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AMD TR2 x399 HEDT Motherboard Selection Guide for Video Editors
  • This is very short and on point guide for selecting ATX board for your Threadripper build.

    X399 chipset diagram

    image

    If you look at this you will see how mighty is CPU, but how shitty is ASMedia made chipset.

    In reality it is same features and restrictions chipset as consumer X370 one.

    In reality we can have exactly same die used for A320/B350/X370/X399 chipsets.

    Comparison of TR2 platform to consumer, Ryzen one

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    sa6924.jpg
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  • 18 Replies sorted by
  • Added Newegg actual prices and links.

    Added SATA ports info.

  • Server MB

    image

    image

    Not - as soon as designers are gone they suddenly know how heatsinks must look like.

    sa8663.jpg
    800 x 541 - 73K
    sa8664.jpg
    749 x 852 - 198K
  • One thing to remember - overheating in videos below mostly come not due to bad specific heatsinks, but due to VRM design where most heat goes into board side, not heatsinks :-) And overclocking 32 core CPU just crosses the line as board can't dissipate so much heat.

  • Added X399 Aorus Pro and ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 - recent fall 2018 cheapened MBs.

  • PCIe x16 Slots placement

    Such is limiting your options, as requires 1x slot card or GPU to not block nearby slot.

    image

    Better option:

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    645 x 681 - 88K
    sa7156.jpg
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  • ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha

    Added to our list also.

  • All manufacturers finished, except BIOS/Overclocking features.

  • Finished VRM and cooling parts.

  • MSI

    • X399 SLI Plusm $330 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813144118
      • 5x phases via real IR3599 doublers CPU VCC making it total 10x phases, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, IR35204 PWM controller, IR3555 integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • One part designer looking alu heatsink with more fins.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under first GPU slot.
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under second GPU slot
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using ASMedia ASM3142 controller
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via x399 chipset
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
    • X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, $420 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813144079
      • 5x phases via real IR3599 doublers CPU VCC making it total 10x phases, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, IR35204 PWM controller, IR3555 integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • One part designer looking alu heatsink with more fins.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under first GPU slot.
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under second GPU slot
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using ASMedia ASM3142 controller
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via x399 chipset
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
    • X399 MEG Creation, $550 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813144204
      • 8x phases via real IR3599 doublers CPU VCC making it total 16x phases, IR35201 PWM controller, TDA21472 70A integrated Power stage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, IR35204 PWM controller, TDA21472 integrated Power stage for each phase
      • Two parts designer made alu heatsink with heatpipe.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in right side of the board.
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in right side of the board.
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Lacks any USB 3.1 Gen2 ports
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via ASMedia ASM3142 controller
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
  • Gigabyte

    • X399 Aorus Pro, $269 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813145109
      • 8x phases CPU VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3556M 50A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 2x phases SOC VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3556M 50A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • Two parts designer made alu heatsink with heatpipe and more fins. Active cooling on second part.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x4)
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under first GPU slot.
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using x399 chipset
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector but in reality it is Gen1 speed!!!
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 2x128Mb BIOS Chips
    • X399 Designare EX, $380 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813145044
      • 8x phases CPU VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3556M 50A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 2x phases SOC VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3556M 50A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • Two parts designer made alu heatsink with heatpipe and more fins. Active cooling on second part.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x4)
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under first GPU slot.
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using x399 chipset
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector but in reality it is Gen1 speed!!!
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 2x128Mb BIOS Chips
    • Aorus X399 Gaming 7, $370 at https://www.newegg.com/p/2MG-000K-00062
      • 8x phases CPU VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3556M 50A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 2x phases SOC VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3556M 50Aintegrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • Two parts designer made alu heatsink with heatpipe and more fins. No active cooling on second part.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x4)
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under first GPU slot.
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio
      • Killer E2500 LAN LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using ASMedia controller
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via x399 chipset
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 2x128Mb BIOS Chips
    • Aorus X399 Extreme, $440 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813145084
      • 5x phases via real IR3599 doublers CPU VCC making it total 10x phases, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3578 50A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, IR35204 PWM controller, IR3578 integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • Two parts proper heatsink with heatpipe and lot of fins. Two fans for active cooling on second part.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under first GPU slot.
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located in hot area under second GPU slot
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio+ESS9118EQ DAC
      • AQUANTIA AQC107 10 Gigabit LAN
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using ASMedia controller
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via x399 chipset
      • 6x SATA ports
      • 2x128Mb BIOS Chips
  • ASUS

