AORUS X399 Xtreme Flagship $449.99 US Motherboard Review With AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX 32 Core CPU
Gigabyte X399 AORUS Xtreme Motherboard2018
X399 AORUS Xtreme, A $450 US Beast For Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Gen - Conclusion
With more 2nd Generation Ryzen Thredadripper options now becoming available in the market, I think to utilize their new features, PC builders would definitely want to go the all in with their X399 purchase. The new X399 refresh from AORUS is a grand one, it's feature heavy, it's literally heavy too, in terms of weight. It's fully capable of taking the 2nd Gen Threadripper CPUs to their limits in overclocking, it's also pretty cool, in terms of design and practically too, given the large and proper use of heatsinks and active cooling on the motherboard.
X399 AORUS Xtreme Design
When you take this motherboard out of the massive box, you would be warmly welcomed by a fresh take on next-generation high-end desktop motherboard designs. AMD X399 motherboards have made AIBs rethink their design methodologies for high-end motherboards and the AORUS Xtreme is just brilliant in this department.
The motherboard has a brushed aluminum design scheme in shades of black and silver on the front. A strong nano carbon backplate which looks stunning and while you'd never be able to showcase it (unless you own a dual glass panel chassis), there's also practical use of it as it offers cooling and durability to the electrical components on the other side of the PCB. On the front, I was a witness of one of the best RGB Lighting display I have seen on a motherboard, it's subtle, not overdone and looks amazing inside a PC.
All the components are greatly placed, with the only exception being the memory slots which were a bit too cumbersome when installing wider DDR4 DIMMs. The heatsinks and cooling design is also a 100% since the aluminum fin heatsink and heat pipe layout is the best one out there right now. It should also be pointed out that the active cooling system has a lot of potentials however under load, the system can be a bit noisy. The whole metallic shielding structure of the PCIe, M.2 slots and the power connectors is a plus point while the I/O cover with its futuristic design looks superb.
X399 AORUS Xtreme Features
There are a ton of features jam-packed in this motherboard. And by so many features, I mean that they are so many to mention that most users will hardly use most of them. I like the wireless WIFI and Bluetooth capabilities on these motherboards and a nice audio driver is a must and the AORUS ALC1220 system does a good job in delivering nice audio playback on all my headsets and Razer Leviathan 5.1 speaker system.
Then there's 10 GbE LAN which is a must for workstation and server heavy environments. The use case of such applications on this motherboard is a lot as the WX series processors are definitely aimed at those workloads. There are also two additional Intel GbE LAN ports which are a must for networking heavy users. There are lots of connectivity and PCIe storage options on the board but I'd love to have seen more SATA ports. Offering just 6 on a board of this caliber is a little weird. I'd have expected to see at least 8 as workstation environments can utilize that many for SATA based high-density HDDs or SSDs which obviously offer more value over their PCIe based counterparts.
X399 AORUS Xtreme Performance
Talking about performance which is a key aspect that the X399 refresh motherboards are focused towards, the first thing that comes to mind is the power delivery system. The board rocks a 10+3 phase IR Digital based PWM. I can go on and tell you the names of all the high-end components that it rocks but that won't matter to you since you want numbers since there's no use of high-end designs if you can't get more performance out of it over previous generation parts.
With the new PWM system, I managed a overclock of 4.2 GHz on my Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX processor, with a voltage of 1.35V. Previously, I managed 4.2 GHz on an older X399 motherboard but it didn't end up being stable hence I resorted to lowering volts and a clock speed of 4.1 GHz on all cores enabled. Not only was the 4.2 GHz stable on X399 AORUS Xtreme, but I also saw noticeably lower VRM temperatures. Cooling off the CPU was another thing as the AIO cooler was just on the edge of being pushed to the limits and the power numbers went off the chart with this overclock but it was stable which is a good thing.
Overall performance went up in various benchmarks which include productivity and rendering with the AORUS X399 Xtreme and its impressive overclocking capabilities. Plus in general, I saw applications become a little snappier since the processor was able to utilize faster DIMMs and also ran at slightly better clocks, even at stock configuration due to Precision Boost Overdrive in effect which wasn't the case on older X399 motherboards.
X399 AORUS Xtreme Pricing
In terms of pricing, the Gigabyte X399 AORUS Xtreme motherboards cost $449.99 US which his a really high price for a motherboard if you ask me. Then again, the only other X399 refresh board that is available in the market right now is priced even higher at $500 US. So yeah, this is the only cheapest X399 refresh motherboard you can find and while being the cheapest X399 refresh board, it is also the most high-end motherboard I have tested in my life and the performance and design are just unprecedented. If you are going for this motherboard, then I can assure you that you are not making a wrong choice at all.
X399 AORUS Xtreme Overall Conclusion
Gigabyte is breaking the norms of high-end desktop motherboard designs and offering a product that falls in a class of its own. At a gigantic price tag of $449.99 US, the X399 AORUS Xtreme brings a new class of performance and design to motherboards which take things to the next level. For all builders who are buying a $1000+ Ryzen Threadripper processor, the AORUS X399 Xtreme is a perfect choice for you new enthusiast and workstation environment.
For all builders who are buying a $1000+ Ryzen Threadripper processor, the AORUS X399 Xtreme is a perfect choice for you new enthusiast and workstation environment.
- 10+3 Phase IR Digital PWM Power Supply (Server Level MOSFETs and Chokes)
- Dual 8-Pin Power Connectors For Unrestricted Power Delivery to CPU
- Proper Aluminum Fin Based heatsinks with heat pipe interconnection
- Supports Up To 128 GB of DDR memory with speeds of 3600 MHz+ OC
- Stunning Design With Brushed Aluminum Accents and Full Cover Backplate
- Ultra Durable Nano Carbon Base Plate
- Active (Dual-Fan) cooling Within the IO cover
- Impressive RGB Fusion Lighting Capabilities With Good Software Support
- Triple Heatsink For Triple M.2 Ports
- Metal Shielded PCIe Slots
- Metal Shielded DIMM Slots
- Metal Shielded M.2 Slots
- Metal Shielded Power Connectors
- Integrated Intel 802.11 ac Wireless capabilities
- 10G Ethernet Port (Aquantia) + Dual LAN ports
- ESS Sabre HiFi Sound (Superb onboard sound capabilities)
- Tons of USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 ports on rear panel IO
- Pre-mounted IO Shield
- Internal USB 3.1 Gen 2 Header
- Dual BIOS for easy tuning if anything goes haywire
- Very High Price ($449.99 US)
- Not The Best UEFI BIOS
- Can consume a lot of power when CPUs (especially the WX models) are overclocked beyond 4 GHz