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Old 3rd March 2017, 6:50 PM   #1
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Default ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX FORMULA – User Review

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX FORMULA – User Review






Introduction

Helloooooo People!!!!

Welcome to the wonderful world of High End Gaming motherboards. The Asus Maximus Formula series has always been one of the most well-appointed gaming boards you can buy. The Maximus IX is no exemption to this.

The Maximus IX Formula is based on the Intel Z270 Chipset, which means it is suitable for the LGA 1151 Socket which support of the current 7th Generation Intel Core Processors, as well as the previous 6th gen Skylake processors. This is the second highest tier board in the ROG lineup, only surpassed by the soon to be released Maximus IX Extreme.

Asus, as always have had a no-holds-barred approach with the ROG line, and the current Maximus IX Formula boasts many upgrades to suit even the most die-hard gamers and modders. Features include full Aura RGB lighting and connectivity, ROG Armour Back-plate and ABS front cover, Safeslot reinforced PCIe slots to provide extra strength for heavier GPUs. For the custom watercoolers, Asus have teamed up with EK to provide VRM cooling via their CrossChill EK II VRM block. Finalising the main visual upgrades is Asus new pre-mounted IO shied, to provide better strength, easier installation, looks better aesthetically and provides for safer electrical protection.



Sound is also upgraded to the latest generation too, featuring the SupremeFX S1220 Codec with the special Asus touch to add to clarity. The software included is easy to use, and includes the new Sonic Radar III for those FPS gamers looking for that little extra edge.

I could easily keep going with the inclusions here, but I will save any further for the photos. The list just keeps going! Let’s keep moving…….



Last edited by headin2001; 8th March 2017 at 6:23 AM.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 6:50 PM   #2
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Specifications






• CPU
Intel® Socket 1151 for 7th/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® Z270

• Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 4133(O.C.)/4000(O.C.)/3866(O.C.)/3733(O.C.)/3600(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.*

• Graphic
Integrated Graphics Processor*
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 1024 MB

• Multi-GPU Support
Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology*
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology

• Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8, gray)*
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black)
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

• Storage
Intel® Z270 Chipset :*
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode only)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology supports
Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

• LAN
Intel® I219V
Anti-surge LANGuard
ROG GameFirst Technology

• Wireless Data Network
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Supports MU-MIMO

• Bluetooth
Bluetooth V4.1

• Audio
ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220
- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
- ESS® ES9023P
- Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback

Audio Feature :
- Gold-plated jacks
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Sonic Radar III
- Sonic Studio III

• USB Ports
ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :*
1 x USB 3.1 front panel connector port(s)*
ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :*
2 x USB 3.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, )
Intel® Z270 Chipset :*
6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, , 2 at mid-board)
Intel® Z270 Chipset :*
6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, , 2 at mid-board)

• ROG Exclusive Features
CrossChill EK (Hybrid air and liquid cooling)
ROG Armor (including top cover and SECC steel backplate)
ROG RAMCache II
ROG CloneDrive
Pre-mounted I/O Shield
MemOK! Button
CMOS button
ReTry Button
Safe Boot Button
Start Button
Reset Button
LN2 Mode
GameFirst IV
ROG Aura

- Aura Lighting Control
- Aura RGB Strip Headers
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
- MicroFine Alloy Chokes
- NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
KeyBot II
- X.M.P.
- ClrCMOS
- Power On
UEFI BIOS features :
- O.C. Profile
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview
ROG RAMDisk
Extreme Tweaker[/B]
BIOS Flashback

• Special Features
ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 :
- 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Xpert 3, and Turbo App
ASUS Exclusive Features*:
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger*
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3*
- ASUS EZ Flash 3*
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback*
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM*
- ASUS Q-Connector
Overclocking Protection :
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

• Back I/O Ports
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
1 x USB 3.1 (red)Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 (black)Type-C
4 x USB 3.0 (blue)*
4 x USB 2.0*
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
2 x Wi-Fi antenna port(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)

• Internal I/O Ports
2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers
1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)*
1 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode only)
1 x TPM connector(s)*
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
1 x H_AMP fan connector*
1 x W_PUMP+ connector (1 x 4 -pin)
1 x AIO_PUMP connector (1 x 4 -pin)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x Slow Mode switch(es)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1 x Safe Boot button
1 x ReTry button
1 x EXT_Fan header
1 x W_IN header
1 x W_OUT header
1 x W_FLOW header
1 x Thermal sensor connector
1 x Start button
1 x USB 3.1 front panel connector

• Accessories
User's manual
3 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x CPU installation tool
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x ASUS 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)
1 x ROG big sticker
1 x Q-Connector
1 x 10-in-1 ROG cable label
1 x M.2 bracket
1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (80 cm)
1 x ROG coasters

• 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, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut functions and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information.

