Gigabyte Launches X399 Aorus Xtreme Motherboard for Threadripper 2

Subject: Motherboards | August 8, 2018 - 11:41 PM |
Tagged: X399, tr4, threadripper 2, Threadripper, gigabyte, aorus, amd

Gigabyte is gearing up for AMD’s Threadripper 2 processors with the launch of the X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard which represents the company’s new flagship model for the TR4 socket. The new high end motherboard has been souped-up a bit to support the higher TDP Threadripper 2 processors with a beefed up 10+3 digital power phase and active cooling for the VRMs while also featuring RGB Fusion and modern I/O connectivity options for internal and external components. Gigabyte’s new flagship will be available soon with MSRP pricing of $449.

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The X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard nestles the TR4 socket in the middle of eight DDR4 DIMM slots (quad channel up to 3466 MHz or 3600+ when overclocking). Along the top edge of the motherboard are 10 50A IR3578 digital power phases with high current mosfets for vCore and there are 3 more phases in the left corner of the board (between the DIMM slot and rear IO) for SOC power. The digital IR power phases are cooled by a direct touch heat pipe where the mosfets make contact using new 5W/mK thermal pads on the top side and also reportedly a bit more cooling from a “nano carbon” baseplate on the underside of the motherboard PCB. The heatpipe runs through one passive and one actively cooled fins array heatsink that uses two 30mm fans hidden under the rear IO armor. The board is powered by two 8-pin CPU power, one 24-pin ATX, and one six pin PCI-E power connectors.

The motherboard further features four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, one PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, three M.2 (PCI-E 3.0 NVMe) slots (two 22110 and one 2280), and six SATA ports. The motherboard supports 4-way graphics card setups with the cards running at x16/x8/x16/x8.

Onboard controllers include audio from Realtek, three Ethernet NICs, and a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth radios. The Aorus AMP UP audio uses a Realtek ALC1220-VB audio codec paired with an ESS 9118EQ SABRE DAC and Nichicon capacitors and gold-plated audio jacks. As for the networking, the board has a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet NIC from Aquantia, two Intel i220AT Gigabit Ethernet NICs, and Intel wireless controller for dual band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

Rear I/O on the X399 Aorus Xtreme includes:

  • Two physical buttons for power/reset and clear CMOS
  • 8x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 2x USB 3.1 (1x Type-A, 1x Type-C)
  • 6x Audio (5x 3.5mm analog, 1x optical S/PDIF)

Of course, no high-end enthusiast motherboard would be complete without RGB, and the X399 Aorus Xtreme has that in spades with built in RGB on the heatsinks and multiple headers for adding even more RGB. The RGB Fusion includes two addressable RGB LED headers and two standard RGBW LED headers. The board also has multiple fan and hybrid cooling headers scattered throughout as part of Gigabyte’s Smart Fan 5 suite.

I am looking forward to the reviews of this and other Threadripper 2 motherboards and in seeing how the beefed up cooling and power might help both second and first generation Threadripper processors especially if overclocking!

Source: Gigabyte

Computex 2018: MSI Unleashes X399 MEG Creation Motherboard for Threadripper 2

Subject: Motherboards | June 8, 2018 - 10:54 AM |
Tagged: X399, tr4, threadripper 2, Threadripper, msi, computex 2018, computex, amd

Following AMD’s reveal of a 32 core Threadripper 2 (12nm Zen+ not Zen 2) processor using all four dies coming in Q3, it is only natural that new TR4 socket motherboards would emerge. MSI was well prepared for the reveal with its upcoming X399 MEG Creation motherboard on display at Computex. The massive E-ATX motherboard features a black PCB with silver accents and two huge heatsinks covering the VRMs in the top left and the chipset and three M.2 slots in the bottom right. The TR4 socket sits between eight DDR4 DIMM slots and is topped by a ludicrous 16+3 power phase (doubled eight for vCore, the remaining phases for vSoC) cooled by a large heatsink. The board takes power from two 8-pin and one 24-pin power connector.

