We’ve been testing AMD’s Threadripper and Socket TR4 over the previous few months in between our X370 and B350 motherboard critiques that features the Ryzen processor. We’ve come to understand the potential of the high-end desktop platform and its caveats, and it’s time to expose what now we have discovered on this subsequent assortment of X399 motherboard critiques. And so we begin.  

PCIe, cores, and memory functionality are Threadripper’s big selling components. AMD touts this platform as ideally fitted to streamers, content material materials creators, and professionals in search of to velocity up and multitask workloads in high-end desktop PCs. To get there, AMD gadgets collectively two Ryzen die onto a single chip to type a dual-chip module (DCM). This DCM permits numerous bricks of CCX (CPU Complex), Infinity Fabric, and naturally gobs of direct join PCIe and quad-channel memory. The X399 chipset handles remaining I/O, storage, and system needs.

Because Threadripper is a gigantic chip with an abundance of built-in I/O, X399 has the easy goal of filling throughout the platform gaps. USB 2.zero, native USB 3.1 Gen1, native USB 3.1 Gen2, large parts of SATA3, and PCIe Gen2 can all be harnessed by motherboard producers to supply additional gadget connections. It shall be very attention-grabbing to see how completely completely different distributors determine and choose these selections.

Specifications

MSI X399: First Foray into the Core Counts

On paper, X399 and Threadripper symbolize a potent combo. Cut from the similar materials as MSI’s completely different Performance Gaming boards, the X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC ships with all of the bells and whistles we depend on from a top-tier board.

The contents of the sector are plentiful, and a bulk of the cabling is delivered in a drawstring bag reasonably than plastic. Typical area contents embrace a driver CD, motherboard documentation, quick arrange info, and SATA stickers. Unique to this MSI X399: a dual-card, high-bandwidth SLI bridge; an RGB splitter extension cable; mounting screws; USB extension; case badge; OC fan mounting ; and numerous models of exchangeable covers for the numerous title plates throughout the board.

One merchandise deserves its private five minutes of fame: A break-out PCIe card that properties the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 WiFi module and antenna headers. This decision occupies a lone PCIe x1 slot and a USB 2.zero header on the board. We’d counsel populating it throughout the bottom x1 slot. If you might be using SLI or three dual-slot PCIe enjoying playing cards, you might be compelled to put the cardboard into the underside x16 slot, which is decrease than ideally suited. However, you moreover wouldn’t have to utilize it. And it could be utilized in each different PC you might have acquired.

Don’t be fooled by the silver-lined PCIe slots, which aren’t all Gen3 x16. The first and third slots are wired for true x16 connections, whereas the second and fourth slots are wired for x8. As such, it’s best to plug SLI or Crossfire into PCI_E1 and PCI_E4. Beyond that, you get two x1 PCIe slots. Through some clever slot placement, creative builders can take into consideration the potential for seize enjoying playing cards and additional high-performance neighborhood or storage controllers.

Another feather throughout the cap for X399 is its functionality to disclose PCIe lanes for as a lot as three native NVMe Gen3 x4 steady state drives. These enjoying playing cards are housed beneath each of the very best three x16 slots, and as an added bonus you get M.2 heat defend plates. We use the Toshiba RD400 in all of our check out beds, so we are going to’t determine to any vendor’s cooling decision to verify the effectiveness of the shields, nevertheless they’re removable using an attention-grabbing hinge mechanism.

After getting the additional distinguished choices out of one of the simplest ways, let’s tour board placement. Gazing on the prime of the backplate, BIOS flashback and clear CMOS buttons can be found along with two legacy USB 2.zero and a solitary PS/2 port. Beneath that is the cluster of eight USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, adopted by a gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports of the Type-C and Type-A spread. MSI tops it off with 5-port analog audio and one SPDIF digital audio out. The Audio Boost decision on the Gaming Pro makes use of the Nahimic 2+ know-how, which the company claims improves audio customization and delivers improved SNR and amplification.

