ASUS Shows Off Flagship ROG Zenith Extreme X399 Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | June 3, 2017 - 08:09 PM |
Tagged: X399, tr4, Threadripper, computex, ASUS ROG, asus, amd

Asus is showing off its flagship motherboard for the AMD X399 Threadripper platform at Computex this week, and it is quite the RGB laden beast. The Asus Republic of Gamers Zenith Extreme measures 12” x 10.9” and is powered by a 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS12V, and a molex connector for extra PCI-E power. The power is conditioned by an 8+2 power phase for the CPU and both banks of DDR4 memory. Overclocking should not be an issue, and even appears to be encouraged with the inclusion of usual array of various ROG overclocking features (LN2 and overclocking buttons, an OLED readout, on board start and reset buttons, ect)

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The top half of the board is dominated by the massive TR4 socket and the eight DIMM slots that surround it (128GB maximum). Above the CPU sits the power phases under a small aluminum heat spreader that has a heat pipe to connect it to the heasink above the rear IO connectors. The bottom half of the board holds four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x8/x16/x8), one PCI-E 3.0 x1 slot, one PCI-E 3.0 x4 slot, one M.2 slot under the X399 chipset heatsink, one U.2 connector, and six SATA 6Gbps ports. There is also a riser board by the rightmost DIMM slot that reportedly holds two M.2 22110 connectors.

Networking support includes Intel I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet, ROG 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11AD Wi-Fi. Further, the Zenith Extreme features SupremeFX audio (S1220 codec and ESS901BQ2C DAQ). Fans of RGB will be happy to see Asus is using RGB LEDs on the I/O and chipset heatsinks as well as a configurable OLED display on the I/O heatsink.

Rear I/O includes two USB 2.0, 12 USB 3.1 Gen 1, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps, one Type-A and one Type-C), and six audio ports. There are also external antenna connectors for the built-in Wi-Fi.

This is one monster of a motherboard, and it should allow users to take full advantage of AMD’s Threadripper processor. Unfortunately, there is no word on exact pricing or availability beyond that it is expected sometime in August following the estimated launch date of Threadripper.


June 3, 2017 | 11:08 PM - Posted by MRFS

Thanks, Tim:

Re: There is also a riser board by the rightmost DIMM slot that reportedly holds two M.2 22110 connectors.

Given the location of that riser, is it possible
that those 2 M.2 connectors are fed by the CPU
and are NOT downstream of a bottleneck similar
to the DMI 3.0 link?

EDIT:

This article calls it a "DIMM.2" slot:

http://wccftech.com/asus-rog-x399-zenith-extreme-x370-crosshair-vi-extre...

http://cdn.wccftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ASUS-ROG-X399-Zenith-...

Look at upper right, between the 4 DIMM slots there
and the 24-pin power connector:

http://cdn.wccftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ASUS-ROG-X399-Zenith-...

Forum thread here:

https://hardforum.com/threads/new-dimm-2-slot-on-asus-flagship-rog-zenit...

June 4, 2017 | 02:06 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Ah, looking at the [H] thread, it makes more sense why they called it a DIMM.2 slot, b/c it is a DIMM slot ;-). With the riser board installed it was hard to tell. I am not sure how that DIMM.2 slot is wired up as far as how many lanes it has or if it goes through the chipset or not. It's possible it's a direct CPU link I suppose, but I would guess it'd still be limited in the # of lanes allocated to it, would be awesome if it got more than x4 though for sure! 

Maybe with X599 we will see AMD team up with Micron for some XPoint DIMMs over the DRAM interface ;-).

June 4, 2017 | 03:58 AM - Posted by Hakuren

Not very 'workstationish' board. Even shafted SATA connectivity to 6 ports. Aimed squarely at gamers (yeah I know 32 thread gaming... of course RGB) and benchmarks.

Looks like all motherboard vendors force people who want something more storage-wise to buy more HBAs or RAID controllers. Ehh Nuts.

June 4, 2017 | 03:23 PM - Posted by StephanS

I dont use any SATA port.So it makes me wonder who needs 6 ports in a workstation (not a server).
OS on high speed M.2, then you have two more m.2 for high speed data, then you can add 20 terabyte of local storage in Raid 10 and still have 2 SATA port left over.

Now, personally I would not use the OS/MB for RAID, but use a HW raid PCIE card. So in this case, 6 sata ports seem like 6 to many :)

June 4, 2017 | 05:18 PM - Posted by ZeDestructor

Alternative: 10G NAS running ZFS with lots of drives :D

June 4, 2017 | 05:17 PM - Posted by ZeDestructor

Mos higher-end users are running NAS devices for big storage. We care more for the 10G than having local SATA ports for big local storage.

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