Review: MAXIMUS VI Impact

ASUS-Maximus-VI-Impact-Mobo
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

Overview

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Specifications

MAXIMUS VI Impact - Spec

Unboxing

MAXIMUS VI Impact - Retail Packaging
Like other ROG mobos, the M6I is packed in a red box. Not too big, not too small. Just about the size of the tiny board.

MAXIMUS VI Impact - Front View
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+.

MAXIMUS VI Impact - VRM
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.

MAXIMUS VI Impact - SupremeFX Impact
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.

MAXIMUS VI Impact - IO
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.

MAXIMUS VI Impact - Back View
The back side of the board is very simple, a CPU socket backplate is used to provide retention to the CPU cooler on the top of the board.

MAXIMUS VI Impact - Socket
The CMOS battery is placed like this to save the space. What a brilliant idea by ASUS designers.

MAXIMUS VI Impact - Accessories
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

MAXIMUS VI Impact - Test Setup
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

UEFI BIOS

Main page with LN2 jumper off:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - LN2 Disabled

RAM timing settings:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - Timing Control

Memory profile presets:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - Memory Presents

DIGI + Power control:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - Power Control

Tweaker’s Paradise:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - Tweaker Paradise

SPD Information:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - SPD

BIOS flashing via USB drive:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - EZ Flash 2

SSD Secure Erase:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - SSD Secure Erase

EZ-Mode:
MAXIMUS VI Impact - EZ Mode

Software & Tools

MAXIMUS VI Impact - AiSuite III

  • 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.

Stability Tests

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.

LinX 0.6.4 w/ AVX:
LinX 0.6.4

Benchmark Tests

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.

3DMark13:
3DMark13

3DMark11:
3DMark11

3DMark Vantage:
3DMark Vantage

3DMark06:
3DMark06

3DMark05:
3DMark05

3DMark03:
3DMark03

PCMark7:
PCMark7

Super Pi 32M/ MaxxMEM/ AIDA64 Cache and Memory Benchmark:
Super Pi 32M

Super Pi 1M:
Super Pi 1M

HyperPi 32M:
HyperPi 32M

Cinebench 11.5:
Cinebench 11.5

Unigine Heaven 4.0:
Unigine Heaven 4.0

wPrime 1.55/ Fritz Chess 4.3:
wPrime 1.55 Fritz Chess 4.3

Highest RAM OC on Air @ 3337.8MHz 12-14-14-25-2T:
Highest RAM OC on Air 3337.8MHz 12-14-14-25-2T

Super Pi 32M Benchmark with Hynix IC RAM

G.Skill TridentX 2800C11 2 X 4GB @ 3250MHz 12-15-15-25-2T
G.Skill TridentX 2800C11 2 X 4GB @ 3250MHz 12-15-15-25-2T

Super Pi 32M Benchmark with Samsung IC RAM

G.Skill TridentX 2666C10 2 X 4GB @ 2800MHz 10-12-12-25-1T
G.Skill TridentX 2666C10 2 X 4GB @ 2800MHz 10-12-12-25-1T

Super Pi 32M Benchmark with PSC IC RAM

Corsair DominatorGT GTX4 2533C9 2 X 2GB @ 2600MHz 8-12-8-28-1T
Corsair DominatorGT GTX4 2533C9 2 X 2GB @ 2600MHz 8-12-8-28-1T

Super Pi 32M Benchmark with BBSE IC RAM

G.Skill RipjawsX 2133C8 2 X 2GB @ 2400MHz 8-11-7-21-2T
G.Skill RipjawsX 2133C8 2 X 2GB @ 2400MHz 8-11-7-21-2T

Game Benchmarks

Metro Last Light:
Metro Last Light

Bioshock Infinite:
Bioshock Infinite

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 crammed 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: 5/5
Materials: 5/5
Specifications: 5/5
Appearance: 5/5
Performance/Price Value: 4/5

Pros:
+ 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

Cons:
– 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.

GoldAward
MAXIMUS VI Impact received Gold Award from OCDrift.com

Disclaimer: OCDrift.com gives out our own award based on the Hardware Performance, OverClocking Ability, Innovation, and Value as determined by the reviewer

owikh84

owikh84

OverClocker, Reviewer at OCDrift.com
One of the most respected OverClockers here in Malaysia with vast knowledge in Motherboard, Graphics Card and Memory. The nick "owikh84" is not only well known in local tech sites but also international forums such as XtremeSystems.org, Overclock.net and so on.
owikh84