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ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula (Z270) Motherboard Review

Rating: 8.5.

The Maximus IX Formula is the latest top-tier ASUS Republic of Gamers motherboard for Intel’s new Kaby Lake CPUs and Z270 chipset. While below the Maximus IX Extreme in the ROG product hierarchy, the Formula is likely to be more popular as it targets a lower price, has a more customisable aesthetic and more features that are usable to the average PC builder, rather than an extreme overclocking audience.

You can read our Kaby Lake Core i5-7600K and Core i7-7700K review HERE.

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A quick glance at the new Maximus IX Formula versus the previous generation Maximus VIII Formula highlights a limited number of visual differences, though a good number of changes and improvements have still taken place under-the-hood in terms of hardware and features. The Maximus IX Formula is best interpreted as an incremental improvement to its predecessor, rather than an overhaul or major redesign, which is in keeping with the relationship Kaby Lake (Z270) has to its predecessor Skylake (Z170).

Some of the key innovations ASUS ROG has introduced with the Maximus IX Formula should make it an appealing upgrade for consumers on older Intel platforms. These include an integrated rear I/O shield and backplate, dedicated motherboard headers for water cooling gear, a USB 3.1 front panel header, 3D Printing support and an overhauled audio system.

ASUS is keen to emphasise the water cooling credentials of the Maximus IX Formula and the integrated CrossChill EK II waterblock promises up to 4 degrees Celsius temperature improvements over the previous generation for the motherboard VRMs. The improved water block comes in addition to 2 water temperature sensors and a water flow sensor to help monitor the entire watercooling system that prospective buyers may choose to configure.

ASUS has also reiterated its continued commitment to 3D Printing, that it initially outlined with the Z170 Pro Gaming AURA, and provides the templates required to reprint and customise the plastic shroud elements of the Maximus IX Formula motherboard.

ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula (Z270)
 CPU Socket  LGA 1151, 10 phase VRM
 Chipset  Intel Z270
 Memory  DDR4, 4 DIMMs, up to 64GB and 4133+ MHz with OC
 Onboard Graphics  Intel HD Graphics (supported CPUs)
 Discrete Graphics Up to Nvidia 2-way/Quad SLI, AMD 3-way/Quad CrossFireX
 Expansion Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/x0 or x8/x8, from CPU)
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16* (x4 electrical, from PCH)
3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 (from PCH)
*Shares bandwidth with PCIe x1_3 and is default set at x2 mode, not x4
 Storage 6 x SATA III
2 x M.2, up to 32Gbps**(SATA mode for M.2_1 shares bandwidth with SATA port 1,
M.2_2 shares bandwidth with SATA port 5,6
 USB 6 x USB 2.0* (4 Rear, 2 Front, via PCH)
6 x USB 3.0 (4 Rear, 2 Front, via PCH)
3 x USB 3.1 (2 Rear [Type-A and C], 1 Front, via 2 x ASM2142 controllers)*2 front share with ROG_EXT port
 Networking Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN
Intel 802.11.ac 2T2R MU-MIMO and Bluetooth v4.1
 Audio  Realtek ALC 1220 with ESS ES9023 Sabre DAC
 Fan Headers  8, all support 3/4 pin fans in DC or PWM
(2 x CPU, 3 x CHA, 2 x W_PUMP, 1 x H_AMP [high amperage])
 Rear I/O  1 x BIOS flashback button
1 x Clear CMOS button
2 x Wi-Fi Antennae
1 x DisplayPort 1.2
1 x HDMI 1.4b
4 x USB 2.0
4 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
1 x Gigabit LAN RJ45
5 x Audio Jacks
1 x Optical S/PDIF
 UEFI Crashfree UEFI with USB BIOS Flashback

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