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ASRock AB350 Pro4: A Decent, Linux-Friendly Ryzen Motherboard For As Low As $69 USD

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  • #11
    Don't buy this mainboard, it has stupid VRM configuration and thus vdroop of ~0.09mV. Wastes energy for nothing.
    Also, ASRock is known to hit lower RAM clocks with Ryzen than others. I had this exact same mainboard and it was rubbish.

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    • #12
      This board lost my interest when I looked it up on Newegg and saw "Realtek Gigabit LAN". I have had too many issues over the years with LAN chipsets from Realtek.

      I wish motherboard vendors that build so called "Pro" class products would use well known and reliable LAN chipsets from Intel. Is the cost difference between Realtek LAN chipsets on a motherboard and Intel LAN chipsets on a motherboard actually that great? Or it is something else, like "ongoing long term business relationships with specific parts vendors"?

      My Intel LAN cards and motherboards that have Intel LAN chipsets have always performed on the network in a consistent and reliable manner under Linux ... and without the need to load additional firmware (which can delay system startup because it resets the LAN interface on Realtek cards per "dmesg"). Intel LAN chipsets remind me of the days when you could not go wrong by buying 3Com NIC cards for computers since 3Com's NIC cards always had consistent and reliable performance as well as support in many network OS.

      Also, I have found Broadcom and Atheros LAN chipsets to be "just a little bit quirky" under Linux, so I avoid those also.

      Just my 2 cents.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by NotMine999 View Post
        This board lost my interest when I looked it up on Newegg and saw "Realtek Gigabit LAN". I have had too many issues over the years with LAN chipsets from Realtek.

        I wish motherboard vendors that build so called "Pro" class products would use well known and reliable LAN chipsets from Intel. Is the cost difference between Realtek LAN chipsets on a motherboard and Intel LAN chipsets on a motherboard actually that great? Or it is something else, like "ongoing long term business relationships with specific parts vendors"?

        My Intel LAN cards and motherboards that have Intel LAN chipsets have always performed on the network in a consistent and reliable manner under Linux ... and without the need to load additional firmware (which can delay system startup because it resets the LAN interface on Realtek cards per "dmesg"). Intel LAN chipsets remind me of the days when you could not go wrong by buying 3Com NIC cards for computers since 3Com's NIC cards always had consistent and reliable performance as well as support in many network OS.

        Also, I have found Broadcom and Atheros LAN chipsets to be "just a little bit quirky" under Linux, so I avoid those also.

        Just my 2 cents.
        Intel LAN stuff is not always perfect - but I do find myself wanting it over realtek stuff

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        • #14
          "With the nct6775 driver, all of the basic motherboard sensors appeared to be reporting correctly."

          OMG, working SuperIO! Awesome. This is also one requirement for Coreboot.
          I'd also be interested in things like WOL and suspend to RAM (and successful wakeup).

          I have little complaints about RTL network chips, they're usually fine (esp. 8139 seems to be the most failsafe thing on earth). I had an Atheros L1E once (I still have, but deactivated) and either itself or the mainboard integration (Asus) was very flakey. Really nasty, regardless of OS. I avoid Broadcom and if Marvell should ever do LAN chip I'd avoid them totally. VIA network chips were working fairly okay and I think I only have one intel LAN chip on a specific board and didn't have much time tinkering with it yet. But yes, those are more expensive (for whatever reason) than Realteks. (Those were also sold as these daughter-boards for Jetway's VIA-Mini-ITX boards, you could choose between 1xRTL, 3xRTL or 1xintel and 3xintel iirc. and the intel ones were always more expensive than their RTL counterparts.)
          Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

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          • #15
            Originally posted by aufkrawall View Post
            Don't buy this mainboard, it has stupid VRM configuration and thus vdroop of ~0.09mV. Wastes energy for nothing.
            You don't know what VDroop is good for, do you? And it doesn't waste energy, it saves energy. You can simply compensate this by higher voltages and it's usually not compensated by load line calibration in a default configuration so you see as a stupid user which crazy voltages you put on your CPU when the CPU-load decreases too quickly. Because then the voltage peaks above your setting, even when it was below while you stressed the CPU. So when you set your Voltage to 1.4V and set LLC to max you will have peaks you do not like when you are unaware of the risks.

