Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

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Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Fri May 29, 2020 22:19

I'm having a look around as to what it would cost to replace my development Core i5 750 machine with a Core i7 10700 based system. As you can tell from the age of the system I have, I have not been paying much attention to the current state of the art when it comes to picking parts for a build.

Any recommendations for motherboards or decent sites to get good comparison info? I tried au.pcpartpicker.com, but I can't get their parametric search to narrow down on the things that I care about...
  • I'd like to start with a system without a discrete GPU, that can drive at least two independent 1920x1200 monitors. One monitor only has a DVI-D input, the other can take either DVI-D or DisplayPort inputs. It would be nice if I could also hook up a third independent display using HDMI.
  • I want at least two NVMe M.2 capable slots that can support the fastest drives available on the market now.
  • I'd like the option of adding a 16x GPU if required, without sacrificing speed on the NVMe side.
  • Gigabit Ethernet is sufficient for now, don't need wireless networking at all.
  • Sensors should use chipsets that have Linux drivers.
  • Looking at 64GB RAM initially, but want room to expand.
  • Will need 4-6 SATA ports for legacy storage.
  • Maybe Thunderbolt for future proofing?
So, that looks like a Z490 based motherboard.

How are the various vendors when it comes to BIOS/UEFI? I've had bad experiences with Gigabyte in the past, but maybe they sorted out their game.

Does the i7-10700 require a third party cooler? If so, any recommendations for quiet options?

Any practical tips for all the other system components?

Any other suggestions? I don't want it to be expensive, but don't want to penny pinch to a point where it brings pain.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Fri May 29, 2020 23:04

The Intel IGPUs can drive three monitors as long as at least one of those is a native Displayport monitor.
The non-K CPUs will come with a standard cooler as-per previous generations, but a bigthird party one is always a good idea for keeping the noise down!
You can't look past Noctua for best performance air coolers. The NH-D15 is the big daddy (and needs a big case), but the smaller models work well too.
I'm a fan of Asus motherboards in general. But doesn't look like they have anything with three display outputs. Z490 might not be needed unless you plan on overclocking, running high speed RAM or running SLI graphics, which you probably don't need. The H470 should do the job too.

I did find the Gigabyte Z490M that has three video outputs and a proper Intel Gig Ethernet Port. It is micro ATX board, not a full ATX if that matters to you.
It will take 128GB of RAM if required. You can easily fit 2 x 32GB sticks at first and still have your 2 RAM channels populated.
It does have "Thunderbolt connectors" which I suspect means that you need to add some sort of board to enable that feature.
It only has 1 x M2 port, but does have 6 x SATA.

Corsair make decent RAM. A reasonably low latency 3200MHz CAS16 2x32GB like this would work. Mind you, this slower stuff is actually on the motherboard's qualified product list if that matters to you.
If you can't maintain stability at the rated speed with the full 128GB installed, then you can always dial back to a more stock setting.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Sat May 30, 2020 00:50

Your options open up a lot if you don't need that third onboard video connector.
Most importantly, it will let you go to full ATX and you can get that second M.2 port. Mind you if you want the second M.2 for RAID, I'd probably not bother. You'd have to have a pretty specialised use case to warrant that.
This Asus H470 board could fit the bill, though you do get a Realtek LAN chip on that one.

You could also go down the path of Linus who made "news" recently, as he has switched from Intel to AMD for the first time in years. The Ryzen threadrippers are MONSTERS, albeit with a corresponding price tag. Good option if you want boatloads of compute power, but I think Intel still win on the technology and peripherals front.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by raymondjpg » Sat May 30, 2020 10:24

It doesn't look from MrQuade's quite comprehensive analysis that you are going to get everything you want in one package.

My 2c worth
MrQuade wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 00:50
Your options open up a lot if you don't need that third onboard video connector.
Most importantly, it will let you go to full ATX and you can get that second M.2 port. Mind you if you want the second M.2 for RAID, I'd probably not bother. You'd have to have a pretty specialised use case to warrant that.
This Asus H470 board could fit the bill, though you do get a Realtek LAN chip on that one.

