Motherboard B450i Mini itx Motherboards

LeDelmo

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Another detail about the ASRock board, it's wifi caps out at 433Mbps. The Asus caps out at 867 Mbps.

Here's a head to head article for those 2 boards: https://www.hardwareluxx.de/index.p...ng-vs-asrock-fatal1ty-b450-gaming-itx-ac.html (If, like me, you don't understand German; Google translate does a good enough job.)

That was a very good read. One that has me rethinking the ASRock board. First and foremost just how inefficient the ASRock board is for power consumption. (Which is especially bad when overclocking is introduced.)

But, also just how poorly the Heat sinks preform on the ASRock board as-well. (Especially, with the added strain of the wasted power creating unnecessary heat) Now, I didn't see anything about how the boards were being tested in terms of open bench or inside a case. But, when the temps are a full 28 degree off (OC, ASRock 90 degree vs Oc Asus 62 degree) that's a big difference regardless.

When it comes to these B450 itx boards. I really don't know which would be the best option for the 2400G. All of these boards should be able to push it just fine. But, which exactly is the best at running APU's? I know the Single SoC VRM on the Asus has allot of people worried. But, considering the alternatives I really don't think its at as a disadvantage as most people are saying.

If anyone has a good detailed write up on the Gigabyte boards I'd like to read it. All I have really heard is that it gets VERY hot. Apparently, the heat sinks just are not up to the job.
(EDIT: found some very disappointing...)

The MSi is also another odd ball. It looks good but its bios drastically limits its potential. (What a waste of a good board)
What's even more of a mystery is the MSi's B350 itx. Which not only have superior heat sinks but also a ADDITIONAL heat sink over the SoC VRM. Stranger still is just how obscene the MSi B350 itx boards is now. If you do manage to find one. They are demanding quite the hefty premium cost over a brand new B450...
 
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Aki

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Aug 9, 2016
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That was a very good read. One that has me rethinking the ASRock board. First and foremost just how inefficient the ASRock board is for power consumption. (Which is especially bad when overclocking is introduced.)

But, also just how poorly the Heat sinks preform on the ASRock board as-well. (Especially, with the added strain of the wasted power creating unnecessary heat) Now, I didn't see anything about how the boards were being tested in terms of open bench or inside a case. But, when the temps are a full 28 degree off (OC, ASRock 90 degree vs Oc Asus 62 degree) that's a big difference regardless.

When it comes to these B450 itx boards. I really don't know which would be the best option for the 2400G. All of these boards should be able to push it just fine. But, which exactly is the best at running APU's? I know the Single SoC VRM on the Asus has allot of people worried. But, considering the alternatives I really don't think its at as a disadvantage as most people are saying.

If anyone has a good detailed write up on the Gigabyte boards I'd like to read it. All I have really heard is that it gets VERY hot. Apparently, the heat sinks just are not up to the job.
(EDIT: found some very disappointing...)

The MSi is also another odd ball. It looks good but its bios drastically limits its potential. (What a waste of a good board)
What's even more of a mystery is the MSi's B350 itx. Which not only have superior heat sinks but also a ADDITIONAL heat sink over the SoC VRM. Stranger still is just how obscene the MSi B350 itx boards is now. If you do manage to find one. They are demanding quite the hefty premium cost over a brand new B450...

Don't get the Asus board with an APU! The SOC phase is not cooled and it's barely enough. The GPU can quickly pull around 50A once you overclock, which will definitely overheat that 60A stage.

I would strongly recommend the b450 from Gigabyte. I have the b350 version and I am really happy with it, but I also modded the heatsink. RAM oc is also great for me. The new version has a much more beefy looking heatsink which should be enough, if you don't overdo it (stay around 1.15-1.175 SOC voltage when overclocking and don't push the CPU clocks to far).

Good questions there. My main question is, "Mount the heatsink with teh fins parallel in relation to what? The RAM slots or the PCI Express card slot?" I have my L9a-AM$ mounted the same way that @Aki has done below. The Titan may be the same way as it's overall footprint is more rectangular like the L9a-AM4.


Same here with the L9a-AM4 will you be mounting a 3rd party heatsink on the VRMs to take advantage of the airflow from teh L9a-AM4? I was thinking of either getting a set of copper mosfet heatsinks or one with actual vertical fins.

