The new AMD Threadripper CPUs are here at last, or at least, they’re released. We don’t actually have one of the new CPUs in the office just yet. However, we do have two amazing new motherboards from AORUS. First up, it’s the AORUS TRX40 Master, which is designed for the enthusiast PC user, which explains why it comes absolutely packed with amazing features. While they say “gaming motherboard” I honestly think that’s just a moniker given to many things these days because it has RGB. However, with Threadripper proving a big hit with content creators for YouTube and Twitch, and other similar platforms, perhaps Gigabyte AORUS is a better judge of the market than I am.
This motherboard is packing some pretty impressive hardware, and so it should, given that the MASTER board is often one of the flagship releases from AORUS on any chipset, such as the Z390 MASTER we reviewed a while back. The new Threadripper CPUs are absolute beasts, so it’s no surprise the power delivery hardware has been given a big upgrade. The TRX40 MASTER features a direct power design with 16 phases delivering up to 70A each! That’s a lot of power, even for a Threadripper, so maxing out the CPU and overclocking shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, with a Fins Array cooler design, keeping that power hardware running at its best should be a breeze.
Without a doubt, this is a fantastic looking motherboard. I mean, it’s obviously a Threadripper motherboard with that enormous CPU socket in the middle. However, it’s still quite clearly a MASTER series motherboard, following the same design philosophy and colour schemes we’ve come to expect from AORUS. What’s really cool, literally, is the massive “Fins Array” VRM cooling that runs nearly the full length of the top of the board, with an 8mm heat pipe joining additional cooling on the left side. That heat pipe runs all the way down the back of the motherboard and joins the rear backplate too.
Memory is not exactly left short either, with eight DIMMs lots supporting quad-channel DDR4. All of the slots are fully armoured too, helping prevent motherboard flex issues, while also improving the built quality and aesthetics overall. TRX40 can support up to 1TB of memory in total, albeit I dread to think what that would cost.
The big hitter for AMD right now is that their latest chipsets and CPUs offer up PCI Gen 4.0. While that may not have a huge benefit for gamers right now, I bet it will in the near future. Plus, there are three M.2 mounts in here, where you can easily use the latest NVMe Gen 4 drivers for up to 5000 MBs read/write. Their built-in M.2 heatsinks not only keep your drives cool, but should also protect them too. All of the full-size PCI slots are armoured too, which is great given how heavy modern GPUs. However, just like everything else on this motherboard, I also think they look cool tool.
Much like the X570 chipset, the TRX40 does use an active cooling fan. It’s barely noticeable though, and they’ve done a nice job hiding it under that shroud without compromising on the overall airflow of the chipset.
I first saw this on their stunning AORUS XTREME Z390 motherboard, but it seems Solid Pin has returned! It’s a reinforced direct connection for the 24-pin power cable. Plus, the 90-degree rotation should make for shorter cable runs. You’ll notice the dual 8-pin connectors in the top right are pretty well armoured too.
All the SATA connections are rotated too, which is good because routing eight SATA cables could quickly get messy if they weren’t!
The bottom edge of the motherboard is packed with connections too. There’s a load of fan connectors dotted all over the MASTER, which is superb for those who want to keep control over their cooling setup. There’s a bunch of USB, audio, and RGB options here too, giving you plenty of flexibility.
It’s hard to find a motherboard with lousy audio these days. The MASTER is certainly in the upper tier though, with the ALC4050H + ESS 9218 powering the front ports, and the ALC4050H and ALC1220-VB powering the rear ports. That all comes backed up with WIMA capacitors too.
There are a few RGB treats tucked into this board too. However, we’ll be more than happy to show all of that off one we have the CPUs in the office. I do love that big rear I/O cover though, with a bit of brushed aluminium on top giving it a nice premium look and feel.
The backplate is stunning, honestly, you’re rarely going to see it. However, as good as it looks, it’s a practical addition that strengthens the motherboard quite a lot. Plus, due to the way it’s mounted and the heatpipes on the motherboard, it’ll provide plenty of cooling to the PCB and other hardware too.
The rear I/O shield is pre-installed, so no chance of you forgetting to install it. You’ll find 2 x USB 3.0, 5 x USB 3.2 and 1 x USB Type-C here too, so connectivity is clearly not in short supply. You get two LAN options too, with 5 GbE and 1 GbE which is perfect for connection directly to your router, plus a DAS or internal network. If that’s not enough, flagship 802.11ax WiFi will deliver the best wireless speeds currently available.
We would love to, but we’re still waiting on the CPUs to arrive. That being said, we’ll have full performance figures, pretty RGB stuff, time-lapse builds and who knows what else in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned for more!
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