Asus X399 ROG Zenith Extreme ThreadRipper Motherboard Debuts At Computex

Asus' booth had the third and final X399 ThreadRipper motherboard we found at Computex 2017. The ROG Zenith Extreme features a bit more room between the DIMM slots and the massive 4,094-pin TR4 LGA socket, but like the other X399 motherboards we found at the show, it's still uncomfortably close to the PCIe slots for air coolers. Noctua has a new heatsink mounting mechanism that allows you to slide the body of the heatsink away from the PCIe slots, and we expect other vendors will follow suit. 

The Asus Zenith Extreme has eight DDR4 DIMM slots that support ThreadRipper's quad-channel memory controller, so feel free to stuff up to 128GB of memory into the awaiting slots. ThreadRipper also brings 64 lanes of PCIe 3.0 connectivity to bear, and Asus carved the PCIe allocation into two x16 and two x8 slots. Intel's I211-AT steps in for onboard networking and Supreme-FX provides the audio.

Asus didn't skimp on connectivity, either. The Zenith Extreme has one U.2 slot of limited utility (why does everyone insist upon this when there is only one outdated U.2 SSD on the market?). The board also features six SATA 6Gb/s ports and one M.2 2280 slot. That seems like a paltry helping of M.2, but the company has a trick up its sleeve: It also offers the DIMM.2 card, which slips into a stunted PCIe slot and houses up to two M.2 22110 SSDs. It's a novel way to expand storage connectivity, but we're not sure if the device has built-in heatsinks for the SSDs. The ROG Aereion 10G Ethernet card provides an additional boost for networking, provided you can find a consumer-centric 10 GbE router/switch. Power flows through two eight-pin EPS12V headers, and we spot eight chokes that imply an eight-phase power delivery system. We also see a four-pin Molex on the edge of the board for additional PCIe power.

Like the other X399 boards at the show, we aren't aware of the ROG Zenith Extreme's release date or pricing.

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • the nerd 389
    Regarding U.2, the better question is why nobody is making anything other than SSDs for that connection. It's 4 lanes of PCIe on a cable. At the very least, there should be an adapter that lets you put an M.2 drive in a 2.5" bay for better cooling.
  • jasonelmore
    i have to say none of the AMD boards have the flare and cool looks like the Intel Boards.
  • InvalidError
    19772323 said:
    i have to say none of the AMD boards have the flare and cool looks like the Intel Boards.
    Personally, I'm annoyed with how much manufacturers are putting so much emphasis on fluff on their high-end boards and would welcome boards that don't have $100 of RGB lighting built in.
  • arneberg
    i rather see more u.2 than the m.2 slots (made for notebooks soon a to slow standard anyway) the next ssd s from intel will focus on U.2 and not pci-e slot .
    M.2 takes to much space on the motherboards also.
  • Virtual_Singularity
    Cleverly implemented ideas on this board. The pins. massive socket, lane amt, clever implementation of the Dimm.2 slot... It's a beautiful board. I'm guessing most ROG consumers wouldn't see having one U.2 slot on it as a disadvantage, just my $.02 re that.
  • MRFS
    > there should be an adapter that lets you put an M.2 drive in a 2.5" bay for better cooling