Choosing The Right TRX40 Motherboard

When it comes to selecting the right motherboard for the task at hand, the 12 available models at launch offer a range of different features at multiple price points, with more than enough to satisfy most users. One thing that is apparent with TRX40, we are likely to see more models before the year is out with GIGABYTE already teasing an Xtreme WaterForce version of its TRX40 Aorus Xtreme on social media.

Narrowing the selection down from 12 models to just one can be a tedious task, but each model has its own distinguishing features, be that through the design or feature set. An entry-level model on a HEDT platform such as sTR4 is the equivalent of a mid-range board on a desktop platform such as X570. Another improvement in design is that the boards require a better power delivery with the release of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core currently in the pipeline for launch. The majority of the models come with 16-phase power deliveries with the CPU, with ASUS notably opting for teamed power stages, and GIGABYTE going all out with the XDPE132G5C true 16-phase PWM controller. All of the heatsink designs look robust on paper, but some have included integrated VRM active cooling solutions such as select ASUS models.

All of the twelve TRX40 models released at launch include at least three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, with models such as the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme, the ASRock TRX40 Taichi, and the MSI Creator TRX40 all coming with its own PCIe 4.0 M.2 adaptors to allow the installation of even more. One of the main benefits of the TRX40 chipset over the previous X399 revision is more native support for USB 3.1 G2 connectivity. Only six models have utilized this to full effect including the top two ASUS ROG models, and all of GIGABYTE's four TRX40 launch day models. Every TRX40 model at launch includes a BIOS Flashback button on the rear panel, as well as eight SATA ports. 

Selecting the right motherboard comes down to personal preferences and needs, and there are many different variables to consider as part of that process. This includes the number of M.2 slots onboard, etc. All of the twelve TRX40 models come with eight or more SATA ports, with some opting for ASMedia controllers depending on how the vendors want to spend those flexible PCIe 4.0 lanes. The vast majority of boards come with strong feature sets, which is no surprise given the HEDT segment TRX40 and Threadripper 3000 occupies. The only model to benefit from Thunderbolt 3 out of the box is the GIGABYTE TRX40 Designare which includes a GC-Titan Ridge AIC card in the accessories bundle.

Similar to what we did in the past with our AMD X570 round-up from earlier on this year, we've taken some of the most common requirements when building a new system and narrowed them down to help users select a model based on its specific features.

Finally, it's interesting to note that vendors have been surprisingly consistent in implementing Intel's Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax wireless interface, which also includes support for BT 5.0. Ten out of the twelve TRX40 models at launch include Wi-Fi 6 as standard.

Choosing the Right TRX40 Motherboard
          The Options Are          Size Amazon Newegg
10 Gigabit Ethernet
ASRock TRX40 Creator ATX - $460
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme E-ATX - $850
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Xtreme XL-ATX - $850
MSI Creator TRX40 E-ATX $700 $700
MSI TRX40 Pro 10G EATX $500 $500
5 Gigabit Ethernet
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Master E-ATX - $500
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
ASRock TRX40 Taichi ATX - $500
ASUS ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming ATX - $550
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
ASRock TRX40 Creator ATX - $460
ASRock TRX40 Taichi ATX - $500
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme E-ATX - $850
ASUS ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming ATX - $550
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Xtreme XL-ATX - $850
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Master E-ATX - $500
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Pro WIFI ATX - $400
GIGABYTE TRX40 Designare XL-ATX - $630
MSI Creator TRX40 E-ATX $700 $700
MSI TRX40 Pro WIFI ATX - $470
5 (or more) USB 3.1 G2
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme E-ATX - $850
ASUS ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming ATX - $550
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Xtreme XL-ATX - $850
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Master E-ATX - $500
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Pro WIFI ATX - $400
GIGABYTE TRX40 Designare XL-ATX - $630
USB 3.2 G2 Type-C
ASRock TRX40 Creator E-ATX - $460
ASRock TRX40 Taichi ATX - $500
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme E-ATX - $850
MSI Creator TRX40 E-ATX $700 $700
MSI TRX40 Pro 10G ATX $500 $500
MSI TRX40 Pro WIFI ATX - $470
Thunderbolt 3
GIGABYTE TRX40 Designare XL-ATX - $630
XL-ATX
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Xtreme XL-ATX - $850
GIGABYTE TRX40 Designare XL-ATX - $630
E-ATX
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme E-ATX - $850
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Master E-ATX - $500
MSI Creator TRX40 E-ATX $700 $700
ATX
ASRock TRX40 Creator ATX - $460
ASRock TRX40 Taichi ATX - $500
ASUS ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming ATX - $550
ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro ATX $450 $450
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Pro WIFI ATX - $400
MSI TRX40 Pro 10G ATX $500 $500
MSI TRX40 Pro WIFI ATX - $470

