Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of ASUS
The Maximus VIII Extreme is the flagship in the ROG (Republic of Gamer) board line, offering supporting the Intel Z170 chipset. The board features the standard black and red ROG aesthetics in an E-ATX form factor to best accommodate the slew of features and supported options offered with this board. ASUS integrated black chrome heat sinks with integrated LEDs for a unique and customizable look. The board's integrated Intel Z170 chipset integrates support for the latest Intel LGA1151 Skylake processor line as well as Dual Channel DDR4 memory. The Maximus VIII Extreme may not be very approachable for most users at its $499 MSRP, but the price remains justified given the sheer amount of features integrated into the board and the included accessories.
Courtesy of ASUS
Courtesy of ASUS
Courtesy of ASUS
ASUS integrated the following features into the Maximus VIII Extreme board: four SATA 3 ports; two SATA-Express ports; one U.2 32Gbps port; one M.2 PCIe x4 capable port; an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC; 3x3 802.11ac WiFI adapter; four PCI-Express x16 slots; two PCI-Express x1 slots; on-board power, reset, MemOK!, Safe Boot, ReTry, DirectKey, Multi-GPU, BIOS Switch, Clear CMOS, and USB BIOS Flashback buttons; Slow Mode and PCIe Lane switches; LN2 Mode jumper; ProbeIt voltage measurement points; 2-digit Q-Code LED diagnostic display; ROG SupremeFX 2015 8-Channel audio subsystem; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI video ports; and USB 3.0 and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support. ASUS also included their Fan Extension controller card and OC Panel II device and accesory pack with the Maximus VIII Extreme board.
Courtesy of ASUS
ASUS included their OC Panel II device with the Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard. This device can be used as an external panel or case-mounted using the included 5.25" device bay. The OC Panel II gives user access to a variety of OC settings as well as board bus speed, temperature, and fan speed monitoring settings. Additionally, the panel provides additional fan and temperature headers as well as headers used for advanced overclocking endeavors.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 16, 2016 - 11:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rx 480, ROG, Radeon RX 480, polaris 10 xt, polaris 10, DirectCU III, asus
Following its previous announcement, Asus has released more information on the Republic of Gamers STRIX RX 480 graphics card. Pricing is still a mystery but the factory overclocked card will be available in the middle of next month!
In my previous coverage, I detailed that the STRIX RX 480 would be using a custom PCB along with Asus' DirectCU III cooler and Aura RGB back lighting. Yesterday, Asus revealed that the card also has a custom VRM solution that, in an interesting twist, draws all of the graphics card's power from the two PCI-E power connectors and nothing from the PCI-E slot. This would explain the inclusion of both a 6-pin and 8-pin power connector on the card! I do think that it is a bit of an over-reaction to not draw anything from the slot, but it is an interesting take on powering a graphics card and I'm interested to see how it all works out once the reviews hit and overclockers get a hold of it!
The custom graphics card is assembled using Asus' custom "Auto Extreme" automated assembly process and uses "Super Alloy Power II" components (which is to say that Asus claims to be using high quality hardware and build quality). The DirectCU III cooler is similar to the one used on the STRIX GTX 1080 and features direct contact heatpipes, an aluminum fin stack, and three Wing Blade fans that can spin down to zero RPMs when the card is being used on the desktop or during "casual gaming." The fan shroud and backplate are both made of metal which is a nice touch. Asus claims that the cooler is 30% cooler and three times quieter than the RX 480 reference cooler.
Last but certainly not least, Asus revealed boost clock speeds! The STRIX RX 480 will clock up to 1,330 MHz in OC Mode and up to 1,310 MHz in Gaming Mode. Further Asus has not touched the GDDR5 memory frequency which stays at the reference 8 GHz. Asus did not reveal base (average) GPU clocks. I was somewhat surprised by the factory overclock as I did not expect much out of the box, but 1,330 MHz is fairly respectable. This card should have a lot more headroom beyond that though, and fortunately Asus provides software that will automatically overclock the card even further with one click (GPU Tweak II also lets advanced users manually overclock the card). Users should be able to hit at least 1,450 MHz assuming they do decently in the silicon lottery.
