Design and Features
Update (January 5, 2017, 8.29PM): We've added a new page with the benchmarks scores of the motherboard.
Original article below (written January 4, 2017)
In conjunction with CES 2017, ASUS recently pulled back the curtains on their new range of Z270 series motherboards. Their new lineup consists of refreshed, renamed, and returning models, all made to cater to Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors, the successor to their immensely popular Skylake CPUs which made their debut last year.
Their motherboard lineup includes the ROG Maximus IX and ROG Strix series, the newly minted Prime series, and of course, the return of the company’s TUF (short for The Ultimate Force) series motherboards.
But, our focus in this review is on a motherboard that falls into the ROG Maximus IX category. That’s right, in this review (and if the title weren’t already obvious enough), ASUS was kind enough to loan us out one of their high-end motherboards from their ROG Maximus IX series for review: the ROG Maximus IX Formula.
Design and Features
Like all ROG Maximus series motherboards before this, this particular lineup in ASUS’ wide motherboards spectrum was meant to be used not just by gamers, but also by overclockers who want nothing more than to be able to push their (usually top-of-the-line) CPUs to the bleeding edge. In this the case of the Maximus IX Formula, this beastly looking ATX motherboard was conceived, designed and fabricated to maximize the overclocking potential of the motherboard, while looking sleek and seamlessly blending into the casing of a custom modder’s water-cooling setup.
That’s one of many new features that comes with this motherboard: a built-in CrossChill EK II water block that’s been placed directly on top of the motherboard’s VRM modules, an addition which ASUS assured us would reduce the overall heat levels of the aforementioned VRM modules by four degrees Celsius upon being connected to the water-cooling system of your choice.
Much like the refreshed Z170 motherboards that premiered during COMPUTEX 2016, we’re glad to inform you that Maximus IX Formula does indeed sport RGB lighting, and yes, it is also compatible with ASUS’ Aura Sync lighting feature.
Another small yet welcoming change to the Maximus IX Formula’s design is the pre-mounted I/O Shield around the ports. As unimportant as this may be to some, a pre-mounted I/O shield actually saves the user both time and the trouble of having to manually install the I/O shield that’s usually tucked away inside the motherboard’s box.
As an extra added bonus to the motherboard’s aesthetics, ASUS has taken the liberty of attaching a back plate to the Maximus IX Formula for extra rigidity and, naturally, to act as an impromptu heatsink for the motherboard.
Speaking of aesthetics, we’d be amiss if we didn’t point out that the entire Maximus IX Formula is also covered with ASUS’ ROG Armor. The ROG Armor blends in so well, that the on-board power and reset button is actually designed to look like a part of its design.
The motherboard does have an M.2 SATA port as well, but much like the M.2 port on the X99-Deluxe II, you’ll have to stand it upright. In addition to that, the Maximus IX Formula also has a USB 3.1 connector, allowing PC builders to easily connect their front panel USB 3.1 port to the motherboard.