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Lighting up the ASUS TUF gaming X570-plus

Lighting up the ASUS TUF gaming X570-plus

This ASUS TUF gaming X570-Plus (WiFi) (wow thats a name) is a more featured motherboard than the ASUS TUF gaming B450-PLUS; which is fair considering it costs $70 more.

In my first evaluation the PCIE 4 was the big feature difference, and I couldn't justify the money based on that alone. However as circumstances pushed me into doing something I kinda wanted to anyhow, I'm happy to have it.

x570 motherboard

Compared to the B450, it has a 2nd NVME port, it has more back panel USB and audio jacks (including optical audio), and of course the WIFI which is present in the form of two antenna jacks (with external antenna to plug into them included in the box).

x570 back panel

This is to be my desktop machine which means the optical audio out is welcome, as that's how I'm currently feeding my room audio with the constantly playing music. That's handy.

x570 audio header

The manual only shows one pinout for the "AAFP" port, I suspect however that it shares the dual definition with the B450.

b450 audio header

x570 SSD mounted and fan

One thing I liked about the B450, was the lack of a fan integrated onto the motherboard. The X570 has such a fan; and it is my experience that these things are odd sizes and hard to replace when they inevitably die before the rest of the system.

The manual is thicker and includes pictures of the pinouts of the fiddly wires connections; the B450 has a "scan this QR code" or hunt for a generic PDF... The markings on the board itself are clear enough for most of the things.

x570 system header

In addition to the onboard blinkenlights RBG LEDs, the manual documents the two RGB strip headers that can 2x 5050 strips (3A @ 12v), and 1x ws2812b LED strip (3A @ 5v) "up to a maximum of 120 LEDs". Apparently this is pretty important to some folks.

I don't want that much light on my desktop... usually. However I happen to have some of each of said types of LED strip, 'cuz I like Blinkenlights generally, so we shall see how hard they are to program now they here.

This box included the M2 standoffs and screws for mounting the NVME SSD. The B450 did not, though its possible i just missed them; they're tiny enough to inhale.

There's a "heat spreader" for one of the NVME slots; I'm not certain I trust this goo but the idea seems reasonable.

NVME heatsink

This time, unlike last time everything worked together on first assembly. The RAM clocked up to 3200Mhz without issue, and a 6+ hour memtest86 run passed without errors.

memtest screen

Without pushing the CPU clock yet (3800Mhz stock), I've installed Debian 10 on it, and run prime95 for a few hours to beat on it some more. (@mewosmith on the discord server was kind enough to suggest that).

All this money and "advanced" hardware and debian netinst takes as
much time to install a new system as on a $35 Raspberry Pi!
... The joys of limited bandwidth with high latency. It doesn't
just suck, its sucks long and slow.

Even though I'm running on an antiquated GPU at the moment (its the only spare, working PCIE VGA card i have), I've installed Steam and some of the games available for linux:

  • Factorio
  • X4 Foundations
  • Cities Skylines Use the Windows version with Steam Play
  • Rimworld
  • Portal 2

I poked at Factorio momentarily, on an awful monitor and with a keyboard barely adequate for use; and it seems to run quite well. Which isn't surprising considering the example of excellence that is Factorio, and the fact that 1080x720p isn't much screen.

How antiquated a GPU?

root@skank:~# lspci | grep VGA
09:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Cayman PRO [Radeon HD 6950]

They were new in 2011. They mined dogecoin for me; with a BIOS reflash they could act like 6970's that cost twice as much. Yay for the downmarket!

I have a note written on it about the fans dying in 2013. It has gone through another couple of pairs at least since. I had finally replaced it with an AMD RX570 in 2018 to drive a 4k monitor and to play X4 Foundations.

It wouldn't really run x4 then, on Windows 7 / i7 2600k. I'm staying up tonight to see if x4 will run on this Ryzen 5 3600X and linux with this GPU.

X4 - Startup Error

Error with Vulkan runtime/installation.


 - ensure that your graphics card is supported (X4 requires at least
 an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780/970 or AMD equivalent)

Hmm. What is the "AMD equivalent", I wonder? Obviously not this 9 year old card.

We'll see how the NVIDIA 2060 works with it once I get it lit up. Which is going to be a bit; because I have one power supply in the house capable of running it and a modern motherboard simultaneously.

My testbench here is using a "PC Power and Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V" ... Which has 2x 6pin VGA power connectors. This is fine for the Radeon 6950, but modern cards want an 8pin, different connector ... and this card has a nice message on screen about "plug it in plz the reboot" even.

The PSU in Myra that ran the RX570 and is running the RX580 it has now can do it, but... I'm using that.

To be continued.