Currently no. Maybe when the CPU cooler from DAN comes out. I have a 2700x under it and no matter what I do, the L9a won't cool that quietly when stock anyway (currently I have PBO deactivated and limited the TDP to 65w).
BTW, it could still be worth it to look under the heatsink at least once. My thermalpad was slightly offset and only touched around 3/4th of each phase and one phase barely had contact. But I also bought mine the second it was out.
 
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LeDelmo

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Well, I have come to my final conclusion about the available B450 boards.

If you are using a dedicated GPU than your best option will be the Asus Strix B450I. The thing is just built really well. Its the most power efficient of all the boards, has great Bios, Duel M.2's, good audio with its SupremeFX S1220A Codec and the fastest Gigabit Lan with the Intel i211AT.

The next choice has to be the ASRock Fatal1ty B450I. This one is also best option for the 2400G. It's a 6+2 phase that is actually a 3+2. But, its VRM's more than make up for that. It also has the second best Bios available, great audio from the Realtek ALC1220 Codec, a good Gigabit Lan connection with its Intel i211AT (just not as fast as the Asus for some reason), it is also the ONLY B450 itx board to offer USB-C and a Toslink connection in the io. If the ASRock was a little more power efficient and had better heat sinks I honesty think it would be the go to boards for B450.

The MSi is a huge disappointment. The boards hardware is possible THE best out of all these boards. BUT, It's Software all but cripple the thing. Adding the fact that everything else on the board just gets out shined. It's audio is worse, its Lan connection is worse, and the io connections just are not as good as the others. There is just no reason I can see to want to get this board over the other options I am afraid.

The Gigabyte is rather a let down as-well. I really wish they didn't use the Aorus name for this one.
It's Bios are a mess, and everything on the board just seems "Budget" focused. The only thing extraordinary about the board is just how un-extraordinary it is. You would think with all the shiny metal on the board it would have some good heat dissipation. But, sadly that is not the case. I don't know what it is about the heat sinks but they simply do not work. Heck, I'd even go as far to say its probably no better than the ASRock boards heat sinks. And that's a low bar to set... But, in it's defense it IS the ONLY other board other than the Asus to have a Front facing M.2 port. Even if its just one its nice that its on the front. It's has good audio with the Realtek ALC1220-VB codec and is the only board with Bluetooth 5 (whatever that does), It's Lan connection is listed as Intel GbE (but no speed tests, so I don't know how it compares to the others). All in all I would say, its not as good as the Asus and ASRock but it's not necessarily bad ether.

Anyways, these are my thoughts. Hope it helps in some way.
 
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NateDawg72

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Aug 11, 2016
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The Gigabyte is rather a let down as-well...
Hi, do you have some links for the issues with the gigabyte board? It looked like the most interesting one to me since it has front m.2 and Asus usually prices themselves out of my budget.
 

LeDelmo

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Hi, do you have some links for the issues with the gigabyte board? It looked like the most interesting one to me since it has front m.2 and Asus usually prices themselves out of my budget.

https://translate.google.nl/transla...e/products/475479-468441-469617-457483&anno=2

https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/gigabyte_aorus_b450_i_pro_wifi_review,19.html

https://www.bit-tech.net/reviews/tech/motherboards/gigabyte-b450-i-aorus-pro-wifi-review/7/

I forgot to mention the Gigabyte is the most power hunger of all the B450 itx boards as-well.
 

NateDawg72

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Thanks for taking the time to link those for me. I can't access the first one on my current connection so I'll have to try later.

I don't think I'd put the nail in the coffin just yet - the power consumption Bit-tech saw was pretty terrible however guru3d's power consumption results are pretty average if not on the lower side. There may have been something weird with bit-techs setup.

Also I don't see the issue with the VRM thermals? Maybe I misunderstand what I'm seeing. About 75C on the heatsink on a full load 4.2ghz overclocked 8 core sounds good to me
 

LeDelmo

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Thanks for taking the time to link those for me. I can't access the first one on my current connection so I'll have to try later.

I don't think I'd put the nail in the coffin just yet - the power consumption Bit-tech saw was pretty terrible however guru3d's power consumption results are pretty average if not on the lower side. There may have been something weird with bit-techs setup.

Also I don't see the issue with the VRM thermals? Maybe I misunderstand what I'm seeing. About 75C on the heat-sink on a full load 4.2ghz overclocked 8 core sounds good to me

As far as the thermals go. Remember that 75c is the heat-sink not the VRM themselves. Bit-techs review had the software reporting 120c on the VRM's themselves and 72c on the heat sink. Not sure if the thermal pad on the Gigabyte is just bad or what. But, these numbers are definitely disappointing.

