GIGABYTE AMD X570 Aorus Motherboard VRM Guide (Page 2)

| Feb 25, 2020 at 12:51 pm CST

The X570 Aorus Xtreme


The X570 Aorus Xtreme is one of the most expensive and loaded X570 motherboards on the market. It's the epitome of GIGABYTE's design engineering. It utilizes a 2oz PCB with eight PCB layers to optimize cooling and signal integrity. All its shields are made of metal, which also increases its cooling capability.

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The heat sink has a large heat pipe running through it, and it extends to the chipset area of the motherboard as well. Cooling the VRM is just as important as the component quality, and with a high-performance VRM such as this one, it's significant for longevity and performance. It utilizes a direct touch copper heat pipe as well, with a copper fin array.

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The motherboard utilizes 5W/mK VRM thermal pads between the heat sink and the VRM components, but also on the backside of the VRM, between the back-rear shield and the rear portion of the VRM.

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While most X570 motherboards have a standard 8-pin power connector for the CPU, the Xtreme has two connectors. While two power cables aren't required, it's a nice idea to utilize them if you use more extreme cooling. People don't realize that the power connections won't stop higher current draws than their rating. In general, each 8-pin power connector can take up to 300W, but depending on the cable and solder quality, you can literally heat things up if you go beyond that.

What will happen first is that the power cables will get hot, individually their insulation will start to melt. Then depending on the weakest point, typically the solder joint of the connector, things will get hot enough to melt it. All that being said, this motherboard is designed to get over that, so you will never have that issue with current AMD CPUs. It's nice that GIGABYTE also reinforced the connectors with a metal housing.

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The AMD CPU takes in two major voltage rails; the CPU VCore rail and the SoC rail. The VCore goes to the cores while the SoC powers lesser things like the I/O Die that contains PCI-E controllers and the like. In this case, we find Infineon (they own IR) 70A power stages, some of the best in the industry, and brand new parts. They area the Infineon TDA21472, and you get 14 of them for the VCore and two for the SoC. That's more than enough for anything, and combined with the cooling, they are unstoppable. To add on to things, GIGABYTE utilizes a direct phase configuration.

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There are three ways to hook up a power stage to a PWM controller; direct, doubler, and copied. There is also the daisy chain method, but that hasn't been used in a very long time. Up until now, no one had more than 8 direct phases (except with infrequent occurrences in the past). That means that each of the eight PWM channels had a direct connection to the driver, either external or internal depending on the power stage. However, with the advent of the Infineon XDPE132GC digital controller, things have changed. Not only is it designed to support a whopping 1000A of current, but the PWM controller offers up to 14+2 phase output (or configurable to 8+8).

That means the PWM controller has a direct line to each phase, which offers three main benefits. Higher channel numbers increase something called the interleaving effect, so 4-true phases will have worse performance with things such as voltage ripple than a 6-true phase PWM controller. Having true phases also increase efficiency, and in this case, GIGABYTE says they achieved 4% better results than if they took 7 true phases and doubled them to 14. 4% doesn't sound like much, but it's basically the difference between an 80+ Silver and 80+ Platinum system PSU, which is a big deal.

The third benefit is monitoring, where the PWM can balance both current and temperature among all of the phases, and this is partially made possible because each of the integrated power stages are fully compatible with the PWM controller, and they each have a direct call line with the PWM controller.

Last updated: Feb 26, 2020 at 06:11 am CST

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Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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