GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme TR4 Motherboard Review @ [H]

Discussion in 'AMD MoBos' started by FrgMstr, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme TR4 Motherboard Review

    GIGABYTE expands its Threadripper lineup with its X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard. This motherboard has a solid, professional focused feature set, and has a lot to offer. We’ve seen some amazing socket TR4 motherboards thus far so the X399 Aorus Xtreme has a lot of competition. We did get to use the Xtreme for a lot of Threadripper testing.

    If you like our content, please support HardOCP on Patreon.
     
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  2. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

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    Wow. 1045 watts with no GPU. That is pretty impressive. I didn't really think this board was going to sway me from the MEG, but it did.

    I want/need 10G more than I need extra gum stick drives and the better quality audio is also a plus.

    Thank you for changing my mind(y)
     
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  3. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    I am going with the MEG in my own rig, but only because of the beefier VRM cooling. I have never seen the surface of that over 90F. They hit that out of the park. But the Xtreme simply has a better feature set at a lower price. Shit, now you got me thinking about it.
     
  4. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yea, it is a conundrum.

    I mean I'm all about some VRM's but after seeing the meter, that pretty much eliminated any question about the power delivery system.

    I'm a stubborn SLI guy and I really want the extra PCIe slots also.
     
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  5. bbenz33

    bbenz33 Limp Gawd

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    Wow that was an awesome read. I'm in the boat of trying to determine which board/CPU combo to go with. This review is definitely seating my decision though.


    PS I'm not sure if I'm understanding it correctly but it appears the benchmark numbers for AoTS don't match the write up below it.
     
  6. noko

    noko [H]ardness Supreme

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    Crazy stuff! Over 1000w on the CPU. W:LOL:W! I am not sure what one would want more for the feature set - great review as always from Dan. Both MSI and Gigabyte hit the refresh out of the park.
     
  7. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I'll have to check that. I might have got the order on one of those messed up.
     
  8. bbenz33

    bbenz33 Limp Gawd

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    I was in a Micro Center today and got to see it in person. Wow is it a really nice looking board.
     
  9. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    Wasn't Gigabyte's BIOS support for Ryzen/TR the worst of all top manufacturers? I wouldn't trust them with that track record.
     
  10. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Not in my experience. GIGABYTE's X399 Designare and Aorus Gaming 7 were fantastic. Early on they had some issues, all of which were ironed out before I got to the Aorus Gaming 7. It and the Designare are damn near the same motherboard. The Aorus being slightly cheaper and having different network controllers than the Designare. It also has more RGB LED lighting (a lot more) and uses a different color scheme.

    Before I reviewed the MSI MEG Creation and the X399 Aorus Xtreme, I was set to put the X399 Designare into my personal machine, even over the ASUS Zenith Extreme. I wouldn't use a board in my own personal machine that was a total piece of crap. I may still throw the X399 Designare in there as I think it should be fine with the 2950X.
     
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  11. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Gigabyte isn't impressing me with their Threadripper motherboards. The PCIe port layouts are pretty bad.

    ASUS gets it a whole lot better.

    The ASUS Zenith Extreme PCIe layout is pretty perfect.

    b2b37b7c94b4ff7aab8dc6757b0a5e83.1600.jpg

    Here you can use a dual slot GPU in slot 1, which covers slot 2, and then still have a card in each of the remaining 5 slots.

    I really like that.

    I just wish it were more of a workstation board, with fewer frag harder lights and aesthetic-only heatsinks, and on board dual 10 gig Ethernet ports.
     
  12. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Unfortunately, that Zenith Extreme's VRM's would probably look like this with a 2990WX on it:

    steel_hot_billets_rod.jpg

    As for the slot configuration, the GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme only loses the PCIe x4 slot. You still have the same number of PCIe x16 slots and an extra PCIe x1 slot. You also get 3x M.2 slots onboard the X399 Aorus, and the ASUS uses its M.2 DIMM slot. I actually like that, but it only supports two drives on a single slot. I like the Zenith and considered putting it in my machine but right now MSI and GIGABYTE have better VRM cooling. ASUS' original Zenith boards lack the cooling and the newer ones (or separate cooling kit) looks like some $5 electronic store fan we would have attached to the motherboard with drywall screws and zip ties back in the 1990's.

    Again, you can turn the lights off and Threadripper is a gaming / enthusiast part, not a pure workstation part. It seems people don't fully understand that. I understand the 2990WX bridges that gap more closely than previous processors do, hence the "W" in the name. But the platform was meant for the HEDT market which has never been 100% workstation oriented. Epyc is for servers and workstations, Threadripper isn't.

