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  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

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Hitman928

Diamond Member
Apr 15, 2012
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OK this MB has a 16MB bios, how it this possible? if i say what im thinking right now half of the forum is going to insult me, so i want to know how this is even possible? O already knew something was off because the Asus A320M-K never dropped Bristol Ridge support and it supports from a A6-9500 to a R9-3950X on a 16MB bios.
The less features a board has the more room there is to fit in CPU compatibility. The A*20 boards don't have to support the board chipsets that a B*50 or X*70 has because it relies only on the SOC's functionality in that regard. A series boards also typically don't support many features that the other lines do including just basic CPU overclocking. The bare bones approach actually allows for a greater compatibility range, if the motherboard maker is willing to put in the resources to make sure everything works.

Edit: After re-reading your post I see you are talking about the B450 board and just mentioning the A320 board as an aside. For the B450 board you mentioned, they basically split the BIOS so if you are using a pre-Zen 2 CPU you are supposed to use the older BIOS revisions. If you are using Zen 2 or Zen 3, you can use the newer ones. That's the compromise that's being made to support everything.
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
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The less features a board has the more room there is to fit in CPU compatibility. The A*20 boards don't have to support the board chipsets that a B*50 or X*70 has because it relies only on the SOC's functionality in that regard. A series boards also typically don't support many features that the other lines do including just basic CPU overclocking. The bare bones approach actually allows for a greater compatibility range, if the motherboard maker is willing to put in the resources to make sure everything works.

Edit: After re-reading your post I see you are talking about the B450 board and just mentioning the A320 board as an aside. For the B450 board you mentioned, they basically split the BIOS so if you are using a pre-Zen 2 CPU you are supposed to use the older BIOS revisions. If you are using Zen 2 or Zen 3, you can use the newer ones. That's the compromise that's being made to support everything.
You can use the MCextraction tool to check what microcode is present on each bios files, that Asrock board has microcode for every AM4 cpu except Bristol Ridge, that no one supported outside of the 300 series. All on a 16MB bios, there is no compromise at all.
 
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Hitman928

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You can use the MCextraction tool to check what microcode is present on each bios files, that Asrock board has microcode for every AM4 cpu except Bristol Ridge, that no one supported outside of the 300 series. All on a 16MB bios, there is no compromise at all.
On the download page they have a bright warning that they don't recommend using the latest BIOS versions on pre Zen 2 CPUs. I don't think they'd put that there for no reason.
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
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On the download page they have a bright warning that they don't recommend using the latest BIOS versions on pre Zen 2 CPUs. I don't think they'd put that there for no reason.
Sure, but if the microcode is there is going to boot up and work, now, the new bios is made for Ryzen 5000 and may contain bugs on older Ryzens, i think we all know that.

But it looks to me the idea of that a 16MB bios could not fit all microcodes and we needed to split is either not true, or there is another element in it.
 

.vodka

Golden Member
Dec 5, 2014
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could just come down to what they bothered to validation test.
Yup. Validation and legal obligations.

For the third time in AM4's history, AMD's official "compatibility chart" as it expands on newer CPU gens and chipset gens is there for legal obligations and as a guideline for average joe, and nothing more. Things are much different (combinations marked as incompatible work, etc) in reality.

Board partners have never followed that chart. A320 shouldn't be able to run Zen2 parts, but it supports them all. They already have Zen3 running on a trash tier A320 board, too, with all the other relevant microcodes included in the 16MB sized BIOS files. There goes the 16MB BIOS size excuse. AMD also said "No Zen3 for A320, B350, X370". Yeah right.

AMD tells them what to do, but they don't enforce anything. That's a great stance to take. They could pull an Intel and block these unsupported combinations in the AGESA base, but they don't.
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
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Yup. Validation and legal obligations.

For the third time in AM4's history, AMD's official "compatibility chart" as it expands on newer CPU gens and chipset gens is there for legal obligations and as a guideline for average joe, and nothing more. Things are much different (combinations marked as incompatible work, etc) in reality.

Board partners have never followed that chart. A320 shouldn't be able to run Zen2 parts, but it supports them all. They already have Zen3 running on a trash tier A320 board, too, with all the other relevant microcodes included in the 16MB sized BIOS files. There goes the 16MB BIOS size excuse. AMD also said "No Zen3 for A320, B350, X370". Yeah right.

AMD tells them what to do, but they don't enforce anything. That's a great stance to take. They could pull an Intel and block these unsupported combinations in the AGESA base, but they don't.
Yes and no, AMD did enforce things in AGESA code, and later ended up lifting these limitations(Athlon memory limitations for example), with the only exception being PCI-E 4.0 support on non 500 series chipsets and no CPU/IGP OC on A320/A520.

Now, at the rate this is going, we are going to have B350/A320 boards of some brands (because some, like Gigabyte do the microcode split) that are going to support every CPU that existed in AM4, incluiding Bristol Ridge on the same 16mb bios while the newer and more expensive B550/X570 do not.
All this after they said that we needed 32mb bios and sold new motherboards under that premise...

