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AMD 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper MCM Configuration Confirmed, More Details

Tech Day slides leaked to the web by Kitguru provide a confirmation of how AMD is wiring out the additional two dies on the 24-core and 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 2000-series MCMs on the socket TR4 platform. We had speculated that because the quad-channel DDR4 memory and PCIe interfaces are wired to two diagonally-opposite dies on AMD X399 chipset motherboards; in the interest of backwards compatibility, AMD could wire out memory and PCIe from just two out of four dies on the multi-chip module, and have the two additional dies seek memory and PCIe over the InfinityFabric interfaces.

The obvious trade-offs with this design choice is that latencies to the dies with indirect memory/PCIe access are higher, and that reflects heavily in AMD's own performance figures for comparing the 32-core 2990WX with the 16-core 2950X from the same generation. The 2990WX is "only" up to 64 percent faster than 2950X at Cinebench R15 nT, despite having double the number of cores. To its credit, the 2950X has higher clock-speeds (3.50 GHz nominal with 4.40 GHz boost) than the 2990WX (3.00 GHz nominal with 4.00 GHz boost). The presentation also puts out interesting bits of information such as AMD's own performance numbers showing 10-15 percent performance gains between the 2950X and the 1950X; and performance gains of the 2990WX over Intel Core i9-7980XE.

AMD Announces 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper 2000, up to 32 Cores/64 Threads!

AMD announced its second-generation Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktop (HEDT) processor series, succeeding its lean and successful first-generation that disrupted much of Intel's Core X HEDT series, forcing Intel to open up new high-core-count (HCC) market segments beyond its traditional $1000 price-point. AMD's 16-core $999 1950X proved competitive with even Intel's 12-core and 14-core SKUs priced well above the $1200-mark; and now AMD looks to beat Intel at its game, with the introduction of new 24-core and 32-core SKUs at prices that are sure to spell trouble for Intel's Core X HCC lineup. The lineup is partially open to pre-orders, with two SKUs launching within August (including the 32-core one), and two others in October.

At the heart of AMD's second-generation Ryzen Threadripper is the new 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" die, which made its debut with the 2nd Generation Ryzen AM4 family. This die proved to introduce 3-5 percent IPC improvements in single-threaded tasks, and multi-threaded improvements with an improved Precision Boost II algorithm, which boosted frequencies of each of 8 cores on-die. The Threadripper is still a multi-chip module, with 2 to 4 of these dies, depending on the SKU. There are four of these - the 12-core/24-thread Threadripper 2920X, the 16-core/32-thread Threadripper 2950X; the 24-core/48-thread Threadripper 2970WX, and the flagship 32-core/64-thread Threadripper 2990WX.

ASUS Gives Away Cooling Kits for its Socket TR4 Motherboards

To cope better with AMD 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper processors, which come with up to four active dies on the MCM (multi-chip module), ASUS is giving away free Cooling Kits to owners of its socket TR4 motherboards, such as the ROG Zenith Extreme, ROG Strix X399-E Gaming, and Prime X399-A. The kits include a fan bracket that lets you strap a 40 mm fan onto your CPU VRM heatsink, and a so-called "SoC heatsink," designed to cool the SoC power phase MOSFETs (which now have to cope with the load of four SoC dies). The kit for the Zenith Extreme also includes a 10 mm-thick 40 mm fan, which plugs into one of your 4-pin PWM headers. The kit will neither be included with current or upcoming inventories of unsold X399 motherboards by ASUS. Customers who need it will have to contact their local ASUS office, which will verify the purchase of their ASUS X399 motherboard, and ship their kit for free.

GIGABYTE Announces the AORUS X399 XTREME Motherboard

GIGABYTE today announced its flagship socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, with out-of-the-box compatibility with 2nd generation 32-core Threadrippers. The new Aorus X399 XTREME board is part of a new breed of X399-TR4 motherboards launched/unveiled in the past few months, with reinforced VRM to cope better with the upcoming 250W TDP 24-core and 32-core processors, such as the MSI MEG X399 Creation. A brochure of this board was leaked to the web last month, and now we see it in the flesh. Technically still an ATX board, the Aorus X399 Xtreme is slightly broader, and is recommended to be installed in EATX-capable cases. Power is drawn from a 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 10-phase VRM powers the CPU.