    Enthusiast / Gaming machines are probably a bigger deal for companies like GIGABYTE who don't have a big presence in the OEM market. Most workstations at corporations are going to be Dell or HP workstations with a long warranty behind them. DIY workstations are a smaller market without a doubt.
     

  13. This has nothing to do with the topic, but to do with your post.

    When I was replacing my blown ax1500i psu with an ax1600i, I had to go into one of my spare parts bin for a specific cable since the one that I was using with the ax1500i had to be sent back with the psu.

    Anyway, in that box I noticed two old cooler master spot fan’s that I used to use on my old x58 setup, they use the same screw that holds your mobo down, nothing else needed. They have a bendable stem and the fan itself can tilt, imagine a gyro, like that. The speed can be adjusted by pwm, or if you don’t hook it up to your mobo header, you can just use a molex connector instead for power, there is a 3 speed switch for that.

    I forgot I even had these things, they do a great job of cooling a very specific part of your setup, chipset cooling, vrm, something extra to help suck or blow hot air towards the output fan.

    I know you are likely to know what I am speaking about, but I just thought I would mention it for others. For very specific uses, things like this can be really good, they take up little room and are very quiet and great at cooling small areas.

    My psu blowing up gave me a good excuse to put on the full metal non windowed case side that I bought years ago from corsair for my 800D case. Fucking hate led’s nowadays, if it isn’t my keyboard and mouse, it’s my mobo, or its my ram, or video card, fans blah blah. I should of put it on years ago.

    TL;DR

    Shit
    Shit
    Cooler Master Spot Cool fan’s are great for cooling small areas.
    Shit
    Shit
    Corsair 800D metal side put on.
    Fucking leds.
     
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  14. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, VRM's are one area where I am pretty poorly educated. I have no interest in a 2990WX on it, but I wonder how much the VRM's on the Zenith Extreme would hold back a 2950x overclock.

    Hmm.

    I just wish I could get a board like my Asus p9x79 WS. With none of the fluff, in a nice sedate package with lots of expansion. VRM's seem to have performed well for the time, as I've had my 3930k at 4.8Ghz and 1.445v since 2011 and it still keeps performing, but the VRM situation is presumably much more challenging for Threadripper than for anything that would ever go into an LGA2011 socket...

    I might be able to live without that one slot, especially since two of my PCIe slots right now are used by SSD's, which in a more modern board like this one I can put in m.2 slots.

    P9X79WS.jpg

    Currently my p9x79 WS is populated as follows:

    Slot 1: GPU (16x)
    Slot 2: No slot, and covered by GPU
    Slot 3: Empty (if populated, slot 1 would drop to 8x)
    Slot 4: 10G Base T NIC (4x)
    Slot 5: Creative Titanium HD Sound Card (1x)
    Slot 6: 1TB Samsung 970 EVO with PCIe Adapter(4x)
    Slot 7: 400GB Intel SSD 750 (because it is has a boot ROM) (4x)

    So, if I move that Samsung 970 to an m2 slot, I could still make this work, but I'd hate to get to the point where I want to add something else, and can't.

    Yeah, I know, but its the principle of the thing. Even if turned off, I don't want any disco lights on my hardware. I guess I could learn to live with it, but I would always know they were there, and it would bug me.

    Also, this leaves a huge gap in their lineup. There are workstation applications that benefit from higher clocked cores, and if EPYC is their official workstation part, there are no high clocked EPYC parts. They're all in the 3Ghz range.

    I also find it amusing that Threadripper is part gaming platform. What on Earth in gaming would you need 16C/32T for? What in gaming would this even remotely benefit?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  15. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I don't think it would hold back the 2950X at all. The 2990WX is a whole different beast.


    The demands of the 2990WX are far in excess of anything I've ever seen in the consumer market.

    The Zenith Extreme uses an external 10GbE NIC and the GIGABYTE motherboard doesn't. You can potentially save a slot on the GIGABYTE motherboard in light of that.

    I don't really understand that. People felt pretty much the same way about early integrated audio controllers and eventually learned to deal with it because they had no choice. I think its the same deal with RGB LED lighting.

    Long story short, its mostly marketing. You also have to keep in mind that AMD only has so much control over what the motherboard manufacturers do. The motherboard manufacturers only have a couple of X399 models at most. So they concentrate on the markets they can leverage the best for the most profit. As I said, that's DIY high end gaming builds. Threadripper is a niche product for sure.
     
