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ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero (AMD X370) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket AM4 in Motherboards | Posted: Mar 20, 2017 1:08 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASUS

Crosshair VI Hero Circuit Analysis Continued

 

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ASUS's ALC1220 implementation is a bit different than many other vendors for Ryzen. They use the ALC1220, which offers 120dB SNR and an integrated headphone amplifier, but they improve the output with an ESS Sabre ESS9023P DAC, a Texas Instruments RC4580 buffer, and a high-precision clock source.

 

They do have a custom de-pop circuit which you can enable or disable in the UEFI. Nichicon Gold series electrolytic audio capacitors and audio PCB isolation improve audio quality.

 

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On Intel motherboards we usually find something like an i219v, which is a small PHY that works in conjunction with the integrated Gbit MAC in the PCH, you won't find that on Ryzen motherboards. Ryzen motherboards don't have integrated LAN in their chipsets, which isn't a bad thing, but it means that vendors have to implement full NIC solutions such as the Intel i211AT we find on the Crosshair VI Hero.

 

ASUS also added LAN Guard to protect the NIC from ESD. To expand upon the integrated USB 3.1, ASUS has added an ASMedia ASM1143 USB 3.1 controller along with an ASMedia ASM1543 type-C control chip for the rear panel USB 3.1 type-C port.

 

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We can find another ASMedia ASM1543 type-C control chip and a Pericom PI3EQX USB 3.1 single-port re-driver for the internal USB 3.1 front panel header; they improve the output from the X370's integrated USB 3.1 controller. The SPI link that connects the BIOS to the system is in the CPU for Ryzen, this is part of AMD's new SOC design, making the chipset almost obsolete.

 

ASUS uses a single 128Mbit ROM (same density as current Intel high-end offerings), and a chip labeled BIOS implements ASUS's BIOS Flashback recovery feature.

 

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There are two ICS clock buffers in the image on the right; they provide the ability to increase the BCLK to reach memory speeds above 3200MHz. You won't find separate clock buffers that allow BCLK adjustment on most motherboards. The ITE IT8665E is the main SuperIO on the motherboard.

 

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The IC labeled AURA provides RGB LED control on the motherboard. You will find a little Texas Instruments IC labeled 2592AA near each RGB LED header; it is an eFuse that will protect the RGB header if you insert the strip backward.

 

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A chip labeled TPU provides extra basic features in the overclock realm, it's a custom embedded controller. Other chips with the ROG label provide other exclusive ROG functionality like KeyBot.

 

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We have two ROG controllers on the motherboard; the second is pictured above. The motherboard also has many ASMedia ASM1480 quick switches that move around motherboard bandwidth.

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