Benchmark Results and Final Analysis
Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G and AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X update the hardware configuration of our most-recent X470 test system, while a newly configured test suite brings all the compatibility benefits of Microsoft’s latest Win10 patches.
3DMark And PCMark
Miniscule performance differences displayed throughout the 3DMark and PCMark tests indicate that users are better off making their purchase decisions based on other criteria, such as connector availability and memory overclocking, rather than baseline performance.
The point of motherboard benchmarks has become a search for problems rather than solutions, since most program performance is dictated by the hardware these boards share. The closest thing we see to a problem in gaming is that the MEG X570 Ace takes a marginal lead over the other boards at our lower test settings of Ashes, at both resolutions.
The MEG X570 Ace fairs well in 7.Zip’s integrated benchmark (higher is better), but falls behind nearly 4% in our Handbrake timed test (fewer seconds are better). That loss combines with a smaller one in Handbrake H.264 and class-average results in Lame and Corona to reduce the Ace’s timed application loss to less than 3%.
Power, Heat And Efficiency
The MEG X570 Ace pulls the lowest full-load power numbers, but does so by using a 1.064V CPU core at a 3.8 GHz clock rate. If those lower settings are affected by both workload intensity and duration, it could explain why the board lost in our lengthy H.264 performance test and was even more behind in our lengthier H.265 test.
MSI’s lower voltage and clock gave it the lowest CPU temperature. ASRock chose to push CPU clock to its default 4.1 GHz limit at firmware defaults, suffering both the power and thermal deficits as a result. Gigabyte and Asus boards use similar voltage to the X570 Ace, but at 3.90 and 3.95 GHz respectively.
Chokes are the hottest components on each of these boards’ voltage regulators, and since those are easily measured with an infrared thermometer, those results are shown. Software reported that the MEG X570 Ace had the highest MOSFET temperature at 26 degrees over-ambient, followed by the X570 Aorus Master at 23 degrees and X570 Taichi at 16 degrees over ambient. But we find our thermometers to be far less biased.
With a performance average that’s less than 1% below the class average and a power savings of nearly 10% of class average, the MEG X570 Ace is the most-efficient X570 board tested. The old X470 model saved a bit more power, but does so in part by having a less-elaborate chipset (with no PCIe 4.0 support).
The MEG X570 Ace is priced $10 higher in USA than the X570 Aorus Master, but it shouldn’t be. Even though it has a slightly larger voltage regulator and overclocks our memory better, it lacks some of the Gigabyte board’s extra features such as dual thermistor leads and accompanying onboard headers. Most of these boards features are identical in most other ways, though the MSI board ditches the pretense of six SATA headers for four (two of Gigabyte’s are disabled by the third M.2 drive). And Gigabyte ditches the pretense of two PCIe 4.0 x1 slots for one (only one of MSI’s x1 slots can be used at a time). Then again, some users will look at those extra connectors and see more installation flexibility.
Perhaps this is why MSI’s MEG X570 Ace is £20 cheaper than the X570 Aorus Master in UK, but what we’re seeing is two boards that are so similar in both features and price that neither overwhelms the other. MSI achieved a far higher DRAM O/C, but its class-leading OC had the lowest in-class bandwidth. And its paltry 25 MHz improvement in CPU clock is just that. We’d say pick your favorite based on whichever connector placement you prefer.
All that said, excellent bandwidth scaling over a wider range of data rates forces us to consider the MEG X570 Ace for an upcoming AMD memory deep dive, despite its competitive loss in maximum bandwidth. We’d love to hear your thoughts in our response thread below.
Image Credits: Tom's Hardware
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