ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390 Motherboard Review

Discussion in 'Intel MoBos' started by FrgMstr, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390 Motherboard Review

    ASUS brings us the one of it most aesthetically pleasing and expensive Z390 motherboards this generation. Even if you have no interest in spending a ton of money on an LGA 1151 motherboard, you will want to give this Formula a look as it certainly shows us that ASUS is not sitting around on its thumbs on the high end.

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  2. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    Good review as always.

    Ouch on the $450 price tag.

    Interesting conclusion with the VRM design.
     
  3. A Little Teapot

    A Little Teapot Limp Gawd

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    Sounds like Asus wants to turn the ROG brand into a Bose equivalent. Pretty to look at, well-marketed, and a shit design with cheap components. No thanks.
     
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  4. mdzcpa

    mdzcpa n00b

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    The VRM issue is way over hyped. I agree with Kyle. This was a marketing blunder. Asus should been confident enough to announce and explain it's VRM approach but instead they felt like they needed to keep up with the Jones's in the phase count war. Huge mistake. All things being equal, more phases IS better as it spreads the work load. But that's not the end of it. Quality of the phases also is very important and how many amps each phase can handle along with transient voltage. I have the Hero XI myself and the board does great. VRMs do not run hot. It clocks my 9900k to 5.1Ghz all core with 5GHz AVX without an issue. Yes, I would have preferred 8 to 10 BEEFY phases....and Asus should have gone this route for complete over kill. But the current VRM works very well. Actually much better than the MSI Aorus Master that I dumped (horrific UEFI and mediocre memory support).

    I'm not sure that I am disappointed in the Asus VRM set up or their chicken marketing approach to it, but its not a deal breaker either way. All the Z390 boards have issues (crappy UEFI, blah memory support, or more phase counts that run hot on through to the back of the board) so you really need to assess the whole package. I think Kyle called this right. A marketing blunder more than anything.

    Side bar....I think Asus has confidence and will be sticking with the low-count fat-phase approach so folks better get used to it. Check out their Asus X299 Deluxe II (version 2). Although they are sticking with the same old BS marketing approach. they again ditched total phase count for the fat-phase approach in order to address power issues for the 18 core 400w HEDT monsters. The board runs cool. Ponder on that awhile.
     
  5. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Design philosophy aside, ASUS really dropped the ball on the marketing front and have really only said anything about it like they are doing damage control. Ordinarily, when the manufacturers make major changes to their products they try and educate the tech media about those changes and what benefits they have. That hasn't been done by ASUS in years. ASUS was actually one of the most transparent with us about component selection and design choices of all the brands but haven't been so forthcoming over the last two or three years. Had they come out and explained this in more detail, I think it would have gone over better. I would have relished the opportunity to talk with them about the phase count reduction and the benefits of this rather than just seeing a board that claims "twin 8-phase" that only has four physical phases on it. The name Twin 8-phase is absolutely deceptive and there is no getting around that when there aren't 8 phases. There are 8 inductors, so it looks like phases so long as you don't pull the MOSFET cooler and look underneath. I do know why there are 8 inductors but you have to admit, on the surface it looks shady as hell despite a technical reason for having that many present.

    ASUS did share some additional information on this after my part of this review and the previous one were written. So that information wasn't factored in when I wrote that. However, Kyle did include the text of what ASUS said in his portion of the review on the conclusion page. ASUS essentially claims that thermal efficiency and power delivery capability are unchanged, but that transient response is considerably improved (which is true), but does make an admission that this design does create more ripple than the previous one. It is my understanding that the Maximus XI Hero and Formula do have less power output capability than the Gene and Extreme and this contradicts what ASUS says. I'm not an electrical engineer, so I can't speak to that. I will say the new design does cut costs, whether ASUS will admit to that or not. The phase doublers used were not exactly cheap on a component level basis. The voltage controller is also the cheaper of the two ASUS uses on its motherboards. I'm not certain of the price difference, but given that the ASP1400 only supports four phases and that's all that's present, that cost reduction on that component seems fine.

