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Intel 10th Gen Core X "Cascade Lake-X" Pricing and Specs Detailed

Ahead of their October 7th product launch and November availability, we have confirmation of the specifications and pricing of Intel's 10th generation Core X "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT processors in the LGA2066 package. These chips feature compatibility with existing socket LGA2066 motherboards with a UEFI BIOS update, although several motherboard manufacturers are launching new products with some of the latest connectivity options, such as 2.5 GbE wired Ethernet, and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 WLAN.

The 10th generation Core X HEDT processor family is based on the new 14 nm++ "Cascade Lake" silicon, which comes with hardware fixes against several classes side-channel vulnerabilities, and introduces an updated instruction-set that includes more AVX-512 instructions, and the new DLBoost instruction. DLBoost leverages new fixed-function hardware on silicon to accelerate AI deep-learning neural-set building and training by up to 5 times. Intel's first wave of 10th gen Core X lineup is rather slim, with just four processor models. The company did away with the Core i7 brand extension, as core-counts in the mainstream desktop segment have already reached 8-core. The lineup now begins at 10-core/20-thread, with the chip's full 48-lane PCI-Express and 4-channel DDR4 interfaces enabled across the board. All models feature the "XE" brand extension, and feature unlocked base-clock multipliers.

Intel 10th Gen Core X "Cascade Lake" HEDT Processors Launch on October 7

October 7 promises to be an action-packed day, with not just AMD's launch of its Radeon RX 5500 series graphics card, but also Intel's 10th generation Core X "Cascade Lake" HEDT processors in the LGA2066 package. With AMD having achieved near-parity with Intel on IPC, the focus with the 10th generation Core X will be on price-performance, delivering double the number of cores to the Dollar compared to the previous generation. Intel will nearly halve the "Dollars per core" metric of these processors down to roughly $57 per core compared to $103 per core of the 9th generation Core X. This means the 10-core/20-thread model that the series starts with, will be priced under $600.

The first wave of these processors will include the 10-core/20-thread Core i9-10900XE, followed by the 12-core/24-thread i9-10920XE around the $700-mark, the 14-core/28-thread i9-10940XE around the $800-mark, and the range-topping 18-core/28-thread i9-10960XE at $999, nearly half that of the previous-generation i9-9980XE. There is a curious lack of a 16-core model. These chips feature a 44-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface supporting up to 256 GB of DDR4-2933 memory (native speed), and compatibility with existing socket LGA2066 motherboards with a BIOS update. The chips also feature an updated AES-512 ISA, the new DLBoost instruction set with a fixed-function hardware that accelerates neural net training by 5 times, and an updated Turbo Boost Max algorithm. Intel will extensively market these chips to creators and PC enthusiasts. October 7 will see a paper-launch, followed by November market-availability.

Enermax Introduces a New ETS-T50 AXE ARGB CPU Cooler Variant

ENERMAX, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance PC hardware products, adds an addressable RGB version into ETS-T50 AXE lineup. The extended product series is called ETS-T50 AXE ARGB, which can support the cooling performance of 230 W+ TDP and is designed to display fascinating addressable RGB lighting effects by synchronizing with ASUS Aura, ASRock Polychrome, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion and MSI Mystic Light Sync.

The exclusive plug & play function further enables ETS-T50 AXE ARGB to display luminous rainbow RGB lighting effect by simply connecting the PWM power cable. Available in black and white colors, ETS-T50 AXE ARGB is compatible with both Intel and AMD CPU sockets (except socket TR4/SP3).

Thermalright Enters the AIO CLC Market with the Turbo Right Series

Thermalright set the standards for CPU cooling with its iconic tower-type heatsinks through the 2000s. The company finally bit the AIO liquid cooling bullet with the new Turbo Right series. Unlike other closed-loop coolers (CLCs), the Turbo Right ships with a full-copper radiator, in which both the fins and coolant channels are made of copper. The base is made of mirror-finished nickel-plated copper. These coolers come with a fill-port and an extra 100 ml of coolant, so you can replenish it over time. The pump-block features an ornament on top with RGB LED lighting.