MSI X399 MEG Creation EATX Threadripper 2 Motherboard.jpg

TechPowerUp got hands on with the new board at Computex.

Below the processor sits four PCI-E x16 slots (wired x16/x8/x16/x8) and a single PCI-E x1 slot. There are eight SATA 6 Gbps ports along the right edge of the board and below the L shaped heatsink users can install three M.2 solid state drives. MSI claims that enthusiasts can install up to seven M.2 drives using the 3 M.2 slots on the motherboard as well as four slots provided by a PCI-E add-on card (e.g. MSI Xpander AERO PCIe).

Around back the X399 MEG Creation offers up 10 USB 3.1 ports (one Type-C), two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two Wi-Fi antenna connectors for the 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and BT 5.0 radios, and six audio outputs (5 analog, one optical).

The massive Threadripper motherboard reportedly has 10 PWM fan connectors and three temperature sensors to aid in cooling and overclocking. The board also has handy BIOS flashing and overclocking features galore.

The X399 MEG Creation supports Threadripper as well as the upcoming Threadripper 2000 series processors and should make for an interesting setup for enthusiasts! The lack of 10 Gigabit Ethernet is dissapointing, but at least the two gigabit NICs are Intel based (MSI is using Intel for the Wi-Fi as well). If you are curious about the new X399 board, Tom's Hardware and TechPowerUp managed to snap several photos of the high-end motherboard at the MSI booth. If you prefer video, Gamer's Nexus has a short clip of it here.

KitGuru is reporting that the massive motherboard will cost upwards of $500. MSI has not yet revealed a launch date. Presumably we can expect the X399 MEG Creation to be available sometime in Q3 just in time for the Threadripper 2000 series availability.

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Computex 2018: Intel demos 28-core processor at 5 GHz

Subject: Processors | June 5, 2018 - 11:40 AM |
Tagged: X399, X-Series, Intel, HEDT, 28 core

If you thought running at 5 GHz was neat with a 6-core part, Intel had another surprise for you last night. As part of its Computex keynote, the company demonstrated a 28-core processor running at 5 GHz on all cores, planned for the HEDT segment sometime before the end of 2018.

We don't have a lot of detail on this demo, including what socket this is using, whether this is a single monolithic die design or a multi-chip package using EMIB, or if this is will cost you more than your current domicile to purchase.

intel28core.jpg

Image courtesy The Verge

It showed a score of 7334 on Cinebench R15. Think about that - the 18-core Core i9-7980XE is our current stock leader in this test with a result of 3346. That means this 28-core processor demo was 2.19x faster than the current fastest part on the market!! 

intel28corecb.jpg

Image courtesy Tom's Hardware

All of the unknown factors make it slightly less exciting, to be honest. What power draw was it running at? Is this viable for a consumer platform, in reality? Is 5 GHz a possibility for us mere mortals? Clearly if you are in need of extreme multi-threading capability and performance for rendering, encoding, or mega-tasking, it appears Intel may have the best solution available come this holiday season.

UPDATE 6/6/18: It has now been confirmed by people on the ground in Taipei that the Intel 28-core demo was a complex feat. The motherboards were built by ASUS and Gigabyte, modifications of a server-class LGA3647 socket board that required a 32-phase power system, and a 1HP (horsepower) water chiller and refrigerant to drop the liquid to a cool 4 degrees Celsius. The processor is a single-die part, basically a Xeon Scalable Platinum 8180, that has a list price of $10,000.

Obviously this is not a configuration that any reasonable consumer, even the crazy ones really, would be willing to employ. It means motherboards with the X299 chipset will not be compatible with this part as it requires a new socket. It also means that clock speeds for real-world designs will be much lower, likely a Gigahertz or more. 

There are a lot of questions to poke around about before the end of the year if we are truly going to understand Intel's plans for the enthusiast platform at the end of 2018.

