For the enthusiasts and professionals out there that require a lot of processing power, the powerful AMD Threadripper CPUs are the first port of call. These processors are the ultimate multi-taskers and are highly regarded amongst content creators. With a ridiculous amount of cores and threads on these processors, they are referred to as High-End Desktop processors (HEDT). Threadrippers are made for the TR4 socket, and with such a high price, you are going to want the best TR4 motherboard to go with your new CPU.
We have already spent a lot of time testing motherboards with a variety of chipsets and socket types. To assist you in your next PC build, we have created this informative article to ensure you get the best TR4 motherboard for your needs.
Let’s get straight into the X399 motherboard picks!
Our Top Picks
Best TR4 Motherboards: First Look
The ultimate choice for Threadripper builds. This X399 boasts all the features you could need, along with that exquisite ROG branding.
For a TR4 motherboard, the Asus X399 ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha overtakes its predecessor. The VRM cooling has been enhanced, giving it even greater ability in terms of overclocking. For a high-end HEDT build, this board is for you.
This upgraded board features some of the most impressive cooling we have seen on a motherboard. Aside from cooling you get something that looks incredible and has the performance to back it up.
The audio on this board has been improved, meaning it now brings in a high signal-to-noise ratio. Overall this board is one of the most aesthetically pleasing on the market, and if you can tweak the BIOS, you get efficient overclocking power too.
The ASRock X399M brings Threadripper enthusiasts an mATX option, offering superb value and performance.
ASRock’s smaller form factor is a superb bit of motherboard design and it features excellent overclocking support too! High performance, high quality, and all from a small mATX board.
Gigabyte’s X399 looks more like a piece of art than a motherboard, with some of the best build quality on the list.
The Gigabyte X399 Desinare EX is a TR4 board that performs straight out the box. This is ready for your HEDT and offers some great efficiency.
The TR4 board has fantastic connectivity options and is considered highly versatile. The ASRock Fatal1ty X399 is a solid option for anyone in need of a high bandwidth network.
The main difference between this and the Taichi version is the inclusion of the Aquantia 10GB network controller. This board can be overclocked and is considered to be a solid TR4 board overall.
Your motherboard is the home for your PC components, so it needs to be up to scratch. There are a number of things you need to consider when choosing the right motherboard for you, and we are very particular about which products we choose to recommend.
First, we look at the budget. You want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck – no matter what price point you’re working with. This means we only choose motherboards with quality features, like multiple PCIe slots and overclocking capacity built-in.
Speaking of overclocking, we know how much our readers enjoy getting the most out of their builds. This is why we put overclocking capacity as one of our requirements when choosing the best motherboards around.
We are continually updating our recommendations as well, to make sure we include the best new releases, for both AMD and Intel chipsets, so keep checking back for more.
We test every motherboard that we recommend by actually placing it in one of our builds and running benchmarking tests with it. We pair it with different components to really get a great overall picture of its performance.
We also test them out for ease of building, and how smooth the overall build process is. We want to be sure that whether it’s your first or fiftieth build, your motherboard won’t let you down or make things difficult.
Now you have had a look through our top selections, and what they can do, it is time to go over a few areas for your consideration. You don’t want to jump into a purchase when it regards something as crucial as a motherboard, remember this is going to house your system.
Form factor refers to the physical size of the motherboard. This term refers to a large number of different computer components and is an important one to consider. If you have a compact system, then you may need a smaller mATX motherboard. Of course, if you have plenty of room, then a larger sized ATX motherboard could be beneficial.
A socket is the area that houses the CPU, and it is essential to make sure it is compatible with your CPU. In this article, we are, of course, talking about the TR4 socket, so there shouldn’t be anyone reading this trying to fit one of these into an AM4 board!
The TR4 socket is an LGA (Land Grid Array) CPU socket, designed by the guys over at AMD. TR4 supports the Zen-based Ryzen Threadripper processors and was created for HEDT workstations.
Depending on your needs, the chipset is an important area that should be considered as this is going to determine what features your board has. Such features can be anything from PCIe lanes to overclocking support, so checking what the motherboard can do before you buy, is a no brainer.
The TR4 socket works with (and only with) the X399 chipset and can support a total of 64 PCIe lanes for quad SLI/Crossfire setups. AMD’s X399 chipset supports both 1st and 2nd gen Ryzen Threadrippers, although some may be subject to a BIOS update. The X399 chipset also supports quad-channel DDR4, ECC support, and unlocked overclocking.
