With the best overclocking feature in its price class, ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha gets our voice to build Threadripper-based extreme performance.
28% of maximum power output is greater than its predecessor
Outstanding overclocking capability
Overclocking options that are consistent with multiple boots fail and no settings are lost
The buttons and switches make it easy to recover from a failed overclock
OLED status display helps diagnose boot failure
The original Asus Zenith II Extreme looked like one of the best TRX40 models when we tested it, but it's hard to justify the price. And now that we've tested the only $ 850 TRX40 motherboard on the market (Gigabyte's TRX40 Aorus Xtreme), we may be ready to finally make a decision. Asus sent a new board just in time to bite into the second apple.
- Socket sTRX4
- Chipset AMD TRX40
- Form Factor EATX (10.9"-deep)
- Voltage Regulator 16 Phases
- Video Ports ✗
- USB Ports 20Gb/s: (1) Type-C 2x2; 5Gb/s: (4) Type A, 10Gb/s: (6) Type A, (1) Type-C
- Network Jacks 10GbE, Gigabit Ethernet, (2) Wi-Fi Antenna
- Audio Jacks (5) Analog, (1) Digital Out
- Legacy Ports/Jacks ✗
- Other Ports/Jack BIOS Flashback, CLR_CMOS buttons
- PCIe x16 (4) v4.0 (x16/x8/x16/x8*) (*four lanes shared with M.2-2)
- PCIe x8 ✗
- PCIe x4 ✗
- PCIe x1 ✗
- CrossFire/SLI 4x / 3x
- DIMM slots (8) DDR4
- M.2 slots (1) PCIe 4.0 x4* / SATA, (2) PCIe 4.0 x4^, (Takes 4 lanes from *PCIe 4, ^SATA E1-4)
- U.2 Ports ✗
- SATA Ports (8) SATA 6Gb/s (four shared)
- USB Headers (2) v3.x Gen2, (2) v3.x Gen1, (2) v2.0
- Fan Headers (6) 4-Pin (plus 6 on expander card)
- Legacy Interfaces System (Beep-code) Speaker
- Other Interfaces FP-Audio, TPM, (2) ARGB LED, (2) RGB LED, Asus Node, Water In/Out/Flow, (2) Thermistor
- Diagnostics Panel Verbose (Asus LiveDash)
- Internal Button/Switch Power, FlexKey, Safe Boot, Boot Retry, BIOS Switch / Slow Mode, M.2-3 Disable, FS Fan
- SATA Controllers (2) AMS1062 PCIe x2, Integrated (0/1/10)
- Ethernet Controllers AQC107 PCIe, WGI211AT PCIe
- Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Intel AX200 802.11ax (2.4 Gb/s) / BT 5.0 Combo
- USB Controllers ASM3242 PCIe x4, (2) ASM1074 4-port USB 3.0 Hub
- HD Audio Codec ALC1220
- DDL/DTS Connect ✗
We examined the specifications to see if anything had changed, and even asked Asus PR, only to be given a vague description of the Zenith II Extreme Alpha that was better optimized for extreme overclocking. We looked for even the slightest change, and finally found a small update: While the original Zenith II Extreme had sixteen 70A MOSFETs, which were newly equipped with the Infineon TDA21490 90A section.
Connected via a heat pipe, the second voltage regulator heatsink covers most of the Zenith II Extreme Alpha connectivity. This includes the Aquatia 10Gb / s Ethernet controller, Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller, ASMedia USB3.2 Gen 2x2 controller and four port USB3 Gen1 hub.
Turning the board, we found that the improved MOSFET was driven by the same ASP1405I controller, which appeared to be Infineon IR35201. We can also see the sparkle where the back cover's thermal panel contacts the board, directly below the CPU core power transistor.
Audio is provided from two onboard USB adapters using the Asus AEC1220 codec version and ESS9018Q2C DAC.
audio controller and I / O, each connector on the Zenith II Extreme Alpha seems to be carried from its predecessor, from the USB BIOS Flashback and CLR_CMOS buttons and the USB Type-C and Type-C 2.2 ports on the I / O panel, for a collection of sophisticated buttons and switches in front bottom corner described in our previous review. Even the OLED Live Dash panel above the I / O port, and the distance of the PCIe x16 / x8 / x16 / x8 slot that supports two three-slot graphics cards, still exists.
If you want to add an M.2 drive to Zenith II Extreme, you need to remove the large covers for both slots. However, this is not connected to the fan case, so you can turn it off if your drive has its own heatsink.
Changes outside the improved voltage control component are not found on the board, but in the installation kit. Although we did not find the Asus brand screwdriver in the Alpha kit, Zenith II Extreme