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Quick test of the VRM cooling fan on the ASUS Strix Z390-E Gaming motherboard

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Hello everyone.

So I was curious what effect the optional 40mm fan had over the the VRM area of the ASUS Strix Z390-E Gaming motherboard.
Other motherboard models in the ASUS Strix range such as the Z390-F, Z390-H and Z390-i lack the required bracket to mount the fan.
ASUS Strix Z390-E motherboard.jpg
 

This is how it looks with it installed.
20200616_182441.jpg

For the keen eye that spotted the single channel RAM, the other DIMM has been discovered to be faulty so I'm finishing off today with the good DIMM before both DIMMs are being sent back. Also ignore the slightly messy cable management and dust, will have a chance to sort this out while the RAM is being RMA'd.

Due to my love of fans and cooling, all motherboard fan headers were occupied except the WaterPump+ header so that is what I opted to use for the VRM fan.

Test system is an Intel 9900k at 5Ghz, 1.285v LLC6, 1.25v VCCIO and 1.2V VCCSA.
CPU cooler is a Corsair H105 with Push/Pull fans (AIO so there's not as much air moving over the VRM area as an air cooler).

Corsair 780T case setup :
Intake 2x120mm bottom, 2x120mm front radiator
Exhaust : 3x120mm top, 1x140mm rear
All the 120 fans were around 1200rpm, with the radiator fans at 1400rpm.

Result with the fan turned off, a maximum VRM temperature reading of 59C on HWiNFO after a 15 minute Cinebench run at 21C ambient.
The CPU peaked at roughly 80C during this test.
 VRM fan at 0%.PNG

Result with the fan at roughly 80%-90% fan speed (4800-5500rpm), a maximum VRM temperature reading of 53C on HWiNFO after a 15 minute Cinebench run at 21C ambient.
The VRM Fan was relatively quiet under load, and could not be heard above the case fans.
At idle at 70% speed, the fan noise was not noticeable above the case fans at 950-1000rpm.
VRM fan at 80%.PNG


Summary :
- Roughly a 5-6C drop in VRM temperature during stress testing, however the VRM temperature was well within spec in either test.
- With sufficient case airflow, the VRMs on an ASUS Strix Z390-E Gaming should remain cool without the optional VRM fan even with a high ambient temperature.
- However for those with limited case airflow or who may be pushing higher voltage overclocks, it is worth considering.

Thanks for reading.

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You know I always forget that cases with poor airflow may suffer in the VRM section. I'll have to test this out myself. 

Thanks for the info. Might be a worth making a video or article.

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Posted (edited)

I got one of those Fan Brackets in with accessories bundle with my new Z490 Creator motherboard, they didn't include a fan however. I haven't decided yet it's ideal location, kinda leaning towards installing it near the graphics cards blowing onto the M.2 slot to help cool the boot drive.

Thanks for the review,  I was wondering about VRM temps vs M.2 drive temps.

Edited by Braegnok

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On 6/17/2020 at 8:40 AM, Braegnok said:

I got one of those Fan Brackets in with accessories bundle with my new Z490 Creator motherboard, they didn't include a fan however. I haven't decided yet it's ideal location, kinda leaning towards installing it near the graphics cards blowing onto the M.2 slot to help cool the boot drive.

Thanks for the review,  I was wondering about VRM temps vs M.2 drive temps.


M.2 drives and especially NVME drives benefit from having a heatsink fitted or some direct airflow over it.

I ran some CrystalDiskMark tests with my Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1Tb with just the ASUS motherboard M.2 heatsink (attached via the supplied thermal pad) and the drive reached 62C according to HWmonitor and Samsung Magician.

I let it cool for a while and I ran it again and it reached 65C where the write speeds decreased so I do think that there might be some thermal throttling going on.

I've actually got an Cryorig Frostbit M.2 cooler coming in the mail so I'll be doing a temperature test on that soon .
I couldn't find any reviews on it, only Computex announcements from back in 2018 but it looks good on paper so it will be interesting see how it performs. 
20180522_01.jpg
 

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NVMe drives can get warm, but don't you think the Frostbit is overkill? Next we are going to see RGB waterblocks for NVMe drives lol.

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Posted (edited)

I went with the EK-M.2 Intel Optane Heatsink, the thermal grease included is vary runny/thin. https://imgur.com/XJHVNOv

I only used tiny amount as shown in directions and still it came out the sides a bit, so strongly advise using Kryonaut grease and toss the EK grease. https://www.ekwb.com/shop/EK-IM/EK-IM-3831109891001.pdf

 

Edited by Braegnok

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13 hours ago, ir_cow said:

NVMe drives can get warm, but don't you think the Frostbit is overkill? Next we are going to see RGB waterblocks for NVMe drives lol.

Maybe it is overkill, but even with a bunch of fans my case gets hot quickly.

When gaming at 21C/70F, my Strix GTX1080TI reaches about 68C at 50% fan speed and vents all that hot air in the case.
That somehow raises the M.2 drive's temperature from 40C at idle to 50C even though the drive isn't being used as the OS is currently on a SATA SSD and the game is running off of another SATA SSD.

I figured that when I install the OS to the M.2 the temp will go up a bit more, and when new cross-generation games that are also on PS5/Xbox Series X use the extra speed of the NVME that it could get even hotter so there might be some benefits from using the Frostbit (the only M.2 cooler around in South Africa sadly, no EK M.2 cooler or similar lower profile coolers).

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The only issue I've found with NVMe drives and the motherboard "heatshield" is if the SSD has NANDs on the back, those don't get cooled. Sometimes the controller will be on the wrong side...Not the smartest design.

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