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X399 motherboard recommendation (vs. C422 Xeon W)


Hey guys,

I’m looking to build a scientific workstation that has fast single threaded performance, at least 8 cores, and lots of PCIe lanes for data acquisition add-in cards. Threadripper is naturally interesting due to its incredible value, free NVMe RAID, lots of lanes, high clocks, etc.

My requirements for an X399 board are:

  • ECC memory (that actually works…I keep seeing threads about people unable to verify if it’s working on certain boards)
  • 5 full size PCIe slots, or at least 4 full + 1 half/x4. This is where the Taichi falls short.
  • Rock solid reliability. Amazon/Newegg seem to indicate that everything aside from the Taichi dies in 3 months
  • NVMe RAID 1 mirroring of the OS drive would be nice, but not a hard requirement
  • At least one M.2 21110 slot OR U.2 for an Optane drive that will write raw imaging data

The X399 Designare looks interesting, but people seem to have more problems with it than many others boards. The X399 Aorus Pro seems perfect, but is new and has very little feedback. It’s also not clear to me that ECC has been verified in any Gigabyte boards.

The ASUS Prime X399 looks like it’s a good option, assuming ECC is good to go. Are there any known issues with it?

Xeon W seems a lot simpler. A bit pricier, but it seems like a W 2145 + ASUS C422 PRO/SE are rock solid and the only complicating aspect would be the option of going down the VROC key rabbit hole to mirror the OS drive.