Expansion includes four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8), and an x1 slot. Storage connectivity includes three M.2 slots with gen 3.0 x4 wiring, each; and six SATA 6 Gbps ports, from which four come directly from the CPU. The onboard audio is top of the line, with an ESS Sabre DAC working the main stereo out, and a Realtek ALC1220VB handling the other 8 channels. The Sabre is slaved to the ALC1220VB, so the system only sees one audio controller. There are four network interfaces - a 10 GbE driven by an Aquantia-made controller, two 1 GbE pulled by Intel i219-V, and an 802.11ac driven by an Intel 9260 WLAN card, which also handles Bluetooth 5.0. There are 10 USB 3.1 ports at the integrated rear panel (eight running at 5 Gbps, and two at 10 Gbps, one of which is type-C). Four other 5 Gbps ports are wired internally. Of course there's the full-shebang of RGB lighting and control. Available from 8th August, the board will be priced at USD $499.99.

GIGABYTE Aorus X399 Extreme Motherboard Pictured, Threadripper II TDP Confirmed

AMD's second generation Ryzen Threadripper processors will be accompanied by a new wave of socket TR4 motherboards (while the processors themselves are very much compatible with existing TR4 motherboards with BIOS updates). At Computex, we had already seen one of these, with the MSI X399 Creation, and now it's GIGABYTE's turn with the X399 Aorus Extreme. A leaked slide details not just the motherboard, but also confirms the TDP of the upcoming 24-core and 32-core Threadripper II models - 250 W.

This explains why these latest socket TR4 motherboards have heavy CPU VRM designs. The X399 Aorus Extreme employs a 10+3 phase VRM, drawing power from a pair of 8-pin EPS connectors. The board is almost entirely enveloped in metal and plastic, with a metal back-plate covering most of the reverse side, a rear I/O shroud with integrated I/O shield, which runs the length of the board, and a large chipset heatsink that extends into an M.2 heatsink for the board's third M.2 slot, with heatsinks over the other two. The TR4 socket is flanked by eight DDR4 DIMM slots. You get four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, from which two run at full x16 bandwidth. Networking includes 10 GbE besides two 1 GbE interfaces, 802.11ac WLAN + Bluetooth 5.0, and a number of USB 3.1 ports.

MSI MEG X399 Creation to be the Most Outrageous Threadripper Motherboard You Can Buy

This Computex, we are on the lookout for motherboards based on Intel Z390 and upcoming AMD chipsets such as the B450, or even the Z490; but a new X399 motherboard for the Ryzen Threadripper was the last thing we expected. Imagine our shock at the sight of the MSI MEG X399 Creation. This board has the most polarizing, in-your-face design from MSI since the mid-2000s (roller-coaster heatsinks, anyone?). The board appears to be clearly wider than ATX spec, and approaching E-ATX territory.

A humongous L-shaped heatsink dominates the bottom-right corner, cooling not just the AMD X399 chipset, but also three M.2 slots. The top-left, and far-left corners feature some of the largest CPU VRM heatsinks we've seen in a long while. The VRM heatsink extends to the left side, while the rear-I/O shroud blends into it, running the entire length of the left side. The board gives you a maximum of 7 M.2 slots. A 19-phase VRM drawing power from two 8-pin EPS connectors fuels your Threadripper. Four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and the whole shebang of OC features make for the rest of it.

EK Expands Its Threadripper Waterblock Portfolio With the EK-Supremacy sTR4's Four SKUs

EK is releasing new dedicated EK-Supremacy sTR4 water blocks that are specifically designed for HEDT AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. The cold plate covers the entire IHS of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor and the fin structure is fine-tuned for multi-die CPU cooling.

EK-Supremacy sTR4
The release of AMD X399 chipset based HEDT processors opened new opportunities and challenges for cooling solutions. EK was first on market with a liquid cooling solution, but now it's time to go for the pole-position. The primary goal in designing the new EK-Supremacy sTR4 water block was to cover the entire IHS of HEDT AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors and to optimize the fin structure according to the CPU die layout. A dense micro-fin structure that counts 91 grooves is split in half in the center so that the CPU dies are cooled more directly. The water block features a patent-pending technology called TDC (Targeted Die Cooling), which is a unique approach to cooling of multi-die processors in order to maximize the cooling performance of every single die by addressing them directly.

