First thing I did was lay the board out and start pulling the covers to see what lies underneath.
Here you can see the rear of the Zenith Extreme alpha and its partial rear board cover removed. This houses the under board LED array and allows edge lighting of the board along with some protection of the underlying components. One thing to note is that you need to be careful if disassembling this board as this panel will need to be removed to remove the VRM heatsink. the LED connector which connects the backplate LED array to the motherboard is quite small and if not careful it can likely be broken.
Here we now remove the VRM heatsink and you can clearly see this thing is not only ridiculously massive but also paired to another piece via heatpipe just to help that extra bit. Now, why is such a large cooler needed? Oh, that’s right, it has a massive 16 power stages beneath it just waiting to push the up to 32 Core 2990WX which is not an easy feat for most boards. The CPU in our testing can pull up to and even a little over 250W at box stock. the VRM consists of 16 IR3555 60A power stages.
The audio codec is an S1220 unit from Realtek which of course is ROG rebranded.
The ICS 9VRS4883BKLF is a clock generator used on many ASUS AMD based boards and appears to let you change clock rates for the BCLK without interfering with the FCLK, DRAM or PCIe clocks.
The ASM3142 is an ASMedia chipset for USB 3.1 Gen 2 rear ports and is a PCIe Gen 3 x2 link.
The Intel i211AT is used for feeding the rear panel 1Gb LAN port (RJ45)
The Aquantia AQC107 is a metal shielded controller and is for the 10G rear RJ45 port.
The supplemental cooler we saw before once removed we sound it is used for cooling the Aquantia AQC111C which is the controller for the 5G LAN.
Next up for the IC’s feeding the REAR IO as well would be an ASMedia ASM1442K which feeds the HDMI on the REAR IO.
Lastly would be the ASMedia ASM1464 which is used to feed some of the USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) ports.
The main VRM controller is an ASP1405i which I am quite certain is just a rebranded International Rectifier IR35201. This is an 8 phase digital controller which can run at 8+0, 7+1 or 6+2. This is a very competent controller used across many top end boards from ASUS including the Maximus XI Extreme we looked at recently.
The memory VRM is controlled by an ASP01103 chipset which is a 2 channel model and should be more than enough for the memory performance you can expect from a Ryzen based system.
We’re gonna get her put back together and let’s jump into this thing and see how she works.