Apart from the comeback of Crypto mining, there have been a lot of discussions about the Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X platforms, including the upcoming Threadripper CPUs from AMD that many people might be easy to forget about the mainstream Kaby Lake CPUs which were released earlier this year. Despite the new platform we are still seeing several new Z270 motherboards coming out for the Kaby Lake. With us today is the ROG Maximus IX Extreme, which is the flagship Z270 motherboard from ASUS.
First revealed at CES 2017 and officially launched by ASUS back in March, the ROG Maximus IX Extreme is now available in the market worldwide. For Malaysian market itself, the motherboard can now be purchased based on back-to-back order basis. But before you get excited about it let us remind you that the motherboard does not come cheap, it is retailing at $630 USD globally or RM 3,419 for local market. The reason behind the hefty price tag is none other than the massive features on it. These include the integrated Bitspower monoblock for liquid cooling, Aura Sync illumination, dual M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs including the latest Intel Optane, built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi module, high-end SupremeFX S1220 audio solution, huge accessories package, and more.
In today’s review, we will be discussing about the stock performance of the ROG Maximus IX Extreme right out of the box, as well as its overclocking capability, thermal performance with the integrated Bitspower monoblock, power consumption, and so on. Can the new Extreme deliver the performance that you have been seeking for? Read on to find out.
Suggested Retail Price: $629.99 USD (RM 3,419 including GST)
On the paper, the ROG Maximus IX Extreme is a beast of a motherboard. Built based on Intel’s Z270 chipset and LGA1151 socket, the ROG flagship board is fully compatible with the Intel 6th “Skylake” and 7th “Kaby Lake” Core, Celeron and Pentium desktop processors. It sports four memory slots that support up to 64GB of memory capacity and frequency up to DDR4-4133 MHz with overclocking in dual-channel configuration. ASUS offers support for the Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) that allows you to overclock the DDR4 memory to perform beyond standard SPD specifications.
In terms of expansion slots, the new Extreme comes equipped with a total of three full-sized PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (single at x16, dual at x8/x8, triple at x8/x4x/x4) and one single PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. The primary PCIe 3.0 slots support up to 2-Way NVIDIA’s SLI and 3-Way AMD’s CrossFireX technologies. Bear in mind that 3-Way SLI is not supported simply because NVIDIA’s card requiring a minimum PCIe x8 lane for SLI. Furthermore, there is no PLX bridge chip to expand the PCIe lanes.
For storage needs, ASUS provides eight SATA 6Gb/s ports in which four are being supplied by ZZ270 while the other four are wired to ASMedia’s ASM1042A controller. ASUS has decided to ditch the useless SATA Express and U.2 ports that were found on last-gen ROG Maximus VIII Extreme and went with a pair of M.2 sockets each capable of delivering 32Gb/s of data transfer at full PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth. These M.2 sockets support blazing-fast NVMe SSDs including the latest Intel Optane, of course.
For interrupted gaming sessions, ASUS offers state-of-the-art Intel Gigabit Ethernet featuring LANGuard and GameFirst IV technologies. Besides that, you also receive an onboard 2×2 dual-band 2.4/5GHz 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi + Bluetooth v4.1 module capable of transferring data up to 867Mb/s, a downgrade from the previous Extreme board that came with a 1.3Gb/s-rated 3×3 dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi module. As far as the audio solution goes, ASUS has incorporated its latest SupremeFX powered by the new S1220 CODEC for crystal-clear sound quality and intuitive Sonic Studio III and Sonic Radar III.
USB options are plentiful. You get two USB 3.1 ports each Type-A and Type-C at the rear I/O panel plus one USB 3.1 header at the front for certain PC chassis that offer USB 3.1 ports. You also receive a total of eight USB 3.0 in which six of them are located at the rear I/O panel while the other two coming from the USB 3.0 header at the front. The two USB 2.0 headers at the front will provide four USB 2.0 ports.
Last but not the least, physically the ROG Maximus IX Extreme measures 30.5 cm in length and 27.2 cm in width, which conforms to the Extended ATX (EATX) form factor standard.