I too am a fan of Asus motherboards, although I have also used Asrock quite frequently in the past for builds that I have only used for 2-3 years or so. My current build based on an Asus X99 Aii has been running 24/7 for three and a half years now and I am looking for it to last 5-6 years perhaps with a replacement PSU in the not too distant future.

So in a search for a motherboard I don't think you could go past Asus, and I would focus in on that and compensate for any shortfalls in video output with an add-on card. Similarly, if there were any concerns about a Realtek LAN chip, although my Intel NUC7PJYH (admittedly not one of Intel's best efforts) has a Realtek LAN chip which gives no problems whatsoever.
MrQuade wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 00:50
The Ryzen threadrippers are MONSTERS, albeit with a corresponding price tag. Good option if you want boatloads of compute power, but I think Intel still win on the technology and peripherals front.

A rousing hear hear!
MrQuade wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 23:04
The non-K CPUs will come with a standard cooler as-per previous generations, but a bigthird party one is always a good idea for keeping the noise down!
You can't look past Noctua for best performance air coolers. The NH-D15 is the big daddy (and needs a big case), but the smaller models work well too.

I haven't used an air cooler in years, preferring closed circuit liquid coolers with 12 cm fans to keep the noise down. NZXT make excellent hardware, but you have to put up with unnecessary overblown software. Corsair have a good reputation, but (it may have been an aberration) I have had a pump failure on one of those. Noctua fans in my experience are quiet at low revs but noisier than most when stretched. I'd be looking for some alternative for an exhaust fan if using a liquid cooler.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Sat May 30, 2020 13:17

H470 would probably do the trick if I wanted two 4x M.2 slots and did not install a 16x GPU. However, if the system does have a 16x GPU and two 4x M.2 devices, you need a chipset with 24 lanes, which means Z490. The upgrade from H470 to Z490 does not appear to be all that expensive in the grand scheme of things and it does increase the selection of motherboard features significantly.

I'm having a re-think about the Thunderbolt aspect. It was mostly a case of trying to future proof, but it is probably not worth the expense, given that I have no immediate use for it and it is not a common feature. No point paying a large premium for something I may never use.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Sat May 30, 2020 14:38

This system will run Linux, so any motherboard software past the BIOS/UEFI stage is a liability rather than a benefit.

Linux has drivers for most Intel hardware, and support for common Realtek chips is also around. It's usually the "SuperIO" chips with temperature sensors and fan controllers that are tricky. I have no plans for RGB lighting.

I looked at some data on the AMD offerings and they certainly have a competitive portfolio. I am not sure if it is a match for the workloads I'm looking at. There are a lot of tasks where I need maximum single core performance to get through things that can not be distributed to other processors, but after that I need reasonably good sustained multithreaded performance. The single core performance at the start tends to be slightly more critical as it usually determines whether the rest of the tasks will actually run properly. As an example, now the first stage takes about 10 minutes to figure out if the subsequent stages will work, which then continue running anywhere from a few minutes to overnight. Saving the time at the start makes for a faster development cycle. The total time for a complete build is not so critical. The difference between 5 hours vs 6 hours is a lot less of an issue.

If possible, I'd like to reuse my Cooler Master Sileo 500 case and Cooler Master Masterwatt Lite 700 PSU. In terms of cooling, I am a bit apprehensive about water cooled systems. While they are generally more compact on the motherboard itself, there are more points of failure and the case selection also becomes more complicated. I am currently using a Cooler Master Hyper 212X as a CPU cooler and while it is a large heat sink unit, it seems to do a good job with a single fan. It can be upgraded with a second fan. You can definitely notice the increase in noise as the fan speed ramps up, but the case does an OK job of keeping it under control. The existing i5-750 is a 95W TDP part, whereas the proposed i7-10700 is a 65W TDP part, so cooling should not become any harder.

As far as longevity goes, this system has been running 24/7 for over 10 years. I had to replace some fans and the PSU, which is not unexpected. I expect that any motherboard, CPU, GPU or RAM would work for at least a decade.