Intel Confirms Z390 and X399 Chipsets in Official Documents

Intel unintentionally confirmed the existence of two of its upcoming client platform chipsets, the Z390 Express, and the X399 Express. The latest release-notes documentation of its Rapid Storage Technology driver, mentions Z390 and X399, alongside the CPU micro-architectures they support. The Z390 supports current-generation "Coffee Lake" and upcoming "Cannon Lake" processors, while the X399 supports HEDT derivatives based on the two architectures, namely "Coffee Lake-X" and "Cannon Lake-X," with no mention of "Skylake-X."

What happens to the X299, you ask? The table mentions the chipset as supporting SKL-X (Skylake-X) and KBL-X (Kaby Lake-X), but it's not clear if Intel is only referring to the forgettable i7-7740X and i5-7640X with "KBL-X." The Z390 is rumored as being Intel's next top mainstream-desktop chipset, with a long overdue update to onboard audio standards, in being a departure from the "Azalia" HD audio specification, onward to the new Programmable Quad-Core Audio with new SoundWire digital audio interface. The chipset is also rumored to feature 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports.

AMD Readies Ryzen Threadripper SKUs based on "Pinnacle Ridge" Dies

Hot on the heels of this morning's big AMD Ryzen 2000-series slide dump, comes a new roadmap slide that gives a larger overview of how AMD is addressing various client processor market segments. It begins with the mention of a 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper series launch within 2018. These chips presumably, are multi-chip modules of the company's new 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon, and will be compatible with existing AMD X399 chipset motherboards through BIOS updates. The "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon supports higher clock-speeds, has several microarchitecture refinements, and a few new overclocker-centric features.

The better news is that company seems to be updating its HEDT processor lineup every year; and that the current Threadripper series isn't a one-off halo product like its Athlon64 FX "QuadFX" 2P platform. With "Pinnacle Ridge" based Threadripper 2000-series MCMs slated for 2018; 2019 will see the launch of the new "Castle Peak" HEDT processor. It's not known if this is an MCM. The spiritual successor to "Pinnacle Ridge" is "Matisse." This is Zen 2 based, and will have significant changes to the core design, presenting AMD with an opportunity to review the way it arranges cores. "Picasso" succeeds "Raven Ridge" as the company's Zen 2-based APUs. "Picasso," along with "Matisse" and "Castle Peak" could see AMD implement GlobalFoundries' new 7 nm silicon fabrication process, given its 2019 timeline. 2020 will see their refined avatars - an unnamed "Next-Gen HEDT" chip, "Vermeer," and "Renoir," respectively.

EK Announces Monoblock for ASRock X399 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing a new Socket TR4 based monoblock made for several ASRock X399 motherboards. The EK-FB ASRock X399 RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strips which make them compatible with ASRock RGB LED, thus offering a full lighting customization experience!

EK-FB ASRock X399 RGB Monoblock
This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for three ASRock AMD X399 Chipset based motherboards that support AMD Socket TR4 AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following ASRock motherboards:
  • ASRock X399 Taichi
  • ASRock X399M Taichi
  • ASRock Fatal1ty X399 Professional Gaming

EK Announces Monoblock for MSI X399 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing a new Socket TR4 based monoblock made for several MSI X399 motherboards. The EK-FB MSI X399 Gaming RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with MSI Mystic Light, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for two MSI AMD X399 Chipset based motherboards that support AMD Socket TR4 AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following MSI motherboards:
  • MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
  • MSI X399 SLI Plus

EK Announces Monoblock for GIGABYTE X399 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing a new Socket TR4 based monoblock made for several GIGABYTE X399 motherboards. The EK-FB GA X399 GAMING RGB Monoblock has an integrated 3-pin RGB Digital LED strip which makes it compatible with GIGABYTE Fusion, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for two GIGABYTE AMD X399 Chipset based motherboards that support AMD Socket TR4 AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following GIGABYTE motherboards:
  • GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Gaming 7 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X399 Designare EX (rev.1.0)

An EPYC Threadripper: Der8auer Gets EPYC CPU Working on X399 Motherboard

So, maybe it isn't really working - but at least the system boots up all the way to the BIOS memory checks, where it then stops emitting life signs. Der8auer went through a sort of blind process to discover that there is a particular ID pin on EPYC that when covered, allows the CPU to be booted up by a X399 motherboard (in this case, an ASUS X399 Zenith Extreme). ID pins are nothing new, and basically tell sockets whether or not they should be powering up a particular CPU.

