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ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Intel Z390 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking

To give a feel for the overclocking performance potential of the ROG Maximus XI Formula motherboard, we attempted to push it to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. Note that for this test, the EK Crosschill VRM cooler was air cooler only. At the stock base clock speed of 100Mhz, we pushed the CPU to 5.0GHz with a 4.7GHz ring bus and 4000MHz memory speeds. This was done at a 1.275V CPU voltage, a 1.20V CPU System Agent Voltage, a 1.05V CPU VCCIO Voltage, and a 1.375V memory voltage with all other values left at default settings. All overclocking sessions remained stable for over 4hrs. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 8x MSAA in stress test mode. Note that 8GB (2 x 4GB) of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-4000 memory modules were used for the overclocking tests.

100MHz Base Clock Stats with 5.0GHZ CPU speed, 4.7 ring bus speed, and 4000MHz memory speed

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Liquid-Cooled VRM Overclocking

Using the same voltage settings, components, testing methods stated above, we we able to eek out a bit more performance from the board by interfacing the EK Crosschill cooler with the DIY cooling loop used for the processor. We we able to push the ring bus speed up to 4.9GHz using the same voltage settings used above in tandem with a 100Mhz base clock, a 5.0GHz CPU speed, and a 4000MHz memory speed by water cooling the VRMs. Unfortunately, the ROG Maximus XI Formula does not provide integrated temperature sensors for the VRMs or the coolers, but the 200MHz performance gain for the ring bus illustrates the gains from liquid cooling the VRMs sufficiently.

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100MHz Base Clock Stats with 5.0GHZ CPU speed, 4.9 ring bus speed, and 4000MHz memory speed

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Pricing

As of February 25, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula motherboard was available at Amazon.com for $418.39 with Prime shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for the same $418.39 price.

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Conclusion

The ROG Maximus XI Formula board is a sample of ASUS at their best. The board is almost perfect design-wise and aesthetically, engineered for superior performance as well as to easily integrate into almost any gamer build. The old adage "you get what you pay for" applies here. The price of the ROG Maximus XI Formula is bordering on unapproachable for all but the top-tier enthusiasts, but ASUS did integrate several features to justify the price - full board armor, the custom designed EK Crosschill copper VRM cooling block, integrated LiveDash OLED display panel, and the Aquantia AQC111C 5G LAN port and Intel 802.11AC 2.2 WiFi ports integrated into the rear panel. ASUS also took an innovative approach to the integrated RGB LEDs, embedding them into the armored panels covering the board's surface and giving the board a very futuristic Matrix-like quality. The board's performance speaks for itself with high levels in both stock and overclocked configurations.

Strengths

  • Stock and Overclocking performance
  • Gamer-friendly board aesthetics, layout, and design
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • Storage offerings - dual M.2 ports and SATA ports
  • Network offerings - Intel I219-V GigE NIC, Aquantia AQC111C 5G NIC, and Intel 802.11AC 2.2 WiFi
  • Configurable board-integrated RGB LEDs using Aura Windows app
  • EK designed Crosschill copper VRM hybrid cooler
  • LiveDash OLED display
  • Multiple 12V RGB and 5V addressable RGB LED headers
  • M.2 port placement and cooling
  • CMOS battery placement
  • Full cover board armor
  • USB 3.1 front panel port
  • Usable PCIe x1 port with all PCIe x16 ports populated

Weaknesses

  • Price
  • Lack of UEFI RGB LED configuration
  • Bandwidth sharing between M.2, PCIe x16, and SATA port
  • ASMedia USB 3.0 port performance

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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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