ASUS X399 ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha Review
Published: 23rd April 2019 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
We understand that not everyone is fully au fait with the workings of a motherboard, especially when it has as much on the PCB as the X399 ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha. Wherever you look you'll discover a full suite of high end elements from high bandwidth connectivity options around the back on the IO shield, to support for Quad-GPUs if you're truly committed to taking the world records from K|NGP|N.
Whilst performance increases are the fun part of the eternal improvement of hardware, for those of us who abuse their systems in a quest for even higher numbers the improvements to the rigidity and robustness of our motherboards is one for which we're constantly grateful. The Zenith Extreme Alpha has all the protection currently available from stronger PCI slots and protected DIMM slots, to ESD (Electrostatic discharge) protected ports in the IO section. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted the OLED display built into the IO heatsink, but we'll get to that in a moment.
The original Zenith Extreme could have its VRM temperatures solved with an EK all in one CPU & VRM monoblock (and needed it for 2970wx and 2990wx manual overclocks for normal use and not tornado fan bench runs), and whilst the Extreme Alpha has active cooling so that the majority of us can enjoy its new, smoother, power delivery, if you do want to go all in you'll be pleased to know that this updated version also has the capability to support a monoblock cooler so your water can flow across the VRMs and your overclocking can reach new heights. We will find out later how the stock cooling solution performs with our 2990WX.
The larger the surface area, the better the cooling capability. To this end the X399 ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha has an integrated heat sink that keeps the chipset and M.2 drives cooler than they otherwise would be with regular sized heatsinks. It also looks the business.
Finally before we look at the Zenith Extreme Alpha in the flesh, an exploded view of the attention to detail ASUS have applied to the cooling, and also an explanation of how their new power phases design works to give you the smoothest delivery whilst also negating the lockups that used to occur when transitioning from idle to load.