ASUS PRIME X570 Pro Motherboard Review

Subsystem Testing

Test System Specs

The above configuration is the general configuration of the test platform including the cooling hardware, which is something I get asked about a lot. Ambient temperatures were around 72-74F.

Sound Hardware

For its audio solution, ASUS opted to go with the Realtek ALC1220A 8-channel HD audio CODEC. This is pretty much par for the course with ASUS as Realtek is their go-to for audio CODECs. Higher-end models usually integrate an ESS Sabre DAC of some sort, but the PRIME X570 Pro doesn’t do this.

ASUS calls this implementation it’s Crystal Sound 3. It features EMI shielding and the use of Japanese made dedicated audio capacitors. Left and right channels are separated into different PCB layers and the audio implementation features a de-pop circuit that prevents that annoying pop when you plug in a new analog audio device. There is also an integrated audio amplifier, but the specifications do not list which one it is.

Below are the specifications for the audio subsystem of the ASUS PRIME X570 Pro.

Realtek S1220A 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC featuring Crystal Sound 3

  • Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
  • Internal audio Amplifier to enhance the highest quality sound for headphone and speakers
  • Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
  • High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
  • Front panel audio connector (AAFP)
  • Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *
    Audio Feature :
  • Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
  • Audio Shielding: Ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference
  • Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
  • Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
  • EMI protection cover to prevent electrical noise to affect the amplifier quality
  • Due to limitations in HDA bandwidth, 32-Bit/192kHz is not supported for 8-Channel audio.

One area where some motherboard makers cut corners is in the audio subsystem. Some fairly basic implementations are generally good enough for a lot of people, but gamer’s and content creators tend to demand a bit more than that. While there are certainly more premium offerings out there from ASUS and others, this is a solid feature set for a board in this segment.

Audio – Subjective Listening

There really isn’t a lot to talk about here. While gaming, streaming, or daily use, the audio CODEC is certainly adequate. I didn’t hear any major distortion and everything sounded as it should. Sometimes, you get the feeling that an audio solution is a cut above and it sounds as though your bass is harder, your mid-range and hi’s are clearer, etc. I didn’t get that. It didn’t sound flat as some solutions do, but it didn’t knock my socks off either. Again, it was perfectly serviceable and certainly adequate for most people.

Audio – Subjective Playback / Recording

When recording an audio sample, with the microphone boost option enabled, the audio sample playback was clear and relatively distortion-free. With the option disabled, we got a barely audible sample. Although, to its credit, there wasn’t any perceivable distortion there.

DPC Latency

For those who may not know what DPC is, I’ll explain. Deferred procedure calls are a function within Windows that allows higher priority tasks such as device drivers to defer lower priority tasks for execution at later times. It’s an interrupt and reassignment of sorts performed by the operating system.

DPC latency varies from board model to model and brand to brand. DPC issues show up in the form of audio dropouts and streaming video issues. Naturally, this is something that the enthusiast would want to avoid. I used LatencyMon and let it run for 10 minutes to graph the results. I have compiled a list of several systems I’ve tested over the last year and placed the results in a graph for easy reference.

LatencyMon DPC Latency Graph

When it comes to DPC latency, the ASUS PRIME X570 Pro sits below the threshold to have playback problems. I’d like to see lower DPC latency, but the X570 Pro is in line with everything I’ve seen lately regarding X570 motherboard chipsets. It never exceeded 844u during testing and generally sat far lower than this. The measurement is simply the worst latency recording during the test rather than the average. So, this represents the worst you would be likely to see from the PRIME X570 Pro. That said, your mileage can vary wildly on this.

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