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The 6 Best Threadripper Motherboards in 2021

Written by Azzief Khaliq
Last updated Jul 9, 2021

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best threadripper motherboards

AMD Threadripper CPUs are the best option for a high-end desktop (HEDT) PC in 2021. High core counts and excellent single-threaded performance have made AMD’s offerings the CPUs to beat for productivity. With so much power on tap, choosing the correct motherboard for your Threadripper CPU is absolutely essential. That’s where our list of the best Threadripper motherboards comes in.

Besides, AMD Threadripper motherboards are a substantial investment, and it’s always a good idea to get the lay of the land before committing to a purchase. So, whether you’re willing to drop nearly $900 for the absolute peak of Threadripper motherboards or prefer to shop for a good value alternative, we’ve got something for you.

Best Threadripper Motherboards

1. ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha

Best of the Best TRX40 Motherboards

Form FactorE-ATX (12.2 x 10.9 inches)
RAM SlotsEight (256 GB RAM, 4733 MHz maximum)
VRM16 phases
PCIe Slots4x PCIe 4.0 (x16/x8/x16/x8)
Storage• 1x ROG DIMM.2 (fits 2x M.2 drives)
• 3x M.2
• 8x SATA 6 Gb/s
USB PortsRear panel
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1
• 6x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A)
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (Type-C)
Internal
• 3x USB 2.0
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1
• 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2
Networking and Connectivity• 10 Gbps Ethernet
• Wi-Fi 6
• Bluetooth 5.1
AudioROG SupremeFX S1220 + ESS SABRE 9018Q2C DAC

Looking for a high-end, no-compromises Threadripper mobo for your 64-core Threadripper 3990X? Look no further. ASUS’ ROG sub-brand is well known for its premium products, and the ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha is as premium as it gets.

ASUS pulled out all the stops when designing the ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha. The healthy USB port selection should be more than enough for even the most peripheral-crazy user. And then there’s the DIMM.2 slot, an elegant way to add extra M.2 slots without sacrificing a PCIe slot. ASUS has also specced an ESS SABRE 9018Q2C DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for high-quality audio, another nice enthusiast-grade feature.

Extra M.2 slots on the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha

ASUS’ DIMM.2. Source: TechPowerUp

Quad-channel memory is, of course, present, and power delivery is handled by 16 Infineon TDA21490 power stages, more than enough to feed an overclocked Threadripper 3990X. Of course, power is one thing; cooling is another. To keep the VRM running cool, ASUS installed two “custom Delta Superflo” fans on the VRM heatsink.

They’re not just for show, either. TechSpot’s testing indicates the Zenith II Extreme Alpha’s VRM cooling system handily outperforms all its rivals in an overclocking scenario. Keeping VRMs at 82 degrees celsius even with a Threadripper 3990X running at 3.8 GHz is no mean feat.

In comparison, all the non-ASUS boards in the test hit temperatures above 90 degrees. Gigabyte’s (much more affordable, mind you) TRX40 AORUS Master even breaks past the 100-degree mark. In that context, 82 degrees is downright spectacular.

Our top pick for best threadripper motherboard, the ASUS ROG Zenith II

Source: ASUS

Of course, most of you reading this won’t be pushing a 3990X that hard. But look at it this way: the VRMs should endure anything you can throw at them in an everyday context, meaning years of trouble-free use. And if you ever need to overclock your 3990X, rest assured that the Zenith II Extreme Alpha will handle it with aplomb.

And, to top it all off, the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha features the best built-in RGB lighting you’re going to get with a Threadripper mobo. So, really, it’s impossible to ignore the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme if you want the best of the best. Just be prepared to pay a hefty price for that privilege.

2. MSI Creator TRX40

High-End Alternative

Form FactorE-ATX (12.2 x 10.9 inches)
RAM SlotsEight (256 GB RAM, 4666 MHz maximum)
VRM16 phases
PCIe Slots4x PCIe 4.0 (x16/x8/x16/x8)
Storage• 7x M.2 (three on board, four on included PCIe add-in card)
• 6x SATA 6 Gb/s
USB PortsRear panel
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A)
• 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A)
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (Type-C)
Internal
• 4x USB 2.0
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
Networking and Connectivity• 10 Gbps Ethernet
• 1 Gbps Ethernet
• Wi-Fi 6
• Bluetooth 5.0
AudioRealtek ALC1220 + Realtek ALC4050H

Among the flagship TRX40 motherboards from ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI, the MSI Creator TRX40 offers top-of-the-line specs at a slightly more affordable price. It’s still an expensive board, no doubt. But at a roughly $700 MSRP, you save around $170 compared to the ASUS board above without sacrificing all that much.

In fact, you actually get a bit more in some aspects. The bundled MSI M.2 Xpander-Aero add-in card (AIC) gives you get seven M.2 slots in total, two more than ASUS’ offering. This arguably makes up for the fewer SATA 6 Gb/s ports on the Creator TRX40.

