When it comes to overclocking, the ASUS TUF GAMING X570 PLUS (WI-FI) isn’t going to set any records. In fact, you have to work pretty hard to overcome its budget-oriented design. For example: On most X570 boards from around the $300 mark or higher, I don’t have to do anything besides set the CPU voltage and adjust the CPU multiplier.
Occasionally I have to adjust LLC, but very infrequently. With the ASUS TUF GAMING X570 PLUS (WI-FI), it’s a very different story. On default settings, I was able to push the CPU to 4.2GHz all core. Unfortunately, any significant loading of the CPU would cause the system to hard shut down. Looking at my Kil-A-Watt, anytime the board crossed 300w of power draw it would shut down. This didn’t appear to be a temperature-related issue either. Externally, the VRM’s only reached temperatures of 102F externally, but according to HWInfo64, reached temperatures of 122F. Obviously, you can’t trust those results without knowing precisely where the thermal sensors are located.
I went into the BIOS and increased the power phase duty control to Level 5 (Extreme), the CPU Load-line calibration to level 5 (Extreme). I also had to increase the CPU power phase and power phase duty control to their extreme values. I even had to increase the CPU’s current capability to 120%. Lastly, I used a manual voltage of 1.4v, which was actually higher than I usually need for this specific test CPU. With these values, the system was perfectly stable at 4.2GHz all core and passed every test I could throw at it. However, this is considerably more effort than is normally required. It’s also one of the few cases where I couldn’t simply use Ryzen Master to overclock.
Memory overclocking to DDR4 3733MHz was also relatively easy to achieve. However, I did have to increase the voltage on the RAM to 1.385v in order to avoid various cold boot issues and memory problems. I can normally get away with a little bit less voltage on some other motherboards. Typically 1.35 or 1.365v are all I need.
Power consumption is checked with a quick and dirty test. The methodology actually comes from AMD themselves, but we use the same basic method for every system we test. Total system power is measured with a Kil-A-Watt device. While these aren’t the most accurate things out there, they are relatively inexpensive, and more accurate testing equipment is rather pricey. Results are checked with the GPU idle as we run Cinebench R20, selecting the multi-threaded test. You can get higher results using Prime95, various AVX tests, and others. However, I think Cinebench R20 is generally more realistic in terms of CPU loading. I’ve never seen applications pull as much power as you can via Prime95 or similar benchmark utilities.
It’s worth pointing out that the X570 chipset is a bit of a pig compared to other options. B550 pulls about 5 or 6 watts, while Intel’s chipsets are in the same ballpark. X570 pulls 15w. That said, the ASUS TUF GAMING X570 PLUS (WI-FI) is relatively basic, so it doesn’t tend to pull all that much power. At stock speeds we see the ASUS TUF GAMING X570 PLUS (WI-FI) pull 113w idle with a 3900X. Under load, the power draw increased to 244 watts. This was slightly lower than the similar ASUS Prime X570 we tested awhile back.
Overclocked, our idle wattage increased to 117w. Under load, we saw a power draw of 303w. This was slightly higher than the ASUS Prime X570 required. The reasoning behind this is largely due to the fact that greater voltage and higher levels of CPU load-line calibration were necessary to achieve the same result. Additionally, I also had to use higher duty cycle settings for the power phases. All of this stuff adds up to about an 8-watt increase over the ASUS Prime X570 test configuration which was tested with this exact CPU.
Aside from the relatively low benchmarking scores under stock speeds and relatively tedious overclocking, my experiences with the ASUS TUF GAMING X570 PLUS (WI-FI) were overall positive ones. I wished that it wasn’t so difficult to work with on the overclocking front. There are cheaper X570 solutions out there, but from ASUS, this or the non-WI-FI model may be about as low as you’d want to go for a 12 core CPU. Frankly, I wouldn’t recommend this VRM be paired with a 16 core AMD Ryzen 9 3950X or whatever comes next from the 4000 series if the power draw goes up at all.
This is a motherboard best paired with 8c/16t CPUs or a 12c/24t CPU at stock in my opinion. That’s not to say it isn’t capable of handling a 16 core CPU. It obviously does, but it isn’t ideal. Within the market segment, ASUS makes concessions to hit this board’s target price point and it makes the right ones. Despite the mainstream nature of the board, it brings a high-end chipset to a lower price point. As I said, you could go with cheaper options, but then you could end up some options with worse VRM’s. That’s a topic I plan on covering soon, with a review of one such offender being the focus of that. But I’ll save that for another day.
The reason for the slightly lower benchmark scores in many of the application tests is likely to boost related to the 3900X test CPU. The CPU never seemed to boost quite as well as it has on other boards I’ve tested it with. I don’t think its specifically a bad VRM, although it’s not a 12+2 phase solution like ASUS says it is. This is a 4×3 phase solution that uses three power stages per phase. I dislike ASUS’ recent trend towards its marketing practices concerning its VRM’s. This was a company that used to offer the same VRM’s down most of the line at one point (years ago) and has built a lot of credibility with the enthusiast community, and they are taking advantage of that.
I don’t think the VRM is particularly bad, it’s just not high end. It works well enough for the task at hand, and its better than some other options for similar money. Again, while this can clearly handle a 12-core CPU, it’s less than ideal. With a 3800X or lower, I think this board would be absolutely fine and even excel with those CPUs.
In short, the ASUS TUF GAMING X570 PLUS (WI-FI) is a simple board with a name that’s way too long and convoluted. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but if you are looking for a good all-around motherboard for a Ryzen build, this may be right up your alley. It’s reliable, inexpensive, and isn’t too hard on your wallet at $188.35. If you want to save yourself $25, you can also opt for a version without WI-FI.
The ASUS TUF GAMING X570 PLUS (WI-FI)’s overclocking performance and low’ish benchmark results with the 3900X keep it from earning our highest reward. However, it did complete all our testing successfully and works fine up for up to 12-core CPUs at stock, and for that, it gets a pass.