ASUS ROG Zenith X399 Extreme review

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ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme
An impressive Socket TR4 X399 motherboard

With the launch of AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors a new chipset to support these puppies also is born. X399 is the chipset and the motherboard manufacturers have gone wild with it. In this article we will review the ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme.

With its first Threadripper ready motherboard, ASUS goes all out. See TR processors do not only offer many CPU cores and threads, they also offer quad channel memory compatibility as well as 64 PCI-Express Generation 3.0 lanes on the processor alone. That last fact opens up a tremendous amount of possibilities for any motherboard manufacturer, as restrictions are lifted since there is plenty of bandwidth to work with.

Well, you don't have to say 'enthusiast' twice to ASUS, they designed a motherboard that is going completely off the chart when we talk features. Triple M2 SSDs (full x4 PCie gen 3), a U2 connector, how about eight DIMM channels with memory compatibility up-to 3600 MHz? You will spot many PCIE connectors, USB 3.1 ports as well as an abundance of storage options. Much like the price, it is all a bit hard to swallow and digest.

It doesn't stop there though, this board is the wet-dream of a network enthusiast, your single Intel Gigabit Ethernet jack perhaps feels a little shy right? As such you will also get a ROG AREION 10G Ethernet card (Aquantia AQC-107 LAN chip) included (that's 1 / 5 and 10 gbit/s compatible) also for WIFI ASUS is going extreme, you'll get 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. That AD connection, with compatible equipments in a line of sight, you'll easily double that number as it is rated at 4.6Gbps. 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 VRM area, where also an OLED screen is 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 hardware monitor.

Well, all that and RGB LEDs of course. But she sure is pretty, we'll have a lot to talk about. Let's head onwards into the review shall we?


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