If you’re looking to buy AMD’s third-generation Ryzen 3960-or-3970X Threadripper for content-creating, SLI 4k 120fps gaming, or perhaps to build a solid workstation, then you’re going to need an sTR4-socket and TRX40-chipset compatible motherboard.
Currently, there are 13 different models to choose from:
Four models from ASUS:
- Prime TRX40-Pro
- ROG STRIX TRX40-E Gaming
- ROG Zenith II Extreme
- ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha
Four models from Gigabyte:
- TRX40 AORUS Pro WIFI
- TRX40 AORUS Master
- TRX40 AORUS DESIGNARE
- TRX40 AORUS XTREME
Two from ASRock:
- TRX40 Creator
- TRX40 Taichi
And three from MSI:
- Creator TRX40
- TRX40 PRO 10G
- TRX40 PRO WIFI
Out of these 13 models, four are the ones advertised on AMD’s official website as the flagship models:
- ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme
- Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS XTREME
- MSI Creator TRX40
- ASRock TRX40 Taichi
Though the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme has since been seemingly updated with the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha, which is being sold at the same $849 price despite the Alpha having a 16-phase configuration with TDA21490 90A power stages, as opposed to the TDA21472 70A power stages of its predecessor.
All of these models have DDR4 support, with up to 256GB RAM capacity, and USB 3.2 gen2x2 support.
Out of these 13 models, we are going to present you with the best TRX40 motherboards for budget, gaming, money/value, and the best flagship TRX40 motherboard for the Ryzen Threadripper 3950X, 3960X, 3970X and 3990X.
Best TRX40 Motherboards for AMD 3rd Gen Threadripper – My Recommendations
Best Budget TRX40 Motherboard
Do you have too much money allocated toward your Ryzen 3970X and GPU(s), and want to save some money on the motherboard? Well worry not, because all of these motherboards are more than capable of running the third-generation Threadripper. In fact, Hardware Unboxed found that every motherboard they tested performed surprisingly well, ranging from 49 to 64 degrees Celsius in a low-airflow, 1-hour load test, using a Ryzen 3970X at 4.2Ghz with 1.3V.
The motherboard with the lowest price compared to all other models is Gigabyte’s TRX40 AORUS Pro WiFi.
What would you be missing out on, compared to the mid-range $479 Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS Master? Well, it has 12x 70A phases, as opposed to the 16 Infineon 70A power stages of the AORUS Master, and is missing the 5GB/s max LAN speeds – as the LAN chipset on the Pro WIFI is an Intel GbE LAN chip, whereas Master’s is a Aquantia 5GbE LAN. Also, it has a 70W TDP as opposed to the 100W TPD of the AORUS Master, and finally the Master has 2 audio chipsets (1 front 1 rear), while the Pro WIFI only has the rear chipset. The form factor is also different, with the Pro WIFI being ATX and the Master being, the slightly larger, EATX. Other than that, they have the same RAM slots (8), M.2 ports (3), SATA 6Gbps slots (8), and are similar in every other way.
The differences are not that critical, so the Pro WIFI is quite a solid option for its $399 retail price.
Best Gaming TRX40 Motherboard
If you’re buying a Ryzen 3960-or-70X Threadripper for gaming, then you are a serious enthusiast, so you’re going to want a motherboard that can deliver both power and style for your setup. With the new generation of consoles, and games, just around the corner – and with respectable 4k 144Hz monitors already available, you’re going to want to maximize every slot your high-end motherboard provides. Hence, the choice for the ASUS ROG II Zenith Extreme Alpha.
This motherboard is a high-end, borderline overkill, gaming focused motherboard that is rightly named “Alpha”, as it leads the pack of available TRX40s when it comes to gaming. ASUS has placed heavy emphasis on making this an extremely stylish choice, with several options to choose from in order to customize it to your liking. It has eight different lighting effects, it utilized the Aura Sync application so you can synchronize all your lighting components, and it has Addressable Gen 2 headers that can detect the number of LEDs present on Gen 2 RGB devices and automatically tailor the lighting effects of each specific device. It even has a built-in color OLED LiveDash display that will show you everything from CPU temperature, to Fan Speeds, to BIOS update status, and even customizable graphics. It also has the Gamefirst V Network control software that allows you to change the prioritization of each type of application you are running.
In terms of VRM and slots… well it is second to none. It has a 16-phase configuration with TDA21490 90 A power stages, 8 SATA 6Gbps slots, and the even more impressive 5 PCIe 4.0 M.2 sockets – which won’t come in the way of your four available PCIe 4.0 x16 slots.
In terms of connectivity, it has the Aquantia AQC-107C 10G chipset which allows for 10GBps Lan Speeds, and the 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6.
Altogether, there is no better high-end gaming TRX40 motherboard than the ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha, which you can currently find at a $850 price tag.
Best Value TRX40 Motherboard (Price/Performance)
If you’re looking for a motherboard to use for a workstation; without the added bling of RGB lights, and without overkill features you’ll never be using, then you want to find the best money-to-value ratio you can find, to fully utilize your Ryzen 3960X or 3970X, is the ASRock TRX40 Creator.
At a price of $459, the ASRock Creator is a ATX motherboard with an 70W TDP, three M.2 ports, eight SATA 6Gbps slots, 7.1 audio channels (Realtek ALC4050H + ALC1220 chipsets), and an AQUANTIA AQC107 LAN chipset that allows for 10Gbps max LAN speed together with a WiFi-802.11ax module. This model also offers, four PCIe 4.0 x16 slots and has an 8x 90A power phase, with a separated CPU power connector design to create a wider trace for CPU VRM.
The ASRock TRX40 Creator is the best choice for a professional environment and is especially ideal for content creators.
Best Flagship TRX40 Motherboard
Out of the four flagship models advertised on AMD’s website, we’ve found the best TRX40 motherboard to be the Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS XTREME.
Why does it outdo its flagship competitors? For starters, it is a XL-ATX form factor motherboard, the largest of the bunch, with an equally larger 130W TDP. Its double front-and-rear, panel audio chipsets feature Realtek ALC4050H + Realtek ALC1220-VB (rear) and Realtek ALC4050H + ESS SABRE9218 DAC (front) which allow for 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel audio and S/PDIF-Out support. Like three of its competitors (the ASRock trailing), it has 10Gbps Max LAN speeds and WiFi 6 802.11 AX200 connectivity.
In regards to VRM, it has a 16+3 Phase Infineon Digital VRM Solution with a 70A Power Stage – only slightly behind the 16 phase 90A option of the ASRock Taichi.
In regards to connectivity, it doubles ASRock Taichi’s 2 M.2 slots, having four available, while together with the Aorus Gen4 AIC PCI Express adapter it gives you the option to expand these M.2 slots to a total of eight. It has four PCIe Express 4.0 x16 slots, allowing for quad-GPU setups, and Thermal Reactive Armor design with Fins-Array Heatsinks.
It may be a bit on the expensive side at its $849 price tag, but it is definitely worth the cost what it has to offer in 2020.