All of the boards we've covered today are set to be available to buy this week in the USA, EU, and the UK, across various retailers such as Amazon, Newegg, Caseking, Scan etc. There may be other models available for other parts of the world such as the Asian market which we haven't covered, but we have had no prior knowledge that any vendors outside of ASRock, ASUS, GIGABYTE, and MSI has prepared any TRX40 models that we aren't expecting.

ASRock TRX40 Product Stack

Starting alphabetically, ASRock has two TRX40 models which are both ATX sized, and occupy the $449-499 price segment. The ASRock TRX40 Creator offers an Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE controller and a Realtek RTL8125-AG 2.5 GbE controller, while the TRX40 Taichi has the Realtek 2.5 GbE controller with an Intel I211-AT.

Availability and Pricing of ASRock AMD TRX40 Motherboards (11/25)
Model Size AT
Overview
Amazon Newegg
ASRock TRX40 Creator ATX Link - $460
ASRock TRX40 Taichi ATX Link - $500

Both models include an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface which includes BT 5.0 connectivity. The ASRock TRX40 Creator is aimed at content creators and more professional users, while the ASRock TRX40 Taichi is as expected, targetted at enthusiasts with its 16-phase power delivery. ASRock has left the option open for a flagship competitor, but there has been no word of any other models to be released this year. Watch this space!

ASUS TRX40 Product Stack

Moving onto the ASUS models, there are three models to choose from with the premium ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme flagship, the middle of the road ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming, and the entry-level model for professionals, the Prime TRX40-Pro. Both the Republic of Gamers branded models include the Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface, while the ROG Zenith II Extreme utilizes an Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE controller; the ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming is focused on gaming and uses the Realtek RTL8125-AG 2.5 GbE controller.

Availability and Pricing of ASUS AMD X570 Motherboards (11/25)
Model Size AT
Overview
Amazon Newegg
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme E-ATX Link - $850
ASUS ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming ATX Link - $550
ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro ATX Link $450 $450

The most basic of the TRX40 in terms of features is the ASUS Prime TRX40-Pro which doesn't include Wi-Fi, nor does it use anything more than a single Intel I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet controller for its networking. The ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme has all the makings of an extreme overclockers dream with its overclockers toolkit and LN2 mode, while the Strix TRX40-E Gaming positions itself towards gamers looking to build a very monolithic gaming system. 

GIGABYTE TRX40 Product Stack

GIGABYTE has the biggest launch day TRX40 product stack from the vendors with a total of four models. The GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Xtreme sits at the top of the product stack with an impressive array of features including with dual 10 GbE powered by an Intel X550-AT2 10 GbE controller, with four onboard PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots with its true 16-phase power delivery for the CPU. Moving down is the TRX40 Aorus Master with an E-ATX PCB, with an Aquantia 5 G Ethernet controller, while the TRX40 Aorus Pro WIFI opts for standard Gigabit. The GIGABYTE TRX40 Designare is the only model to feature Thunderbolt 3 via a Titan Ridge add-on card in the accessories bundle.

