very good MOSFETs. I have been a fan of Texas Instruments parts for a long time, they make solid chips, and their NexFETs are no exception.

 

The reason that the results at a 4.5GHz overclock are almost better than those at stock is because at stock the CPU runs at 4.2 GHz Turbo with the fans above the VRM at 5v speeds, but at 4.5 GHz the fans are all full speed (12v) all the time cooling down the VRM. This way the VRM gets active airflow, and that is why the temperature on the back of the board exceeds that on the front of the board. The Maximus VIII Hero performs excellently. Anything under 60C is excellent, 60-80C is acceptable, and anything above 80C is a bit worrisome (if at stock).

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