Asus Maximus VIII Extreme Overclocking Review

Introduction


The Maximus VIII Extreme is the new top of the line socket 1151 board from Asus that just begs to be paired with a 6600K or 6700K for some overclocking goodness. The board was built for overclocking from the ground up and it should be fairly capable in extreme overclocking too. We are going to put it through its paces and see just how fun and powerful this board can be when pushing 6700Ks to the extreme, but first, let’s take a look at the features that will help us achieve the overclocks we desire.

Now we see the Maximus VIII Extreme without the heat-sink in all its black on black glory, the color scheme really looks beautiful. The board is built from the ground up for overclocking and has really gone a bit overboard with the features. The board will take dual 8-pin connectors for power along with the standard 24pin.

Onboard buttons for power, reset, safe boot, MemOK, and a POST led display. There are toggles for disabling DIMM channels as well as toggles for LN2 mode and Slow Mode for extreme overclocking. There are also voltage read points for various different board voltages.

Here we have the dual BIOS chips that are thankfully socketed instead of soldered. Why is that important you may wonder well it is much easier to replace one of these socketed chips by yourself than having to send the whole board into the company for RMA.

The inclusion of the combo PS2 mouse and keyboard is always a welcome sight as it simplifies things and will also reduce the load on the CPU over USB based options while you are overclocking.

For the CPU, the board is using an 8-phase fully digital VRM controlled by ASP1405 (IR based). Mosfets are Infineon BSG0812 (dual N-MOSFET with high + low side in the same package) capable of delivering 50A each. As for the iGPU, it is the same components again, but scaled down to a 4-phase design. DRAM has a dual-phase design with the digital ASP1103 controller.

ASUS Announces Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Impact ITX Motherboard

ASUS has officially unveiled the Republic of Gamers, Maximus VIII Impact which supports Intel’s latest Skylake architecture and ultra-fast DDR4 memory. This incredibly compact ITX-design doesn’t skimp on features and utilizes a full-scale voltage regulator module. This allows for a reliable power delivery and headroom to achieve high frequency overclocks. The motherboard also integrates 5-Way Optimization auto-tuning and Pro Clock technology to reach the very limits of your CPU and DDR4 Memory speed capabilities.

There is also a bundled fan extension card to enhance the system’s cooling and maintain low temperatures across the main components. On another note, the SupremeFX impact III chipset contains illuminated audio jacks, supreme audio quality, and shielding. Additionally, the Sonic SenseAmp automatically detects the impedance of your headphones and adjusts the ohms rating up to 6000!

 

In terms of connectivity, the motherboard embeds a single HDMI port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with all-new MU-MUMO, built-in so you don’t waste any USB ports, USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-A and reversible Type-C connections for up to twice the speed of USB 3.0, and the built-in U.2 connector delivers transfer speeds of up to 32Gbit/s. There is a wide array of special features such as an easy BIOS update switch and CMOS reset button. On the rear, an LED post-readout is positioned to help with fault checking.

We can also see the single PCI-e x16 gen 3.0 slot, attractive heatsink design and 4 SATA ports. From a visual standpoint, the board is absolutely breathtaking and we expect to bring you a review in the coming weeks.

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Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Hero (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction


The Z170 chipset and Skylake CPU’s have been around for just over a week now and we have seen pretty much everything that each manufacturer has to offer. We now know that the huge connectivity options presented by the Z170 chipset that some manufacturers have included not one, but two, sometimes even three M.2 slots and multiple USB 3.0 ports. Along with those, you also have USB 3.1 Type A and Type C as standard on the vast majority of the Z170 series boards.

Today on the test bench, we take our first look at an ASUS Republic of Gamers (RoG) motherboard in the form of the Maximus VIII Hero (M8H). If you’ve heard anything about the RoG range, you’ll know that it is the go-to motherboard range if you want the highest performance, best quality components, more accessories than you could ever use and some of the best looks available.

