Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme (TRX40)9/10 (Expert Score)
Meta-review: Hardware editors mostly praise the ROG Zenith II Extreme, but some remark that the current pricing is also on the extreme side.
The ROG (Republic of Gamers) Zenith II Extreme is the most full-featured model in the Asus’ lineup of TRX40 motherboards for AMD’s 3rd-generation Threadripper platform. All motherboards that use the TRX40 chipset are comparatively high-end models, with support for 256 GB of 4-channel DDR4 DRAM and PCI-Express 4.0. On top of this, the E-ATX Zenith II Extreme includes a broad range of additional connectivity options as well as an onboard OLED panel.
Along with the launch of AMD’s first two 3rd-generation Threadripper CPUs – the 32-core 3970X and 24-core 3960X – all of the major motherboard manufacturers launched two or three models based on the TRX40 chipset. TRX40 is one of what will eventually be three different chipsets that support the Threadripper 3000 platform, with the TRX80 and WRX80 chipsets being released later. All of them use the sTRX4 socket and are therefore not backwards compatible with earlier Threadripper processors.
ROG Zenith II Extreme Key Features
Asus’ Zenith II Extreme is the most sophisticated TRX40 motherboard from Asus. Like all boards that use the platform, the Zenith II Extreme supports quad-channel memory (up to 256 GB), and PCIe 4.0 connectivity for SSDs and GPUs that support the interface. In terms of PCIe 4.0 options, the ROG Zenith II comes with four full-size (x16) PCIe 4.0 slots, three onboard M.2 slots (one is on the bottom side), and two additional M.2 slots using the included DIMM.2 adapter.
As for networking, the board includes 10 GbE Aquantia module and a WiFi 6/ax adapter from Intel. There is also extensive support for USB 3.1 Gen2 using 9x Type-A ports and 2x Type-C on the board’s I/O panel and via the internal header. Headers for liquid cooling solutions and RGB lighting are also available.
Power delivery is handled by a 16-phase solution using Infineon TDA21472 power stages, accompanied by an actively cooled VRM heatsink. Asus also includes its proprietary SupremeFX S1220 audio chip.
ROG Zenith II Extreme Vs Strix TRX40-E Vs Prime TRX40-Pro
At launch (late 2019), there are three different Asus motherboards based on the TRX40. Other than the Zenith II, the other two are Strix TRX40-E and Prime TRX40-Pro.
|ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha||E-ATX||16-phase||4733 MHz||5x||10 Gbps|
|ROG Zenith II Extreme||E-ATX||16-phase||4733 MHz||5x||10 Gbps|
|ROG Strix TRX40-E||ATX||16-phase||4666 MHz||3x||2.5 Gbps|
|Prime TRX40-Pro||ATX||16-phase||4666 MHz||3x||1 Gbps||3x Type-A|
The three boards are all different in several aspects, most notably in terms of layout and connectivity options. Importantly, the Zenith II Extreme uses the extended E-ATX form factor in requires a case with additional space compared to the much more common ATX form factor. It also comes with official support for slightly higher RAM (OC) speeds, at 4,733 MHz.
It remains to be seen if you need its lavish power delivery and cooling to deal with AMD’s latest and greatest, but if you must have the best and have a suitably large wallet, you won’t be disappointed …
… ASUS motherboards are legendary for the ease of overclocking both when it comes to hardware and their UEFI and the Zenith II Extreme is no exception.
The performance in our testing of the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme shows that it’s very competitive with what other manufacturers are offering on the TRX40 chipset …
- Five PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots
- Four x16 PCIe slots
- Excellent VRM
- Very expensive
Specification: Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme (TRX40)