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  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

New build - Gigabyte Z390 Master M/B with i9-9900K

toad096

Member
Apr 28, 2011
29
2
71
Just finished a new build to replace my old PC from 2014 (Asus Z87 Gryphon):

Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C case
- PSU: Corsair Ax1600i
- Gigabyte Z390 Master motherboard (F6 Bios)
- Intel i9-9900K 9th Gen 8-core CPU
- Corsair AIO H115i Pro RGB water cooler 280mm (Front mounted, Pull config: 2 x Corsair ML140 fans connected to M/B CPU fan header)
- 1x 140mm rear exhaus fan (came with case) connected to M/B FAN_SYS2 header
- 64GB RAM: 4 DIMMs x 16GB Kingston HyperX 2666MHz CL16 (2 x HX426C16FBK2/32 kit).

PCI-E cards:
- PCIe 3.0 x8 via CPU: Nvidia Quadro P2000 5GB graphics card with fan (75W, no additional power needed)
- PCIe 3.0 x4 via CPU: Intel Optane AIC 905P NVMe 960GB (Boot drive C:Win10 ENT + D:VMWARE VMs)
- PCIe 3.0 x4 via PCH: Intel Optane AIC 905P NVMe 960GB (E:Data drive + VMWARE VMs).

Other:
- Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x 4 (via PCH) (F: data drive)
- Samsung 960 Pro SATA3 2TB on SATA Port 0 (via PCH) (G: for backups)
- Corsair Commander Pro (to monitor & control AIO + PSU)
- Delock 5.25 Mobile Rack for SATA 1 x 2.5 SSD + 1 x 3.5 HDD + (2 x USB 3.0 ports: not connected) on SATA port 1 (via PCH) (for backups)
- Dell 27" UltraSharp U2713H 2560 x 1440 monitor connected to Nvidia Quadro P2000.

Software:
- Windows 10 Enterprise 1803 (Host OS)
- Intel NVMe drivers
- Corsair Link software 4.x
- VMWARE Workstation 15.0.2.
- Intel XTU + Prime95 + CystalDIskMarks

Remarks:
- All is at stock speed; no overclocking. Main purpose is VMware workstation running 4-5 VMs (on a very quiet workstation PC)
- PSU fan doesn't run since PSU temps are below 50 degrees celsius (power efficiency is at 93% according to Corsair Link software)
- Corsair H115i Pro runs in Quiet mode (fans at 600 RPM; pump at about 1100 RPM)
- CPU core temps are about 27 degrees celsius at idle Windows running (according to Corsair Link software and also Intel XTU)
- CPU core temps are about 60 degrees celsius with Prime95 (Blend test) with H115i in Quiet mode for 15min; have to swith H115i to Balanced mode (pump at 2100 RPM) after 15min to keep temps from climbing further
- CrystalDiskMarks gives at 4KQ1: 250MB/sec for random reads and 235MB/sec for random writes for the boot drive (Optane 905P AIC).

Future improvements:
- Rear 140mm case fan is audible; hope to replace with Noctua or Be Quiet Silent Wings 3
- on bare-metal host in Device Manager: Intel NVMe driver is shown under Disk Controllers; but under Disk Drives, the old Microsoft ACHI driver from 2006 is still shown for both Optane drives? Don't know if this is normal?
- Have maybe to connect all fans to Corsair Commander Pro to have better control and even less fan noise from rear case fan
- VMWARE NVMe driver for VMs is still slower than the SAS driver (still not fixed by VMWARE)
- Is Corsair iCUE software better than LINK?

Hope above is helpful to someone.

Toad
 

AnnoyedGrunt

Senior member
Jan 31, 2004
596
24
81
Pretty awesome build.

Regarding rear fan, you may be able to quiet it down with the motherboard controls if you haven't tried that already. I have a Meshify C and the rear fan can be controlled down to only a few hundred RPM using the mobo header (Asrock B450 Mini-ITX, so nothing too fancy). It will also spin up and down based on the internal temps. I imagine you can do something similar.

-AG
 

toad096

Member
Apr 28, 2011
29
2
71
Thanks AG!

Yes, the rear case fan is indeed connected to one of the mobo headers and can be controlled via the Bios (Q-Fan) based on temps. I have to test some more to see how well the custom profiles work. Finally I could also connect the fan to the Corsair Commander Pro, which supposedly gives total control over fans; also something I have to try.

So for the moment, I don't intend to replace the rear case fan, except as a last resort, in case above mentioned remedies would fail. Fan noise is also something subjective, so time will tell.

Toad
 

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
34
101
I'm also planning 64GB to use as my Docker workstation, gaming, and fiddling with Unity game/VR development.

In general did you choose the 1600W power supply just because it's a large one or did you do a calculation for it? I read an article that said you want to be at about 50% of your PC's needs, for example my part picker list might say 500W and I should get a 1000W supply then (?).
 

toad096

Member
Apr 28, 2011
29
2
71
I didn't do any calculations. I wanted a PSU with a zero-rpm fan below 300watts consumption, i.e. completely silent.

Furthermore the fan of the ax1600i can be controlled via software ( you can setup different profiles). As an added bonus the power efficiency is around 93%.
 
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