You also get an additional 1 Gbps Ethernet port. The only significant sacrifices are one less Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 port and a lack of Gen 2 Type-C ports on the rear panel. That said, you still get a Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port, which is still a relatively rare feature even on these expensive Threadripper mobos.

the MSI TRX40 creator threadripper motherboard

Source: MSI

You also lose the fancy RGB lighting and underglow that you get on the ASUS board. But the Creator TRX40 has two ARGB headers, a standard 12-volt RGB header, and even a Corsair LED header on board. That should be more than enough for even the most complex array of RGB lighting strips.

The power delivery uses 16 Infineon TDA21472 power stages, albeit without the ASUS board’s fancy active cooling system. The Creator TRX40 still manages to keep these VRMs cooler than most of the competition, ASUS’ boards aside. Unless you really need the best of the best in VRM performance, MSI’s Creator TRX40 should be more than good enough for a high-end Threadripper build.

We really like the MSI Creator TRX40. The price is right, and the compromises really aren’t that significant. If the USB port selection works for you, the MSI Creator TRX40 is arguably the best buy amongst flagship Threadripper motherboards right now.

3. ASRock TRX40 Creator

Best Value Threadripper Motherboard

Form FactorATX (12 x 9.6 inches)
RAM SlotsEight (256 GB RAM, 4666 MHz maximum)
VRMEight phases
PCIe Slots4x PCIe 4.0 (x16/x8/x16/x8)
Storage• 3x M.2
• 8x SATA 6 Gb/s
USB PortsRear panel
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A)
• 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A)
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (Type-C)
Internal
• 2x USB 2.0
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
Networking and Connectivity• 10 Gbps Ethernet
• 2.5 Gbps Ethernet
• Wi-Fi 6
• Bluetooth 5.0
AudioRealtek ALC4050H + Realtek ALC1220-VB

ASRock’s TRX40 Creator (not to be confused with MSI’s Creator TRX40) is an impressively specced board, especially considering its $460 MSRP. Despite being significantly more affordable than the ASUS and MSI boards we’ve discussed above, it really only loses out in terms of M.2 storage and VRM power stages.

The TRX40 creator uses eight power stages in place of the beefy 16-phase power delivery of the ASUS and MSI boards. It is a significant downgrade on paper, but this won’t be an issue for the Threadripper 3960X and 3970X at stock clocks. It should even be fine for a Threadripper 3990X, although we think you might as well buy a flagship motherboard if you’re spending that much on a CPU.

As far as M.2 slots are concerned, the ASRock TRX40 Creator only falls short because it doesn’t come bundled with an AIC. The board itself has just as many M.2 slots as the flagship boards, and nothing’s stopping you from adding an M.2 PCIe adapter to bump up the slot count. You will lose out on the chance to take advantage of the TRX40 Creator’s equally-spaced PCIe slots for quad-GPU setups, though.

The ASRock TRX40 Creator

Source: Guru3D

Like the MSI Creator TRX40, ASRock’s creator-focused offering comes with dual networking. ASRock has gone one step further and opted for 2.5 Gbps Ethernet compared to the 1 Gbps connection on the MSI board. It’s likely not an upgrade that will benefit most users, but it’s there if you have the network to take advantage of it.

You might notice that the ASRock TRX40 Creator has the smallest chipset fan out of all the motherboards on our list. While it manages to keep the chipset cooled adequately, it does come at the cost of increased noise. It’s possible to go into the BIOS and tweak it, but it’s something to be aware of before buying.

All in all, the ASRock TRX40 Creator has all the right specs for a TRX40 motherboard without any excess. Depending on what you’re planning to do with your HEDT rig, this might really be all that you ever need.

4. MSI TRX40 PRO WiFi

Best Value Alternative

Form FactorATX (12 x 9.6 inches)
RAM SlotsEight (256 GB RAM, 4666 MHz maximum)
VRM12+3 phases
PCIe Slots• 4x PCIe 4.0 (x16/x8/x16/x8)
• 1x PCIe 3.0 x1
Storage• 4x M.2 (two on board, two on AIC)
• 8x SATA 6 Gb/s
USB PortsRear panel
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A)
• 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A)
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (Type-C)
Internal
• 4x USB 2.0
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
Networking and Connectivity• 2x 1 Gbps Ethernet
• Wi-Fi 6
• Bluetooth 5.0
AudioRealtek ALC1220

We have two strong contenders for the runner-up best value TRX40 motherboard in the form of MSI’s TRX40 PRO WiFi and Gigabyte’s TRX40 AORUS Master. There’s no hands-down winner between the two, but we chose the MSI board because its feature set should prove more useful to more users.

MSI continues the trend of bundling AICs to bolster M.2 slot counts with its cheaper TRX40 PRO WiFi. The difference is that we only get a two-slot AIC as opposed to the four-slot card that comes with the Creator TRX40. Either way, it means we get a possible maximum of four M.2 slots with the TRX40 Pro WiFi, the best in the $500-and-below price bracket.

In fact, there’s really not much difference between this MSI board and our favorite value choice, the ASRock TRX40 Creator. You do lose out on the faster networking of the ASRock board, but the two almost directly comparable otherwise.