    That said, one thing that is often brought up on various forums is the Maximus XI Extreme and Gene being higher end designs using a more expensive and traditional phase design. I will address that line of thought given that it will likely pop up here. At least, I'll address it as best as I can based on what I know of how the company operates. Its likely that the Gene and Extreme were designed first. ASUS does not design all its boards simultaneously. Usually, the boards designed later in the product cycle are vastly superior in terms of overclocking capability due to lesson's learned form the earlier models. That's the reason for the difference. Not, due to necessarily being higher end. The Formula has arguably always been the higher end of the ROG offerings from a pure overclocking standpoint. This is only left open for debate given the Gene and Extreme's tendency to have more provisions for LN2 overclocking while the Formula is geared more towards water cooling. Formula and Extreme tend to be top tier offerings in either case.

    ASUS isn't dumb. It doesn't always build the best VRM designs in the business. I wouldn't always call what ASUS does a "good enough" approach either, but it makes choices for the cost of the overall board and makes decisions about what market the board is used in and how much overclocking will be done on it, etc. GIGABYTE and sometimes MSI tend to overbuild their VRM's on some boards but at the cost of other areas. The Formula also has a ton of cost heavy features like that LiveDash display and EK waterblock. So cutting back on the cost of the VRM's makes sense if those VRM's can still get the job done. ASUS may (and probably) knows something I don't, so there may be more technical reasons why they've chosen transient response at the cost of ripple. It seems like cost is the reason, but again, I'm not an electrical engineer, so take that for what you will.
     
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  6. twzTechman

    twzTechman Limp Gawd

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    I am a bit confused.. the $450 Maximus XI high end board gets a Gold Award, while the $275 Maximus Hero XI gets called out for diluting the the ROG brand due to the VRM implementation (and they have the same VRM solution?) Am I missing something?
     
  7. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    No, I think you are pretty much on point. Read the The Bottom Line again as it pertains to value?
     
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  8. Grimlaking

    Grimlaking 2[H]4U

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    I guess there are no other motherboard reviews with the 9900k CPU to give some performance comparisons to. I just don't see the value in including the AMD motherboard reviews as a direct comparison. What are we supposed to be drawing from those numbers? That AMD is better at productivity and Intel is better at gaming? I think we all already knew that. Perhaps I'm just being old and crotchety.
     
  9. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Honestly, benchmarks aren't worth much on motherboards. We do them to make sure the board works and to see if anything anomalous pops up. Comparisons to other Intel boards generally show numbers so close as to be within a margin of error rather than indicate performance differences. Outside of features and overclocking, there are no performance benefits to one motherboard over another using the same CPU.

    The benchmarks are there largely because people expect them to be.
     
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  10. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Benchmarks on motherboard reviews are there only to find out what is wrong, not right.
     
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  11. Joust

    Joust 2[H]4U

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    $450 - that's HEDT territory. Yikes.

    Otherwise, the most interesting thing noted was: The MOSFET measured less than 100*f, that's well below my expectation. I'm thinking there just wasn't a whole lot of heat being conducted to the measurable surfaces.
     
  12. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    This was the case with both the Formula and the Hero. They both have substantial VRM heat sinks with the Formula taking things much further in that area. I did pull the EK waterblock off the Formula to look at the VRM configuration myself. I don't generally do this and I did do it after the review. It was making good contact and had a decent thermal interface pad there. The block setup is very large and I think your exactly right and the heat just isn't getting to where I can measure it. I tried measuring the temperatures as close to the bottom and everywhere else and the temps never cracked 100F. 89-98F depending on where I took the measurement.

    I suspect most of the heat ends up in the channel where you'd have water moving through the block and it doesn't make it up to the surface areas. This would make sense if it was designed with watercooling in mind. What's surprises me is that the Formula's heat sink works so well using air alone. At least, in every way I can measure it. I think the only thing that could be done to really measure this is remove the heat sink, and get a probe underneath it.
     
  13. lucidrenegade

    lucidrenegade Limp Gawd

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    Don't know about the rest of the world, but new homes in the US are pre-wired, and for some they still mostly use Cat5e. Your multi-paragraph rant about multi-gig ethernet (1/2.5/5/10g) is ridiculous, though they should have used the Aquantia AQC107 which provides 10g in addition to 5g.
     
