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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Friday, March 28, 2008
Asus Maximus Extreme

1. Features, specifications

Asus is one of the few motherboard manufacturers that introduce different variations of a specific motherboard. An example is the company's "Extreme" series of enhanced motherboards, which are water cooling ready and offer additional BIOS/overclocking tweaks compared to the normal models.

We have in our labs the new Asus Maximus Extreme, an Intel X38 motherboard. Asus introduced implementation of the Intel X38 Express chipset with the P5E3 Deluxe WiFi model, but the new Maximus Extreme comes in a different board design.

The Maximus Extreme motherboard provides awesome overclocking speeds and challenges performance limitations. Equipped with the Crosslinx technology for increased performance, it utilizes the Fusion Block System - an effective 0dB fanless design cooling system with a chipset waterblock that adds onto a power user´s existing water cooling circuit to help keep operations cool. Additionally, SupremeFX II not only increases the sound quality, it also enhances aesthetic value. The Maximus Extreme also adopts the Intel X38/ICH9R chipset and supports DDR3 dual channel memory and CrossFire Technology - making it the Overclocker and Gamer´s first and best choice.

Intel® X38 Chipset

The Intel® X38 Express Chipset is the latest chipset designed to support 8GB of dual-channel DDR3 1333/1066/800 architecture, 1333/1066/800 FSB (Front Side Bus), Dual PCI Express 2.0 x16 graphics and multi-core CPUs. With the specially included Intel® Fast Memory Access technology, available memory bandwidth usage is optimized and memory access latency is reduced - allowing faster memory speeds.

Crosslinx Technology: Delivering better game play without the bottleneck of x4 solutions
Crosslinx is an unique technology utilizing a dedicated controller to optimize PCIe allocation with dual x8 lanes(2nd & 3rd PCIex16 slot). Crosslinx eliminates the graphics data bottleneck found in other x16, x4 solutions. The result is unmatched graphics performance for smoother gameplay and maximum benchmark potential.

Dual-Channel DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1333
The motherboard supports DDR3 memory that features data transfer rates of 1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066/800 MHz to meet the higher bandwidth requirements of the latest operation system, 3D graphics, multimedia, and Internet applications. The dual-channel DDR3 architecture doubles the bandwidth of your system memory to boost system performance, eliminating bottlenecks with peak bandwidths of up to 17 GB/s. Furthermore, the supply voltage for the memory is reduced from 1.8 V for DDR2 to just 1.5 V for DDR3. This voltage reduction limits the power consumption and heat generation of DDR3 which makes it an ideal memory solution.
Fusion Block SystemH2O ready: The next step in thermal solution.
The Fusion Block System is a more efficient thermal solution compared to competing followers with complicated looks. It is a hybrid thermal design that combines the ROG´s renowned heatpipe design with the additional ability to connect to a water cooling system. By taking the entire integrated solution into design considerations, the user can enjoy exceptional thermal improvement to north bridge, south bridge, Crosslinx, and even VRM with a single connection. The Fusion Block System is the most versatile, efficient, and the most advanced thermal system there is on a motherboard.
2-Phase DDR3
With the embedded 2-Phase DDR3, this motherboard allows users to reach higher memory frequencies and enjoy better performance. Compared with only one phase solutions, this motherboard ensures longer power component lifespans and higher overclockability due to cooler temperatures and better efficiency.
ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit): New Generation Automatic Energy Saving Chip
The ASUS EPU utilizes innovative technology to digitally monitor and tune the CPU power supply with improved VR responses in heavy or light loadings. It automatically provides power for higher performance or improve efficiency by 7% when the PC is running low intensity applications. Working together with AI Gear 3, this can help you attain the best possible power efficiency and energy savings up to 19% to help save the environment.

In order to get familiar with the full features of the Asus Maximus Extreme, visit Asus website.

- Full specifications

CPU
LGA775 socket for Intel® Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 Processors
Support Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-Core CPU
Compatible with Intel® 06/05B/05A processors
Chipset
Intel® X38/ICH9R with Intel® Fast Memory Access Technology
Front Side Bus
1600 / 1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz
Memory
Dual channel memory architecture
4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, 1800(O.C)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066, Non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Support Intel® XMP Technology
Expansion Slots
3 x PCIe x16 slot, support dual PCIe2.0 x16 or 1x PCIe2.0 x16, dual x8 speed
2 x PCIe x1, PCIex1_1 (black) is compatible with audio slot
2 x PCI 2.2
CrossFire
Storage
Southbridge
- 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
- Intel Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10
JMicron® JMB363 PATA and SATA controller
- 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
- 2 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers, both featuring AI NET2
Support Teaming Technology
Audio
SupremeFX II Audio Card
- ADI 1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Noise Filter
Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out at back I/O
IEEE 1394
2 x 1394a ports(1 port at back I/O, 1 port onboard)
USB
max. 12 USB2.0/1.1 ports(6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
Overclocking Features
Fusion Block System
Crosslinx Technology
Extreme Tweaker
Loadline Calibration
2-Phase DDR3
Intelligent overclocking tools:
- CPU Level Up
- Memory Level Up
- AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
- ASUS AI Booster Utility
- O.C Profile
- Frequency LED
Overclocking Protection:
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection - EX)
- Voltiminder LED
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features
LCD Poster
EL I/O
Onboard Switches: Power / Reset / Clr CMOS(at rear)
Q-Connector
Q-Fan Plus
ASUS EZ Flash2
ASUS CrashFree BIOS3
ASUS MyLogo3
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard port(purple)
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
2 x External SATA
2 x LAN (RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x IEEE1394a port
1 x Clr CMOS switch
Internal I/O Connectors
3 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector for two devices
6 x SATA connectors
8 x Fan connectors: 1 x CPU / 1 x PWR / 3 x Chassis / 3 x Optional
3 x thermal sensor connectors
1 x IEEE1394a connector
1 x S/PDIF output connector
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
24-pin ATX Power connector
8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
1 x En/Dis-able Clr CMOS
1 x EL I/O Shield Connector
System panel connector
BIOS
16Mb AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI2.0a Multi-Language BIOS
Manageability
WOL by PME, WOR by PME, Chasis Intrusion, PXE
Accessories
Fusion Block System Accessory
DIY Pedestal
ASUS Optional Fan
3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
Floppy disk drive cable
SATA cables
SATA power cables
2-port USB2.0 module+IEEE1394a module
EL I/O Shield
Thermal sensor cables
Cable Ties
User's manual
Support Disc
The hottest 3D Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Support DVD:
Drivers
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
ASUS AI Suite
Futuremark ® 3DMark® 06 Advanced Edition
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor, 12"x 10.6" (30.5cm x 26.9cm)




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