The Zenith Extreme was the weightiest board I'd ever had, but the Alpha seems even more heavier. I did not have the time to weigh each board. I will weigh the ZE now, ZEA when remove it and update this section.
I had to do minimal changes to cable routing, only real change I had to make was the 2x 8pin CPU cables. Connection location is pretty much same, but as orientation differs I had to reroute cables due to that.
The mirror effect on the IO cover/OLED looks really nice IMO, gawped at it a while before firing her up for the first time
. I don't think the OLED screen is any larger, but I reckon the text is improved on sizing and perhaps bolder than on ZE. Only use for me is how the Q-Codes at POST have some text with them and at times I will ref the CPU temp when don't have SW monitoring running in normal use. Even though it can be customised for logo, etc, I never really changed anything on it on ZE and don't think I will on ZEA.
Due to the larger VRM cooling solution on the the ZEA, I was unable to access the 2nd screw hole on top row, I still used a stand off on mobo tray.
Also due to the size of the VRM, the CPU socket, RAM slots, addon card slots have moved down the board and a slot has been lost plus 4 dual slot GPU would be an issue.
The changes are not an issue for me, I much prefer the meatier VRM for use with Threadripper
. SOC phases have also increased from 3 to 4, improved components, besides being linked to passive cooling solution of chipset.
The ZEA uses 8 true phases over 16 power stages, it's like a doubled setup, but does not uses doublers.
Der8auer also has this great video on YT about the new setup and compared to a ZEA with doublers.
The ZEA has dual bios besides "Flashback" feature. Switching between bios chip is done via a push button on lower right of motherboard, the corresponding LED will be lit (just below CPU socket) to denote which chip is in use.
Both the ZE and ZEA had Foxconn sockets, I have had no issues with either board. On ZEA I even did not use the torque tool, but just used a normal T20 bit in screwdriver and tightened down each screw snug and system POST'ed 1st time without issues.