Intel just launched its latest 10th Gen desktop processors and offers Hyper-Threading Technology for all of them. This means that even entry-level 10th Gen Core i3 processors support Hyper-Threading Technology and will have better performance than the 9th Gen processors.
Among 9th Gen processors, the best processor for a Gaming PC may be the Core i5-9600, which is perfectly balanced between price and performance. If overclocking is not a focus among 10th Gen processors, the best choice for gaming is Core i5-10600. Other i5 series like Core i5-10400, i5-10500, and Core i7-10700 are also good choices depending on your budget.
Core i5-9600 and Core i5-10400/10600 all have 6 cores, but 10th Gen processors support Hyper-Threading. It’s not a surprise that Core i5-10400/10600 outperforms its predecessor Core i5-9600 in CPU intensive benchmarks, thanks to Hyper-Threading.
If you plan to go with a non-K 10th processor, a B460 motherboard is a bargain. You can spend less on motherboards and invest more on CPU and graphics cards. A microATX motherboard is quite a lovely choice because it has almost all the features you need at a more affordable price than Z490 motherboards. Its form factor is also the best choice for those who don’t want a big PC. So here I’ll focus on some attractive microATX B460 motherboards and try to find out the best one.
Core i5-10400/10600/Core i7-10700 is a worthy upgrade
Here we’ll be looking at the CPU and game performance of Core i5-9600 and Core i5-10400, Core i5-10600 and Core i7-10700.
For Cinebench R20, Core i5-10600 is 34% faster than Core i5-9600 and even Core i5-10400 is 22% faster. For Handbrake video transcoding, Core i5-10600 is 19% faster than Core i5-9600 and Core i5-10400 is faster by 9%. PCMark 10 benchmark shows Core i5-10400 and Core i5-10600 are faster in overall system performance too.
When it comes to gaming FPS, I ran 4 game benchmarks, and Core i5-10600 is faster than Core i5-9600 too. So it looks like the 10th Gen Core i5 is faster than 9th Gen Core i5 both in CPU and game performance. It looks like the 10th Gen Core i5 makes a good choice for your new gaming build.
The best choice of microATX B460 motherboards of $100 – $140
B460 motherboards are priced at $80-$170. At the price range of $100-$140, you can get almost every feature you like at an affordable price. Every motherboard manufacture offers microATX boards at this price range with both aesthetics and features.
At this price range, good-looks and efficient heat sinks are available on most motherboards. You can even find powerful VRM that can compete with some entry-level Z490 motherboards. Sufficient storage and the latest networking like 2.5GbE LAN and Wi-Fi 6 should meet the demands of most consumers as well. B460 motherboard at this price range is a sweet spot of price, features, and aesthetics for budget gamers.
Powerful VRM unleashes CPU performance
Many may think that since B460 motherboards are not designed for overclocking, then why is VRM a concern? If you’ll be stuck at Core i3 processors, VRM may not be what you need to focus on. If you plan to buy an 8C/16T Core i7-10700 or even 10C/20T Core i9-10900, then you should consider VRM. This is because when you’re running Core i7-10700 or Core i9-10900 with a heavy workload, you may need powerful or at least sufficient VRM to keep it from overheating.
To avoid VRM from overheating, most motherboards have Intel stock power limit applied. But this may limit the performance of Core i7-10700 or Core i9-10900 while running heavy workload like rendering or video editing. This is why you can see ASUS marketing its APE (Asus Performance Enhancement) and ASRock marketing its BFB (Base Frequency Boost) features. APE and BFB both increase the power limit on the motherboards and make the CPU run at a higher frequency.
According to benchlife.info, ASUS has increased the power limit to 210W from Intel stock 65W on ROG STRIX B460F-GAMING and 125W on some B460 and H470 models. According to this article on the MSI website, MSI has 255W stock power limit, which is even higher than Asus and AsRock.
MSI also shows on its website, with 255W power limit on B460M MORTAR and B460 Tomahawk, the Core i9-10900K Cinebench performance is much better than Intel’s stock 65W power limit.
For microATX motherboards at this price range, MSI B460M MORTAR stands out with an impressive 12-phase VRM. Its VRM is even more powerful than some entry Z490 motherboards. It’s awesome that this board even runs cool with an overclocked Core i9-10900K and i7-10700K.
