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ASUS ROG ZENITH EXTREME (AMD X399) Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By: Steven Bassiri from Sep 4, 2017 @ 10:50 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: ASUS

ROG ZENITH EXTREME Circuit Analysis Continued


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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