I'm not interested in motherboard based RAID. Linux software RAID is a lot more sophisticated and reliable as the drives can be taken to any system in case of failures.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Sat May 30, 2020 14:57

Ooof 4 x NVMe. You are looking at some more exotic motherboards than you will find in the socket 1200 range. You might need to step up to a workstation platform for that. Unless you go for a NVMe PCIe card which could probably work for you.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Sat May 30, 2020 15:47

Storage speed is something I really care about. With a huge build a lot of time is spent on I/O. I have found that the existing SSDs I am using have really bad performance for the workloads I see. Although benchmarks show speeds of 250 MB/s, in reality it works out to be between 3 MB/s and 9 MB/s during a build. Luckily 4x M.2 slots are not that hard to find with Z490. I'll probably go with super fast primary storage in the 1TB range and the fastest option I can afford in the 2TB range. Last time I checked, HP EX950 2TB looked good on paper. I'll still need spinning rust for the mass storage, so that will be another 3 SATA drives, plus a DVD-RW, which means a minimum of 4 SATA ports (although I have a card I could re-use to get more ports).

Asus PRIME Z490M-PLUS is looking like a forerunner at this stage and it's one of the cheaper options! It's the little things that get it over the line.
  • PS/2 port - because my 22+ year old keyboard is still better than most of the stuff I have touched in the last decade.
  • 3 displays - DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort.
Digital audio output would have been nice, but it's not critical.

I guess if I take the Asus PRIME Z490M-PLUS as a benchmark, I'm now looking for something similar from other vendors to see how things stack up.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by raymondjpg » Sat May 30, 2020 17:48

peteru wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 15:47
I guess if I take the Asus PRIME Z490M-PLUS as a benchmark, I'm now looking for something similar from other vendors to see how things stack up.

Like I said, unless other boards have features that you need and which cannot be found on an Asus board then I'd go Asus and hang any extra expense that may be incurred.

As for liquid cooling you are most likely right about potentially more points of failure, but by and large I've found them to be reliable. One of the main factors that led me there was that instead of an air cooled system redistributing heat inside the case and then an exhaust fan needed to evacuate the heated air, the radiator fan on a liquid cooled system doubles as an exhaust fan so less potential fan noise. I stick with a fanless Nvidia GT430 of about 2012 vintage because I don't like fan noise if it can be avoided, but if noise is not so much of an issue with you then an air cooled CPU would probably be fine.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Sun May 31, 2020 00:38

It's not that I didn't want to buy the Asus PRIME Z490M-PLUS, it was more of a case of "is there something even better suited to my needs?". It looks like the answer is NO. That particular Asus motherboard seems to be pretty much the only option on the market that is ticking most of the important boxes for me.

But, I think I'm getting cold feet. :shock: The ballpark figure for MoBo + CPU + RAM + One SSD is about $2,300 - $2,500. And that is just an upgrade where I salvage everything I can from the existing system. I'd hate to think what a full build would cost. Gamers must have their pockets lined with gold! :lol:

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Sun May 31, 2020 06:34

Well, you should have this for quite some time and it will be very well specc'd for the foreseeable future. Tax Time is coming up and it is 100% claimable and depreciable, and the efficiencies gained in your workflow will be made to in no time.

Definitely an investment more than a cost :)


And yes, gamers are mad ;)


Also, nice work on spring the prime. I was trying to hunt through Asus's offerings, but didn't spot that unicorn. I had been hunting mostly in the sub $300 range as that is (probably superstitiousiously) my own motherboard spending pain-point. My own recent shipping experienced had me landing on a ASUS TUF series board since that was the only one to tick all my boxes. I think that the maturity of the z3xx market made things a bit easier for me though.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by gibster » Sun May 31, 2020 18:33

I know the dollars is down now, but is it just me or are these new motherboards and CPUs way more expensive these days. I was just looking at the new boards and every manufacturer has one that lists for $1500.00 or more. WOW I realize they do have a lot of extra features but over a thousand dollars worth? I don't know about that.