Source: Intel

Wiith GIGABYTE's Aorus X399 Designare EX you get what you pay for

Subject: Motherboards | March 29, 2018 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, designare EX, X399, aorus

Speaking of the X399 Designare EX, [H]ard|OCP recently reviewed this high end Threadripper motherboard.  The features of this motherboard are as impressive as the price, you get eight DDR4 slots, three M.2 ports, 13 USB 3.1 slots with a mix of Gen 1 and 2 though only a single Type-C, dual wired NICs plus WiFi and Bluetooth, not to mention four PCIe 3.0 16x slots.  All of these features do add to the complexity of setting up a system, especially when overclocking so read through the full review for hints on how best to set up your system.

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"GIGABYTE’s X399 Designare EX is a rich, full featured solution for AMD’s Threadripper CPUs. At $370, this isn’t a budget-oriented offering. The thing people usually want to know when looking at motherboards in this price bracket is if such products are worth the extra cost. Read on to find out if this gaming and workstation offering is worthwhile."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS' ROG STRIX X399-E Gaming, Threadripping on a budget

Subject: Motherboards | February 28, 2018 - 06:19 PM |
Tagged: X399, Threadripper, ROG STRIX X399-E GAMING, asus, amd

ASUS' ROG STRIX X399-E Gaming motherboard for Threadripper offers a less expensive alternative to some of their higher end boards; however the $350 price tag is still a little steep.  You still get a wide variety of internal and external connections, but there is no DIMM.2 adapter for an additional M.2 drive and [H]ard|OCP found the PCB to be flimsy enough that they popped out a standoff on one of the installed heatsinks due to that flexibility.  The layout of the board was lauded as was the overall performance, so if you are looking to build a Threadripper system for a little less then this is a board worth investigating. 

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"The ROG STRIX X399-E Gaming promises to be a lower cost options for AMD’s Threadripper processors. This is a "less is more" approach to motherboard design than the exquisite and expensive ROG Zenith Extreme. The ROG brand has always been a premium brand. With these lower cost STRIX boards, does this remain true? "

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Keeping your Threadripper properly watered

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 9, 2017 - 04:28 PM |
Tagged: amd, Threadripper, watercooler, phanteks, Glacier C399A, X399

[H]ard|OCP have been working their way through every Threadripper compatible waterblock, the latest model to be tested is Phanteks' Glacier C399A.  The top of the waterblock is clear acrylic, perfect if you plan on adding a little colour to your coolant especially if you make use of the Frag-Harder Disco Lights.  Mounting is reasonably easy, no dedicated in or out connector to confuse and tightening can be accomplished with a small pair of pliers, which you may find necessary.  The cooling performance was in line with the other coolers they've tested, though the C399A does lose some marks because of the need to tighten the mounting mechanism on occasion.  Check out the full review for details.

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"The Phanteks Glacier C399A is a custom-designed water cooling block built specifically for AMD's new Threadripper processors. It has great looks, Frag-Harder Disco Lights, is built like a tank, and seems to be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to cooling overclocked Threadripper CPUs."

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CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

GIGABYTE's X399 DESIGNARE EX

Subject: Motherboards | October 30, 2017 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: X399, Threadripper, gigabyte, designare EX, amd

Gigabyte have updated their lineup of X399 Threadripper boards with the new Designare EX.  It sports a long list of features including dual Intel GbE LAN, Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, three M.2 slots, ALC1220 audio with 120dB SNR and a USB 3.1 Type-C port on the back as well as support for a second front port once cases start including them.

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Two of the M.2 slots lie between PCIe slots, with the third under the lit heatshield on the lower right of the board so do make sure to install them before the GPU.  The board is great for miners and gamers alike, the four top PCIe 3.0 slots can provide x16/x16/x8/x8 simultaneously thanks to Threadrippers huge count of PCIe lanes; the bottom most slot offers x4 speeds for an SSD. 

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You can read more about their Smart Fan 5 cooling, M.2 heatsinks, advanced power features and RGBs in the full press release.