For more than a decade, Republic of Gamers has delivered exemplary design and performance to thrill the world’s best gamers and enthusiasts. But ours is journey without end. Now, it’s time for competitors to be warned: the packed and pumped ROG Maximus IX Extreme is here. Expertly designed by ROG’s passionate engineers and an elite cadre of industry partners, Maximus IX Extreme is the gaming motherboard that’s tooled to be totally cooled — and primed to perform. It’s the solution for gamers and water-cooling enthusiasts who will settle for nothing less than technological perfection!
“ROG’S HARDWARE AND THERMAL-DESIGN EXPERTISE COMBINED WITH OUR WATER COOLING MASTERY TO CREATE THIS REVOLUTIONARY WATERBLOCK” –BITSPOWER CEO, VINCENT YU
“FINALLY, A WATER-COOLED MOTHERBOARD THAT DOESN’T COMPROMISE ON PERFORMANCE, FEATURES, OR DESIGN!” –CASE MODDER, SNEF.
BEST GAMING WATER COOLING
COOL TO THE EXTREME
ROG teamed up with the geniuses at Bitspower to develop an all-new, integrated water-cooling solution for Maximus IX Extreme — one that elevates simplicity and efficiency to extraordinary levels. Designed from the ground up, and ready to work right out of the box, Maximus IX Extreme’s built-in monoblock has flow-rate, water-leak and temperature sensors all seamlessly integrated — plus Aura Sync RGB lighting, for instant curb appeal! With dedicated sensors feeding information straight into ROG’s intuitive Fan Xpert 4 utility, it’s easy to configure options for shutdown timing and alerts, so you can stay on top of the heat and remain cool in every game!
BEST GAMING LIGHTING
AURA LIGHTING CONTROL
Customize LED effects with intuitive ASUS Aura Sync lighting-control software. Aura allows you to cast a stunning multi-color glow across your build via the ROG Maximus IX Extreme’s brilliant built-in RGB LEDs or attached RGB strips via the two onboard 4-pin headers*. Fire up ASUS Aura and enjoy the creative freedom of nine lighting schemes ─ and watch all of the lights on your rig glow in perfect synchronization!
OUTSHINE THE COMPETITION
ASUS Aura Sync technology makes Maximus IX Extreme the control hub for your illumination ambitions — so it’s easy to synchronize incredible lighting effects between compatible components, including RGB LED strips, graphics cards, keyboards and even mice! Change all LEDs in unison or employ dynamic modes to flow the illumination effects smoothly across all synchronized devices.
EXQUISITE AUDIO, INSIDE AND OUT
NEW SUPREMEFX CODEC
ROG’s awesome SupremeFX audio technology has levelled up, delivering an exceptional 113dB signal-to-noise ratio on the line-in connection and 120dB on line-out — and that means our best-ever recording quality! We’ve also added a low-dropout regulator for cleaner power delivery to the SupremeFX S1220 codec, an ESS® Sabre Hi-Fi ES9023P digital-to-analog converter for superior front-panel output, and a Texas Instruments® RC4580 op-amp for high gain with low distortion — which all adds up to audio that envelops you as never before.
INTUITIVE AUDIO-TUNING SUITE
SONIC STUDIO III
ROG’s Sonic Studio III audio effects station has been updated with an all-new routing feature to port streams to different outputs as well as app-level preferences for instant audio profiles and improved noise filtering for conversations with total clarity!
Easily assign different audio streams to different outputs, such as browser audio to headphones and game audio to speakers.
Apply customized audio settings to different applications, so everything you do is perfectly tuned to the way you want to listen.
Automatically detects and eliminates unwanted background noises, ensuring that communications are loud and clear.
SCAN AND DETECT TO DOMINATE!
SONIC RADAR III
Sonic Radar III is all-new – with an evolved audio engine that processes sounds more accurately than ever, ensuring you’re always aware of what’s going on around you. A new on-screen arrow has also been added to help you pinpoint the enemy position instantly!
IMPROVED AUDIO ALGORITHM
The new Sonic Radar III audio algorithm is now even more accurate, allowing enemies to be located with pinpoint precision regardless of the surrounding noise and chaos.
Sonic Radar III is built around its all-new head-up display with an in-game three-dimensional arrow for a more intuitive experience.