            Edit2: I also personally don't care if there are 2x 3 phases or 1x 5 phases. As long as the temperatures are OK and the coils don't whine - why should I? As written before the board is fine for air cooling. Not for liquid cooling. No matter how they are designed - there are AM4 boards that I wouldn't even use with an air cooler so I don't really understand why you look at this one so badly.
            Originally posted by aufkrawall View Post
            Also, ASRock is known to hit lower RAM clocks with Ryzen than others.
            How? It's the same controller in the CPU. There are many consumer DIMMs whose manufacturers use up to 3 different chips for them. So many DIMMs who are on compatibility lists work fine when they have specific chips on them and others who have the same name on them but different chips are completely incompatible. So when you test such scenarios you have to test on different boards with the exact same DIMMs and not just with the same models.
            However you had the conclusion that the motherboard brand had to do with lower RAM clocks - it's extremely unlikely. It's more likely that a CPU's memory controller works worse than the other one. But it's very likely that you read of people with different chips on identically named DIMMs that had different boards. Also the same AGESA version in the bios is very important.

            Edit: BTW ASRock support did care much about complete Linux compatibility and no dmesg errors when I contacted them and they fixed every issue very quickly. You are usually lucky when some other manufacturer cares about Linux at all.

            Originally posted by NotMine999 View Post
            This board lost my interest when I looked it up on Newegg and saw "Realtek Gigabit LAN".
            Never had any issues with Realtek Ethernet Chips. Although I would also prefer Intel-Ethernet the price is low and I'm sure that Intel would be more expensive. WLAN is the only thing I would definitely want Intel chips for.
            Last edited by oooverclocker; 08-23-2017, 04:21 AM.

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            • #16
              Asrock X370 Taichi looks nice

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              • #17
                Originally posted by debianxfce View Post
                It is 90 euros in Eu and overkill, Amd Linux gpu driver does not support crossfire.
                https://www.mindfactory.de/product_i...l_1144065.html
                I agree, most people have absolutely no need for an ATX board. Very few people need the extra add-in card slots, to be honest.
                But other than the size, I would not consider the board overkill at all... it just has a modern feature set.
                I also would not consider buying an OC-capable Ryzen motherboard without some of the bling-bling the Pro4 comes with (ie. VRM cooling)

                This is much better choice for a budget build:
                https://www.mindfactory.de/product_i...l_1172385.html
                At least try not to spread misinformation...
                The board you linked has:
                • only 2 DDR4 DIMM slots
                • only one m.2 slot
                • no VRM cooling
                • worse I/O configuration (no HDMI and USB Type-C)
                • worse layout
                  • SATA connectors can easily be obstructed by add-in cards
                  • PCIe x1 slots can be obstructed by your graphics card
                  • the PCIe x16 slot is closest to the CPU socket, with the x1 slots affecting its cooling
                  • the m.2 PCIe SSD slot is below the PCIe x16 slot. The heat output of the VGA and the obstructed airflow guarantees throttling on your fancy PCIe SSD. You also have no way of cooling it because your VGA will screw with any airflow directed at it, while pumping hot air on it.



                Those are a lot of compromises compared to the AB350M Pro4, that you can have for only 5€ more at mindfactory.de. These compromises also affect the longevity of your system - the motherboard's VRM and the PCIe SSD fare a lot worse on that ASUS board.

                Also, RAM compatibility with Ryzen is a guaranteed hit and miss if you buy RAM other than what's on your motherboards memory QVL list. That goes for all mobo vendors, including ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, AsRock, Biostar, etc..
                Last edited by OneBitUser; 08-23-2017, 06:51 AM.

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                • #18
                  Thank you all for your input on ECC. I might just make the plunge.
                  I'm not interested in overclocking, quite on the contrary: I would be interested in underclokcking & undervolting to keep power usage down.
                  Does anybody have any experience with that? What kind of total system power usage would one expect? (Or I'll just go with WOL to keep the electric bill reasonable).

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by NotMine999 View Post
                    This board lost my interest when I looked it up on Newegg and saw "Realtek Gigabit LAN". I have had too many issues over the years with LAN chipsets from Realtek.
                    Their gaming lineup has Intel NIC, btw.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by Adarion View Post
                      if Marvell should ever do LAN chip I'd avoid them totally.
                      Marvell eth is great (they also make 10GBit chips), but afaik it is only found in embedded devices, especially if the SoC is Marvell (from Kirkwood onwards all their SoC have at least 2 controllers onboard).

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