  16. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Given how hard it is to perfectly mount a TR block, I think these monoblocks are a joke. Let's put another 16 planes into the mix. Nope.
     
  17. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I missed this fact when I read the article. That is good to know, and probably explains why they have 4x fewer PCIe lanes available as slots, as that's typically what a 10G adapter uses.

    I still would prefer getting a board with as few on board devices as possible, and all the PCIe lanes available to me to work with. My perfect motherboard would have nothing but USB and NIC's (and only if they are Intel chips) on board. Everything else I'd prefer to do myself.
     
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  18. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Buy a board with good cooling that was designed for the 2990WX and there will not be any issues. Just need airflow in the case.
     
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  19. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Speaking of, how do people feel about that Aquantia 10gig chip? It seems like this is what all the enthusiast boards that provide 10 gig Ethernet are using.

    Is it any good though?

    Years of problems have - over time - given me a pretty strong bias against any Ethernet chip that is not Intel. I mean, Broadcom's NetXtreme can be OK, but anything Realtek is utter garbage. I wonder how Aquantia 10G chip does.

    In my current setup, I have a matching pair of Intel 82598EB 10-Gig AT2 server pulls I picked up relatively cheap on eBay, one in my workstation and one in my NAS server. These are great adapters. Out of the box, I'm regularly getting 1.2GB/s transfer speeds across them using NFS. I've been very impressed. I wonder if the on board Aquantia lives up to my high expectations set by Intel here.
     
  20. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    The Aquantia 10GbE controllers aren't going to be on par with Intel's. The Broadcrap NetXtreme is fast, but its a piece of shit for other reasons. So I'm not sure that the Aquantia chips are any better. I've never seen them used in data centers or servers so I have to do more testing on them. I suspect they are better than Realtek trash and fall short of Intel controllers. I can confirm both, but only with a limited sample size and usage scenario.
     
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  21. nEo717

    nEo717 Limp Gawd

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    Just did a build with this board... Is there no way to turn off/disable in the bios the on-board WiFi, Bluetooth, LAN, Audio?

    The Bios seems really limited (or I've totally missed some areas ) even in advance view in controlling on-board devices. Also using ECC Memory, yet in Bios there's nothing on ECC or anything that notes its using ECC.
     
  22. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    You should be able to disable the WiFi, Bluetooth and LAN. I am not sure about the audio. I don't have a GIGABYTE board on the bench up and running or I'd post screenshots of where you need to go.
     
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  23. nEo717

    nEo717 Limp Gawd

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    Just did a build with this board... Is there no way to turn off/disable in the bios the on-board WiFi, Bluetooth, LAN, Audio?

    The Bios seems really limited (or I've totally missed some areas ) even in advance view in controlling on-board devices. Also using ECC Memory, yet in Bios there's nothing on ECC or anything that notes its using ECC.

    You would think... being in I'm in/an IT (Engineer) and manufacturing it would jump out somewhere in the settings... either there's a secret sub-section I've totally missed, or unlike past gigabyte boards this one can no longer change or disable the on-board devices.
     
  24. nEo717

    nEo717 Limp Gawd

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    Took latest bios... front audio (HD) and SATA ports can disable now... however still can't disable these devices: WiFi, LAN Ports, Bluetooth, and Main Audio. Asrock and Asus bios layouts are so much better (in my opinion) vs Gigabytes and MSI.

    FYI... different topic, the WiFi crashes Windows 10 (when using Windows standard driver).
     
  25. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    I happen to have this board on the test bench right now, and you are correct. I would simply disable in the Device Manager and you are done.

    Then use the driver supplied by GBT for this motherboard?
     
  26. archalien

    archalien n00b

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    I got this board larley based on this review, however I seem to be having a worst case issue.

    The computer (semi) powers down for no apparent reason, except the MB rgb stays on and the case power button light stays on.
    Furthermore I am unable to wake it with the power or reset button, completely non-respponsive.

    I have sleep and hibernation disabled, Ive checked every log in Event Viewer with no sigh of a power event or blue/green screen.

    The only way I can recover is by killing power at the power supply and then turning the PS back on and hitting the case power button.

    I am at a loss why its happening, what could be wrong, how to fix it.

    This is a Nov 2018 build with gigabyte ram, samsung 970 evo dives, and amd radeon 7, nothing else plugged in except monitors, network, power, and logitech dongle.

