Three X299 & X399 Motherboards Demoed By ASUS @ Computex2017
Walking around the [url=]Computex2017[/url] show floor today and who should we run in to but ASUS, there showing off a trio of new motherboards in the flesh for the High End Desktop market. Where once this might have been limited to Intel's powerful X-series chipsets, now that's been expanded to include a fresh AMD X399-chipset motherboard design for the Threadripper CPU series.
The ROG Rampage VI Extreme is the sixth generation of the venerable Rampage line, a mainstay of the HEDT market even prior to the groundbreaking X79 SandyBridge-E. Rampage Extreme motherboards have a pedigree in overclocking matched by few, so expect these boards to be involved in more than a few performance high watermarks when reviews for Intel's upcoming platform roll in later this month.
This time around the design is dominated by a shroud which covers much of the space between PCI-Express slots (of which there are four full-length), sections of which are at least partially removable. One curious touch is what appears to be an additional DIMM slot on the far right. This is in fact a DIMM.2 slot, within which you can install up to two M.2 SSD using an optional riser card. This technology debuted on the ASUS Maximus IX Apex, and has been leveraged as a means of reducing surface-mounted clutter from high-end motherboards. Of course, combined with eight DDR4 DIMM slots, the motherboard exceeds the ATX specification so you'll need quite a large case for this beastie.
Clearly not even the usually refined tastes of the ASUS ROG range have been able to dodge the configurable LED lighting, but we can comfort ourselves knowing that it's fully configurable. There are also two configurable lighting zones on this model rather than just the one.
Moving on, how about that ROG Zenith Extreme? Part of the first round of AMD X399-chipset motherboards for the Threadripper CPU range, practically speaking it's likely a slight step down in feature set from the Rampage IV Extreme. Nonetheless it's clearly designed for some extreme overclocking if the appearance of two 8-pin CPU Power (EPS 12V) connectors is anything to go by.
Once again both a DIMM.2 slot and configurable lighting make an appearance, but it's considerably more restrained than the X299 design above. That may be due to the omission of that shroud, but could also be a deliberate aesthetic choice.
Other interesting additions are a U.2 port - the first time U.2 storage has appeared on an AMD consumer platform - WiFi and an additional M.2 slot. Looking at that CPU socket, it's going to be interesting to see compatibility cards for CPU coolers on this platform.
Finally, lets have a butchers at the Prime X299-Deluxe. We've always been partial to the feature-packed ASUS Signature series, and that hasn't changed in the transition to the Prime branding. Aesthetically they're a touch more restrained than their ROG brethren, and aren't quite as well suited to extreme overclocking, but remain excellent workhorse and high-value models.
Two coloured x16 PCI-Express lanes might indicate support for only 2-way SLI, but ample provision otherwise could still make this a good candidate for additional PCI-Express storage and other devices. Naturally U.2 and M.2 storage is catered to, as well as standard 6Gbps SATA. As with all the motherboards on display at Computex both USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C connectors are ubiquitous, although in this instance front panel headers are also included.
ASUS and ROG are looking good as we head towards the summer, and we're looking forward to getting our grubby mitts on them soon.