It’s onerous to brighten up fan headers, nevertheless having them neatly spaced and labeled on the bottom of the board is a clear revenue. Front panel audio, RGB and Rainbow, three 4-pin fan, TPM, and USB 2.zero headers fill the left half of the lower fringe of the board. The correct half has a USB 3.1 Gen2 header for superior entrance panel chassis connections, built-in vitality and reset buttons, debug LED, and the Game Boost knob. The knob isn’t too necessary for us since we’re using a closed chassis, nevertheless happily it is accessible by the use of the UEFI and could be engaged in seven completely completely different OC states, which we’ll cowl later.

We love the two angled USB 3.1 Gen1 headers on the board. Cases use very stiff USB 3.1 cables, so reducing flex on the header makes us actually really feel increased. SATA connections could be discovered by the use of six angled and two straight connectors that help the Ryzen customary RAID zero/1/10 modes. The prime correct nook could also be very tight nevertheless offers us entry to a 4-pin pump and CPU fan header. Let’s not neglect in regards to the 4-pin fan header located to the left of the DIMM slots.

Given the ample board measurement, it’s great how cramped the very best half of the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC can actually really feel with eight DDR4 DIMM slots, one 24-pin ATX connection, two 8-pin CPU vitality connections, and one 6-pin PCIe vitality header. Things are so cramped that MSI opted to utilize a additional vertical decision for cooling the Vregs of the board reasonably than the on a regular basis affiliation subsequent to the back-panel portion. As odd as a result of it seems throughout the product footage, this decision is considerably higher than the flowery designs we’ve seen before now. After together with the cooling decision and populating the DIMM slots, the odd heatsink seems correct at home. If additional cooling for the Vregs is important, merely make use of the OC fan mounting to degree a fan instantly on the heatsink. Using a first-rate exhaust fan labored merely as correctly for our overclocking checks.

Finally, we have to deal with the socket for TR4. We’ve on a regular basis felt comfortable with the AM4 decision, the place you place the CPU into the socket and activate the retention arm. AMD has been using that for a few years it seems. The introduction of the TR4 retention system is clearly a deviation from the norm, nevertheless its measurement mustn’t intimidate anyone. The design is appropriate and works correctly in idea. Although the ratcheting mechanism seems to be as if overkill, that audible click on on of the torque wrench ensures appropriate strain on the screws. The marking of the screw order could also be very helpful, too, since chances are you’ll merely tighten or loosen them willy-nilly.

Our solely qualm is with the Threadripper cassette. With all of these steady metallic socket components, the flimsy plastic supplies that surrounds Threadripper merely seems insufficient. Also, the sled that the processor slides into is a bit bit undersized. We did should double-check numerous events that our processor was the reality is lined up with the sled sooner than placing the module down for retention. There have been discussions about appropriate screw measurement, and about Foxconn vs Lotes-produced sockets. The product we reviewed makes use of the Lotes choice. And for goodness sake, don’t put your whole physique weight’s pressure on it hoping to make increased contact (we’ve seen that movie, it doesn’t end correctly -ed).

The aesthetic of the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is reasonably so much a lot much less gaudy than among the many AM4 boards out there in the marketplace, and the selection for patrons to modify the coverings over the X399 chip, Audio enhance, and I/O port can help give a bit bit bit additional persona. On-board LEDs are often not the focus of this board and in its place help pull the primary goal to place in components. The solely format modifications we might counsel might be shifting the PCIe vitality connector subsequent to the 24-pin ATX connector, and shuffling the two vertical SATA ports elsewhere. Also, shuffling the M.2 connectors and PCIe slots spherical so that the underside x16 slot doesn’t dangle over the underside pins and debug header would enable the utilization of longer enjoying playing cards in that bottom slot.

