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ASUS Z170-PRO (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Mar 8, 2016 2:36 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASUS

Z170-PRO Circuit Analysis Continued

 

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The Intel 3.1 controller, known as the DSL6540 "Alpine Ridge" controller, provides USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3 depending on the implementation. The Intel USB 3.1 controller an expensive part, and is the a large part of the reason the Z170-Pro costs almost $40 more than the Z170-A. The implementation is using the Alpine Ridge controller for USB 3.1, and ASUS adds an EtronTech EJ179V for USB Power Delivery 2.0 and USB 3.1 Type-C switch capabilities. ASUS is also using the integrated MAC along with the Intel i219v PHY for the 1Gbit NIC.

 

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The audio area is another area where the Z170-Pro is dubbed superior to the Z170-A. You cannot see it, but the Z170-Pro uses an ALC1150 while the Z170-A used the ACL892. The ALC1150 is a superior audio codec, and much newer. ASUS provides the audio circuit with some Nichicon Gold series audio capacitors and a Texas Instruments R458012 amplifier for the front panel output. For better BLCK overclocking margins, ASUS uses the IDT 6V4153NLG.

 

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A 128Mbit (16MB) BIOS ROM sits in a DIP socket for easy replacement, and a TPU EC provides expanded fan control and temperature monitoring. The ASMedia ASM1442K is a level shifter that converts digital video into HDMI.

 

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The nuvoTon NCT6793D is the main Super IO, and it does most of the basic system monitoring. These four ASMedia ASM1480 are quick switches and together switch 8x PCI-E 3.0 between the first and second PCI-E 16x slots.

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