Like I said, considering just how much larger the Gigabytes heat-sinks look compared to the ASRocks you would think they would preform better.

Something also to point out is that Guru's power comparison chart isn't comparing it to other itx boards but rather ATX boards.
 
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NateDawg72

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Bit-techs review had the software reporting 120c on the VRM's themselves
Shoot I missed that part, that is indeed concerning I agree. I do think bit-techs setup had something weird going on that increased power consumption, as evident by the absurdly high idle power, but that is still pretty hot.

It was a 2700X at 1.425V and 4.25GHz all core though, and I'm not an overclocker so it would probably be fine for me - but not a great choice for lots of overclocking.
 
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Aki

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Aug 9, 2016
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Shoot I missed that part, that is indeed concerning I agree. I do think bit-techs setup had something weird going on that increased power consumption, as evident by the absurdly high idle power, but that is still pretty hot.

It was a 2700X at 1.425V and 4.25GHz all core though, and I'm not an overclocker so it would probably be fine for me - but not a great choice for lots of overclocking.

Yeah, I think they messed up something.
I would wait for few user reviews befor I'd put the nail in the coffin. The asrock board looks like a great alternativ for a 2400g until there are a few more reviews. But I still don't like those uncooled phases. I know that there is in easy solution by just glueing some heatsinks on them, but I can't do do that at work :/
 

NateDawg72

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Aug 11, 2016
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The asrock board looks like a great alternativ for a 2400g until there are a few more reviews. But I still don't like those uncooled phases.
Yeah, I use an Asrock b350 board. It was a bit of a surprise to me when the APUs came out and they use the SOC phases.. Doesn't directly impact me since I don't have an APU, but it puts a damper on the idea of turning this board into an HTPC if I switch boards.
 

rusty815

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Jun 22, 2018
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Ive worked with a lot of ITX boards in my workplace, heres my thoughts on them:

Before I get to the motherboards, my Test setup is a Ryzen 2600X and Corsair Vengance LPX 4000MHz CL18 RAM with a 600W 80+ Gold SFX power supply and a Vega 64 in an open air setup.

Gigabyte X470: Decent VRM, Memory support is good (am able to get 3600mhz CL16 on Samsung B-Die ram). Not stellar in any regard, good Wifi (I believe its the same that ASUS and MSI use). Good all around, has a better BIOS than MSI due to voltage offset, but its not as feature packed as ASUS but it has everything you would need.

MSI: Has the best VRM by far out of all the Mini ITX boards, but is held back by the BIOS, in particular it has no voltage offset for the CPU which limits its usefulness with Ryzen 2nd gen cpu's. Has decent RAM support, but not as good as others (Was able to get 3466MHz CL 14 which is pretty good, but Ryzen generally likes higher frequencies). Other than that its probably the second best Board imo.

ASUS: Decent VRM, second only to MSI IF you don't use an APU. If you plan on using an APU with your ITX board, any of the other options would be better. In terms of Vcore VRM, ASUS uses a true 6 phase just like MSI, but it uses 40A power stages instead of 60, still, 240A total for VCore is plenty for any Ryzen CPU. RAM support was the best with this board, was able to get 3600MHz CL15 which is best out of all of the ITX motherboards I used. The best thing about the ASUS board is the features they pack into it, it has better audio than the rest, it has a feature packed BIOS that has everything you would ever want and is laid out logically, even has BCLK overclocking although its limited. The best thing is it has two M.2 Slots and one of them can be run as a SATA drive, so you can save on space and still use two drives.

Asrock: I hated this board, was the worst to work with by far. Others may have better success than I, but using the BIOS with this board was like pulling teeth, especially when it came to overclocking RAM. I was able to get it to boot with 3200MHz CL14 just fine, but getting it to boot with 3466MHz CL14 was incredibly difficult, it would not accept my settings unless I loosened the rest of the subtimings more than I would like, so I left it at 3466MHz CL15. In Terms of VRM, The Asrock board is tied with the Gigabyte in my book, it has the components of a 6 phase but it uses no doubling scheme so in reality its just a 3+2 phase with twice the components. This is fine for APU's, but with any high end CPU, you may not be able to overclock as high (especially if rumors of 16 core Ryzen cpu's for ZEN 2 is true). Also, as stated in an earlier post, its Wifi is not as good as the card MSI, Gigabyte and Asus use. I recommend any of the other three over the Asrock.


