AMD X399 Threadripper board roundup: ASUS, ASRock, MSI, Gigabyte
When Ryzen Threadripper hits the shelves on 10 August, AMD intends to have a full complement of X399 motherboards and SocketTR4-ready coolers on hand for consumers to choose from.
It worked with ASUS, ASRock, MSI, and Gigabyte to make this possible, so you’ll have nearly 10 high-end motherboards to choose from on launch day.
Here’s a look at what’s been announced so far. We've included local prices where available, and will continue to update as we find out more. And if you'd like a closer look at what AMD's got waiting for you in that gargantuan Threadripper packaging, you can check out our photo gallery here.
ASUS has announced three new AMD X399 motherboards for the upcoming Ryzen Threadripper processors. The trio of E-ATX boards fall into three distinct categories, each targeted at a different type of user:
- ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme (S$969)
- ASUS ROG Strix X399-E Gaming
- ASUS Prime X399-A (US$350)
The star of the line-up is the ROG Zenith Extreme, which is aimed squarely at enthusiasts looking to build a ultra-high-end PC.
This means extensive support for a custom liquid cooling loop, a LiveDash OLED screen for displaying custom logos, animated GIFs, and system information like temperature, and 10G networking via the bundled ROG Aerion 10G LAN card.
You’ll find an assortment of pump and flow headers, and compatible CPU monoblocks enable you to more easily monitor coolant temperatures, flow, and detect leaks from even a single cable. One benefit of such a setup is that it leaves separate flow, temperature, and pump headers available for a dedicated graphics loop.
And even though all of ASUS’ X399 motherboards will have four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots linked directly to the 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU, 60 of which are made available to the GPUs, only the ROG Zenith Extreme is designed to properly accommodate a 4-way multi-GPU configuration.
Unlike the ROG Strix X399-E Gaming and Prime X399-A, all its slots are spaced for double-slot coolers, so you can go all out if you wish to. In that scenario, you can take advantage of the bundled ROG VGA Holder, which ASUS says can help with GPU sag.
The ROG Zenith Extreme will also take up to three M.2 drives, two of which are designed to plug into a separate DIMM.2 slot on a dedicated add-in card. ASUS first introduced this feature on the Maximus IX Apex, and it says it’s updated the design for better airflow, additional temperature sensors, and mounts for two 50mm fans.
The Wi-Fi implementation is quite forward-looking as well, and it’s actually divided into a 1x1 antenna for 802.11ad connections and a 2x2 array for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
On the other hand, the ROG Strix X399-E Gaming looks to woo gamers who are more focused on the game at hand than overclocking.
It dispenses with some of the more extravagant features on the Zenith Extreme while retaining the multi-zone onboard lighting and headers for both standard and addressable RGB lighting strips.
It’ll take up to three double-slot graphics cards, or two 2.5-slot GPUs such as one of the custom NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Tis on the market now.
The latest version of ASUS’ SupremeFX audio has also been optimized for better recording quality, so gamers and streamers will be able to communicate clearly.
Finally, there’s the more serious Prime X399-A, which caters to those who want to take advantage of Threadripper’s prowess as a workstation CPU. There are no overly fancy heatsinks or dedicated headers for liquid cooling, but you still get headers for things like pumps and AIO coolers.
There are also two RGB headers that can accommodate up to four meters of additional lighting strips if you wish to spruce up your build.
This is a board that wants to serve multiple areas rather than excel in a particular one, so you also get support for up to 3-way GPU setups, four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, two M.2 sockets, one U.2 connector, and a wide range of USB ports on the rear I/O.