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.
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!