ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme Review

The ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme has interested us for a while now because it’s one of the few motherboards that currently support AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors.

The ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme targets the niche market of extreme overclockers, which is great for gamers and professionals who need high-end systems.

ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme Review

This review of the ROG Zenith Extreme covers the unique and key features of the board. 

If you’re a PC enthusiast, gamer, or high-spec user, this article is for you.

ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha TRX40 Gaming AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen...
  • 1. Ready for AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper Processors: PCIe 4. 0 ready, 4733Mhz memory OC performance, with up to five M. 2 drives and USB3. 2 Gen2x2 support
  • 2. Robust power delivery: Optimized power solution with 16 Infineon TDA21490 teamed up power stages, ProCool II power connectors, microfine alloy chokes and 10K capacitors
  • 3. Comprehensive thermal design: Active-cooling VRM heatsink, PCIe-zone M. 2 aluminum heatsink, backplate, Fan Extension Card II and water-cooling zone
  • 4. High-performance networking: Onboard Aquantia 10 Gbps Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6 (802. 11ax) with MU-MIMO support, and GameFirst V technology
  • 5. Unmatched personalization: Color OLED display and ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting, including two additional RGB headers and two addressable headers

ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme (Our Review)

Overall Assessment

The ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme x399 is an Extended ATX (E-ATX) motherboard based on the AMD x399 chipset. Currently, it’s the most impressive Ryzen Threadripper motherboard and is packed with features.

The ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme is known for its extreme overclocking abilities that work well with liquid nitrogen (LN2) cooling. 

While it’s the best Ryzen Threadripper motherboard on the market, it’s also the most expensive at around $500. So, while the ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme is a high-end motherboard, it comes at a high-end price that not everyone can afford.

If you’re keen on investing in a more affordable ASUS motherboard, we suggest you check out the ASUS ROG STRIX B350-F gaming motherboard or the ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E gaming motherboard. Both the B350-F and the Z370-E are around $200 cheaper than the ROG Zenith Extreme.

Opening the box, it’s clear that ASUS has aimed this motherboard toward gamers. The board comes with tons of cables and SLI bridges along with bonus drivers on a flash drive instead of the usual CD, which we thought was a great touch. 

Features

The ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme is so crammed with features that the engineers had a difficult time fitting everything into the E-ATX layout. This caused them to move the M.2 slots to a vertical daughterboard and reduce the number of SATA ports to six. 

Their hard work and fine-tuning paid off. The Zenith Extreme is one of the most feature-heavy motherboards on the market. 

While this is a major advantage, we did find the board bulky and difficult to handle. This might not be an issue for everyone, but it’s definitely not ideal if you have a smaller PC case. 

If you decide to go with this motherboard, you’ll need a strong cooling system because of how cramped it is. 

Key features unique to the ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme are the impressive 802.11 AD Wi-Fi support and the LN2(liquid nitrogen)-specific hardware options. 

ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha TRX40 Gaming AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen...
  • 1. Ready for AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper Processors: PCIe 4. 0 ready, 4733Mhz memory OC performance, with up to five M. 2 drives and USB3. 2 Gen2x2 support
  • 2. Robust power delivery: Optimized power solution with 16 Infineon TDA21490 teamed up power stages, ProCool II power connectors, microfine alloy chokes and 10K capacitors
  • 3. Comprehensive thermal design: Active-cooling VRM heatsink, PCIe-zone M. 2 aluminum heatsink, backplate, Fan Extension Card II and water-cooling zone
  • 4. High-performance networking: Onboard Aquantia 10 Gbps Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6 (802. 11ax) with MU-MIMO support, and GameFirst V technology
  • 5. Unmatched personalization: Color OLED display and ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting, including two additional RGB headers and two addressable headers

In addition to this, it sports a ROG AREION 10G PCIe x4 card with a large heatsink. This allows users to add RAM cards, expansion cards, and sound cards to their heart’s content 

The board also comes with three power connectors, one 24-pin ATX, an 8-pin CPU, and a 4-pin CPU. It also comes with 8 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type-A port, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. 

The onboard audio is the Realtek S1220 which is amazing and allows for great sound control. 

The BIOS

The Asus ROG Zenith Extreme has a graphical BIOS supporting multiple languages. This is standard for ASUS and is found in both the ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme and the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero

The BIOS has the typical ‘EZ Mode’ welcome screen with a few adjustable options. On this screen, users are only able to switch to the preset XMP RAM profile, change the boot priority, and control the OFan Control interface. 

The BIOS also allows users to launch the EZ Tuning Wizard that can perform an automatic overclock. 

The complete version of the BIOS can be accessed by pressing F7. This mode has eight main menus and a plethora of options for fine-tuning and adjustments. 

The ‘Extreme Tweaker’ menu holds all of the tweaking and overclocking options. This menu allows for a bunch of advanced overclocking options and settings that enthusiasts are sure to get a kick out of.

