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ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 5, 2015 2:54 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASUS

Circuit Analysis Continued

 

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ASUS has really ramped up their SupremeFX audio to new levels. To complement the Realtek codec, ASUS added a separate DAC to handle the outputs, an ES9023P featuring SABRE technology, it supports 112dB DNR. The DAC is provided its own 40MHz oscillator, and Nichicon Gold series electrolytic capacitors are used for the audio. A "Sonic Sense Amp" is used to detect the output impedance of your headphones and adjusts the gain, ASUS says it supports up to 600ohm. A separate RC4580 is an operational amplifier used to power your headphones. A NEC relay is used to avoid the popping during system startup, but it does make an audible clicking sound, but don't worry that is normal.

 

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Intel's i219v is used as the PHY for the integrated GBit LAN from the PCH. ASUS is using an ASMedia ASM1142 which takes in two PCI-E ports and outputs USB 3.1. An EtronTech EJ179V is a USB 3.1 type-C switch with logic control which can handle signals from external power sources.

 

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An IDT6V41538NLG is used as a secondary clock generator to provide much higher BLCK margins than the clock generator Intel provides. An ASMedia ASM1061 is used to provide two SATA6Gb/s ports.

 

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The integrated graphics in the CPU only provides digital display output, so a level shifter (ASM1442K) is needed for the HDMI port on the back. ASUS is using a Winbond 128Mbit (16MB) BIOS ROM and the little chip that says BIOS on it is most likely a secondary embedded controller or used for the USB BIOS Flashback.

 

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The main SuperIO is a nuvoTon NCT6793D it provides fan control, voltage and temperature monitoring, and the PS/2 port on the backpanel. ASUS's TPU IC provides embedded controller functions for overclocking.

 

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A single ASMedia 1480 (PCI-E 3.0 quick switch) switches bandwidth between the PCI-E 4x slot and the two 1x slots discussed earlier. Four other ASM1480s switch 8x of bandwidth between the first and second PCI-E 16x slots for SLI/CrossFireX.

 

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There are two other ROG labeled ICs, and they probably are extra ICs for USB BIOS Flashback and overclocking.

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