Teasing TR's next build log: our CPU, graphics card, and motherboard

The Tech Report staff is about to kick off a new build log with help from a wide range of great sponsors. We've got a great story to tell, but sharing any details of why we're putting this system together will spoil the surprise. For the moment, enjoy the first round of high-octane components that will make up some of our build.

AMD provided the CPU and graphics card for this system, and its contributions in both departments are top-notch. We've got a TR Editor's Choice-winning Ryzen Threadripper 1950X for our system's CPU socket. That chip will provide us with 16 cores and 32 threads of processing power, 60 PCI Express 3.0 lanes direct from the CPU for expansion cards and storage devices, and fully unlocked multipliers for easy overclocking. At $900 right now, the Threadripper 1950X is among the most powerful CPUs available for the money.

AMD also sent over one of Sapphire's Nitro+ Limited Edition Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics cards. This beastly take on an RX Vega 56 should keep its GPU cool and stay quiet while doing it, thanks to a monstrous triple-fan cooler with a massive fin stack. Three PCI Express power connectors should keep this card adequately fed if we choose to overclock it, as well.

That CPU and graphics card will slot into Gigabyte's X399 Designare EX motherboard. This board comes from Gigabyte's pro-sumer family of mobos, and it drops many of the RGB LEDs of its Aorus cousins in favor of a fancy silver paint job, an extensive backplate for added rigidity, and an integrated I/O shield for convenience. Between the bevy of USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports on the back panel, wired and wireless networking options, and more PCIe and M.2 slots than we know what to do with, this board will be an excellent foundation for the rest of our build.

Stay tuned as we tease the remainder of this build over the next couple of days.

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