So what exactly does this mean? Nothing much - only that the sockets and pinouts are the same. The approach towards detecting the ID pin was a crude, brute force one, appending a piece of electrical tape to different parts of the CPU, narrowing down the search for a single pin. When this particular pin was covered, standby power finally kept on, and the motherboard ran through some initial boot steps until stopping at the D0 memory boot code. Der8auer thinks that a "simple" BIOS switch on this TR4 motherboard to an EPYC motherboard's BIOS would suffice to get the EPYC CPU running on this Threadripper motherboard. Check out the full video after the break.

ASRock Intros Ultra Quad M.2 Card

ASRock introduced the Ultra Quad M.2 Card, an add-on card that lets you easily set up an M.2 NVMe RAID array with up to four drives with 32 Gbps bandwidth for each drive. In principle, this product does exactly what ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 Riser card does, but better. The first benefit is shorter traces- while the ASUS card has M.2 slots arranged horizontally along the plane of the card, with the topmost slot being farthest away from the PCI-Express interface, the ASRock card has them arranged diagonally, in a way that ensures each slot is close to the PCIe bus. ASRock also claims better thermals with a larger 50 mm fan (vs. 40 mm of the ASUS card) and longer thermal pads (110 mm vs 80 mm), power stability with a 6-pin PCIe power input, and software control over the fan. The card supports NVMe RAID on both Intel X299 and AMD X399 platforms. The card is expected to be priced around USD $69.99.
ASRock presentation slides follow.

ASRock Announces X399M Taichi Motherboard for Ryzen Threadripper

ASRock today unveiled the industry's first micro-ATX form-factor motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the X399M Taichi. The board supports a full-featured Threadripper HEDT build. Drawing power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, it uses an 8-phase VRM to power the CPU. MOSFETs of this VRM vent heat onto both a smaller primary heatsink, and a larger secondary heatsink, via a heat-pipe. The TR4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting quad-channel DDR4 memory; and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (from which at least two run at full x16 bandwidth at all times).

Storage connectivity on the ASRock X399M Taichi includes three 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, one 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Networking connectivity includes 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.x WLAN, and two 1 GbE interfaces. USB connectivity includes eight USB 3.0 and two USB 3.1 (including a type-C) ports on the rear panel, and four USB 3.0 ports via headers. ASRock deployed its highest-grade onboard audio solution, which takes advantage of a 120 dBA SNR CODEC, audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. The company will showcase this board at the 2018 International CES.

Heatkiller IV Waterblocks for AMD Threadripper CPUs Go Up for Preorder

Watercool started development on their waterblocks for AMD Threadripper processors back in August. The brand made an announcement today on their Facebook stating that waterblocks are ready to come out of the oven. The Heatkiller IV waterblocks will come in three variants: copper, nickel, and nickel/black. All three models are available for preorder tomorrow. If you're quick enough to pull the trigger, you can also net yourself a nice 10% preorder discount. According to Watercool, the copper model ships on November 10th, while the other two remaining nickel models will start shipping on November 24th.

The full copper model is a waterblock aimed at copper lovers. It comes with an unique, huge Threadripper cooling plate made entirely of copper. The massive top is milled out of one solid block of copper. On the other hand, the nickel block caters to those who prefer a more glossy look. Both the huge cold plater and top are milled out of solid copper; then consequently nickel plated. Lastly, Watercool calls the nickel/black model the jack of all trades. The copper cold plate is nickel plated, while the top is manufactured from acrylic (Plexiglas GS) and comes with a black anodized aluminum cover. RGB lighting is present thanks to the preinstalled RGB LED strip which connects to the RGB LED headers on X399 motherboards through a black, paracord sleeved cable.

