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ASUS PRIME X299-DELUXE Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2066 in Motherboards | Posted: Jul 14, 2017 6:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASUS

ASUS PRIME X299-DELUXE Circuit Analysis Continued

 

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ASUS's Realtek implementation is very simple, a single Realtek ALC1220 with integrated amplifier along with some Nichicon Gold Series audio capacitors and a physical PCB divide are enough to top a lot of things.

 

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ASUS's first Intel NIC is an i219v, which would mean the PCH has an integrated MAC built into it. ASUS's second Intel NIC is an i211AT 1Gbit NIC, which is fully integrated.

 

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Two LANGuard SMDs provide ESD protection on each of the two NICs. The Wireless AD (4.6Gbps)/Wireless AC (1.3Gbps) card is the QCA6174-W0096 from Qualcomm. The Deluxe is the first motherboard to carry this new technology, and it operates at 60GHz, so it only works in some countries.

 

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ASUS didn't mess around with its rear USB 3.1, they took things to the next level and used two USB 3.1 controllers, the ASMedia ASM3142, each of which gets two PCI-E 3.0 lanes from the CPU. The type-C port on the rear uses the ASM1543 controller chip. There is also another ASMedia ASM3142 located near the type-C internal header; it shares x2 PCI-E 3.0 with the second x16 slot when using a 16 lane CPU.

 

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ASUS's ThunderBolt 3 card uses the Intel DSL6540 controller chip, Texas Instruments TPS65982 Type-C controller and power delivery IC, along with a wide array of circuitry to support both ThunderBolt 3, and USB 3.1 (including type-A) on the same card. The fan extension card ASUS uses is identical the ones that have been included with high-end ASUS motherboards for a while; it uses nuvoTon and Winbond fan control ICs to get the job done.

 

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A single 128Mbit/16MB BIOS ROM sits near an STMicro STM32 microcontroller. I am not sure what this IC does, but my best guess is it controls the digital RGB LED header, or it helps with the new OLED or fans. I am surprised ASUS didn't re-label it. The chip labeled BIOS is still lurking around; it provides the USB BIOS Flashback feature so that you can recover from a bad flash.

 

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All that switching and so many chipsets, almost as many as the Rampage V Edition 10. We also get a high-performance PCI-E re-driver, I assume to ensure the highest performance when switching from CPU to PCH based PCI-E lanes when using an x16 CPU. ASUS is making that chip relabeling machine of theirs do some overtime; here we see they rebranded a clock generator (actually that was a smart move since that's one part where the model can make a difference, and it's not obvious).

 

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Those four USB 3.0 ports on the back get their bandwidth from a USB 3.0 hub, the ASM1074, which gets a single USB 3.0 port from the PCH. The main SuperIO is the nuvoTon NCT6796D.

 

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The AURA chip fan is found in multiple places; it helps control the RGB LEDs. A new larger TPU chip can also be found on the motherboard; it helps provide the TPU functions such as better fan control. I assume there is an EPU chip as well hidden under the PCH heat sink I was not able to remove.

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