While a lot of the recent motherboard news has come from the Intel Z68 chipset and the new AMD 990FX one, the original Sandy Bridge P67 chipset from Intel is still very dominant on the market.
If you have a look at Newegg, you'll find around 50 P67 based motherboard for sale while the Z68 sits around the 20 mark. A lot of the P67 boards are also in stock; they're not simply just listed. For that reason the P67 chipset is still an important one for companies as they continue to move stock.
For a lot of people as well, Intel Smart Response Technology and onboard video isn't something they need or want. Instead, they'd rather stick with the P67 platform which has so many options when it comes to boards.
While the new ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z has been announced and is on the ASUS website, it's still not yet available. Priced at $364.99 US, the P67 Maximus IV Extreme is an attractive option for users who demand some serious performance.
Today we take the Maximus IV Extreme for a spin to see just exactly how this P67 based board goes compared to some of the Z68 boards we've looked at. It may use the "older" P67 chipset, but ASUS always bring some serious performance to the table when it comes to the ROG line. The question is, if you're after a performance board for your 1155 socket CPU, should the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme be one you're looking at?
Well, we're going to find out. First, though, we'll look at the package of the board, then we'll take a closer look at the board itself before getting into the BIOS to see what's on offer there. Once that's done, we'll start to fiddle around in the BIOS, talk about the overclocking potential of the board and then we'll get into the really fun stuff and see what kind of performance the board is able to offer.
Being a ROG board, it's no surprise that the package had a wealth of information. We've got information on the front and back and more when you open the front of the box up which also gives us a great look at the board itself.
Moving inside the box, we've got same paperwork, driver CD, ROG sticker and some labels that you can use on your HDDs.
Diving deeper into the box, we've got a lot of cables here. We've got eight SATA cables; four are SATA II and four are SATA III, and we've got our normal I/O shield along with some CrossFire / SLI cables including a 3-Way SLI connector. Also included is our ROG connect cable, three temperature sensors, two Probelt voltage measuring cables and an ASUS Q-Connector kit.
Finally, we've got a two port USB 2.0 header along with a little Bluetooth module. This plugs into the motherboard around the I/O area and if you want to use it, you can, otherwise you can just leave it in the package.