Asus rog maximus ix extreme review: Asus Maximus IX Extreme – with Bitspower monoblock

ASUS Maximus IX Extreme Reviews

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Jan 24, 2018 ASUS ROG Maximus IX Extreme Z270 KitGuru
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Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula Review



  • Stonking gaming performance
  • Top-tier application speeds
  • Loaded with features


  • Expensive
  • Many just won’t need these features
  • High power consumption

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £319.00
  • ATX Form Factor
  • Intel Z270 chipset
  • Intel LGA 1151 socket
  • 4 x 4133MHz DDR4, maximum 64GB
  • 3 x PCI-E x16, 3 x PCI-E x1
  • 4 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 4 x USB 2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 5 x audio, 1 x optical S/PDIF, 2 x antenna
  • 2 x M.2, 6 x SATA 3
  • 2x SLI, 3x CrossFire support

What is the Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula?

This is one of the priciest consumer motherboards on the market, so Asus is going to have to go some way to justify its £319/$409 cost. Thankfully, it looks the part thanks to its metallic armour and water-cooling accessories, and it’s riddled with features elsewhere.

Related: Everything you need to know about Kaby Lake

Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula – Design and Features

The most eye-catching bit of design on this board can be found all over its black PCB. A huge, chunky shroud of metal extends across almost all of its surface, designed to help dissipate heat from graphics cards and assist with lower system-wide temperatures. Around the rear, the ROG Armour continues – this time it’s made from steel and is designed to prevent the heavy board from bending.

In the top-left corner of the board, more metal rises. The rear IO is protected by a large shroud, and the entire area around the CPU socket is covered with a huge heatsink. It’s far bigger than anything else on rival boards, and there’s a good reason for that – the heatsink can be hooked up to a water-cooling loop.

It’s an extreme measure that will only appeal to the most hardcore of tweakers, but it’s undoubtedly impressive. The interior of the heatsink contains a copper-lined channel, and threaded ports at either end hook up to your existing hardware to complete the circuit.

The water-cooling compatibility is a headline feature, and it’s not the only thing to like on this board. There are RGB LEDs in the major heatsinks and around the PCI slots, and the Republic of Gamers logo is similarly adorned. As usual, it’s possible to alter these lights in software, and two dedicated headers can support synchronised strips of lights elsewhere in the PC.

There are smart, touch-sensitive power and reset buttons near the top of the board, alongside a two-character POST display. There are more buttons, too: at the bottom there are switches to use safe mode and check the memory.

The Asus has other attributes that I expect from a high-end gaming board. It’s got SupremeFX audio and boosted, game-friendly Ethernet, and the backplate serves up 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi. It even supports Asus’ 3D printing – if you’ve got the right gear, you can create cable combs, SLI bridge covers, fan grilles and a personalised nameplate.

Asus has crammed plenty around the backplate’s two aerials: four USB 3.1 ports and both Type-A and Type-C connectors are here, alongside BIOS Flashback and Clear CMOS buttons. Those, again, are great for tweakers.

This board nails the brief for high-end features, and the Asus also gets the basics right. Its quartet of memory slots support DDR4 at a mammoth 4133MHz, and it can handle two Nvidia cards and three AMD GPUs – enough for almost everyone. Its two steel-reinforced PCI-Express x16 slots run at 8x mode if they’re both used, and there’s a third slot and two PCI-Express x1 sockets.

There are two M.2 sockets hidden beneath the huge metal shroud alongside six SATA ports. There’s no SATA Express or U.2, though, although these are less important concerns.

Software is included to fine-tune the audio between applications, and there’s an app to tweak CPU and GPU speeds as well as monitor speeds, temperatures and cooling. The Maximus also has the Asus UEFI BIOS, which is a familiar tool and the best on the market.

My only concerns are minor. The sheer amount of hardware around the CPU socket might mean it’s tricky to fit chunky coolers, although that does depend on what products you try to fit to this board. It’s the thickest and heaviest motherboard I’ve tested, too, so make sure you have a sturdy and capacious case.

Related: The Best Desktop PCs

Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula – Performance

I expected the Maximus to return a barnstorming set of benchmark results, and it didn’t let me down.

