X399 Motherboards: The MSI X399 Creation

For the motherboard situation, AMD clarified that all motherboards on the market today will be able to run the new 250W processors. The differences will be in how well each motherboard will be able to overclock, with AMD citing that the newer models and revisions should perform better, given that they were built with a higher power rating already in mind. Boards like the X399 Creation should also help in pushing the first generation Ryzen Threadripper.

Box. Has board inside.

As noted back at Computex, the MSI X399 Creation is a very visually busy motherboard. Lots of angles, and lots of shades of grey. I know it is customary in some Asian languages and magazines to be very dense, and this is kind of what that looks like. Most of the time I prefer a simpler, elegant design. This design does not scream elegance.

The key headline for this motherboard is the power delivery. MSI has put 16 phases on the processor, and another three for "uncore" portion of the chip, or as AMD calls it, the SoC. In order to fit them in, the DRAM slots are slightly further down than average, but it also allows MSI to put in a larger heatsink, which also connects to the heatsink near the rear panel of the board.

In case you forget the name: Creation.

Storage on the motherboard comes in two forms: eight SATA ports, and seven M.2 drives. That is not a typo: MSI has enabled this motherboard with seven M.2 slots. Three come from on the board, and are found under the chipset heatsink. Here are two of them:

The other four comes from an add-in PCIe card. We also saw this at Computex, and it uses a dual-slot design. It looks like a GPU:

But inside are four M.2 slots, with thermal pad on the heatsink to assist with cooling.

MSI states that this was built specifically with Threadripper in mind, so I’m going to annoy our SSD reviewer, Billy Tallis, to hand over a few more drives.

Also on the board is an extensive rear panel, with USB 3.1 ports, USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi:

Show Me the Chips Benchmarks & Pre-Order Info
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  • edzieba - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    I guess "buy before you try" is going to be the standard for AMD going forward. Reply
  • BB-5F-96-D7-AE-26 - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Same? Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    If you can't keep your wallet in your pants 'til after the reviews, then sure. Reply
  • melgross - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    It used to be that AMD would release specs, and the chips they sent out would not come close to them. After bulldozer, they stopped giving pre released chips for test. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    These are going to perform like Threadripper with Zen+. There aren't going to be any major surprises. The architecture is already well-known. It looks like the only question about these is how the memory allocation will affect certain benchmarks. Reply
  • Dug - Thursday, August 09, 2018 - link

    The other question is if we can get some good x399 motherboards. Reply
  • IntoGraphics - Friday, August 10, 2018 - link

    Don't we already have good X399 motherboards?
    Or is your current X399 motherboard a lemon?
    Reply
  • Mday - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    First page has 2800x in the AMD SKUs table, with the specs of a 2700x; and what appears to be the price of the 1800x ($419, url has 1800x) from last year for the 2700x in the Threadripper 2 vs Skylake-X
    The Battle (Sorted by Price) table.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Right you are. Thanks! Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Putting an asterisk on the AMD supplied number in the chart is of only limited value if you don't have a matching footnote. I'm pretty sure I've seen the same problem on some of your other charts/graphs before. Reply

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