EK Releases CPU+VRM Monoblock for ASUS X399 Threadripper Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer proves its market leadership once again by releasing the world's first Socket TR4 based monoblock made for several ASUS X399 motherboards. The EK-FB ASUS ROG ZE RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin Digital RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

Designed and engineered in cooperation with ASUS, this monoblock uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure best possible CPU cooling. This water block directly cools AMD Socket TR4 type CPU, as well as the power regulation (MOSFET) module. Liquid flows directly over all critical areas, providing the enthusiasts with a great solution for high and stable overclocks. Using such a monoblock gets rid of the small fan that can be found on some X399 motherboards, hidden under the I/O cover.

MSI Launches the X399 SLI Plus Motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper

MSI, the world leading motherboard manufacturer, is pleased to announce the availability of a new motherboard: X399 SLI PLUS. Perfect for content creators who are looking for a great performer with plenty of connectivity options, MSI's new X399 SLI PLUS is an optimized workstation motherboard, built for designers. Featuring heavy plated heatsinks, Military Class V components and numerous unique and patented performance enhancing features, this motherboard is the best choice for professionals looking for speed and stability.

Using a full black color scheme, the new X399 SLI PLUS enters the next generation PRO Series design concept by adding Mystic Light RGB to personalize any workstation. Lightning USB 3.1 Gen2 extends data transfer bandwidth options to provide the best USB 3.1 performance. M.2 Shield v2 helps stabilize fast SSD data signals and prevents throttling for the best M.2 SSD performance. STEEL ARMOR slots prevent PCI-E slots from sustaining damage by heavy graphics cards. Each feature on SLI PLUS has been designed and tested to achieve the highest quality standards and are geared for longevity and best performance. More performance-related features on the new X399 SLI PLUS are: DDR4 Boost, Turbo M.2 with RAID support, Audio Boost, X-Boost, Network Manager and many more.

AMD Enables NVMe RAID on X399 Platform

AMD has delivered on its teased promise, and today introduced a software-driven NVMe RAID driver that enables users to, you guessed it, create bootable NVMe arrays on their X399, Threadripper platform. The new solution demands that users download the appropriate drivers from AMD (follow the source links), and that you backup and dismantle your puny SATA RAID - note that you won't be able to use dual SATA and NVMe RAID on your platform. Any X399 motherboard will support this, there are no restrictions on the models of the NVMe drives, but your OS will have to be Windows 10 (build 1703).

The installation can be done via BIOS (which depends on manufacturer's BIOS releases and QA schedules - or via software with AMD's own RAIDXpert2 software. You can also opt for either of three RAID modes: RAID0 (striping), RAID1 (mirroring), and RAID10 (striping with mirroring). RAID10, by design, requires four or six NVMe devices. AMD is quoting scaling values that are close to 100% for RAID read scaling, and somewhere around 90% write scaling with up to 6 NVMe drives (1-6x Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSD with 512 GB each). That amounts to almost 21.2 GB/s read, and 11.53 GB/s writes for a 6x NVMe SSD RAID. If you want the ultimate storage system performance for us mortal consumers, now you know where you can get it.

MSI Reveals X399 SLI Plus Motherboard

MSI's next outing for the X399 platform seems to be the X399 SLI Plus. A downgrade from the company's X399 Gaming Pro Carbon, the X399 SLI Plus keeps all of the required features, and does away with some of the unneeded extras that are ever more creeping towards motherboards.

Specifically, the SLI Plus does away with the metallic RAM reinforcements and lowers the number of reinforced PCIe x16 slots to just two - by a wide margin, the most common configuration for the dwindling SLI or CrossFire crowds. It also sheds one extra PCIe x16 port - the Gaming Pro Carbon features 5 such ports, but the SLI Plus makes do with "only" 4, adding an extra PCIe x1 to the mix. It still features the same 3x M.2 ports, although MSI's M.2 Shield only makes its appearance on one of them, again, contrary to the Gaming Pro Carbon, which uses MSI's M.2 Shield in all three of them. All in all, it seems MSI's X399 SLI Plus motherboard does away with the extra frills, making clever cuts while keeping most of the functionality. Expect this motherboard to come in at a lower price bracket than the Gaming Pro Carbon.

