ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro

The last of the three TRX40 models from ASUS is the ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro. Part of its Prime series, it blends its usual white and silver aesthetic, with a more professional styling and straight-edge looks. The ATX sized PCB has plenty of features including three full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, and eight SATA ports. The Prime TRX40-Pro sits towards the bottom of its TRX40 product stack offering users the basics while remaining competitive with other TRX40 models.

Focusing on the design of the ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro, its main design consists of a silver and white color scheme, with a rear panel cover doubling up as a power delivery heatsink, and a M.2 heatsink which amalgamates into the design of the chipset heatsink. The board has three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots with two of these sitting underneath a large silver aluminium heatsink, with the other M.2 slot installed vertically; an adapter comes in the accessories bundle. This also includes eight SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1 and 10 arrays. On the PCIe front, there are three full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, with a smaller PCIe 4.0 x4 slot located at the bottom. Directly below the PCIe 4.0 x4 slot is a power button, and a two-digit LED debugger. Next to this is a 

As with the vast majority of TRX40 boards at launch, the ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro has support for DDR4-4666 and 256 GB of system memory across eight slots. The CPU power delivery looks impressive for a non-enthusiast model with a 16-phase design which is controlled by an undesignated controller. We know that ASUS using teamed power stages as they did with its X570 product stack. Delivering power to the CPU is a pair of 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU power connectors, with one located at either side at the top of the board. For cooling, the ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro has seven 4-pin headers which include two for CPU fans, three for chassis fans, one for an AIO pump, and another for a water pump.

The rear panel includes three USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, one USB 3.1 G2 Type-C, and six USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports. A handily located BIOS Flashback button sits towards the left-hand side, while on the right-hand side are five color-coded 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output controlled by a Realtek ALC S1220 HD audio codec. The single networking port is controlled by an Intel I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet controller.

Although the ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro omits things like Wi-Fi 6 and uprated 2.5/5/10 GbE ethernet, it still comes with an MSRP of $450. While it may seem a little off the mark in terms of pricing, the Prime TRX40-Pro has a very subtle and professional design, with a competitive feature set, and plenty of storage support for users building a workstation using the AMD Threadripper 3000 series processors.

ASUS ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Xtreme
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  • dan82 - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    I wish those boards had more Type C ports and dropped some of those A ports. A type C port can easily be turned in an A, but vice versa is against the spec.

    Also serious question: what is the reason to keep A 2.0 ports around? Are there any devices that don’t work on modern ports?
    Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Probably much easier to route one old and slow data pair vs 1-4 high speed data pairs.

    I have many devices that will likely never need more than USB 2.0 - my Mouse and KB included. USB microphone as well. The best external device I've got that benefits from USB3 speeds is my Bluray burner, and we all know how popular those are. External USB flash drives are usually limited by the cheap NAND inside, and most of my external storage is on my network.

    For others, I suppose USB capture cards? Really decent USB 3.0 flash drives? Even if I connected my phone to my PC, it's still limited to USB 2.0. Maybe a decent external card reader? These boards reviewed here are all ATX, so I'll rule out USB NICs. I've got to be missing something in my list.
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    There is still the odd device that doesn't work on USB 3.0. Also the last 2 machines I've built did not have fully functioning USB 3.0/3.1 ports in Linux, indicating lack of driver support for operating systems other than Linux. In short: USB 3.x is still a WIP despite being out on the market for quite a while. Reply
  • Llawehtdliub - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Plz no. Dont do an Apple. Just beczus you cant think of a reason to use doesnt mean others cant.
    There is a reason to leave them.
    Reply
  • dotes12 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Bring back PS/2 ports too? /s Reply
  • asmian - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    I'm a little confused by comments on the X570 boards that will probably apply to these also. With these new PCIe4 slots (and M.2 slots), is it the case that they are all completely independent and you can mix/match PCIe2/PCIe3/PCIe4 cards/drives freely at each one's maximum possible negotiated link speed? Or will putting (say) a PCIe2 RAID controller in any slot reduce all slots to the lowest common denominator, PCIe2 speed? Reply
  • voicequal - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    PCIe lanes are wired directly to the PCIe controller on either the CPU or chipset, so link speeds between slots are independent. PCIe 4.0 is backward compatible with previous generations 3.0, 2.0 & 1.0, so running a PCIe 2.0 card in a slot capable of 4.0 will run at 2.0 speeds and not affect adjacent lanes on other slots.

    Some motherboards allow you to reduce the maximum speed of PCIe lanes from 4.0 to something lower -- this can help to troubleshoot signal integrity issues. This setting sometimes does affect lanes across multiple slots. But as long as you leave it to Auto, the lanes will run at the highest compatible speed between card and controller.
    Reply
  • WaltC - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Yes, in most cases the slots auto-configure to the device connected. Gen 3 devices should happily coexist with Gen 4 devices with each running at spec. In the case of the GPU, you can run it at Gen 3 if you prefer even if it is a Gen 4 GPU natively--there's separate switch for that in the bios, but the slots auto-configure for other devices and the GPU bios switch doesn't affect any other slots.

    I was surprised to see that several of the mboards had no rear clear-CMOS button on their backplates, and thought that was an interesting omission from the article--and the article also failed to mention dual-bios mboards--which the GB Aorus Xtreme & Master have (pictured mechanical switches) --one would hope they all might have them. Seems as if both these important features would be worth a mention...
    Reply
  • dotes12 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Is there any downsides of going to PCIe 4.0? Maybe something similar to DDR3 and DDR4 memory where the bandwidth increases, but the latency goes up too? Reply
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, December 29, 2019 - link

    not really no Reply

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