Asus Maximus III Formula P55 Mobo Sneak Peek

We have posted a few Intel Lynnfield motherboard sneak peeks here at HotHardware in the last few weeks (see here, and here for two of them), but we thought there was room to squeeze in one more.

We recently had the chance to manhandle Asus' upcoming Rampage III Formula and thought some of you would like to check out what Asus has in store for one of their next RoG--Republic of Gamers--motherboards.

As you can see, the Asus Maximus III Formula is built around a dark colored PCB, with red, white, and black accents. It has four DDR3 DIMM slots for dual-channel memory configurations, and each slot has an interesting retention clip configuration. If you look close, you'll see that the retention clips closest to the expansion slots are much smaller than those on the opposite side. That's to prevent the clips from interfering with long graphics cards or the two nearby SATA ports.



Six more SATA ports are mounted horizontally behind the P55 chipset heatsink, which is comprised of a relatively large aluminum block with numerous fins. Although this heatsink isn't linked to any others via heat-pipes, the P55 chipset doesn't generate much heat at all, so this simple heatsink should be more than sufficient. Two more SATA ports rest along the bottom edge.

The expansion slots consist of three PCI Express x16 slots--with SLI and CrossFire support--two x1 slots, and two legacy PCI slots. One of the x1 slots is crammed right in front of the heatsink adorned with the RoG badge, so it may be unusable with some expansion cards. Notice the PEG slots have extra-large retention clips, that should make it easy to remove cards.

The layout of the board is typical of a RoG series product, and the I/O backplane is loaded with the usual suspect. One new feature making an appearance here, however, is dubbed RoG Connect. The RoG Connect port in the backplane will allow users to connect the board to a second system (like a notebook) for real-time hardware monitoring and tweaking. Very cool stuff.