Famed overclocker der8auer is known for posting de-lidding videos, whereby he strips the integrated heatspreader (IHS) off a CPU to check out what's underneath (solder or grease). This time around, however, he did something different. The overclocking ace stripped an X570 motherboard naked to observe the power consumption of the chipset, compared to an X470 motherboard. The results are interesting.
One thing to note about the X570 chipset is that it supports the PCI Express 4.0 standard. This doubles the bandwidth compared to PCIe 3.0, allowing for potentially faster devices, which we have seen with a handful of PCIe 4.0 SSDs that push 5,000MB/s sequential read speeds. AMD opted not to allow motherboard makers to add support for PCIe 4.0 on older generation X470 and earlier motherboards because of the power requirements (some would be able to handle it, some would not).
With that in mind, der8auer took an ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard and went about measuring the chipset's power draw. That is no easy task, as he explains in the video above. Nevertheless, he took a series of measurements. Of particular interest is how the chipset power draw looks when running a PCIe 4.0 SSD, which he was able to gets his hands on during two weeks of testing.
He also compared the results to a few measurements he took with an X470 motherboard. Here's a chart he put together of the results...
This is surprising, to say the least. At idle, the X570 board is drawing around 7.38W from the chipset, according to der8auer's measurements. That is more than twice as much as X470, which he recorded at 2.89W. What is really interesting, however, is that plugging in a PCIe 4.0 SSD did not pull much more wattage compared to a PCIe 3.0 SSD.
"The PCIe 4.0 SSD has basically the same power consumption as gen 3. That is now what I expected, because everybody kept telling us when X570 was released that the chipset has a much higher power consumption because of PCI Express gen 4, but this is the exact opposite. Increasing the power consumption from 0.3-0.4W going from a gen 3 to gen 4 NVMe drive, I don't know... that is almost measurement tolerance...I really don't get it," der8auer says.
It's a good question—perhaps NVMe SSDs don't put a lot of stress on the chipset, even at PCIe 4.0 speeds. Part of the benefit of the added bandwidth is also having more lanes to work with, for multiple devices working at full throttle, including both next-gen graphics cards and speedy SSDs.
Whatever the reason, it's at least interesting that X570 always draws more power compared to X470 at the chipset level, whether at idle or when feeding devices. That will be something to explore as time goes on.