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X570 Aorus Master or Crosshair VIII Hero

Hi all - I am new to the world of Level1 as well as to Linux. I watched a few videos of Wendell on passthrough/VFIO/SR-IOV and that piqued my interest to the possibilities of this wonderful technology. I want to learn and implement the same on my next rig.
I currently have the following:

  1. Ryzen 9 3900x
  2. Gskill Tridentz Royal - F4-3200C14D- 32GTRS

I am looking for a motherboard currently with the possibility to do the VFIO stuff in future. I did some research but the current state is not clear on some questions:

  1. Which one has better IOMMU groupings as per current BIOS ? Last I heard, x570 Aorus Master IOMMU groups were broken in the last BIOS update. Is it fixed in the new beta release ?

  2. Which one has better BIOS support ? Till date, both have been issuing BIOS updates regularly.

  3. Is the high idle temperatures and voltages on Crosshair VIII hero still an issue? Is it more fundamental in nature (hardware related) or can it be patched through software update or tinkering) ?

  4. Is the 16MB bios chip on Aorus Master going to be a problem in future when Ryzen 4000 drops? ASUS/AsRock use 32 MB chips, IIRC.

PS: Haven’t seen Wendell’s detailed video on crosshair VIII though have heard fleeting references to the thermal issues on the asus board. That video would clear a lot of the questions, I suppose. In the meantime, I am counting on you guys to help me choose the right motherboard.

Can someone help ?

Thermal issues with the Crosshair board?
I have not really heard anything about that, and to me it does not sound very likely,
given that this board is really decent in terms of vrm etc.

I think this particular issue has been with many boards,
and were related to pbo.
manually overclocking setting fixed voltages is always recommended.
But aside from that both Asus and Gigabyte roll out bioses on a regular base,
some are great some are buggy.

Gigabyte seems to have upped their game significantly when it comes to their bioses,
I heard many positive reactions according to their bios.
I don’t have a gigabyte board myself so i can’t really tell, but aside from the uefi,
i do can tell you that their boards are great in terms of build quality and vrm design.
especially the Aorus Master.

But yeah the Crosshair 8 Hero is also really decent, but i hear some complaints about Asus their bios lately.

i cannot really help with this question, this is more wendell 's territory.
I’m more into the vrm and build quality department of boards.

Also did you also considered Asrock as an option?
I’m not sure what the prices difference is between the Aorus Master and the Asrock X570 Creator?
But the Creator is a really nice board as well, with an additional 10G aquantia nic, and 2 TB3 type C ports at the back.
I also think that their iommu groups are pretty okay as well @wendell ?

Only Asrock does not put out that many biosses like Gigabyte and Asus do.
But putting out many beta biosses isn’t always a good thing either if you ask me.
A new bios doesnt always improve things.

Thanks for your detailed reply.

Here are the links where Wendell talks about it.

  1. Jul 26th: https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/chrj2y/something_gigabyte_msi_and_amd_do_not_want_you_to/euxk9hm/?context=3

  2. Aug 5th: https://youtu.be/FGMAOE9g4G0?t=544

  3. Aug 29th: https://youtu.be/B1Cml29Lavw?t=1204

So, what is the current state of this issue ? I haven’t been able to find an answer to this.

So, the high idle temperatures and voltages are fixed now ? Do you have any links/guidelines for the UEFI settings ?

Hadn’t researched Asrock much. From a preliminary glance, the Asrock Creator sure is nice for the features it offers but at its current price point, i.e. 500 vs. 360 for Aorus Master/Crosshair VIII, it is outside my budget.

Waiting to hear back from @wendell

I have the x570 Master and am really happy with it. I can’t comment on the Asus (because I don’t have one) but the only ‘gotcha’ with my board is if you are going to be running Linux, there is currently NO audio out via the rear jacks, you only get sound from the front panel out.

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I generally agree with this.

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Thanks esp. for the heads-up on audio on Linux. Here is the current state and workaround.

  1. https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=205275
  2. https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/547746/audio-not-working-on-gigabyte-x570-aorus-master-with-alc1220-and-ess-sabre-9118

Reading these, I don’t understand the underlying issue though (new to Linux). Is it that
this DAC isn’t properly integrated with the kernel?

Hopefully, a fix is in works.