The new Audio Boost feature now allows enhanced audio to be heard directly.
Redesigned radar based on adjustable sectors (4-16) makes the enemies’ position clearer and more direct
BEST GAMING PERFORMANCE
ASUS PRO CLOCK TECHNOLOGY
A dedicated base-clock generator designed for 7th Generation Intel® processors allows overclocked base clock frequencies up to or beyond 425MHz*. This custom solution works in tandem with the ASUS TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) to enhance voltage and base-clock overclocking control — providing an exciting new way to boost performance to Extreme heights.
DDR4 OVERCLOCKING | STRENGTH IN NUMBERS THIRD-GENERATION ASUS T-TOPOLOGY
With support for DDR4 memory you’re able to drive memory frequencies to 4133MHz — and even beyond! ASUS-exclusive T-Topology circuit design plus OC Socket provides superb memory-overclocking potential, minimizing coupling noise and signal reflection to enable you to unleash the full power of DDR4. With innovative equidistant memory channels, our design delivers the most balanced control and incredibly powerful overclocking capabability. And that’s not all: ASUS works with almost every DDR4 memory vendor to ensure the best compatibility.
SafeDIMM slots feature a metal key-pin that increases durability, versus traditional DIMM slots.
ONE CLICK OVERCLOCK AND COOLING, DONE! GET PERFORMANCE, EFFICIENCY, DIGITAL POWER, FAN CONTROL AND EVEN NETWORKING TAILORED FOR YOU — AND THE WAY YOU PLAY!
You don’t need to be an expert to max out gaming performance on your ROG Maximus IX Extreme build — because 5-Way Optimization sorts all the complex settings with a click, for instant, highly controllable performance boosts! Exclusive ROG technology dynamically optimizes essential aspects of your system, based on real-time use — so you get superb CPU performance, everyday energy savings, ultra-stable digital power, cool and quiet fans and networking settings that are tailored for the apps that you are using. In short, 5-Way Optimization ensures that your PC is perfect for gaming, entertainment, and productivity!
Games run swiftly and smoothly with high performance, prioritized bandwidth and vivid sound.
Fans stay whisper-quiet for everyday computing, and ensure Extreme cooling efficiency when gaming.
Stutter is eliminated for smooth-running apps, even under heavy loading.
Energy waste is reduced so you’ll save money.
INSTANT CPU PERFORMANCE BOOST
Crank up your PC instantly with the ASUS AI Suite 3 utility! The TurboV Processing Unit offers precise voltage control and advanced monitoring for the CPU and the graphics card, enabling the freedom to adjust CPU frequencies and ratios for optimized performance and maximize the potential of your graphics card*
ALL-ROUND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
With the Energy Processing Unit (EPU) you’ll enjoy real-time, system-wide power savings — for gaming kicks that won’t cost the earth! EPU automatically detects and adjusts power consumption according to your rig’s needs, so you save money without compromising on thrills. EPU will also reduce CPU wattage to a set level and deliver even more savings with Away mode, creating an extreme energy-saving scenario that shuts down unused I/O controllers and reduces the power consumption of the graphics card. That means full power for your gameplay and then total energy efficiency when you step away!
COOLER BY DESIGN
Play quieter and cooler with advanced fan and water-pump controls for the ultimate in undisturbed gaming. With onboard thermal sensors and hardware-level 4-pin/3-pin PWM/DC mode detection, Fan Xpert 4 makes sure every fan achieves the best balance of cooling performance and low noise ─ so you enjoy all the performance you demand with none of the racket!
PRECISE DIGITAL POWER CONTROL
To go faster than fast you need ultra-accurate power control — so ROG Maximus IX Extreme is kitted out with ASUS Digi+ Power Control for maxed-out overclocking potential, enhanced system stability and superb power efficiency. Digi+ Power Control is the industry’s leading digital power controller and it’s fully compliant with Intel specifications, for smoother, safer power.
GAME FASTER, RANK HIGHER
ASUS Turbo App is the intuitive tuning panel to boost everything to secure your victory in your favorite titles! Overclock your CPU and prioritize game data across your network. History is written by the victors, so don’t go to war without Turbo App.