GIGABYTE Launches the X399 Designare EX Motherboard

GIGABYTE formally launched its flagship socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the X399 Designare EX. Positioned slightly above the company's current (and only) offering for this platform, the Aorus X399 Gaming 7, the new Designare EX is based on the same PCB, and a nearly-identical feature-set, except for cosmetic changes, such as its silver-metallic color-scheme dominating the VRM and chipset heatsinks, the M.2 SSD heatspreaders, the I/O shroud and integrated shield, and a back-plate covering most of the reverse side.

Built in the ATX form-factor, the X399 Designare EX draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX, conditioning it for the CPU using an 8-phase VRM with "server-grade" chokes, and a VRM heatsink that offloads its heat onto a second heatsink via a heat-pipe. Expansion slots include five PCI-Express 3.0 x16, all of which are wired to the CPU. Storage connectivity includes three 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, from which four are directly wired to the CPU.

Eight NVMe Drives RAIDed on AMD X399 Break the 28 GB/s Barrier

When AMD launched its Ryzen Threadripper HEDT platform, they forgot one crucial feature - NVMe RAID support. They realized their fault and promised a BIOS and driver update on September 25 that would allow users to boot from a NVMe RAID. Der8auer, overclocker extraordinaire, got first dibs on the BIOS update and uploaded a Youtube video to show us the performance numbers from a RAID array of eight NVMe SSDs. Unfortunately, he took down the video, but not before HardOCP could grab some screenshots of his feat.

As we can see from the screenshots, Der8auer created his RAID array on an ASUS X399 motherboard. Since the UEFI interface has ROG markings all over it, he probably used a ROG Zenith Extreme. With the help of two ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 cards, Der8auer was able to install his eight Samsung 960 PRO/EVO SSDs. Although we cannot distinguish the model clearly, the performance is simply spectacular. IOmeter measured a transfer speed of 28375.84 MB/s.

More Details Emerge on Gigabyte X399 Designare EX

The X399 Designare EX, to which we were privy to a sneak peek already, stands to be Gigabyte's flagship X399 motherboard for AMD's Threadripper platform. Gigabyte, however, seem to have taken a little too much inspiration from their own AORUS X399 Gaming 7, since even the PCB color has been appropriated form that board. Changes are mostly aesthetic: black heatsinks have turned silver, with some added bluish bling that would make any Halo fan smile, and the backplate has a premium feel to it. Overall, I quite like the design accents in this board, though again, this seems to be a case of a slight redressing of an already existing product - with an accompanying increase to its price-tag. If the AORUS Gaming 7 retails for $389, you should see this one crossing the $400 threshold easily.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper MCM De-lidded and De-packaged

PC enthusiast Der8auer, with access to a Ryzen Threadripper processor, took it completely apart for science. It won't be the first time that a Threadripper HEDT processor was de-lidded (its integrated heatspreader removed), revealing that it has four "Zeppelin" 8-core dies, making it practically identical to AMD's 32-core Epyc processors; however, it's the first time that someone completely removed the dies from the package.

Ryzen Threadripper processors are built by completely disabling two out of four "Zeppelin" dies on an Epyc multi-chip module (MCM). Two diagonally opposite dies are disabled. The disabled dies can't be reenabled, at least not on an X399 chipset motherboard, as the Threadripper HEDT platform lacks DRAM, PCIe, and possibly even power wiring for the disabled dies.

GIGABYTE X399 Designare EX Socket TR4 Motherboard Pictured

It looks like the Aorus X399 Gaming 7 won't be the only socket TR4 motherboard GIGABYTE has in store for those looking to build Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktops. The first picture of its flagship motherboard for this platform, the X399 Designare EX surfaced thanks to VideoCardz. This board is based on the same exact PCB as the Aorus X399 Gaming 7, including its black PCB color uncharacteristic of the Designare moniker in recent times.

All that's changed is that GIGABYTE swapped out the black colored heatsinks over the chipset and VRM for silver colored ones, and the I/O shroud running the length of the motherboard now comes in silver, and now includes a detachable integrated I/O shield; as well as the M.2 SSD heatsinks. Aorus branding around the board has been swapped for Designare branding. The rest of the board appears to be identical overall. Something still tells us that GIGABYTE could ask a small premium for this board over the Aorus X399 Gaming 7, for its exclusivity and better suitability for white-themed builds.
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