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  1. #1
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    Anyone has the new Alpha board and can comment on issues?

    Hi everyone,

    After battling with problem after problem with my Zenith Extreme board I think I am now at a stage when I have no choice but to replace it with a (hopefully not-beta-for-its-entire-life) Zenith Extreme Alpha board. I managed to get my retailer to agree to take the board back despite it being almost 8 months since I purchased the Zenith Extreme. However, I did notice that the Alpha is now almost $200 CAD more expensive than the Zenith Extreme and looking at a few unboxing videos and reviews, I cannot see why other than "because". The biggest fear that I have is that the board will be the same crappy experience with constant tweaks and adjustments, resets, and config changes, required of the Zenith Extreme in which case I would have spent both time and extra money for now tangible benefit.

    So, my question is, can anyone comment on how well the new board is performing stability-wise compared to the Zenith Extreme? I am primarily concerned around memory compatibility and USB support as those were the two major issues I have, former being the larger of the two.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by dejanh View Post
    Hi everyone,

    After battling with problem after problem with my Zenith Extreme board I think I am now at a stage when I have no choice but to replace it with a (hopefully not-beta-for-its-entire-life) Zenith Extreme Alpha board. I managed to get my retailer to agree to take the board back despite it being almost 8 months since I purchased the Zenith Extreme. However, I did notice that the Alpha is now almost $200 CAD more expensive than the Zenith Extreme and looking at a few unboxing videos and reviews, I cannot see why other than "because". The biggest fear that I have is that the board will be the same crappy experience with constant tweaks and adjustments, resets, and config changes, required of the Zenith Extreme in which case I would have spent both time and extra money for now tangible benefit.

    So, my question is, can anyone comment on how well the new board is performing stability-wise compared to the Zenith Extreme? I am primarily concerned around memory compatibility and USB support as those were the two major issues I have, former being the larger of the two.

    Thanks all!
    I have the new Alpha version of this board. The board is great so far.

    I've had stability issues but after hours of testing, I've narrowed it down to my specific 2990WX CPU--silicon-lottery. My chip can't run 128GB RAM over 2866 without memory errors.

    I can't compare it to the previous one but the board is solid. The VRM is much improved which is huge. I don't know why ASUS gimped the first version so much. I guess it was designed for the 1950X and not the 32-core version. I'd say the VRM is almost as good as the MSI X399 Creation. Almost because the MSI doesn't have fans, and these fans are loud when they spin up. However, I only here the VRM fans when I'm overclocking heavily and running intensive tasks.

    I'd say there is one performance drawback I've noticed with this board. The memory copy speeds in Linux seemed to be lagging behind the MSI X399 Creation and the Gigabyte X399 Aorus Extreme.

    Take a look at these benchmarks. The bottom two runs are my board, Zenith Extreme Alpha, with the CL14-14... timings. You will see slower memory copy speeds on all the copy benchmarks in here.

    https://openbenchmarking.org/result/...SP-1902208SP93

    I'd ignore the block sizes that are 128MB and upward, those are atypical memory copy scenarios, and those may just be higher because of my higher PBO capabilities.

    But if you're going for an ASUS build and you're not fastidious about eking every performance gain, you'll be happy.

    The board looks absolutely fantastic for sure. And it performs well.

    Reddit link with pictures of my system:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/watercoolin..._threadripper/

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the update. Nice build. I appreciate you sharing your experience in detail. I'm after high performance but I am not obsessed about small differences in performance such as the ones you noted. Stability and expandability is key. Do you by some chance have a higher end camera such as 5D Mark IV? I ask because my ZE does not work via USB 3.0 with this camera as the ports do not appear to supply enough power (no such issues connecting to my Dell laptop dock for instance).

  4. #4
    ROG Guru: Green Belt Array panzlock PC Specs
    panzlock PC Specs
    Laptop (Model)ASUS X553M, ASUS Zenpad 10 Z300M, ASUS X542BA-DH99
    MotherboardASUS P8Z68-V LX, ASUS Z170-A, ASUS ROG Strix B350-F Gaming
    ProcessorIntel i5-2500K, Intel i7-6700K, AMD Ryzen R7 1700
    Memory (part number)8GB Kingston 1333MhzDDR3 C9, 16GB G.Skill Aegis 3000Mhz DDR4 C16, 16GB G.Skill Trident Z 3200Mhz C16
    Graphics Card #1EVGA GTX 560Ti, ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 O8G OC, Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 56
    Monitor32" INSIGNIA 720p, 32" Samsung 1080p C32F391FWN, 32" ASUS 1440p VA32AQ
    Storage #1Seagate 150GB 7200RPM, Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5" 6Gb/s Solid State Drive (X2)
    Storage #2Seagate 500GB 7200RPM, WD Blue 3TB - 5400 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch
    CPU CoolerDeepcool GAMMAXX 300, Deepcool Lucifer V2, Wraith Spire
    CaseAntec Sonata, Deepcool Dukase V1, Deepcool Dukase V3
    Power SupplyATX 650, EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2 (X2)
    Keyboard Logitech K220, MSI Interceptor DS4200 (X2)
    Mouse Microsoft 1850, Microsoft 4500, Gamdias Erebos LE, MSI DS 100, Redragon M601 Centrophorus
    Headset/Speakers Logitech Z313, Logitech Z506 (X2)
    OS Windows 10 Home X64, Windows 10 Pro X64 (X2)
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    Do these new bulky cards come supplied with brackets to help support the weight?
    I'd like to deploy my troops in her country.