MORE: Best Motherboards

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard

MORE: All Motherboard Content


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We’ve been testing AMD’s Threadripper and Socket TR4 over the previous few months in between our X370 and B350 motherboard critiques that features the Ryzen processor. We’ve come to understand the potential of the high-end desktop platform and its caveats, and it’s time to expose what now we have discovered on this subsequent assortment of X399 motherboard critiques. And so we begin.  

PCIe, cores, and memory functionality are Threadripper’s big selling components. AMD touts this platform as ideally fitted to streamers, content material materials creators, and professionals in search of to velocity up and multitask workloads in high-end desktop PCs. To get there, AMD gadgets collectively two Ryzen die onto a single chip to type a dual-chip module (DCM). This DCM permits numerous bricks of CCX (CPU Complex), Infinity Fabric, and naturally gobs of direct join PCIe and quad-channel memory. The X399 chipset handles remaining I/O, storage, and system needs.

Because Threadripper is a gigantic chip with an abundance of built-in I/O, X399 has the easy goal of filling throughout the platform gaps. USB 2.zero, native USB 3.1 Gen1, native USB 3.1 Gen2, large parts of SATA3, and PCIe Gen2 can all be harnessed by motherboard producers to supply additional gadget connections. It shall be very attention-grabbing to see how completely completely different distributors determine and choose these selections.

Specifications

MSI X399: First Foray into the Core Counts

On paper, X399 and Threadripper symbolize a potent combo. Cut from the similar materials as MSI’s completely different Performance Gaming boards, the X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC ships with all of the bells and whistles we depend on from a top-tier board.

The contents of the sector are plentiful, and a bulk of the cabling is delivered in a drawstring bag reasonably than plastic. Typical area contents embrace a driver CD, motherboard documentation, quick arrange info, and SATA stickers. Unique to this MSI X399: a dual-card, high-bandwidth SLI bridge; an RGB splitter extension cable; mounting screws; USB extension; case badge; OC fan mounting ; and numerous models of exchangeable covers for the numerous title plates throughout the board.

One merchandise deserves its private five minutes of fame: A break-out PCIe card that properties the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 WiFi module and antenna headers. This decision occupies a lone PCIe x1 slot and a USB 2.zero header on the board. We’d counsel populating it throughout the bottom x1 slot. If you might be using SLI or three dual-slot PCIe enjoying playing cards, you might be compelled to put the cardboard into the underside x16 slot, which is decrease than ideally suited. However, you moreover wouldn’t have to utilize it. And it could be utilized in each different PC you might have acquired.

Don’t be fooled by the silver-lined PCIe slots, which aren’t all Gen3 x16. The first and third slots are wired for true x16 connections, whereas the second and fourth slots are wired for x8. As such, it’s best to plug SLI or Crossfire into PCI_E1 and PCI_E4. Beyond that, you get two x1 PCIe slots. Through some clever slot placement, creative builders can take into consideration the potential for seize enjoying playing cards and additional high-performance neighborhood or storage controllers.

Another feather throughout the cap for X399 is its functionality to disclose PCIe lanes for as a lot as three native NVMe Gen3 x4 steady state drives. These enjoying playing cards are housed beneath each of the very best three x16 slots, and as an added bonus you get M.2 heat defend plates. We use the Toshiba RD400 in all of our check out beds, so we are going to’t determine to any vendor’s cooling decision to verify the effectiveness of the shields, nevertheless they’re removable using an attention-grabbing hinge mechanism.

After getting the additional distinguished choices out of one of the simplest ways, let’s tour board placement. Gazing on the prime of the backplate, BIOS flashback and clear CMOS buttons can be found along with two legacy USB 2.zero and a solitary PS/2 port. Beneath that is the cluster of eight USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, adopted by a gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports of the Type-C and Type-A spread. MSI tops it off with 5-port analog audio and one SPDIF digital audio out. The Audio Boost decision on the Gaming Pro makes use of the Nahimic 2+ know-how, which the company claims improves audio customization and delivers improved SNR and amplification.

