GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review

GIGABYTE's X399 Aorus Xtreme hits every category for high-end features, its slick and packs a punch when combined with AMD's 2990WX.

Published
Manufacturer: AORUS
7 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 95%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

GIGABYTE's X399 Aorus Xtreme is loaded to the brim with features, quality, and craftsmanship. If you are looking for a high-end X399 motherboard capable of handling your 2990WX, give this one a look.

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

AMD's ThreadRipper CPUs have been around for a while, and a few months back AMD released refreshed variants for their 1950X and 1920X, and with them came two higher powered models that require better power delivery.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 01

We used the X399 Aorus Xtreme in our reviews of the 2990WX and 2970WX, and it performed quite well. Today we are going to take a closer look at the motherboard.

Specifications

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 02

The X399 Aorus Xtreme features dual Intel NICs, 10G NIC, USB 3.1, USB 3.0, SATA6Gb/s, three M.2 slots, support for up to 4-way SLI/CrossFireX, and even multiple RGB LED headers.

Pricing

The X399 Aorus Xtreme costs $429.99.

Packaging and X399 Aorus Xtreme Overview

Packaging and Overview

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 03GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 04

The box and packaging are very similar to what we see from other GIGABYTE Xtreme motherboards.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 05

The accessory package includes six SATA6Gb/s cables, two temperature probes, RGB LED extension cable, two digital RGB extension cables, G-connector, Aorus Velcro straps, an SLI HB bridge, M.2 screws, WIFI antenna, manuals, and driver DVD.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 06GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 07

There are seven fan headers on the motherboard, they are circled in red and are hybrid headers so each operates in DC or PWM mode. There are two external temperature probes included with the motherboard, and they plug into the green headers. The motherboard has a sleek silver, and black and most of the circuitry is covered by large heat sinks. The back of the motherboard has a large metal plate that covers most of the rear of the motherboard for protection and to keep the PCB straight.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 08

The rear IO panel Clear CMOS button, power button, eight USB 3.0 ports, WIFI antenna connectors, two Gbit LAN ports, 10G LAN port, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, and gold plated 7.1 audio ports with S/PDIF out.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 09GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 10

The PCI-E layout is quite simple as there are so many PCI-E lanes from the CPU that switching of bandwidth is almost non-existent board-wide. The first and third metal reinforced x16 slots offers x16 PCI-E 3.0 full time, while the other two offers x8 PCI-E 3.0 all the time. All M.2 slots are x4 PCI-E and support SATA as well. They all have heat sinks too.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 11GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 12

We find six SATA6Gb/s ports on the motherboard, as well as a right-angled PCI-E power connector that will supplement PCI-E power. At the bottom of the motherboard, we find two USB 3.0 internal headers and a POST code display.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 13GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 14

At the middle of the motherboard, we find a USB 3.1 type-C header and a Thunderbolt type-C GPIO header for an add-in card. At the top right corner of the motherboard, we see a digital RGB LED header and a normal RGBW header.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 15GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 16

At the bottom of the motherboard we find another digital RGB LED header, an RGBW LED header, a BIOS selector switch, a dual BIOS disable switch, and two USB 2.0 internal headers. At the top right corner of the motherboard, we find two 8-pin CPU power connectors.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 17

The heat sinks on this motherboard are well built, use copper direct touch heat pipes, optimized thermal pads, and there are two fans that will cool the metal fins under the IO cover.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme Circuit Analysis

Circuit Analysis

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 18

The X399 Aorus Xtreme shows us what it's got under the hood when we remove the heat sinks and shields.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 19GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 20

The VRM for the core VRM is a 10 phase VRM which is five PWM phases doubled to 10 using doublers. The IR35201 is used in 5 phase mode, and controls ten IR3578. The IR3578 are 50A power stages, but they are much more easily cooled due to their metal tops. However, they are also significantly more pricey than their IR3556 counterparts.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 21GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 22

We find five IR3599 doublers on the rear of the motherboard. The SoC VRm is made up of three IR3578 and is controlled by an IR3570.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 23GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 24

Each of the two memory VRMs offer two phases for the main DDR made up or IR3553, and then another IR3553 for the VPP. The memory VRMs are controlled by an IR3570 in 2+1 phase mode. That's overkill.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme Circuit Analysis Continued

X399 Aorus Xtreme Circuit Analysis Continued

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 25

GIGABYTE is using a Realtek ALC1220 rated for 120dB and contains an integrated headphone amplifier. They do add in an ESS Sabre ESS9118EQ DAC to improve audio quality. Some audio capacitors were also added in.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 26GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 27

Two Intel i211AT Gbit NICs provide the two LAN ports on the rear IO. An Intel Wireless AC 867Mbps card is also present. Not pictured is the Aquantia 10G NIC, we couldn't take the heat sink off to take a picture of the AQC107.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 28GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 29

Two PI3EQX USB 3.1 re-drivers help to improve USB 3.1 signaling from the chipset's native USB 3.1 controller. The Texas Instruments HD3220 is used as the type-C controller. The internal type-C header is powered by an ASMedia ASM3142 USB 3.1 controller.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 30GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 31

The SuperIO is the IT8686E, and two IT8795E chips are used as embedded controllers to expand fan control. The ITE8295 microcontroller is used for digital/addressable RGB LED control.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 32

There are dual BIOS ROMs on the motherboard, and one of them sits in a DOP socket so it can be replaced down the road if a BIOS update isn't enough for future CPU support.