    • Prime X399-A, $300 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119006
      • 8x phases CPU VCC, ASP1405I PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, ASP1405I PWM controller, CSD97374M integrated NexFET Power stage for each phase
      • Two parts designer looking alu heatsink with heatpipe, lot of fins in second part and active cooling.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x4, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using ASMedia controller
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via x399 chipset
      • 6x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
    • ROG Strix X399-E, $340 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119026
      • 8x phases CPU VCC, ASP1405I PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, ASP1405I PWM controller, CSD97374M integrated NexFET Power stage for each phase
      • Two parts designer looking alu heatsink with heatpipe, lot of fins in second part and active cooling.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x4, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using ASMedia controller
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via x399 chipset
      • 6x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
    • ROG Zenith Extreme, from $600 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119003
      • 8x phases CPU VCC, ASP1405I PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, ASP1405I PWM controller, CSD97374M integrated NexFET Power stage for each phase
      • Two parts designer looking alu heatsink with heatpipe, lot of fins in second part and active cooling. Allows to install second fan on main heatsink.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x4, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 2 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), ROG DIMM.2 expansion card included
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio+SABRE9018Q2C DAC
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • ROG AREION 10G LAN Card
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using ASMedia controller
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via x399 chipset
      • 6x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
    • ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha, $640 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119186
      • 8x phases with doubled elements CPU VCC, ASP1405I PWM controller, 2xIR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstages for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, ASP1405I PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstages for each phase
      • Two parts designer looking alu heatsink with heatpipe, with better first part and lot of fins in second part and active cooling.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 3.0 x4
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 2 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), ROG DIMM.2 expansion card included
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio+SABRE9018Q2C DAC
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Aquantia AQC-107 10 Gigabit LAN
      • Four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, 3x A and 1x C type, using ASMedia controller
      • Has USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port front panel connector via x399 chipset
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 2x128Mb BIOS Chip
  • ASRock

    • ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6, $214 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157861
      • 6x phases CPU VCC, ISL69147 PWM controller, ISL99227 60A integrated Smart Power Stage for each phase
      • 2x phases SOC VCC, ISL69144 PWM controller, ISL99227 60A integrated Smart Power Stage for each phase
      • Two parts designer made alu heatsink with heatpipe.
      • 3 PCIe 3.0 x16
      • 3 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x16+x16
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3), located right below first hot GPU slot
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio+ NE5532 Amplifier
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Dragon RTL8125AG 2.5 Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using x399 chipset
      • No USB 3.1 Gen2 front panel connector
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
    • X399 Taichi, $320 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157785
      • 8x phases CPU VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • Two parts designer made alu heatsink with heatpipe.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3), located right below second hot GPU slot
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio+ NE5532 Amplifier
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using x399 chipset
      • No USB 3.1 Gen2 front panel connector
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
    • Fatal1ty X399 Professional Gaming, $399 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157784
      • 8x phases CPU VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • 3x phases SOC VCC, IR35201 PWM controller, IR3555M 60A integrated PowIRstage for each phase
      • Two parts designer made alu heatsink with heatpipe.
      • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x1
      • 4 slots PCIe modes - x16/x16+x16/16+x8+x16/x16+x8+x16+x8
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3), located right below second hot GPU slot
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the board
      • 1 M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA3 ), located lower on the right side of the board
      • 8 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
      • Realtek ALC1220 Audio+ NE5532 Amplifier
      • AQUANTIA AQC107 10 Gigabit LAN
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN
      • Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, A and C type, using x399 chipset
      • No USB 3.1 Gen2 front panel connector
      • 8x SATA ports
      • 128Mb BIOS Chip
  • List of all x399 ATX sized motherboards

    Red - something not good or missing feature.
    Blue means - ok or average.
    Teal - above average.
    Green - really good for us.