Availability and Pricing of GIGABYTE AMD X570 Motherboards (11/25)
Model Size AT
Overview
Amazon Newegg
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Xtreme XL-ATX Link - $850
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Master E-ATX Link - $500
GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Pro WIFI ATX Link - $400
GIGABYTE TRX40 Designare XL-ATX Link - $630

All of the GIGABYTE TRX40 models include Intel's AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface, and all feature at least five USB 3.1 G2 Type-A ports on the rear panel. Out of all the vendor's offerings at launch, GIGABYTE is the only vendor to make the most of the native USB 3.1 G2 support from the TRX40 chipset. GIGABYTE also has the cheapest TRX40 model at launch with the GIGABYTE TRX40 Aorus Pro WIFI which represents fantastic value for money on paper in comparison to other models.

MSI TRX40 Product Stack

The last of the TRX40 motherboard is MSI's launch day product stack which contains three new models, with the flagship content-creator focused MSI Creator TRX40, and the MSI TRX40 Pro models with one including an Aquantia 10 GbE add-on card, with the other coming equipped with an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface.

Availability and Pricing of MSI AMD X570 Motherboards (11/25)
Model Size AT
Overview
Amazon Newegg
MSI Creator TRX40 E-ATX Link $700 $700
MSI TRX40 Pro 10G ATX Link $500 $500
MSI TRX40 Pro WIFI ATX Link - $470

Moving through MSI's product stack, the MSI Creator TRX40 is aimed at content creators and comes included with its Xpander-Z Aero quad PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 add-in card, and sits at the top of the SKU list in terms of quality. The only differential feature between the MSI TRX40 Pro 10 and TRX40 Pro Wi-Fi is the networking, although the core feature set and design of both are identical in every other way.

MSI TRX40 Pro 10G & TRX40 Pro WIFI
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  • Arsenica - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Something funny about the Gigabyte TRX40 Designare is that they go out their way to not include Thunderbolt branding for the bundled card. They only call it "a 40GB/s GC-Titan Ridge add-in card which allows you to take advantage of exceptionally fast transfer speeds!" Reply
  • YB1064 - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    $800 for a motherboard? I don't think any number of Xtreme XXX in the name justifies such a ridiculous price tag. Reply
  • colonelclaw - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Does the lack of Thunderbolt 3 on 11 of the 12 point to it still being too expensive to manufacture? Or something else? Seems odd to me that 8 out of 12 boards has ethernet > 1G, but only a single board has TB3. Doesn't seem very HEDT! Reply
  • gavbon - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Not to mention the single option is via an add-on card. I will reach out and see what I can find out Reply
  • Smell This - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link


    Could TB3 be spec'd-out?
    I mean, at 12v/60w (max TB3?) asking too much for cabling/hardware in the ever-ending quest for speed/bandwidth in exchange for heat?

    Is the add-on proprietary to AsRock?
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Disclaimer, this is going solely off memory and is based off stuff I read somewhere. IIRC The Macbook Pro has 4 thunderbolt 3 ports. More than likely, it's because Intel provides TB3 on the CPU separate from PCIE lanes, whereas AMD only has dedicated PCIE lanes. This means that TB3 uses PCIE lanes on AMD systems. Reply
  • phildj - Sunday, December 8, 2019 - link

    The MacBooks Pro (and the 2018 Mac Mini) all run 2 Alpine Ridge (or whatever) controllers off 2x x4 PCIe lanes. The 15/16” version connects to the DGPU using only x8. Reply
  • Digispa - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Thunderbolt, regardless of version number is owned by Intel. I would think that board manufacturers probably don't have to pay a license fee to add it to Intel boards but have to pay a fee for AMD boards they design and sell. It is most likely a cost issue versus a compatible spec issue. Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Untrue, TB3 has been open sourced. It will be a part of the USB 4.0 standard. Reply
  • dotes12 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Is it actually going to be called USB 4.0? They were really getting on a roll with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 SuperSpeed+. Reply

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