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.

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  • HJay - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Life really does begin at 50. Reply
  • HJay - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Your point is valid and I'm not ready to switch from external interfaces to an internal RME unit yet. However, the performance and quality of the peculiar on-board audio arrangement is still of great interest. Experiencing AMD's AM3 FX chipset USB implementation (See: "Silicon Errata for SB950") was rather eye opening and very helpful in understanding why running USB audio across that implementation was less than optimal. The USB arrangement of AM4 seems to be an improvement over the AM3 and AM3+. But AMD's TRX40 seems to reveal a non-satisfactory level of concern for PC audio -suggesting that AM4 might be more appropriate. This motherboard review is a great start but there are still many holes to fill in regarding this, in particular with the S1220.

    Selecting an appropriate motherboard upfront before throwing thousands of dollars worth of audio software and hardware at it is critical. I did note compatibility issues between earlier AM4 systems and some Universal Audio cards and the desired RME card is around $900. So, I'm just not ready to ride the bleeding edge with these new boards but will eagerly listen to the experiences of others and cheer them along.

    As a side note, I did recommend to my favored audio repair software vendor that they contact AnandTech to provide, or work out, some audio benchmarking tests or packages.
    Reply
  • Bccc1 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I still don't get your point. I agree that the USB implementation is important, that AMD messed that up in the past (thanks for the ref to the errata list) and that the way onboard audio works on TRX40 is maybe more error prone.
    But why is that different / better with the S1220? And how do you define an audio creator? I was thinking of an audio engineer, someone who does tracking/mixing/mastering/sound design. I can't imagine someone in that field would ever use onboard audio, except maybe for mobility reasons on a notebook.

    I will probably use my RME Madiface XT with a StarTech USB card (PEXUSB3S44V) as I don't trust any onboard USB.

    Regarding the compatibilty issues, do you have links/detailed information? The only thing I found was an issue, where the card wasn't detected in PCIe slots connected to the chipset. Which is a shame, but less of a problem with TRX40 as most slots are directly connected to the CPU.
    Reply
  • tamalero - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I'm no expert here but could perhaps say this because of the audio problems of some cpus (crackling cutting) because of the high latency of Ryzen and the first Threadrippers?
    Or perhaps power issues (delivery to PCIE ports because the big power consumption of the new TR chips?)
    Reply
  • Dug - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I think it's time to move past USB if you are a "Real content creator" Reply
  • valinor89 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    "The TRX40 chipset is based on the 14 nm process node from Global Foundries"
    "AMD leveraged GlobalFoundries 12nm to build the TRX40 chipset"

    Is it 12 or 14?
    Reply
  • tamalero - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I remember that Global Foundries is 14nm while TSCM is 14+ (12nm) Reply
  • gavbon - Monday, December 2, 2019 - link

    I have corrected it, it is Global Foundries 14 nm process. Thank you for the heads up Reply
  • scineram - Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - link

    That's not what Ian said. Reply
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, December 29, 2019 - link

    I believe what Ian was referring to is the IO chip on the CPU package which is 12nm. Reply

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