For now, the Turbo Right comes in two variants based on radiator size, the Turbo Right 240C, and the Turbo Right 360C, featuring 240 mm x 120 mm and 360 mm x 120 mm radiators, respectively. Depending on the variant, you get two or three TY-121BP 120 mm fans, which take in 4-pin PWM input, spin between 600 to 1,800 RPM, and push between 25.76 to 77.28 CFM of air, with a noise output of 19 to 25 dBA, each. Among the CPU sockets supported are LGA2066, LGA115x, and AM4.

ASUS Expands ROG Strix LC Lineup with a 360mm Model

ASUS today expanded its ROG Strix LC line of all-in-one liquid CPU coolers with a new top variant that comes with a large 360 mm x 120 mm radiator for better cooling. The ROG Strix LC series had debuted in May with 120 mm and 240 mm variants. ASUS bundles three of the same 120 mm fans it includes with the pricier Ryuo series, which take in 4-pin PWM input, spin between 800 to 2,500 RPM, pushing up to 80.95 CFM of air, with a noise output of up to 29.7 dBA, each. Characteristic to the ROG Strix LC series, the pump-block features spirally-projecting RGB LED diffusers along the sides, and an illuminated ROG logo on top. All lighting is controlled by addressable-RGB (ASUS Aura Sync RGB). The cooler supports nearly all modern CPU socket types, including AM4, LGA115x, and LGA2066. The pump-block supports the Asetek-standard AIO CLC retention module AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors include in their PIB packages.

X499 or X299G? Intel's Fall 2019 HEDT Update Heralds a New Chipset?

Our readers spotted an interesting visual detail that missed us during our coverage of GIGABYTE's three new socket LGA2066 motherboards unveiled at Computex 2019. One of the three boards, the X299S Designare 10G, has the hard-marking "X499" on its CPU VRM heatsink. Another detail that strikes us is that none of the three new boards we pictured has "X299" printed on the PCB anywhere. The Designare 10G has a sticker below the printed GIGABYTE logo that reads "X299G Designare 10G." The purported X299G Aorus Master has another interesting detail: right above the "Aorus Master" print, there's a tiny sticker marked "X299G," positioned as if it's covering up a printed marking on the PCB itself.

All these details lead us to wonder if GIGABYTE tried to cover up that these boards are in fact based on the unannounced X499 Express chipset, and made to appear like they are X299. We only have paper stickers and the booth placards that indicate "X299," while a metal embossing on the Designare 10G's VRM heatsink reads X499. Intel in its Computex 2019 keynote announced that it will introduce new Core X HEDT processors. It's been over 2 years since the first Core X "Skylake-X" processors launched in Q2-2017. Intel refreshed the lineup in 2018 with 9th generation branding and soldered TIM, with a few specification improvements across the product-stack, but a largely unchanged silicon. It's likely that the Fall 2019 release could see new chips with increased core counts, perhaps even the fabled 22-core die, and some hardware mitigation against recent security vulnerabilities.

GIGABYTE Unveils Three New X299 Motherboards at Computex 2019

At Computex 2019, we spotted three new socket LGA2066 motherboards from GIGABYTE, and several other manufacturers. At its Computex 2019 keynote, Intel announced that in Q3 2019, the company is launching new Core X series HEDT processor models "for creators." When combined with the handful new LGA2066 motherboard models we've spotted, it becomes highly likely that the processors Intel is launching this Fall could be LGA2066-compatible. Without further ado, the X299G Aorus Master, the X299G Aorus Xtreme Waterforce, and the X299G Designare 10G.

The X299G Aorus Master is different from the X299 Aorus Master launched last November, and the X299G Designare 10G is different from the X299 Designare EX launched way back in 2017. The X299G Aorus Xtreme Waterforce is the first "Xtreme" sub-branded LGA2066 product. What's common to these three boards is out-of-the-box support for the upcoming HEDT processor models, besides 9th generation "Skylake-X" Refresh processors, and the original "Skylake-X" chips.