If you’ll pair the motherboard with a Core i5 or higher CPU, then choose at least a 6-phase motherboard with a “Frequency Boost” feature. On the other hand, if you plan to go with a Core i7 or even an i9 processor, it’s suggested to pick a motherboard with powerful VRM and unlocked CPU performance, such as the MSI B460M MORTAR.
2.5GbE LAN & Wi-Fi 6 available on B460 motherboards
Other features you should consider are storage and connectivity. Here is the comparison of microATX B460 motherboards, including VRM, storage, and connectivity.
It’s always good to have more USB ports, more M.2 slots, and higher network speed. Motherboards of the segment offer very similar storage and connectivity. All the boards listed here offer at least 6 USB 3.2 GEN 1 ports/ headers and 6 USB 2.0 ports/ headers.
ASRock B460M Steel Legend, MSI B460M MORTAR, and MSI B460M MORTAR WIFI are the 3 boards that offer 7 USB 3.2 GEN1 ports. ASRock and Gigabyte offer 1 rear Type C port, and MSI offers more with 1 rear Type C port and 1 front Type C header. ASUS doesn’t have any Type C ports. All the boards have two M.2 slots and one of the M.2 Slots with a heat sink.
For networking, Asus TUF Gaming B460-PLUS (WI-FI) and MSI B460M MORTAR WIFI offer Wi-Fi 6 connection. ASRock and MSI provide 2.5GbE LAN connection. Spec-wise, MSI provides the best storage and network connectivity.
Best buy- MSI B460M MORTAR / B460M MORTAR WIFI
MSI B460M MORTAR / B460M MORTAR WIFI stands out from this microATX price tag with the most powerful VRM, highest out-of-box power limit, most Type C USB ports, and 2.5GbE LAN/Wi-Fi 6.
If you’re looking for a microATX B460 motherboard to pair with Core i5 or higher CPU, go for B460M MORTAR or B460M MORTAR WIFI if you need Wi-Fi connection. If you plan to purchase a Core i3, then any motherboard listed there can meet your demand. However, since the money you spent is nearly the same, why not go with the one with the most powerful specs?
|CPU||Intel Core i5-9600 / Core i7-10700 / Core i5-10600/ Core i5-10400|
|Motherboard||MSI Z390 Gaming Edge / MSI B460M MORTAR|
|Memory||ADATA 3200MHz 8GBx2, running at 2666MHz|
|Graphics Card||MSI RTX 2080 Ti Duke 11G OC|
|SSD||Seagate FireCuda 520 1TB M.2|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro x64 1909|
AMD Launches Radeon PRO W7700 Workstation Graphics Card
AMD has announced the AMD Radeon PRO W7700, a professional workstation graphics card under $1,000. The new workstation graphics card is designed to meet the evolving demands of professional workflows, including increasingly complex computer-generated designs, the continual growth in the development of visual effects and animations, a global surge in construction, and the explosive growth in advanced AI applications. The AMD Radeon PRO W7700 graphics card unleashes professionals’ creativity through exceptional performance, stunning visuals and future-ready capabilities.
“We built and optimized the AMD Radeon PRO W7700 graphics cards to create premium workstation graphics experiences, enabling our customers to boost innovation and productivity,” said Dan Wood, corporate vice president, Radeon product management at AMD. The AMD Radeon PRO W7700 workstation graphics card is ideal for the growing demands of creative industries, including media and entertainment, design and manufacturing, and architecture, engineering and construction.
The 16GB of high-speed VRAM allows 3D artists and video editors to work with higher-resolution models and textures and process intricate effects. It also enables data exchange between applications, allowing users to multitask between editing, compositing, and retouching to meet project deadlines. In addition, with industry-leading support for DisplayPort™ 2.1, video editors will benefit from richer colour spaces and the ability to leverage the highest display resolutions available today. The new graphics card also supports the latest codecs with AV1 encode/decode and AI-enhanced video encode capabilities for lightning-fast video encoding times that streamline and accelerate video production.