• Support Disc
Drivers
ROG GameFirst IV*
ROG RAMDisk
ROG RAMCache II
ROG CPU-Z
ROG Mem TweakIt
Overwolf
ROG Keybot II
CloneDrive
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
DAEMON Tools Software*
ASUS WebStorage
Sonic Studio III
Sonic Radar III
RAMDisk
Aura
WinZip
ASUS Utilities
* ROG GameFirst IV is only available for Windows 10/8.1 64-bit

• Operating System
Windows® 10 64-bit
Windows® 8.1 64-bit
Windows® 7 32-bit
Windows® 7 64-bit

• Form Factor
ATX Form Factor*
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )
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Old 3rd March 2017, 6:51 PM   #3
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Unboxing

Packaging wise, the Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula has stepped up a notch from the previous generation. The engineering effort inside is quickly reflected on the outside by the very clever hinge system employed into the opening. A very, very premium touch for a very premium board.










Asus as always provide a myriad of accessories to accompany their products, and the Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula is no exemption. Included is 6x SATA 6Gb/s cables, 1x CPU Installation Tool (which I previously discussed here : http://forums.overclockers.com.au/sh....php?t=1180393), the usual Software DVD and comprehensive user manual. There is also an Asus high-bandwidth SLI connector for 2 slot spacing, M.2 Screws and M.2 Bracket for a second SSD installation, Q-Connector, dual band Wi-Fi antenna and more stickers and labels than most sticker bomb drift cars could need. Oh, nearly forgot the ROG themed coaster and 20% off CableMod voucher. No IO Shield in this pack, you will see why further down.




Now, onto what we are all here for, the motherboard in all its glory. It’s a typical full sized ATX board measuring 30.5cm x 24.4cm. On the top, the main features are the ABS Front Cover and IO cover, LGA1151 CPU Slot and support for 4x DDR4 Dram slots in dual channel configuration.

There is more fan, temperature sensor, and pump headers located all over the board than most users could as for. There is 5x CPU/Chassis Fan Headers and 1x AIO Pump Header (Located above the first PCIe Slot) all rated to 1A. There is also an additional Water Pump Header (Located at base) and a High AMP Header, both rated for 3A each. Being a motherboard aimed at the watercooling enthusiast, there is also headers for Water In/Out as well as a 3 pin Water Flow Sensor. Rounding it all off is an External Asus Fan Extension Card, which can be purchase separately.




The rear of the board is mostly covered by the Armor Backplate. It’s primarily there for structural support, but on open air chassis like the In Win D-Frame it will have that added aesthetic value..




Removing the rear armour is as simple as removing the 9 securing screw. With the amour removed, we can see the line of the physical PCB separation at the on-board sound location. Not a lot more to say about it.




To topside with the ABS Armor Shouds removed, we can see the board in all its naked glory! Is this classed NSFW?




Before we move onto the power delivery, one of the extra added features is the CrossChill EK II VRM block which has been included for extra cooling. After all, keeping our power components cool helps not only in better power delivery, but also longevity. Asus collaborated with EK on this one, and can be used as either a traditional passive heatsink, or connected to a custom loop system. I tried both, but on my bench setup found just air cooled quite adequate, but for those in an enclosed case and a watercooled CPU, the option to have the VRM Block plumbed in is all the more enticing to reduce the heat-load. Anyone that has owned an X79/X99 board in the past will know this all too well.




With the covers off the block and separated, we can see the pressed fin setup that has been engaged. The finish is quite good, and the seal system appears excellent. Asus claims 4°c lower temperatures over their previous generation design with their revised microfin design. Weight of the full block setup is around 283g.







Clearance around the fitting is tight with my extra-large XSPC compression fittings. For those using the more compact fittings like EK’s HDC fittings, there should be slightly more clearance.







Beneath the waterblock we have the 8+2 power phase for CPU and iGPU. On top of this is a further 2 phases for the memory.













Add-in card support includes 2x PCIe x16 slots featuring Asus’s SafeSlot design, 1x PCIe x8 slot GPU, 3x PCIe 3.0 1x slots. Asus specify that their SafeSlot design has an increased strength of 66% in the outward axis, and an improvement of 83% in strength in the downward direction for added strength with the more weighty GPU’s of today. All of this has been achieved through a new insert-moulding process in which the reinforcing is bound to the slot, and then further reinforced with extra solder points and a metal hook setup near the fixing clip. Naturally, I am not going to test this out myself, so we will have to take their word for it. Finishing off the area, Asus have provided RGB lighting to the fixing clip which is controlled by the included AURA RGB software package.