The Asus PRIME Z490M-PLUS is in there at a good price $299.00 comparatively speaking.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:25

MrQuade wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 06:34
Well, you should have this for quite some time and it will be very well specc'd for the foreseeable future. Tax Time is coming up and it is 100% claimable and depreciable, and the efficiencies gained in your workflow will be made to in no time.

Thanks for nudging me over the line. ;-)

The tax argument doesn't really account for much in my philosophy. I tend to base my purchasing decisions based on the need and value for money, rather than potential tax benefit.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that there are a lot of things I don't end up doing because the existing system is so slow that I don't even get started. When you know that a task that requires 15 minutes of thinking will result in hours waiting for the machine to do it's thing, it's hard to be motivated.

MrQuade wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 06:34
Definitely an investment more than a cost :)

Definitely a cost. :-)

I've ordered the parts after scouring the specs and looking for prices.

$488 - G.Skill Ripjaws V 64GB (2x 32GB) DDR4 3200MHz
$276 - ASUS PRIME Z490M-PLUS
$630 - Intel Core i7-10700
$516 - XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB NVMe Gen3x4 SSD
$ 40 - Quiet case fan
$ 60 - Shipping from three separate retailers

All up just over $2k, but I'm starting with half the planned SSDs as I wanted to keep the initial cost down. The SSD price trend has been down, so I'll hold off on getting another SSD for as long as possible. The specs on the SX8200 are looking good and I hope that it's better than the HP EX950 for the workloads I'll be running. It would be nice to be able to benchmark a few SSDs with a couple of full builds. I suspect that the I/O patterns for that type of activity are not really captured by most benchmarks.
MrQuade wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 06:34
And yes, gamers are mad ;)

Utter nutters. Some pay that much just for the processor and a cooler.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:38

peteru wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:25
Thanks for nudging me over the line.
You're welcome. I am always happy to be a bad influence! :)
peteru wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:25
At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that there are a lot of things I don't end up doing because the existing system is so slow that I don't even get started. When you know that a task that requires 15 minutes of thinking will result in hours waiting for the machine to do it's thing, it's hard to be motivated.
Every craftsman deserves the best tools in my opinion :). I just want to see the grin on your face during your first build!!
peteru wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:25
The tax argument doesn't really account for much in my philosophy. I tend to base my purchasing decisions based on the need and value for money, rather than potential tax benefit.
Less about the tax benefit as such, but more about the fact that you'll immediately be getting about a third of the cost back in your pocket. Means the effective purchase price is very much discounted. I've never been able to justify my home PC as a work expense, so haven't looked into the strategy of depreciating cost over the course of several years, but I understand that the whole cost of the PC can be recovered eventually. (definitely not an Accountant here!!)
peteru wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:25
$488 - G.Skill Ripjaws V 64GB (2x 32GB) DDR4 3200MHz
$276 - ASUS PRIME Z490M-PLUS
$630 - Intel Core i7-10700
$516 - XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB NVMe Gen3x4 SSD
I like GSkill RAM too. Usually reasonably priced, well specc'd and quite reliable. There is something to be said for stepping up to a low latency set of 3600MHz DDR RAM, but not if you are shooting for high capacity. I think nice fast 3200MHz is the absolute sweet spot.

In fact, this lot looks a lot like a 10th generation version of the gear I bought myself. (though half the RAM and a Gaming motherboard variant).
(i7-9700k, Asus TUF Z390-PLUS, GSkill Ripjaws F4-3200C16D-32GVK). No fancy NVMe drive for me yet though, I couldn't justify that yet.

I'd normally go for a Samsung SSD, but my workloads are far from exotic, and Samsung definitely tune their gear for the average Joe.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Mon Jun 01, 2020 15:19

MrQuade wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:38
Less about the tax benefit as such, but more about the fact that you'll immediately be getting about a third of the cost back in your pocket. Means the effective purchase price is very much discounted. I've never been able to justify my home PC as a work expense, so haven't looked into the strategy of depreciating cost over the course of several years, but I understand that the whole cost of the PC can be recovered eventually. (definitely not an Accountant here!!)