Source: Gigabyte

The GIGABYTE Aorus Gaming 7; function over form

Subject: Motherboards | October 26, 2017 - 04:08 PM |
Tagged: amd, Threadripper, gigabyte, X399, aorus gaming 7

[H]ard|OCP took exception to some of the design choices on the Gaming 7, specifically the placement of an M.2 slot directly underneath the first PCIe slot and some of the data and power connectors are inconveniently placed.  On the other hand the performance of the board is top notch, the 1950X ran perfectly stable at 4GHz and as there are two headers for watercooling on separate sides of the motherboard you should be able to hit that yourself.  They have learned some interesting facts about the X399 chipset so even if you are not picking up this board it is worth reading through the whole article.

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"We review GIGABYTE’s X399 Aorus Gaming 7 and see how it stacks up in the world of HEDT motherboards. This motherboard is not priced all that high considering the amount of features it touts and certainly it is not priced high for the stability we were afforded while overclocking the Threadripper to 4GHz."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Making HEDT great again

Subject: General Tech | October 11, 2017 - 12:37 PM |
Tagged: X399, x299, Threadripper, skylake-x, ryzen, Intel, amd

Over at [H]ard|OCP is a look at the current market and the resurgence of competition which we are currently enjoying.  As opposed to several pages of detailed benchmarks, the article focuses on the various feature sets that AMD and Intel currently offer and the effect it has on your current system choices.  They consider a wide variety of aspects, from the quality and quantity of PCIe lanes offered on X399 and X299 platforms through to the very different choices the companies have made when it comes to PCIe storage and RAID.  It has been quite a while since we have seen the competition between AMD and Intel heat up to these levels and it is wonderful to see. 

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"I’ve spent quite a bit of time with AMD’s Threadripper and X399 chipset and I thought I’d give our readers my impression of it and talk about the platform as well as giving interested consumers a general overview of the platform and what it has to offer. We compare it to Intel’s HEDT platform and give our take on this match up."

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Tech Talk

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

MSI Announces X399 SLI PLUS Motherboard for AMD Threadripper

Subject: Motherboards | October 9, 2017 - 03:20 PM |
Tagged: msi, amd, Threadripper, X399, X399 SLI Plus, motherboard, workstation

MSI has announced a new X399 workstation motherboard for AMD Threadripper processors with the X399 SLI PLUS, a performance-oriented option with a full compliment of the company's premium motherboard features.

x399_01.jpg

"Perfect for content creators who are looking for a great performer with plenty of connectivity options, MSI’s new X399 SLI PLUS is an optimized workstation motherboard, built for designers. Featuring heavy plated heatsinks, Military Class V components and numerous unique and patented performance enhancing features, this motherboard is the best choice for professionals looking for speed and stability."

x399_03.jpg

MSI's feature list includes:

  • Supports AMD RYZEN THREADRIPPER Series Processors
  • Support 8 DIMMs, Quad Channel DDR4 3600+ (OC)
  • DDR4 Boost: Advanced technology provided by MSI OC lab to ensure maximum compatibility for overclocking performance.
  • AUDIO BOOST 4: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience
  • Mystic Light and Mystic Light Sync: Personalize your PC with 16.8 million colors / 17 effects controlled in one click with the Mystic Light APP or a mobile device.
  • Professional IO cover & heatsink: Stunning looks, protecting the I/O ports
  • EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot
  • Lightning Fast Game experience: 3 x Turbo M.2 , 1 x M.2 Shield, and Lightning USB 3.1 Gen2
  • Lightning USB: Double bandwidth, supports USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A + Type C
  • PCI-E Steel Armor: Protecting VGA cards against bending and EMI
  • X-Boost: Great tool to boost your USB & Storage performance
  • Double ESD Protection: Double layer grounding motherboard mounting holes
  • Military Class 6, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency
  • Click BIOS 5: Award-winning BIOS with high resolution scalable font, favorites and search function
  • VR Ready: Best virtual reality game experience without latency, reduces motion sickness

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The cost and actual release date were not provided by MSI, but it should be listed for sale soon at the usual places.

Source: MSI