Overclocking

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

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.

Conclusion

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.

Discussion

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17 Comments

  1. Nice review – I built a system using the non-wifi version last week (well my niece did most the work I just had surgery).

    The board was easy to work with and while things went slow (for obvious reasons) putting it together was easy enough.

    One point I didnt see and may have missed in the review is the two m.2 slots are not equal. The one with the heat sink is Pcie Gen 4 and on the main Pcie bus, the other m.2 is Gen 3 and connected to the chipset. If you have a Gen 4 NVME drive this could be important.

    Would have been nice if the PCIE x1 slots allowed for larger cards to be plugged in – I have a PCIE card that can hold two m.2 sata and one m.2 nvme (uses pcie for power for all 3 drives) and had to put it in the second x16 socket. No big deal but would have been nice to space it differently.

    I’m open to getting a TUF board again for my next rebuild.

    The Q-Connector was missing from the box but since my last board was Asus I just used the old one.

    The new system has been running great, boots super fast – even better (much faster) then the ROG Crosshair Hero VI x370 with an 1800x.

    I used to use Ryzen Master to check temps from time to time but that is not compatible with this system so I am looking for a new tool to use.

  2. One point I didnt see and may have missed in the review is the two m.2 slots are not equal. The one with the heat sink is Pcie Gen 4 and on the main Pcie bus, the other m.2 is Gen 3 and connected to the chipset. If you have a Gen 4 NVME drive this could be important.

    You didn’t see that in the review, because that’s not true. Both M.2 slots are PCIe Gen 4.0 compliant. With X570 boards, one M.2 slot is always direct to the CPU’s PCIe controller, while the other is always via the PCH. In the case of X570, all PCIe slots are gen 4.0 compliant. This of course only applies to Ryzen 3000 series CPU’s without an integrated APU. The ones with integrated APU’s, are actually Zen+, and do not support PCIe 4.0.

    X570 is PCIe Gen 4.0 all the way. B550 isn’t.

  3. You didn’t see that in the review, because that’s not true. Both M.2 slots are PCIe Gen 4.0 compliant. With X570 boards, one M.2 slot is always direct to the CPU’s PCIe controller, while the other is always via the PCH. In the case of X570, all PCIe slots are gen 4.0 compliant. This of course only applies to Ryzen 3000 series CPU’s without an integrated APU. The ones with integrated APU’s, are actually Zen+, and do not support PCIe 4.0.

    X570 is PCIe Gen 4.0 all the way. B550 isn’t.

    I wonder if my book is old then? Or if I am getting the various models I looked at confused. Both being Gen 4 would be nice.

  4. I wonder if my book is old then? Or if I am getting the various models I looked at confused. Both being Gen 4 would be nice.

    You may have misread it given how the specifications are written. The slot is only Gen 4.0 compliant with a Ryzen 3000 series CPU. Ryzen 1000
    CPU’s, Ryzen 2000 CPU’s, APU’s, and Ryzen 3000 series APU’s do not support PCI-Express 4.0. Therefore, the M.2 slot would only operate at Gen 3.0 speeds. The way this is written in the specifications can be kind of confusing.

    All X570 motherboards are fully PCI-Express 4.0 compliant when using the right CPU. If it was a B550 chipset, only the M.2 slot that connects directly to the CPU would be PCIe 4.0 compliant. The secondary M.2 slot connected to the PCH would be Gen 3.0.

  5. How does the bandwidth compare with identical pcie gen 4 nvme drives from one socket to the other – I wonder… I had wondered if the one socket got a heat shroud because it was expected to stress the drive more.
  6. How does the bandwidth compare with identical pcie gen 4 nvme drives from one socket to the other – I wonder… I had wondered if the one socket got a heat shroud because it was expected to stress the drive more.

    I’ve tested this a number of times. There is no difference between the two slots. The reason why one slot gets the heat sink and the other doesn’t is simply cost cutting. The ASUS TUF GAMING X570 Plus WiFi is a budget offering. Budget offerings cut corners to hit those lower price points. Not reinforcing all the expansion slots, not providing heat sinks for every M.2 slot, weaker VRM’s, etc. are all methods used to do that.