Specifications

The M8H follows a similar process to the RoG ranges of old with huge amount of features, but things have changed slightly, ASUS has decided to almost ditch the red colour scheme; I’ll let that sink in. So instead of the red theme, ASUS has gone for a simply stunning grey with subtle red detailing. I think this is a step in the right direction because of every manufacturer jumping on the red scheme recently.

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, ASUS is no exception and has crammed a huge array of features into this motherboard.

RoG Key Features

  • Extreme Engine Digi+
  • OC Zone
  • RoG RAMDisk
  • RoG RAMCache
  • RoG Overwolf
  • KeyBot II
  • UEFI BIOS

Key Features

  • Dual Intelligent Processors 5
  • ASUS Exclusive Features
    • AI Suite 3
    • USB 3.1 Boost
    • AI Charger+
    • Push Notice
    • Disk Unlocker
    • Pc Cleaner
    • HyStream
    • Media Streamer
    • Mobo Connect
  • EZ DIY
    • USB BIOS Flashback
    • Crashfree BIOS 3
    • EZ Flash 3
    • Mem OK!
  • Q-Design
    • Q-Code
    • Q-Sheild
    • Q-Connector
    • Q-LED
    • Q-Slot
    • Q-DIMM

Packaging

The M8H is a key asset to the RoG series, the box itself is almost a direct replica of older RoG boxes with the changes to the features along the bottom and the name.

The back of the box has a small diagram of the board and the key features in detail.

Inside the box is a huge amount of accessories, including driver disk, install manual, door hanger, cable labels, case sticker and fan stickers.

Along with those are 6x SATA 6 Gb/s cables, 2 way SLI bridge, I/O shield, M.2 riser and screw, front panel connector riser and CPU locator.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus VII Formula Series Revealed

The new ASUS RoG Maximus VII Formula and Maximus VII Formula/Watch_Dogs motherboard series has been revealed. Featuring the new Intel Z97 chipset the boards are based around the latest 4th and 5th generation Intel Core processors. That includes Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Haswell Refresh K-Series and Broadwell.

The Maximus VII Formula series supports dual-channel up to DDR 3300+ (OC) memory, and quad-GPU SLI and 3-way CrossFireX for gaming rigs with multiple graphics cards. The new motherboard series also includes two SATA Express and ten SATA 3.0 connectors, as well as eight USB 3.0 and six USB 2.0 ports – connectivity is certainly not going to be an issues here!

All the premium bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from the ASUS RoG series are here, as well as a few new additions. Hybrid cooling thanks to the CrossChill copper, high-end audio performance from the SupremeFX hardware, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, GameFirst II, LANGuard, Extreme Engine DIGI+ III, TrueVolt 5V, ROG Armor, as well as a multitude of ultra high quality components.

The standard VII Formula will come with the motherboard and usual accessories, while the Watch_Dogs bundle will also see a copy of Ubisofts latest title bundled along with it.

More details on release date and price are expected follow soon. Just keep in mind that this is a flagship board, so expect an eye-watering price tag to match its expectedly high-end performance.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

First Pictures of Asus Z97 ROG Maximus VII Appear Online

Z97 based hardware is pretty much upon us and now we have found our first look at the brand new Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus VII motherboard series from ASUS that we can expect to see on the market this year. There will be three models in the new series, starting with the Maximus VII Hero, then the Maximus VII Ranger and further down the micro-ATX Maximus VII Gene. So far only signs of the mid-to-high-end models, so expect them to be pretty darn expensive overall, but perhaps Asus plan to follow in the near future with their more high end models such as the Formula and Extreme editions.

The Ranger is expected to clock in at around $150, the Hero at around $200, but we expect any future Formula and Extreme editions will be about on par with current offerings, so expect those prices to reach from $250 – $300.