I may be a little biased since I use the ASUS myself in my everyday gaming rig, but in order from best to worst my list would be Asus>MSI>Gigabyte>Asrock, with Gigabyte and MSI being a close call for me. Asus has the most features but its also the most expensive, so take that into consideration. If I was to order them by best Bang for your buck, then Gigabyte and MSI would be my top choices. I really don't recommend the Asrock, it gave me memory problems unlike any other and it lacks a lot when compared to the rest.
 

LeDelmo

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Sep 6, 2018
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Asrock: I hated this board, was the worst to work with by far. Others may have better success than I, but using the BIOS with this board was like pulling teeth, especially when it came to overclocking RAM. I was able to get it to boot with 3200MHz CL14 just fine, but getting it to boot with 3466MHz CL14 was incredibly difficult, it would not accept my settings unless I loosened the rest of the subtimings more than I would like, so I left it at 3466MHz CL15. In Terms of VRM, The Asrock board is tied with the Gigabyte in my book, it has the components of a 6 phase but it uses no doubling scheme so in reality its just a 3+2 phase with twice the components. This is fine for APU's, but with any high end CPU, you may not be able to overclock as high (especially if rumors of 16 core Ryzen cpu's for ZEN 2 is true). Also, as stated in an earlier post, its Wifi is not as good as the card MSI, Gigabyte and Asus use. I recommend any of the other three over the Asrock.

What ASRock board were you using?

I looked over all the Bios on the ASRock and did extensive research on them. And most people seem to agree that the Bios on the ASRock's boards are some of the best now. With the only other manufacture having better Bios was Asus.
 

smitty2k1

King of Cable Management
Dec 3, 2016
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Ive worked with a lot of ITX boards in my workplace, heres my thoughts on them:

Before I get to the motherboards, my Test setup is a Ryzen 2600X and Corsair Vengance LPX 4000MHz CL18 RAM with a 600W 80+ Gold SFX power supply and a Vega 64 in an open air setup.

Gigabyte X470: Decent VRM, Memory support is good (am able to get 3600mhz CL16 on Samsung B-Die ram). Not stellar in any regard, good Wifi (I believe its the same that ASUS and MSI use). Good all around, has a better BIOS than MSI due to voltage offset, but its not as feature packed as ASUS but it has everything you would need.

MSI: Has the best VRM by far out of all the Mini ITX boards, but is held back by the BIOS, in particular it has no voltage offset for the CPU which limits its usefulness with Ryzen 2nd gen cpu's. Has decent RAM support, but not as good as others (Was able to get 3466MHz CL 14 which is pretty good, but Ryzen generally likes higher frequencies). Other than that its probably the second best Board imo.

ASUS: Decent VRM, second only to MSI IF you don't use an APU. If you plan on using an APU with your ITX board, any of the other options would be better. In terms of Vcore VRM, ASUS uses a true 6 phase just like MSI, but it uses 40A power stages instead of 60, still, 240A total for VCore is plenty for any Ryzen CPU. RAM support was the best with this board, was able to get 3600MHz CL15 which is best out of all of the ITX motherboards I used. The best thing about the ASUS board is the features they pack into it, it has better audio than the rest, it has a feature packed BIOS that has everything you would ever want and is laid out logically, even has BCLK overclocking although its limited. The best thing is it has two M.2 Slots and one of them can be run as a SATA drive, so you can save on space and still use two drives.

Asrock: I hated this board, was the worst to work with by far. Others may have better success than I, but using the BIOS with this board was like pulling teeth, especially when it came to overclocking RAM. I was able to get it to boot with 3200MHz CL14 just fine, but getting it to boot with 3466MHz CL14 was incredibly difficult, it would not accept my settings unless I loosened the rest of the subtimings more than I would like, so I left it at 3466MHz CL15. In Terms of VRM, The Asrock board is tied with the Gigabyte in my book, it has the components of a 6 phase but it uses no doubling scheme so in reality its just a 3+2 phase with twice the components. This is fine for APU's, but with any high end CPU, you may not be able to overclock as high (especially if rumors of 16 core Ryzen cpu's for ZEN 2 is true). Also, as stated in an earlier post, its Wifi is not as good as the card MSI, Gigabyte and Asus use. I recommend any of the other three over the Asrock.


