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ASUS SABERTOOTH Z170 MARK 1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By Steven Bassiri from Oct 20, 2015 @ 9:14 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: ASUS

SABERTOOTH Z170 MARK 1 Circuit Analysis Continued


ASUS is using the Realtek ALC1150 along with a Texas Instruments RC4580 audio amplifier for the headphone output. The audio trace paths are separated on different PCB levels, and the analog PCB signals are isolated from the rest of the motherboard.


The SABERTOOTH Z170 MARK 1 has dual NICs. The first one is powered by Intel (i219v); the second is powered by Realtek (8111H).


The ASM1142 provides two USB 3.1 ports, including a single USB Type-C port. For the Type-C port to operate correctly, you need a type-C switch because the port is reversible. Some of these switches even provide higher USB Power Delivery specification support, in the case of the EJ179 it is 3A at 5V. Interestingly enough, ASUS is using two switches; the EJ179S and EJ179V. The EJ179V is like the EJ179S, but with integrated logic control. The EJ179S seems to be used for USB 3.0 ports located to the left of the USB 3.1 ports while the EJ179V is used for the USB 3.1 type-C port. For extra BLCK overclocking margins, an IDT 6V41538NLG is implemented.


A nuvoTon NCT6793D is the main SuperIO on the motherboard. It helps with fan control, voltage monitoring, and other system features. However, many other ICs are required to provide all the extra TUF functionality, such as microcontrollers to handle extra fan headers and the temperature sensor input. The chip labeled TUF provides three extra headers. The chip labeled TPU should help provide some of ASUS's other functionality such as overclocking. The chip labeled BIOS is probably in charge of the USB flashback functionality, so if something goes wrong with the single 128Mbit BIOS ROM, you can flash it with a USB stick loaded with the BIOS firmware.


An ASMedia ASM1061 provides the two off-white SATA ports. There are numerous ASM1480 PCI-E 3.0 quick switches used to switch bandwidth. The single switch in the image on the left switches SATA bandwidth to the M.2 slot. The four ASMedia 1480s on the right switch 8x of PCI-E 3.0 from the first PCI-E slot to the second if needed.

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