MEDIA-ACCLAIMED UEFI BIOS
The smoothest, slickest mouse-controlled graphical BIOS has been improved to make it even more gorgeous. Whether you’re a PC novice or a seasoned overclocker, the EZ and Advanced Modes help you find your way, quickly and easily.
USB BIOS FLASHBACK
Refresh your BIOS in a flash, even when the system is off
THE FINEST POWER, DIGITALLY CONTROLLED
ROG’s revered digital power controller now delivers even-finer power, with Texas Instruments NexFET™ MOSFETs, MicroFine alloy chokes, Digi+ PWM controller and 10K black metallic capacitors — ensuring Extreme Engine Digi+ always delivers the smoothest core voltages.
PROCOOL POWER CONNECTOR
ASUS ProCool is the power connector reinvented! Compared with traditional power connectors, ProCool connectors ensure an exceptionally close and secure connection with the Maximus IX Extreme motherboard. This design is stronger, and also benefits power efficiency: the flush connection enables lower impedance and better heat dissipation, allowing cooler operating temperature. ProCool even has a neat right-angled plug, helping you to keep the wiring out of the way!
USB 3.1 FRONT-PANEL CONNECTOR
USB-C is the latest USB connector technology — and ROG Maximus IX Extreme lets you put it right where you need it! With a ASM 2142 USB 3.1 controller running at PCIe 3.0 x2 and featuring an onboard USB 3.1 front-panel connector, you can now achieve the highest data transferring speeds possible – easily.
Thunderbolt™ 3 means faster, bigger, better and more! At a breathtaking 40Gbps you’ll experience faster transfers, with four times (4X) the data speeds of any other cable and twice (2X) the video bandwidth. And Maximus IX Extreme with Thunderbolt 3 also offers compatibility with billions of USB devices, device docking and charging!
UNLEASH 32GBPS SSD SPEEDS
DUAL M.2 (PCIE GEN3 X4)
Maximus IX Extreme has dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots that provide NVMe SSD RAID support for an incredible performance boost. Create a RAID configuration with up to three PCIe 3.0 storage devices via two M.2 slots and the PCIe x16 slot to enjoy the fastest data-transfer speeds on the 7th Gen Intel Core platform!
MORE THROUGHPUT AND LESS PROCESSING EQUALS FASTER ONLINE PLAY
ROG Maximus IX Extreme features the very latest Intel® Ethernet (I219-V) for faster, smoother gaming. Intel’s LAN has the serious double advantage of reducing CPU overhead and offering exceptionally high TCP and UDP throughput, so there’s more power for your game and your gameplay.
PUMPED-UP THROUGHPUT, BEST SURGE PROTECTION
LANGuard means safer, more reliable connections for your battles! Advanced signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounting processes join forces to protect your ROG Maximus IX Extreme motherboard’s connection, plus electrostatically guarded and surge-protected components (ESD Guards) for 1.9x greater tolerance to static electricity and 2.5x greater protection (up to 15kV) against surges!
2X2 802.11AC WI-FI WITH MU-MIMO
2×2 dual-band 2.4/5GHz antennas for up to 867 Mbit/s* transfer speeds — and the very latest Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology** to ensure that every connected user experiences the best wireless and online speeds!
Actual speed varies, and Wi-Fi hotspot feature operates at 802.11a/b/g/n Windows 10 does not currently support Wi-Fi hotspot functionality
**Requires MU-MIMO-ready client
TEAM UP TO BANISH LAG
GameFirst IV optimizes network traffic for faster, lag-free online gaming — and now we’ve added Multi-Gate Teaming to team up to 4 networks for maximum bandwidth and smooth gameplay. You’ll also enjoy all-new Intelligent mode, which automatically compiles a database by parsing new app data to ensure that every game is optimized for the best performance.
BEST GAMING PROTECTION
PRE-MOUNTED I/O SHIELD
ROG’s patent-pending pre-mounted I/O shield offers increased protection against electrostatic discharge of 12kV , and is pre-fitted to make it even easier to install the motherboard. It also has a sleek new design that makes it look as good as it performs.