I'm not an accountant either, but I have been doing my own books for quite a while. Most people appear to over-value the tax related benefits of their purchases. First of all the only difference between purchasing at the end of the financial year vs any other time is only if you do annual returns and are quick to prepare them. If you are doing quarterly returns, the adjustments happen during the year and you get your deduction applied before you pay any tax. The benefit there is the delay between you paying the provisional or estimated tax and receiving the refund. Purely a cash flow aspect, the amount does not change. The current tax scheme has generous instant asset write off limits, so you don't have to depreciate items over years and years. That's good, because some items depreciate so slowly that you still have them on your books long after the end of their useful life. Keeping those depreciation schedules and handling asset disposal paperwork is a royal pain in the butt. But I digress...

Returning to how much money it actually saves you... As an example, let's take a $2k purchase that is written of in the same financial year. That means that you can only claim a deduction in the current financial year, but not subsequent ones, which is actually the better option. The first three tax brackets are:

Code: Select all

Taxable income     Tax on this income
0 – $18,200        Nil
$18,201 – $37,000  19c for each $1 over $18,200
$37,001 – $90,000  $3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000
If your gross income is $80k, the tax savings after applying the $2k deduction are $650. If you only make $35k, the tax reduction is $380. But that still implies having to part with $1,350 or in the case of the poorer person, $1,620. All this assumes that such an expense is directly related to earning your income and it is a 100% deduction. In practice that means you are probably running your own business, have to be registered for GST and are probably doing quarterly BAS statements. The cost of administering the tax paperwork probably wipes out half of that tax benefit!

Hence my comments about over-valuing the tax benefit and not factoring it into purchasing decisions. Any business related expense will reduce your tax liability, so business spending needs to apply uniform rules - cost / benefit analysis. Your electricity bills reduce your tax liability at the same rate as a new HDD.

Back to the more exciting aspect, I was careful to choose vendors that showed each item as "in-stock" so hopefully I'll have something to show for it at the end of the month, once everything is delivered, assembled and tested. Maybe a whole set of SDKs and a new beta. I should put myself through the pain of doing those builds on the current system and then on the new system and compare the timing figures. That will allow me to put a figure on the cost / benefit analysis.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by raymondjpg » Mon Jun 01, 2020 16:02

peteru wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:25
MrQuade wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 06:34
And yes, gamers are mad ;)

Utter nutters. Some pay that much just for the processor and a cooler.

Not so much what they are prepared to pay for, but gamers are leading hardware manufacturers like Asus, also Intel and Microsoft by the nose with features and graphics drivers "optimized" for this that or whatever game. It's nobody's fault, more likely just where there is money to be made business will follow.

When I first installed my Asus X99 Aii I saw a lot of flashing light going on in the case and thought it must be CMOS LED errors. Opening the case I observed that the motherboard was lit up and strobing like a Japanese christmas tree. Having lost interest in PC gaming with the demise of 3DFX/Glide, I had never seen this before, and this was on a motherboard specifically designed for the Broadwell family of CPUs, hardly a gamers dream. Looking at the specs for the ASUS PRIME Z490M-PLUS it appears you will be in for a similar treat "Brighten Up Your Build...With 5050 RGB strips connected to the RGB header, you can create your own stunning multicolor lighting displays with static, blinking, fading, and strobing effects."
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Mon Jun 01, 2020 16:26

It's actually close to impossible to get a cheap quiet 12cm fan without LEDs. I don't understand the obsession with light pollution. Way too much stuff has LEDs that are not needed. Event the T2 is guilty, with those LEDs on the motherboard.

As far as I am concerned, the best looking computers are matt black featureless monoliths. No lights, no badges, no logos, no accents, no windows, no designer grilles, no colour coded sockets, except on the back panel. You should be able to place it anywhere and ignore it. I don't want light leaking out of a computer case.

By all means, provide SPI headers for addressable LED strips or other controllers to people who want bling. Most chipsets will have the hardware already as it is used for other peripherals. It becomes a matter of providing the drivers and then having a portfolio of accessories to plug into those headers. No point forcing it onto everyone.