  7. I could pick up a one or a pair of these: https://www.amazon.com/heatsink-double-sided-matching-thermal-silicone/dp/B07KDDKDNN or maybe one that lights up to match my Dimms – Any FPS reviews for m.2 cooling options?

    Gonna be a few weeks before I am up for installing though – could ask my niece over again and cook her dinner.

    On a second TUF conversion issues… I am checking out CPUID Hardware Monitor Pro for monitoring thermals — any feedback? Is there something better? As of right now my Ryzen temps are Value: 44.3 Min: 40.3 Max: 70.5 – Max was prob while playing Black Desert Online.

  8. Excellent review, thanks. I’ve built 3 systems with this board, pretty rock-solid and stable, and easy to work with. Indeed though, it’s not the best board for overclocking. "This is a motherboard best paired with 8c/16t CPUs or a 12c/24t CPU at stock in my opinion." I agree. And yeah, CPU boost leaves something to be desired, compared to other boards.

    "… 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." Sure seems like it, and yeah I didn’t know that **** about the phase solution being different than what ASUS claimed it was. Asshats.

  9. Excellent review, thanks. I’ve built 3 systems with this board, pretty rock-solid and stable, and easy to work with. Indeed though, it’s not the best board for overclocking. "This is a motherboard best paired with 8c/16t CPUs or a 12c/24t CPU at stock in my opinion." I agree. And yeah, CPU boost leaves something to be desired, compared to other boards.

    "… 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." Sure seems like it, and yeah I didn’t know that **** about the phase solution being different than what ASUS claimed it was. Asshats.

    Had ASUS simply been honest about the phase count, I wouldn’t give them so much crap for the design. It’s obviously capable enough for most people, but sometimes people will pick up the box and look at the back when shopping at their local Microcenter and think they are getting a monster overclocking board for $200 and that’s just not the case.

  10. Had ASUS simply been honest about the phase count, I wouldn’t give them so much crap for the design. It’s obviously capable enough for most people, but sometimes people will pick up the box and look at the back when shopping at their local Microcenter and think they are getting a monster overclocking board for $200 and that’s just not the case.

    In the more recent past, my motherboard decision has come down to deciding to get a board with 10Gbit built in, and I assume that that’s pushed me toward higher-end boards. I haven’t really done much ‘VRM shopping’, or shopping for memory topology, so I was absolutely impressed to find those details mentioned in the review!

    And now that more PCIe lanes are being included in CPUs and Chipsets, I probably won’t have to deal with the limitations that pushed me toward getting the feature built-in; which is just as good since the boards with that feature are starting to get a big extreme.

    [also, your pictures looked pretty good sir ;) ]

  11. In the more recent past, my motherboard decision has come down to deciding to get a board with 10Gbit built in, and I assume that that’s pushed me toward higher-end boards. I haven’t really done much ‘VRM shopping’, or shopping for memory topology, so I was absolutely impressed to find those details mentioned in the review!

    And now that more PCIe lanes are being included in CPUs and Chipsets, I probably won’t have to deal with the limitations that pushed me toward getting the feature built-in; which is just as good since the boards with that feature are starting to get a big extreme.

    [also, your pictures looked pretty good sir ;) ]

    Getting a board with 10GbE controllers built into it typically pushes you towards HEDT offerings or super high end motherboards like the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE which come with separate 10GbE adapters. There are workstation oriented motherboards, or offerings that are targeted more towards the content creator which also may offer 10GbE controllers. As for VRM’s, its complicated. On one hand, lower end motherboards tend to cheap out on them but usually have VRM’s that are good enough for most CPU’s assuming they are being run at stock clocks. That includes boost clocking, although the CPU may not boost quite as well on cheaper motherboards.

    The only real reason to place a ton of focus on VRM capability is when you are overclocking. Even then, unless its a super cut rate VRM solution, overclocking is still on the table. Where you really run into issues is taking something like MSI’s X570-A Pro, which has notoriously bad VRMs and overclocking a Ryzen 9 3950X to an all core clock of 4.2GHz+. If you try that, they are going to get hot and while they may handle it for a time, running it hard like that may shorten the life of the board. You will also fight much harder to achieve overclocks on boards with worse VRM’s as those boards have additional hardware constraints that make overclocking more difficult.

