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Overview of Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme: the most expensive

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Backward compatibility is an important principle for the company AMD, who she tries to follow all his strength. Therefore, when the market appeared related to the second generation processors Ryzen Threadripper, we are not surprised that they remained compatible with all based on a set of logic X399 Socket TR4-boards — even those that were originally intended for the first Threadripper originally from last year.

However, some limitations still arise. Senior 32-core processor, Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, received a 250-watt TDP, while all hitherto existing HEDT CPU from AMD was estimated dissipation at the level of 180 watts. AMD’s official position on this issue is as follows: stable operability of any Ryzen Threadripper in the old boards is guaranteed, but only in the nominal mode. With the acceleration may be different. It is not surprising that some manufacturers (specifically MSI and Gigabyte) has decided to produce a fresh Socket TR4-platform, with which new Threadripper no problem certainly does not arise even when overclocked.

With the help of new Board MSI, MEG X399 Creation, we did an initial review of Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X. And in this review we will focus on the new Gigabyte, the model number Socket TR4 platforms which motherboard X399 Aorus Xtreme, displaced from their posts of the previous flagship, the Aorus Gaming 7 X399 X399 and Designare EX.


The company decided to gradually transfer its motherboard for a new nomenclature items. If earlier about the positioning of the Board can be judged by the digital index, after the word Gaming, now it starts to apply the mnemonic scheme with the prefix Ultra, Elite, Master and the like. Considered in this review the motherboard Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme under the old scheme probably would be called X399 Aorus Gaming 9, that is, it would emphatically the highest and most expensive platform for the ecosystem Ryzen Threadripper.

It is therefore not surprising that the recommended price X399 Aorus Xtreme set at $450: if you don’t get hung up on the HEDT platform, for the same amount you can buy a good processor along with the motherboard. However, that’s a decision the consumer level, and X399 Aorus Xtreme is not quite the usual fee. It is logical to use not for gaming systems and for high-end workstations aimed at the creation and processing of digital content. In addition to any dissatisfaction with respect to the price of such solution is easy to counter with the following argument: in fact, offer Gigabyte – not the most expensive Board for Ryzen Threadripper. For example, MEG X399 Creation MSI or ASUS Extreme Zenith will cost $50 more expensive.

While the Gigabyte is not devoid of uniqueness. It differs enhanced power processor designed taking into account the existence of processors Threadripper second-generation WX series, which even in normal mode can consume up to 300 watts. In addition, it out of the box allows you to set four video cards and three M. 2 drive with a PCI Express connection. Also noteworthy is amazingly rich equipment X399 Aorus Xtreme network interfaces: two Gigabit, one 10 Gigabit and one wireless.

In General the specifications Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme are as follows:

Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme
Processor AMD Ryzen Threadripper
Chipset (chipset) AMD X399
Memory subsystem 8 DIMM-slots for memory modules DDR4, the maximum amount of RAM up to 128GB;
4 channel memory architecture;
Support for DDR4 3600+(O. C.) / 3466+(O. C.) / 2933 / 2667 / 2400 / 2133;
Support for ECC-DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 unbuffered;
Support for non-ECC DIMM modules unbuffered 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16;
Support XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
Audio Realtek ALC1220-VB;
Scheme of positioning of the audio 2/4/5.1/7.1;
Support for S/PDIF Out;
The DAC chip ESS9118EQ
Network LAN interface Two 10/100/1000 Mbit Intel® GbE LAN;
One 10 Gbit/5 Gbit/2.5 Gbit/1000 Mbit/100 Mbit controller Aquantia GbE LAN
The wireless communication module Module Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, supports mode 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band;
Bluetooth 4.2, 4.1, BLE, 4.0, 3.0, 2.1+EDR;
Supports 11ac wifi (bandwidth up to 867 Mbps)
Connectors for expansion boards 2 x PCI Express x16 slot, operating at x16;
2 PCI Express x16 slots operate in x8 mode;
The PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0;
1 x PCI Express x1, works in a standard PCI Express 2.0
The storage interface 2 connector the M. 2 22110 (Socket 3, M key, type 2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4/x2, SSD);
1 connector M. 2 2280 (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4/x2, SSD);
6 SATA connectors 6 GB/s;
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10
The scalability of the video Configuration supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire and 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire;
Configuration supports NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI and 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way NVIDIA SLI
USB interface Chipset:
1 port USB Type-C rear panel (interface USB 3.1 Gen 2);
1 port USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A (red connector) on the rear panel;
4 port USB 3.1 Gen 1 (available when connected to the internal USB connector block on the Board);
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 (available when connected to a USB header);
Chipset + controller ASMedia USB 3.1 Gen 2:
1 port USB 3.1 Gen 2 (USB Type-C) available when connected to a USB port on the header to the relevant connector on the Board;
8 ports USB 3.1 Gen 1 on the back panel;
The connectors on the system Board 1 24-pin ATX power connector;
2 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors;
1 power connector OC PEG;
1 connector for CPU fan;
1 connector for liquid cooling system CPU;
3 connectors for system fans;
2 connector for system fan/water pump;
2 connector for addressable RGB led strips;
2 digital(addressable) LED strip power select jumpers;
2 connector for RGB strips;
3 x M. 2 Socket 3;
6 SATA connectors 6 GB/s;
A connector to connect the buttons and indicators the front panel;
Pad for audio connectors on the front panel;
1 S/PDIF-out;
1 port USB 3.1 Gen 2 (USB Type-C);
2 USB ports USB 3.1 Gen 1;
2 connectors USB 2.0/1.1 ports;
Connector for TPM-module (Trusted Platform Module);
The BIOS switch;
Switch DualBIOS;
2 connector for connecting external temperature sensors;
Jumper to reset CMOS to default state
The connectors on the rear panel Button for resetting the CMOS;
1 port USB 3.1 Gen 2 (USB Type-C);
1 port USB 3.1 Gen 2 (version Type-A connector red);
8 ports USB 3.1 Gen 1;
3 RJ-45;
2 SMA connector for antennas (2T2R);
1 optical S/PDIF output;
5 audio connectors;
Power Button/Reset
Chip I/O controller Controller iTE I/O
Monitoring system The definition of supply voltages;
The determination of the working temperature;
Determination of fan speed;
Monitoring of the liquid cooling system;
Notification on exceeding a threshold temperature;
Notice of failure of the fan;
Control fan speed
BIOS Two 128 Mbit of ROM chips;
Support For DualBIOS;
Function PnP 1.0 a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
The proprietary features and technologies Support proprietary utility APP Center;
Function 3D OSD;
Proprietary utility @BIOS;
Signature Auto Green;
Support for cloud station (Cloud Station);
Support for EasyTune;
The Fast Boot Feature;
The Game Boost Function;
Proprietary technology GIGABYTE On/Off Charge;
Feature RGB Fusion;
Smart Backup;
The Smart Keyboard;
Smart TimeLock;
Smart HUD;
Explorer system information;
Smart Survey;
Brand utility USB Blocker;
Brand utility V-Tuner;
Proprietary utility Q-Flash;
Support For Xpress Install
Form factor (dimensions, mm) E-ATX; 305 × 269