The audio is a combination of the new ROG SupremeFX S1220 codec, ESS Sabre Hi-Fi ES9023 and Texas Instruments RC4850 op-amp. All still based on the Realtec Codec, but Asus have added their usual twist to increase fidelity and tune ability through the included Sonic Stage III software for those who don’t have a need for an external add on sound card. The Sonic Radar III software has also had a slight overhaul to keep up with the current gaming titles.










Networking is through either the included WiFi/BT Module with external antenna, or with the LANGard protected Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN connection. Asus again have come to the table with their new generation of GameFirst IV, which not only continues as the previous versions of directing network priorities for when gaming or downloading, but can also now allow for network teaming using both the Intel Gb LAN alongside the 2t2R WiFi to help boost your connection speeds through multiple connections.




The rear IO panel on the Maximus IX Formula is a step up from previous generations, and now includes an integrated IO Shield to do away with the less effective separate shield. It’s looks sleek, and is supposedly more effective in protecting from ESD, far exceeding the industry standards. The connections available are the Clear CMOS, USB Flashback button, Wi-Fi antenna connections, Display Port and HDMI ports for integrated display connection, 4x USB 2.0 connectors, 4x USB 3.0 connectors, LAN RJ-45 port, USB 3.1 Type-A connector, USB Type-C connector, Optical S/PDIF Out and associated audio I/O ports.




AURA lighting effects are provided through the IO Cover, PCIe x16 Slot clips, Republic of Gamers Logo and PCH heatsink cover. Asus have also provided 2x connections for external lighting (white 5 pin to the top and bottom of the board) which with the included software allows full RGB lighting control. The On/Reset buttons are also RGB lit to match the rest of the motherboard.
















The Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula supports up to 4 DIMM’s of DDR4 memory modules in Dual Channel, officially up to 4000+ when overclocked. I tested my 4dimms of 4000C19 memory and the board with correct VCCIO and VCCSA voltages had no problem running them at their rated XMP speed and timings. Keep in mind that over all speed with any configuration will be CPU IMC dependent, but the board is certainly capable of meeting its specifications. There is a maximum capacity of 64GB available.

Adjacent the DRAM Slots is the 24pin ATX connector and USB 3.1, yes, 3.1 front panel connector. At this stage, you can find cases by both In Win and Lian Li which take advantage of the new connector.




Whilst on the same photo, you can see the Start/Reset buttons nicely integrated into the Armor Shroud. These are also RGB backlit and can be controlled with the AURA software. Above the On/Reset switch is the Debug LED, always a welcome addition, especially when tuning and trying to figure out and problems quickly.







Removing one screw on the lower PCH cover, uncovers the 1st M.2 slot. Because it is covered, there is no need to worry about colour choices for you M.2 SSD’s as it will be nicely tucked away when installed. Asus have also provided a bracket to horizontally install a second M.2 SSD to the base of the board. At first, I found this a strange arrangement, as I would be concerned about breaking it off, but once installed in a case, the chances for damage would be less of a problem and then has added benefit of easy removal compared to the hidden slot. The bracket is very sturdy and easy to attach with the supplied screws and quick clip.











For other storage connections, Asus have provided 6x 90deg SATA 6Gb/s connections, some of which share lanes with the M.2 ports. 1 port will be disables with the covered M.2 being used, and a further 2 will be disabled with the horizontally mounted M.2 port in use. Directly adjacent the SATA connections is the USB 3.0 Front Panel connector.




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Old 3rd March 2017, 6:53 PM   #4
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Overclocking

Bios OC

Asus have provided a few options for overclocking easily in bios, with presets for 5ghz on a 7700k, as well as BCLK settings for 360-370 and 380. All quite achievable with the settings.





There is also the TPU overclocking which is basically the AutoOC feature. This took a while for it to work out the best settings for my particular CPU, and resulted in a CPU clock of 48x102 or 4896mhz on both core and cache. Not bad, but I know this particular CPU can do more, but I believe because the calculations work on keeping the CPU clock and cache at the same speed hampered the overall speed. The other disappointment I had was for the memory settings, as it would not tune to at least XMP and only set a very low speed.





Manual OC

Ok, now I’m what I would like to call an “enthusiast overclocker”. I have been in the hobby now for many years, and like to delve in and fine tune my BIOS to suit me. With the Asus Maximus IX Formula, all this is quite easy. The bios is very easy to navigate, and if you have used an ROG line of motherboard before, everything will feel like home. Asus have a great team of engineers on their side, so most settings are quite intuitive and require little user input to get fast results.

