ASUS Z87 ROG Motherboard Roundup: Enter Maximus VI

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ASUS Maximus VI Impact

Anecdotally at least, it seems that there’s been increasing interest in smaller form factor motherboards in recent years. Maybe it’s the fact that hardcore builders can make powerful machines in a very small footprint, or perhaps it’s simply the enchantment over the fact that good engineering can fit a whole lot into a tiny space, but in any case, ASUS did not forget SFF fans with its line of RoG boards.

The ASUS Maximus VI Impact is a straight-up gaming motherboard that happens to come in the mini-ITX form factor. The little guy sports two DIMM slots capable of supporting up to 16GB of DDR3-3000 (OC) memory as well as a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and an mPCIe Combo II slot. ASUS made use of the M.2 slot by including a module that pops into the slot and offers a mini PCIe 2.0 port as well as 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.

It also supports six USB 3.0 and six USB 2.0 ports, all from the Z87 chipset, as well as four SATA 6Gbps ports and one eSATA port.

ASUS Maximus VI Impact
Specifications & Features


Expansion Slots:





Form Factor:


Intel Socket 1150 for 4th Generation Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron Processors
Intel Z87
2 x DIMM, Max. 16GB, DDR3 3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/
   1800(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
Integrated Graphics Processor
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports (max. resolution 4096 x 2160)
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1
Intel Z87 chipset :
4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology,
   Intel® Smart Connect Technology
1 x eSATA port(s), red
1 x M.2 (NGFF) Socket 2 on mPCIe Combo II expansion card(s), black
Support M.2 (NGFF) Type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SSD card (up to 110mm in length),
   support PCI express 2.0 x1 and SATA 6Gb/s standards
Intel I217V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/a
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Bluetooth V4.0, Bluetooth V3.0+HS
ROG SupremeFX Impact 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- Lineout DAC playback Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted, Differential output): 115 dB
- Headphone DAC playback Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted, Differential output):110 dB
- TI LM4562 high-fidelity audio OP AMP(s)
Audio Feature :
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
- ELNA premium audio capacitors
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- Sonic Radar
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Music PnP
Intel Z87 chipset :
6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 2 at mid-board)
Mini ITX Form Factor
6.7 inch x 6.7 inch ( 17 cm x 17 cm )

$242 - $269 on Amazon

There’s also an included sound card--yes, a discrete sound card for this 6.7-inch square motherboard--called SupremeFX Impact that supports 8-channel HD audio and promises best-in-class audio performance with line in, line out, and mic jacks and “audiophile-grade” Op-Amps. The card’s shielding is designed to block digital and EMI signals from causing interference.

The VRM is called “Impact Power”--essentially the Extreme Engine Digi+ III VRM of other Z87 ROG boards but designed vertically because of the lack of space on this small PCB--but it features a digital 8+2 phase power control with the same 60A BlackWing chokes and 10k Black Metallic Capacitors as its bigger brothers.


The Impact has a unique feature called Music PnP, an ROG technology that lets you push a stereo stream right to your computer-connected speakers even when the PC is turned off. You can just plug essentially any external audio device to the front panel mic jack and hit play.

There are physical power and reset buttons, as well as clear CMOS, MemOK!, DirectKey, and ROG Connect buttons. The MemOK! button allows users to easily ensure DIMM compatibility, and the DirectKey lets users boot right into the BIOS, which obviates the need to repeatedly bang on the DELETE key during the boot process. Thank goodness.


For such a small board, there’s a lot of good stuff in the box. We’ve mentioned the mini-PCIe module and the discrete sound card, but ASUS also threw in an external dual-band WiFi antenna to go with the WiFi module as well as a sheet of sticker labels so you can note where everything is, 4-in-1 washers for a CPU cooler backplate, Q-cable, I/O shield, Q-cables, SATA cables, user guide, and a driver disc.

The rear I/O panel sports the three audio jacks from the sound card, Intel gigabit LAN, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports (including one that also serves as the ROG Charger, USB Charger+, and USB BIOS Flashback port), eSATA, S/PDIF out, DisplayPort, HDMI, and the module that houses the Clear CMOS, MemOK!, et al. buttons.

On the software side, the Maximum VI Impact features RoG’s Sonic Radar, GameFirst II, RAMDisk, ROG CPU-Z, Mem TweakIt, Kaspersky anti-Virus, and DAEMON Tools Pro Standard, as well as ASUS WebStorage and Utilities.

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