  14. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    New homes and even homes dating back to the early 2000's are pre-wired with Cat5e, however, this isn't the vast majority of homes in the U.S. or the world. Many people have used the excuse that Cat5e can't support 10GbE and most homes use Cat5e and that's why 5G exists. I disagree with that sentiment as I don't think 5GbE is standard that's needed. We've had 10GbE for years and it isn't much if more expensive to implement than 1GbE at the board level. There are also more choices for this than 5GbE options. Fair point about the Aquantia AQC107. That would have been an even better solution and if that had been used, I'd have applauded that.
     
  15. eclypse

    eclypse 2[H]4U

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    I have both the formula and extreme xi in my house currently. Bought both locally at mc. Got the extreme as I noticed it last time I was there.. currently upgrading the system and at the point in the build were I gota get the motherboard and CPU installed..

    Talk me down from the extreme!! Haha

    I had planned for the mb ek wb on the formula. Doing hard lines first time.. bit think since I'm deliding the 9900k and have a direct die mount, I'm better off with the extra phases of the extreme board... though will that matter as I'm not on ln2?

    I like the bigger size of the extreme.. both are sexy.. not gona use the dimmer m.2 card as I like x16 speed for my 2080ti.

    Everything is overkill on my system build.. dual eK XE 480 rads push/pull fans. Single loop for CPU and evga ftw3 2080ti ultra with block. 32gb trident Z RGB 32gb 4266mhz. Evga supernova G2 1300watt PSU. Aw 34" ultra wide 1440 120hz monitor + samsung 4k 40".
     
  16. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    When my home was built in 2013, the builder specifically did not want to do wired networking. Their marketing had indicated that it was outdated because of WiFi. I had to pay ~$800 *after* the house was completed for wired networking. But I did get Cat6A, so I'm 10G ready. It's just 10G switches (heck even 2.5/5G) is stupidly expensive compared to 1G switches.

    I will also say that although Cat5E is *not* validated for 10GbE usages, it actually does work for 10GbE on most network cards, up to around 30m length.

    That said, I built have two work systems with the Maximus XI Formula. Although I am quite disappointed in the VRM design (compared to the cheaper Apex, which I have personally), the board is very feature rich and BIOS is well layed out. I think if they used the XI Apex's VRM layout for the Formula/Extreme, we would have a winner.
     
  17. eclypse

    eclypse 2[H]4U

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    Ya did good getting that house hardwired! I'd do the same and have with our house built in 2000. When we moved in (2013) I had fun drilling up 2 floors to get cat6a on the 3rd floor! Haha

    Nothing better then hardwire. No weak signal for this house.

    Yeah because of the damn Vrm on the formula is making me think extreme XI is my only choice. I'd wait for the Apex but dont want to deal with the limited 2 dimm slots. I have the X Apex now and want to upgrade to 32gb ram and already bought 2 more dimms to double up what I had.
     
  18. Furious_Styles

    Furious_Styles [H]ard|Gawd

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    Great thoughts Dan, couldn't agree more with your conclusion. I think the saddest thing I read is that most people buying these boards never OC. Just shows lots of people who buy these really expensive mobos are not enthusiasts, just looking to spend as much money as possible.
     
  19. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Just an update. I typically keep a spare gaming rig in my office for guests to play games on. I used the Maximus XI Formula as the basis for it. So far, its been running like a champ. I have a 9600K on it @5.0GHz. Doing reviews we don't often get to see how these motherboards hold up over the long haul unless we use them ourselves. So we'll see how the VRM design holds up during its service life. My intent is to keep that thing at that same overclock 24/7.

    ASUS and other companies spend a lot of money on research and I've heard a number of things like this over the years. It surprised me at first, but when I think back on my time as a service tech and in the IT world talking to various people about PC's and gaming, I believe it. I have co-workers that are gamers and one out of three overclocks.
     
  20. scgt1

    scgt1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Can someone clarify for me on the PCI-E lanes. It says: "2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16, x8/x8, or x8/x4+x4)" Yet it also states the bandwith for slot 3 is shared with Sata 5/6. So if it's shared with Sata and not PCI-E why does your main slot drop to 8x, 2nd to 4x, and 3rd to 4x?
    Shouldn't it be main 2 slots at 8x and the 3rd at 4x if it indeed does share with Sata 5/6?