  • Storage and GPU capabilities:

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  • Temperatures

    Lot of X399 boards run extremely hot if you use overclocking and even if it is just 32 core CPU without it.

    Main reason for this is simpler and cheaper VRM and also bad heatsinks being just slab of aluminium made be designer without any fine fins.

    Heatsink designs

    In present day it is usually designers who make heatsinks even for HEDT motherboards.
    They are made for looks, and not to be efficient in their real function.

    Bad one (MSI)

    image

    Better one (ASRock boards)

    image

    Almost good (ASUS boards)

    image

    Really nice (Aorus X399 Extreme)

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    sa6922.jpg
    800 x 691 - 105K
    sa6918.jpg
    717 x 567 - 81K
    sa6919.jpg
    643 x 320 - 26K
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    641 x 406 - 30K
  • DDR4 DRAM

    Will add selecting guide soon.

  • Processors we are looking for

    Ryzen Threadripper, original Zen series

    • 1900X model, MSRP $549 real price now $196 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16819113457
      • 8 cores/ 16 threads
      • 4MB L2 Cache
      • 16MB L3 Cache
      • Base Frequency - 3.8 Ghz
      • Boost Frequency - 4.0 Ghz (4.2Ghz via XFR)
      • 180 Watt TDP
    • 1920X model, MSRP $799, real price now $269 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16819113448
      • 12 cores/ 24 threads
      • 6MB L2 Cache
      • 32MB L3 Cache
      • Base Frequency - 3.5 Ghz
      • Boost Frequency - 4.0 Ghz (4.2Ghz via XFR)
      • 180 Watt TDP
    • 1950X model, MSRP $999, real price now $499 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16819113447
      • 16 cores/ 32 threads
      • 8MB L2 Cache
      • 32MB L3 Cache
      • Base Frequency - 3.4 Ghz
      • Boost Frequency - 4.0 Ghz (4.2Ghz via XFR)
      • 180 Watt TDP

    All three models above have:

    • Quad-channel DDR4 memory controller with support of ECC
    • 60 PCIe 3.0 lanes. x48 lanes for multiple GPUs, x12 for I/O, see diagram above.
    • Support for all enchanted instruction sets up to AVX2

    Ryzen Threadripper, Zen+ series

    • 2920X model, MSRP $649, real price now $549 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16819113545
      • 12 cores/ 24 threads
      • 6MB L2 Cache
      • 32MB L3 Cache
      • Base Frequency - 3.5 Ghz
      • Boost Frequency - 4.3 Ghz
      • 180 Watt TDP
    • 2950X model, MSRP $799, real price now $719 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16819113542
      • 16 cores/ 32 threads
      • 8MB L2 Cache
      • 32MB L3 Cache
      • Base Frequency - 3.5 Ghz
      • Boost Frequency - 4.4 Ghz
      • 180 Watt TDP
    • 2970WX model, MSRP $1299, real price now $1249 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16819113546
      • 24 cores/ 48 threads
      • 12MB L2 Cache
      • 64MB L3 Cache
      • Base Frequency - 3.0 Ghz
      • Boost Frequency - 4.2 Ghz
      • 250 Watt TDP
    • 2990WX model, MSRP $1799, real price now $1699 at https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16819113541
      • 32 cores/ 64 threads
      • 16MB L2 Cache
      • 64MB L3 Cache
      • Base Frequency - 3.0 Ghz
      • Boost Frequency - 4.2 Ghz
      • 250 Watt TDP

    All three models above have:

    • Quad-channel DDR4 memory controller with support of ECC
    • 60 PCIe 3.0 lanes. x48 lanes for multiple GPUs, x12 for I/O, see diagram above.
    • Support for all enchanted instruction sets up to AVX2
    • New XFR2 and improved Precision Boost.