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ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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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.

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

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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.

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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.

Continue reading our preview of the ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard!

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

The Maximus VIII Extreme features a massive 13+2 phase digital power system, providing more than enough power to the CPU/GPU and DDR4 memory for whatever you choose to throw at it. The power delivery system itself consists of Infineon OptiMOS MOSFETs, MicroFine alloy chokes, and 10k-rated Japanese-sourced black-metallic capacitors. For board aesthetic configurability, ASUS integrated an RGB LED into the chipset heat sink. This LED can be configured to display any color desired as well as operate in one of seven modes: Static, Breathing, Strobing, Color Cycle, Music Effect, and CPU temperature. LED operation can be easily configured using the Lighting Control applet included on the driver disc.

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Courtesy of ASUS

Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)

CPU Intel® Socket 1151 for 6th Generation Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Pentium® / Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 14 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset Intel® Z170
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3866(O.C.) / 3800(O.C.) / 3733(O.C.) / 3600(O.C.) / 3500(O.C.) / 3466(O.C.) / 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

** Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.

Graphics Integrated Graphics Processor - Intel® HD Graphics support
Multi-VGA output support: HDMI/DisplayPort 1.2 ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 512 MB
Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD 4-Way CrossFireX Technology
Expansion Slots 3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8 or x8 / x4 / x4, gray)
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x4 mode, gray)
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1 (black)
Storage Intel® Z170 chipset:
1 x M.2 x4 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode) *1
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray, 4 ports from 2 x SATA Express
2 x SATA Express port
1 x U.2 port
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology supports *2
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology *2

*1 The M.2 slot shares bandwidth with U.2 slot and SATA Express 1 slot. Please refers to user manual for detail information.
*2 This function will work depending on the CPU installed.

ASMedia® ASM1061 controller:
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), black *3

*3 These SATA ports are for data hard drives only. ATAPI devices are not supported.

LAN Intel® I219V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), GameFirst technology
Intel® LAN- Dual interconnect between the Integrated LAN controller and Physical Layer (PHY)
Anti-surge LANGuard
Wireless Data Network Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Supports dual band frequency 2.4 / 5 GHz
Up to 1300Mbps transfer speed
Bluetooth Bluetooth V4.0
Audio ROG SupremeFX 2015 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports: Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
- ESS® ES9023P DAC: dB SNR, dB THD+N (Max. kHz/ -bit)
- TI RC4580 2VRMS audio OP AMP(s)
Audio Feature:
- Gold-plated jacks
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Sonic SenseAmp
- Sonic Studio II
- Sonic Radar II
USB Ports Intel® Z170 chipset:
8 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 4 at mid-board)

Intel® Z170 chipset: *4
6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (6 at mid-board)

*4 2 x USB2.0 port at mid-board comes from the ROG extension (ROG_EXT) port.

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller:
2 x USB 3.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, red, Type-A)

Intel® USB 3.1 controller:
2 x USB 3.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, Type-A + Type-C)

OC Panel II 2.6" LCM display
EXTREME/NORMAL mode switch
EXTREME Mode for subzero OC benching:
- VGA Hotwire
- Subzero Sense
- Slow Mode
- Pause Switch
- ProbeIt
- ReTry button
- Safe Boot button
2 x Thermal sensor connectors
4 x 4-pin extra fan connectors *5
NORMAL Mode for in-chassis usage:
- OC button
- FanSpeed control button
- LCM backlight on/off button
I/O Ports:
- POWER:1 x SATA power connector
- ROG_EXT port: 1 x 18-1 pin data connection port

*5 2 of the Fan connectors on OC Panel support PWM mode.

ROG Exclusive Features Start Button
Reset Button
LN2 Mode
Extreme Engine Digi+:
- MicroFine Alloy Chokes
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
- OptiMOS™ MOSFET
Mem TweakIt
ROG Extreme OC kit:
- ReTry button
- Safe Boot button
- Start button
- Reset button
- Slow Mode
- LN2 Mode
- PCIe x16 Lane Switch
- Debug LED
- EZ Plug
- DRAM channel jumper
ProbeIt
KeyBot II
- One-click Overclocking
- X.M.P.
- DirectKey
- ClrCMOS
- Power On
UEFI BIOS features:
- O.C. Profile
- GPU.DIMM Post
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview
ROG RAMDisk

iROG

Extreme Tweaker

USB BIOS Flashback

Overclocking Protection:
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection - EX)

