Intel Z390 motherboard shootout: Which flagship board should you get?

By Koh Wanzi - 26 Dec 2018

Temperature, power consumption & overclocking

Temperature, power consumption & overclocking



We measured the temperatures of the VRM and PCH heatsinks after running 40 loops of the 3DMark Fire Strike Stress Test. You’ll naturally want lower temperatures since it shows that the respective heatsinks are doing a more effective job of dissipating heat.

The VRM heatsink temperatures are also of particular importance, as they play a key role in cooling the MOSFETs, which can get seriously hot as they pass through high currents as they step down the 12V from the 8-pin CPU power connector to the chip's stock voltage. This affects efficiency and overclocking stability, and is why enthusiasts sometimes opt for liquid cooling for the best results.

The ASUS motherboard probably had the best overall result here. 


Power consumption

To test power, we ran the energy-02 viewset in SPECviewperf 13 and recorded the peak power consumption. Idle power consumption was recorded after the system had idled at desktop for a while.

Power consumption numbers are pretty similar as well, but what's surprising is the relatively higher peak power consumption on the ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate, considering that it technically had the fewest features of the lot. 



The table below shows the clock speeds we achieved, along with the CPU vCore, multiplier, and RAM frequencies. We've also included the respective BIOS versions of the boards for those who are keen to know such details.

Overclocking Results
Model BIOS version Maximum CPU Core Ratio Achieved BCLK (MHz) Vcore (V) RAM frequencies (MHz) Maximum Overclock Achieved (GHz) LLC
ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate 1.6 50 100 1.37 3000 5.0

Level 2, Auto

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extrene 0602 51 100 1.38 3000 5.1 Level 5
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme F4 51 100 1.37 3000 5.1 High
MSI MEG Z390 Godlike 7B10v13 51 100 1.385 3000 5.1 Level 5

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme had the best overclocking performance. Even though it achieved the same 5.1GHz clock speed as the ASUS and MSI boards, it was able to make the best of it and produce the largest performance increase. The ASUS board was pretty disappointing, as it managed just a meager 2 per cent improvement.

However, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme provided the best overclocking experience with the most intuitive BIOS interface. All the important controls were located in the same section, eliminating the need to constantly move between different sub-menus. 

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