Performance impact by Mainboard - upgrade worth it?

I am currently wondering where to maybe invest into a better experience and one thing that lacks behind for a mid-tier PC for me is my Mainboard since I upgraded other components in the last two years:
Ryzen 5 3600XT
RAM: 32GB 3200@3600Mhz (2x16GB dual ranked)
RTX 2080 8GB
But the mainboard I’m still running at is an Asus A320M-K.

Usually I’m getting >35fps except for very complex scenarios - and I’m always CPU bound when flying the Fenix A320.

Despite the issues people always tell regarding higher TDP, I never have issues with throttling due to the VRMs despite the 3600XT being 95W and the recent BIOS updates basically brought support to all AM4 CPUs, so there’s even headroom.

Now to my question, if maybe someone did the upgrade:
Would I get any benefit when upgrading the mainboard to, say, a B450/B550? Considering that they usually cost around 100€, would that even be reasonable or should I rather wait to upgrade the CPU to a 5600X (which even has lower power draw than the 3600XT)?

From watching some reviews/tests, to me it seems like the lower end mainboards lack features (like wifi), but the bare performance doesn’t seem to be lower except for cases with overheating VRMs (happening with watercooled CPUs, lacking airflow) and of course no overclocking capabilities on the 320 chipset.

Any opinions/experiences specifically to MSFS?

Changing a motherboard for ‘better’ performance? No.


New motherboard won’t fix that. Likely nothing will, except the game developers.


I agree with ASKemp1970 and HethrMasn. I really don’t think a better MB in isolation will have the effect you are seeking.

I think a lot of us in the sim are CPU bound at the moment (especially with the Fenix!) so you are not alone but hopefully the next SU will help us maybe a bit.

However, perhaps another way forward would be to have a look at the next gen CPUs and MBs which are slated to come out later this year from AMD. Coupled with the updated DDR RAM this might give you the benefits you are seeking.

This is what I am waiting for to be honest with a potential upgrade maybe a few months later to give a bit of time for any problems to be ironed out.

Personally, I really would not buy another MB. I believe that you will just be throwing away good money :slightly_smiling_face:


I used to have the same board, and I can tell you you’re RAM is probably not running at those speeds (usually defaults to 2333mhz I believe without xmp support), plus the processor won’t be able to precision boost either. A new MB isn’t the best place to get performance, but spending elsewhere still might not see any benefit while you’re still running with this one.

I upgraded to a MSI B550 Tomahawk myself, it wasn’t cheap at £140, but I did some ‘research’ and found most people found B450 a bit ‘meh’

Thanks all for your opinions!
I replaced at least the CPU from 3600XT to 5600X which brought me quite a significant improvement (while the CPU even being less heavy on the VRMs).

I agree with the precision boost, but I think it mainly affects multithreaded performance, doesn’t it? PBO does not overclock single core clocks as far as I know.
As for the RAM it definitely runs stable at 3600Mhz for me, no issues and Windows also reports that speed as well as CPU-Z. Overclocking RAM seems to be totally fine on A320 chipset as long as the RAM is good and the board doesn’t get overwhelmed with the additional power required. But with lower TDP on my CPU now, there’s plenty of headroom.

Did you see any significant improvement?

well, lets say your new motherboard comes with support for faster components for example ddr3 vs ddr4, 2666 mhz vs 3200 mhz, older cpu socket vs newer sockets, if you upgrade those too, yes, if you only switch the mainboard, probably not

i would say its a good idea, may or may not help but … you may currently not be getting the most from your upgrades with that older mb

RAM: 32GB 3200@3600Mhz (2x16GB dual ranked)
the mb only supports up to 3200(OC) /2666Mhz at the time of release (may be upgradable thru bios updates)
"2 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz Un-buffered Memory "

If it doesn’t help, why is it a good idea? Investing money in no noticeable gain sounds pointless.

Guys, maybe we can get this out of the way if I’m saying that the RAM runs at 3600Mhz? No issues at all.
The BIOS even offers higher speeds to be selectable, above 4000Mhz, just that my memory reaches it’s limits (some managed to get these modules to 3800).

Well, since I planned to keep everything else, I’d stay at AM4 socket and DDR4. The point I’m asking is if there is significant difference between boards like the A320 and for instance a B450 or B550 (apart from obvious features like more ram slots).
PBO (or manual overclocking) would be one thing, but not sure if or how much MSFS benefits from that.

if your convinced you dont need it Why ask us?
i was just offering a personal opinion in response to your direct question

as i wrote some mb’s may can update the bios to improve support for newer tech
the motherboard in question is 5 years old, and it was designed for lower speeds and transfer rates
at best watch the heat, they can update the bios but they can not make the bus speeds any higher

I am convinced that my RAM won’t overclock any better than it does on the A320 since even people with better boards can’t get much more stable than I got.

No it wasn’t, that’s what I’m trying to say.
The mainboard supported 3200Mhz modules max and it still does, but it does support overclocking them further as mentioned. No bios update required (but of course it’s up to date for CPU support).

The question asked was if there is some benefit from a higher end mainboard if I keep my other hardware the same.
CPU overclock is obvious, but maybe someone knows some other aspects like PCIe efficiency, whatever.

my understanding of these specs when released is

these are the base unbuffered speeds it supported
“2666/2400/2133 MHz Un-buffered Memory”

these are the OverClocked speeds it supported

im just quoting what the docs say, not trying to argue, i have given my opinion - use it or not
but please stop trying to convince me your 2017 motherboard is ‘up to 2022 specs’
im not here to ‘prove a point’ and i really dont care if you upgrade or not


1 Like