Motherboard vendors, including Gigabyte and AsRock,are rolling out their latest offerings for the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000 CPUs announced yesterday. MSI's lineup features three motherboards: the MSI Creator TRX40, MSI TRX40 10G and the MSI TRX40 Pro WiFi.
MSI Creator TRX40: MSI’s Top TRX40 Board
The top-tier board is the Creator TRX40; although, we suspect MSI will one day build a more overclocking-oriented board. The Creator TRX40 comes with a 16+3-phase VRM circuit, which feeds power to the Threadripper 3000 CPU installed in its sTRX4 CPU socket. The motherboard carries the usual eight DDR4 slots for quad-channel memory support and has four PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, though two of these will only have access to eight PCIe lanes instead of all 16. MSI hasn't taken any shortcuts around storage either, packing the board with three M.2 slots, each having access to four PCIe 4.0 lanes for a total of 64 Gbps of bandwidth per unit.
But if that’s not enough storage for you, MSI, much like Gigabyte, is including its M.2 Xpander-Aero Gen3 add-in-card (AIC), which adds support for four additional 110mm long M.2 NMVe SSDs, each also having access to four PCIe x16 lanes, so in total you’ll be able to install up to seven M.2 SSDs in this bad boy.
MSI has also included 10 Gigabit Ethernet on the Creator TRX40 by means of an Aquantia AQX107 chip. Next to this Ethernet port is another that connects through to a standard Intel i211AT Gigabit Ethernet chip.
Of course, it doesn’t quite stop there. The Creator board, being the top-tier board also has some extra cooling goodies. The VRM circuitry is cooled by a large heatsink, which extends to the I/O block at the rear of the motherboard through a heat pipe. Another heat pipe connects the heatsink, going around the DRAM slots to the chipset, which is cooled by a chipset fan.
All Aboard: TRX40 Pro 10G & TRX40 Pro WiFi
For those seeking a board with less gear, MSI also announced the TRX40 Pro 10G and TRX40 Pro WiFi. These motherboards also come with the TRX40 chipset and an sTRX4 socket but skip luxuries like the lavish VRM circuitry and cooling equipment in favor of a slightly more palatable price tag.
Both of these boards feature the same basic design with a 12+3 phase power circuit for the CPU and a chipset fan. The TRX Pro 10G comes with an AIC to equip it with 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and the TRX40 Pro WiFi comes with onboard WiFi capabilities for users not in the vicinity of networking hardware. Both still feature dual-onboard Intel Gigabit Ethernet, and MSI throws in the M.2 Xpander-Z Gen4 add in card, which is like the AIC included with the Creator TRX40 but only capable of housing two M.2 SSDs over four PCIe 4.0 lanes per SSD. On-board they each also have two M.2 slots, so in total you’ll be able to mount four M.2 cards on these boards with RAID 1, 0 and 10.
MSI hasn’t revealed pricing yet, but we expect more information to be available nearing November 25, when the Threadripper 3000 CPUs will be available.
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Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.