    I currently have a MVIIIF w/ 6700K and I should receive a MXIF on Tuesday from Newegg with a 9900K arriving not long after. I currently have dual 1080FTW's and a Kryo m.2 block for my nvme m.2 drive that is in my 3rd x4 slot on my MVIIIF. If I carry over the config to the MXIF my gpu's are going to operate at 8X and 4X according to the spec out even though it clearly states the bandwith for the last x4 slot is shared with sata 5/6. I'm assuming I'll notice a decent change going from 8X/8X to 8X/4X on my gpu's and I should in turn nix the water block for my m.2 and trust in Asus that their heatsheild actually does a decent job of cooling m.2 drives so my gpu's are 8X/8X?
     
  21. eclypse

    eclypse 2[H]4U

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    Well they should both run at 8x for sli. That other slot gets its lanes from the chipset. That's why it shares with Sara 5,6.

    I believe that's the 3rd slot that works from the chipset.

    You sure your looking at the right manual for the formula xi?
     
  22. scgt1

    scgt1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Which is why I was trying to clarify. The review which this post is from shows the specs I listed in my post on the main specs overview in the middle of the review page, the detailed specs image in the middle of the review page, and it is also stated within the review: "The Maximus XI Formula supports the following lane configurations: x16/x0/x0, x8/x8/x0 or x8/x4/x4. 2-Way or "Quad-SLI" are supported."

    Which makes no sense to me that if the 3rd slot is occupied it would then drop your second slot to x4. This is saying the 2nd and 3rd slot share when it states in the specs that the 3rd slot shares with sata 5/6. So I guess I need to get on Asus chat in the morning for further clarification.

    The specs on the Asus product page also mentions x8,x4+x4 if using all three slots. Maybe the 2nd and 3rd are only 4x when using 3 gpu's and my use of the 3rd slot won't matter. Maybe I'm just not understanding the x8, x4+x4 bit. Again on the Asus spec page and all others mentioned above for the 3rd x16 slot it clearly states (The PCIe x 16_3 slot shares bandwidth with SATA6G_56 ports. PCIe x 16_3 slot is set at x2 mode by default.) so yea. I dunno. Only Asus knows I guess. LOL


    Update
    So Asus confirmed that I'll run at x8/x8 on the gpu's since my 9900K has 16 pci-e lanes. The m.2 card/block will run at it's native x4 since the last slot is chipset based and uses sata 5/6. Which is what I thought would happen.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  23. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Really?

    People like me who buy such boards and don't overclock is because we want a reliable and robust board. Extreme overclocking boards fare better because they well exceed the specs and are made with higher quality components.

    Do you also say sports cars are a waste of money unless you go about racing every day? Also the numerous people buying trucks and never use them to haul anything... ever.

    -------------

    Also, someone tell Asus to make a white PCB version of the Maximus. Last one was the Sabertooth Z170 Mark S, which wasn't even that good. Last decent one was the Sabertooth Z97 Mark S.
     
  24. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I couldn't agree more on all points. When ASUS' survey asked people who bought ROG motherboards why they bought such motherboards, the reasons you cited are exactly what they were told.
     
  25. Furious_Styles

    Furious_Styles [H]ard|Gawd

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    Poor analogy imo. You can buy a reliable and robust board for a lot less. And yes it bothers me all those dopes that buy trucks and 99% of their use is commuting to work. That is wasteful as hell.
     
  26. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    So what? If that's what they want to drive, who cares? As for motherboards, I think you miss the point. Not only are those high end overclocking boards generally more robust than cheaper alternatives, but they have more features. Features are often what sells those higher end motherboards.
     
  27. Furious_Styles

    Furious_Styles [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah but what features that you can't get on the other boards? The only ones I see that they offer is built-in water cooling which is great if you run a custom loop. But I highly doubt there are lots of custom loop people that don't OC.

    And normally I'd agree about the "who cares" part because that used to be my personal reaction. But when you see what happens when gas prices go to $4+/gal and the climate change/overconsumption issues we have then it's really a poor choice.

    But I'm not going to de-rail the thread I'm just going to have to say that the price tag imo is just a huge mark-up that's not worth it. But given the nvidia price hikes lately maybe asus is missing out on some extra profits.
     