ZADAK at Computex: Boutique Memory, Coolers, Gaming Desktops, and Case-Mods

ZADAK may have dropped the "511" from its name, but remains a sought-after boutique hardware brand for case-modders. At its Computex 2019 booth, the company showed off its latest memory modules, cooling products, and a few case-mods that put the two together. The centerpiece at the booth was the Spark line of premium DDR4 memory modules. Silver accents of brushed aluminium top a darker shade, crowned by a silicone addressable-RGB LED diffuser. Each module has five lighting zones - top, top sides, and corners, which the maker calls "Dynamic multi-zone RGB." Each module cycles between 8 lighting presets, although with a 3-pin ARGB connection, you can play with the lighting via software.

ZADAK Spark memory comes in single-module, dual-channel, and quad-channel kits of 8 GB and 16 GB modules, which are further differentiated in four speeds, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200, DDR4-3600, and DDR4-4133. Up to 3200 MHz, these modules offer timings of 16-18-18-38@1.35V, which loosen to 17-19-19-39@1.35V for DDR4-3600, and 19-21-21-42@1.4V for DDR4-4133. ZADAK claims it tested each memory kit for advertised settings on both Intel Core and AMD Ryzen platforms. Prices start at USD $159.99 for a 2x 8 GB DDR4-3200 memory kit. Next up, is the ZADAK Spark AIO closed-loop liquid CPU cooler.

ASUS Unveils the Prime X299 Edition 30 and Prime Utopia Concept Desktop

ASUS is commemorating its 30th year in the motherboard industry with the Prime X299 Edition 30 motherboard and Prime Utopia reference desktop platform. The Prime X299 Edition 30 is a premium LGA2066 motherboard with support for Core i9-9000X series processors out of the box. It is based on a familiar-looking PCB layout, mated to a new mostly-white composite heatsink/shroud over the rear I/O, the M.2 slots, and the chipset heatsink. The VRM heatsink is active and has a concealed 40 mm spinner ventilating the metal. Three each of PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and M.2 NVMe slots, an integrated rear I/O shield, premium connectivity that includes 802.11ac WLAN, and a high-end onboard audio solution, make for the rest of it.

The Prime Utopia is something else. It's a concept high-end desktop built around a motherboard that has slots, headers, ports, and connectors on both sides of the PCB. Its "obverse side," if you can call it that, has a shroud that conceals the memory slots, most controllers, chipset, and a 7-inch USB display that puts out real-time system monitoring data, or pretty much anything you want it to display. The CPU socket is on the other side of the PCB, and the processor and CPU VRM are liquid-cooled. An angled PCI-Express slot holds the graphics card along the plane of the motherboard. It all comes together on a CM Cosmos-like chassis frame that lets you show the innards off.

ASUS Launches ROG Strix LC Series AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

ASUS today launched its cost-effective Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix LC series all-in-one closed-loop liquid CPU coolers. This cooler is available in two variants, the ROG Strix LC 120 and ROG Strix LC 240, based on radiator sizes of 120 mm x 120 mm and 240 mm x 120 mm, respectively. The ROG Strix LC is headed by a cylindrical pump-block with an illuminated ROG logo on top, and four spirally-projecting diffusers along the sides. The RGB LEDs illuminating the block take in addressable RGB input. The primary material is copper, the company didn't reveal the pump bearing type.

Interestingly, unlike most cost-effective CLCs, this cooler offers 4-pin PWM control for the pump, letting you adjust coolant pressure. Both variants ship with 36 cm-long fiber sleeved coolant tubes. You get one or two ASUS ROG Radiator fans depending on the variant. Each of these takes in 4-pin PWM input, spins between 800 to 2,500 RPM, pushing up to 80.95 CFM of air, with a noise output of up to 37.6 dBA. Among the CPU socket types supported are AM4, LGA115x, and LGA2066. The company didn't reveal pricing, but it is expected to cost significantly less than the ROG Ryujin/Ryuo.

GIGABYTE Rolls Out Aorus ATC800 CPU Cooler

GIGABYTE rolled out the Aorus ATC800 air CPU cooler. Its design involves a conventional aluminium fin-stack tower-type heatsink that's ventilated by two pre-installed custom-design fans in push-pull arrangement. A plastic shroud covers the top of the fin-stack, and frames the two fans. The top-plate is studded with an RGB LED diffuser. The two fans come with RGB LED lighting, too. All three lighting elements take input from a single 3-pin addressable RGB source.

