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GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Gaming 9 Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By Steven Bassiri from Jul 10, 2017 @ 8:12 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

X299-Aorus Gaming 9 Circuit Analysis Continued

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Okay, bear with me here as the parts list of this very advanced Realtek ALC1220 implementation is intense. Looking up we have the Realtek chip along with some power circuitry, which is mostly for the amplifiers. GIGABYTE looks to have moved away from the OP-AMP sockets. For starters, we get a TPS65151 split-rail converter with +/-, and then also four TPS7A49 ultralow-noise positive linear regulators, specifically made for operational amplifiers in the audio industry, it can even be used to improve upon another regulators' filtering.

One difference between the Gaming 9 and Gaming 7 is the usage of a slightly better digital to audio converter on the gaming 9; the ESS Sabre ES9018BK2M 127dB rated DAC rather than the normal ES9018.

There is also a Savitech SV3S1018A headphone impedance sensor, so there is no need for gain switches. I found three Texas Instruments LME49720 dual operational amplifiers, they can be used as amps, pre-amps, or line driver but here I think they could be used as either. GIGABYTE states that two are used to help isolate the left and right channels, but there is a third that might act as a pre-amp for the OP1622 amplifier.

We get the Texas Instruments OPA1622 SoundPlus HiFi operational amplifier to seal the deal. Filtering is done with both Nichicon Gold series audio capacitors and WIMA audio film capacitors. An NEC relay prevents de-pop, and there isn't a physical PCB isolation line like we are used to seeing. That NEX relay makes it sound like your PC is ticking when shutting down or turning on.

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GIGABYTE used both Intel's i219v and the Killer e2500. The wireless LAN comes from a Killer 2x2 wireless AC 1535, which is quite good.

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Two ASMedia ASM3142 controllers are used on the motherboard; one for the rear and one for the front. Each one is fed x2 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, so each has 16Gb/s to work with. The rear IO controller provides the type-C port along with a Texas Instruments HD3220 switch and then feeds into a hub.

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The Realtek RTS5411 chip is a USB 3.0 hub, and takes one USB 3.0 port and outputs four, or it might take two and produce four, GIGABYTE doesn't specify, but they have enough ports to do it. The Realtek RTS5423 takes in a single USB 3.1 port and outputs to four.

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We find a brand new ITE chip, the IT8295FN, which is used for RGB LED control. I assume the new one also supports the digital RGB LED features, so you can independently talk to each LED on the strip. You do need to buy a digitally addressable RGB LED strip for it to work.

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A brand new NXP switch is being used, the NXP DBTL08GP053, which supports PCI-E as well as other high-speed signals such as USB 3.1 at 10Gbps. It's a crossbar switch IC, which means it could connect multiple inputs with multiple outputs, so it's more advanced than the MUX/DeMUX quick switches we are used to seeing.

GIGABYTE used this because of the crazy lane count changes, and if they wanted to support all types of switching, they had to use a switch which was more flexible instead of adding many more switches. We also find the IT8951E, the controller we find on GIGABYTE motherboards with USB BIOS flash recovery, known as QFLASH Plus.

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Finally, we arrive at the main SuperIO, the IT8686E, and it controls system management functions like monitoring and provides PS/2 for the rear IO. An ICS6V41742A clock generator is also located on the motherboard.

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An ITE IT8795E is used to expand fan control operations, and the motherboard offers dual 128Mbit/16MB BIOS ROMs.

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