As we skyrocket towards the end of yet another progressive year in computing technology, along comes some great news to gear some us up for the new year. The Republic of Gamers Motherboard series from ASUS has decided to introduce their latest motherboard supporting the next generation Z68 chipset and since Apple made it trendy to apply minimal product name changes, ASUS decided to call it the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z.
One of the most highly anticipated and expensive LGA1155 motherboards this year, the Maximus IV Extreme-Z comes with a plethora of goodies including Intel’s Smart Response Technology and the ASUS AI Suite so you can overclock like a BOSS! The ROG label on the mobo comes with exceptional standard features such as the infamous ROG Connect and RC Bluetooth as well as Jetsonesque features like the ROG iDirect which allows PC finetuning from the iPad or iPhone, BIOS Flashback, as well as, USB BIOS Flashback for advanced but simple BIOS refresh, Extreme Engine Digi+ to appease veteran overclockers and the Mem Teakit for real-time DRAM tuning! On top of that, ROG bundled in 3DMark Vantage Advanced Edition, ROG’s customised CPU-Z and Kaspersky Anti-Virus (where did that come from?).
The board itself is loaded with practical bits, like the ROG on-board buttons, indicator displays and PCIe dip switches. Hardcore visual zealots can rest assured that the Maximus IV Extreme-Z comes with two MOLEX plugs to give their GPUs the extra juice they need. SLI/CrossFireX On-Demand enables on-demand switching between technologies with Lucid Virtu which allows dynamic load balancing between discrete video cards and the Sandy Bridge’s built-in graphics processor.
The mobo was tested with an Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz, two 4GB DDR3 Kingston HyperX memory modules, two ASUS Geforce GTX570, a SilverStone Strider Gold 1200W PSU and a 200GB Intel 710 Series SSD with Windows 7 Ultimate. Needless to say, the test scores were phenomenal! The Maximus IV Extreme-Z scored 4,917 points by default and 6,039 points when overclocked to 4.2GHz on PCMark 7. Another test with 3DMark Vantage resulted in 24,618 points on default and a raging 30,829 points when overclocked! With one GPU removed, the power consumption averages between 110W on idle and 300W on load. The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z has proven to be an absolutely ingeniously forged mobo targeted at the enthusiast crowd and its exceptional value can only be appreciated by habitual tinkerers, gung-ho techies and cool hipsters with fat wallets.