Built on the high-performance, energy-efficient AMD RDNA 3 architecture, the Radeon PRO W7700 workstation graphics card offers up to 1.7X better price/performance than the competitive offering. The new graphics card also provides up to 52% higher performance in SOLIDWORKS, up to 24% higher performance in Creo and up to 37% higher performance in CATIA compared to competitor solutions, empowering architects to bring their visions of hotels, office buildings and other structures to life by enabling them to produce photorealistic renders and immersive walkthroughs. DisplayPort 2.1 and the AMD Radiance Display Engine technologies also offer stunning resolutions and vibrant colour depth for viewing projects on up to four displays.
“The great collaboration between AMD and ACCA continues five years strong. Architectural customers have benefited from the combination of AMD Radeon ProRender in our ACCA Edificius BIM application, thanks to the integration of HIP,” said Guido Cianciulli, founder and CEO, ACCA Software. “We are excited that ACCA Edificius customers will benefit from the new AMD Radeon PRO W7000 series workstation graphics, which provide increased photorealism and improved image rendering power, as well as support for ultra-performance displays.”
The Radeon PRO W7700 workstation graphics card enables professionals to build and run AI applications right from their desktops. Featuring hardware-based AI accelerators, the graphics card is designed to accelerate AI workloads in the latest applications, including DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere, Topaz Labs Video AI, and many others. “We are excited about the launch of the Radeon PRO W7700 and how it will help users leverage generative AI and the rest of their creative applications,” said Anush Elangovan, corporate vice president of software development at AMD (formerly Nod.ai). “Nod.ai has built APIs to help creators get the most out of their AI applications. Our SHARK Stable Diffusion REST API plugs into Blender, enabling creative professionals to leverage the power of generative AI in their familiar 3D tools.”
CORSAIR Adds iCUE LINK-Enabled Components to its Hydro X Series Custom Cooling Lineup
CORSAIR has unveiled the newest additions to the renowned Hydro X Series. In keeping with its commitment to revolutionizing DIY custom cooling, these products are seamlessly integrated with the innovative iCUE LINK Smart Component Ecosystem, further enhancing custom cooling performance and aesthetics. With the addition of the iCUE LINK XD5 RGB ELITE LCD Pump/Reservoir and iCUE LINK XG7 RGB 40-Series GPU Water Blocks, the Hydro X Series now offers even more iCUE LINK-enabled products, making the process of building a world-class custom cooling loop easier than ever.
Following the success of the acclaimed CORSAIR XD5 RGB and the recent introduction of the XD5 RGB ELITE, the iCUE LINK XD5 RGB ELITE LCD arrives as the new flagship of the Pump/Reservoir Combo lineup. This unit boasts a market-first 2.1″ IPS LCD pump screen with a 480×480 resolution, dynamically displaying real-time coolant temperatures, images, or animated GIFs. The XD5 RGB ELITE LCD’s integration of revolutionary iCUE LINK technology ensures a streamlined build process, eliminating the traditional MOLEX connectors, reducing cable clutter, and enhancing connectivity. With the reliability of a Xylem D5 PWM pump motor at its heart, the XD5 RGB ELITE LCD stands as a fusion of performance, convenience, and style. It is available in both Stealth Gray and White, accentuated with a gunmetal grey zinc-alloy finish.
CORSAIR iCUE LINK XG7 RGB 40-SERIES GPU Water Blocks are the latest components to join the new era of building simplicity. Stepping up from their predecessors, the upgraded XG7 RGBs now support iCUE LINK connectivity right out of the box. These full-cover water blocks ensure optimal performance coupled with cooler temperatures. Emphasizing versatility, the new XG7 RGB series still offers a variety of connection options, ensuring the needs of diverse DIY builders are met seamlessly. Multiple models designed to fit a growing number of graphics cards will be made available for purchase over the next few months.
Redefining loop design, the new Hydro X Series XT Softline Mesh Tubing is an innovative creation made from resilient EPDM rubber. Its unique mesh layer provides a robust and stylish look that’s unparalleled in the custom cooling domain. Available in both black and white, this tubing promises a blend of durability and distinct aesthetics. With these latest innovations, CORSAIR is advancing the Hydro X Series to meet the ever-changing demands of DIY enthusiasts. The Hydro X Series ensures that every component doesn’t just fit together—they harmonize to create a cohesive, high-performance, and visually captivating ensemble. Just as iCUE LINK unites a full range of components with a unified cable standard, the Hydro X Series embodies a symphony of excellence in performance and design.
