Board Features

GIGABYTE cleverly designed the X399 Designare EX motherboard to have  all the features that would cover the needs of virtually all users, yet the designer did not install any features of limited and/or questionable usefulness. This kept the price of the motherboard a little lower than the competition - GIGABYTE focused on the reliability of the motherboard, implementing virtually the most proven chipsets and enhancing the mechanical strength of the board itself. The price tag of $380 is reasonable for a top of the line motherboard for a Ryzen Threadripper, placing GIGABYTE's offering about $50 lower than its direct competition.

GIGABYTE X399 Designare EX
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price Link
Size ATX
CPU Interface TR4 / SP3r2
Chipset AMD X399
Memory Slots (DDR4) Eight DDR4
Supporting 128GB
Dual Channel
Up to 3600+ MHz
Video Outputs N/A
Network Connectivity 2 x Intel I211-V
1 x Intel 802.11ac
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC1220A
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 4 × PCIe 3.0 (×16 / ×8 / ×16 / ×8)
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 × PCIe 3.0 (×4)
Onboard SATA Eight, RAID 0/1/5/10
Onboard SATA Express None
Onboard M.2 3 × PCIe 3.0 (x4)
Onboard U.2 None (adapter included)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 1 × Type-C
1 × Type-A
USB 3.1 Gen 1 8 × Type-A Rear Panel
2 × Type-A via headers
1 × Type-C via headers
USB 2.0 4 × via headers
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 8-pin CPU
1 x 4-pin CPU
Fan Headers 1 x CPU (4-pin)
1 x Pump/Aux (4-pin)
6 x System (4-pin), two support liquid-cooling pumps
IO Panel 8 x USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
2 x Network RJ-45
2 x MMCX antenna connectors (2T2R)
1 x Combo PS/2
5 x 3.5 mm Audio Jacks
1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port

In The Box

We get the following:

  • Driver Disk
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • User's manual
  • Sheet with numerous stickers and cable labels
  • M.2 to U.2 adapter
  • Six black SATA cables (three straight, three with a 90° connector)
  • Two thermocouples
  • Two cable straps
  • SLI/Crossfire bridge (Two GPUs)
  • Torx key for the CPU socket
  • RGB strip cables
  • Wireless antenna
  • Case connector quick plug

The bundle of the X399 Designare EX is good for a motherboard of this class. Note that the metallic I/O shield appears to have been omitted in the picture but the motherboard actually comes with it pre-attached. Inside the box we found a comprehensive manual and a quick installation guide, six SATA cables, two RGB strip cables, a Torx key for the CPU socket, a WiFi/Bluetooth antenna, and a dual GPU bridge. Strangely, no bridges for triple and/or quad SLI/Crossfire configurations are included. GIGABYTE also supplies a M.2 to U.2 adapter, two cable straps, and a sheet with numerous stickers and wire labels. Finally, there are two simple K-type thermocouples included that can be connected to the corresponding motherboard pins and monitor the temperature of anything they get attached to. Aside from the SLI/Crossfire bridges, we feel that the bundle is quite complete, yet we would like to see GIGABYTE ditching the DVDs for flash media, as many users nowadays do not even install an optical drive at all.

Visual Inspection BIOS
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20 Comments

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  • Komachi_Ensaka - Friday, June 22, 2018 - link

    Great Article.
    BTW this Board has a THB_C Header.
    Any update THB_C Header/GC-ALPINERIDGE(ThunderBolt 3 exCard) about this MB from GIGABYTE?
    Reply
  • Cooe - Saturday, June 23, 2018 - link

    Intel still hasn't actually opened up the licensing. They said they were going to like 2 years ago at this point, but have managed to drag their feet through avoiding actually pulling the trigger to the present day.

    Basically, everyone with TB3 compatible hardware, but no valid software & driver license is pretty much stuck holding their junk in their hands ever waiting on an non-motivated Intel. This is almost surely the reason why the only X399 board (or AMD board of any kind actually) to have said TB3 HW was this particular SKU (having ofc been added to it's design at a point when it seemed like they'd be able to activate/enable it not long after the board would launch), and this includes the so far shown X399 refresh boards.
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Sunday, June 24, 2018 - link

    Hrm, overclocking depends on the chip. My TR used to be Rock solid stable at 1.225V @ 4.0 and 1.35V at 4.1. However, I like to play with my chips, so on my MSI I have had it as high as 1.65V @ 4.4 GHz. At that speed it beat every Intel chip to date for every benchmark I ran, but also degraded my CPU in a few hours. However, it can still do 4.0 @ 1.288V, which keeps the chip well under 68C even under Prime95. Reply
  • tspacie - Friday, June 22, 2018 - link

    Question about test setup (and DPC latency); do you install all the optional drivers that come with the Mobos or just whatever Windows Update finds? Reply
  • E.Fyll - Saturday, June 23, 2018 - link

    All of the tests take place after installing all the drivers and related software that comes with the manufacturer's CD/flash media. We only skip the installation of any "optional" software that may be includes, such as toolbars and application demos. Note that installing most driver packages just installs the manufacturer's utility/tool/interface and not the driver, as the OS will generally not replace current drivers with older versions (not unless forced). Reply
  • cyberguyz - Friday, June 22, 2018 - link

    Having owned a Gigabyte X399 Aorus Gaming 7 (It died for the same reasons that seem to have happened to quite a few others :( not gonna go into that here) I see very little difference between my Late X399 Aorus and this board:

    The boards are pretty much identical except for second Intel I211 ethernet replacing the Killer ethernet. B oth boards sport 2x GB ethernet and onboard 1200AC wireless. They both have 5x metal-clad x16 slots with the middle one disguising an x4 slot. They both have 3x pcie gen3 M.2 slots in the exact same places. They both have 8x sata3 ports and the same number of external & internal Gen 1 USB3 3.1 ports the same 2 USB gen2 ports - one 'A' and one 'C'. The number of power phases and audio controller + capacitors and software.

    In fact the only distinguishing features I can see are the metal backplate while the Aorus is littered everywhere with with RGB leds, the differing second ethernet port and possibly the M2->U2 adapter.

    Not really seeing the excitement with this one other than a little bit of steel rather than bling (I really don't see the value or detriment of the Killer vs Intel ethernet).
    Reply
  • Arbie - Friday, June 22, 2018 - link

    The undervolted result is really interesting - cutting power in half! Did you by any chance capture the difference in idle watts? That's where my system is 99% of the time, and as I recall TR's idle dissipation was about twice that of a Ryzen 1800. Of course I could undervolt the latter too... something to consider. Reply
  • zirk65 - Saturday, June 23, 2018 - link

    I had the same thought about idle watts, whether the memory controller is still the likely consumer. Reply
  • E.Fyll - Saturday, June 23, 2018 - link

    I did not test that extensively but the difference in idle is about 7-8 Watts, depending on the motherboard. It is not as impressive as the difference under load but not negligible either. Tweaking could probably improve that a little bit further but I highly doubt that the idle energy consumption can ever reach that of single-die processors. Reply
  • eek2121 - Sunday, June 24, 2018 - link

    Set you minimum processor power management to. 4.0 GHz. Set P0 pstate to a lower level or bump up LLC... Reply

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