With more cores, cache, and bandwidth, Intel’s Core X-Series processors are much more capable than standard desktop CPUs. Back in October, we unveiled the ROG Dominus Extreme, a new breed of enthusiast-oriented board designed for only the most ambitious builds based on Intel’s unlocked 28-core Xeon W-3175X processor.
The W-3175X normally runs at 3.2GHz with a Turbo frequency of 4.3GHz. However, during our overclocking exploits, we successfully pushed the CPU to a stable 6.5GHz on all cores using LN2. ROG is one of only two companies selected to work with Intel on motherboards for this monstrous CPU, and the ROG Dominus Extreme shows what’s possible when our engineers have the freedom to go beyond traditional boundaries.
The Dominus is something that really needs to be seen to be believed, so we set out to build a rig worthy of its “Extreme” branding, complete with Intel’s mammoth CPU, and our own fully self-contained, liquid cooled ROG Matrix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. The resulting PC was transported from our offices in Taipei to Las Vegas, Nevada, so we could share the mother of all enthusiast desktops with everyone at CES 2019.
Go big or go home
Despite occupying a massive 14” x 14” EEB form factor, the circuit board has no room to spare. The socket is flanked by a dozen DDR4 DIMM slots that support up to 192GB of RAM, and we populated them 96GB of beautiful G.Skill Trident Z Royal RAM. The memory is bookended by dual DIMM.2 modules with room for four NVMe SSDs between them. Dual U.2 ports provide connectivity for additional NVMe drives, while four PCIe x16 slots line up for a stack of graphics cards. To bypass bottlenecks, that’s all connected directly to the CPU.
Support for wicked-fast 10G wired networking reinforces the platform’s enterprise roots. Gigabit-class WiFi is included as well, along with ROG’s latest SupremeFX audio. The board even has the new ASUS Node connector for our latest cooling expansion card and, in the future, a whole ecosystem of compatible components.
Supplying such a potent platform takes enormous power, which is why you can connect two PSUs. Our CES 2019 mega rig uses an ROG Thor 1200W as well as an auxiliary PSU from Phanteks. Among the nine EATX power connectors, six are devoted exclusively to 12V power. A staggering 32 power stages stretch across the full width of the board, and they sit under a large heatsink with stealthy active cooling.
The rest of the onboard cooling is tailored for custom liquid loops like the one we built for CES, used a waterblock and accompanying plumbing from Phanteks. The motherboard has a special connector that supports temperature sensing, flow monitoring, and leak detection for compatible CPU blocks. Separate motherboard headers for flow and temperature sensors let you monitor another point in the system, and two of the onboard fan headers are configured for pumps. They’re joined by 12 additional fan headers capable of feeding multiple massive radiators.
Enter the Matrix
While the Dominus Extreme and Intel’s 28-core Xeon are undoubtedly the stars of the show, if this were any other build, all eyes would be on the ROG GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Matrix. In development for two full years, the Matrix takes Turing to the next level with innovative liquid cooling that’s fully self-contained, removing the need for custom plumbing or an all-in-one solution that takes up additional room in your case. The Matrix squeezes the fans, radiator, pump onto a triple-slot card that’s about the same size as leading air-cooled models, and it’s just as easy to install. Cherry-picked Strix PCBs, chosen for their ability to run at higher speeds, help make the new Matrix the most powerful single-GPU card ROG has ever produced.
Designing the Dominus took much longer than is typical for ROG motherboards, and we’re not just talking about its 32 power stages or ability to support two PSUs. The styling had to be perfect as well, and little touches put it a cut above any of our other boards. The armor starts with molten aluminum, which is molded and then anodized to add a more premium finish.
The LiveDash OLED uses the same 1.77” color display as our Ryujin and Ryuo liquid coolers. The LED PCB under the PCH is painted white, so it reflects the light better. Aura Sync lighting punctuates the armor and I/O cover with an easily customized glow that also extends to four headers for RGB strips: two standard and two addressable. This all-black beast doesn’t need illumination to look good, though. Stealth mode allows you to dim the lights for a more ominous aesthetic is that’s what you prefer.
Birds of a feather
The look is matched by the Matrix, which is designed to blend in with its surroundings. The shroud uses the same materials and NCVM coating as similar pieces adorning other ROG motherboards. Aura Sync adds customizable RGB lighting that’s easy to coordinate with the rest of our build’s compatible components, but you can also activate stealth mode with the touch of a button, instantly deactivating all of the card’s integrated LEDs.
The ROG Dominus Extreme is all about applying ROG sensibilities on a much larger scale, and the modified Phanteks Enthoo Elite case we used for our build definitely dominates. Constructed from sand-blasted aluminum, the case features a 4-mm tempered glass window with a prime view of what’s inside. Ample space for cable management keeps our CableMod wiring out of sight so that our pride and joy can be the center of attention.
We designed the ROG Dominus Extreme to push the boundaries of PC performance without traditional desktop constraints or budgets. Check out this Edge Up article for more about the Dominus and our other high-end desktop motherboards.