AMD X370 Motherboards Meet The FLIR Thermal Imager

Thermal performance is important to PC gamers and enthusiasts, so we wanted to take a look at VRM thermal performance on some of the AMD X370 motherboards that we have in our possession for testing. Those boards would be the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero ($254.99), GIGABYTE GA-AX370-Gaming 5 ($194.99) and the MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM ($299.99). AMD X370 Chipset Motherboards We just got our hands on a FLIR ONE Thermal Imager for Android ($204.99) and thought we'd take a look at the surface tempeature on these three boards to see if one board maybe performed worse or better than the other two. The FLIR One has a Scene temperature range of -20° to 120°C and we are pretty certain that none of the components on our AMD X370 boards will get hotter than that or we have some serious issues! FLIR ONE Thermal Imager for Android Let's take a look at our test system and then jump into the results!

AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Test Platform

AMD Ryzen Test System The AMD AM4 platform that we used to test the Ryzen 7 1700 was run on the following boards and UEFI versions: You can see the HWiNFO64 details for each platform below: [gallery ids="192980,192981,192982"] The processor was run at stock settings. The Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory kit were run at 14-14-14-28 memory timings at 2666MHz at 1.35V. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 8GB Founders Edition with GeForce 378.78 WHQL drivers. We also used the Corsair AX860i digital power supply, Corsair Hydro Series H110i water cooler and Corsair Force MP500 480GB PCIe SSD on the system.
AMD AM4 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

AMD Ryzen 7 1700

Motherboard

MSI X370 XPower Titanium Click Here

Memory

16GB Vengeance 3000MHz DDR4 Click Here

Video Card

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Click Here

Hard Drive

Corsair MP500 480GB Click Here

Cooling

Corsair H110i Click Here

Keyboard

Corsair K70 RGB Click Here

Mouse

Corsair M65 Pro Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here

Monitor

ASUS PB287Q 4K Click Here

Operating System

Windows 10 64-Bit Click Here
It should also be noted that we used the built-in stability & stress test in AIDA64 Engineer Build 4103 for our load testing and ran it for a period of 10 minutes on each board and then snapped the thermal images.

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Thermal Performance:

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Thermal Image When running the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard ($254.99) with the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor and Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (4x16GB) memory kit we weren't sure what would be the hottest area of the motherboard as it has an impressive 12-phase VRM configuration. ASUS Digital PWM Design Here is what ASUS has to say about the digital power controller design on this board:

"The Finest Power, Digitally Controlled

ROG's revered digital power controller now delivers even-finer power, with Texas Instruments NexFET MOSFETs, MicroFine alloy chokes, Digi+ PWM controller and 10K black metallic capacitors — ensuring Extreme Engine Digi+ always delivers the smoothest core voltages." - ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Landing Page
ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero VRM Phase Temperature After doing a 10 minute stability test with AIDA64 we noticed that the highest surface temperature on the CPU VRM phases was the capacitors at 42C, but that wasn't the hottest part of the board. ASUS ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Memory VRM The hottest part of the board was actually the two phase memory VRM and we were getting temperatures in excess of 52C, which was 10C hotter than the CPU power phases! During this time the motherboard temperature sensor was reading 23C, the M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD was sitting at 31C and the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor running at stock settings was at just 43C. So, the hottest spot on this platform wasn't the processor, X370 chipset or the CPU VRM, but rather the memory VRM!

Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 Thermal Performance:

Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 Thermal Image Next up we have the Gigabyte AX370 Gaming 5 motherboard ($194.99) running on the same exact setup with the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor and Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 memory kit. Gigabyte went with a 10 phase digital power delivery design in a 6+4 configuration for the processor and goes into detail about how well it works on the boards landing page. Gigabyte Digital PWM Design
"AX370-Gaming 5 features a 6+4 phase power delivery design equipped with 4th gen. IR digital power controllers and 3rd gen. PowIRstage ICs featuring Isense technology, which provides more precise current sensing accuracy. This helps evenly distribute the thermal loading between the PowerIRstage ICs, preventing the overheating of each individual PowerIRstage, resulting in longer lifespan and better reliability." - Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0) landing page
Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 Thermal Image CPU Phases After doing a 10 minute stability test with AIDA64 we noticed that the highest surface temperature on the CPU VRM phases was actually the capacitors and they were hitting just shy of 49C. Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 Thermal Image Memory U Phases The Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 has a two phase memory VRM that we found to be running at around 47C, so the memory and CPU power phases are close to temperature to one another on this board. During this time the motherboard temperature sensor was reading 23C, the M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD was sitting at 29C and the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor running at stock settings was at just 38C (we ran out of thermal paste and switched brands, so CPU temperatures aren't comparable between boards). Once again the hottest spot on this X370 board wasn't the processor or chipset!

MSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium Thermal Performance:

MSI X370 Thermal Imager The last motherboard that we'll be taking a look at today is the MSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium motherboard ($299.99) and on this board MSI went with a 10 phase digital power delivery design in a 6+4 configuration for the processor. MSI X370 PWM Design MSI didn't mention too much about their design on the boards landing page, but did note that this particular board uses Military Class V components. MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium Power Phase Temperature After doing a 10 minute stability test with AIDA64 we noticed that the highest surface temperature on the CPU VRM phases on the MSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium was at was actually the capacitors and they were hitting right around 49C. MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium Memory Power Phase Temperature The two phase memory power design was hitting around 48C, so we are pretty close to having identical temperatures on this board compared to the Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5. Not too shocking as both boards have a 10 Phase power design versus the 12 Phase power design found on the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero. The take home message from doing this article is that the keeping the CPU digital power components cool is important, but don't forget about the memory power controller as it too gets just as hot, if not hotter! All of our testing was done on an open air test bench with a 140mm fan blowing up from the bottom of the PCIe slots, so we didn't have much airflow blowing across the top of the board besides the CPU water cooler fans moving some air around. Not bad temperatures with that kept in mind and we had all four memory DDR4 banks populated and cranked up to 1.35V.