The Ranger comes with 2 x PCI-E 3.0 x 16 slots direct to the CPU (x8/x8 with two cards installed), with a third on wired to the Z97 PCH at 4x. It features an 8-phase CPU VRM, 6 x SATA 6 Gb/s ports, M.2 slot, SupremeFX audio and gigabit Ethernet. The Hero has a bigger CPU VRM, 8 x SATA 6 Gb/s ports and M.2 slot, with a little bit better improve connectivity on the back. Finally we have the Gene, which has a similar VRM to the Hero, but with 2 x PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and the addition of a PCI-E x1, M.2 slot, 8 x SATA 6 Gb/s ports and a 902.11ac  WLAN card.

All the boards come with the usual ROG bells and whistles, so expect new features such as Gamerfirst III packet prioritization, LANGuard, SonicRadar II sound enhancement, KeyBot macros, TrueVolt USB power stabilization and a whole lot more.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

 

Asus Unveil Their Z87 Lineup – Including Never Seen Before Models

With Haswell on a close horizon and Intel still holding the fort under close guard with regards to their 4th Generation chips, we’ve been seeing the lid slowly lift from each of the motherboard vendors on what their new boards will have to offer. Asus is next in line to show off some of their new boards from their Series , TUF (The Ultimate Force) and ROG (Republic of Gamers) lines and at each level they are offering up the best they can in terms of performance, user experiences, stability and upgrade paths.

Jackie Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Worldwide Sales commented “ASUS possesses the best research and development expertise, and as always we are confident that we offer our customers the finest quality with these new motherboards. We’re including a variety of media-praised exclusive features with each model, and are proud to announce that we have the most comprehensive Z87 motherboard launch line-up, all available simultaneously”

On the bottom end of Asus’ new line-up is a completely re-branded set of Series boards. The most notable part of this re-brand is the drop of the blue and black colour scheme that we have come to know with Asus entry level boards – the new colour scheme is based around a two tone yellow/gold, but thankfully this is not a shiny gold which would be rather displeasing to the eye. Whilst there are a number of boards in the Series range, looking at both ends of the range, Asus have covered all the grounds when it comes to compatibility – something which we have seen previously on their Z77 boards of a similar level. Between this board is a number of models that make a transition from a board for more mainstream builds, offering all the Z87 features. These include the Z87-C, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS and the Z87I-Delux (a mini ITX offering).

Top top end of the Series range see native PCI fully replaced with PCIe amongst other subtle changes. All the new series boards will see the integration of Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-way optimisation, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 2 amongst other now offerings from Intel.

Moving up one stage and on to the TUF line of boards, this line only see some subtle changes with a full ATX board that in some respects looks very similar to the previous generation Z77 board. This is all because of the thermal armour that is laid across the PCB to keep the board as cool as possible and keep dust away from all empty slots with a series of Dust Defender plugs that fill empty ports. On the back of the PCB we see a new Fortifier metal plate that reinforces the PCB to prevent it warping whist in use and an airflow boosting valve design around the CPU power areas.

Making a fresh appearance to the TUF line-up is one of Asus’ many new boards. The Gryphon is a mATX version of the Sabertooth and like its bigger brother, it features all the same top quality components and features as well as the extended expected lifetime from its higher temperature tolerance. What is missing though is the thermal armour, however Asus will be supplying this separately and the two piece kit can be quickly mounted to the Gryphon’s PCB.

Top top of the new Z87 range is Asus’ top end ROG boards. These boards for a number of generations now have been renowned for their top end performance and overclocking abilities. New to the ROG line of boards and sitting mi-range is the HERO. This new board’s purpose is to offer mainstream the gamers the stepping stone into the ROG brand, but at a price point that is far more manageable compared to the flagship Maximus IV Extreme. As well as these two boards, Asus will also be launching an updated Maximus IV Gene and all these boards will feature Supreme FX audio as well as a new on-screen ‘Sonic-Radar’ that works as a viual overlay to any game to indicate the direction a proximity of a gun fire for example in a visual format.

The flagship Extreme board see a new overclocking tool, that unlike the previous generations OC-key is set to be far more user friendly and intuitive to use and alongside this in the Extreme box, users with find a 5.25″ drive bay adaptor to allow the OC Panel to operate as a fan control panel from the front of a case.