In the lab: Gigabyte's X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard

We're drowning in Threadripper test hardware at The Tech Report right now, as you can see in our second-gen Threadripper unboxing video. Gigabyte has also sent over one of its X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboards for us to test those chips with.

This massive E-ATX slab incorporates a dark-nickel-plated version of the finned heatsink we first saw on the X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi for its 10-plus-3-phase VRM array, but that's just the beginning of its wiles.

Moving down the board, we get three massive M.2 slot covers finished in brushed aluminum, four metal-reinforced PCIe physical x16 slots, and LED accent diffusers on the chipset heatsink, audio path, and I/O shroud.

Around back, there's a full-coverage backplate with a slick matte finish. You can't see it in these pics, but the board has a full strip of RGB LED accent lighting on its front edge, as well.

The port cluster of this board is suitably stuffed with I/O options. We get eight USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports, headers for an integrated Intel wireless radio, two Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet ports, and an Aquantia-powered 10 Gigabit Ethernet port. The audio subsystem on this board includes Realtek's high-end ALC1220-VB codec paired with an ESS Sabre 9118EQ DAC—a combination that's proven potent for other high-end Gigabyte motherboards we've tested. Stay tuned for more details as we draw closer to second-generation Ryzen Threadripper reviews.

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