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ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Intel Z390 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Application Overview

Included Applications

  • ASUS AI Suite 3
  • ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5 with 5-Way Optimization
  • TPU (Turbo Processing Unit) Insight
  • DIGI+ Power Control
  • EPU Guidance
  • Turbo EVO
  • Fan Xpert 4
  • PC Cleaner
  • EZ Update
  • Ai Charger
  • Turbo LAN
  • AURA RGB Lighting Control
  • ROG GameFirst V
  • ROG RAMCache III
  • ROG RAMDisk
  • ROG CPU-Z
  • ROG AURA RGB Lighting Control
  • ROG Mem TweakIt
  • Intel Extreme Turning Utility

AI Suite 3

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The AI Suite 3 application is a bundling mechanism for all the included ASUS designed utilities, providing a centralized panel from which to access and run the applets. All applets can be accessed by clicking on the expansion button on the middle left side of the page. The applet list then slides out to the right in a frame along the inside left of the page. The USB BIOS Flashback Wizard creates a BIOS file that can be used in conjunction with the BIOS Flashback functionality built into the board to re-flash the BIOS without the need for booting. This is functionality that I wish more motherboard vendors would embrace because it is easier than you think to corrupt a BIOS. Normally, the board is toast if you cannot boot into the BIOS or reset it successfully. This BIOS Flashback function gives you another option and has saved my bacon in at least one instance in the recent past.

Dual Intelligent Processors 5

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The main app opens to the Dual Intelligent Processors 5 page, organized into separate sections for each of the five 5-Way Optimization features. The overclocking settings are housed in the TPU Insight section. The EPU Guidance section houses power saving related settings. The DIGI+ VRM section houses settings specific to the board power circuitry, and the Fan Xpert 4 section contains fan controls. The Turbo App section houses application specific performance, network priority, and audio settings. Along the top of the app windows are the entry point for the AI Optimization wizard and the entry point for the 5-Way Optimization wizard. Along the bottom of the app window are real-time monitoring display settings.

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AI Optimization wizard start page

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5-Way Optimization wizard page

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5-Way Optimization wizard page continued

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TPU Insight page, CPU Frequency tab

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TPU Insight page, CPU Frequency tab continued

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Fan Xpert 4 page

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DIGI+ VRM page, CPU tab

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Turbo App page

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EPU Guidance page

ROG RAMCache III

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The ROG RAMCache III application can be used to setup an external high-speed cache partition for any attached hard drives or SSDs using an allocated portion of system memory. The upper limit of the cache is determined by the amount of memory in the system.

ROG RAMDisk

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The ROG RAMDisk application is used to setup a write-able partition using a portion of your system memory. Setting up a Junction point configures the program to auto-administer the selected folders and files to take advantage of the high-speed RAM disk partition.

ASUS AURA RGB LED Lighting Control

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The ASUS AURA applet controls the active state of the RGB LEDs embedded in to the board as well as LED strips connected to the board's RGB LED 12V header. The controlled LEDs can be configured for any desired color using the color picker control and to operate in a variety of modes including static, breathing, color cycle, rainbow, comet, flash and dash, wave, glowing yoyo, starry-night, strobing, smart, and music effect.

ROG LiveDash

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The ROG LiveDash applet controls the information displayed on the LiveDash OLED module on the board. The applet is split into three tabs, each allowing for different customization to the LiveDash display. By default, the CPU temperature displays after system bootup has completed. Various other BIOS monitored settings can be configured via the Hardware Monitor tab as well. If you prefer a custom image or Animation, the custom image/animation can be uploaded to the display via the Image or Animation tab. A custom message with a ROG logo can also be used via the Custom Banner tab.

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Image or Animation tab

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Custom Banner tab

GameFirst V

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GameFirst V is the latest revision of ASUS' application for optimizing network traffic through the on-board network controllers for gaming use. It offers the same functionality as offered with the Killer NIC series of network adapters. The application offers EZ mode with pre-configured profiles as well as Advanced mode for more granular network traffic configuration.

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Network Monitor page

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Network Information page

Mem TweakIt

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Mem TweakIt is used to configure memory timing settings with all settings from the BIOS available for configuration through Windows.

Intel Extreme Tuning Utility

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The Intel Extreme Tuning Utility app provides board and subsystem level information about the CPU and memory speeds, allowing for both automated and manual based overclocking of the board. Additionally, multiple stress tests are integrated into the application for settings testing as well as area to save and retrieve settings profiles.

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Basic Tuning page

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Advanced Tuning page

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Advanced Tuning page continued

Video News


February 25, 2019 | 04:14 PM - Posted by Ripersnifel (not verified)

I was under the impression that this board has the same VRM as the lower cost z390 maximus boards - which is not a true ten phase, but a 4 phase with doublers +2 for power to the igpu - or something along those lines.

February 25, 2019 | 08:19 PM - Posted by Marc M. (not verified)

Actually it's a 4 + 2 phase VRM. Four phases are for the CPU, and each phase has two power stages. The problem with that is the efficiency that goes out the window, and the inductance gets cut in half. The other two phases are for the iGPU. And it's not like ASUS uses some kind of super high end VRM components, or they know something that no one else does. ASUS just wants to save money, and when you can save $30 per motherboard on VRM design, it quickly adds to millions. If you want a motherboard with decent VRM, get the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme. I never liked Gigabyte much, but damn, they stepped up their game!

February 27, 2019 | 07:15 PM - Posted by Brett Hood (not verified)

Thanks Morry great write up this is a seriously attractive M/B highly quality all the way through

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