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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  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, June 24, 2018 - link

    I agree. When TR 2 hits I would highly recommend Anandtech do an "undervolting Threadripper" page that compares Gen 2 an Gen 1 — on multiple boards.

    And, since this is a pro product, the overclocking stability threshold needs to ensure real stability, not the quick and dirty standard.

    ECC RAM would also be useful to look at, when analyzing TR 2.
  • azrael- - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    I was just going to point out that one of the foremost features on what is a semiprofessional motherboard for AMD's ThreadRipper should be support for ECC memory and the subsequent test thereof. Luckily, as far as Gigabyte's specification table goes the motherboard *does* support ECC memory. Now AT only needs to test it.
  • Tom S - Monday, February 24, 2020 - link

    I know that this is not a conclusive test, but with my X399 Designare EX...
    I have 4X16GB sticks of Kingston KSM26ED8/16ME - 2666GHz - ECC - CL19 - 1.2V
    When I OC'd the memory to 3600MHz @ 1.2V with very tight timings (I forget exactly what)
    it threw an ECC error that was captured by Memtest86.
    Other ECC boards I've owned, have reported ECC errors in Windows event log "Kernal-WHEA",
    or another log viewable in BIOS.
  • hansmuff - Saturday, June 23, 2018 - link

    Which program did you use for measuring DPC? There are a few different ones, and I find they all produce different results.
  • CEH - Monday, June 25, 2018 - link

    You seem a bit obsessed with AMD lately. Isn't there anything interesting in Intel-related boards?
  • oleyska - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    I'll throw this out there:

    Z170->270->Z370 is similar with minor updates to bling and the vrm circuit but nothing exciting.
    X299 apart from evga's isn't very interesting.

    The thing that makes x399 very exciting is the 64(60) pci-e lanes exposed to board manufactures while Intel have been giving 20,28,44 forever!
  • crashtech - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Flash drive instead of DVD should really be doable at this price level for sure.
  • zukefok - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    A quick glance at the motherboard's specifications reveals that up to eight SATA drives and three M.2 drives can be connected on the GIGABYTE X399 Designare EX
  • - Sunday, July 15, 2018 - link

    "The second important feature of the GIGABYTE X399 Designare EX is the implementation of an International Rectifier IR35201 digital controller. What is unique about this particular controller is that it implements an algorithm that balances the load (and the heat output) across all of the power phases. This means that instead of having a couple of stages heavily loaded all of the time while the rest are idling, all eight stages are continuously sharing about the same load, greatly increasing the longevity of the circuitry. This means that the motherboard should hold up well for the upcoming Threadripper 2 launch."

    The IR35201 is not the reason any board will fulfill the power delivery needs ofa TR2, fets and phases will.
    That being said, eight real phase consisting of the IR3556 is subpar VRM for a motherboard that needs to handle cpus at the 200W range. Board is pricey, in fact the VRM on this board is weaker than what you have on the flagship AM4 boards, like the taichi or ASUS CVII.
  • Tom S - Monday, February 24, 2020 - link

    Did you run this with a special BIOS?
    I am trying to enter an offset voltage, but my BIOS F12, and every reviewer post that I've seen
    seems to have Dynamic Vcore(DVID) and Dynamic VCORE(DVID) for SOC grayed out.
    Is there some other field that I need to set in order to enter a value here? Help someone, thanks.

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