Another "Time to upgrade" - 12900 vs 5950 and motherboards

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
CBR1100XX Senior Member • Posts: 1,374
Re: Another "Time to upgrade" - 12900 vs 5950 and motherboards

dperez wrote:

Thanks for the replies again. I've spent some time looking at motherboards for the 12900 and my spreadsheet has grown. Let me know if there is some fantastic motherboard manufacturer I DIDN'T look at but should!

WHY do I want so many front ports... Currently, I have a webcam, headset, Logitech dongle, USB 3 feeding an external HDD that runs daily (original images separate from the working catalogs), a USB 3 that's feeding an 8TB HDD external that gets updated every few hours so partitions there are ready to go on short notice for the laptop. These are NOT my fer-real nightly backup of EVERYTHING that's important on the system - that's in a removable carrier and goes offsite every 2 weeks along with the external backup of the originals. Two card readers are plugged into USB3 cables run from the rear panel of the current system. That leaves me two ports on extension cables from the back panel if I have to connect the system to a camera to run Helicon Remote or tether or whatever. It sounds convoluted, but it's pretty simple.

Unfortunately, for no reason I've ever been able to find, I CANNOT plug a USB cable from the back panel to the U3018 monitor to use the ports on the monitor. It causes the system to hang during boot for somewhere around 2 minutes every time I've ever tried - and yeah, I've tried 3 or 4 different cables and different ports... HOPEFULLY, the new system will have this work.

Anyhow, motherboards......

Note: DON’T go by any of my findings – I’m reading and capturing the pieces, but if you look different places, even on the mfr websites, you can find different numbers.

I looked at ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte. I figure if I can’t find something good in there, I’m doing something wrong! I dropped boards that were over $500 – probably overkill, and under 300 too much “entry level”. Once the reviewers start throwing around that sneering "blah, blah entry level" I get concerned. I threw out anybody that wasn’t EATX or ATX, anybody that didn’t have WIFI and anybody that was DDR4.

Being lazy, I’d rather not be doing this research, but I HAVE to know if there’s a magic feature somewhere that screams “PICK ME, PICK ME”… So far, they're all hammers - some have red handles and some have green handles, but they all just pound nails... It's like cameras... There are tiny differences, but they all pretty much do the same thing. The differences among them seem pretty small, though I haven’t found the power output for ASUS boards. In the $300 to $500 range I found

ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E WIFI -- $470

ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F WIFI -- $400

Review said the $400 “F” was a “cut-down” version of the $470 “E”. The “E” has a PCIe 5.0 x 16 slot, and 2 other PCIe, where the “F” has 4 PCIe slots of various speed. They appear to be the same on the rear panel and front panel – NEITHER has as many USB 3.2 front panel ports as I’d like. The “F” has one more M.2 port, but the “E” has the HYPER M.2 CARD. I’m not sure what “cut-down” means exactly, ‘cause other than a port here and the HYPER card there, they SEEM to be the same. VRM is 18+1 on the “E” and 16+1 on the “F”, but I haven’t been able to find the power for them.

One possible issue is interference with the NH-D15 tower cooler… I looked at the Noctua motherboard compatibility and it says: Mechanically incompatible in standard orientation (blowing towards the I/O panel) due to height of the plastic cover over the VRM heatsink. Installation turned by 90° (blowing towards the top of the case) is possible. Which is how I have it oriented to blow UP on my EXISTING motherboard.

At MSI and wound up with

MSI MEG Z690 UNIFY -- $500

MSI MPG CARBON WIFI -- $400

Both appear to have plenty of M.2 slots (5) and PCIe slots (~4), and the Carbon has 2 more USB2 ports on the rear panel and two fewer 3.2 ports on the front panel.

One difference is the UNIFY has 105A power where the Carbon is 75A. And the UNIFY VRM is 19+2 vs 18+1+1 for the Carbon, but that seems less important. The UNIFY has FOUR front panel 3.2 ports, and while THAT may not be worth $100, the better build quality of the MEG series, AND the 105A VRM seems like it MIGHT be worth the $100.

In one review, the comment was made that the UNIFY is virtually equivalent to the ASUS Maximus Hero. Then another review stated that the Gigabyte Ultra is better than the UNIFY… Which implies the Ultra is ALSO better than the ASUS Maximus Hero? BTW: They NEVER say “x is better than y BECAUSE of THIS VERY relevant difference…”

For Gigabyte I wound up with

AORUS Master -- $470

AORUS Ultra (not the “I” version) -- $370

Both Gigabyte boards are 105A. The Master is 19+1+2 and the Ultra is 16+1+2. The master has one more M.2 slot and PCIe slots are the same. The Master has 2 extra front panel 3.2 ports. Not much drama with the Gigabyte boards – the Master has 9 rear ports, the Ultra has 12. Overall, unless there’s some big thing I’m missing about the difference between the two, since the Ultra is an ATX and the Master is an EATX, I’m not seeing $100 difference between the Master and Ultra.

So, ANYBODY I haven't considered that's likely to be better than these three mfrs?

Tomorrow I'll look at motherboards for the 59XX...

Looks like you can go a lot cheaper with Z690, Hardware Unboxed just did their review of the VRM's on 200-300 dollar boards:

9:36 are the i9 results and all of them look to be well under the 100 degree limit so unless there's a specific feature you want from those high end Gigabyte boards you could save a ton of money.

X570 should be easier since there is so much out there on the boards and you can get a good one for cheap. And if you don't plan to use a ton of USB 3.0/3.2 ports or SATA ports B550 boards on AMD still allow for overclocking.

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