When it comes to high-end gaming motherboards, Asus has established itself as a key player with a huge fleet of Republic Of Gamers (R.O.G) models. Today we have with us its flagship Z77 motherboard — the Maximus V Extreme. This ultra high-end motherboard is packed to the gills with features and is targeted towards enthusiasts, especially those who participate in competitive overclocking. Most of the features are lifted straight out of their X79-based Rampage IV Extreme that we previewed last October.
Design and layout
The motherboard comes well packaged with the board and the accessories securely packed in separate boxes. The Maximus V is a full ATX motherboard that uses Intel’s Z77 chipset. This means you have Socket 1155, which is compatible with new Ivy Bridge CPUs as well as the previous generation Sandy Bridge CPUs. The design of the board itself is very striking with a black PCB and a mix of black and red heatsinks and expansion slots. There are also plenty of debug LEDs for the GPUs, memory, BIOS, etc. scattered all over the board.
Good layout and design
The rear port cluster includes a PS2 keyboard/mouse combo port, Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, HDMI, 4x USB 3.0 ports, 4x USB 2.0 ports, a LAN jack, S/PDIF in and out, audio jacks, a clear CMOS button and an ROG Connect button. The latter is used to toggle the bundled OC Key accessory on and off. Other than these ports, we have plenty of headers for four additional USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, a total of six SATA III and three SATA II connectors, six 4-pin fan headers, a BIOS switch button, and power and reset buttons. Asus has also added VGA Hotwire connectors that allow you to directly overvolt your graphics card. There are four DIMM slots for a total of 32GB of DDR3 RAM. The Maximus V can support up to 2800MHz RAM as well as XMP profiles, so you can really push your hardware to the limit. The board also supports CrossFireX and 4-way SLI multi-GPU setups along with LucidLogix Virtu MVP Technology.
We have a total of five PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. You get the full x16 bandwidth if you use just one card, or the speed falls to x8/x8 for two cards, x8/x16/x8 for a three-card setup and x8/x16/x8/x8 for a four-card setup. We also have a single x4 PCIe 2.0 slot and a mini-PCIe 2.0 slot. Asus has also packed some very handy accessories like a dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth card with two external antennae that can be placed on your desk for better reception.
Very good set of connectors
The layout of the RAM slots and the expansion slots is quite good. While there is a good amount of room around the CPU for large heatsinks, fastening them could be a little tricky because of the additional heatsinks placed on the MOSFETS and VRMs. The RAM slots have fastening clips on only one side so it’s easy to swap them out even with a large graphics card installed. The SATA ports all face outwards so large GPUs are not an issue.
Good arrangement of SATA ports
The bundle includes a total of 8 SATA cables, 3-way and 4-way SLI bridges, CrossFireX cables, Q-connectors, and a rear expansion bracket for one ESATA and two USB ports. There are also the ROG Connect cables, one Probelt cable set, the OC Key, and its cables. Overall, the Maximus V Extreme is very well designed and comes with plenty of accessories in the box to get you started.