From the above list, you can make a very interesting observation. Although the Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme – expensive, and stuffed the fee, many of its functions are implemented without the use of additional circuits and controllers. The fact that the built-in AMD processor Ryzen Threadripper system-on-chip (SoC) together with the chipset X399 allows to realize a very serious set of capabilities without outside help. As a result of additional chips in addition to the standard chipset (sound, network, etc.), the Board has only optional Wi-Fi module, 10 Gigabit network controller and PCI Express controller ASMedia, which is responsible for the implementation of additional USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Increased same up to Extended ATX form factor Board is not so much because it it was necessary to have increased the number of integrated circuits, as a huge number of slots, connectors, connectors, buttons and indicators that make the system based on Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme easily expandable, convenient, manageable and just very flexible.

See this is easy, if you look at the schematic image X399 Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme.

#Packaging equipment

Like any other fee the top price category, Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme comes in a very large box.

This is partly justified by the size and weight of the Board, for which she needs a reliable, eliminating damage to the packaging and partly due to the very rich set.

In addition to the Board manual and driver disc in the box can be detected:

  • six SATA cables;
  • Wi-Fi antenna;
  • hard high-speed SLI-bridge;
  • connector G-Connector to facilitate connection of hull buttons and indicators;
  • two cables to connect the RGB led strips;
  • two cables to connect addressable led strips;
  • two cable ties;
  • two remote sensor with necessary cables;
  • three screws and three mounting stands for M. 2 drives;
  • set of stickers for decorating the Assembly;
  • Torx T20 to open and close the Socket TR4;
  • cruciform screwdriver slot 2.5 mm to install the M. 2 storage devices.

#Design and capabilities

To start learn the details of the Aorus Xtreme X399 want with the reminder that almost all boards for Ryzen Threadripper come in the form factor E-ATX. New and Gigabyte is no exception. It is very functional, and processor socket Socket TR4 is very massive, therefore, the increased area of the PCB does not cause surprise: that would required would simply not fit. However X399 Aorus Xtreme compared to the previous flagship cards under Gigabyte Threadripper further increased in depth by about 2 cm — case for such a colossus have to choose more carefully.

This is not to say that the fee turned out to be spacious, and the Assembly system based on X399 Aorus Xtreme can cause problems of a mechanical nature. For example, a reference company AMD air cooler cooler Master Wraith Ripper blocks on the Board closest to the CPU slot PCI Express x16.

For the implementation of the key subsystems of the Board – power supply CPU – Gigabyte has chosen the 50-amp Assembly International Rectifier PowIRStage IR3578 that combine two field-effect transistor, Schottky diode and driver in one housing. On the basis of such elements that are still in any boards we haven’t met, Gigabyte has implemented a 10-phase scheme. She manages a familiar OCTA-core PWM controller IR35201, reinforced with five doublers IR3599.

You should pay attention on original appearance assemblies IR3578: unlike the predecessors, they got metal teplonositel on the cover. Earlier this teplonositel used in the power element Intersil, and experience has shown that this change design really gives a noticeable effect and reduces their operating temperature. Now, however, such a solution also adopted by other manufacturers. Gigabyte also thinking about the smooth operation of the power Converter under a high load, for X399 Xtreme Aorus chose those power builds that are easier to cool.

Great attention is paid to proper cooling of the VRM. It is quite impossible to accuse of decoration: it’s pretty high quality and efficient cooler, assembled from two sections. A smaller section located above the CPU socket and covers power elements, power processor. The larger section is in the area of the rear panel, and closes the three phase power system, responsible for SoC. The heat between the sections is redistributed by means of the heat pipe, which passes through their bases and in contact directly with power assemblies.

