X399 Designare: Threadripper Workstation Board | Level One Techs

No gaming in the title?! What is this madness! ECC Support: Confirmed Best Overclock: 4.1 ghz @ 1.39v on 1950X, 4.15 ghz @ 1.43v on 1950X.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://level1techs.com/video/x399-designare-threadripper-workstation-board
1 Like

How is the linux compatibility?

1 Like



Wait, what? A Thunderbolt header on a AMD board?

Edit: Forgot the UEFI tour, but I guess it should be the same as the Gaming 7.

IDK, from what Derb8uer was saying, the pinouts for current Threadripper CPUs only utilize 2 of the 4 dies on the CPU on purpose. I’m willing to bet the newer revisions of this mobo will utilize all 4 dies for 32 core Threadripper down the line with a different pinout situation or chipset configuration change.

Thanks! Also can you comment more on whether you prefer this or the Aorus?

It seems like the advantages are the aesthetics, VRM fan, backplate, IO shield, and double NIC. Downside is that the Designare is hard to find currently.

I like the designare more, but both boards are pretty close.

Fantastic review, love the tangential but relevant musings. It is a shame about the current thoughts on openness, I was met with weird looks when I was commenting on some proprietary nonsense asking if it was open or not, being a nice person. It was as if I had two heads.

The board looks great, I do want Thunderbolt 3 to come to all platforms, I imagine if Apple (shudders) go AMD there will be a serious push to get Thunderbolt into the systems. So prospects are looking likely.

Personally, a screwdriver pointing out the I/O and zooming in on the 4K original overhead shot panning to the relevant IO would focus the attention to the part of the motherboard currently being talked about. I am liking it’s no longer a flash up for the main board overview, but actual physical pointing to the stuff using something sharp would be nice.

I think I would go for this board but I already received my asrock fatal1ty board.

VRM info for the Gigabyte X399 Designare EX.

Main Vcore vrm:

  • pwm´s: IR35201 in 8+0 phase mode, (8 true phases).
  • powerstages: IR3556 which are rated for 50A at 125°C
  • inductors: 76A inductors
  • caps: Tantalum poscaps.

SOC vrm:

  • pwm: A second IR35201 provides 2 phases for the Soc vrm.
  • powerstages: IR3556M which are also rated for 50A.
  • Inductors: 76A inductors.

Memory vrm´s:

  • pwm: 2x IR3570 which are 3+2 phase digital pwm´s, running in 2+1 phase mode,
    for each set of 4 dimm slots.
    2 phases are being used for main dram voltage.
    And the +1 rail is used for DDR VPP.
  • powerstages: IR3553 which are 40A powerstages.

Note: This vrm is exactlly the same as the Gigabyte Aorus X399 Gaming7.


Okay, so I looked into it, and apparently only Thunderbolt 3 is going royalty-free. So only the AICs with USB type-C connectors would likely be compatible. The older Thunderbolt 2 cards would be completely untested and that would be something worth looking into if any of you have Thunderbolt 2 AICs and this motherboard. Thunderbolt 3 AICs for sure work, and USB-C to Thunderbolt adapters on those AICs work, but older Thunderbolt chipsets like ones for Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 would be untested. Might be something actually looking into cause using a Blackmagic Ultrastudio Mini via Thunderbolt would be an ultra cost efficient dongle for video production work. Even the Hyperdecks have Thunderbolt.

I have the same board now since about 3 weeks and had some trouble with it.
With BIOS F1 it seems the SOC needs more voltage than “Normal” for it to boot. Currently with OC have 1.1275V on it.
With BIOS F2B which I guess is a beta BIOS it is almost always stuck on 62 or 63 which is CPU Pxe initialization. I use it with a 1900X and 32GB of G.Skill RAM CL14 Kit. Did you happen to see anything like that in your testing @wendell?

I did have to boost the soc voltage but it’s the only board that works with 128gb ram from gskill without issue/fiddling that I’ve tested so far.

The next agesa due out any day now fixes it a lot. I have at least one TR board that has been so problematic I haven’t done a video on it b/c needing agesa update… lol


Interesting. How high did you have to boost it? What BIOS version? F1 or F2B?

F2b, 1.25v iirc but more is prolly ok, chip voltage up to 1.35 is fine

@wendell you mentioned U.2 several times in this video. Can you do a video on U.2 devices and what advantages it has over sata and m.2? I haven’t seen ANY u.2 devices anywhere. Thanks.

M.2 and U.2 are basically the same except the connector used. Both use NVMe as protcol and PCIe x4.
M.2 has the advantage that there are no cables and it can have both the PCIe and S-ATA interface, only one can be used at a time though. But no extra cables can also be a disadvantage when for example the M.2 place is right under your graphicscard, then you would need to remove both the M.2 and graphicscard when replacing the M.2.
And since currently there are only Intel SSDs with U.2 most stick with M.2 in the consumer area, while in the enterprise area U.2 is more interesting.

@wendell Why did the IOMMU only get an A-? What parts are together in one group?

Designare boards are FUCKING GURGEOUS.


Waiting on agesa update. Some of the m.2 are grouped with the pcie slots. Not a huge issue unless you have a loaded system.

Doing a separate pass through vid once the agesa update comes down.