So, with only changing:
1. Set the DRAM to XMP, or alternatively, use the switch at the bottom of the motherboard.
2. Set the VCore to Fixed and apply a voltage you are comfortable with. Kabylake CPU’s are fine in the range of 1.35v to 1.45v for daily use if temperatures are kept in check.
3. Set the multiplier you would like for the CPU (in my circumstance, went straight for 50x)
4. Set LLC value to Level 5 or 6 for consistent voltage supply
5. Hit F10, save the BIOS and check it out in windows
6. Adjust the Cache ratio if you would like to push higher. I went for 45x, knowing the limits of this CPU, and that it is achievable on most.
7. Run your stability tests and increase the Core Ratio until you either hit your thermal limit, or it fails you selected stability tests.
8. Once you are happy with the stability speed, you can then adjust the VCore one step at a time to find the best possible voltage setting for the CPU to be stable. If you hit a point where it become unstable, increase the VCore 0.01v and test once more.

A quick note for Kaby Lake. New for the series in bios is the ability to set an offset multiplier for AVX instruction sets, much like has been adopted on the 2011-3 platform for a while now. Depending on the CPU’s ability, you may be able to achieve a stable OC for daily/gaming at 100-200Mhz higher than Prime/Realbench/XTU speeds. With trial and error, you will find the best setting for all uses with this addition.

For anyone that would like to overclock and keep the power saving options working, in stead of setting a manual voltage, the bios allows for Adaptive Voltage with a setting to allow the maximum Turbo Voltage to be set. This setting will allow up to the set voltage to be used by the CPU at any time, and can allow for lower temperatures as the CPU will only ever use what it needs for the task at hand.

We all have our own process, and obviously finding a maximum stable clock at a voltage isn’t always this simple, but with what’s above, it’s basically that simple. Mine is 3x XTU Bench Runs, 3 consecutive passes of Cinebench (a bad OC will usually show within these 2 quite quickly), a good hour pass with Asus Realbench V2, as it is a good overall system stability test, followed by some good old fashioned gaming, in my case, Battlefield 4. I find Battlefield the best to bring things to their knees, pushing the RAM, CPU and IO’s, PCH and GPU. It all gets a hammering. I’m not a fan of Prime95, but if you want to run it for days on end, it’s totally up to you.

Here is the results, which I have put through my suit of stability testing and found to be totally reliable in gaming, 3D rendering and googling.







Memory Overclocking

Memory overclocking was tedious as always. For those that like to dabble in the black art, it can be a mix of frustration and tribulation. Asus have provided memory presets for those that are aware of what IC is under the heatspreaders of their RAM. These help with a baseline to delve in and start tweaking a system to work at its most efficient.

Here is a screen of the 4x8Gb Preset for Single Sided Samsung. This profile was effortless to achieve with my high end binned 4000C19 modules. This is 4 Dimm DDR4 at 3866C13, very strong.














Pressing even harder with only 2 DIMMS installed proved quite the challenge. With Samsung B-Die, it can be very stressful not only on the CPU’s IMC, but also for the motherboard to achieve 4000C12-12-1t tight timings. Try as I may, in the time I had available, I was unable to reach a bench stable 4kC12, but came very close. For the most part, it was a game of tuning timings one by one, and finding the correct VCCIO and VCCSA voltages to allow for it to post and train the RTL/IOL’s correctly. Within the space of 4 hours (yep, I wasn’t giving up), I managed to find the correct settings to allow a completely bench stable 3866C12-12-1t @ 1.9v. This would then allow for BCLK changes in software to get over 3900 memory speed stable. The magic 4000C12-12-1t did elude me though, but likely a mixture of memory voltages, IMC voltages and the limits to 4Dimm Samsung B-Die overclocking on this sample.








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Old 3rd March 2017, 6:54 PM   #5
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Benchmarks

Test Setup
CPU – Intel i7 7700K, stock 4500/4200, OC - 5000/4800
Cooler – Enermax Liqmax II 240 AIO
Thermal Paste – Coolermaster Mastergel Maker Nano
Motherboard – Asus ROG Maximus XI Formula
Ram – Galax HoF OC LAB 4000C19 2x8GB DDR4 (XMP Profile, Samsung B-Die IC)
Storage – Zadak511 250GB SSD
Graphics – Asus 750ti OC DirectCUII 2GB
PSU – Coolermaster GX750
Test Bench - Coolermaster Test Bench V1.0
OS – Windows 10 Pro x64



