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MSI X299 XPOWER GAMING AC Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2066 in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 27, 2017 2:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

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 motherboard runs just fine at stock in relation to VRM temperatures, actually very good compared to the competition, and that's because of a bigger VRM and a heat pipe cooler.


Up-close of the back of the VRM.


4.6GHz 2.1V VCCIN OCed VRM Thermal Imaging:




In this test, the fans from the radiator on the AIO blow in the general direction of the CPU VRM area and help cool down the VRM a little bit, but not as much as inside a case. The motherboard is doing very well here, with only a slight difference between the top and the bottom of the VRM PCB.


MSI has increased phase count from 10 to 12 power stages, to help spread the heat over a larger area, and they have added a heat pipe cooler. The motherboard will do better than its predecessors, as MSI has made improvements to VRM cooling.

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