Both the radiator represent a stack of thin aluminum fins with dark Nickel-plated, strung on a heat pipe. The thermal interface between the base of the radiators and the heating elements are laid fairly thick thermal pads with high efficiency, characterized by a thermal conductivity of 5 W/m * K at the level of common quality thermopaste.

To combat overheating of the power circuit applied another means: the rear radiator, partially under cover, equipped with a pair of 30-mm fans, which are given effect when the temperature of the CPU VRM area begins to rise. Usually the appearance in the card design of these devices means that the acoustic comfort can be forgotten, however, in the case X399 Aorus Xtreme Gigabyte was generous to a really good Everflow fans that work with low noise.

Speaking about how it is cooled the power supply circuit on X399 Aorus Xtreme, not to mention that the whole back side of the printed circuit Board is covered by a plate of “nanocarbon” – so this material calls herself Gigabyte.

Typically, such plates are used for aesthetic purposes or to make the construction of additional mechanical rigidity, but considering the Board is also a radiator. Part of the heat-generating components of the power Converter placed on the back side of the Board, and they contact the plate through thermally conductive gaskets.

The attractiveness of systems based on processors Ryzen Threadripper largely explained not only by the number of cores and high CPU performance themselves, but also their advanced equipment, first four memory channels and a large number of available lines of PCI Express. Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme is the motherboard that allows you to fully utilize the potential of the senior Threadripper.

As the majority of motherboards for processors Ryzen Threadripper, X399 Aorus Xtreme is equipped with eight slots DDR4 DIMM slots, two slots for each memory channel. Gigabyte says that the maximum amount of memory that can be installed into the Board, is limited to the 128 GB. However, the AMD for this reason makes a remark that the maximum memory is determined not by some hardware limitations in the processor, and the lack of market neregistrovan DDR4 modules with a capacity of more than 16GB. This particular Gigabyte is unique in that it supports including memory modules with ECC. Due to this X399 Aorus Xtreme may be a good option for workstations where data integrity is of particular importance.

All the existing processors Ryzen Threadripper PCI Express 3.0 lines are utilized in X399 Aorus Xtreme to the max. All on-Board controllers use to connect to the system bus PCI Express 2.0, implemented in the chipset, so everything is provided by the processor 60 PCI Express 3.0 lines are displayed in the expansion slots. So connected to all four CPU PCIe x16 slot available on the motherboard. The first and third slots each get 16 lanes, and the second and fourth of eight lines. This configuration is permanent and does not change depending on the number of installed graphics cards.

Among the PCIe x16 slots on the Board you’ll see the PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, but it to the processor has nothing to do – for his work meets the chipset.

The remaining 12 processing lines PCI Express 3.0 is disassembled in three M. 2 slots, each of which are summed up in four lines. All of them support both NVMe and SATA devices, and equipped with their own metal housings with thermally conductive gasket from the bottom, allowing to improve the cooling efficiency of high-speed SSDs. The first third NVMe slots compatible with M. 2 devices up to 110 mm, and in the middle slot, you can install drives up to 80 mm.

In General, the addition of a heatsink for M. 2 drives- a very commendable gesture Gigabyte, however, a specific variant of implementation caused some issues. On-Board staff teplonositel – no more than a simple aluminum plate, the efficiency of which is unlikely to be good. Especially when you consider that they will be placed under the graphics accelerators, which are powerful heat sources. However, remove them and replace with something better will not be easy.

All PCIe x16 slots on a given Board reinforced with a metal framework, but has no RGB backlight, which in the last X399-Gigabyte could be seen everywhere. However, it is unlikely to upset someone, especially when you consider that illumination of the slot is not visible in the normal installed maps.

Another deprivation that does not hurt, it is the presence on X399 Aorus Xtreme only six, rather than eight SATA ports. In the modern world is increasingly common connecting SSDS using the NVMe interface, so reducing the number of traditional SATA ports on new motherboards – quite a justified trend.

But next to the SATA ports hosted an additional six-pin connector for 12 V power supply. Gigabyte recommends that you use it if the system will have multiple power-hungry graphics cards. This will improve the stability of the voltage supplied to the PCIe slots.

Functionality X399 Aorus Xtreme is clearly visible if you pay attention to equipping its rear panel. There are even two buttons to reset CMOS and turn on the system. And the Power On button is configured from the BIOS Setup, and in particular it is possible to assign a function to Reset.

In addition, the rear panel displayed eight ports USB 3.1 Gen 1-all of them are blue and the implemented processor SoC. This number adds two additional USB 3.1 Gen 2 in the variants of Type-A and Type-C, both painted red. For their work meets the chipset X399.

Great attention to the developers of Gigabyte was paid to the implementation of the network interfaces. On Board there are two those network controller, and rear panel are placed two 8P8C-connector for the Gigabit network. Beside them is a third similar connector, but red: for his work meets the integrated on-Board chip Aquantia AQC107, which supports data rate up to 10 GB/s. currently, the infrastructure of networks with a bandwidth above 1 Gbit/s is not too advanced, but in the future, as the proliferation of standards 10GBASE-T, 5GBASE-T, 2.5 GBASE-T, the presence X399 Aorus Xtreme such a port may render good service.

Previously, we’ve seen targeted for use in high performance workstations motherboard that has support for 10 GB/s networks, so consider a Gigabyte to name here pervoprokhodtsy impossible. However, in earlier decisions, the producers just added in the package child PCI Express card with 10-Gigabit controller. Gigabyte is characterized in that it has a controller directly integrated on the Board, and does not occupy one of the expansion slots.

