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ASRock X299 Taichi Motherboard Review

By Steven Bassiri from Jul 19, 2017 @ 16:36 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ASRock

Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption


System power is measured at the wall with an AC power meter.




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 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, 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. During ALL TESTS, fans above the VRM that cool the CPU cooler's (Corsair H110i) radiator are turned on to high (12v).




Full frontal.




Up-close of the front of the VRM.




The VRM thermal imaging here reveals a lot about how Intersil's new PWM works. For light load, it only turns one a single phase, but when full load is applied at stock, it seems to load balance on the left side instead of evenly balancing all the phases. It could be that the airflow is cooling those other phases, but we don't see this thermal gradient on other motherboards.


The VRM must have much higher potential, so the PWM puts more load on half of its phases. It is not a new approach, but until now with the integrated smart power stages, the real-time current balancing mode makes it safer.


Up-close of the back of the VRM.


4.6GHz 1.75V VCCIN OCed VRM Thermal Imaging:




Here with the 4.6GHz overclock, the PWM engages all PWM phases, or at least more. The VRM here is surprising. For starters, it keeps up with IR based solutions; Intersil is like the AMD comeback kid when it comes to high-performance digital VRM designs.


While the board has a single 8-pin connector for CPU power, it doesn't seem to be overstrained, and we should be pulling upwards of 300W, and there isn't throttling at 4.6GHz. The most impressive part is that the rear of the VRM is cooler than the front.

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