What a mess. I hope they handle this better on AM5 because this cant happen again.
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
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I believe AMD receives a lot of pressure from mainboard manufactureres to create artificial feature segregation. They would of course rather like to sell new boards than maintain bios versions and enable new features "for free".
The thing is, i see OEMs that gets guidelines NOT to support older cpus on new MBs (this is why B550/A520 and X570 CPU support is so mess up), and OEMs supporting new CPUs on older boards than they should not support. This behaviour is not compatible with a OEM wanting to sell new motherboards, it looks to me its AMD who wants new chipset/cpu money.

Anyway, petty much all oems jumped on the selling new motherboards with 32 mb bios no matter what.

For AM5 we need clear rules from the start.
 
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moinmoin

Platinum Member
Jun 1, 2017
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AMD tells them what to do, but they don't enforce anything. That's a great stance to take. They could pull an Intel and block these unsupported combinations in the AGESA base, but they don't.
AMD still is being selective about it. After all PCIe gen 4 support on older boards did completely disappears as soon as AMD deemed it impossible (likely due to being too risky with the lackluster validation board manufacturers displayed with that possibility).
 

Kenmitch

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Oct 10, 1999
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AMD still is being selective about it. After all PCIe gen 4 support on older boards did completely disappears as soon as AMD deemed it impossible (likely due to being too risky with the lackluster validation board manufacturers displayed with that possibility).
Wouldn't it be possible to just download and flash one of the older uEFI's that it was working on? I know my son's C6H board had the option which I tested and was functional.
 

.vodka

Golden Member
Dec 5, 2014
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Wouldn't it be possible to just download and flash one of the older uEFI's that it was working on? I know my son's C6H board had the option which I tested and was functional.
It is. 7403 IIRC is the last BIOS for the C6H where PCIe 4.0 works. IIRC for most people it worked fine, but some people with 5700XTs were having issues. In the later AGESAs that limit things to PCIe 3.0, the problem disappeared.

AMD still is being selective about it. After all PCIe gen 4 support on older boards did completely disappears as soon as AMD deemed it impossible (likely due to being too risky with the lackluster validation board manufacturers displayed with that possibility).
I agree, that was a risky one to leave enabled without manufacturer validation, even if it meant PCIe 4.0 for the first x16 PCIe slot and the NVME slot connected to the CPU. Could manufacturers have done the validation? Sure, I suppose they couldn't be bothered to do so. You could say there was a reason behind disabling that.

I was referring to unnecessary, Intel like stuff like blocking new CPU gens from working on older boards right in the AGESA. AMD can do it, but they haven't in the entirety of AM4's life and that's a good thing.


AM5 should be better planned right from the start, and also include 32MB BIOS chips for every board so this won't be a problem later on.
 

HutchinsonJC

Senior member
Apr 15, 2007
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Not to harp too much on it, but does the lower base clock of the 5950x have any real world relevancy at all then?
Without proper testing, or some comment from AMD themselves, I'd imagine it's hard to say with some certainty, but this is my guess:

A lower base clock probably results in some electrical savings in lighter work loads, which they probably felt was something they could do since the IPC was improving, anyway.

In most enthusiasts' hands, where the chip has the cooling the chip should be getting, and in the context of performance, the chip will just clock up for the work it's doing.

In some poor air-flow, high work load scenario, base clock should probably be the minimum performance you can expect the chip to work.
 
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Hitman928

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Not to harp too much on it, but does the lower base clock of the 5950x have any real world relevancy at all then?
The lower base clock of the 5950x is because it has 4 additional cores so when both the 5900x and 5950x are loaded up to 12 cores, they will have very similar frequencies with the 5950x probably having slightly higher due to binning, but once you start loading the extra cores of the 5950x that the 5900x doesn't have, the 5950x will operate at lower frequencies.
 

therealmongo

Member
Jul 5, 2019
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Now, I guess shady will have to tell us why wafers required for the sameZen3 7nm node, also for Zen2 and RDNA2 on PS5, XSX, and XSXS don't count as "OEM" supply.

Even then, NvIdia still can't keep up with the supply that AMD has so far managed.
You got it wrong bud, its quite obviously AMDs tactics

snip......The reason AMD hasn't been called out for this marketing stunt is brand loyalists who are ok with these tactics.
:tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy:
 
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TitusTroy

Senior member
Dec 17, 2005
308
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I finally was able to get a 5800X on Friday (arriving next week)...is the increased heat/thermals a concern?...should I be worried or is this normal with the new Zen 3 chips?

which air cooler is recommended?...I'm a fan of Noctua but they have so many different variations on their high end coolers that I'm confused...my case is big enough so clearance is not an issue...which is best to pair with the 5800X?

Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-D15S
Noctua NH-U14S
Noctua NH-U12A
Noctua NH-U12S
 
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Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
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I finally was able to get a 5800X on Friday (arriving next week)...is the increased heat/thermals a concern?...should I be worried or is this normal with the new Zen 3 chips?
What are you coming from that you're concerned with this? If you look at the AT review it's pretty much inline with older generation 105W Zen parts. It only draws an extra 10W peak over the 2700X and considerably less than the latest 8C Intel chips.



