ASUS TRX40 Prime Pro Review
Published: 5th December 2019 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Choice is something we're forever banging on about here at OC3D. To quote the old saying, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and the same is true of PC systems. For every person who wants a system which could replicate a Pink Floyd light show, so another likes a stealthy build. There are as many people who use their system exclusively to play low poly MMOs as there are those who only play the most demanding AAA titles, and equally those who never touch gaming but use their PC for photography work, content creation and a whole host of other tasks.
For the ASUS Prime-Pro the biggest thing has to be the white aesthetic. In recent years the RGB market has exploded and with it the majority of hardware components have turned to an all-black look so that your lighting choice is shown in its best, ahem, light. Excellent if you love to bathe the side of your face in multi-hued goodness, but not so much fun if you prefer to stick with the Apple aesthetic of going with a white system. Given that cases are probably the least changed component in your setup it would be a shame if you're only able to put a black PCB inside your white internals. Thankfully ASUS have kept to the looks that have made the Prime famous and the TRX40 Prime-Pro has white and very bright silver nearly everywhere that counts. There are still RGB options if you want to take advantage of that particular modern feature, but primarily it's a white setup that lets you continue to use the other white hardware you own. KFA GPUs and the like.
As a model which doesn't fall under the ROG banner you would be forgiven for thinking that the Prime-Pro is for those who know no better, but as you can see from our graphs the gaps between the very best, most expensive options in the new TRX40 line-up, and the worst, is almost nothing at all. Sure there are a few motherboards that stretch their legs in the more demanding tests, but by and large whatever you ask of the Prime, and whether you're asking it to do it at stock or with a manual overclock in place, the results will impress you. It never quite separates itself from the pack but neither is it left dangling off the foot of the graph. It's a thoroughly midfield runner and, whilst that might seem like we're damning with faint praise, that is often all we ask. After all, if you're determined to run a white system the last thing you want is to have to make enormous performance compromises to attain that. Once again, choice.
There are a couple of minor areas that might make it easier to pass the Prime Pro by though. Firstly the ROG range has proven so successful that ASUS now offer a wide selection of models within that umbrella. Whereas once the Prime was the gatekeeper before you reached the Crosshair Extreme or Rampage Extreme ROG boards, it's now just another in the upper-middle of the ASUS price pack. You have to really want the white look then to pick it above a ROG model, especially if you place an undue emphasis upon the brands in your forum signature or video description. Secondly the VRM heatsink is undoubtedly a great performer as even a casual glance at the VRM temperature graph will attest, but we can't think of too many people who would describe it as attractive. Worst of all though ASUS have chosen to split the EATX12V headers across both sides of this behemoth heatsink, leading to some cable tidying issues and, in larger cases, perhaps the need for an extension to one of your PSU cables. As we all know PSU manufacturers don't give you a millimetre more cable than they can get away with and the extra inch or so to hit the right hand connector might be too much. It's mostly untidy though, and as we saw from the temperatures unnecessary too. A tiny bit snipped off the heatsink wont lead your VRMs to cook as the Prime-Pro is a star in this regard.
The ASUS TRX40 Prime-Pro lives up to the fame of that name, being a robust and reliable performer that ticks all the boxes you demand without breaking into gaudy territory. It overclocks well, performs well at both stock and overclocked settings, has plenty of connectivity options and runs nice and cool even with the 24 core TR 3960X working overtime. If you must have a white motherboard it certainly won't leave you disappointed with your aesthetic choices. It might be the safe, middle of the road choice, but sometimes that's more than good enough and at £410 rather than the £600+ of most TRX40 motherboards it's attractively priced too.