    Generally, if I can achieve a specific overclock on one motherboard, I can achieve the same overclock on 90% of them. However, getting to that clock speed with stability may be considerably more difficult. The board in question here, required more work than I am used to putting in with this specific test CPU. On my MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE, it takes almost nothing to get it to overclock. All I have to do is set my vCore and my frequency multiplier and that’s really it. Sometimes load-line calibration needs to be adjusted as well.

    Now, a lower end VRM implementation also gets you by on air or watercooling. When LN2 comes into play, you can basically forget a board like the ASUS TUF GAMING X570 Plus [WiFi]. It would probably **** sparks and die if you tried to push a 3950X over 5.0GHz or something like that.

    Memory topology is really something that’s a bigger concern on the AMD side of things. On Intel motherboards, its less of an issue as Intel systems can generally clock RAM higher and do so with four modules fairly easily. The same rules apply to both, but they come into play at lower clock speeds on the AMD side. With Intel motherboards, its rarely a concern until you are well on your way to DDR4 5000MHz speeds. So, upwards of 4133MHz or so you are probably fine even using four modules. On X570, that’s not going to happen on a daisy chain motherboard using four DIMMs. Conversely, while you can use four modules more easily on a T-Topology board, your clock speeds will be more limited.

  12. "The ASUS TUF Gaming X570 Plus WiFi supports the following PCIe lane configurations: x16/x0 or x8/x8."

    The second PCIe 16x slot is only x4 capable and is run from the PCH. So x8/x8 is not possible on this board. From your image you can see it is wired up as x4.

    View attachment 716

    Good review and was utterly surprised it is an actual 4 phase VRM design, bummer. Seems rather positive from user reviews in general. Anyways may end up buying a Cheap X570 or B550 board. MSI Tomahawk X570 would be my first choice if I could find one at MSRP.

  13. Getting a board with 10GbE controllers built into it typically pushes you towards HEDT offerings or super high end motherboards like the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE which come with separate 10GbE adapters.

    Coming back to this for a couple of reasons (you can blame @noko too).
    First, the Aquantia NICs are basically not worth it. I’d take a Realtek crab-LAN controller if they made one in 10Gbit over these (which they don’t… yet). Instead, I bay’ed an X550-T2 to toss in the bottom PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. Definitely a crap-shoot with used parts, but it can pay off too, and this one worked.

    Main complaints with the Aquantias are that they like to decide that the network cable that is clearly connected suddenly isn’t, and require a disable / enable cycle in the OS to ‘find’ the cable again. Side complaint is that I like TrueNAS (nee FreeNAS) and the stable BSD-based branch of that distro does not yet have the Aquantia driver built in yet, and won’t, until they rebase (if ever!) on FreeBSD 13, which I believe hasn’t actually been released yet.

    The used Intel NIC seems to work fine so far. I got an X540-T2 for the fileserver since it is sharing the main PCIe x16 allocation from the CPU with an SAS controller which is PCIe 2.0, since the prices on used PCIe 3.0 controllers are pretty high still and they provide no advantage at my level with SATA drives.

    So in summary… I’ve backed off of NICs as being a requirement for my desktop boards. At this point I pretty much feel that fan and RGB control are top of the list after having the basics covered, ideally just a solid VRM and non-retarded slot layout, as I’ll carry my Intel NICs forward.

    On the other hand, I’d really like the option to add more RAM easily, and I am starting to warm up to the utility of having more PCIe lanes, so I’m now eyeing HEDT :D

  14. Surprised I missed this one as I have always like motherboard reviews.

    Kinda sucks the TUF name is now kind of a budget entry. I bought a 990FX TUF Sabertooth back in the day and that thing was indestructible!! I absolutely hammered a Phenom II X6 1080 at 3.9, then beat the balls of a FX 8150 at 4.3 and finally a 8350 at 4.8! That was when I was most into overclocking and I ran OCCT and Prime95 a zillion times. That board never so much as whimpered.