Comparison System 2
CPU – Intel i7 7700K, stock 4500/4200, OC - 5000/4800
Cooler – Enermax Liqmax II 240 AIO
Thermal Paste – Coolermaster Mastergel Maker Nano
Motherboard – Asrock Z170M OC Formula
Asrock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6
Ram – Galax HoF OC LAB 4000C19 2x8GB DDR4 (XMP Profile, Samsung B-Die IC)
Storage – Zadak511 250GB SSD
Graphics – Asus 750ti OC DirectCUII 2GB
PSU – Coolermaster GX750
Test Bench - Coolermaster Test Bench V1.0
OS – Windows 10 Pro x64



Methodology

For benchmarking this motherboard, I have come up with a suite to show mostly CPU and memory performance.

Software used:
Intel XTU (tests both CPU and memory performance)
Geekbench 3
Cinebench R11.5 – CPU Test only
Cinebench R15 –CPU Test only
Aida64 – Memory Benchmark and Latency
3DMark Fire Strike Physics

All tests were done at both stock CPU clocks of 4500/4200 cache, and overclocked to 5000/4800 cache. Memory was set to XMP. Each benchmark was run 3 times, and the best score recorded discarding any obviously glitched runs.














Last edited by headin2001; 8th March 2017 at 6:21 AM.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 6:55 PM   #6
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Conclusion






The ROG Maximus IX Formula is one sexy beast of a board. From the ABS Armor Shouds, to the integrated IO Shield, the added AURA RGB bling and the CrossChill EK II VRM Waterblock, any high end PC builder or modder is going to be in hardware heaven.

As you all know, RGB is the “must have” for most products in 2017. CES was a testament to that for anyone that was following. What Asus have provided with their AURA lighting controls is by far the best implementation in both software control and finished lighting appearance, The lighting is clean and crisp, and the diffusers they have used smooth out the appearance by taking away the bright spots. The AURA LED software also provides control for any connected peripherals so the whole system can be set in-sync.

Keeping an eye on the thermal environment is ever the easier, with the added Water In/Out sensor points and Flow Sensor header. The connections for AIO coolers as well as an additional 3A Waterpump header allow for any watercooling configuration to be added simply without all of the extra wiring. All these connection can be monitored in the supplied software. Having the ability to use the integrated CrossChill EK II VRM block for the extra VRM cooling when watercooled makes keeping the power supply components easier and adds to the aesthetics on a sweet custom loop setup.

Overclocking wise, the board was very capable. Not only for CPU overclocking, but also memory tweaking. Being able to do 4 DIMM at 3866C13 is not an easy feat and really surpasses previous experience with the Maximus VIII Hero I previously owned, by a good margin. One thing I did find is that the Maximus IX Formula did require marginally more voltage to achieve the same CPU settings as my Asrock Z170M OC Formula. This could still be a platform maturity coming into play, but seems to be a similar occurrence for others also. Lower CPU speeds are generally in line, but at 5.2ghz can take up to 50mv more for stability.

The new IO cover I just love. Honestly, the old ones used to just drive me nuts, especially when changing boards and having to remove them, and install the new one. This is just there and looks clean and luxurious. For anyone on an open chassis, like my Thermaltake Core P3, it just helps to finish it off where it is normally a pretty ugly sight without a cover on. I do hope this becomes a more common occurrence on other motherboards in the future.

One last feature I didn’t go into earlier, is that ROG have available on their website (https://www.asus.com/ROG-Republic-Of...A/3d-printing/ ) 3D files in which you can print some of your own parts. These range from Lettering, to Fan Grills, Cable Combs and even SLI Bridge covers. When I can get some more 3d printing done, I am definitely going to get one of the grills and some of the cable combs done. They look fantastic for that extra touch.

Pricewise, the ROG Maximus IX Formula fits right into its place near the top. For this beautiful piece of PC engineering you are looking between $635-690AUD depending on store and location. A lot of money for sure, and for those that till want a high end board but without the extra water blocks and frills, there is always the sister option of the Maximus IX Code (https://www.asus.com/au/Motherboards...XIMUS-IX-CODE/ ) at a more acceptable $550+/- price range.


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Old 5th March 2017, 11:29 AM   #7
Bullants
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Great review mate
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Old 8th March 2017, 6:23 AM   #8
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Thanks Bullant.

OP Updated : Benchmarks and Graphs added.

Hope you all enjoyed.
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Old 8th March 2017, 10:01 AM   #9
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another sweet as review
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Old Yesterday, 10:58 PM   #10
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Your close up photography is getting better and better Headin'...........
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