Its 3D Mark Fire Strike score of 6844 is the best I’ve seen from the current crop of Intel boards. It’s a close-run thing when it comes to these benchmarks, and a better graphics card will deliver a bigger performance boost – but it’s always good to know your board won’t hold back any GPU, and it’s an important symbolic gesture for a board like this to perform well in gaming tests.

It’s no slouch in application benchmarks, either. Its single- and multi-core results of 5821 and 19,998 just about squeeze ahead of rival boards to make this the quickest Intel-powered board I’ve tested in Geekbench 4. It’s bolstered by solid CrystalDiskMark scores, too.

The Asus’ power consumption figures of 55W and 101W aren’t too great – they’re towards the bottom of the efficiency tables. I suspect, though, that anyone buying this board just won’t care about how much electricity it consumes, and the Formula’s design should negate any extra heat output that’s created by the high flow of electricity.

Should I Buy the Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula?

The latest Asus Republic of Gamers board arrives with a mammoth price, but it justifies its cost in several key areas.

It’s packed with features, from its armor-plated design and water-cooling heatsinks to the RGB LEDs and touch-sensitive buttons, and it stormed through the benchmarks to a set of deeply impressive scores in applications and games.

The vast majority of people just won’t need those features or that level of power, of course, but if you do then it’s worth paying a premium for a high-end board – and the Maximus ticks that box admirably.

Related: Best Gaming Keyboards Reviewed


This expensive board comes with many features that most builders just won’t require, but extreme gamers and tweakers will appreciate everything that Asus has done to make this board feel near-bulletproof. It’s rapid in benchmarks, too, so it’s worth the cash if you need a suitably muscular motherboard.


Type Motherboards

CPU & Northbridge Support

Supported Processor Intel Kaby Lake
Chipset Intel Z270
CPU Socket LGA 1151

Memory Support

Memory Slots 4
Max System Memory (Gigabyte) 64GB
Memory Technology DDR4


USB 2. 0 4
USB 3.0 6
Audio 5
Slots: PCI-E x16 3

Additional Features

Multi GPU Support Yes

Physical Specifications

System Board Style ATX

ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero

motherboard review

Assembling a powerful and beautiful gaming system is always difficult, and even if the budget allows, the choice of components makes you break your head. One of the powerful gaming brands ASUS ROG has been working on quality gaming devices for more than twelve years and sets the trend in many things. In our testing, the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero motherboard is one of the most interesting models, in my opinion, for building a really powerful gaming system on 8th generation Intel Core processors.


9000 8

Socket 1151
Chipset Intel Z370
Supported CPUs 8th generation Intel
Form factor ATX
DIMM slots 2
Memory channels 2
DDR4 supported memory 4133(O.C.)/4000(O.C.)/3866(O.C.) .)/3733(O.C.)/3600(O.C.)/3466(O.C.)/ 3400(O.C.)/3333(O.C.)/


Maximum RAM 32GB 9001 0
Quantity PCI-Exprss 16X 4
PCI-Exprss 1X Quantity 2
SATA3 Quantity 4
Quantity M. 2 2
Supported RAID 0/1/5/10
SLI/CrossFire support Yes/Yes

Packing and contents

ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero motherboard is packed in a high-quality cardboard box with bright and catchy printing and a combination of glossy and matte textures. The design is typical for ROG brand devices. The front side is not very informative and, I would say, made for decoration. All basic information, including the image of the board and its main characteristics, are on the reverse side.

The scope of delivery of the motherboard is quite rich. The box contains:

  • instruction manual;
  • CD with drivers and software;
  • four SATA cables, two of which have L-shaped connectors on one end;
  • ASUS Q-Connectors, facilitating the process of connecting the front panel of the PC case;
  • 2-Way NVIDIA HB SLI bridge;
  • label set;
  • ROG sticker set;
  • cardboard cup holder;
  • Bracket for mounting a fan to blow through the VRM or to extract condensate from the nitrogen cup;
  • LED strip connection cable;
  • 20% discount coupon at Cablemod.

