Ryzen Threadripper launches in less than two weeks, so it’s time for motherboard makers to start showing off their new X399 designs. Today, ASUS has unveiled three X399 boards for Threadripper, the ROG Zenith Extreme, the ROG Strix X399-E Gaming and finally, the ASUS Prime X399-A. The ROG boards are obviously designed with gamers in mind, meanwhile the Prime board is geared towards the ‘prosumer’ market.
Let’s start off with the ROG Zenith Extreme, which you can see pictured above. This board is the flagship of the ROG X399 lineup and comes with all of the latest features on board. This particular board is built with custom liquid cooling in mind, thanks to a mono blocks connector, which lets users with compatible hardware monitor things coolant flow and temperature, or even leaks, all using one single cable. This also frees up space for individual pump, temperature and flow headers for a dedicated GPU cooling loop. If you need a lot of fans, there is a fan extension cable that will allow you to hook up nine fans in total for maximum cooling potential.
All of Asus’s X399 motherboards will have four x16 PCIe slots hooked up to the CPU but the ROG Zenith differs from the rest by also being designed for that many graphics cards. This is achieved by spacing out the slots correctly for thicker GPU coolers. To try and reduce GPU sag, this board also comes with an ROG VGA holder, which can give your GPU some extra support.
As you would expect, there is room for multiple NVMe SSDs, four in total, as well as three M.2 slots in total. You can expect a 10Gbps ethernet add-in card to arrive in the box, while the onboard wireless is also very strong, featuring a 1×1 antenna for 802.11ad speeds. There is also a 2×2 wireless setup for dual band 802.11ac WiFi.
The ASUS ROG Strix X399-E motherboard is one of the cheaper options in the lineup. Unfortunately, we can’t show it to you just yet but ASUS has given us some idea of the features we can expect. For starters, the Strix will feature 2×2 802.11ac wireless, space for up to three double-wide GPUs an three NVMe SSDs, all with full 16x PCIe support. There will be a slot for an M.2 SSD, which will be cooled via its own heatsink to combat throttling. That’s all for now but we should hear more about this board soon.
Finally, the ASUS Prime X399-A is also on the way. This board places Threadripper in a more professional setting, with the board taking on a black and silver look without the fancy ROG styling. This particular board can also support up to three graphics cards, though there are four PCIe slots in total, all linked to the CPU. The primary M.2 slot on this board shares a heatsink with the chipset and a secondary M.2 slot can be found closer to the RAM slots. There is also a U.2 port, so there is plenty of room for solid state drive expansion.
This board isn’t as equipped for elaborate cooling loops but it does still come with two headers that can connect pumps and all-in-one liquid coolers. There are eight fan headers in total, so there is a lot of cooling potential with this board. While this is not an ROG board, attention has also been paid to overclocking with the addition of five-way optimisation. This feature will allow you to auto-tune an overclock, or you can tweak away on your own using the manual controls.
There are a lot of USB ports on this board, making it easier to hook up multiple peripherals as well as any VR gear or external drives.
The ROG Zenith Extreme and ASUS Prime X299-A will be available from the 10th of August, the same day Threadripper launches. The ROG Strix X399-E will be available later on in the month. Pricing won’t be announced until the 10th of August.
KitGuru Says: We have seen X399 boards from MSI and ASUS so far but there is still more to come. Details on Gigabyte’s X399 motherboard lineup will be following shortly and I’m sure we will see more as we lead up to launch. Are any of you planning on putting together a Ryzen Threadripper rig this year? What motherboard do you think you’ll get?