With AMD's latest Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core behemoth to be releases on the 7th of February, ASUS has unveiled an updated version of its flagship ROG Zenith II Extreme motherboard. The new ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha model is designed to make the most of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor with a newly updated power delivery while keeping the same ROG aesthetic and feature set of the previous model.

At the launch of AMD's TRX40 chipset for the third generation of Ryzen Threadripper 3000 processors, we reviewed the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme motherboard which supports the Threadripper 3990X out of the box, and delivers a high-quality feature set and competitive performance, for an $850 price tag. The ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha retains the same aesthetics, the same feature set, and one would struggle to see the differences on the surface between both models.

The major difference comes on the power delivery, with a solid 16-phase configuration for the CPU with sixteen Infineon TDA21490 90 A power stages. This replaces the previous Infineon TDA21472 power stages which are rated for 70 A, albeit still very high end in the grand scheme of things. It is likely that ASUS is retaining its ASP1405I PWM controller, which is virtually identical to the Infineon IR35201 in terms of specifications. 

The inclusion of 90 A power stages over a 70 A variation is likely to allow more current to be deployed, which should help with overclocking. Although this is mainly something extreme overclockers will be interested in, the original ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme model is more than capable of handling the 64-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor out of the box. We've also heard some crazy overclocking power numbers on the 3990X, which we're looking forward to verifying.

While the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha is likely to be released around the same time as the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core processor on February 7th, the official release date for this model is unknown. The original ROG Zenith II Extreme has an MSRP of $850, and we expect the new Alpha version to cost slightly more, but no pricing information has been made available at this time.

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  • brucethemoose - Monday, January 27, 2020 - link

    In Blender, modern GeForces/Radeons can fit fairly complex scenes in VRAM. The half capacity compared to Quadros isnt quite the deal breaker it used to be.

    AI training with multiple 2080 TIs isnt unheard of either. 11GB is often sufficient.

    Anyway, my point is that theres a newish market for multi GPU rigs that cost less than a car. And I suspect cloud render/training farms are eating into the traditional Quadro market anyway.
  • p1esk - Monday, January 27, 2020 - link

    For me this will be a deep learning workstation with 4x Quadro 8000. Serious deep learning builds these days are usually multi node 8x v100 clusters (or TPU pods if you're at Google), so this is just some local hardware for quick experimentation with smaller models.
  • lipscomb88 - Monday, January 27, 2020 - link

    Does the trx40 xtreme from gigabyte not fit that need for you?
  • p1esk - Monday, January 27, 2020 - link

    It does. However, it's pricey, and I feel like I would be paying for that AIC adaptor, and dual 10GE ports, which I don't need. Otherwise how do I know it's better than Asrock? In the past I always went with Asus and never had a problem. Their X99-E WS boards have been a gold standard for multi GPU workstations - default choice of many system integrators.
  • Assimilator87 - Monday, January 27, 2020 - link

    I would be so pissed if I had sunk $850 on ASUS'es top motherboard, just for them to drop a slightly better one so soon.
  • Qasar - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - link

    welcome to the nature of computers.. buy now.. knowing that next week.. something better could come out...
    buy what you can afford and fits your needs today.. and try not to worry about tomorrow
  • Ix1 - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    Unfortunately I was one of the people who ordered the motherboard and installed it in a computer case well in advance of the processor's release date, so all I had to pretty much do on the day was install the processor, add the thermal paste and then apply the watercooling block. I really hope the non-alpha version of this board is up to the job or I will indeed be annoyed. I don't plan to heavily overclock it, so all being well it'll be sufficient.
  • p1esk - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    If you don't plan to OC, why did you buy this board?
  • Ix1 - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    I never said I didn't plan to overclock, I said I didn't plan to heavily overclock (e.g. I won't be going near the realms of where you'd need a chiller or even LN2, just a custom watercooling loop with initially one 420mm radiator, two if needed, lol).
  • cpufrost - Friday, January 31, 2020 - link

    The (non alpha) version is excellent and is designed to handle the TDP of even the 3990X. The (alpha) version will be more suited of those that like the push the all core overclocks to the absolute limit without regard to degrading their silicon.

    These are great boards, I immediately turn off the RGB stuff always and wish it wasn't there but so be it.

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