The MSI TRX40 PRO WiFi motherboard

Source: MSI

Choosing between the two will likely come down to price and availability. At the time of writing, both this MSI board and the ASRock TRX40 Creator are selling above MSRP, so they’re a bit less value-for-money than they would be otherwise. If you’re waiting on prices to fall before buying, you’ll be fine snapping up whichever comes down to MSRP first.

Gigabyte’s TRX40 AORUS Master is available for its $500 MSRP if you can’t afford to wait. Just be warned that it’s an XL-ATX motherboard and may not fit in just any mid or full tower case.

5. Gigabyte TRX40 Designare

For Thunderbolt Users

Form FactorXL-ATX (12.8 x 10.6 inches)
RAM SlotsEight (256 GB RAM, 4400 MHz maximum)
VRM16+3 phases
PCIe Slots• 4x PCIe 4.0 (x16/x8/x16/x8)
• 1x PCIe 4.0 x1
Storage• 8x M.2 (four on board, four with add-in card)
• 8x SATA 6 Gb/s
USB PortsRear panel
• 2x USB 2.0
• 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A)
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
Internal
• 4x USB 2.0
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
Networking and Connectivity• 2x 1 Gbps Ethernet
• Wi-Fi 6
• Bluetooth 5.0
AudioRealtek ALC4080

The Gigabyte TRX40 Designare’s unique selling point is its Thunderbolt support via the bundled GC-Titan Ridge add-in card (AIC). The card sports one full-sized and two mini DisplayPort ports, as well as two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Each Thunderbolt port has enough bandwidth to support three daisy-chained devices “without an additional hub or switch.”

Gigabyte also bundles an AORUS Gen4 AIC with the TRX40 Designare, adding four M.2 slots to the already impressive four slots on the board itself. Of course, having two AICs stops you from having a quad-GPU setup, but we don’t think many users need Thunderbolt, eight M.2 SSDs, and multi-GPU all at once.

Networking isn’t as impressive as other boards, though, with only two 1 Gbps Ethernet ports present. That should be enough for most users, but we would’ve liked to see a faster Ethernet connection for high-speed local networking to a data storage server. Eight M.2 slots go a long way to making that less of a priority, though.

The Gigabyte TRX40 Designare

Source: Gigabyte

Between the M.2 slots, Thunderbolt add-in card, and relatively low-key aesthetic, it’s evident that Gigabyte had professional users in mind when designing the TRX40 Designare. The company even made an effort to hide the chipset fan to keep the sleek aesthetic going.

If you’re a storage-hungry creative or someone heavily invested in Thunderbolt devices, the Designare is definitely the board for you. Looking for a ready-to-go Thunderbolt solution for your HEDT build? Start here. If not, you’ll be better served by the other Threadripper mobos on our list.

6. Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WiFi

Great Entry-Level Option

Form FactorATX (12 x 9.6 inches)
RAM SlotsEight (256 GB RAM, 4400 MHz maximum)
VRM12+2 phases
PCIe Slots• 4x PCIe 4.0 (x16/x8/x16/x8)
• 1x PCIe 4.0 x1
Storage• 3x M.2
• 8x SATA 6 Gb/s
USB PortsRear panel
• 4x USB 2.0
• 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A)
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
Internal
• 4x USB 2.0
• 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1
• 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
Networking and Connectivity• 1 Gbps Ethernet
• Wi-Fi 6
• Bluetooth 5.0
AudioRealtek ALC4050H + Realtek ALC1220-VB

Yes, it does feel odd calling a $400 motherboard “entry-level.” But this is Threadripper we’re talking about here. When the best Threadripper motherboard retails for more than $800, the Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WiFi is definitely something of an entry-level bargain.

Of course, the low price does mean you sacrifice some high-end luxuries. Gone are 2.5 and 10 Gbps networking, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, and the heavy-duty VRMs of the more premium TRX40 motherboards.

That said, it’s not like the Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WiFi is light on premium features. You still get the four PCIe x16/x8 slots and support for 256 GB of quad-channel memory. In addition, the TRX40 AORUS PRO WiFi still has a decent number of USB, M.2, and SATA ports. Not as many as the ASUS ROG Zenith II, but definitely enough for most HEDT users.

The Gigabyte TRX40 PRO WiFi motherboard

Source: Gigabyte

The comparatively weaker 12+2 power delivery of the Gigabyte board does mean it’s probably not the best choice for overclocking. But if you want to overclock a Threadripper CPU, you’re likely not going to be interested in this board to begin with.

All in all, the Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WiFi isn’t as impressive as our other picks, but it’s still got it where it counts. Gigabyte’s sacrifices to hit the $400 price point are reasonable and shouldn’t be deal-breakers for most users.

If you’re looking to get your foot in the door with a relatively affordable Threadripper 3960X build, then the Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WiFi might just be the ticket.

Closing Thoughts

Choosing the best Threadripper motherboard for you will come down to the fine details. So, choosing a board here will really depend on things like how much storage you need or whether you need high-speed wired networking. While you can’t really go wrong with any of these, you will have to be aware of your own needs and choose accordingly.

Need help figuring out what to look for in a motherboard? Check out our guide to choosing the correct motherboard. And if you’re still trying to figure out whether a Threadripper CPU is even something you need, why not visit our guide to choosing a CPU?

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