I am wary of the Asus mobo claiming "Audio Features - LED-Illuminated Design" as a selling point. I mean WTF? LED illuminated audio that consists of three 3.5mm analogue sockets and has no optical SPDIF output. The marketroids must have really be clutching at straws on that day... :roll:

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by raymondjpg » Mon Jun 01, 2020 16:52

peteru wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 16:26
I am wary of the Asus mobo claiming "Audio Features - LED-Illuminated Design" as a selling point. I mean WTF? LED illuminated audio that consists of three 3.5mm analogue sockets and has no optical SPDIF output. The marketroids must have really be clutching at straws on that day... :roll:

Possibly to strobe in time with youtube aerobics videos? It looks to me that even the most reputable of motherboard manufacturers just cannot afford to be without a feature or an option that might tip a sale towards another manufacturer.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Mon Jun 01, 2020 16:57

peteru wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 16:26
It's actually close to impossible to get a cheap quiet 12cm fan without LEDs. I don't understand the obsession with light pollution. Way too much stuff has LEDs that are not needed. Event the T2 is guilty, with those LEDs on the motherboard.
Well I can't speak for cheap, but again, Noctua are the kings of quiet and performant fans.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Mon Jun 01, 2020 22:00

Or, yanno, you could go for one of these!
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Mon Jun 01, 2020 22:45

The only problem with that solution is that it would preclude me from potentially adding a GPU later down the track. :lol:

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Fri Jun 19, 2020 17:43

peteru wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 15:19
Back to the more exciting aspect, I was careful to choose vendors that showed each item as "in-stock" so hopefully I'll have something to show for it at the end of the month, once everything is delivered, assembled and tested.
How's your order looking now?

I must say, talk of your upgrade re-inspired me to finish my upgrade and get a bigger and more modern SSD.
I had a bunch of FIFO money owed, plus Samsung are doing cash back on their drives this month, so I pulled the trigger on a 2TB 970 Evo Plus. Not too exotic, but good for my needs! (With games often running to 100-200GB installs!!)

Hopefully picking that up today!
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Fri Jun 19, 2020 20:44

Parts have arrived and am actually building the system today. It'll probably take about a week to get it up and running well enough to switch to it as my primary system. I'm not all that impressed with the stock Intel cooler - may need to replace that. Good enough to get up and running, but very noisy as it spins up.

The Asus motherboard has a mind boggling number of config options. I guess they are targeting compulsive tweakers. Good news is that the memory is running at 3200 without having to do anything more than enabling the XMP profile. I like the Asus fan options a lot more than what is available on my old Gigabyte board.

I'll need to benchmark the SSD, but it looks decent so far. Configured as Gen3x4, so ought to be damn fast. With only two slots, I decided that the minimum size was going to have to be 2TB. I looked at the Samsungs and did not think they were worth the asking price when put up against the competition.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Sun Jun 21, 2020 19:25

It looks like the ADATA SSD was a good choice. I'm seeing writes of 1.8 - 2.0 GB/s during parts of the build process. The Samsung SSD I was using before would get up to 3.6 - 6.5 MB/s. Read speeds are not all that important in the build process - with 64GB of RAM most of the data is cached, but I'm still getting about 2 GB/s. Again, the Samsung was rather poor with around 6 - 18 MB/s. These are real-life workload figures, not some benchmarks.

So, that's a 280 - 550x speed-up for I/O on a typical build. Not a bad 2TB SSD for $516 delivered. Cheaper than a Samsung with the rebate applied.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Sun Jun 21, 2020 20:34

Yea, I agree, their status look good for the price they are asking for them!