For reference, stock RX 480s are clocked at 1,120 MHz base and up to 1,266 MHz boost. Asus claims their factory overclock results in a 15% higher score in 3DMark Fire Strike and 19% more performance in DOOM and Hitman.
Other features of the STRIX RX 480 include FanConnect which is two 4-pin fan headers that allows users to hook up two case fans and allow them to be controlled by the GPU. Aura RGB LEDs on the shroud and backplate allow users to match their build aesthetics. Asus also includes XSplit GameCaster for game streaming with the card.
No word on pricing yet, but you will be able to get your hands on the card in the middle of next month (specifically "worldwide from mid-August")!
This card is definitely one of the most interesting RX 480 designs so far and I am anxiously awaiting the full reviews!
How far do you think the triple fan cooler can push AMD's Polaris 10 XT GPU?
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 12, 2016 - 12:01 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: strix, rx 480, Radeon RX 480, polaris 10, asus, amd
Alongside the launch of AMD’s reference design Radeon RX 480, the company’s various AIB (Add-In Board) partners began announcing their own custom versions pairing AMD’s Polaris 10 GPU with custom PCBs and coolers. Asus took the launch to heart and teased its Radeon RX 480 STRIX under it’s ROG lineup. The press release was rather scant with details, but it does look like a promising card that will let users really push Polaris 10 to it’s limits.
Thanks to forum user Eroticus over at VideoCardz, the RX 480 STRIX looks to use a custom PCB and power delivery design that feeds the GPU via two PCI-E power connectors in addition to the PCI-E slot. Asus is not talking clock speeds on the GPU, but they did reveal that they are going with 8GB of GDDR5 memory at 8 GHz. The DirectCU III cooler pairs heatpipes and an aluminum fin stack with three shrouded fans. There is also a backplate (of course, with a LED backlit logo) which should help support the card and provide a bit more cooling.
I would not expect too much of a factory (out of the box) overclock from this card. However, I do expect that users will be able to seriously overclock the Polaris 10 GPU thanks to the extra power connector (allegedly one 6-pin and one 8-pin which seems a bit much but we’ll see!) and beefy air cooler.
For reference, the, well, reference design RX 480 has base and boost clock speeds of 1120 MHz and 1266 MHz respectively. The Polaris 10 GPU has 2,304 cores, 144 texture units, and 32 raster operators. If buyers get a good chip in their RX 480 Strix, it may be possible for them to get to 1400 MHz boost as some of the rumors around the Internet claim though it’s hard to say for sure as that may require quite a bit more voltage (and heat) to reach. I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility though!
Of course it would not be Republic of Gamers’ material without LEDs, and ASUS delivers with the inclusion of its Aura RGB LEDs on the cooler shroud and backplate which I believe are user configurable in Asus’ software utility.
Beyond that, not much is known about the upcoming RX 480 STRIX graphics card. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information as it gets closer to availability!
- The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise
- PowerColor Radeon RX 480 Red Devil Leak
- PCPer Live! Radeon RX 480 Live Stream with Raja Koduri!
- Meet ASUS' DirectCU III on the Radeon Fury
Subject: Motherboards | July 7, 2016 - 04:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, rog x99 strix gaming, X99
The relatively recent refresh of X99 motherboards have seen several features become standard including an RGB lightshow, USB 3.1 and U.2 ports, though the chipset itself remains unchanged. [H]ard|OCP tried out ASUS' new ROG X99 Strix Gaming motherboard recently, even suffering for their fans while doing so. That minor fingernail related incident aside the board proved quite capable, though perhaps not to the extreme level they were hoping to see. In part that lies in the fact that this is a Gaming board as opposed to one of the extreme overclocking boards, which is also reflected in the pricing. For those looking for a board that runs out of the box, with some overclocking potential it is worth looking at the full review; those hoping to play with LN2 may wish to shop around more.