It’s onerous to brighten up fan headers, nevertheless having them neatly spaced and labeled on the bottom of the board is a clear revenue. Front panel audio, RGB and Rainbow, three 4-pin fan, TPM, and USB 2.zero headers fill the left half of the lower fringe of the board. The correct half has a USB 3.1 Gen2 header for superior entrance panel chassis connections, built-in vitality and reset buttons, debug LED, and the Game Boost knob. The knob isn’t too necessary for us since we’re using a closed chassis, nevertheless happily it is accessible by the use of the UEFI and could be engaged in seven completely completely different OC states, which we’ll cowl later.

We love the two angled USB 3.1 Gen1 headers on the board. Cases use very stiff USB 3.1 cables, so reducing flex on the header makes us actually really feel increased. SATA connections could be discovered by the use of six angled and two straight connectors that help the Ryzen customary RAID zero/1/10 modes. The prime correct nook could also be very tight nevertheless offers us entry to a 4-pin pump and CPU fan header. Let’s not neglect in regards to the 4-pin fan header located to the left of the DIMM slots.

Given the ample board measurement, it’s great how cramped the very best half of the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC can actually really feel with eight DDR4 DIMM slots, one 24-pin ATX connection, two 8-pin CPU vitality connections, and one 6-pin PCIe vitality header. Things are so cramped that MSI opted to utilize a additional vertical decision for cooling the Vregs of the board reasonably than the on a regular basis affiliation subsequent to the back-panel portion. As odd as a result of it seems throughout the product footage, this decision is considerably higher than the flowery designs we’ve seen before now. After together with the cooling decision and populating the DIMM slots, the odd heatsink seems correct at home. If additional cooling for the Vregs is important, merely make use of the OC fan mounting to degree a fan instantly on the heatsink. Using a first-rate exhaust fan labored merely as correctly for our overclocking checks.

Finally, we have to deal with the socket for TR4. We’ve on a regular basis felt comfortable with the AM4 decision, the place you place the CPU into the socket and activate the retention arm. AMD has been using that for a few years it seems. The introduction of the TR4 retention system is clearly a deviation from the norm, nevertheless its measurement mustn’t intimidate anyone. The design is appropriate and works correctly in idea. Although the ratcheting mechanism seems to be as if overkill, that audible click on on of the torque wrench ensures appropriate strain on the screws. The marking of the screw order could also be very helpful, too, since chances are you’ll merely tighten or loosen them willy-nilly.

Our solely qualm is with the Threadripper cassette. With all of these steady metallic socket components, the flimsy plastic supplies that surrounds Threadripper merely seems insufficient. Also, the sled that the processor slides into is a bit bit undersized. We did should double-check numerous events that our processor was the reality is lined up with the sled sooner than placing the module down for retention. There have been discussions about appropriate screw measurement, and about Foxconn vs Lotes-produced sockets. The product we reviewed makes use of the Lotes choice. And for goodness sake, don’t put your whole physique weight’s pressure on it hoping to make increased contact (we’ve seen that movie, it doesn’t end correctly -ed).

The aesthetic of the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is reasonably so much a lot much less gaudy than among the many AM4 boards out there in the marketplace, and the selection for patrons to modify the coverings over the X399 chip, Audio enhance, and I/O port can help give a bit bit bit additional persona. On-board LEDs are often not the focus of this board and in its place help pull the primary goal to place in components. The solely format modifications we might counsel might be shifting the PCIe vitality connector subsequent to the 24-pin ATX connector, and shuffling the two vertical SATA ports elsewhere. Also, shuffling the M.2 connectors and PCIe slots spherical so that the underside x16 slot doesn’t dangle over the underside pins and debug header would enable the utilization of longer enjoying playing cards in that bottom slot.

MORE: Best Motherboards

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard

MORE: All Motherboard Content


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