Asus Rog Max­imus X For­mula

A for­mula for z370 suc­cess

PCPOWERPLAY - - Tech // Reviews - PRICE $ 699 www.asus.com

Asus

Repub­lic of Gamers moth­er­boards fre­quently find their way onto PC en­thu­si­ast’s short­lists. Take just one glance at it and you know you’re look­ing at a se­ri­ously high end moth­er­board. It looks rather like a blend of the full cover Sabre­tooth se­ries com­bined with the func­tion­al­ity of the Apex mod­els. Looks are only a part of it of course. Its chock full of fea­tures and it should be ca­pa­ble of get­ting the most from your In­tel Cof­fee Lake pro­ces­sor.

The fea­ture list is com­pre­hen­sive as you’d ex­pect. An EK wa­ter block is a sig­nif­i­cant in­clu­sion which gives you an idea of its tar­get au­di­ence. As you can see, most of the board is cov­ered on the front and the back which adds to the look.

The I/O area has an in­te­grated shield and is packed with loads of USB ports and AC Wi-Fi along with the usual ar­ray of ports. Ide­ally we’d like to see a 5G or 10G Eth­er­net port on a top end board like this for a lit­tle bit of fu­ture proof­ing. Six SATA ports and a pair of M.2 slots take care of stor­age needs. If we are to nit-pick, per­haps an ex­tra pair of SATA ports would be nice?

One of the eye catch­ing fea­tures is some­thing Asus calls LiveDash, which is a user cus­tom­iz­a­ble 1.3in OLED panel in the cen­tre of the board. It can show var­i­ous sys­tem pa­ram­e­ters or be cus­tom­ized with your own de­sign. Su­per cool! There’s a healthy dose of RGB light­ing as you’d ex­pect, but it ap­pears to be al­most un­der­stated in an age of RGB over­load. It re­ally does look very good.

The Z370 chipset, be­ing an evo­lu­tion of Z270 means that the plat­form is ma­ture and per­for­mance is within a few per­cent across all Z370 moth­er­boards. In our bench­marks, a 5GHz i7-8700K paired with a GTX 1080 Ti put out some re­ally nice frame rates with our de­mand­ing test suite at 1080p. This is of course a key for crank­ing out FPS on high re­fresh rate mon­i­tors. In sys­tem bench­marks we see the power of the over­clocked 8700K with ex­cel­lent Cinebench and PCMark re­sults.

Un­less your CPU is a dud you can pretty much get away with bump­ing the clock mul­ti­plier and some ex­tra volt­age to achieve speeds of 5GHz+ across all cores. Your cool­ing will give out well be­fore the moth­er­board breaks a sweat. We also tried a set of very fast G.Skill DDR4-3866 and got it purring with zero ef­fort with the XMP set­ting. Tweak­ers who like to wring out ev­ery last bit of per­for­mance will be im­pressed with a fa­mil­iar fully fea­tured ROG bios.

The Asus Max­imus X For­mula is a

Achieve speeds of 5GHz+ across all cores, your cool­ing will give out well be­fore the moth­er­board breaks a sweat

very nice look­ing moth­er­board. The some­what sub­tle RGB im­ple­men­ta­tion and OLED dis­play de­mand to be showed off in a win­dowed case. You al­ways have to pay a rel­a­tive premium for ROG boards but if you’re look­ing for a moth­er­board to rock your 8th gen­er­a­tion pro­ces­sor and look good do­ing it, then this one de­serves to be on your short­list. CHRIS SZEWCZYK

MOTH­ER­BOARD

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