SafeSlot is the PCIe slot reinvented by ASUS and engineered to provide superior retention and shearing resistance. Manufactured in a single step, a new insert-molding process integrates the slot with fortifying metal for an inherently stronger slot, which is then firmly anchored to the motherboard through additional solder points.
COPPER-PLATED PCB EDGE
Maximus IX Extreme has an exclusive copper-plated edge, levelling up the board’s aesthetic appeal and providing enhanced protection against electromagnetic interference (EMI).
FRIENDLY 3D PRINTING
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
EXCLUSIVE 3D MOUNT FOR EASY INSTALLATION
Dedicated 3D mounts on the motherboard makes fitting 3D-printed parts easy. Using the same screws as M.2 drives and standard motherboard mounting holes, you can easily add nameplates and cable covers.
3D printing friendly. Make it your own.
As system parts are visible in custom PC builds, make yours stand out from the competition with 3D-printed accessories.
2-WAY SLI HB BRIDGE COVER
Clip the cover onto the PCB SLI HB bridge to add style to your build. Multiple form factors — EATX, ATX and mATX — are available.
Make your cooling a little cooler.
Keep cables organized with the multi-connector design. 3D design files are available for 24-pin, 8-pin, 8 + 6-pin, 6-pin and 4-pin PSU connectors.
Use ROG font files to print letters — then fully customize your build by adding your name or any other word or phrase!
Print a 3D keychain and show your ROG passion to the world!
STAY IN THE GAME
A clever, unobtrusive overlay keeps you in the game and allows you to browse the Web, email, IM, stream or record while you play. The overlay is dressed in color-matched ROG skins to show you’re part of an elite pack. Grab it now from Overwolf’s app store!
IMAGE YOUR DRIVES, THE SMART WAY
ROG CLONE DRIVE
All-new ROG Clone Drive is the smart, convenient cloning solution that quickly and efficiently replicates hard drives or SSDs. Clone Drive is so smart that it can clone one drive to two target drives at the same time, or image any file from your disk at breakneck speeds.
SPEED YOUR GAME LOADS
ROG’s uniquely-intelligent technology effectively caches an entire storage device so that favorite games and apps launch at breakneck speeds, getting to work the moment it’s activated. RAMCache turns milliseconds into microseconds to boost game-load times to stratospheric levels!
Automatically caches all your storage devices at the same time for optimal use of your system‘s caching resources.
THE FREE KEYBOARD UPGRADE – UPGRADED!
Get a free keyboard upgrade from an exclusive microprocessor and intuitive user interface. Record macros directly from the keyboard, switch profiles in moments, enable special functions with hotkeys from F1-F10, start and even boost your PC from shutdown (S5 mode)!
BEYOND VR READY
Maximus IX Extreme isn’t just VR Ready — it goes way beyond! The ASUS ROG Beyond VR Ready marque means that Extreme has been tested with loads of class-leading components to ensure that your productivity, gaming and entertainment needs are tuned for maximum performance after you’ve taken off the headset. ASUS ROG Beyond VR Ready opens up a new way to configure and build your dream system with total confidence.
The Power of Intel
Intel® Z270 chipset
The Intel® Z270 is a single-chipset design that supports 7th Generation and 6th Generation Intel LGA1151 Core™ i7/Core i5/Core i3/Pentium®/Celeron® processors. It provides improved performance by utilizing serial point-to-point links, allowing increased bandwidth and stability. Additionally, the Z270 chipset provides a maximum of 10 USB 3.0 ports, four SATA 6Gbps ports, and 32Gbps M.2 and PCIe 3.0 lane speed support, for faster data retrieval. Intel Z270 also supports integrated graphics, so you’ll enjoy the very latest in graphics performance.
Ready for 7th Generation and 6th Generation Intel LGA1151 Core i7/Core i5/Core i3/Pentium/Celeron processors
The ROG Maximus IX Extreme motherboard supports 7th Generation and 6th Generation Intel Core™ i7/Core i5/Core i3/Pentium®/Celeron® processors in the LGA1151 package. Integrated graphics, memory and PCI Express® controllers support onboard graphics output with dedicated chipsets, two-channel (4-DIMM) DDR4 memory and 16 PCIe Express 3.0/2.0 lanes for great performance.