The Maximus VI Impact (M6I) is ASUS’ first Republic of Gamers (ROG) mini-ITX motherboard (mobo) based on Z87 chipset. Offering strong performance with pure stability, impressive power delivery efficiency and state-of-the art thermal solution, the M6I fits in mini-ITX cases while retaining ROG’s gold – being an overclocking champion more flexible than ever. Recently, I had opportunity to test the M6I and now I am sharing the overclocking results to your attention. Let’s see what this little monster has to offer.
Product Link: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VI_IMPACT/
Suggested Retail Price: RM988
With a black and red color scheme, the M6I houses an LGA1150 socket and supports Intel 4th Generation Core i7, i5 & i3/ Pentium/ Celeron processors. The mobo is a mini-ITX with a dimension of (17.0 x 17.0) cm and comes with four SATA3 ports to provide adequate storage. There are two RAM slots supporting up to 16GB of of DDR3 Dual Channel as fast as 3000 MHz+.
The M6I is powered by a unique Impact Power consisting Digital 8 Phase Power Design (8 Phase VCCIN) with ASUS CPU Power Utility & FIVR Control. Additionally, there are also 2 Phase Digital Power Design with Asus DRAM Power Utility to deliver sufficient power for extreme memory overclocking.
There is one mini-PCIe II connector sitting between the I/O Panel and PCIe slot, providing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and even supporting a new M.2(NGFF) Solid State Drive (SSD). Due to limited space of this tiny board, ASUS decided to put the SupremeFX Impact audio as a daughter PCB, to provide high quality sound output. Also spotted, a PCIe 3.0 16x slot which supports the latest graphics card.
The rear I/O panel packs one DisplayPort (DP), one HDMI, one Optical S/PDIF out, one Clear CMOS button, one DirectKey button, one MemOK! button, a Q-Code LED, four USB 2.0 ports (one port can be switched to ROG Connect), four USB 3.0 ports (blue), one eSATA port, one LAN (RJ45) port, as well as three audio jacks from the SupremeFX module.
The accessories bundled in the package are plentiful:
4 x SATA 6 Gbps cables
1 x I/O Shield
1 x 12-in-1 ROG cable lable
1 x Q-Cable
1 x Optional 4-in-1 washers for CPU cooler backplate
1 x SupremeFX Impact Audio card
1 x mPCIe Combo II card with dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth v4.0/3.0+HS module
1 x 2T2R dual-band Wi-Fi moving Antennas
1 x ROG Motherboard support DVD
1 x User guide
CPU: Intel Core i7 4770K
MB: ROG Maximus VI Impact, BIOS 0401, 0038
DRAM: G.Skill TridentX 2800 C11 2 X 4GB, G.Skill TridentX 2666MHz C10 2 X 4GB, Corsair DominatorGT GTX4 2533MHz C9 2 X 2GB and G.Skill RipjawsX 2133MHz C8 2 X 2GB
GPU: Gigabyte HD7970, MSI’s special BIOS, Driver Catalyst 13.8 beta
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB, FW 040H
ODD: LiteON DVD-RW
PSU: Corsair AX1200
Monitor: Dell U2312HM
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
Cooling: Custom watercooling kit – EK Supreme HF plate #6 CPU waterblock, 2x XSPC RX360 radiator, Swiftech MCP655 pump, EK FC7970 GPU waterblock, EK Multioption X2 Advanced reservoir, XSPC 1/2″ ID 3/4″ OD white tubing, 12x Scythe GT AP-15 1850rpm 120mm fan + Aerocool Shark 120mm fan, Coolaboratory Liquid Pro thermalpaste etc.
Casing: DimasTech Easy Dual V2.5 Bench Table
Software & Tools
- AI Suite III – An OC tweaking application for overclocking in the OS.
- MemTweakIt – Display the memory timings in the OS. Unfortunately, due to Intel’s lockdown it is unable to adjust timings real-time in the OS for now.
Basically, Haswell was born hot due to inefficient heat conductivity between the internal heat spreader (IHS) and the die. Under water, the 4770K is overclocked to 4.5GHz HyperThreading (HT) @ 1.25v passed LinX without an error in 20 loops. One of the CPU cores hit 97C during loading but it’s still lower than TJmax of 100C. At the same time, the memory is overclocked to 2933MHz 12-14-14-25-2T @ 1.65v on air.
The 4770K is overclocked to 4.7GHz (4 cores/8 threads) for benchmarks. Meanwhile, the HD7970 is overclocked to 1300MHz core/7000MHz mem @ 1.3v/1.7v.
Super Pi 32M Benchmark with Hynix IC RAM
Super Pi 32M Benchmark with Samsung IC RAM
Super Pi 32M Benchmark with PSC IC RAM
Super Pi 32M Benchmark with BBSE IC RAM
Thoughts & Verdicts
ROG MAXIMUS VI Impact is really a strong motherboard for extreme overclocking. If you are looking for a high end mini-ITX board, then the M6I is a perfect choice for you. Overclocking on the 4770K is as good as any other larger motherboard out there. Memory overclocking slightly better than its elder brother, the Maximus VI Extreme (M6E), it is able to push my Hynix-CFR based RAM kit to 3250MHz easily at the very first boot. The UEFI BIOS works flawlessly with all of the memory kits that I have used. It is amazing on how ASUS cramped the tiny board with so many high quality components and features. The M6I is now available locally for RM988 (SRP), which is slightly more expensive than the mATX based Maximus VI Gene (M6G).
I would like to thank ASUS Malaysia especially Sanko for sending me the motherboard for a quick review.
Performance/Price Value: 4/5
+ Impressive overclocking performance, especially the memory overclocking
+ Beautiful red and black colour scheme
+ Nice motherboard layout and friendly for extreme overclocking
+ Comes with detachable SupremeFX Impact audio module
+ Included the latest all-in-one AI Suite III
+ State-of-the-art UEFI BIOS with lots of overclocking options
+ Useful user guide manual
- Price can be lower
- Lack of LucidLogix Virtu MVP software for QuickSync
- Can’t adjust memory timings with MemTweakIT in the OS at the time of writing.
Disclaimer: OCDrift.com gives out our own award based on the Hardware Performance, OverClocking Ability, Innovation, and Value as determined by the reviewer