Six 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU at the base, conveying heat through the aluminium fin-stack. Each of the two 120 mm double ball-bearing fans take in 4-pin PWM input, spin between 600 to 2,000 RPM, push 14.05 to 51.7 CFM of air-flow, with a noise output ranging between 18 to 31 dBA. Measuring 139 mm x 107 mm x 163 mm, the cooler weighs 1.01 kg. It offers 37.4 mm of clearance to the memory module installed closest to the CPU socket. The cooler is rated for thermal loads of 200 W. Among its sockets supported are AM4, LGA2066, and LGA115x. The company didn't reveal pricing.

SilverStone Rolls Out the Krypton KR02 CPU Cooler

SilverStone today rolled out the Krypton KR02, a compact tower-type CPU cooler. This cooler is designed to handle thermal loads of up to 130 Watts, and supports LGA2066 and LGA115x sockets. AM4 support is added by separately purchasing a bracket, which ensures the cooler points in the right direction (towards the rear of your case) when installed. Its base is made of copper and aluminium with some finnage; from which three 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes pass, conveying heat through the aluminium fin-stack, which is ventilated by a 92 mm fan.

Taking in 4-pin PWM connection, this 92 mm fan spins between 800 to 2,800 RPM, pushing 15.12 to 56.1 CFM of air, with a noise output ranging between 13.6 to 34.8 dBA. Its hydraulic bearing offers a rated lifespan of 40,000 hours. Measuring 92 mm x 125 mm x 51 mm with the fan installed, the cooler weighs 380 g. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Spire Intros LCG-HSR Line of AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

Spire today introduced the LCG-HSR line of all-in-one closed-loop liquid CPU coolers, with two models, the CG-AE-LCG-H24SR-P featuring a 240 mm x 120 mm radiator, and the CG-AE-LCG-H12SR-P "Solo," with a 120 mm x 120 mm radiator. These coolers are characterized by a cubical pump-block, Nylon-sleeved coolant tubes, and one or two included CG-AE-H30K3AR-6PM fans. These fans feature RGB LED diffusers along the inner and outer walls of the frame, with 16 diodes taking input from a standard 4-pin RGB connector. Unlike the fan's standalone package, Spire isn't including RGB LED controllers with these coolers.

The included fans take in 4-pin PWM input, spin between 300 to 2,000 RPM with minimum airflow of 30 CFM, and noise-level ranging between 12 to 35 dBA, each. Both coolers support most common CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), LGA2066, LGA2011(v3), LGA1366, and LGA115x. Spire is listing the CG-AE-LCG-H24SR-P at USD $80 and CG-AE-LCG-H12SR-P at USD $70, in 200-unit bulk quantities. Retail prices will be higher than these.

Thermalright Intros Silver Arrow IB-E Extreme Rev. B CPU Cooler

Thermalright today rolled out the Silver Arrow IB-E Extreme Rev. B CPU cooler. Thermalright has made changes to the design to make sure the fin-stack is slightly offset from the base in directions that free up headroom near the memory area and topmost expansion slot of a typical mainstream-desktop motherboard, giving you easy access to the memory and M.2 slots closest to the CPU socket.

Heat drawn from a heavier mirror-finished nickel-plated copper base is conveyed to the fin-stacks by eight 6 mm-thick heat pipes. The lavish use of heavy copper used in this heatsink make it tip the scales at 850 g, without fans. With both its fans installed, the Silver Arrow IB-E Extreme Rev. B can handle thermal loads of up to 320W. Each of the two included TY-143 140 mm fans spin between 600 to 2,500 RPM, pushing 31.4 to 130 CFM of air, with a noise output ranging between 21 to 45 dBA. Thermalright has updated the CPU socket support to include AM4 and LGA2066, besides LGA115x and LGA2011(v3). The heatsink measures 155 mm x 130 mm x 163 mm (LxWxH). The company didn't reveal pricing.

ENERMAX Announces LIQMAX III AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

ENERMAX, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance PC hardware products, introduces LIQMAX III, the new generation of LIQMAX, one of the proclaimed AIO CPU cooler series from ENERMAX. Like the award-winning predecessors featuring superior cooling performance as well as rock-solid quality, LIQMAX III is built with a luminous Aurabelt water-block supporting synchronizabale RGB lighting with RGB motherboards from ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI. LIQMAX III is undoubtedly an excellent choice for mainstream water-cooled RGB gaming rigs.

