ASUS X399 ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha Preview
Published: 16th February 2019 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
It's amazing how quickly you get used to something. The last set of ROG motherboards blew us away by going all in on the black packaging instead of the famous red, but now you can see why they did it. It just looks more.. premium. Which it should at this price. If the "wow" factor is a big element in your happiness with a purchase, you'll be thrilled with the Zenith Extreme Alpha.
We've covered a lot of what you can see here on the previous pages, but it's always nice to see it in the flesh. We're big fans of the big heatsink around the PCI Express ports. It reminds us of the first TUF board with its Armor and they always looked the business. It gives a blank canvas upon which you can express your creativity, or at minimum just keeps everything cooler than a regular sized heatsink will.
This commitment to keeping the motherboard cool extends around the back where you can see the enormous covering as well as the big extended back plate for the VRMs.
The VRM area now has active cooling and you can just see the two fans through the slots in the VRM heatsink. Hopefully this doesn't come at the same noise cost that the 40mm fans of our youth had. If you're keen you can also spot the first two cooling headers on the PCB, as well as the RGB and addressable headers that are such an ASUS trademark. If you want to keep your cables tidy - and who doesn't - then the top right 8 pin block will help you do so, leading to the breakout box that can have all your cooling and lighting requirements covered without the attendant spaghetti.
More fan/pump headers here as well as a flow sensor should you require it. Front panel USB 3.1 is a nice touch on any motherboard, but on the top of the range AMD board from ASUS ROG range it's a given.
If, like some of us, you've got loads of drives with various bits and bobs stored on them you'll be pleased to see 8 SATA 6Gb/s ports on the edge of the Zenith Extreme Alpha. You can never have too much storage space.
ASUS have combined all your extreme cooling needs into a single dedicated section of the PCB. Yet more headers provide your rig with all the cooling required, whilst you can monitor it all and fine tune it with the dual BIOS, flow monitoring headers, Slow Mode switches for LN2 and Safe Boot and Retry buttons for when you push things too far.
Hey look, it's more headers for RGB and Addressable strips, as well as further fan connectors and the beginnings of the SupremeFX S1220 with its 113dB SNR and up to 600 Ohm driving capability.