Why I love extreme motherboards

Last month, AMD and Intel launched new high-end desktop (HEDT) processors, providing us a taste of the future. The chips are extremely fast in the right workloads—they’re not the best CPUs for gaming, but the Threadripper 3970X is over three times as fast as Intel’s Core i9-9900KS in 3D rendering, for example. But what I really love about HEDT builds is the attention to detail and the “everything plus the kitchen sink” approach to motherboards. Forget about price for a moment, these boards are simply beautiful.

The Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme for the TRX40 platform has mirrored surfaces, plenty of RGB lighting, an OLED display above the rear IO block, and ports. So many ports! Does anyone actually use all of the features on one of these HEDT boards? Probably not, but they’re there just in case. 4-way RAID 0 M.2 SSDs and more than 10GB/s of combined transfer speeds—why not?