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ASUS Z170-PRO (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By Steven Bassiri on Mar 8, 2016 08:36 am CST
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASUS

Z170-PRO Circuit Analysis Continued


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.


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.


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.


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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Steven Bassiri

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steven Bassiri

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records under his belt. He brings that knowledge and experience to TweakTown.

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