Right now, the mini-ITX scene is extremely popular for gamers and enthusiasts. A combined effort by component manufacturers has seen greater emphasis being put on innovative mini-ITX cases, short graphics cards, and more confined cooling solutions. And let's not forget the system builders deploying small form-factor (SFF) offerings such as steam machines.
With installation space and expansion options being in short supply, the motherboard features are critical to the success of a SFF build. Asus aims to pack the features that enthusiasts and gamers will desire into the company's flagship mini-ITX motherboard – the Republic of Gamers Maximus VIII Impact.
The IO-heavy design of Intel's Z170 chipset gives Asus a good grounding for building a feature-filled motherboard into a 6.7″x6.7″ PCB space. One of the more interesting inclusions is the native PCIe 3.0 x4 32Gbps U.2 connector which will function with the 2.5″ variant of Intel's 750 series NVMe SSD. Adding to the connectivity options are USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports delivered by Intel's DSL6540 ‘Alpine Ridge' controller, four SATA 6Gbps ports, and two-stream 802.11ac WiFi.
Asus caters for overclockers with the dedicated Impact Power III board, onboard buttons, and validation with 4133MHz DDR4. And enthusiast gamers will be pleased to see the enhanced – SupremeFX Impact III – audio solution alongside an Intel I219-V NIC with Asus' gaming-orientated networking software.
Let's take a closer look at the Asus Maximus VIII Impact and see how it performs in our test suite.
- LGA1151 socket for 6th-gen Intel Core desktop processors.
- Dual DDR4 4133 (OC) support.
- Best gaming performance – Impact Power III, 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning, Pro Clock, second-generation T-Topology.
- Best gaming audio – champion-level SupremeFX Impact III audio card with intuitive Sonic Studio II.
- Best gaming networking – Best-in-class Intel Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard and GameFirst technologies.
- Best gaming connectivity —2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO , NVMe U.2 and USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C for extreme-speed transfers and total compatibility.
- Best gaming protection – Carefully-selected premium components for maximum durability.
- ROG gives you more – More gaming-focused utilities, all free!