Appearance, backlighting capabilities

Let’s be honest, the gap between motherboards based on the Z270 and Z370 chipsets was not very big, and if you put ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero and ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero side by side, then outwardly there will be differences not too noticeable. The heatsinks are slightly different and there is a heat spreader for M.2 devices, but this is still a well-recognized design of ROG devices.

Of course, ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is equipped with ASUS Aura backlighting, the lighting zones are located on a plastic cover above the interface connectors, under the chipset heatsink and near the top M.2 slot heatsink. The backlight can be synchronized with all devices that support AURA Sync, which gives an impressive result. Below are photos of the backlight.

Location of elements, power system and cooling

Let’s start a more detailed acquaintance with ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero from the rear interface panel, and here we are immediately greeted by an innovation in the form of a pre-installed interface panel blank; trifle — but nice. On the rear interface panel is located:

  • BIOS reset key;
  • BIOS Flashback key, flashing the BIOS on standby power without a processor and RAM, even if the update fails and the system does not start, a very useful option that prevents going to a service center;
  • two PS/2 for old school peripherals;
  • HDMI and DisplayPort image output ports;
  • six USB 3.1 Gen1;
  • two very fast USB 3.1 Gen2, one of which is Type C, the controller of these ports is Asmedia ASM3142 and it is capable of providing a throughput of up to 10 gigabits per second;
  • 5 Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by Aquantia AQC-108;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by Intel I219-V;
  • Five gold-plated 3.5 mm Mini-Jacks and one S/PDIF.

This motherboard is designed for 8th generation processors and I will say right away that 6th and 7th generation processors will not work on it, as well as new processors in motherboards with 200 series chipsets. The LGA 1151 socket is used, but it has a small feature that indicates readiness for professional overclocking — a temperature measurement hole.

The power system is borrowed from the older models of the ROG line on the Z370 chipset, which is good, as it has a huge margin of safety, including during operation in extreme conditions. There is one power connector, an ASP1405I PWM controller is installed for power management, there are ten power phases, two of which are dedicated to powering integrated graphics. The power systems are made up of Microfine chokes, Black Metallic capacitors and IR 3555 mosfets. In turn, ASUS Pro Clock II technology, which this board is equipped with, allows you to achieve better results in overclocking.

To remove heat from the power system and the chipset, large aluminum heat dissipators are provided, thermal pads serve as a thermal interface, and reliable clamping of the radiators is provided with screws. For additional cooling of the VRM zone, the manufacturer invented a mounting plate for installing a compact 40 mm fan.

There are four slots for RAM, the maximum amount is 64 gigabytes, frequencies up to DDR4-4133 MHz, and if you try, you can squeeze out more. Next to the DIMM slots, you can find a 24-pin power connector, a USB 3.1 Gen2 case connector, Type C, a post code indicator and Q-LED indicators that are useful for quick troubleshooting. Well, an interesting option is the MemOK! key, with which the system will automatically select the optimal RAM mode.

There are six expansion slots, including three PCIe 3.0 16X (only the top slot has all 16 lines soldered) and three PCIe 3.0 1X. It is possible to work multi-graphic bundles in 8x/8x modes; 8x/8x/4x; 8x/4x/4x/4x(for Crossfire).

Two M.2 slots are provided to organize the file system. Only devices that use PCIe lines can be installed in the upper slot, both SATA and PCIe drives can be installed in the lower slot, sizes from 2242 to 2280 are supported. To cool the drives, a small heat spreader is provided that can be placed on both the upper and lower slots .

At the bottom you can find connectors for connecting body connectors:

  • two USB 2.0;
  • single USB 3.1 Gen1;
  • one ROG EXT — for connecting a specialized ASUS front panel;
  • front audio connectors;
  • four LED strip connectors;
  • one LED strip connector;
  • one connector for connecting addressable LED strips.

But that’s not all, the overclocking nature of ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is also indicated by the presence of keys: power on, reboot, secure boot (with last good parameters), forced reboot and SLOW Mode switch, LN2 mode jumper, which is clearly indicates preparation for the toughest operating conditions.

