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ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula Z270 Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By Steven Bassiri | Jan 3, 2017 11:30 am CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASUS

Maximus IX Formula Circuit Analysis Continued

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The audio section got an upgrade compared to the previous Formula. A new S1220 codec, what I assume is a re-stamped Realtek ALC1220 is a welcome replacement for the ALC1150. While the ALC1220 has an integrated headphone amplifier, ASUS has made major improvements through the use of an RC4580 buffer, ESS Hi-Fi Sabre ES9023P DAC, Nichicon Gold series electrolytic capacitors, de-pop MOSFET, PCB shielding and separation, and a high precision clock source.

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ASUS is using the Intel i219v PHY to compliment the integrated MAC in the PCH but has added LAN Guard which uses magnetics to help protect the LAN port from ESD. ASUS also provides their Wireless AC card (same as on the previous Formula), the QCNFA364A, which offers 2T2R Wireless AC with MU-MIMO technology.

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Two ASMedia ASM2142 provide the USB 3.1 on the rear IO and the USB 3.1 internal header. The ASMedia ASM2142 is the next generation USB 3.1 controller that replaces the ASM1142 and links to the PCH through two PCI-E 3.0 lanes instead of a single PCI-E 3.0 port so that you get 16Gb/s of bandwidth instead of just 8Gb/s for the 10Gb/s USB 3.1 ports. An ASMedia ASM1543 is used as the USB 3.1 type-C switch and CC logic chip.

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The Maximus IX Formula supports ASUS USB BIOS FlashBack feature to recover a corrupt BIOS ROM (this case a single 128Mbit/16MB Winbond IC) from a USB drive, and the chip labeled BIOS is in charge of this feature. The chip labeled AURA is an RGB LED controller, probably for the built-in RGBs on the motherboard. An IDT clock buffer is used for better BCLK overclocking, an unknown ROG chip, and a TPU chip control and provide all of ASUS's unique ROG features. Four ASMedia ASM1480 switch x8 PCi-E 3.0 from the CPU between the first and second PCI-E x16 slots.

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The motherboard's main SuperIO is the nuvoTon NCT6793D. We find another ROG labeled chip, maybe for KeyBot, near the IO panel. An ASMedia ASM1442K level shifter is used to provide HDMI 1.4a from the digital display output of the CPU's iGPU.

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Scared of shorting out your RGB header? Don't worry, ASUS has you covered with a Texas Instruments TPS2592AA 12v eFuse with OVP and blocking FET control.

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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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