Overkill For Just Gaming
When it comes to multi-tasking, 3D rendering, and general content creation, these HEDT processors are absolutely superb. Despite this, it is complete overkill for even the most hardcore of gamers out there, and this is simply down to their single-core performance. Sure these giant CPUs have a crazy amount of cores and threads, but the base clock is significantly lower than your standard AMD and Intel CPUs.
Just be wary, if you aren’t going to fully use the Threadrippers power, then reconsider, as these get pricey. It is worth noting that the best CPUs for gaming today are incredibly powerful and also have multitasking capabilities, but for those out there that use highly taxing programs, you are in the right place.
For anyone looking into overclocking their Threadripper, you are more than likely going to want a CPU cooler. The standard brackets for CPU cooling are often only for AM4 (AMD) and 1151 (Intel), which can sometimes leave you with limited options. Although more and more popular air and liquid coolers are becoming available for the TR4 socket, you are still going to want to check yours can accommodate this oversized socket. It is worth noting that some manufacturers have been known to send the TR4 bracket for free, so always check!
The bottom line, whether you are planning to overclock or not, is that you want to protect your expensive Threadripper. The best cooling for the job will provide you with greater stability and give your CPU a prolonged lifespan.
3rd Generation Threadripper
Although the release date for the new Threadrippers keep getting pushed back, they are on their way! The big news, aside from the 64-core variant, is the new TRX4 socket. That’s right. The new 3rd-gen Threadrippers are going to be needing new motherboards, so if you were planning on grabbing your self a new TR, then you are going to want to wait for the release of the new motherboards that will follow.
If you are in two minds, then let your budget do the talking. The new chips are obviously going to be rather expensive, and the newly proposed TRX4 motherboards will have a price to match.
The Best TR4 Motherboards Of 2020 & 2021
Supports 3-way SLI/ Crossfire
Great overclocking potential
10G Ethernet Port (Aquantia)
Dual 8-Pin Power Connectors
High power draw
Would prefer to see more SATA ports
The Asus X399 ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha is an updated version of a highly respected board, and it was made to handle the higher end of AMD’s Threadripper CPUs. It will be of no surprise to our readers that this “ROG” branded motherboard comes with the same level of quality we see across the range.
While the predecessor of this board could handle overclocking on the 2nd-gen Threadrippers, it was only just about. This Zenith Extreme Alpha features successful VRM cooling, that will handle any overclocking you throw at it, regardless of which CPU you buy. The fans that cool the power phases are relatively quiet when under operation, but the heatsink above is so good they rarely need to power up. You can, of course, disable the fans if you wanted to, but there isn’t really any need as the automatic cooling sensors do an excellent job.
A lot of the other features aren’t too dissimilar to the previous model, with the ROG design following suit. The build quality, as you would expect, is superb, and it comes with plenty of connectivity options. We see high bandwidth features that include 10G networking, for those that have networks capable of handling it. Being an Asus ROG board, it is unsurprising to see some RGB illuminations, and you also get an onboard OLED, plus power and reset buttons.
Overall the Asus X399 Zenith Extreme Alpha is a superb TR4 motherboard and is very easy to recommend. This motherboard is, of course, aimed at the higher end of the scale and would be considered overkill for those looking to get 1st gen Threadrippers. If you are aiming for the top with your build, then this board with its upgraded power phases and support for 3600MHz RAM is well worth a look.
Excellent power delivery
10 Gigabit Aquantia Ethernet
Supports 4-way SLI/ Crossfire
Solid overclocking potential with tweaks CONS Gigabyte could do with improving the BIOS
Gigabyte could do with improving the BIOS
The Aorus Xtreme comes into the equation with a significant VRM upgrade on the previous Aorus 7. Stability now comes in the form of a 10+3 IR3578 Digital Power PWM Design, along with many more included features. Just like the X399 boards above, we see quad-channel DIMMs that support OC speeds up to 3600MHz, a couple of M.2 slots, and multiple GPU support.
The M.2 and VRM heatsinks do a stellar job of cooling, as Gigabyte has been generous in the cooling department with an excessive amount of heat pipes. Aside from looking fantastic, the board also includes an Aquantia 10Gb controller too. The cooling power is matched in performance, with the board running smoothly even after an overclock. We see the ALC12200-VB audio codec, which is powered by the ESS Sabre Hifi Audio Dac. This codec improves audio and brings a high signal-to-noise ratio.
