A motherboard tested
ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme αlpha
The X399 platform sent out of space into another dimension
We review perhaps the best X399 from ASUS, the ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha review. A motherboard that impresses in many ways and features, an X399 motherboard that easily manages the latest many-core Threadripper procs. We'll pair it with the 24-core / 48 threads Threadripper 2970 WX today.
Alpha (Α or α) and omega (Ω or ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and a title of Christ and God in the Book of Revelation. This pair of letters is used as Christian symbols and are often combined with the Cross, Chi-rho, or other Christian symbols. When we look at its religious meaning, in the New Testament Book of Revelation, God says, “I am Alpha and Omega,” meaning that he is the beginning and end of all things. α was released for the AMD X399 platform and Ω for Intel's X299 platform.
Well, you don't have to say 'enthusiast' twice to ASUS, they designed a motherboard that is going completely off the charts when we talk features. Triple M.2 SSDs (full x4 PCIe gen 3), eight DIMM channels. You will spot many PCIe connectors, USB 3.1 ports, as well as an abundance of storage options. It doesn't stop there though, this board has fantastic network offerings, your single Intel Gigabit Ethernet jack perhaps feels a little shy right? As such, you will also get 10G Ethernet embedded into the board, (Aquantia AQC-107) included. And that means the board is ready for 1, 2.5, 5 and 10 Gbit/s compatible ethernet, we'll put that to the test. Next to the two ethernet jacks, ASUS also includes WIFI (Wi-fi 5) done properly, 1x1 802.11 ad Wi-Fi and then 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + BT4.1. So with that AC connection you can already get close to 1 Gbps. Audio is based on a Realtek S1220 Codec which then (can) gets optimized by ASUS software. You'll spot extensive shields and heatsinks that mold the Zenith into a nice looking design. ASUS also includes some active cooling over the improved VRM area, also an OLED screen is once again present, displaying and functioning as POST progress and any relevant POST error code in the event of a failed boot-up. Once booted into Windows, it functions as a hardware monitor.
|ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha|
|CPU Socket||AMD Socket TR4|
|Memory||8 x DDR4 (Max 128GB)
Up to DDR4-3600+ (OC)
|Multi-GPU||3-way SLI/3-way CFX|
|PCIe slots||4 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x16/x8)
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4)
|M.2||2 x M.2 2242~22110 (PCIe and SATA)
1 x M.2 2242-2280 (PCIe)
|USB 3.1 Gen 2||1 x front
1 x Type-C
3 x Type-A
|USB 3.1 Gen 1||12|
|Networking||Intel I211-AT 1G Ethernet
Aquantia AQC-107 10G Ethernet
The board, as shown, is an exclusive segmented product and certainly is a decent motherboard alright with proper dark and subtle looks and feel. On the next page, a word or two on the processors and architecture, after which we'll dive into a full photo-shoot with the 649,- USD / Euros costing ROG Zenith Extreme αlpha.