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ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Intel Z390 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Testing Configuration and System Benchmark Testing

Testing Configuration

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To verify that the motherboard works as advertised, the board was run through our standard benchmark suite. In most cases, the results are presented for the motherboard under review as well as a different similar-class motherboards for performance comparison purposes. The benchmark tests used should give you a good understanding of the board’s capabilities for both office and gaming use so that you, the reader, can make a more informed purchasing decision.

Test System Setup
Motherboards Intel Z390-based systems
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula
ASUS TUF Z390 Pro Gaming
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Pro

Intel Z370-based systems
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

AMD X470-based systems
GIGABYTE X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI

Intel X299-based systems
GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Gaming 3

CPU Intel Z390-based system
Intel Core i7-8700K
(3.7GHz CPU and Ring Bus, 37 x 100MHz Base Clock)

Intel Z370-based system
Intel Core i7-8700K
(3.7GHz CPU and Ring Bus, 37 x 100MHz Base Clock)

AMD X470-based system
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
(3.7GHz CPU, 37 x 100MHz FSB)

Intel X299-based systems
Intel Core i7-7900X
(3.3GHz CPU and Ring Bus, 33 x 100MHz Base Clock)

Memory Intel Z390-based system
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 modules
(2667MHz, 16-18-18-35-1T, 1.225V)

Intel Z370-based system
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 modules
(2667MHz, 16-18-18-35-1T, 1.225V)

AMD X470-based system
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 modules
(2667MHz, 16-18-18-35-1T, 1.225V)

Intel X299-based systems
Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 modules
(2666MHz, 15-17-17-35-1T, 1.225V)

Hard Drive Intel 730 240GB SSD
Toshiba 1TB SATA III HD
Sound Card On-board sound
Video Card NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB
CPU Cooling XSPC Raystorm water block
Koolance CPU-360i water block
Koolance CPU-390 water block
Video Drivers NVIDIA 376.33
Power Supply Corsair HX750
Operating System Windows 10 Pro x64 Spring Creators Update Release (v1803)

Test Setup Explanation

The 64-bit Windows 10 based test bench used for both the Intel Z390 and Z370 board testing includes an Intel Core i7-8700K processor, 16GB of DDR4-2666 memory, an NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB video card, and an Intel 730 240GB SSD drive. For AMD X370 AM4 board testing, an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X processor, 16GB of DDR4-2666 memory, an NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB video card, and an Intel 730 240GB SSD drive were used in the test system. For Intel X299 board testing includes an Intel Core i9-7900X processor, 16GB of DDR4-2666 memory, an NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB video card, and an Intel 730 240GB SSD drive. Using the selected components gives us the ability to demonstrate the motherboard's capabilities rather than that of the components themselves.

Benchmark Tests used for evaluation:

  • SiSoft Sandra 2017 SP2 (v2017.09.24.41)
  • Handbrake video transcoder v1.0.7
  • Maxon Cinebench R15
  • PCMark 8 v2.7.613

System Benchmark Testing

ATTO Disk Benchmark

To validate that the board’s device ports were functioning correctly, we connected an Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SATA III SSD to the system and ran the ATTO Disk Benchmark against the drive. The SSD was directly connected to the native SATA III ports. NGFF port testing was performed using an M.2 based Samsung 950 Pro PCIe M.2 2280 256GB SSD. The M.2 device was tested using the board's integrated M.2 slot. USB port testing performed using the MyDigitalSSD M2X M.2 drive USB 3.1 Gen 2 compatible enclosure. ATTO was configured to test against transfer sizes from 0.5 to 8192 KB with Total Length set to 512 MB and Queue Depth set to 10. The M.2 SSD selected for testing has a maximum read throughput of 2200 MB/s and a write throughput of 900 MB/s over a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 bus. The selected SSD has a maximum read throughput of 540 MB/s and a write throughput of 520 MB/s on a SATA III controller. The drive tests were repeated three times with the highest repeatable read and write speeds recorded.

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Across the board, drives connected to the native chipset controlled SATA and M.2 ports performed well within specs. Drive performance connected to the chipset controlled USB ports were equally impressive. With the M.2 device attached to the USB 3.0 port, performance fell slightly behind that of the SATA ports. However, the USB 3.0 port performance using the Intel Z390 chipset controlled port was over 10% faster than that of the ASMedia controlled USB 3.0 ports. Performance of the M.2 device attached to the USB 3.1 Type A and C ports was considerably faster, coming in at around 1000 MB/s for both write and read tests.

SiSoft Sandra 2017 SP2

SiSoftware's Sandra benchmark is an industry-standard suite for measuring various aspects of a systems performance. We use the CPU and memory-subsystem tests to validate how well those subsystems perform related to similar classed boards. This test was repeated three times with the highest repeatable scores recorded from each benchmark.

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The Sandra benchmarks remain a fast and easy way to determine system quality from a CPU and memory subsystem perspective. The ROG Maximus XI Formula motherboard performed well, matching performance with the other similarly classed Intel Z390-based systems. This CPU and memory performance parity indicates proper CPU and memory subsystem operation.

Multimedia and System Benchmark Testing

Handbrake v1.0.7

Handbrake was used to convert an uncompressed version of the Iron Man Blu-ray movie in MKV format to a compressed 1080P30 MP4 format. The Iron Man MKV file was ripped from the Blu-ray disc in the past with the file size for the uncompressed media coming in at 26 GB. Handbrake was run with the Fast 1080p30 preset settings enforced with the exception of Anamorphic set to Loose. This test was repeated three times with the lowest repeatable conversion time recorded.

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Video encoding is one of the more system intensive operations, making it a good test to measure system performance quirks under elevated usage scenarios. The ROG Maximus XI Formula board performed as expected, matching performance with the other Intel Z390-based test systems.

Maxon Cinebench R15

Maxon’s Cinebench R15 benchmark can be used determine a system's ability to render 3D content based on their Cinema 4D animation software. The CPU benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible Cinebench points score recorded.

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The ROG Maximus XI Formula board again matched performance with the Intel Z390-based systems, illustrating its optimal functioning.

FutureMark PCMark 8

FutureMark Corporation’s PCMark 8 can be used to reliably ascertain a system’s performance in a Windows 10-based use environment. The benchmark tests chosen for benchmarking included the Home test, Creative test, and Work test. All test suites within the PCMark 8 benchmark were run three times, with the highest reproducible PCMark scores recorded. Note that the Applications test results were not included because of issues encountered between the benchmark and the version of Windows 10 used for testing.

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The ROG Maximus XI Formula motherboard performed well in comparison to the other test systems in this real-world application benchmark. The small performance differences could be attributed to quirks with the benchmark itself and how different Intel boards manage CPU ratios and voltages at stock settings.

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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