The CORSAIR iCUE LINK XD5 RGB ELITE LCD, iCUE LINK XG7 RGB 40-SERIES GPU Water Blocks, and Hydro X Series XT Softline Mesh Tubing are available now from the CORSAIR webstore and the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors. The iCUE LINK XD5 RGB ELITE LCD, iCUE LINK XG7 RGB 40-SERIES GPU Water Blocks, and Hydro X Series XT Softline Mesh Tubing are backed by a three-year warranty, alongside the CORSAIR worldwide customer service and technical support network.
Review: ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Formula Gaming Motherboard
ASUS released a lineup of new and refreshed ROG Z790 motherboards to coincide with the launch of Intel 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh desktop CPUs. We reviewed the ASUS TUF Gaming Z790-Pro WiFi Motherboard a week ago, and today, we are taking a look at the ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Formula.
The ROG Maximus Z790 Formula is the ultimate motherboard, boasting a stunning Moonlight White design. Beyond its eye-catching appearance, it offers a boatload of features such as the exclusive HybridChill VRM cooling system for 14th-gen Intel processors, and advanced DDR5 settings. You also get multiple PCIe 5.0 slots for graphics cards and storage, rapid Intel Wi-Fi 7 networking, and extensive customisable ARGB lighting, ensuring whatever you build with this thing, is premium.
In terms of specifications, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Formula maintains its ATX form factor and incorporates a dual 8-pin CPU power connector setup. The VRM Configuration is 20+1+2(Core+GT+VCCIN) and backed up by a 10-phase supply count with 105A and 70A power stages.
The motherboard provides four DDR5 DIMM slots capable of supporting speeds exceeding 8000 MT/s and capacities of up to 192GB. The motherboard features a white shield covering its entire front, which also houses the M.2 heatsinks beneath it. Memory compatibility is a breeze with the Z790 Formula.
All XMP-certified kits can effortlessly reach their advertised speeds, as rigorous internal tests have verified these assertions. ASUS has also introduced a novel feature called DIMM Flex. DIMM Flex utilises an onboard thermal sensor located at the rear of the motherboard, beneath the memory slots, along with a microcontroller to continuously monitor temperature and dynamically optimise the memory refresh rate, providing an on-the-fly performance boost.
Regarding expansion options, the board includes two PCIe x16 slots and a diverse range of I/O ports, such as support for WIFI 7. You also get two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps Type-C port, 5 GbE LAN, numerous USB 3.2 ports, and BIOS Flashback/Clear CMOS switches.
Other features of the motherboard include AI Overclocking, 2-inch Livedash OLED, AI Cooling II, and other bells and whistles. There are dual procool II power connectors, 20+1+2 power stages, and the motherboard comes with the Intel LGA 1700 socket that takes in 14th and 13th Gen Intel Core Processors, 12th Gen Intel Core processors, and Pentium Gold and Celeron processors.
In terms of I/O connectivity, you again get a boatload. The motherboard comes with one HDMI port, four USB 5Gbps Type-A ports, two Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C ports, a Realtek 5Gb Ethernet port, six USB 10Gbps ports (five Type-A and one USB Type-C), Intel Wi-Fi 7, Optical S/PDIF Out, five gold-plated audio jacks, one USB 20Gbps USB Type-C front panel connector, and four SATA 6GB/S connectors.
Inside the package, in addition to the motherboard, cables, and other accessories, you’ll find an ASUS WiFi Q-Antenna. This antenna is equipped with dual transceivers, which provide support for the 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz bands, enhancing throughput speed. It also offers directional sensitivity to boost signal quality and expand coverage over longer distances.
Undoubtedly, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Formula is an exceptional and distinct motherboard. With its remarkable features and capabilities, I believe it will become a top choice for both enthusiasts and gamers in their feature builds. The ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Formula is currently available at a price of AED 3070.
Price: AED 3070
ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Formula Gaming Motherboard
Beyond its eye-catching appearance, it offers a boatload of features such as the exclusive HybridChill VRM cooling system for 14th-gen Intel processors, and advanced DDR5 settings.
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