Have X399 Aorus Xtreme and support for Wi-Fi. The Board features module Intel Wireless-AC 8265 — it is placed in the area of the rear panel, supports the configuration of the flow TX/RX 2 × 2 and are able to provide a maximum throughput of 867 Mbps. the Reasons for choosing this module for us is not clear. The fact that this is not the most advanced wireless solution. Intel wireless adapters thousandth of the series, corresponding to the 802.11 ac Wave 2, today offer speeds above 1 Gbit/s, and Gigabyte even uses them in some of their AM4 Socket-motherboards, for example X470 Aorus Gaming 7 or Gaming 5 WiFi WiFi. But the flagship Board for Ryzen Threadripper high-speed Wi-Fi controller is somehow not worthy.

To implement the audio section Gigabyte chose Realtek codec ALC1220-VB, the output of which passes through the DAC ESS Sabre 9118EQ. In General, this scheme works very well, providing low noise and balanced detailed sound. Like all modern high-level platform, X399 Aorus Xtreme boasts all the necessary “bells and whistles”: a gold-plated audio outputs, using Japanese audiophile Nichicon capacitors and support high impedance headphones.

At the moment there is no motherboard for AMD processors Ryzen Threadripper, which could offer support for the Thunderbolt interface, 3 out of the box. But in the case X399 Aorus Xtreme this opportunity, you can at least implement the installation of the expansion card. The fact that Thunderbolt controllers require extra GPIO (General-purpose I/O) connections, and it Gigabyte has a special connector TVNZ. However, for some reason, the guide to the Board about this connector says nothing.

Have X399 Aorus Xtreme and even some interesting engineering solutions. One of them is a special implementation of technology DualBIOS backup BIOS in two EEPROM chips. First, the Board allows the hardware to switch between the two versions of BIOS that provides additional insurance for various hardware failures. Second, in this case, the primary chip of the EEPROM is set to “cot”. This means that if necessary, it is easy to replace the spare. Seems like spare chips going to give myself a Gigabyte, if, in the opinion of technical support, so you can solve a particular problem.

However, for some reason, X399 Aorus Xtreme Gigabyte refused Q-Flash Plus, which allows you to reflash the BIOS from a flash drive without installing it to the cost of any processor or memory. Such Autonomous firmware could help in cases where a new processor is not supported by the installed version of firmware, but the old processor, with which you can start the charge at hand. Now such a situation, the Gigabyte will have to decide by sending a new chip EEPROM. Perhaps it’s an easier option, but it is not operational.

Any motherboard upper price range today is simply obliged to have RGB led lighting, X399 Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme in this respect – is no exception. Gradually, however, the FABS have come to realize that randomly blinking colored LEDs are more like annoying light noise than creative design. And X399 Aorus Xtreme here embodies important changes: backlight on this Board runs more intelligently and consistently.

Total number of allocated four lighting zones: the chipset with the Aorus logo, shroud back panel, shroud of the sound channel and led tape under the right edge of the PCB. In all these areas applied individually configurable RGB-LEDs, controlled by a special utility RGB Fusion.

This utility allows you to enable different predefined lighting effects as for the entire backlight as a whole and separately for each zone. Moreover, there is a manual mode in which the programming changes in light intensity, the user can make himself.

In addition to this, Gigabyte Aorus X399 Xtreme there are four sockets for connection of external led strips: two for regular and two for addressable strips. The configuration of their work is done the same way using the same tool RGB Fusion.


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PC / Laptop

Review ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI: Micro-ATX hard boiled

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Our website is one of the few online resources in the Russian segment, which still pays attention to motherboards and has been tested on latest devices all present on our market for the producers. However, by going to the “motherboard” 3DNews, we will see that the last review of the motherboard form factor mATX, which you can use to build a really powerful gaming PC, came out in early 2017. Such payment to and acceleration was all right, and with reliability and functionality. Basically, if we are talking about reviews, in the test lab hosted ATX and mini-ITX solutions are the current trend. Meanwhile, there are Micro-ATX case, which is quite suitable for the solution of the given task — they are well-organized cooling and they are able to accommodate powerful hardware. Thing is, it turns out, for small: need payment — and one of the few options left will be ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI. About all the pros and cons of the device read in this review.



#Specifications and packaging

The people series motherboards MAXIMUS GENE long dubbed the “Genicam”. Main features of the 11th version of “Eugene”, supporting processors, Coffee Lake (Refresh) that are listed in the table below.

Supported processors Intel 9-th and 8-th generations (Core, Pentium and Celeron Gold) for LGA1151 platform-v2
Chipset Intel Z390 Express
Memory subsystem 2 x DIMM slots, up to 64 GB of DDR4-2133-4700 (OC)
Expansion slots 1 × PCI Express x16
1 × PCI Express x4
The storage interface 2 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280) with support for PCI Express x4
1 × DIMM.2 PCI Express x8
4 × SATA 6GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 10
LAN Intel I219V, 10/100/1000 Mbps
Wireless network Intel Wireless-AC 9560
Audio ROG SupremeFX (S1220A) 7.1 HD
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × PS/2
1 × HDMI
1 × RJ-45
1 × optical S/PDIF
3 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C
6 × USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A
2 × USB 2.0 Type A
5 × 3.5 mm audio
Form factor mATX
Price 23 000 rubles

The device is Packed in a small but colorful cardboard box. In addition to the cost, it was a lot of accessories, both useful and not:

  • user guide, all kinds of stickers, cardboard stand for the mug, as well as optical media with software and drivers;
  • external antenna for wireless communication module;
  • two custom SATA cable;
  • one extension cable to connect the RGB strip;
  • the additional screws to install the SSD;
  • Q-connector for easy connection of buttons of the housing;
  • ROG DIMM module.2, support the installation of two SSD.