The premium Aurabelt water-block provides luminous RGB lighting; besides, the exquisite water block is able to support RGB lighting synchronization with motherboards that come with 4pin RGB header(s) (12V/G/R/B). Users can select the preferred lighting styles via the RGB motherboard software.

Intel Core i9-9990XE OEM-only, Even Then it's a Lottery

In a sign of just how arid the DIY retail channel has become for Intel, Tom's Hardware reports that the new socket flagship LGA2066 HEDT processor model Intel sneaked into its product-stack, the Core i9-9990XE, is restricted to the OEM/SI (system integrator) channel. Even to OEMs, ordering a tray of i9-9990XE chips isn't as simple as ordering other chips, such as the i9-9900K. Apparently, Intel has been running secret online auctions that are OEM-only, for these chips. OEMs get to bid on the per-chip price in n-unit tray quantities.

Workstation integrator Puget Systems was able to score itself some i9-9990XE inventory at USD $2,300 per chip. Puget Systems last week received its first batch of chips from Intel, and released performance benchmarks. At this price, the i9-9990XE is being sold at a 21% premium over the retail-channel SEP price of the i9-9980XE, and a whopping 65% premium over the i9-9940X. Intel can't shake off comparisons between the i9-9990XE and the i9-9940X because both chips are 14-core/28-thread with 19.25 MB shared L3 cache, with the i9-9990XE only offering significantly higher clock-speeds, but at an astounding TDP of 255W. The i9-9990XE was shown beating the 18-core i9-9980XE in a variety of HEDT-relevant benchmarks.

New Intel Core i9-9990XE Sheds Cores in Favor of High Clock Speeds, Benchmarked

Intel is giving final touches to a new socket LGA2066 high-end desktop processor with an interesting model number for its specifications. The new Core i9-9990XE is positioned above the current flagship i9-9980XE. Normally you'd expect it to be the same 18-core "Skylake-X" chip with a speed-bump, however, the i9-9990XE is a unique proposition. It sheds cores in favor of significantly higher clock-speeds than the i9-9980XE.

The i9-9990XE is a 14-core/28-thread processor, based on a binned "Skylake-X" HCC (high core count) die, and uses STIM (soldered thermal interface material) between the die and integrated heatspreader (IHS). It features some aggressive clock-speeds, with 4.00 GHz nominal clock-speeds, and a massive 5.10 GHz maximum Turbo Boost frequency that beats even the Core i9-9900K. Besides 14 cores, the i9-9990XE is configured with 19.25 MB of shared L3 cache, and 1 MB of L2 cache per core. The four disabled cores alone don't help Intel's efforts to dial up clock-speeds. Intel has increased the chip's rated TDP all the way up to 255 Watts!

ENERMAX Expands LIQFUSION RGB Liquid Cooler Lineup with 360 Version

ENERMAX, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance PC hardware products, is expanding the acclaimed RGB liquid cooler series, LIQFUSION, with the addition of a 360mm AIO cooler. After the launch of the 240 variant, LIQFUSION has got users' attention and recognition for its cooling performance and brilliant lighting effects. With the larger cooling surface, LIQFUSION 360 is able to easily handle a large amount of heat produced by the overclocked CPUs. Moreover, LIQFUSION comes with an addressable RGB-sync waterblock featuring patented flow indicator, which allows the users to monitor the status of coolant flow. Along with ENERMAX addressable RGB fans, LIQFUSION can create visual appealing lighting effects.

LIQFUSION can sync the RGB lighting with motherboards featuring addressable RGB headers (4-pin assignment: +5V/D/-/G). Users can select preferred effects via the motherboard RGB software with 16.8 million color options. On the other hand, for those who use non-RGB motherboards, they can use the included RGB control box to select preferred lighting color, speed, and effects (10 pre-set effects).

