Intel and AMD are set to battle it out over new high-end CPUs, and both companies are also preparing the chipsets the Ryzen 9 and Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors are for. Today, AMD has unveiled seven new motherboards to run on Intel's X299 platform, and they're looking rather impressive.
First up, according to AnandTech (opens in new tab), Asus has four motherboards across its Prime and TUF series. The Prime X299-Deluxe has an ATX form factor, and there are 8-pin and 4-pin CPU/EPS power connectors, which will be useful for Intel's new CPU powerhouses (opens in new tab). There are four PCIe x16 slots, only two of which are x16 capable, with the others limited to x4 and x8. Plus, there are two PCIe x1 slots. You'll be able to have plenty of storage options, as the motherboard has connections for six SATA 6Gb/s ports, a U.2 port, and two M.2 slots. In total, there's support for 20 USB ports, 6x 2.0, 8x 3.0, and 6x 3.2 Gen2. There's also capability for Thunderbolt 3.
The Prime X299-A will be similar, but it has some of the features missing to keep the price down. It will still have two M.2 slots and support three graphics cards like its big brother, but it won't have as much fancy customizable lighting, and it's unlikely to have built in Wi-Fi capabilities.
Onto the TUF series now, and as their name suggests, these are motherboards built to last. The TUF X299 Mark 1 has dust shielding which also helps direct airflow for better cooling options. There's support for up to ten fans on the motherboard itself, and there are onboard temperature sensors in various zones so you know exactly where things are hotting up. It also has a fortified backplate which further protects against the board bending, overheating, and warping.
The TUF X299 Mark 1 has 8x SATA 6Gb/s ports, two M.2 slots, a USB 3.1 Gen2 headers, 2x USB 3.0 headers, and one USB 2.0 headers. Two of the three PCIe x16 slots are x16 capable, with the other limited to x8, so again, this motherboard will be able to handle three graphics cards. There are also 2x PCIe x4 slots, and what appears to be a PCIe x1 slot under the armor.
Much like in the Prime range, the TUF X299 Mark 2 does away with some of the unnecessary features to keep the price down. The armor and backplate are gone, two of the SATA ports are gone, and one of the PCIe x4 slots has been downgraded to x1. There's also no USB 3.1 Gen2 front-panel header, and you'll only fit seven fans on the board.
In the Republic of Gamers line of motherboards, we've got the ROG Strix X299-E, the Rampage VI Extreme, and the Rampage VI Apex. The X299-E is your basic model, with a simpler aesthetic design and similar ports to the motherboards above. There are eight SATA ports, two M.2 slots, a LAN port, and onboard Wi-Fi. On the back there are headers for one USB 3.1 Gen2, two USB 3.0, and one USB 2.0. Three PCIe x16 slots (two x16, one x8) sit on the board, and there are also two PCIe x4 slots, and one PCIe x1 slot.
The ROG Rampage VI Extreme will support three M.2 slots, and it's got a reinforced backplate for those heavy components you want to install. There's also a U.2 connector, and capabilities for Thunderbolt 3. There's even an integrated OLED screen which lets you monitor temperatures, frequencies and fan speeds. Or it can display custom messages and graphics, if you spend a lot of time looking at your motherboard. Liquid cooling is fully supported, but not integrated, with two flow headers that monitor temperature and flow rate.
The Rampage VI Apex is an E-ATX board designed for extreme overclocking and is built with liquid nitrogen and liquid helium cooling in mind. It's a more streamlined board to cope with the extra speed, with only one DIMM slot per channel. A total of four M.2 SSDs are supported, and the left DIMM.2 is connected directly to the CPU, with the other runs through the X299 chipset. Sections of the board are cut out for better cable routing, and it's got a customizable nameplate which people will see while you're showing off your amazing overclocks. Apparently, Asus has already set a world record using the Apex to take a Core i7-7740K up to 7.56GHz.
Keep an eye out for all the other news coming out of Computex 2017 over the next few days.