Z690 - DDR4 Edge/Tomahawk vs Asus TUF

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Hi, need some assistance. I’m upgrading to Z690 with DDR4 (with a i9-12900k and Noctua NH-D15 chromax). I’ve had issues with Gigabyte issues in the past so excited about jumping manufacturers.

It looks like the Tomahawk and Edge are mostly identical except a rear USB port, onboard RGB and like $20-$30. The Tomahawk fits my needs. Onboard sound is not important (have a AE-5 Plus).

Any specific reasons to choose one of the above MSI boards over the other and then that one vs the Asus TUF Gaming that’s around the same ($290) price point? Looks like the MSI has better VRMs. The Asus Strix DDR4 model for $350 is out due to clearance issues with Noctua.

Not sure if there are AI-type profiles on MSI or not (or even on that TUF model).

Thanks.
 

citay

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Yeah the MSI's VRM is slightly better, smart powerstages instead of just DrMOS powerstages on ASUS (and two more), and for the 12900K that could actually be somewhat important, unlike for the other CPU models. I don't exactly know what you mean with AI profiles, hopefully not CPU overclocking, cause that 12900K was pushed over the limit already by Intel. It's operating beyond its comfort zone, in order for Intel to have the upper hand in benchmark comparisons with AMD, so it already uses a very high VCore to begin with. If you try to overclock that beast significantly, i think your nice Noctua (i have the same one) will start to melt down.

As for the RAM, you're basically restricted to DDR4-3600, because if you go above that, the memory controller will work at only half the RAM frequency (it will engage Gear2 mode). See the RAM thread in my signature about that.
 
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Appreciate the response and input. Overclocking would be light tinkering, at best, down the road once things are up and stable. Good on the ram, have 2x16, 3600/CL16. I think I’ll go the Tomahawk route, unless it’s OOS and then I’ll opt for the Edge. Thanks again.
 

citay

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You're welcome. Yeah, the Tomahawk or the Edge are solid picks for MSI Z690 DDR4 boards. I hear there are some problems with the early BIOS, so you might have to put up with some annoyances until they get those sorted out, but that seems to be the case in general on Z690 right now. It's the curse of the early adopters. One or two BIOS updates down the road and everything should work more smoothly.

As for OC, i would pretty much forget it. For the third time in a row (10900K, 11900K, 12900K), Intel have pushed the top CPU model way past its comfort zone, making it a "default-overclocked" CPU of sorts, by using very aggressive VCore to achieve a higher frequency than the silicon was originally intended for.

They simply leave no headroom on the table anymore to do any meaningful OC with. They already have to heavily bin (pre-select) the top-performing silicon to even achieve the stock frequencies. If you try to push it beyond what Intel already pushed it to, it's like squeezing a rock at that point. It will need substantially more voltage as soon as you try to crank it higher, but even that will only result in a slightly higher frequency and marginally better performance depending on the workload, but hugely increased power draw (it rises exponentially with higher VCore).

Even the well-known shop "Silicon Lottery", where they sold CPUs which were guarenteed to overclock well, has shut down recently.
With Intel going to the limit already, there is nothing they could further select for their shop.

Silicon Lottery - Overclocked Intel AMD Ryzen CPUs - Screenshot 2021-10-02 at 00-16-58.png
 
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Holy cow, didn’t know about Silicone Lottery shutting its doors. I’m upgrading from an i9-10850K which could only get +100mhz overclock on all cores (4.9), to get within close proximity of the 10900K. While temps and voltages played a lot with it (stuck at 1.32v), I couldn’t shake the L0 cache errors that HWInfo reported with anything higher, played with SA/IO voltages, etc. I couldn’t even do 1 core at 5.3. I knew that the 10850K was poorly binned going into it anyway as a failed 10900K that found life as a i9-10850K. My friend is taking my Vision D and 10850K off my hands so it left me an opportunity to go i9-12900K. The F20 bios series on those Z490 boards are problematic. Looking forward to joining the MSI family.

thanks again.
 

thessic12cc02b8

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Did you determine that the DDR4 Edge and Tomahawk are basically the same boards? Are you using the Noctua NH-D15? If so, how well does it fit? Any issues with motherboard flex with such a heavy cooler? What case and memory are you using? Any reasons to avoid the Tomahawk?
Thanks
 

citay

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You mean me or him? Z690 Tomahawk DDR4 and Edge DDR4 are quite different boards, different PCB layout and everything, but they are similar in their featureset. It doesn't matter too much which one you get. If the Edge is only slightly more expensive, get that one, if the difference is bigger, get the Tomahawk.

I'm using a Z590 GAMING FORCE and the Noctua fits just fine, however, the right 140mm fan sat on my RAM module even in a high position, so i replaced it with a smaller Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM fan.
 
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Did you determine that the DDR4 Edge and Tomahawk are basically the same boards? Are you using the Noctua NH-D15? If so, how well does it fit? Any issues with motherboard flex with such a heavy cooler? What case and memory are you using? Any reasons to avoid the Tomahawk?
Thanks
Buying next month but doing my homework. The Asus Strix Z690 DDR4 is incompatible with the NH-D15 because of the heat sinks. Refer to Noctua’s website.

The Tomahawk and Edge WiFi DDR4 both meet my needs. I’ll pickup whichever is available at Amazon or BB when I’m ready to purchase. One of the YouTube bloggers did a test this week with various Z690 DDR4 boards. The Tomahawk is literally within margin of error with the Asus TUF DDR4 board in terms of voltage and temps for the given tests.

Make sure you order your free mounting kit from Noctua with proof of purchase.
 

citay

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Yeah i know, if i were to get a Socket 1700 board like a Z690 (which i don't currently plan on), then i'd need the new mounting kit for that.
 
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