#Design and capabilities

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI established on the basis of a full form factor mATX, in which each side of the printed circuit Board has a length of 244 mm. We focus on it because the budget segment is common to encounter devices that have an even more reduced printed circuit boards approaching the size rather to the mini-ITX format.





Theoretically any Board form factor mATX allows you to unsolder the four expansion slots (compared to seven connectors from standard ATX). However, ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI includes just two ports, one of which — PEG, aka PCI Express x16 3.0. This connector is further reinforced. A makeshift metal frame called SafeSlot, according to ASUS, increases the strength of the port by 1.8 times under the load of fracture, and 1.6 times when the load on the pulling. Given the fact that “Jack” can realistically become the basis for a bench-bench, this strengthening PEG port clearly will not be superfluous, because sometimes a day has to switch the graphics card by 10 times and more.

Near to the CPU socket is a PCI Express x4 slot is four lines from the chipset, corresponding to the standard 3.0. The connector has no latch, so it can be set to anything — even video card. However, technologies like AMD CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI, consider the card does not support, so put here the graphics card makes no sense.

What PCI Express x4 wired, so to speak, the first is good. This fact, on the one hand, means that we can use in the system of a huge supercooler. So, no its Archon or Noctua NH-D15 does not overlap the main PEG port (as, however, and PCI Express x4).

Achilles ‘ heel ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is considered close proximity of the two DIMM sockets to the CPU socket LGA1151-v2. The distance from the center of the socket until the first slot is only (!) 45 mm. This means that most tower coolers will block the DIMM ports required for installation of RAM. The Board supports the installation of ultra-fast modules of standard DDR4, which means that the system can use sets of RAM with extra large heat sinks, which moreover do not get along with supernumerary.

It is obvious that ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI “adapted” to the use of maintenance-free liquid cooling system, but here we catch the problems. So, the new “dropsy” NZXT Kraken X62, used in the stand also blocked the DIMM slots — because pipe and fittings this WITH the right. In the end had to deploy the new “Kraken” at 90 degrees, and this, dear readers, is the farm, because “water” has a lighted logo that implies a definite location (although the backlight can be disabled in the cooling device). So here you need a responsible approach to the selection of water cooling. For example, AMD A80 you have such problems will not arise.

By the way, the number of DIMM slots, I have no complaints. ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is a device that will be used along with pricey components, therefore with very high probability the system will install the dual channel kit 32 GB. Install — and forget about the lack of RAM the next many years.

The DIMM slots are soldered so close to the CPU socket because of the attempts of engineers to ASUS to cram followed by another three connectors. Immediately behind the ports under the RAM are two M. 2 slots — they have a combined metal cap, which plays simultaneously the role of passive cooling. And behind them — DIMM connector.2 to install a special expansion card that is firmly entrenched in the top motherboards MAXIMUS series. Read more about it below.

M. 2 ports can install two SSD form factors 2242, 2260 and 2280 — each connector will only work in PCI Express 3.0 x4 (lines — chipset). They are covered with a large aluminum heatsink. He was, incidentally, can be removed only if the slot PCI Express x16 graphics card is not installed. To do this, Unscrew the two screws.

Hindsight, as you know, we are all strong. If I were the engineer at ASUS, the DIMM slots are pushed to the place under M. 2 drives, and the slots for the SSD ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI divided: one mounted above the PCI Express x4 or right of it, redoing chipsety radiator and moving the slot for the batteries; the second M. 2 would make vertical. Actually, the way it is implemented, for example, in ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe. Yes, that would be not so beautiful, but, in my opinion, more practical.

And still on the Board illuminated the entire right side and a large icon with the ROG on the plastic plug I/O panel. Also ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is equipped with two 4-pin connectors for connecting led strips and other RGB peripherals.

In the DIMM slots.2 is a ROG branded motherboard DIMM.2. For the first time this design feature the “Republican” motherboards came from ASUS Maximus IX Apex, which was published in 2017. To the slot supplied eight lines PCI Express 3.0 from the CPU. Therefore, if we use it, the only PEG-device port automatically operates in the x8 mode.

The design of the DIMM card.2 changed again, and the new variant is passive cooling for SSD. The Board itself allows you to install two M. 2-drive up to a length of 110 mm each.

Due to this configuration, the M. 2 ports, in particular, the motherboard has only four SATA connectors 6 GB/s. But the gaming PC, a number pad would be sufficient.

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is equipped with seven 4-pin connectors to plug the fans. For mATX Board is a great figure! In this part of connector (five) highlighted in black — they allow you to regulate the speed of not only the “Carlson” with a shim. Therefore, there is no need to use additional device like a fan controller, or pick a case with a built-in controller for the fans. Beauty! The remaining two connectors — white, they can’t lower the speed. They can “hang”, such as fans with originally low speeds.

There are 4-pin connectors, generally successfully. For example, we use a small Tower case and a two-piece DLC. Pump and fans “dropsy” are connected to the top row of connectors. Corpus impeller, located on the rear wall, to the socket near the PCI Express x4 slot, and the front Cabinet fan — port W_PUMP located on the bottom and deployed at 90 degrees. This port will be useful to those who collect custom DLC along with ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI tank with a pump usually mounted in the lower part of the Tower housing.

