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MSI X299 XPOWER GAMING AC Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By: Steven Bassiri from Sep 27, 2017 @ 9:50 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

X299 XPOWER GAMING AC Circuit Analysis Continued


The audio section of the motherboard features the Realtek ALC1220 along with an OP1652 amplifier, as the ALC1220 only has one amplified output (for the rear port on this board). Gold series audio capacitors improve audio quality, and the audio section of the PCB is physically isolated from the rest of the motherboard.


An Intel i219v complements the integrated Gbit MAC in the PCH for one of the Gbit LAN ports, and an i211AT is used as a standalone NIC for the second Gbit LAN port.


An Intel Wireless-AC 8265NGW is used for 2x2 867Mbps WIFI and BT 4.2. An ASMedia ASM1061 provides two extra SATA6Gb/s ports.


Two ASMedia ASM3142 each get x2 PCI-E 3.0 to produce the two rear USB 3.1 ports and the internal USB 3.1 type-C header. ASmedia ASM1543 are used to provide type-C switch capability and CC logic.


The rear IO panel features six USB 3.0 ports from two ASMedia ASM1074 hubs which each take in one USB 3.0 port and output three.


I counted at least four ASMedia ASM1464 USB 3.1 re-drivers (two near the rear IO and two near the internal header) that would help to improve USB 3.0 signaling across the PCB or longer distances. I found many nuvoTon chipsets all over the motherboard, most of which are used to expand fan and hardware monitoring capabilities. The NCT7802Y are used as hardware monitoring/fan control ICs, and the nuvoTon NCT5605Y are used as GPIO extenders (OC features, lighting, etc.) Each header also gets a nuvoton NCT3947, which provides, even more, fan control capabilities and auto sensing.


An ICS 6V41742B is used as the clock generator that provides expanded BCLK capabilities, and an ICS 9DB433AGLF is used as a clock buffer to support more PCI-E devices.


A nuvoTon NCT6795D is the main super IO used for system management, PS/2, and basic fan control and system monitoring. Digital RGB LED control is through an NEC R5F104BCA microcontroller, it controls the RGB LEDs built into the motherboard.


The motherboard has two BIOS ROMs, and I believe the NXP LPC812 chip pictures on the right is used for USB BIOS recovery, as it's an ARM-based microcontroller.

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