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MSI X99A TOMAHAWK Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By: Steven Bassiri from Nov 11, 2016 @ 11:48 CST
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: MSI

X99A TOMAHAWK Circuit Analysis Continued


The Realtek ALC1150 is the audio codec on the motherboard and utilizes three OP1652 amplifiers. Nichicon Gold Series audio capacitors also help improve the sound as does a physical PCB divide to separate the analog audio domain from the mostly digital domain on the motherboard.


The X99A TOMAHAWK features two 1Gbit NICs, the i210AT, and the i218LM PHY to compliment the integrated MAC in the PCH. Use of the LM instead of the V series i218 means you get more of a workstation NIC rather than a consumer version. An ASMedia ASM1142 provides two USB 3.1 ports, and a Texas Instruments HD3220 is used as the type-C port switch.


Multiple ASM1464 USB 3.0 repeaters are used to improve the signal quality of the USB 3.0 internal headers. A few ASM1467 re-drive PCI-E signal strength to improve the signaling from the CPU's PCI-E controller to the M.2 and U.2 ports. Two 128Mbit (16MB) BIOS ROMs are located onboard and provide redundancy in case one BIOS ROM image gets corrupted.


The main SuperIO is the nuvoTon NCT6792D, which provides temperature, voltage, and fan monitoring and control as well as the PS/2 port on the rear IO panel. A Renesas R5F104ACA microcontroller is used to provide the RGB LED header. An ASMedia ASM1074 USB 3.0 hub provides four rear USB 3.0 ports.

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