You may or may not see an improvement with a Samsung NVMe drive, but it'd be unlikely to be proportionate to the price delta in any case.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:48

peteru wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 20:44
Parts have arrived and am actually building the system today. It'll probably take about a week to get it up and running well enough to switch to it as my primary system. I'm not all that impressed with the stock Intel cooler - may need to replace that. Good enough to get up and running, but very noisy as it spins up.
Just saw this baby pop up on special this morning :)
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/548584

Not cheap (or small!), but you won't find a better air cooler around :).
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Tue Jun 30, 2020 13:36

Nice, but too big. I took a ruler and no matter how I measure, I can't see it fitting. I'd have to remove the second fan to clear the RAM modules and even then, it won't work because I have a case with a PSU at the top and the cooler would run into it.

I need something smaller.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by raymondjpg » Tue Jun 30, 2020 13:46

peteru wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 13:36
Nice, but too big. I took a ruler and no matter how I measure, I can't see it fitting. I'd have to remove the second fan to clear the RAM modules and even then, it won't work because I have a case with a PSU at the top and the cooler would run into it.

I need something smaller.

I venture to suggest that you need a new case, with bottom mounted PSU. I use Coolermaster cases too, and they don't cost that much.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Tue Jun 30, 2020 13:53

Yea, clearance can be an issue with those.

I have a DH14 which includes a non-pwm 12" fan in front instead of the 14" one.

The U12S and U14S are also good alternatives.


Odd to find cases with top mounted power supplies these days!
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Tue Jun 30, 2020 13:58

It's an old case. Cooler Master Sileo 500. Nothing flash, but it's been just fine for decades. I could keep upgrading components, but where do I stop? I've certainly reached the budget threshold. I know I could use better monitors too... :roll:

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by raymondjpg » Tue Jun 30, 2020 14:45

peteru wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 13:58
It's an old case. Cooler Master Sileo 500. Nothing flash, but it's been just fine for decades. I could keep upgrading components, but where do I stop? I've certainly reached the budget threshold. I know I could use better monitors too... :roll:

I understand, but you are short-changing yourself on providing for more sophisticated CPU cooling technologies that rely on bottom mounted PSUs to give that space at the top.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Tue Jun 30, 2020 23:39

If I had an overclocked i9 10900K it may be worth considering, but for a stock i7 10700 without the capacity to overclock?

To be honest, I'd be worried that with more than 1.3kg of heat sink attached, I'd be putting the system under too much mechanical stress. :lol:

My existing system has a Cooler Master Hyper 212X, which I have been happy with. You can tell when the fans ramp up the speed, but it's not annoying like the Intel cooler. At around $65, it's a solid performer and it comes with a bracket that allows you to add a second fan. I could always tweak it by swapping it's fan for a Noctua or a be Quiet! fan. Alternatively be Quiet! Pure Rock 2 also looks good and the acoustic specifications for it are much better than the Hyper X. However, the Hyper X has a fan with twice the expected service life.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by raymondjpg » Wed Jul 01, 2020 08:26

peteru wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 23:39
My existing system has a Cooler Master Hyper 212X, which I have been happy with.

A Cooler Master Hyper 212X looks to me to be sufficient for an i7 10700. Depending on what you are asking the processor to do you can always hobble Intel turbo boost through power options, if Windows, or through bios settings.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Wed Jul 01, 2020 14:22

I ended up ordering a be quiet! Pure Rock 2 earlier today as well as an extra Noctua 120mm fan. The plan is to attach the Pure Rock2 to the i7-10700 and see how it fares. If it looks like it's struggling, I'll add the extra fan to the other side of the heatsink or swap in the Hyper X from the i5-750.

Reaching the thermal limits with the stock cooling solution is not hard. When all the cores boost to 4.8GHz it gets to 100C pretty quickly - seconds. Beyonwiz firmware builds can easily keep all 16 cores at 100% CPU utilisation for hours.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by raymondjpg » Wed Jul 01, 2020 14:28

peteru wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 14:22
Beyonwiz firmware builds can easily keep all 16 cores at 100% CPU utilisation for hours.

It is under such constant loads that it might be worth considering turning off turbo boost. The increased core voltage and heat output may not justify the extra performance gained from turbo boost in multi-core CPUs.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Wed Jul 01, 2020 14:48

Nope, I certainly need as much boost as possible for single core performance. This is critical for a quick turn around in the modify-test cycle. The first part of any build is a reasonably longish single threaded CPU bound task. During development, it is not unusual that the build often dies very soon after that task runs. The faster this single core task runs the more iterations I can make, thus increasing velocity.