On the left side of the PCB, on the area shielded from the main PCB, there is the SupremeFX audio path, in which the proven SupremeFX S1220s codec is responsible for the sound, Japanese Nippon Chemi-Con liquid capacitors, ESS Saber Hi-Fi ES9 DAC023P and a Texas Instruments RC4580 operational amplifier. The audio path provides high-quality clear sound, sufficient for playing games and listening to music with sufficient amplification even for high-impedance headphones, but as for professional recording and working with sound, you still have to buy a sound card, which is also in the assortment of ASUS.

Well, now the cherry on the cake. Since ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero involves assembling a top-end system, the possibility of organizing a good cooling system, including a liquid one, is 100% implemented. There are eight 4-pin connectors on the board, six of which are voltage adjustable, all connectors are equipped with overcurrent protection. It is possible to connect a liquid cooling pump, a temperature and liquid flow rate sensor, and, what is even better, thermal monitoring of all important components is available.

UEFI(BIOS) and software

The BIOS graphic interface is standard for ASUS gaming series motherboards and is divided into two modes: simplified mode and enthusiast mode. Simplified mode is designed for basic computer management: boot priority selection, automatic overclocking, fan/pump mode selection, as well as basic system monitoring. And for most users, this will be enough. If you want to get more and are ready to overclock the system, the enthusiast mode is provided for you. It has a wide range of settings for overclocking the processor and RAM, precise voltage control. In addition to these settings, standard options for managing power saving, boot, chipset, etc. are available. Special attention deserves pre-installed profiles from the world’s leading overclockers and the ability to save your overclocking profiles, profiles can be saved to a drive and even after flashing the BIOS they can be restored and used. ASUS EZ Flash 3 Utlllty is another pleasant moment — a utility in the BIOS designed to update the BIOS, the peculiarity of this utility is that you can update both from the drive and directly from the Internet. A number of applications for Windows are provided to manage and configure the motherboard. Let’s start with the largest and, one might say, central — AI Suite 3 . The program is intended for:

  • automatic overclocking and automatic tuning of the cooling system;
  • CPU and GPU overclocking control;
  • performance profile management;
  • managing performance profiles in individual applications;
  • detailed cooling system settings;
  • processor power management;
  • driver updates;
  • BIOS firmware.

ASUS Aura is the backlight control center for all devices that support ASUS Aura Sync. The application is extremely easy to manage and, at the same time, very functional. The management of network priorities, as well as the regulation of applications access to the Internet, is entrusted to GameFirst 4. Another nice bonus is the Clone Drive utility and, as the name implies, it was created for drive cloning.


Test bench

The test bench used Geil EVO X ROG Certified RAM, which is perfect for a system based on ASUS ROG components, and you can read more about it in our review.

9000 8

9 0008

Processor Intel Core i5-8600K
CPU Cooler Alphacool Eisbaer 420
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero
RAM Geil EvoX ROG 4×8 GB
Video card ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 470
SSD HyperX Savage 240GB

Intel 760P 248 GB

PSU SeaSonic SnowSilent 750W
Chassis Cooler Master MasterCase H500P
Operating system Windows 10 Pro

At the heart of our testing of ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is the Intel Core i5-8600K processor, not the top, of course, but a decent processor capable of overclocking enough to load the power system, which we did. As a result, we managed to overclock the Intel Core i5-8600K to 5.15 Hz at a voltage of 1.325V and AVX Offset — 2. At a given frequency, we activated the AIDA64 stress test to measure the temperature of the VRM cooling radiators. The results, as we can see, are decent and there is a large margin, perhaps, for the yet unannounced 8-core Coffee Lake processor. Additionally, we checked the cooling efficiency of the Intel 760P 248GB NVMe drive. The load was created by the CristalDiskMark 6 utility, nine runs of 32 gigabytes, with the timeout disabled between tests. The maximum temperature of the drive was recorded for the entire time of the test with and without a heatsink.


The main feature of the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is that it is the cheapest motherboard based on the Z370 chipset from the Republic of Gamers line of devices. But, what is really important, ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is not inferior to older models, so we get an advanced processor power system, a reliable component base, excellent opportunities for organizing a cooling system, a high-quality audio path and a memorable appearance inherent in ASUS ROG products.