Very rarely does a motherboard company release a product that is genuinely different and innovative, bucking wider trends in the industry. ASUS has done exactly that with its new Republic of Gamers motherboard, the Maximus IX Apex.
The ASUS Maximus IX Apex is a very different class of motherboard to the norm, even by Republic of Gamers’ unusual standards. The Apex takes most of its design philosophy from the overclocking-centric Maximus Extreme, with a heavy focus on LN2 and water cooling. It doesn’t look too dissimilar to the rest of the ASUS ROG range, minus some of the more stylistic elements, but has many eye-catching novelties.
The most obvious of those is the non-rectangular shape, but also the fact there are now only two DDR4 slots and only 4 SATA ports plus a strange DIMM-type slot for M.2 drives. There’s a typical array of overclocking buttons, switches, jumpers and headers that aren’t unusual on an overclocking motherboard but also a mammoth 10 fan headers thrown into the mix.
The design is somewhat contradictory, more so than normal for a Republic of Gamers motherboard. Is the Apex targeting extreme overclockers with its LN2 focus or is it perhaps geared towards water cooling with its array of water cooling specific features? Its LED lighting and 3D Printing suggests it could also be aimed at modders too, but then it’s a Republic of Gamers motherboard so it is still, at heart, intended for a gaming audience.
|ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex
|Form Factor||E-ATX, 30.5 cm x 27.2 cm|
|CPU Socket||LGA 1151, 10 Phase (8+2)|
|Memory||DDR4, 2 DIMMs, up to 32GB, up to 4266MHz+ with OC, 2 Phase VRM|
|Onboard Graphics||Intel HD Graphics (supported CPUs), up to 1024MB of video memory|
|Discrete Graphics||Up to Nvidia 2-way/Quad SLI, AMD 4-way/Quad CrossFireX|
|Expansion Slots||2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/x0 or x8/x8 – CPU lanes)
2 x PCIe 3.0 X16 (x4/x4 – chipset lanes)
2 x PCIe 3.0 X1 (chipset lanes)
|Storage||4 x SATA III (PCH)
2 x M.2 (via DIMM.2 adapter)
|USB||2 x USB 3.1 (2 Rear (1 Type-A and C) via ASM2142)
8 x USB 3.0 (6 Rear, 2 Front, via PCH)
6 x USB 2.0 (6 Front, via PCH)
|Networking||1 x Intel I219V|
|Audio||Realtek ALC1220 7.1 Channel HD Audio|
(1 x CPU, 1 x CPU_OPT, 1 x W_PUMP+, 1 x AIO_PUMP, 3 x CHA, 3 x FS (Full Speed))
|Rear I/O||1 x PS/2 keyboard (purple)
1 x PS/2 mouse (green)
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.1 ()Type-A + Type-C
6 x USB 3.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
5 x Gold-plated audio jacks