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ASUS ROG ZENITH EXTREME (AMD X399) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket TR4 Threadripper in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 4, 2017 3:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: ASUS

ROG ZENITH EXTREME Circuit Analysis Continued

 

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ASUS is using an ALC1220 rebranded to S1220 as the audio codec, but they are also using an ESS Sabre 9018Q2C DAC. You can also re-task the front panel headers. The motherboard also uses high-quality Nichicon Gold Series capacitors and PCB division and left/right channel separation to improve audio quality. It also uses a low voltage OP-AMP I will show further down.

 

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The Intel i211AT is used for the 1Gbit NIC along with a LAN Guard protection SMD for ESD spikes. We also get the Wireless AC/AD (WiGig) card that is way ahead of its time; it's labeled QCA9008-TBD1.

 

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The motherboard also comes loaded with an Aquantia AQtion AQC107 NBase-T network card, which offers the ability to hook up to x4 PCI-E 2.0 lanes to offer 10Gbit, 5Gbit, 2.5Gbit, 1Gbit, and 100Mbit networking. A special ICS 9VRS4883BKLF is used for the clock generator, and it seems to use an ASMedia ASM1480 MUX (quick switch) to switch some of its IO, I am not sure how it works, but there is a second clock generator on the motherboard. The clock generator here is the same as used on ASUS's X370 motherboard.

 

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The second clock generator seems to be used to provide clock source so that more than 7 PCI-E devices connected to the CPU can be used together. It is the ICS 9DB833AGILF. The Texas Instruments OPA2836 very-low-power operational amplifier is used to improve audio performance.

 

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The ASMedia ASM3142 USB 3.1 controller and ASM1543 type-C switch and CC logic provide the two USB 3.1 ports on the rear IO panel. The internal USB 3.1 header is routed to the Southbridge's USB 3.1 controller and uses a Pericom PI3EQX as the re-driver and the ASMedia ASM1543 as the type-C switch and CC logic chip.

 

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The BIOS chip provides the BIOS Flashback functionality, and the motherboard has a 128Mbit/16MB ROM (but ASUS changed the brand of the ROM compared to previous generations). The STM32 is a microcontroller that is used to provide functionality such as the OLED display; I found the same chip on the X299 Deluxe, which also has the OLED display.

 

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The ITE IT8665E is used as the SuperIO on the motherboard and provides many monitoring and system management functions. The fan extension card uses a Winbond chip and nuvoTon chip to help extend fan control and temperature sensor input for three extra headers and temperature inputs.

 

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Many ROG chipsets like the one above perform functions ranging from Keybot to other ROG unique features. The TPU chip provides TPU features for overclocking.

 

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We find another ROG chip and two ASMedia ASM1480 quick switches that move x4 PCI-E 3.0 between the last x8 slot and the U.2 connector.

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