"ASUS’ ROG X99 STRIX GAMING motherboard adds a bit of bling to the ROG line and much needed fresh blood that comes with some cool features and a much lower price point than other ROG X99 chipset offerings. And it has all the pretty lights in any color you want, if that is your thing."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming (with Broadwell-E) @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte X99 Phoenix SLI @ Modders-Inc
- MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon @ Kitguru
- ASUS Z170-Pro Skylake Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASRock Z170M OC Formula (Intel LGA-1151) @ techPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 4, 2016 - 03:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, ROG, GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING, GTX 1080, factory overclocked
It is rather difficult to rate the cost to performance ratio of GTX 1080's as the prices and availability are in a constant state of flux but we can certainly peg the overall performance of the cards. [H]ard|OCP recently strapped the new ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING GPU to their testbed to see how it performs. Right out of the box the cards base clock is 1759MHz with a boost clock of 1898MHz and 10GHz GDDR5X, which [H] successfully raised to 1836MHz base, 1973MHz boost with in game frequencies reaching 2139 MHz and the GDDR5 running at 11.3GHz. This had an effect on performance.
"Today we review in full detail our first custom GeForce GTX 1080 video card. ASUS has decked the ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING out with a factory overclock, the STRIX cooling system, and a fully customizable lighting system. Let's see this beast overclock and compare it to the previous gen's GTX 980 Ti and Radeon R9 Fury X."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW GAMING ACX 3.0 @ Bjorn3d
- MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G RGB @ Kitguru
- MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8 GB @ techPowerUp
- Radeon RX 480 @ Hardware Secrets
- The OpenGL Speed & Performance-Per-Watt From The Radeon RX 480 To HD 4850/4870 @ Phoronix
Subject: General Tech | June 23, 2016 - 01:02 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Zen, western digital, video, vbios, SM961, sli, Samsung, rx 480, radeon, podcast, My Passport Wireless Pro, msi, GTX 1080, evga, drobo, be quiet, asus, amd, 960 PRO
PC Perspective Podcast #405 - 06/23/2016
Join us this week as we discuss an AMD RX 480 hands-on, 32-core Zen rumors, the ASUS/MSI VBIOS scandal and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Kaspersky Labs!
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Josh Walrath
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 22, 2016 - 04:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, sapphire, Radeon RX 480, powercolor, gigabyte, asus, amd
An astute reader spotted several more RX 480's on Newegg, lacking clock speeds but providing physical dimensions, albeit with what looks to be a stock image. All three cards seem to be dual slot designs, XFX's card measuring 10" x 5", ASUS' at 11.8" x 5.4" and Sapphire's a wide bodied 11.8" x 6.5". This could indicate a custom cooler or merely that the cards have rough dimensions listed as opposed to the exact size.
Unfortunately the comparison and details page is unavailable so we don't have a way to see the listed clock speeds but we can be sure that they will have three DP 1.2 ports and an HDMI out. We will keep an eye out for any more leaks we can share with you.
Subject: Mobile | June 21, 2016 - 06:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, Chromebook, Chromebook Flip
ASUS' new Chromebook Flip convertible laptop can be yours for about ~$250, not too shabby for a tablet, let alone a laptop. However for this price a few sacrifices must be made, including the use of Chrome OS as it is a Chromebook after all. The hardware is a quad-core, 32-bit ARM chip from Rockchip called the RK3288C which can reach up to 1.8GHz. It also has 4GB of RAM and 16GB of local storage using eMMC flash and a two year subscription to Google drive to give you 100GB of additional storage. The Tech Report were quite enamoured of this little 10.1", 1280x800 IPS touch screen device, it may not be the fastest machine out there but for the price they felt it to be quiet impressive.
"Asus' Chromebook Flip is an all-aluminum convertible PC that runs Google's Chrome OS. Its $240-ish price tag puts it in contention with the budget Windows PCs we usually suggest in our mobile staff picks. We put the Flip to the test to see whether it's a worthy Windows alternative."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Dell XPS 13 Gold Edition Review – Worlds Best Ultra Puts MBA In Its Place @ The SSD Review
- Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 Phone @ KitGuru
- The Ditto – Cell Phone Alert @ Hardware Secrets
- GELID ZenTree USB Docking Station @ TechARP
- DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 17, 2016 - 12:52 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: asus, GTX 1080, strix, vbios
Yesterday, there were several news stories posted on TechpowerUp and others claiming that ASUS and MSI were sending out review samples of GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards with higher clock speeds than retail parts. The insinuation of course is that ASUS was cheating, overclocking the cards going to media for reviews in order to artificially represent performance.