Yes, all the connectors are located at the bottom of the PCB, deployed 90 degrees. This is because the video card with a three slot cooler will simply cover that area of the motherboard. Interesting ports internal I note the presence W_IN/OUT W_Flow — these connectors are monitoring the temperature of the refrigerant and the speed of the liquid flow in the cooling system. And yet the Board there is a connector Node is required to connect a compatible power supply. If you do, you will be able to control the fan speed of the PSU, as well as to follow the input and output voltages. The list of compatible hardware can be found here.

Panel I / o Board is equipped with an integrated plug. It is quite tightly Packed the various ports — in addition to the five analog audio jacks and optical S/P-DIF output, it is possible to detect the display’s HDMI output, combo PS/2 port (still needed during extreme overclocking, since the USB controller in a stressful environment can “fall off”), set of USB ports, including a new-fangled Type-C, Gigabit network, and even two buttons ClearCMOS and USB BIOS Flashback.

Wired network connection is created using the Intel I219-V and wireless — by Wireless-AC 9560, which, in addition to the standard Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with a capacity of up to 1733 Mbps, and supports Bluetooth 5.0.

Sound in ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI, as in many other ROG-boards, meets the audio codec, Supreme FX, which is based on the familiar Realtek chip ALC1220A. The manufacturer claims that he gets “exclusive version” of this chip, therefore, the name of the second letter A. In comparison with the “standard” Realtek ALC1220 the ratio of “signal to noise” from “elite,” 113 vs 108 dB. Traditionally, expensive boards in the composition of the audio included high-quality Nichicon capacitors and operational amplifier RC4580 OPA1688 and production Texas Instruments. The audio chip is shielded, and all elements of the sound system is separated from the other components of the PCB strip, which does not conduct current.

All series motherboards MAXIMUS suitable for overclocking and ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI and for extreme overclocking. Therefore, the Board has several overclocking “uluchshayzerov” that make life easier for young and not so young enthusiasts. Buttons power and reset, as well as the POST indicator signals it is easy to notice. And in the right part of the PCB there are indicators QLED that demonstrate, at what stage is the computer is booted. There are also ReTry button (instantly reboots the system) and Safe Boot (runs stand with secure settings). Add to this the switches MemOK! Pause (the PC is put on pause so the user can change parameters during execution of the benchmark) and Slow Mode (instant reset CPU multiplier to 8x, to accommodate the computer severe tests). Finally, in the bottom of the device are the contact track ProbeIt, allows using the DMM to measure the exact parameters of the main stress system. It is really unfortunate. When you use graphics cards with three slot cooler for her not to get close (or get close, but then you have to work a soldering iron). Anyway to run the probe near the rotating fan 3D accelerator — so.


The power of the CPU is made by two 8-pin connectors. Don’t forget that power supply with this cable set do not occur very often, and basically we are talking about powerful devices — watts on the 700 and more. However, the additional power to the processor is necessary only in extreme cases.

At the core of the Converter power supply ASUS ROG MAXIMUS GENE XI is a PWM controller ASP1405I. It may seem that the Board is equipped with 12 phases, but it is not. Each channel is responsible for the operation the CPU is equipped with two inductors and two assemblies IR3555. Two single-phase “look out” for iGPU. Looks power Converter very powerful.

During the cooling of field-effect transistors meets an array of a pair of aluminum radiators is of medium size, combined, however, copper deplorable. About how effectively the system works cooling the VRM area in the acceleration, I will tell you next.


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The Intel Core i5-9400F: fake Coffee Lake Refresh


Despite the obvious difficulties with the production of 14-nm chips in sufficient quantities, Intel continues to gradually expand the lineup of Core processors, the ninth generation, known under the code name Coffee Lake Refresh. However, given it to her with varying degrees of success. That is, formally in the lineup really added new products, but in retail they appear very reluctant, and some models presented immediately after the New year novelties have been unable to check in the stores until now.

However, based on official data, now for the platform LGA1151v2 there are already at least nine desktop models of the Core pertaining to the thousandth of the series, including processors with four, six and eight cores. Moreover, the composition of this family includes not only the obvious representatives with predictable characteristics, but also unexpected CPU that is different from all predecessors ideologically. We are talking about CPUs F-series mass desktop chips, the specifications of which is not stated integrated graphics core.

Surprising in their appearance that these deals have expanded the range of consumer Intel for the first time in the last eight years, during which the company offered for mass segment only solution with integrated graphics. But now something has changed and the microprocessor giant has been forced to revise his principles. And we even know that: failures in planning and difficulties with the commissioning process with a 10-nm standards has led to a serious lack of Intel on the market, to mitigate which the company is trying by all means. The release of processors without integrated graphics – one of the rather apparent measures aimed at achieving this goal. Thanks to it the manufacturer has been able to set a serial processor previously considered defective semiconductor workpiece with a corrupted graphics core, which even at eight Coffee Lake Refresh “biting” up to 30 % of the area is 174 mm crystal. In other words, such a measure capable of increasing the yield and significantly reduce waste.

However, if Intel is the point in the release of processors F-series is quite obvious, that Benet from the emergence of such offers consumers the issue is very controversial. The chosen manufacturer of the tactic is that trimmed at its core, the processors are implemented without any discounts, for the same price as their “full” counterparts. In order to fully understand this situation, we decided to take the tests one of the Core lineup of the ninth generation, devoid of the integrated graphics and try to find his hidden advantages.