Overall, there is little to complain about with this board, the RGB and design are up there with the best. While there are a few BIOS tweaks required to get this efficiently overclocked, it is still a reliable piece of hardware and enters calculations.
Top quality build
Smaller form factor means fewer slots and ports
250W CPU support limited
ASRock brings something wonderful into the TR4 mix; the mATX option! This is the perfect TR4 motherboard for those looking to build a compact Threadripper based system. Despite the size of this motherboard, it can handle even the toughest of tasks with a relatively small price to go with it.
It is important to mention the design from ASRock with this board; it’s excellent. Many thought they were taking risks going for a TR4 board of this form factor, but wow, they actually nailed it. Of course, a board of this size brings some compromises, for starters, there are halve as many DIMM slots on this than compared to the full-sized mobos on this list, with the max capacity of system memory being 64GB. You also obviously get less GPU support on a board of this size, with it supporting Quad SLI/ CrossFireX.
The X399M Taichi features a similar level in performance to the Fatal1ty board thanks to a slight power advantage. Overall though, it performs as well as its bigger brothers, and while sacrificing connectivity, it offers yet another option for builders.
For those looking to get into the HEDT scene at a lower cost, this TR4 motherboard could be the answer. It gives you premium performance in a compact package, and it won’t let you down.
Top out-of-the-box performance
Very aesthetically pleasing
Supports 4-way SLI/ Crossfire
Not the top pick for overclockers
Not the best value
The Gigabyte Designare EX enters the list as an excellent choice for both the home user and serious workstations. This motherboard is fast and features a well-considered layout with reliable components. Many wouldn’t consider this for the extreme end of overclocking, but it’s a versatile board and has some useful features.
The board is full of USB ports (eight USB 3.1), which include Type-A and Type-C. We see two NICs on this TR4 motherboard, along with wireless AC. The board features all your bells and whistles, such as power/ reset controls and a CMOS button. The Designare EX supports both ECC and non-ECC RAM, but you’ll be wanting to use the fastest RAM compatible possible to get the most from your Threadripper processor.
This X399 motherboard can support up to eight SATA drives and can house three M.2 drives too. When you weigh up the flexibility of this product and how reliable it is, the Gigabyte X399 Designare EX really competes.
Great drive support
Supports 4-way SLI/ Crossfire
Great overclocking potential
Not the most aesthetically please of boards
If you are buying yourself a Threadripper CPU, it is highly unlikely you are just going to be gaming on your new PC. While this TR4 motherboard has ‘gaming’ in its name, it isn’t really well suited for that purpose, and it’s powers are closely aligned to the server/ workstation department. Despite having a slightly annoying BIOS, ASRock has been producing motherboards with an unbelievable price to performance over recent years and offer serious amounts of features too.
One of the motherboard’s best features is its access to high bandwidth network solutions without the need for using up a PCIe slot or an additional drive. This makes the board an attractive option for any enthusiasts or businesses that require high bandwidth network connectivity.
This motherboard shares many features with the “Taichi” version, with some saying they are pretty much identical once you remove the design. The main difference between the two is the addition of the Aquantia 10GB network controller. There is some serious connectivity with this X399 board, as you may expect. You get 10 USB ports out the back, eight of which are USB 3.0, one Type-A, and a single Type-C USB 10Gb/s.
Taking a closer look into this board, the only gaming aspects we could see were the sharp angles, dark colors, and dotted LED lightings. The sleek I/O shield and heatsinks do a lot for the motherboard’s aesthetics, but the board is ultimately similar looking to the Taichi.
As long as you ignore the ‘Gaming’ issue (which is a minor issue at that), you quickly see this board has some excellent potential. While gamers don’t need the 10GB controllers, it’s a luxury some enthusiasts out there will enjoy. The board can be overclocked and performs extremely well in the right hands, making this a solid TR4 board overall.
So there we have it, the best TR4 motherboards but which will you choose? The Asus X399 Zenith Extreme Alpha is our winner and will go a long way to ensure you have a reliable, stable build. These boards are ready to go in your next Threadripper build so you can tackle the toughest of computer tasks with absolute ease.
Which motherboard did you go for in the end? We’d love to hear from you, so why not tell us about your build in a comment below.