    I dont know if this a Windows issue, MB, Proc, Ram, Drive, other
    Especially as there are no event in Windows log to point me anywhere on the issue.

    I can say that the RGB fusion is always logging info's as last item item in event log, but no errors or exceptions, and Ive never heard of a crash/MB powering down like this to where it doesnt respond to power/reset buttons.

    Any help/ideas on this appreciated.

    Thx
    -Alien
     
  27. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    what's your power supply? also, make sure your computer isn't on the same circuit with an large inductive load (motor/compressor), as that can make the power at the wall dirty (noisy sine wave) or overload the circuit, and can damage your PSU.
     
  28. heelix

    heelix [H]ard|Gawd

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    Dan - quick question for you. When you saw issues with memory, did you see the memory show up as dual channel and 3 of 4 sticks registered? I'm moving my old x1950 down to a lesser model of this series, and noticed the memory shows up as dual channel and 24 rather than 32M. 4x8M is what is plugged in, and cpuz shows all four slots with 8M... but it is getting reported as 24. (Not sure if I have a memory compatibility issue or a bad stick... just noticed it when I was setting up the Linux box)
     
  29. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Its been awhile since I did this review but from what I remember, all four sticks showed up, they just wouldn't operate in quad-channel mode.
     
  30. heelix

    heelix [H]ard|Gawd

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    Looks like I'm going to be replacing memory soon. Were you buying memory (8x8G) for an x399 board -- and not trying for a crazy overclock, what would you go with?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  31. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I've never tried eight modules with Threadripper. I honestly haven't looked into it. I would however suggest looking at whatever was QVL'ed for that motherboard. Keep in mind, your likely going to have to drop the RAM speed significantly to run eight modules.
     
  32. heelix

    heelix [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yah, was hoping that a faster bit of ram might be able to handle the 'normal' job. Got a few of these now... so time to see if I might get lucky on a set that covers a them as hardware gets shuffled around. Memory is now showing 32G rather than 24... (still dual channel) so... crap. Flaky is way worse than broken. Time to memtest.
     
  33. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    That RAM might flat out not be compatible. That was an issue I had. I went through tons of RAM and the only modules that worked were the G.SKILL FlareX for AMD Ryzen. The funny thing is, I didn't have this problem on GIGABYTE's older X399 Aorus Gaming 7 or the X399 Designare EX. I'm actually using the latter and I've just been able to throw different sets of RAM onto it with no issue.
     
  34. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Talk about TR and RAM in the last Corsair review I did.
     
  35. Aluminum

    Aluminum Gawd

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    Fuck the QVLs, honestly some of the tested kits are bad choices anyways. Others are by vendors that play dial-a-cheap with chips every week so a kit from 6 months ago might have nothing in common with one today.

    Samsung samsung samsung. I have a hodge podge of unbuffered ECC (marked 2133/2400/2666 but all b-die) that all run @ 2933 16-16-16 in fully loaded 8x16GB configurations on several asrock X399 and one of this particular board. If you want faster speeds and tighter timings on current TR go for single rank b-die, hopefully next version gets some IMC improvements.

    If your ram has blingshit slivers of metal and plastic glued on it like most non-ECC gamer ram does, look for 3200 14-14-14 or 3600 15-15-15 XMP profiles as nothing but good b-die can actually hit those timings. Prepare to still manually set everything as XMP is aimed at intel.

    Also make sure your cpu is not seated too tight. If you are a gearhead monkey like one of my friends and turn the torqued torx screwdriver past the release point ("little extra for a sure fit" were his dumb words), you can end up having non-working memory channels or pcie lanes.
     
  36. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I've seen plenty of Intel chipset based boards that needed to have memory timings set manually and plenty of AMD chipset based boards that didn't.
     
  37. Hammer!

    Hammer! [H]Lite

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    Hi, does this board support SR-IOV? Thanks!
     
  38. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I do not know. I no longer have the motherboard on hand. The answer is, probably. The platform does via PCIe lanes connected to the PCH. So it should have limited support for this feature. However, I cannot be certain.
     
  39. cybrnook

    cybrnook [H]ard|Gawd

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    For all, the reason you can't disable WiFi and BT in the BIOS is because it's not an integrated component of the board. It's actually an add-on card underneath the I/O shield, so no direct control through the BIOS. However, on the flip side, that also means you are free to upgrade the intel card in the future ;-)

    For those interested, it's already been done:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019