  5. #5
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    ASUS Zenith Extreme ALPHA

    Hello, yes, I had lots of problems with the ZE and traded it in for the ZE ALPHA and couldn't be more happy. I had 2 defect RAM DIMM slots on the ZE, (C1, C2). If I had those populated it wouldn't post at all. And yes I had the right RAM according to QVL... THe new ZE ALPHA worked right from the beginning with the same 2970WX and CL14 3200 RAM. The only thing I don't like is that the PCIE slots are now too close together putting the 2 x 3-Slot Graphic Cards back to back making the top one run higher temps than I really like.

    But that is the only problem thus far. I have only had it for a week but it is much more stabil than the ZE was by a long shot with my current configuration.

    I can only recommend it over the first ZE seeing as how I haven't tried any other x399 boards...
    Last edited by sKutDeath; 02-22-2019 at 06:33 AM.

  6. #6
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    Rebuilt my rig last night around the ZE Alpha board and pulled out the ZE board (good riddance to that piece of crap). I cannot boot stable at 3200MHz CL14 using default DOCP settings, but I am rock solid at 3000MHz CL14. With some tinkering I think that 3200MHz is achievable but I don't have time for it now. Ovearall, I think that the changes made to support 2nd gen chips are just not playing nicely with my memory and chip combination. With that said, I am yet to experience a single crash or hiccup and I have been stress testing the system now for about 16 hours continuous. This was not possible with the ZE (it would fail many times in different ways). Also, my system is substantially snappier (not placebo I-think-it-may-be-perhaps-faster) than it was with the ZE board. My boot times are better and the performance of my NVMe RAID array is better. I also don't have any micro-lag which I used to have all the time with the ZE board.

    Quote Originally Posted by panzlock View Post
    Do these new bulky cards come supplied with brackets to help support the weight?
    The ZE did come with a GPU bracket but they have removed this accessory from the ZEA board. I have my GPU mounted vertically anyway so I am not using any supports. It's also important to note that the PCI-E slots are reinforced on the ZE and ZEA boards.
    Last edited by dejanh; 02-21-2019 at 06:54 PM.

  7. #7
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    ASUS Zenith Extreme ALPHA

    So, after an extremely frustrating weekend finding out that the ZE ALPHA doesn't run SLI well at all. First the PCIE slot are way too close together overheating the top card by at least 10 to 20 degrees over the bottom one. And three slot cards are touching on this board. I do hope my ZE board comes back repaired allowing me to run Quad-Channel RAM. Spent all weekend re-flashing VBIOS on the graphic cards and trying like hell to get the software to work. MSI Afterburner has big problems with the board in SLI.

    Will have to wait till the ZE is fixed/replaced and sent back to confirm.

    Something keeps corrupting the VBIOS on one of the cards....

    UPDATE: I have been reading that this was also a problem on the ZE before BIOS Version 1501. Appears that it has repeated itself for the ZEA. New BIOS for the ZEA?
    Last edited by sKutDeath; 02-25-2019 at 08:27 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sKutDeath View Post
    So, after an extremely frustrating weekend finding out that the ZE ALPHA doesn't run SLI well at all. First the PCIE slot are way too close together overheating the top card by at least 10 to 20 degrees over the bottom one. And three slot cards are touching on this board. I do hope my ZE board comes back repaired allowing me to run Quad-Channel RAM. Spent all weekend re-flashing VBIOS on the graphic cards and trying like hell to get the software to work. MSI Afterburner has big problems with the board in SLI.

    Will have to wait till the ZE is fixed/replaced and sent back to confirm.

    Something keeps corrupting the VBIOS on one of the cards....

    UPDATE: I have been reading that this was also a problem on the ZE before BIOS Version 1501. Appears that it has repeated itself for the ZEA. New BIOS for the ZEA?
    Are you running two of the new 2080 Ti cards?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejanh View Post
    Are you running two of the new 2080 Ti cards?
    2 x MSI RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z's... Well only one atm....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sKutDeath View Post
    2 x MSI RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z's... Well only one atm....
    Can you post this in the sticky ZE bug thread and just point out you're using the ZEA? This does sound the same as the issue on the ZE. Note that the issue that was reported on the ZE was fixed for some but not all that were having the problem.

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