When I was a young lad, the first PC I ever built with my own money used the sensational 1GHz “Thunderbird” AMD Athlon™, ASUS A7V motherboard, and a GeForce 2 GTS. It was funded with my little paper route delivering the Tribune newspaper in Royal Oak, MI. My family had played PC games since the 486 era, but that system felt like an ascension to something truly special. Through it, I fell in love with the hardware, rather than just using the hardware. Ten years later, chance would have it that I’d come full circle to begin work at AMD.
I’ve been a PC enthusiast for a long time, and there are few things I love more than a great new piece of hardware that stands heads and shoulders above its peers. I think most enthusiasts know that feeling. There’s just something exciting about looking at “the best,” plus it’s fun to marvel at a giant leap forward within one generation of hardware. And though I am certainly biased, that’s how I feel about the AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ platform with the new AMD X399 chipset.
The exhaustiveness of it all just makes me giddy:
- 64 PCI Express® lanes
- Quad-channel DDR4
- Up to 2 native USB 3.1 Gen2 ports
- Up to 14 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
- Up to 6 USB 2.0 ports
- Up to 16 SATA ports
That is a lot of connectivity. In fact, it’s enough for me to comfortably run quad GPU, 3TB of NVMe storage, every USB device in my house, every SATA drive I’ve ever owned… and still have room to spare.
Motherboards with the AMD X399 chipset are just beautiful, too: premium materials, great cooling, nice layouts, high-end controllers, LED readouts, exhaustive BIOSes, and lots of headers for fans and RGB. Precisely what I want out of a motherboard!
And unlike the other guy, the AMD X399 doesn’t have a confusing matrix of lanes, ports, and memory channels that go dark if you buy the wrong CPU. You always get the same connectivity with AMD X399, regardless of what Threadripper CPU you buy. That’s what enthusiasts deserve when committing to an HEDT platform.
There are often times in this industry when “best” is a nebulous decision filled with what-ifs and “well, it depends.” It sure didn’t feel that way with my “Thunderbird” Athlon, and it’s hard not to feel the same way about X399 today. When it comes to ultimate PC platforms, nothing else comes close.
Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.