Special Features OC Design - ASUS PRO Clock Technology
- Full BCLK range for extreme overclocking performance
5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
- 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 3, and Turbo App
ASUS Wi-Fi GO!
- Wi-Fi GO! Function: Cloud GO!, Remote Desktop, Remote Keyboard & Mouse, File Transfer
- Wi-Fi GO! & NFC Remote app for portable smartphone/tablet, supporting iOS 7 & Android 4.0 systems
ASUS Exclusive Features
- GPU Boost
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- USB 3.1 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
- Mobo Connect
- PC Cleaner
Remote Entertainment
- Media Streamer
- HyStream
ASUS EZ DIY:
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 3
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
- Push Notice
ASUS Q-Design:
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector
RAMCache
Operating System Support Windows® 10, 64bit
Windows® 8.1, 64bit
Windows® 7 x86 / x64
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
1 x USB 3.1 (black)Type-C
3 x USB 3.1 (red)Type-A
4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac and Bluetooth v4.0 / 3.0+HS)
Internal I/O Ports 1 x U.2 port
1 x AAFP connector
2 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s)
3 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 6 USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x SATA Express connector: gray, Compatible with 4 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
1 x Thunderbolt header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power connector(s)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x Slow Mode switch(es)
9 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
3 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x DRAM channel jumper
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x BIOS Switch button(s)
1 x SLI/CFX button (2 / 3 / 4-way adjustments)
1 x Water Pump header (4-pin)
1 x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1 x Safe Boot button
1 x ReTry button
Accessories User's manual
ASUS Q-Shield
8 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x CPU installation tool
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x ASUS 3T3R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac compliant)
1 x Fan Extension Card (3 x 4-pin fan out)
1 x Fan Extension card screw pack
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x CrossFire cable(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (1 in 1)
3 x Thermal sensor cable pack(s)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
ROG Fan Label
1 x 5-pin to 5-pin cable
1 x ROG Door Hanger(s)

OC Panel II
1 x OC Panel II(s)
1 x OC Panel II 5.25-inch bay metal case
1 x OC Panel II Cable(s)
1 x OC Panel II screw pack(s)

BIOS 1 x 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI3.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, F9 Quick Note, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut functions and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information.
Manageability WfM2.0, DMI3.0, WOL by PME, PXE
Support Disc Drivers
ROG GameFirst technology
ROG RAMDisk
ROG RAMCache
ROG CPU-Z
ROG Mem TweakIt
Overwolf
ROG Keybot II
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
ASUS WebStorage
ASUS Utilities
Form Factor Extended ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 10.7 inch ( 30.5 cm x 27.2 cm )

 


August 8, 2016 | 12:45 PM - Posted by Balthazar2k4 (not verified)

"Holding the "Flagship" moniker for the ASUS ROG Z170 board line, the board is shock full of features and accessories including the latest edition of their OC Panel device."

Try chock-full instead of shock full.

August 8, 2016 | 12:51 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

I'm shocked by this comment.

August 8, 2016 | 01:58 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks, fixed...

August 8, 2016 | 01:34 PM - Posted by quest4glory

Test System Setup shows GTX 780. Pic shows a Palit GTX 570 label? I don't really care, just thought that was inconsistent.

Also, can we not get great CMOS battery placement with a $500 motherboard? This doesn't seem like too much to ask.

August 12, 2016 | 08:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I agree, the CMOS battery tech hasn't changed since the conception of integrated circuits...what gives..?

August 8, 2016 | 01:47 PM - Posted by larry345 (not verified)

I would call that a clever play on words Mr. Dictionary. If not a little callous don't you think?

August 8, 2016 | 02:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Doesn't make much sense to have such an expensive board on a socket that can only use midrange CPUs

August 8, 2016 | 04:02 PM - Posted by quest4glory

Fastest possible single threaded performance out there. It matters for some people and some apps.

August 8, 2016 | 08:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How much more performance are we talking for spending two or three times the amount for this board instead of something else?

August 9, 2016 | 04:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Fair enough, although I wonder if LGA2011 can clock higher than mainstream chips when good cooling is used (custom water or better), as the lack of soldered heat spreader on mainstream chips should cause a heat bottleneck that reduces scaling with improved coolers

August 8, 2016 | 10:58 PM - Posted by brucek2

I get that there's always a market for the best of the best (even if small.)

What's confused me though about this and previous similar offerings from ASUS is the timing. The Z170 chipset is nearly a year old. Are there really people who want the best of the best, cost no concern, but were twiddling their thumbs for a year? I would have imagined that set of buyers upgraded their rigs long ago.

Or are there really people that rebuild their already top-end rig at this point in the cycle? Even disregarding cost, seems like a lot of hassle for little performance returns left on the table?

August 9, 2016 | 09:04 PM - Posted by Zaxx (not verified)

Man....this thing has ALL the bells and whistles...as well it should. At $500 it better gimme a chubby every time it posts...lol

One thing that doesn't make sense...an ASMedia 1061 (from 2012) for the 2 additional sata 6gbs/usb 3 ports...pretty much a turd on an otherwise nice lawn. I guess if u can afford a $500 non-X99 mobo, you'll prolly be pimpin a $300 raid card too...lol

August 19, 2016 | 04:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why is a board almost a year old just now being reviewed?

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