  28. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Well, as I pointed out, the Maximus XI Formula has the same voltage hardware as the Maximus XI Hero. Other boards like the Z390-A are pretty much the same as well. So you can get the same VRM implementation on cheaper boards, so on that front I agree. For non-overclockers only the audio and aesthetics of the board really come into play. Some will buy it based on looks and layout alone. The placement of the M.2 slots is amazing for one thing. The fan extension feature is nice, as that's something I've used in the past. Some of the ROG boards like my Rampage V Edition 10 came with a breakout box for front panel audio connections. There are voltage check points, onboard controls and other things some people really like having on their boards. You also get the Live Dash LED and that VRM water block is a damn good air cooler on top of being able to handle water cooling. People want what they want and the same arguments you'd make against a big truck over a economy car don't hold up on the motherboard front.

    There are lots of little features people don't think about when looking at motherboards. Many of those features, people don't care about but some people do. ROG is successful because it offered premium hardware with innovative features and aesthetic qualities people found appealing. Overclocking, while a strength of the series was not the driving factor behind sales.
     
  29. Furious_Styles

    Furious_Styles [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes cars/trucks and mobos aren't good analogies I agree, I did not bring up that comparison in my defense. And I do think some of the previous maximus boards of the past definitely had lots of extra stuff like in the audio department that might set it apart.

    But I guess the other big downer is the Asus software, I hope they spent some time on it. It reminds me of when I built a PC for a friend and we got the best Asus GPU (gtx 1080) available. I thought the extra case fan connectors were a cool feature. However to use them you had to go thru the GPU tweak software and it was such a total garbage UI that I just ended up skipping that completely and using the mobo headers.

    And as lame as it sounds I think my favorite thing about this board (and I hope it becomes standard) is the built-in I/O shield.
     
  30. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I am a huge fan of the built in I/O shield. I am starting to see it on other brands. GIGABYTE and now even MSI use it on some models. Usually, its reserved for the higher end boards but its creeping down to the mid-range as well.
     
  31. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    Good...can't happen soon enough. Definitely a plus.
     
  32. scgt1

    scgt1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    So I'll chime in here as being an Asus ROG Formy fan. I've come up the series with my game rig (V, VI, VIII, and soon to be XI) for several factors and really tbh overclocking isn't at the top. Back in '09 I started a theme build based on the white, black, red theme. My case has changed overtime along with mobo's and gpu's. I've still stuck with the Formula although Asus has dropped the ball numerous times on certain aspects on a few of the boards. 1 being the m.2 slot hidden under plastic armor so no way to cool the damn thing. Hence why I have a Kryo M.2 which keeps my 950 Pro under 33C no matter what is going on.

    Aesthetic's are a big + although I'm not particularly a fan of the new direction Asus has gone with the XI to a more straight edged industrial look. The previous edgy space aged look was more my style so it took some real debate on not moving to the Aorus line that has kinda picked up the design. I've had bad luck with MSI on my daily Plex server in the past so even though they have some edgy styling to their boards I choose not to deal with them anymore. Another big seller with the formula since I have a custom loop is the built in waterblock. When you factor what that block will cost from say EK for what ever board you have (saying they make a block) then factor the mobo price in your pretty much paying the same price anyway for a high end feature rich board and then a block. Sure it may be a little more but I also factor in that ASUS backs their products by serial number. I've never once had to show any receipt for a product I purchased used. I'll have to say all but one of the Formula boards our of anything Asus I've owned was purchased new. Now do they have the best RMA deparment? Does anyone? I've received rma devices back with the same problem but never twice. I've sent in boards with pin damage I've gotten cheap on Fleabay and sent a replacement (YMMV) with no questions asked. So I'll stand behind Asus on the hardware front until something hits the fan.

    The audio is always great with Asus so can't go wrong there. As to overclocking. I'm not big on it as bios settings have become far to advanced and I'm too far out of the loop to really get down and dirty with it squeezing the last few clicks out that it can handle. Usually when I get a new setup I'll push it to what I know and what is stable. Keep a note of what the cpu will take off my old school overclock knowledge and bump it back to stock. I really have no need to run a system overclocked for just gaming. I'm not a streamer so I don't game 24/7 weeks may go by before I get a chance to fire the ol girl back up. (I do have a OneX that takes more of my time lately) I just don't have the time as my disabled fiances personal attendant to take care of the house, her, etc and spend the time re learning the new ways to overclock. So I'll push things to what I know and stop there. I'm not rich so I usually blend upgrades with new/used parts. Ideally I try to get out of what ever setup I have when it's going for a nice price on Fleabay and there isn't much or any of the parts available so they bring primo coin (I've sold numerous Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe boards on Fleabay for $250-$280 while they were selling for $150 on Reddit. I used those profits and the sale of my MVIF and cpu to fund the last Upgrade I did on the game rig MVIIIF/6700K/1080FTW back when it first came out and stock was balls to get.) When it comes to overclocking I also have the mindset in the back of my head more power more work means strain to the life of hardware. As mentioned I usually fund a great deal of an upgrade with my old parts I'm replacing so I can't always just dump $300-$600 on a replacement part. I prefer for my hardware to last as I'm sure most people do. So I choose not to keep things running 24/7 at an overclock or at least not near it's limit that I can achieve.

    Now Asus software on the other hand. MY GOD! Don't get me started and just take a trip on the ROG forums and see how "well" their software is. Better yet take the trip over there and see how much they don't support customers with correcting problems with their software. It seems as past history has proven that up to a certain point in a products life (even though the product is still highly relevant) all Asus software support goes out the window and they pretty much write the support/updates for certain products off. They have had tons of issues with the Aura software and the AI Suite. Many people don't even use the crap anymore. In the past few days I read that their update program sent updates out to several pieces of hardware that had malware. I mean come on.
     
  33. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Feb 9, 2002
    The software has been getting worse and worse over the years. AI Suite III has a lot of good features, but its become a bit of a pig. ASUS' UEFI BIOS is second to none. Literally no other company does it better. That said, while ugly, the GIGABYTE BIOS is fine. And I've enjoyed not having ASUS bloated drivers and software on my rig. I also had trouble with ASUS' Aura software on my X99 rig. My Maximus XI Formula system runs the LED Live Dash software and that's it. I've kept the rest of the ASUS software off my machines. I was using the ASUS ROG Front Base, which was cool but the software sucked for it.

    As for overclocking, on a modern system you set three things and your basically done. You set your CPU voltage, CPU load-line calibration and your CPU turbo frequency multiplier. That's it. Even then, you don't always have to set the load-line calibration. Most often, automatic settings work fine for average overclocks.
     
    scgt1 likes this.
  34. Denpepe

    Denpepe Gawd

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    Asus software is even worse if you use azerty keyboards like me, their GPU tweaker has shortcuts that break certain keys in games and windows so that was a pain to diagnose until I found that asus software was the culprit.
     
    scgt1 and Dan_D like this.
  35. scgt1

    scgt1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yea that's about all I tinker with. It's the 40+ other voltage settings and adjustments that spook the hell out of me. LOL
     
  36. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Most of them don't seem to do anything. I've played with these from time to time and its never netted a higher overclock. To achieve a reasonably high overclock on an AIO, good air cooler or a custom loop, you don't generally need to change very many settings. Its when you start pushing things with LN2 or phase change that you end up needing to adjust a few more things. Even then, surprisingly few values ever need to be adjusted.
     
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  37. Hakaba

    Hakaba Gawd

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    Hey Dan how is the Apex XI? I have been eyeing Intel again if AMD’s new chip isn’t as impressive.
     
  38. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I wouldn't know. I don't have one.
     
  39. Hakaba

    Hakaba Gawd

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    Yep... I see that now, that’s the problem of reading a thread and coming back 5 hours later to ask a question.

    My bad.
     
  40. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Having said that, the Maximus VI APEX has a much beefier VRM design than the Maximus XI Formula and Hero or anything in the Prime family I've looked at. The PCIe configuration might be a non-starter for some, but for most people it should be fine. Also, the DIMM.2 format is fantastic in my opinion. I think its a better setup than flat M.2 slots sandwiched in between expansion slots. I love the built-in I/O shield and from the look of it, and my experience with the lesser boards in the family it should be an excellent offering all around. The only caveat is the price tag. At the time of this post, the price seems to hover around the $460 and up range. That's not exactly a value proposition for a mainstream segment motherboard. Its almost undoubtedly among the best motherboards out there in its class, but you will pay for it.