Packaging and Overview
ASUS's box and packaging are top notch.
The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, two weaved SATA 6Gbps cables, three thermistor cables, RGB extension cable, addressable RGB LED extension cable, ROG logo stickers, WIFI antenna, Q-Connector, M.2 screws, ROG thank you card, ROG coaster, SLI HB Bridge, dual function screwdriver, DIMM.2 with heat sink, ROG NODE, NODE power cable, NODE connector, NODE screw kit, USB with drivers, and manuals.
ASUS put seven fan headers on the motherboard, all of them are hybrid DC/PWM mode fans, one is occupied by the heat sink fans. The orange and blue fan headers are all rated 1A, but the blue share controls. The red and yellow headers offer 3A, but the yellow headers run full speed by default. The purple header is for the NODE, which extends fan control and offers more temperature input as well as RGB support. The two thermal probe input headers are circled in green. The motherboard has RGB accents, and all of the heat sinks and covers are metal, even over the audio section and the PCI-E area. The back of the motherboard has a heat sink for the back of the VRM and a shield on the right side of the motherboard.
The IO shield offers a clear CMOS button, a BIOS FlashBack button, WIFI antenna, eight USB 3.0 ports, 10G LAN, 1G LAN, three USB 3.1 typeA, USB 3.1 type-C, and gold plated audio with S/PDIF out.
The PCI-E layout goes x16/x8/x16/x8, but if you use the M.2 slot under the PCI-E cover, it will take the x8 slot down to x4, and that's because ASUS decided to use one of the normal x4 that the M.2 slot would get from the CPU and give it to the 10G LAN and both USB 3.1 controllers on the rear IO. The x4 slot is wired to the chipset. The other two M.2 slots are on the DIMM.2 card and are connected to the CPU.
There are eight SATA6Gb/s ports on the motherboard along with a right-angled USB 3.0 internal header. There is a USB 3.1 (10Gbps) type-C internal header under the 24-pin power connector.
There are voltage read points behind the 24-pin connector., and right above them are power and reset buttons as well as an addressable RGB LED header and an RGB LED header. At the bottom right corner of the motherboard we find a Safe Boot button, a BIOS switch button, a slow mode switch, an RSVD switch (probably for cold bug), an LN2 mode jumper, a retry button, a NODE header, a USB 3.0 header, a water flow sensor header, and water temperature header (in and out).
At the bottom of the motherboard, we have an addressable RGB LED header, an RGB header, and two USB 2.0 headers. Behind the CPU socket, we find a hole so you can stick a thermal probe in there during LN2 overclocking.
The VRM heat sink has two fans in it that actively cool it. The heat sinks are very heavy and loaded with quality.
- 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]