ASUS ROG Maximus V Formula Motherboard Review

 

Meet The Family - ROG Maximus V Series


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ASUS ROG motherboards come designed for who they define as the “general enthusiast.” This is the do-it-yourselfer with a high degree of want and need for all the features found in a channel Series board such as the P8Z77 V Pro, plus a host of unique and innovative capabilities with a strong focus on uncompromised gaming and reliable overclocking performance. ASUS places a strong emphasis on a well-rounded and versatile end-user experience rather than a small handful of over-the-top specifications. In other words, you shouldn’t have to tell the customer to purchase Board X to get X result. Every board in the ASUS lineup comes ready to extract the most potential from their respective chipsets, all while retaining its own sort of character. In the case of a ROG motherboard, that character is loud, proud, and ready to frag. 

 

Maximus V Gene

The relativistic “entry-level” of the ROG series (you’re getting the low-end board of a high-end series) is occupied by the Micro ATX form-factor Maximus V Gene. While it might be small, the Gene comes packed with the same key technologies as its larger cousins, with the only caveat being reduced room for PCIe expansion. You still get two x16 slots, and considering that a vast majority of gamers make due with a single gpu, the Gene has all you really need. By reducing the size of the PCB, ASUS was able to shave a $70 chunk off the price of the next higher Formula board and give gamers on a tighter budget access to several great features exclusive to the ROG series.

 

Maximus V Formula

The mid-range Formula is targeted at the hardcore gamer and boasts a host of key technologies needed to give them the best performance possible. It is the only one of the three boards to feature a first-of-its-kind hybrid cooling solution that ASUS calls “Fusion Thermo.” A set of heat fins mated to a copper pipe running in parallel with a water cooling loop offers optimal cooling performance with both air and water. Throw in superior graphical inputs and audio hardware over the Gene, and the Formula begins to reveal itself as a bargain for the money. 

 

Maximus V Extreme

If you’re looking to push your rig to the absolute limits with an outlandish liquid nitrogen cooling setup and demand precise real-time monitoring of temps and stats, then you know that only the Extreme will do. With Intel Thunderbolt on board as well as exclusive features like Subzero Sense, VGA Hotwire, and real-time overclocking via the included OC Key, achieving world record status is not out of reach. This flagship may be nearly twice the cost of the low-end Gene, but one look at the incredibly dense PCB and you’ll know that you are getting what you paid for.

 

Maximus V Gene Maximus V Formula Maximus V Extreme
CPU LGA1155 socket for Intel® 3rd/2nd Generation Core™ i7/ i5/ i3/ Pentium® / Celeron® Processors; supports22/32nm CPU  
Chipset Intel® Z77 Express Chipset  
Memory
Dual channel memory architecture
4 x DIMM, up to max. 32GB, DDR3
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
Expansion Slot
2 x PCI Express 3.0*/2.0 x16
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot
1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1 on mPCIe Combo™ card
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
3 x PCIe 2.0 x1
1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1 on mPCIe Combo™ card
5 x PCI Express 3.0 x16
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot
1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1 on mPCIe Combo™ card
Thunderbolt  N/A  N/A VGA output (2560 x [email protected])
Data transfer rate up to 10Gbps
Daisy-chain up to 6 Thunderbolt devices
Multi-GPU / VGA
NVIDIA® SLI™ / AMD CrossFireX™ Technology
LucidLogix Virtu MVP Technology (Windows® 7 only)
DisplayPort (2560 x [email protected])
HDMI (1920 x [email protected])
NVIDIA® SLI™ / AMD CrossFireX™ Technology
LucidLogix Virtu MVP Technology
DisplayPort (2560 x [email protected])
HDMI (1920 x [email protected])
NVIDIA® 4-Way SLI™ / AMD CrossFireX™ Technology
LucidLogix Virtu MVP Technology
Thunderbolt/DisplayPort
(2560 x [email protected])
HDMI (1920 x [email protected])
Storage
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s (red); 2 x SATA 3.0Gb/s (black); 1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
1 x mSATA 3Gb/s on mPCIe Combo™ card
6 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s; 2 x SATA 3.0Gb/s; 1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
1 x mSATA 3Gb/s on mPCIe Combo™ card
6 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s; 3 x SATA 3.0Gb/s, 1 port at mid-board reserved for eSATA
1 x mSATA 3.0Gb/s on mPCIe Combo™ card
LAN Gigabit Intel® Ethernet LAN; ROG GameFirst
 
Gigabit Intel® Ethernet LAN
Wireless  N/A Bluetooth v4.0/3.0+HS
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n supports dual frequency band 2.4/5.0 GHz
(*The module is pre-installed on mPCIe Combo™ card)
USB 6 x USB3.0 ports
8 x USB 2.0 ports
8 x USB 3.0 ports
8 x USB 2.0 ports
Audio SupremeFX III, built-in 8-Channel HD Audio CODEC SupremeFX IV built-in 7.1-Ch HD Audio CODEC Realtek® ALC898 7.1-Channel HD Audio CODEC
Form Factor  mATX  Extended ATX

*Courtesy of ASUS

 

We are big fans of the way ASUS lays out their board families. Instead of a typical board heirarchy of varying features and components, ASUS uses the same components in their budget boards as the flagship models. The mentality here is that you shouldn't have to shell out for the higher-end motherboards to be able to maximize the potential of your overclocking headroom.  Instead, ASUS uses a high-performance foundation in the budget motherboards, and each successive model adds a tangible set of features which correspond to the pricing tier. One can see the ROG Maximus V Series breakdown in the table above. We see the primary performance drivers are the same with every board.  Each board will allow outsanding memory performance and power delivery, keys to making the most of overclocking headroom.  There are tiers of features you receive with each upgrade, making it easy to see what you're getting for your money.  They all have the same core features and utilities available, and you don't see any handicapping of software or hardware features on the budget motherboards. This is a very friendly structure for the end-user, whereas other approaches can be downright confusing.  A budget board might have quad-SLI capability, but limited overclocking features. A step up yields only standard Crossfire/SLI capability, but opens up more overclocking headroom. These features are conflicting, and it makes choosing the right board a bit more difficult.  With ASUS, it is as simple as choosing the features you care about, but no matter which way you go, you're hardware is not going to be handicapped.

 

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