BIOS and Software

BIOS

GIGABYTE's UEFI for the X399 Aorus Xtreme is very similar to that of older GIGABYTE motherboard, granted these are shots of an early BIOS, so future ones might have the same design as the new Z390 motherboards. Either way, the motherboard's UEFI has pretty much everything you need to configure your system, including all overclocking and fan settings.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 38GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 39
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 40GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 41
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 42GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 43
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 44GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 45
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 46GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 47
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 48GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 49
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 50GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 51
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 52GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 53
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 54GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 55
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 56GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 57
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 58

Software

GIGABYTE's software suite includes AppCenter, 3DOSD, @BIOS, AutoGreen, EasyTune, Fast Boot, Game Boost, ON/OFF Charge, RGB Fusion, Smart Backup, Smart Keyboard, Smart TimeLock, Smart HUD, System Information Viewer, Smart Survey, USB Blocker, and V-Tuner.

Test System Setup

Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 59
GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 60GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 61

The X399 Aorus Xtreme has addressable RGB LEDs built into it, and it looks great.

CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks

CINEBENCH R15

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 73

wPrime

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 74

AIDA64 FPU

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 75

AIDA64 Memory

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 76

HandBrake

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 78

SuperPi 32M

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 79

3DMark: Fire Strike

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 80

3DMark: Cloud Gate

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 81

ResidentEvil 6

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 82

The X399 Aorus Xtreme's performance is quite good, but so are the other motherboards in the charts. There isn't too much of a difference at this level with these high-end X399 motherboards, perhaps with PBOC enabled there could be, but that's not standard operating mode.

System IO Benchmarks

CrystalDiskMark SATA6G:

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 83

CrystalDiskMark M.2:

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 84

ixChariot Network Throughput:

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 85

The X399 Aorus Xtreme's storage and networking performance are excellent.

Audio RMAA 5.5:

Sound Judgment by Ear: Excellent, the extra DAC does make a difference depending on your headphones/speakers. There are five ratings for audio: 1. Problems, 2. Okay, 3. Acceptable, 4. Very good, 5. Excellent

Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption

System power is measured at the wall with an AC power meter.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 87

Note on Thermal Images: In the temperature section, we use our Seek thermal imaging camera to capture the surface temperatures of major components on the board. I look at the VRM and then all other things that light up the screen. If there is something to worry about, then I will state it. Otherwise, I will just show the hotter running parts of the board for fun. Unless some component is over 80-90C, then there isn't anything to worry about.

All systems will act differently, so I will look for commonalities, such as how far from the VRM the heat spreads through the PCB and the difference in temperature between the front side and back side of the PCB. Keep in mind, the majority of the heat from the VRM goes into the PCB as it is a giant soldered on the copper heat sink. A larger difference in temperature between the back and front of the PCB points towards a more effective heat sink.

Thermal Testing at Stock Speeds:

The image on the left is always at idle, and the image on the right is at load. During ALL TESTS, There is no airflow direct at the VRM

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 88GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 89

Full frontal.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 90GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 91

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 92GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 93

Up-close of the back of the VRM.

The X399 Aorus Xtreme is doing very well in regards to performance here. However, you might notice the temperature decreased under load on the front, and that is because of ambient temperature, which is the same 5C difference between lowest temperature and highest. We can see these new PowIRstages and the revamped heat sink are doing their job. The rear temperature is 41C under load (it's off screen). Maximum temperature is 43C at load on the front and back, so heat is being moved around and dissipated. Overall, excellent thermal performance.

What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

What's Hot

VRM Quality and Cooling: With the new CPUs with very high TDPs rated around 250W, and then Precision Boost Overdrive, the CPU can pull upwards of 400W even in stock conditions where PBOC is enabled by default. In this case GIGABYTE went and got some top-exposed IR3578 PowIRstages, and put them in a 10-phase configuration controlled by the IR35201 digital PWM controller. The results are quite good with the new heat sinks with direct copper touch and optimized thermal interface material.

Networking: Apart from the two 1Gbit Intel NICs, we also find a 10Gbit Aquantia NIC and a WIFI controller capable of 867Mbps.

Aesthetics: The motherboard features addressable RGB LEDs built into its PCH, audio shield, and IO area shield. The diffusion is done very nicely. At the rear of the right side of the motherboard, sandwiched between the back shield and PCB are a bunch of addressable RGB LEDs. The motherboard also features two RGBW headers and two addressable RGB headers.

What's Not

A few fewer SATA: Most X399 motherboards have eight SATA ports, but this motherboard only offers six, presumably so there is more PCI-E from the chipset for things like the 10Gbit NIC.

Final Thoughts

The GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme is a member of GIGABYTE's Xtreme family and has earned its name in full. It's loaded with the latest over-the-top features, including the latest in 10Gbit LAN, high-end upgraded audio, killer looks, a high-end VRM, and real heat sinks.

GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Xtreme (AMD X399) Motherboard Review 94

The motherboard's looks are quite stunning, and we really like the addressable RGB LED inclusion. The motherboard also offers a lot of fan headers, all of which can reference many temperatures, including two external probes that are included in the package. If you are looking for a high-end X399 motherboard that bares it all, give the X399 Aorus Xtreme a look.

Performance

97%

Quality

97%

Features

95%

Value

89%

Overall

95%

The Bottom Line

GIGABYTE's X399 Aorus Xtreme is loaded to the brim with features, quality, and craftsmanship. If you are looking for a high-end X399 motherboard capable of handling your 2990WX, give this one a look.

TweakTown award

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.
Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles