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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    • techguy
    • 1 year ago

    If it’s a true 10+3 phase VRM design that can deliver 500A or better to the CPU I will seriously consider this board. Also props for the real heatsink on the VRMs. Maybe mobo manufacturers are starting to get it…

      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 year ago

      Only half-props since half the heatsink is either covered with plastic garbage or only half of it has fins.

      Also, 500A at 1.4v is a whole lotta wattage (700W) being delivered to the CPU. Is that really necessary?

    • moose17145
    • 1 year ago

    So much want… so little actual need…

    • lurkusmaximus
    • 1 year ago

    You state: We get eight USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. From the back of the board, it appears to me there are eight USB 3.0 Gen 1 Type-A ports. Surely a simple typo.

      • freebird
      • 1 year ago

      I think you are confusing the standards…

      USB3.1 Gen1 = USB3.0 i.e. 5 Gbit/s transfer speed.

      I believe USB 3.0 is ONLY USB 3.0 no gen 1 or gen 2.

      USB 3.1 Gen2 = 10 Gbit/s transfer speed with appropriate cables & devices.

        • EzioAs
        • 1 year ago

        If lurkusmaximus is confused, it’s not his/her fault. I didn’t realize there are 2 generations of USB 3.1 at this point.

          • psuedonymous
          • 1 year ago

          It’s kind of an awkward situation, USB 3.0 = USB 3.1 Gen 1 in terms of speed only, USB 3.1 Gen 1 incorporates a bunch of other standards like power delivery and Type C compatibility. Because of those other standards is IS important to make a distinction between a port being USB 3.0, and being USB 3.1 Gen 1, even if in terms of mere bandwidth they appear identical at first glance.

          • Amiga500+
          • 1 year ago

          Did the brains trust within standards group not realise that calling it USB 3.2 would have been helpful?

            • Brainsan
            • 1 year ago

            The only goal of the USB Implementers Forum is to confuse consumers so that they will continue to buy their member’s obsolete hardware, thinking it’s the current stuff. Just look at their history.

            When High-Speed USB was introduced (2.0), the original, slow USB 1.0 was retroactively renamed Full-Speed, as a marketing ploy. Now the old stuff could be sold as “Full-Speed” next to the “High-Speed” stuff people actually wanted.

            Then when USB 3.1 came out, they renamed USB 3.0 as “USB 3.1 Gen 1” so all the existing stock of USB 3.0 devices could be sold as USB 3.1 devices. Whereas what was initially called USB 3.1 now became “USB 3.1 Gen 2”.

            That’s deliberate subterfuge, if not outright deception. I think most of the USB Implementers Forum members must be former used car salesmen.

    • Redocbew
    • 1 year ago

    I’d usually be all snarky about seeing three onboard NICs in a motherboard, but here I guess it makes sense. I could see using the 10G port for the host, and then using one of the other two for redundancy or maybe sharing them among VMs.

    That’s also the biggest eagle bicep I’d never see.

      • uni-mitation
      • 1 year ago

      [quote<] That's also the biggest eagle bicep I'd never see. [/quote<] Now, you see, that throws me for a [s<]loot[/s<] [b<]loop[/b<] a bit. Every time I see this brand's name I think they are actually being lazy or maybe trying too hard to spell Horus differently. I mean the falcon logo drives me crazy. If you are going to use the [url=http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm<] actual [/url<] hieroglyphic representation of Horus, then at least spell it right. And I don't think it is because of trademark reasons since it is possible to get something from the public domain trademarked. Here is a simple word search for the word [url=http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4805%3Au69uq.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=horus&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Query<] Horus [/url<]. uni-mitation

        • VincentHanna
        • 1 year ago

        There are no vowels in egyptian. If you ignore the vowels, it’s spelled right.

          • uni-mitation
          • 1 year ago

          You are talking about Egyptian, but I was talking about the proper spelling in English. That’s a non-issue.

          uni-mitation

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 1 year ago

        Not pointing at you, but I find it insulting the Egyptian gods are classified as mythology but modern sun based religions are viewed as not myths by the adopting culture. The arrogance and ethnocentrism bothers me.

          • uni-mitation
          • 1 year ago

          What really bothers me is when people do stuff in the name of God. I figure an omniscient omnipotent deity is able to handle at least electromagnetic communications with us humans instead of having burning bushes. I figure if there are multiple “spoke-people” for God, then all of them would have their stories straight, but it seems that all of them have conflicting messages. Many of these messages have been subsequently been disproven by empirical evidence & science. Maybe there are more than one burning bush and we missed the second one. These are the people that I tend to stay away from: their acts are done with the full satisfaction & belief that their actions are sanctioned by God. Their position is one of irrationality; there is no argument against them except force. Make no mistake to not take their threats at face value.

          uni-mitation

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 1 year ago

            Thanks for your insight. I value your thoughts and opinions.

            • uni-mitation
            • 1 year ago

            That will be 50 bucks. I take check, credit cards, or your first born daughter.

            uni-mitation

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