As the object for investigation was selected as Core i5-9400F Junior six-core CPU generation Coffee Lake Refresh. This chip of particular interest: its predecessor, the Core i5-8400, at the time, was very popular thanks to very attractive ratio of price and performance. Officially announced four months ago, Core i5-9400 (no F in the name) offers a slightly higher frequency such at the same price, but selling him is practically impossible. But the Core i5-9400F represented on the shelves everywhere, and, moreover, since the deficit of this model does not apply, its real value in retail as close as possible to recommended. However, this does not Core i5-9400F a good option for “basic” configurations automatically, because now AMD in the same price category offers six-core processors Ryzen 5, which, in contrast to the Core i5 series have the support for multithreading (SMT). That is why today’s quiz promises to be especially meaningful: it must give an answer to several questions and clearly show whether the Core i5-9400F chance to repeat the success of the legendary Core i5-8400.

#Lineup Refresh Coffee Lake

To date, there have been two waves of announcements of processors that are conditionally related to the generation of Coffee Lake Refresh. Despite the fact that such a CPU is largely similar to its predecessors from the family of Coffee Lake, Intel refer them to the ninth generation of Core numbers and indices, start with the number 9. And if the Core i7 and Core i9 this distinction may be partly justified, because they first obtained an eight compute cores, the new processors series Core i5 and Core i3 got an increase in model numbers for the most part. In fact, they only offer higher clock frequency.

While no improvements on the level microarchitecture can not speak at all. And surprise, to be honest, it doesn’t matter. Intel practiced the concept of development is that the profound changes in processors attached to the improvement of production technologies. Therefore, the delay in the implementation of the 10-nm process technology lead to the fact that we once again have to deal with the Skylake microarchitecture, released in 2015. However, what is surprising for some reason Intel does not seek to change features that do not require any noticeable change. For example, the official Coffee Lake Refresh continue to rely on dual DDR4-2666 memory, while AMD has repeatedly adds to its processors support high-speed modes, reaching in the latest versions of mobile Raven Ridge already up to DDR4-3200. The only thing that made Intel, is increased up to 128 GB of memory supported in systems based on Coffee Lake Refresh.

However, despite the absence of changes in microarchitecture, Intel still manages to produce quite an interesting model, extensive methods – increasing the number of cores and clock frequency. The first wave of announcements Coffee Lake Refresh, which took place in October last year, brought three flagship overclocking of the processor, to conquer new frontiers of performance: OCTA core Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K, as well as six-core Core i5-9600K. With the second wave of the Christmas list for the latest processors added another six CPU easier. In the end, the full nomenclature of the Refresh Coffee Lake began to look like the following.

Cores/ threads Base frequency, GHz Turbocheetah, GHz L3 cache MB iGPU IGPU frequency, GHz Memory TDP, watts Price
Core i9‑9900K 8/16 3,6 5,0 16 UHD 630 1,2 DDR4‑2666 95 $488
Core i9‑9900KF 8/16 3,6 5,0 16 No DDR4‑2666 95 $488
Core i7‑9700K 8/8 3,6 4,9 12 UHD 630 1,2 DDR4‑2666 95 $374
Core i7‑9700KF 8/8 3,6 4,9 12 No DDR4‑2666 95 $374
Core i5‑9600K 6/6 3.7 V 4,6 9 UHD 630 1,15 DDR4‑2666 95 $262
Core i5‑9600KF 6/6 3.7 V 4,6 9 No DDR4‑2666 95 $262
Core i5‑9400 6/6 2,9 4,1 9 UHD 630 1,05 DDR4‑2666 65 $182
Core i5‑9400F 6/6 2,9 4,1 9 No DDR4‑2666 65 $182
Core i3‑9350KF 4/4 4,0 4,6 8 No DDR4‑2400 91 $173

The main part of the processors added to the released in the first place overclocking K-models later, consists of chips, deprived of the integrated graphics core. Technically Core i9-9900KF, Core i7-9700KF and Core i5-9600KF are based on exactly the same semiconductor Foundation, and have absolutely the same characteristics as the Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K, differing only in the fact that they don’t offer the built-in GPU, in hardware blocks at the production stage.

But the list of innovations of the second wave can be seen and indeed a new model. First is the Core i3-9350KF is the only Coffee Lake Refresh Quad core processor with an unlocked multiplier. If you close your eyes to the lack of built-in GPU, it is possible to calculate an updated version of the Core i3-8350K, which was accelerated by adding Turbo Boost technology 2.0 and the newfound ability of automatic overclocking to 4.6 GHz.

Another more-or-less full new in the second wave it is possible to calculate Core i5-9400 and devoid of the integrated graphics Core i9 fellow-9400F. The value of these models lies in the fact that with their help, Intel has significantly lowered the cost of the Junior six-core Coffee Lake Refresh, allowing you to use the latest generation CPU in the configuration baseline. However, formal differences between Core i5-9400 from last year’s hit, Core i5-8400, not so much. Clock frequency increased by only 100 MHz, which is likely due to the desire of the microprocessor giant to leave your younger shestiyaderny within the 65-watt thermal package. As a result, the gap in the maximum frequency in turbo mode between the senior and the Junior six-core processors in the family Coffee Lake Refresh increased to 500 MHz, while in the generation of Coffee Lake it was only 300 MHz.