Image source: Techpowerup
MSI and ASUS have been sending us review samples for their graphics cards with higher clock speeds out of the box, than what consumers get out of the box. The cards TechPowerUp has been receiving run at a higher software-defined clock speed profile than what consumers get out of the box. Consumers have access to the higher clock speed profile, too, but only if they install a custom app by the companies, and enable that profile. This, we feel, is not 100% representative of retail cards, and is questionable tactics by the two companies. This BIOS tweaking could also open the door to more elaborate changes like a quieter fan profile or different power management.
There was, and should be, a legitimate concern about these types of moves. Vendor one-up-manship could lead to an arms race of stupidity, similar to what we saw on motherboards and base frequencies years ago, where CPUs would run at 101.5 MHz base clock rather than 100 MHz (resulting in a 40-50 MHz total clock speed change) giving that board a slight performance advantage. However, the differences we are talking about with the GTX 1080 scandal are very small.
- Retail VBIOS base clock: 1683 MHz
- Media VBIOS base clock: 1709 MHz
- Delta: 1.5%
And in reality, that 1.5% clock speed difference (along with the 1% memory clock rate difference) MIGHT result in ~1% of real-world performance changes. Those higher clock speeds are easily accessible to consumers by enabling the "OC Mode" in the ASUS GPU Tweak II software shipped with the graphics card. And the review sample cards can also be adjusted down to the shipping clock speeds through the same channel.
ASUS sent along its official statement on the issue.
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards come with exclusive GPU Tweak II software, which provides silent, gaming, and OC modes allowing users to select a performance profile that suits their requirements. Users can apply these modes easily from within GPU Tweak II.The press samples for the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC and ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 OC cards are set to “OC Mode” by default. To save media time and effort, OC mode is enabled by default as we are well aware our graphics cards will be reviewed primarily on maximum performance. And when in OC mode, we can showcase both the maximum performance and the effectiveness of our cooling solution.Retail products are in “Gaming Mode” by default, which allows gamers to experience the optimal balance between performance and silent operation. We encourage end-users to try GPU Tweak II and adjust between the available modes, to find the best mode according to personal needs or preferences.For both the press samples and retail cards, all these modes can be selected through the GPU Tweak II software. There are no differences between the samples we sent out to media and the retail channels in terms of hardware and performance.Sincerely,ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
While I don't believe that ASUS' intentions were entirely to save me time in my review, and I think that the majority of gamers paying $600+ for a graphics card would be willing to enable the OC mode through software, it's clearly a bad move on ASUS' part to have done this. Having a process in place at all to create a deviation from retail cards on press hardware is questionable, other than checking for functionality to avoid shipping DOA hardware to someone on a deadline.
As of today I have been sent updated VBIOS for the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 that put them into exact same mode as the retail cards consumers can purchase.
We are still waiting for a direct response from MSI on the issue as well.
Hopefully this debacle will keep other vendors from attempting to do anything like this in the future. We don't need any kind of "quake/quack" in our lives today.
Subject: General Tech | June 16, 2016 - 12:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: computex 2016, gx700, avalon, asus
The Tech Report must have been a little worn down by Computex, which is not uncommon as that week long show will take out even the heartiest of individuals. Nevertheless they have managed to compose both themselves and a roundup article of everything they officially witnessed during the show. They did pick up some unique photos such as the innards of the ASUS Avalon modular desktop PC as you can see below. They also snapped a photo of the twin 330W power supplies required for the watercooled ASUS GX700 gaming laptop. There are seven pages in total so grab a beverage and peruse at your leisure.
"A couple weeks ago, we trekked all over Taipei to take in everything that Computex 2016 had to offer. Come with us and see the state of the PC in 2016, as interpreted by dozens of companies both small and large."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google kills off Swiffy Flash conversion tool as it moves all ads to HTML5 @ The Register
- Spam King sent down for 30 months @ The Register
- Admins in outcry as Microsoft fix borks Group Policy @ The Register
- Jide's Remix Pro is a Surface killer based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow @ The Register
- Samsung Reveals 2016 Galaxy J Series Smartphones @ TechARP
- Yes 4G LTE Network With VoLTE Capability Revealed @ TechARP