The new Gigabyte X399 Designare Ex replaces the previous Aorus X399 Gaming 7 model released a few months ago.
- Supports AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Processors
- Quad Channel ECC/ Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 8 DIMMs, 3600MHz+(OC)
- Fast Front and Rear USB 3.1 Type-C™ Interface
- 4-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable™ Design
- Server-Class Digital Power Design & Gold Plated Solid Power Connectors
- Dual Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
- ALC1220 120dB SNR HD Audio with Smart Headphone AMP and WIMA audio capacitors
- Sound BlasterX 720°, the Top-of-the-line Audio Engine Solution for 4K Gaming and Entertainment
- Intel® Dual Band 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2 – AC 8265 WiFi Module
- RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show design, support Digital LED & RGB LED strips
- Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers
- Triple Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and Thermal Guard
- USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
- Precise Digital USB Fuse Design for Stronger Protection
- Ultra Durable™ 25KV ESD and 15KV Surge LAN Protection
- Base Plated & I/O Shield Armor
- APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
The new motherboard has improved protection with plastic shields to make sure the board does not get scratched.
The Designare EX features an ATX form-factor, DDR4-3600 memory support (maximum of 128GB), four PCI-Express 3.0 slots, and one PCI-Express3.0. In addition, the board boasts three 32Gbps M.2 slots and eight SATA 6Gbps ports.
The board also supports 4-way AMD Crossfire/NVIDIA SLI. The board is configured as x16, x8, x18, x8 for a quad GPU setup. The majority of users will likely have dual cards installed.
Gigabyte has a heat spreader over the M.2 slot so that excess heat will be managed. Earlier motherboards experienced overheating with some SSD products. The Smart Fan 5 can manage excess heat rapidly by recognizing the thermal load at various points on the motherboard.
We are disappointed that Gigabyte only shipped gigabit Ethernet instead of the faster 10 gigabit Ethernet which is much faster. The dual band, dual channel 802.11ac is actually slightly faster than gigabit Ethernet.
There are headers for front panel USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 for those who have a chassis with a type-C port.
We expect this motherboard to be somewhat more expensive than the $399 that the Aorus X399 Gaming 7 sold for.
Installing the Ryzen 1950x CPU on this motherboard along with 8 sticks of 16GB DDR4L sticks to have a monster rig with 128GB of main memory.
The Ryzen 1950x has 16 cores with 32 threads so it can handle working with vast amounts of memory easily. The CPU has more than enough PCI Express lanes to handle even the most powerful graphics cards like the Vega 64 or GTX 1080 Ti.
Best bets is to use a Corsair 1500W PSU as they have enough ATX12V cables to handle extreme motherboards like this one. Keep in mind the Threadripper is a 200W TDP part by itself, so with a pair of graphics cards the power load is rather high.
Water cooling is needed for the CPU so the larger EATX chassis are needed which have enough room.