ASUS Z87 ROG Motherboard Roundup: Enter Maximus VI

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ASUS Maximus VI Formula

Now that we’ve had a look at two of ASUS’ smaller ROG motherboards, it’s time to have a gander at one of the higher-end models, the Maximus VI Formula. The first thing you notice about the Formula is that it’s wrapped up in “thermal armor”, a feature we’ve primarily seen on ASUS’ TUF series.

On air cooling, the ROG Armor primarily serves to isolate components from other components’ heat; for example, the plastic shielding around the CPU socket is designed to block the heat coming off of the graphics card(s); it also uses thermal pads to wick heat away from the components. Some are skeptical of the effectiveness of this sort of plastic armor, but if nothing else, it certainly helps keep dust from collecting on vital board components.

ASUS Maximus VI
Specifications & Features
CPU:
Chipset:
Memory:




Graphics:

Expansion Slots:



Storage:







LAN:
Wireless:


Audio:












USB:




Form Factor:


Pricing:
Intel Socket 1150 for 4th Generation Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron Processors
Intel Z87
4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 3100(O.C)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/
   2666(O.C.)/2600(O.C.)/2500(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/
   1866(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)
Supports NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8 or x8/x4/x4) *1
1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1 *2
3 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Intel Z87 chipset :
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
1 x M.2 (NGFF) Socket 2 on mPCIe Combo II expansion card(s), black
Support M.2 (NGFF) Type 2242 SSD card (22mm x 42mm),
   Support PCI express 2.0 x1 and SATA 6Gb/s standards
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller :
4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
Intel I217V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Bluetooth V4.0 and V3.0+HS
ROG SupremeFX Formula 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
- Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC: 120 dB SNR, -107 dB THD+N (Max. 192 kHz/ 24 -bit)
- TI 6120A2 high fidelity headphone amplifier
- WIMA film capacitors
- ELNA premium audio capacitors
- High-fidelity audio OP AMP(s)
- Differential circuit design
Audio Feature :
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- Sonic Radar
- DTS Connect
Intel Z87 chipset :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
8 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)
ASMedia USB 3.0 controller :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue)
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm ) 
$299  -  $358 on Amazon

There’s steel support on the backside of the PCB to prevent bending, which is good because the CrossChill hybrid air and water cooling system is just asking for a liquid cooler. The feature makes use of G1/4 fittings to give users more flexibility in their setup.

Like the Gene, the Formula features onboard ROG SupremeFX 8-channel HD audio, although the latter does have some additional features, including an HD headphone amp and WIMA film capacitors. The Formula also has the same Extreme Engine Digi+ III VRM as the Gene and the same mPCIe Combo II WiFi and Bluetooth card as the Impact.

     

And perhaps it comes as no surprise, but this mainboard supports up to 32GB of DDR3-3000 (OC) RAM. It supports up to three-way SLI or CrossFire with three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (dual at x8/x8, triple at x8/x4/x4), two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, and the mini-PCIe 2.0 x1 slot afforded by the M.2 module.

There are 10 total SATA (6Gbps) ports--6 from the Z87 chipset and 4 from the ASMedia controller--and 16 USB ports, with 8 apiece of USB 3.0 and USB 3.0. The back panel is home to 10 of those (4 of which are USB 2.0), as well as a clear CMOS button, ROG Connect on/off switch, optical S/PDIF out, HDMI, DisplayPort, Intel gigabit LAN, and six audio jacks. The board itself sports a host of additional buttons and switches, including power and reset buttons, MemOK!, DirectKey, and a Fast Boot switch.

     

Like the Impact and the Gene, there’s lots of good stuff in the box. In addition to the I/O shield, fistful of SATA cables, SLI bridge, user guide, and driver disc, there’s the mPCIe combo card and a movable dual-band antenna to go with it, 2-in-1 Q-Connector kit, handy label stickers, and a door hanger.

In terms of software, the Formula’s disc comes loaded with everything but the kitchen sink: ROG GameFirst II, RAMDisk, ROG CPU-Z, Mem TweakIt, DAEMON Tools Pro Standard, ASUS WebStorage and Utilities, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, and DTS Connect. One feature that the Formula has that the other boards don’t is WiFi GO!, which lets you stream wirelessly to DLNA devices and offers remote control and access features.

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