Der8auer Revisits Intel X299 VRM Disaster

You may recall back in June of last year Roman der8auer Hartung ruffled more than a few feathers when examining the VRM design of the newly launched X299 platform motherboards. In short, he called them a total disaster. Intel launched the platform with all Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X chips unlocked for the ultimate in enthusiast-grade, multicore performance - a fact which meant that when pushing frequencies and voltages, some insane temperatures were gonna happen. Roman made pulled no punches in pointing out that the motherboards at launch were not equipped with VRM designs capable of truly handling the platform when overclocked using a regular all-in-one water cooler.

Earlier this week he published an update video to explore exactly what changes the board vendors have made to the VRM design to help deal with all that heat. The boards he revisits include the ASRock X299 OC Formula, the ASRock X299 Taichi XE, ASRock x299 Gaming i9 XE, the ASUS ROG Rampage VI Apex, the ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme, the ASUS STRIX X299-XE Gaming, the EVGA X299 Dark, the GIGAVYTE X299 AORUS Gaming 7 and the MSI X299 XPower Gaming, plus a few workstation boards from ASUS.

The general feedback is that these revised designs are much better at dealing with the heat that be generated by X299 platform processors. Notable changes include larger heatsinks that feature fins for greater surface area, some which are also fitted with fan brackets so that fan mounting over the VRM components is a breeze (sorry for the pun). Another design trait that is becoming popular is the use of heatpipes that combines both top mounted and IO side mounted heatsinks. Perhaps the most dramatic change comes from EVGA who have added a new finned heatsink as opposed to a simple block, with a pair of fans sitting directly on top.

After all the flack that Roman received from certain quarters in the aftermath of ‘VRM Disaster-gate’, I think he should now feel fairly vindicated. Each and every motherboard vendor has now gone and updated the VRM design to ensure tip top heat dissipation and performance when these new CPUs are pushed. You can catch his latest video here on the der8auer YouTube channel.


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