Judging from the specs, it seems that trump the new Core i5-9400 and Core i5-9400F on the background of the old Core i5-8400 really nothing. However, the specifications in this case do not give quite the full picture. During the announcement of the first Coffee Lake Refresh, Intel said, including about the advantages of an indirect nature. For example, for a new generation of chips was promised a change of the internal thermal interface: polymer place of thermal paste was to take a highly bestlady solder. But does this apply to the Junior six-core Core processors, the ninth generation? It turns out that not always.

#Details about Core i5-9400F

It so happened that, releasing the Coffee Lake Refresh processors, Intel raked in the pile, several different variants of semiconductor crystals with process technology 14 nm++, and not all of them are in fact new. Based on Core processors, the ninth generation may lie as semiconductor crystals, designed for them specifically, and relatively old versions of the silicon, which was used extensively including in the processors of the eighth generation ranked as family Coffee Lake.

In particular, at the moment aware of the existence of at least four stoppingof crystals that are set in a certain mass the Core of thousandth of the series:

  • P0 – the only “honest” option of the crystal, which is really unfair to make Coffee Lake Refresh. This crystal has eight cores and is used in overclocking the Intel Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K in their F-variations of the Core i9-9900KF, Core i7-9700KF and Core i5-9600KF, as well as the Intel Core i5-9400;
  • U0 – six-core crystal used in processors Coffee Lake, that is, in the eighth generation Core. Now it is used to create a six-core Core i5-9400F;
  • B0 the Quad – core chip, which is used for the Intel Core i3-9350K. This version of silicon, too, came into the Quad-core processor straight out of the Coffee Lake, including the Core i3-8350K;
  • R0 – a new stepping of a crystal, in which it is assumed will be the senior Core processors, the ninth generation, starting in may. Currently, the serial CPU does not occur, and therefore no specific information about its features and causes no.

Thus, the Core i5-9400F about which we are talking in this review, is the black sheep: one of a kind processor that may be internal to the device is different from the other six-core and eight-core counterparts-generation Coffee Lake Refresh. Strictly speaking, it is not a stripped-down or time-lapse version of the Core i5-9600K or Core i5-9400, and a slightly overclocked variant of the old Core i5-8400 with disabled graphics core.

And I must say, this is manifested not only in the screenshots diagnostic utilities that show for the Core i5-9400F old stepping U0 instead of a new P0. In Core i5-9400F in fact, there is no innovation peculiar to Coffee Lake Refresh. In particular, the Assembly of these chips soldering the die to the heat-spreading lid is not applied, and the internal thermal interface is exactly the same polymer compound used in processors Coffee Lake.

Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K без крышки. Фото momomo_us

Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K without a lid. Photo momomo_us

In addition, the Core i5-9400F, unlike the rest of a new generation of Coffee Lake Refresh going on the PCB with thinner the PCB is the same as used for conventional Coffee Lake.

Слева направо: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K

From left to right: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K

And moreover, even the shape of the heat-spreading lid Core i5-9400F gives the relationship of the Core CPU of the eighth generation. Because purebred Coffee Lake Refresh cover has changed.

Слева направо: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F и Core i5-9600K

From left to right: Core i5-8400, Core i5-9400F and Core i5-9600K

In other words, there is no doubt that the Core i5-9400F – in fact, no Coffee Lake Refresh and rejection of previous-generation processors with disabled graphics core. And this applies to all wholly supplied at present, the serial Core i5-9400F that largely explains the wide availability of these processors at a time when the mass supply of Coffee Lake Refresh others continue to experience significant problems. For example, formally announced simultaneously with the Core i5-9400F its “full” counterpart with integrated graphics UHD Graphics 630, which should be based on “fair” crystal stepping P0, in retail sales is still missing.

At the same time, the microprocessor giant doesn’t exclude the possibility of transfer Core i5-9400F on the “right” stepping P0 in the medium term. But it will happen, obviously, only when all accumulated in the warehouses of Coffee Lake with a defective integrated GPU will be successfully sold out.

However, for most users this fact of forgery of silicon crystals is unlikely to have any significance. Anyway, Core i5-9400F real shestiyadernik without support Hyper-Threading, which at any load is running at 100 MHz faster than its predecessor, Core i5-8400. This means that the frequency formula Core i5-9400F corresponds to $10 more expensive Core i5-8500.

Despite the fact that Core i5-9400F claimed comparatively low base frequency of 2.9 GHz, in reality this CPU is able to work much faster thanks to technology Turbo Boost 2.0. If enabled, the Multi-Core Enhancements (that is the default mode for the vast majority of motherboards) under full load, the Core i5-9400F able to keep the frequency of 3.9 GHz accelerating under load on one core to 4.1 GHz.

  Nominal frequency The maximum frequency Turbo Boost 2.0
1 core 2 cores 3 core 4 cores 5 cores 6 cores
Core i5-8400 2.8 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.8 GHz
Core i5-8500 3.0 GHz 4,1 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz
Core i5-9400(F) 2.9 GHz 4,1 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.9 GHz

No overclocking capabilities in this speech, of course, is not. The most capable Core i5-9400F, for the maximum allowed in the technology Turbo Boost 2.0 frequency. And on motherboards with chipsets H370, B360 or H310 do not get to use and faster than DDR4-2666 memory. More speed modes available only on motherboards with older chipsets Z370 or Z390.


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Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare: when I checkered, and go

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In the laboratory 3DNews — Board with a full set of modern interfaces for any applications and support for overclocking, standing alone in the lineup Z390 solutions IBM and managed to present during testing, a pleasant surprise. Read more in our review of Gigabyte Z390 Designare SOURCE

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