I may be a little biased since I use the ASUS myself in my everyday gaming rig, but in order from best to worst my list would be Asus>MSI>Gigabyte>Asrock, with Gigabyte and MSI being a close call for me. Asus has the most features but its also the most expensive, so take that into consideration. If I was to order them by best Bang for your buck, then Gigabyte and MSI would be my top choices. I really don't recommend the Asrock, it gave me memory problems unlike any other and it lacks a lot when compared to the rest.
Are you talking B450 or X470? I'm confused.

I've had nothing but good experiences with my ASRock B450, but other than running an XMP profile on my 3000MHz C15 RAM I haven't done much
 

rusty815

Caliper Novice
Jun 22, 2018
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Are you talking B450 or X470? I'm confused.

I've had nothing but good experiences with my ASRock B450, but other than running an XMP profile on my 3000MHz C15 RAM I haven't done much

All of the boards Ive gone through were B450 ITX boards, although I have also used the X470 versions of the Asrock and ASUS board (I have the Asus x470i in my personal build, identical to the b450i in everything other than chipset, ive tested both). I never have luck overclocking RAM using Asrock boards past 3200MHz, every Asrock board ive used in the past had trouble getting past that, the b450 Fatal1ty was no exception. A trip over to r/AMD on reddit and a quick search and you will see how many people have issues with Asrock BIOS' on various motherboards, for example:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/95ip3p/psa_beware_of_asrocks_latest_bioses/

really, try doing any extensive tweaking on any other brand and try going back to asrock, its a mess unless you just do basic tweaking, Asus BIOS is the most cleanly organized and is the most feature packed. Like I said, maybe it was the one board I was using that may have been bad, but it falls in line with every other Asrock board I've used, including a lot of their X470 and some of their B450 lineup.
 

Aki

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Aug 9, 2016
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I wouldn't put so much trust in reviewers and normal users for bios rating, as I can't imagin them actually using the bios a lot. buildzoid is also annoyed of asrock bios, but he also actually uses it.
I would agree with rusty on the board rating. But it's also important to consider what type of user you are. If you just go into the bios to load up XMP and do some basic overclocking, the bios shouldn't concern you too much anyway.
If you spend a lot of time with tweaking (especially RAM oc), an sluggish or overloaded bios can really get on your nerves, even (or especially) small things.
 
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rusty815

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Jun 22, 2018
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I wouldn't put so much trust in reviewers and normal users for bios rating, as I can't imagin them actually using the bios a lot. buildzoid is also annoyed of asrock bios, but he also actually uses it.
I would agree with rusty on the board rating. But it's also important to consider what type of user you are. If you just go into the bios to load up XMP and do some basic overclocking, the bios shouldn't concern you too much anyway.
If you spend a lot of time with tweaking (especially RAM oc), an sluggish or overloaded bios can really get on your nerves, even (or especially) small things.

Exactly, and you bring up a great point with regards to the importance of the BIOS. I am an overclocker and do a lot of subtiming tweaks and P-State overclocking with voltage offsets (usually) and BCLK overclocking, so for me its incredibly important that the BIOS does what I want and is well organized and responsive. Like I said ASrocks BIOS is like pulling teeth when it comes to getting down to the nitty gritty, but if you don't do any of that and all you do is turn on an xmp profile and set the clock multiplier to what you want, then you wont experience most of the issues I usually have to deal with. I still wouldn't change my ratings if I were to remove the importance I put into the BIOS of each motherboard, I still think the Asrock board is lacking compared to the rest of its competition, but the Asrock board is a lot more reasonable when you don't consider the BIOS.
 

R4H8E

Caliper Novice
Sep 10, 2018
28
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Regarding the L9a with the 120x15 fan on the skybracket. Those Noctua 120 low profile fans are next to impossible to find at a reasonable price. I ended up buying a NH-L12S for the fan.
 
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LeDelmo

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Sep 6, 2018
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I'd like to clarify something.

When it comes to Bios the Asus will always be the best. They have hands down the best Bios. But, the rest? Its just a matter of picking your poison. None of them are without flaws. It's just a matter of your own personal taste.

Fact of the matter is if you are doing a APU, you really only have 2 options for full feature bios. ASRock and Gigabyte. I like the layout of the ASRock's Bios just because its a simple clean and a well organized layout to me. Though, many do not like it because it is not very aesthetically pleasing nor as responsive as other might be.

It's just personal preference.

This Reddit thread basically shows just how split people are when it comes to Bios... Just saying
https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/48pzxf/discussion_best_motherboard_brand_for_overall/