Extremely Great VRM: If NVIDIA coined the term BFGD (big format game displays) for those huge gaming displays, then ASUS should coin this as the BFVRM, for big format VRM. Most people wouldn't expect there to be enough room for a 16-phase digital VRM, but in this case, they made it by moving down the CPU and memory slightly. They also used the latest in 60A PowIRstages, but without doublers, so that transient response is improved. To cool down this behemoth, ASUS uses similar cooling technology compared to their Dominus Extreme, which is quite impressive.
10Gbit NBase-T and new WIFI: With an added 10Gbit controller, and 1.733Gbps WIFI, as well as Intel Gbit LAN.
Node: There are six fan headers on the motherboard, but in case you need more you can utilize the stealthy Node card, which is the second generation of the fan extension card. The new card allows you to mount six more fan headers and a bunch of extra RGB headers and temperature input sensors in a place in your case that doesn't have a negative effect on your eyes.
Live dash is small: We were hoping that ASUS would increase the size of the OLED display on this new Zenith Alpha, but alas we get a smaller display from the original Zenith.
ASUS's Zenith Extreme Alpha is the natural continuation of the X399 platform for ASUS's high-end offerings, specifically to support the new 2990WX CPU, which requires a lot more power.
The new VRM is excellent. While they did have to push down the CPU and memory a bit to make room for the new VRM, this also means that 4-way spacing isn't possible, but that's not a big issue because not many people run four GPUs.
The audio is excellent, the fan control is excellent, the DIMM.2 and two M.2 slots are a great alternative to 4-way SLI, and we think the motherboard looks awesome. The entire motherboard screams high-end, and if you can afford it, then the Zenith Extreme Alpha is well worth it.
The Bottom Line
ASUS's X399 Zenith Extreme Alpha brings together a huge and well-designed VRM, and excellent feature set, and some stellar good looks, but it will cost you.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Zenith Extreme Alpha Overview]
- Page 3 [ASUS Zenith Extreme Alpha Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASUS Zenith Extreme Alpha Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [VRM and System Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 10 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]