When it comes to high-end motherboard, Asus’ R.O.G. series has gained something of a reputation for offering some of the most extreme features in the market. Earlier today at Computex, Asus unveiled its Maximus V Extreme based on the Z77 chipset and to say that some of the enthusiast community have been eagerly anticipating this motherboard would be to put things lightly.
The Maximus V Extreme packs quite a few features that most fans of the R.O.G. series should be familiar with, such as Asus’ OC Key, Subzero Sense and support for Asus’ ProbeIT Voltage measure points. Unlike it’s slightly less high-end sibling the Maximus V Formula which was officially launched today as well, the Maximus V Extreme doesn’t feature PWM heatsink with watercooling, as Asus figured that users interested in the Extreme board are likely to either use LN2 cooling for overclocking, or fit some custom cooling solution to the MOSFETs.
As you can see, the board has six red PCI Express slots and these are all PCI Express 3.0 compatible thanks to a PLX PCI Express switch which hides underneath the R.O.G. heatsink. However, Asus has implemented an auto detect feature, so when only two cards are used, the PLX switch is being bypassed and the two graphics cards interface directly with the CPU for what Asus claimed is a 2-3 percent performance increase. The board also has a x16 PCI Express slot and an open ended x4 slot, but we’re not quite sure how these are connected on a board level.
One feature that struck us as odd on this board is the inclusion of a Thunderbolt port, not a feature we expected to see on a high-end gaming/overclocking board, but apparently it’s just a matter of it being a tick box feature. The Maxiums V Extreme also comes with Asus’ combo mini PCI Express/mSATA card which comes with a dual band Wi-Fi card, although you’ll have to supply your own mSATA SSD. You also get no less than six SATA 6Gbps ports, as well as three SATA 3Gbps, a pair of headers for additional USB 3.0 ports and a vast array of other connectors, switches and buttons of which most are aimed towards helping with overclocking.
The rear I/O of the Maximus V Extreme is rather odd with the PS/2 port being located right next to the audio jacks and the Thunderbolt connector at the top of the board. Asus has also included a DisplayPort and HDMI port, so it should be possible to attach up to three displays via the motherboard graphics outputs. Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, 7.1-channel audio and oddly enough dual S/PDIF connectors – possibly one in, one out, is also included as well as Asus’ R.O.G. connect.
Overall this has to be the most feature packed R.O.G. board to date, but we just can’t shake the feeling that Asus is barking up the wrong tree here, as this board simply has too many features that the target market is unlikely to use or even want. No word in availability or pricing, at least not beyond the fact that it’ll be one seriously expensive motherboard.
Kitguru says: Be prepared to save the pennies