Raijintek Refreshes the Pallas CPU Cooler with RGB LED Lighting and More

Raijintek today introduced the Pallas 120 RGB, a refresh of the original Pallas from 2014. Raijintek has made four key changes to its design. To begin with, the mirror finish nickel-plated copper base from the original has been replaced with a direct-touch base, where the cooler's six 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU. The second big change is the black coated aluminium fin-stack and heat-pipes, which offer a matte appearance. Thirdly, the change reflecting the namesake - the fan featuring RGB LED illumination using 10 diodes (4-pin standard RGB header); and lastly, support for newer sockets AM4 and LGA2066, in addition to LGA115x and AM3+.

The C-type heatsink offers a height of just 68 mm, making it perfect for low-profile builds, provided you can find room around the CPU socket for the cooler's vast width and depth. Measuring 130 mm x 146.8 mm x 68 mm (WxDxH), it weighs 550 g, including the fan. The fan specs are mostly unchanged from the original. Drawing power from a 4-pin PWM header, and featuring a hydraulic bearing, it spins between 200 to 1,400 RPM, pushing up to 41.71 CFM of air, with a maximum noise output of 28.43 dBA. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ENERMAX Launches LIQTECH II, Universal AIO Liquid Cooler with TDP 500+ Watts

ENERMAX, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance PC hardware products, announces the launch of a new all-in-one liquid cooler series, LIQTECH II. Responding the market demand of cooling solution for high-end CPUs, LIQTECH II can deliver enthusiast-grade cooling capacity of 500+ watts (TDP) and is compatible with both Intel and AMD sockets (except AMD sTR4).

Furthermore, certified by main motherboard makers (ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI), LIQTECH II can support the latest addressable RGB lighting synchronization with advanced motherboards featuring addressable RGB headers (pin assignment: 5V/D/-/G) to create dynamic visual effects. LIQTECH II is perfect for overclocked systems, image editing workstations, and high-end gaming machines.

Raijintek Intros MYA RBW CPU Cooler

Raijintek today introduced the MYA RBW, a large aluminium fin tower-type CPU cooler with addressable RGB embellishments. The cooler was first shown off at Computex 2018. Its design involves a heavy aluminium fin-stack with ridged fins that have increased surface area over flat fins, capped off by a composite top, with a silicone RGB LED diffuser, and a brushed metal top-plate. Heat drawn by six 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes pass through the fin-stack.

At the base, these heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU. A 13 mm-thick slimline hydraulic bearing 120 mm fan compensates for the fin-stack's thickness, as does the vertical offset in the fin-stack itself, freeing up room near your motherboard's memory slot area. The fan spins between 200 to 1,400 RPM, pushing up to 41.71 CFM of air and a 28.43 dBA minimum noise level. Measuring 130 mm x 86 mm x 163 mm (WxDxH), the cooler weighs about 925 g, including the fan. Among the CPU sockets supported are Intel LGA2066, LGA115x, and AM4. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ID-Cooling Releases AURAFLOW X 240 Budget RGB AIO Water Cooler

ID-COOLING a cooling solution provider focusing on thermal dissipation and fan technology research and production for over 10 years, announced AURAFLOW X 240 AIO water cooler, featuring the newly developed powerful pump and 12V RGB lighting on both the pump and fans at the same time synchronizing with motherboard RGB control.

AURAFLOW X 240 is equipped with the newly developed powerful pump which has the flow rate reaching up to 106L/H, lift range 1.3m H2O. The pump block has a micro-fin copper base to ensure the best cooling performance. Power connector is 3pin with a 3pin to Molex adapter to help ensure 12V constant input to ensure maximum cooling performance. It also comes with a standard 12V RGB connector.

GIGABYTE Intros X299 Aorus Master Motherboard

GIGABYTE today announced its almost-flagship socket LGA2066 motherboard, the X299 Aorus Master. The Master brand-extension, if you'll recall, is positioned just a notch below the flagship Aorus Xtreme, which makes this board a successor to the X299 Aorus Gaming 7. The X299 Aorus Gaming 9 and Designare-EX remain the company's flagship LGA2066 products, until they're succeeded by a new Aorus Xtreme product. There's still plenty to go around with the new X299 Aorus Master, beginning with its updated design scheme that's in sync with the company's latest Z390 motherboard lineup. It ships with out-of-the-box support for Core X 9000-series processors. The board is wider than ATX, although not quite E-ATX. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 12-phase VRM powers the CPU, cooled by a 2-stage heatsink. Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8). The DIMM and PCIe slots feature metal reinforcement.