Although the i7-10700 is listed as a 65W TDP part, benchmarks indicate that it can draw around 200W when boosting.

I'll see how the cooling goes in a couple of weeks. I made the mistake of adding a "premium" DisplayPort cable to my order without double checking the availability. It now looks like this cable will add 7-9 business days to my order processing. Had I gone for the cheaper "standard" cable, it would have been processed in 24 hours. :?

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Wed Jul 01, 2020 15:16

Oof, if you are going over 80 degrees for extended periods, then you really need to look at your heatsink, or the heatsink installation. Getting to 100 is another thing again and is really not good for the CPU.

For example, when I did my new ssd recently, I took the opportunity to revisit my own heatsink, as I was seeing some temperature spikes into the 80s under load.

Now when I load it on all cores with prime95 I am topping out at 65 degrees with full turbo speeds.

I know the 10700 runs a bit hotter than the 9700k, and prime95 is just a basic workout, but still, you should be able to get much lower than you are now.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Wed Jul 01, 2020 16:59

Intel stock cooler. Not adequate. I don't know why they bother. It just makes their product look bad. It would be better if they took off $30 from the retail price and sold the package without a cooler - like their higher end CPUs. Alternatively, they need to provide something that can do the job for the processor being sold.

It would also help if Intel took the initiative to provide some solid guidance on the thermal dissipation characteristics that they expect the coolers to have. Intel should publish an easy to understand cooler metric for public to refer to. Right now it's impossible to compare products on the market because no one will tell you how much heat their solution dissipates. If the industry had a commonly used and well publicised figure or two to indicate the cooling characteristic in controlled conditions, consumers would be able to readily evaluate their options and choose appropriately. Fools would still have the option to ignore cooling performance and pay a premium for LEDs.

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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Wed Jul 01, 2020 22:38

peteru wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 16:59
Intel stock cooler. Not adequate. I don't know why they bother. It just makes their product look bad. It would be better if they took off $30 from the retail price and sold the package without a cooler - like their higher end CPUs. Alternatively, they need to provide something that can do the job for the processor being sold.
Ow you're not wrong. It's honestly been that long since I used a stock cooler, I hadn't even thought Intel would bundle something that wasn't properly matched to the CPU!
Geez, that's an old-school AMD trick. Ironically, I hear AMD's bundled coolers are meant to be pretty good now (albeit loud).
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by Gully » Wed Jul 01, 2020 23:43

MrQuade wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 22:38
Geez, that's an old-school AMD trick. Ironically, I hear AMD's bundled coolers are meant to be pretty good now (albeit loud).
The current models are pretty quiet. (Just recently bought an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor with an Asrock X570 Steel Legend mb)
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by MrQuade » Thu Jul 02, 2020 00:54

Gully wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 23:43
The current models are pretty quiet. (Just recently bought an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor with an Asrock X570 Steel Legend mb)
Oh cool. I must have been recalling the first gen wraith coolers then.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by Gully » Thu Jul 02, 2020 13:35

MrQuade wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 00:54
Gully wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 23:43
The current models are pretty quiet. (Just recently bought an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor with an Asrock X570 Steel Legend mb)
Oh cool. I must have been recalling the first gen wraith coolers then.
I think so, earlier ones did usual warrant replacing.
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Re: Choosing a motherboard for a i7-10700

Post by peteru » Fri Jul 03, 2020 01:45


https://youtu.be/rOCrcOfTsLg

I stumbled on this a bit too late, but it pretty much confirms that I'm on the right track. Linus looks at the Hyper 212, which has slightly worse cooling performance than the Hyper 212X that I have. He also tests the Noctua NH-U12S, which appears to be in the same category as the Pure Rock 2. He tests an i9-10900K, at a slightly higher maximum clock speed. Bottom line, as long as I replace the stock Intel cooler, with either of the options that I will have at my disposal, things will be fine.

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