    That’s what I like about them… They didn’t have a bunch of fancy features, just bulletproof build quality. And they weren’t a budget alternative to the Crosshair boards.

  15. Surprised I missed this one as I have always like motherboard reviews.

    Kinda sucks the TUF name is now kind of a budget entry. I bought a 990FX TUF Sabertooth back in the day and that thing was indestructible!! I absolutely hammered a Phenom II X6 1080 at 3.9, then beat the balls of a FX 8150 at 4.3 and finally a 8350 at 4.8! That was when I was most into overckocking and I ran OCCT and Prime95 a zillion times. That board never so much as whimpered.

    That’s what I like about them… They didn’t have a bunch of fancy features, just bulletproof build quality. And they weren’t a budget alternative to the Crosshair boards.

    Owned one also, pushing way over 250w out of the FX9590. This board does not seem remotely in the same class as that Sabertooth, which I ended throwing away, still good but just taking up space never to be used again most likely.

  16. Coming back to this for a couple of reasons (you can blame @noko too).
    First, the Aquantia NICs are basically not worth it. I’d take a Realtek crab-LAN controller if they made one in 10Gbit over these (which they don’t… yet). Instead, I bay’ed an X550-T2 to toss in the bottom PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. Definitely a crap-shoot with used parts, but it can pay off too, and this one worked.

    Main complaints with the Aquantias are that they like to decide that the network cable that is clearly connected suddenly isn’t, and require a disable / enable cycle in the OS to ‘find’ the cable again. Side complaint is that I like TrueNAS (nee FreeNAS) and the stable BSD-based branch of that distro does not yet have the Aquantia driver built in yet, and won’t, until they rebase (if ever!) on FreeBSD 13, which I believe hasn’t actually been released yet.

    The used Intel NIC seems to work fine so far. I got an X540-T2 for the fileserver since it is sharing the main PCIe x16 allocation from the CPU with an SAS controller which is PCIe 2.0, since the prices on used PCIe 3.0 controllers are pretty high still and they provide no advantage at my level with SATA drives.

    So in summary… I’ve backed off of NICs as being a requirement for my desktop boards. At this point I pretty much feel that fan and RGB control are top of the list after having the basics covered, ideally just a solid VRM and non-retarded slot layout, as I’ll carry my Intel NICs forward.

    On the other hand, I’d really like the option to add more RAM easily, and I am starting to warm up to the utility of having more PCIe lanes, so I’m now eyeing HEDT :D

    I’ve tested a bunch of the Aquantia NICs and I’ve never had any such problems with them. The problem I have with the Intel NIC’s such as my X540-T2 is that they will not negotiate down to 5GbE or 2.5GbE like the Aquantia NICs do.

    Surprised I missed this one as I have always like motherboard reviews.

    Kinda sucks the TUF name is now kind of a budget entry. I bought a 990FX TUF Sabertooth back in the day and that thing was indestructible!! I absolutely hammered a Phenom II X6 1080 at 3.9, then beat the balls of a FX 8150 at 4.3 and finally a 8350 at 4.8! That was when I was most into overckocking and I ran OCCT and Prime95 a zillion times. That board never so much as whimpered.

    That’s what I like about them… They didn’t have a bunch of fancy features, just bulletproof build quality. And they weren’t a budget alternative to the Crosshair boards.

    It does. I don’t care for the new positioning of the brand, but it was pretty redundant the second they introduced multiple ROG offerings for each chipset and form factor.

  17. I’ve tested a bunch of the Aquantia NICs and I’ve never had any such problems with them. The problem I have with the Intel NIC’s such as my X540-T2 is that they will not negotiate down to 5GbE or 2.5GbE like the Aquantia NICs do.

    I’ve had it happen with ones built into boards as well as a discrete one; I guess at that point the problem could be the switch?

    Dunno. Having a 10Gbit switch, I haven’t really worried about 2.5Gbit and 5Gbit, though I believe that the switch can do those too.

    I’m just happy that I have an uninterrupted 10Gbit connection now. And I keep a 1Gbit line connected alongside just in case those act up again.

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