Posted 20 hours ago

ASRock X399 TAICHI sTR4 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1/3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

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Threadripper CPUs reserve four PCIe lanes for the chipset, which similar to Intel acts like a PCIe switch for more IO - although AMD only offers a few lanes here compared to Intel's 24 PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes. The days when PCs looked dull and boring are long behind us. Today’s best DIY rigs are works of functional art in their own right, and our trendsetting styling continues to evolve with the times. The ROG and Prime interpretations of X399 present distinctive monochromatic themes that combine clean lines with a neutral canvas for customizable lighting. Liquid adornments are complemented by comprehensive fan speed controls capable of managing a full system’s cooling through a single intuitive interface. Our FanXpert intelligence can now adjust each fan’s speed based on the hottest input from a group of configurable sensors, including the GPU diode on compatible graphics cards. This allows the cooling to react to a range of different workloads, like gaming binges that turn your graphics card into a space heater, and complex rendering that lights up all the cores on your CPU. Bandwidth is a huge part of Threadripper’s appeal. The mother lode of PCI Express lanes stands ready for the multiple high-end graphics cards required for truly cutting-edge gaming and VR experiences. All of our X399 motherboards support three-way SLI and CrossFireX setups, and the Zenith Extreme can call upon a fourth card for record-setting benchmark attempts or an extra jolt of compute power. To protect your investment, SafeSlot reinforces the graphics slots against damage from increasingly heavy GPU coolers. When PCIe is the game, it becomes time to play with controllers and ports to see what fits. It all starts with the underlying diagram for Threadripper and X399:

Gaming is more than just playing. There’s a whole world of streaming and broadcasting that has turned it into a form of entertainment watched by millions. A product of this new regime, the Strix X399-E Gaming brings Threadripper’s horsepower to bear on high-quality streaming and complex post-production while keeping one foot firmly planted in hardcore gameplay. As part of the launch, AMD is wanting to promote the different ways in which an X399 motherboard could be arranged depending on the workload requirements. X399 Potential Configurations The diagram shows the two hubs for everything to connect to: the CPU and the chipset. The CPU has 60 PCIe lanes, provided in 3 or 4 PCIe root complexes at x16 each (the diagram above suggests x16/x8/x16/x8). These will often go towards the main PCIe slots to support add-in cards like GPUs, or they could be partitioned off for RAID controllers or fast ethernet if required. In total, AMD has stated that the platform can support six GPUs maximum. The CPU also supports eight USB 3.1 (5 Gbps) Type-A ports, quad channel DDR4, and support for up to three PCIe 3.0 x4 storage drives for 3-way NVMe. Two RGB headers prime the X399-A to illuminate up to four meters of lighting at optimal brightness. The lighting on the board itself is discreet, with a gentle glow emanating from below the chipset heatsink. Even with the lights turned off, the interplay of angular lines and bare metal makes the Prime stand out.

Threadripper has enough PCIe to easily connect multiple NVMe SSDs directly to the CPU. But it’s not enough to just have a bunch of M.2 slots. The fastest SSDs can heat up under heavy sustained loads, causing performance to drop when you need it the most. To improve thermals, the M.2s on all of our X399 motherboards are either covered by heatsinks or positioned so that drives are in the path of airflow. On top of that, the boards come with U.2 ports for the cabled NVMe SSDs derived from data centers. Although all our X399 motherboards have four PCIe x16 slots hooked up to the CPU, only the Zenith Extreme is designed for that many graphics cards. Its slots are spaced for double-wide coolers if you want to horde GPU power to leave your mark on benchmark leaderboards. On a more practical note, adding a fourth card can further accelerate compute-heavy workloads like 3D rendering and deep learning. To combat GPU sag, we include our ROG VGA Holder, which is strong enough to keep even the heaviest graphics cards horizontal. Three SafeSlots offer plenty of capacity for multiple graphics cards, and you still get a fourth slot linked to the CPU. Each of those has a dedicated connection, with no sharing between them, and the same is true for the PCIe pathways for storage. The primary M.2 slot shares a heatsink with the chipset to lower drive temperatures under load, and the secondary slot protrudes outward near the DIMM slots, where drives can be cooled by airflow from adjacent system and radiator fans. Factor in the U.2 port, and you’ve got a solid recipe for future SSD expansion or loading up from the start. An oasis in a market flooded with gaming everything, the Prime X399-A dresses Threadripper in more professional attire while maintaining a stylish edge. It’s the most logical choice for a do-everything workhorse that plays to Threadripper’s strengths without spending too much of the budget on extras. All-new for this generation, the Zenith Extreme is the flagship of ROG’s AMD motherboard lineup. It comes with all of our latest features, including innovations available only on a select group of top-of-the-line models.

With the family tree sorted, it’s time for a closer look at each board. The top is as good a place as any to start. They’ve churned out a smart cooling set up to cope with different temperature ranges. There are plenty of fan headers on board and you have complete control over them via Total Fan Control. We’ve observed impressive thermals of 26 degrees C at idle and 40 degrees C under load for the VRM.With each of these motherboard overviews, we like to cover a few of the newer controllers to hit the market that motherboard manufacturers might take advantage of. Given the recent X299 launch on the Intel side, not much has changed since. The big parts to enter the consumer space are Aquantia's multi-gigabit ethernet controllers.

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