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MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE (Intel Z390) Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By Steven Bassiri from Dec 18, 2018 @ 22:00 CST
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: MSI

MEG Z390 GODLIKE Circuit Analysis Continued

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MSI did it again, they used two audio codecs so that the rear and the internal audio can not only play different outputs, but they will both get the benefit of the integrated DAC in the ALC1220. MSI does add two ESS Sabre parts; the ES9018K2M DAC for the rear and ES Sabre 9601K headphone driver for the internal. There is also a CT5302 audio SRC bridge; I assume it's there for de-pop or because there are two audio codecs.

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MSI is using two Killer e2500 NICs as well as the WIFI 1550 card, which is basically Intel's new 9000 series WIFI NICs that support up to 1.73Gbps. However, this motherboard also features Killer xTend, which will allow the motherboard's NICs to operate as a switch, so other devices can get internet from the board. We found two re-drivers, one we assume is for the WIFI, the ASM1467, and one we assume is for the wired NICs, the Texas Instruments DS80PCI402AQ.

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We also took the cover off of the MSI streaming card. First, it uses an ASMedia ASM1042 to produce USB from PCI-E, for the controller, the EtronTech EJ511, which is common in USB capture devices. The EtronTech EJ511 requires an HDMI codec, and that's the ITE IT66021.

We find another CT5302, which might actually be why we find another on the motherboard, perhaps it allows this card to work with the audio on the motherboard. A nuvoton NUC126 series microcontroller runs the show. Nice, we find two NB7NPQ1004M, which are two port USB 3.1 re-drivers, and then two type-C HD3220 switches for the internal type-C USB 3.1 type-C internal headers.

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What you see above is an ASMedia ASM1074 USB 3.0 hub that outputs to four ASM1464 re-drivers, which in turn output to the two USB 3.0 internal headers. On the rear IO, we find an ASMedia ASm1042 USB 3.0 controller.

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Here we see the ESS Sabre 9601K headphone driver on the rear of the PCB. An IDT6V41606B clock generator is used to enable BCLK overclocking.

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The main SuperIO is the nuvoton NCT6797D controller, and we find a lot of other smaller nuvoton controllers that help out with expanding fan control and other superior features. A nuvoton NUC126 series ARM microcontroller is used for RGB LED control.

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An M481Z series micontroller is used for the LCD display; we believe it's made by a subsidiary of nuvoton. Another chip we typically see is this "504N" chip; it's used for USB BIOS Flashback.

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Here we find two nuvoton helper ICs, one is a GPIO controller (most likely for OC features), and another is a hardware monitoring IC. We find two 128Mbit BIOS ROMs on this board.

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