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ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex (Intel Z270) Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By Steven Bassiri on Feb 20, 2017 08:10 am CST
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: ASUS

Maximus IX Apex Circuit Analysis Continued

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ASUS's ALC1220 implementation on the Apex isn't as extreme as on some of their other ROG motherboards, but it also doesn't need to be since it's an overclocking centric product. The ALC1220 (rebranded S1220 on ASUS motherboards), offers 120dB SNR output, and an integrated headphone amplifier. The motherboard's audio section is physically isolated from the rest of the motherboard, and ASUS added some Nichicon Gold series audio capacitors to improve audio quality.

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ASUS is using Intel's i219v PHY to complete the Intel NIC circuit, but they also added in "LANGuard," which is designed to prevent ESD from damaging the NIC. USB 3.1 is provided by an ASMedia ASM2142, which is connected to two PCH PCI-E 3.0 lanes. An ASM1543 type-C switch and CC logic chip provides the type-C port support.

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I also found an EtronTech EJ179S, which is a type-C switch and CC logic switch, but I am not sure why ASUS used both the ASM1543 and EJ179S. Needless to say, your type-C port will work correctly. The IC labeled AURA provides RGB LED control. Two 128Mbit ROMs (16MB) provide BIOS redundancy.

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I am not sure what the IC labeled RC02656PY does, but it might be used for extra RGB functionality or one of the many OC features such as condensation detection. The chip labeled BIOS provides the USB FlashBack functionality to recover the BIOS ROM from a file on a USB stick in case the ROM onboard gets corrupted. The nuvoTon NCT6793D is the main SuperIO on the motherboard.

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The ROG chip is in charge of ROG features, including many of the overclocking ones. The TPU chip controls overclocking by controlling the PWM for the VRM and the BCLK clock generator.

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There are only six ASMedia ASM1480 quick switches; they move PCI-E bandwidth between the first three slots. An ASMedia ASM1442K level shifter provides HDMI on the rear IO.

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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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