Thanks Wendell.
So, the issues on Crosshair VIII Hero still persist ?
Also, any comments on the rest of the items, particularly:

I think there are better deal boards out there. The strix x570 is my choice if you must have asus. I like the Aorus master the best as the all 'rounder, I think. The creator from asrock has some killer unique features, and 10 gigabit, without being crazy expensive though.

The iommu is a function of agesa so I cant say much about it. It will vary with agesa version, unfortunately. Its in flux right now because of hardware bugs in popular cards that do not like certain kinds of iommu groupings.

am4 is likely EOL, also, so I don’t anticipate problems with future bioses. 16 cores in am4 is about it.

Got it. Thanks Wendell.
Hopefully, one day, we get to see a livestream of this VFIO/passthrough stuff on Ryzen - similar to the one you did on Threadripper on Level1Linux.
Will be of tremendous help to newbies like us. :slight_smile:

Aorus Master here, works like a boss

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I think you made the right choice overall,
although there isn’t really that much between the two boards.
Where i live the prices of X570 boards went up again on some models,
which means that the Aorus Master is €390,- and the Crosshair 8 Hero sits at €450,-
So yeah at those prices differences the Aorus Master is a no brainer really.

When it comes to vrm thermals, the Aorus Master kinda performs the best,
out of the four boards in this price range being the Crosshair 8 Hero, Msi MEG ACE,
and the Asrock Phantom Gaming X.
Although its a close call between the Crosshair 8 Hero and Aorus Master.
But even the Asrock board performs perfectly well within save margins.

And like @wendell also mentioned, i think that the Aorus Master is the better al rounder,
given the features set it comes with.
The Msi X570 MEG ACE is kinda poorly equipped if you ask me.
And yeah the Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming X, is kinda hard to justify over the significantly cheaper X570 Taichi,
which only offers an additional 2.5G realtek lan port.

Hi - Thanks for your reply.

  1. A new BIOS (version F10a) is out today for x570 Aorus Master. Have you checked it out ? If so, does it fix the broken IOMMU groupings ?

  2. Does this board have the random number generator (rdrand) issue as referenced in this article or has it been patched through a BIOS update ?

Hmm…btw, both these boards are priced nearly the same here.

Also, regarding your last post about asrock x570 creator, particularly the one quoted below, the only source of information I could find was in Wendell’s review of this board. For those interested in the asrock creator board, here is where he talks about it: https://youtu.be/kAdrbwjCl9Y?t=550

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Yup the Creator is really nice but up here also 500 euro.
So that is kinda hard to justify for a mainstream platform.
I mean 500 euro for a motherboard is kinda HEDT pricing.
Still nice board i just wished it being a bit cheaper.

Haha…me too!
Adding to your wishlist, I wish that there was a mainstream board without the PCH fan. It would have been perfect if Aorus Master had passive cooling like Extreme and Aorus Extreme was something like Asrock Aqua - with waterblocks et al - at 700 $. Would have probably wiped the floor with competition.
Ha! So much for wishful thinking …

Update: For anyone going through this thread, the IOMMU groups for x570 Aorus Master (with F10a, latest BIOS) are posted in the “Aorus Master x570 UEFI perfect settings” thread. Attached is a link for the same:

Also, did someone test this?
As per this article, here is the link for the testing tool:
https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/rdrand-test.zip

Attached are the screenshots of how to test for this bug (as per the article shared above):

Update: The “rdrand” tests are posted in the “Aorus Master x570 UEFI perfect settings” thread. Attached is the link for the same:

Also, below is the summary of Wendell’s take on this issue. For details, please visit the UEFI settings thread.

Hi - A few more questions.

  1. Does x570 Aorus Master support SR-IOV ?
    Saw certain settings in Buildzoid’s BIOS walkthrough for x570 Aorus Xtreme (Master’s BIOS should be similar as per that video) - namely SVM Mode, IOMMU, AER cap, PCI-E ARI support - but no “SR-IOV (enable/disable)” explicitly. On the other hand, saw this explicit setting clearly in Crosshair VIII Hero BIOS walkthrough.

  2. Is there CCX overclock option available in this motherboard?
    Again saw it in the BIOS walkthrough of Crosshair VIII Hero but not in x570 Aorus one.
    Here is the video for reference:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5pHUHGZ7hU

  3. If the above 2 features aren’t present in the latest BIOS update, is Gigabyte planning to bring it in future BIOS updates? @wendell