Hardware Unboxed found the 5800X was only running 3 degrees hotter on average compared to the 3800X, and that the peak was only 5 degrees hotter. The time stamp for the comparison is at 14:35 in case the link doesn't work for some reason.


I'm not sure that there's too much to worry about.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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which air cooler is recommended?...I'm a fan of Noctua but they have so many different variations on their high end coolers that I'm confused...my case is big enough so clearance is not an issue...which is best to pair with the 5800X?

Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-D15S
Noctua NH-U14S
Noctua NH-U12A
Noctua NH-U12S
Here's the order you should consider them, based on thermal potential first, compatibility with RAM second:

Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-U12A
Noctua NH-D15S
Noctua NH-U14S
Noctua NH-U12S

  • The U14S and U12S are built with space and compatibility in mind, so you can probably cross them of the list.
  • The D15 is the biggest and will stay safely on top in terms of thermals.
  • The D15S and U12A are very close in terms of total mass, and probably close in terms of potential performance too. However, the U12A comes with 2x 120mm fans included while D15H comes with 1x 140mm fan in the box. I would expect the U12A to have better thermals with stock config, while the D15S will able to get a better thermal balance at low noise settings (and will always win with 2x fans mounted).
Based on the rationale above, your priority list should like this:

Noctua NH-D15 - best thermals, best noise profile, worse compatibility
Noctua NH-U12A - best compatibility, good thermals, worse noise profile
Noctua NH-D15S - no winning areas, no losing areas

If you never considered running all fans at or bellow 800RPM, don't worry about noise at all with any of these. The D15 is your first pick as long as you have no compatibility problems (no tall RAM, no mITX build where distance to case becomes problematic).
 
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TitusTroy

Senior member
Dec 17, 2005
308
38
91
Here's the order you should consider them, based on thermal potential first, compatibility with RAM second:

Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-U12A
Noctua NH-D15S
Noctua NH-U14S
Noctua NH-U12S
thanks for the info...as far as RAM compatibility mine is too tall but I hear with the NH-D15 I can just raise the position of that CPU fan (since my case is big enough this shouldn't be an issue)...does raising the fan cause any issues as far as cooling/performance?

the NH-D15 and NH-D15S seem the exact same (dual towers) with the only difference being the D15S comes with only 1 140mm fan while the D15 comes with 2 140mm fans...are the temps with one 140mm fan drastically different then with 2 fans?...meaning placing the fan in the center versus having 2 fans on the side
 
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H T C

Senior member
Nov 7, 2018
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thanks for the info...as far as RAM compatibility mine is too tall but I hear with the NH-D15 I can just raise the position of that CPU fan (since my case is big enough this shouldn't be an issue)...does raising the fan cause any issues as far as cooling/performance?

the NH-D15 and NH-D15S seem the exact same (dual towers) with the only difference being the D15S comes with only 1 140mm fan while the D15 comes with 2 140mm fans...are the temps with one 140mm fan drastically different then with 2 fans?...meaning placing the fan in the center versus having 2 fans on the side
Go to Noctua's product page of your cooler of choice and see if it has YOUR board in the compatibility section: if it does, it should tell you if there are any compatibility issues. OFC this is only for the boards that have been launched for a while: newer boards may NOT be on the compatibility list yet.

Here's the board compatibility list: https://noctua.at/en/support/compatibility-lists/mainboard

So long as your board is on the compatibility list, the link will show ALL the noctua coolers and their compatibility (or lack of it).
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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the NH-D15 and NH-D15S seem the exact same (dual towers) with the only difference being the D15S comes with only 1 140mm fan while the D15 comes with 2 140mm fans...are the temps with one 140mm fan drastically different then with 2 fans?...meaning placing the fan in the center versus having 2 fans on the side
The D15S also has the base shifted a bit to fit with X99 platforms.

Personally I don't see the second fan on D15 being terribly important for the average user, especially if you have very good case ventilation and overclocking isn't a priority. I'm using a 1x fan config on my DH14 to get both better spacing and lower noise floor.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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NH-D15 and D15S are the same, except the S only has one fan on it. By now both should have the offset fin stacks for extra RAM compatibility.
 

TitusTroy

Senior member
Dec 17, 2005
308
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NH-D15 and D15S are the same, except the S only has one fan on it. By now both should have the offset fin stacks for extra RAM compatibility.
looking at the specs, my memory will be too tall with the 2nd fan on the NH-D15...so I either have to raise the 2nd fan higher up or get the D15S...or since the dimensions on the D15S are slightly different maybe I can buy a 2nd fan for the D15S and not have the memory clearance issues
 

Martimus

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2007
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looking at the specs, my memory will be too tall with the 2nd fan on the NH-D15...so I either have to raise the 2nd fan higher up or get the D15S...or since the dimensions on the D15S are slightly different maybe I can buy a 2nd fan for the D15S and not have the memory clearance issues
This is why I just switched to AIOs, the issues mounting larger air coolers just weren't worth it.
 
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