Does Zenith Extreme X399 have Serial (COM) pins or pads?

I’m looking into the viability of setting up a poor man’s IPMI on my 1950X rig, I’m actually lusting after a 3970X but it’s alright, if the technique pans out well, i will do it on all subsequent systems.

The concept is to connect a raspberry pi to the machine’s serial port and it will allow me to remotely administer the machine via SSH using physical connection to the linux serial console if the machine has any problem that prevents it from starting up properly and connecting to the network.

The pi can also use GPIO to enable me to control power or reset to the board, at least in theory, but something will need to be figured out for how to do that without cutting power to the pi when it happens. I think having the pi behind a lithium battery “UPS” might do the trick nicely there.

So I looked at the motherboard manual and it makes no mention of a Serial or COM port. Does that mean I’m screwed? Would I need to get a RS-232 PCIe card? Would that even work?

So far my research indicates that a USB to serial adapter would not work as the linux serial console would need to initialize before USB devices do. I could potentially get a Getty tty on one of those though? So maybe that is a way in which I wouldn’t be screwed. But it’s lame. My other board, an X99 Sabertooth (also ASUS) does have a COM header.

a lot of boards provide power on usb ports even when off

yep not there, doubt there would be pads as that board is pretty packed

I emailed them, and got a response, let’s see what they come back to me with…

Thank you for your response to ASUS Product Support, my name is John T. and I do hope you are having a great day.

I appreciate the details that you have sent out and your time and effort for troubleshooting the issue. I want to assure you that we will continue to assist you in gaining a resolution.

Please allow our product engineers to do some research for a resolution for this case. This may take 24 to 48 hours, but once I have further information and come up with a resolution I will promptly inform you.

I will definitely provide you an update within the time frame and have a wonderful day.

Please let me know if you encounter problems along the way and I will be glad to provide assistance. Thank you for choosing ASUS.

The response from support was this:

According to motherboard specification, there is no COM port in rear i/O and COM header on this motherboard.

Given that, you could use a USB FTDI chip and attach a TTY to it.

It’s definitely less than ideal, since IIRC, you won’t be able to have proper boot log output on it, but it’s better than nothing.

Hey that’s not a half bad idea!

This is so low on my list of concerns for this board now, however. I’m really pretty salty about the whole zenith extreme situation now. See the pcie slot topic I have. Zenith Extreme & 1950X ... 3rd slot stuck at 8 lanes I’ll be updating it with more new details…

What i’ve learned from this experience is that it really does pay to do the proper research before jumping into something like I did with this machine. I was just overtaken by the epicness of what AMD had released and skipped the important step of looking over a critical mass of reviews for a motherboard to estimate how good of a purchase it would be. It just seems like this product was kind of rushed.

I am glad after all that once I get it stable it is stable, but all these weird issues don’t make me feel good. And there is very little information out there because it seems that not many people have bought this board.

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