Storage connectivity on the GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Master includes three M.2 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each with heatsinks; and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. Networking includes a 2.5 GbE wired interface driven by Realtek Dragon 8125AG controller, a 1 GbE driven by Intel i219-V controller, and 802.11 ac + Bluetooth 5 interface driven by Intel 9260 WLAN card. USB connectivity includes four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports (two on the rear panel including a type-C, two by header), driven by a combination of ASMedia ASM1142 controller and the X299 PCH. The onboard audio solution is quite something. An ESS Sabre 9218 DAC (130 dBA SNR!) drives the main front + headphones channel with Ti Burr Brown OPA2111KP OPAMPs and WIMA capacitors; while a 120 dBA SNR Realtek ALC1220VB pulls the remaining channels. Manually-switchable dual-BIOS, 7-segment POST code readout, USB flash-back, and a boatload of other overclocker-friendly features complete the board. Expect it to be priced around USD $399.

GIGABYTE Intros X299-WU8 Motherboard Capable of 4x PCIe x16

GIGABYTE introduced the X299-WU8, a high-end desktop motherboard being sold as a quasi-workstation-class board, in the CEB form-factor (305 mm x 267 mm). Based on Intel X299 Express chipset, it features out-of-the-box support for Intel's socket LGA2066 Core X 9000-series processors, in addition to existing Core X 7000-series. A design focus with this board is on PCIe connectivity. The board employs two PLX PEX8747 PCIx gen 3.0 x48 bridge chips, which convert two gen 3.0 x16 links from the processor to four downstream x16 links, which can further be switched to x8. All seven expansion slots are PCI-Express 3.0 x16 physically, which are electrically "x16/NC/x16/NC/x16/NC/x16" or "x16/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8." The topmost slot stays x16, while the other six share three x16 links depending on how you populate them. The board has certifications for 4-way SLI and CrossFireX.

The GIGABYTE X299-WU8 draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and two 8-pin EPS connectors, conditioning it for the CPU with an 8+1 phase VRM. An additional 6-pin PCIe power input, which is optional, stabilizes slot power delivery to the graphics cards. The CPU socket is flanked by eight DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory. Storage connectivity is surprisingly sparse, with just one M.2-2280 slot that has PCIe 3.0 x4 wiring, and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. USB connectivity includes USB 3.1 gen 2 (including a type-C port), a number of USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, both on the rear panel and via headers; high-end onboard audio including an ALC1220 CODEC and headphones amp; and two 1 GbE networking interfaces. Expect this board to be priced around $600, given that the PEX8747 isn't cheap these days, and this board has two of it.

MSI Intros X299 MEG Creation Motherboard

MSI drew more than a few eyeballs at Computex 2018 when it showcased the X399 MEG Creation motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. With the advent of "new" Skylake-X Refresh processors by Intel, the company has a new high-end motherboard with the X299 MEG Creation. MSI appears to have toned down on the design from its X399-based product, although you still see the metal waveform design along the chipset heatsink that's contiguous with M.2 SSD heatsinks, the VRM heatsink, and the rear I/O shroud. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, and two 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the LGA2066 processor with a 14-phase VRM.

Expansion slots on the MSI X299 MEG Creation include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16, from which three are wired to the CPU, and the fourth one to the PCH. Between them are three M.2-2280 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each. You can add up to four more M.2-2280 SSDs with the included M.2-Xpander Aero accessory, which is a 4-slot M.2 riser with air-cooling, which made its debut with the X399 MEG Creation. Another star attraction with this board is Realtek 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, alongside an Intel i219-V powered 1 GbE interface, and an 802.11 ac + BT 5.0 WLAN. Another interesting accessory is the ThunderboltM3, a Thunderbolt 3.0 card with two type-C ports, and two DisplayPort connectors, for daisy chaining your displays. Storage connectivity, besides the seven M.2 slots, includes eight SATA 6 Gbps ports, and a U.2 port. This board could be priced around the $500-mark.
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