This is a great feature, especially when compared to the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero which lacks this overclocking capability.

Pros

  • Supports AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors
  • Offers ROG themes with Aura RGB lighting
  • Supports a 4-way SLI and Crossfire multi-GPU
  • Great overclocking capabilities
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha TRX40 Gaming AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen...
  • 1. Ready for AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper Processors: PCIe 4. 0 ready, 4733Mhz memory OC performance, with up to five M. 2 drives and USB3. 2 Gen2x2 support
  • 2. Robust power delivery: Optimized power solution with 16 Infineon TDA21490 teamed up power stages, ProCool II power connectors, microfine alloy chokes and 10K capacitors
  • 3. Comprehensive thermal design: Active-cooling VRM heatsink, PCIe-zone M. 2 aluminum heatsink, backplate, Fan Extension Card II and water-cooling zone
  • 4. High-performance networking: Onboard Aquantia 10 Gbps Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6 (802. 11ax) with MU-MIMO support, and GameFirst V technology
  • 5. Unmatched personalization: Color OLED display and ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting, including two additional RGB headers and two addressable headers

Cons

  • The E-ATX is big
  • Difficult to remove the DIMM
  • Prohibitively expensive

Common Questions about Asus ROG Zenith Extreme

Is the Asus ROG Zenith Extreme a good motherboard?

The Asus ROG Zenith Extreme is a great, feature-packed motherboard at the premium end of the AMD X399 desktop market.

It has great stability and overclocking abilities. If you’re not turned away by the steep price, we’d say that the Asus ROG Zenith Extreme is a great option if you’re looking to build your own PC or upgrade your current system.

How do I update the BIOS of the Asus ROG Zenith Extreme?

There are three ways to update the BIOS of the Asus ROG Zenith Extreme motherboard – the easiest is to update the BIOS through the menu.

Keep in mind that when updating the BIOS, you run the risk of not being able to boot up your system after. We strongly advise that you backup your data before updating the BIOS.

Does the Asus ROG Zenith Extreme offer Wi-Fi?

The Asus ROG Zenith Extreme offers 802.11 AD Wi-Fi. The 802.11 AD Wi-Fi is extremely fast and offers lag-free wireless connections up to a speed of 4.6Gbps. This allows for smooth streaming and even boasts a seamless VR experience.

Customer Reviews 

“I set up a new PC build and chose the Asus ROG Zenith Extreme.

I found it easy to install the board and I didn’t have any issues getting the screws threaded like some other users experienced. The cooler I chose (NH-U14S) kind of hangs over the first PCI-E slot, so I decided to install my video card in the 3rd slot.

I didn’t experience any issues on the first boot. All my drivers were detected, and I didn’t pick up any errors with the memory. However, all this went down the toilet when I updated to the latest BIOS from the Asus site before installing the OS.

This was strange because this is what I usually do whenever I set up a new build.

By default, the RAM runs at 2133 MHz. I tried enabling the XMP profile that clocks the RAM at 3000 MHz however this failed to start despite being on the QVL list.

Ryzen is picky with running some RAM cards at higher speeds and Threadripper seems to have the same issue and I doubt that this is exclusive to this board. A BIOS update might fix this.

I’ve heard some other users suggesting the GSKILL RAM that uses Samsung B-dies because they’ve had better luck with it. I would’ve gone with that, but I already had the Corsair RAM card leftover from my previous x99 build so I am sticking with it for now.

My system did have a faster boot time when compared to my x99 rig, about 25 seconds and the x99 was double that.

I’m running a lot of VM’s on this board and everything works great! I was also able to fix the RAM issues and updated my rating to 5 stars.”

Michael Bendel

5/5 stars

‘I bought the Asus ROG Zenith Extreme so that I could install the Threadripper processor that I got during the Amazon’s take-my-money sale. Building a pc is straightforward and the board was easy to install. The instructions were very simple to follow, and I didn’t have any issues.

The BIOS allowed me to tinker with the performance as well which is a really great feature. The motherboard is a few physical buttons that are great for quick resets and boots if you want to try out new settings. The board also has a USB port that is dedicated to the BIOS flash upgrades which is a great touch.

However, I did experience issues when I tried to use the included Fan Extension Card II to control my case fans. I connected all the fans to the card and plugged it into the motherboard, but the computer wouldn’t boot. I unplugged three of the fans and it still wouldn’t boot.

I also had an issue with connecting my Bluetooth headphones to the onboard Bluetooth. While it does connect, the connection is very spotty. I just had to plug in an old Bluetooth dongle and then disabled the onboard Bluetooth.

Overall, this is a functional motherboard if you know how to chain case fans and have an extra Bluetooth dongle.’

Thomas M Bechtold

3/5 Stars

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