ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme review

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ROG Zenith II Extreme  ASUS

ASUS jumps on the TRX40 as well, meet the all-new ROG Zenith II Extreme all ready to tame that new mega-core Threadripper 3000 processor. In this review, we cock the gun that is the ROG Zenith II Extreme from ASUS. ASUS designed a motherboard and then some, the TRX40 motherboard loaded with all the PCIe 4 goodness the Threadripper processors and chipset brings and started connecting all kinds of devices to it. You'll spot an 10 GigE ethernet jack, aluminum heatsink plating for M2 and chipset, audio based on the SupremeFX S1220 codec, WIFI 6 802.11ax Wireless - I mean heck, it even has an active OLED display showing you status codes and CPU temperatures. The Zenith II Extreme is a heavyweight, literally at a staggering 3 kilograms. Hardcore contributors to that mass include a steel backplate and rugged VRM heatsink array. 


The year is 2019, and it's becoming a little common already, I mean CPUs with 24 to even 32 processor cores. AMD unleashed their 3rd generation of Threadripper processors based on the ZEN2 architecture accompanied by that now familiar TRX40 chipset design. And where these mega-core processors really make little sense for your avid PC gamer, these can be very compelling products to developers, content creators and video editors. AMD overhauled the Threadripper and motherboard chipset design, PCIe Gen 4.0 anywhere and everywhere and new memory configurations make the UMA/NUMA discussion a thing of the past, heck, you can even game on these procs as if it was a Ryzen 3000 processor. Based on 7nm ZEN2 dies and the Castle Peak codename, that 32-core 3970X processor with its staggering 64 threads is just unprecedented in this desktop-class. As you can judge from this review, drop-in compatibility with X399 is, unfortunately, not an option ergo the new TRX40 chipset that will be complemented on many motherboards from all big brands. Threadripper 3000 processors are different from their predecessors mainly for reasons including PCI-Express 4.0 and further future-proofing the platform for upcoming generations - forcing AMD to introduce a new motherboard platform and chipset. The new Socket sTRX4 / TRX40 looks identical to the Socket TR4 of the first two generations of Threadrippers, but is not compatible; cooling solutions for existing Threadripper CPUs, however, are suitable for these new models. 

ROG Zenith II Extreme

Right, let's get a few things out of the way first, everything about the motherboard is indeed Xtreme, the 16+3 phase digital power design already is a good indication of that, btw that's 16x 70amp phases. This board supports server-class X550-AT2 (Intel) chip for Dual 10 Gbe LAN. The board also has been fitted with WIFI 6 (802.11ax) for gigabit wireless performance and offers 5.5x higher throughput compared to the 802.11ac 1×1 standard. The board comes with four dual wide PCI Express 4.0 slots, 10 SATA ports, 4 M.2 drive sockets and wherever you place a focus you'll end up in a multitude of something. Twelve USB ports are also available, two of which utilize Type-C connectors and offer full USB 3.2 Gen 2X2 bandwidth for the latest storage devices. The board comes in an XL.ATX form factor, meaning you'll need a chassis that can actually hold this bigger sized motherboard. Let's look at the specifications that placed in a table.


Form factor E-ATX (SSI EEB)
Chipset AMD TRX40
MOSFETs CPU 16x 70A TDA21472
MOSFETs SoC not available
RAM 8x DDR4 DIMM, quad PC4-25600U/DDR4-3200, max. 256GB (UDIMM)
Extension slots 4x PCIe 4.0 x16 (2x x16, 2x x8), 2x M.2/M-Key (PCIe 4.0 x4/SATA, 22110/2280/2260/2242, DIMM.2), 2x M.2/M-Key (PCIe 4.0 x4, 2280/2260/2242)
External connectors 1x USB-C 3.2 (ASM3242), 1x USB-C 3.1 (TRX40), 4x USB-A 3.1 (CPU), 2x USB-A 3.1 (TRX40), 4x USB-A 3.0 (ASMedia), 1x 10GBase-T (Aquantia AQtion AQC107), 1x Gb LAN (Intel I211-AT), 5x jack, 1x toslink
Internal connectors 2x USB-C 3.1 (20-Pin Key-A Header, ASMedia), 4x USB 3.0 (ASMedia), 3x USB 2.0 (TRX40), 4x SATA 6Gb/s (TRX40), 4x SATA 6Gb/s (ASMedia), 1x TPM-Header, 1x ASUS Node
Header Cooling 2x CPU fan 4-Pin, 3x fan 4-Pin, 2x pump 4-Pin, 1x flow rate-sensor, 1x Waterblock-sensor
Header Lighting 2x RGB-Header 4-Pin (5050), 2x RGB-Header 3-Pin (WS2812B)
Buttons/Switches Power-Button (internal), SafeBoot-Button (internal), Retry-Button (internal), clear-CMOS-Button (external), FlexKey-Button (internal), USB BIOS Flashback (external), BIOS switch (internal), MemOK switch (internal), SlowMode switch (internal), pause switch (internal)
Audio 7.1 (Realtek ALC1220/ASUS SupremeFX), DTS Sound Unbound, DAC (ESS 9018Q2C Sabre)
RAID level 0/1/10 (TRX40)
Multi-GPU NVIDIA 3-Way SLI (x16/x16, x16/x16/x8), AMD 3-Way-CrossFireX (x16/x16, x16/x16/x8)
Power connections 1x 24-Pin ATX, 2x 8-Pin EPS12V, 1x 6-Pin PCIe, 1x 4-pin molex
Graphics not available
Lighting RGB, 3 zones (chipset cooler, I/O cover, page right)
Special features audio+solid capacitors, Diagnostic LED (segment indication), Diagnostic LED (LED indicators), 2x M.2-passive cooler, Bluetooth 5.0 + WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2x2, Intel AX200), I/O-shield integrated, front panel, Backplate, display, Dual-BIOS, voltage measurement points, ECC-support
Warranty three years (handling by merchant)

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