Looking at the board, there's that very typical ROG design that we're used to seeing from ASUS. We've got a black and red design and if you're a fan of the colors, you'll find this is a great looking board. On the board itself, there's a lot going on, so let's move in a little closer and see exactly what's on offer from the Maximus IV Extreme.
Being a performance motherboard, it comes as no surprise that the Maximus IV Extreme opts for a lot of PCI-E x16 slots with a total of four being seen. Alongside them we've got a PCI-E 1x and at the bottom a x4 one. Just above the first slot we've got a Molex connector if you're opting for a multi VGA setup and just above that we have a USB 3.0 header which you can see is red.
The setup on the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme is a little funny, though, when it comes to the VGA setup. Because the board uses the NF 200 chipset, you're able to get two slots running at x16 (PCIE_X16_2 and PCIE-X16_4) which is the second and third slot. If you're opting for a dual GPU setup, though, ASUS recommend you use PCIE_X16/8_1 and PCIE_X8_3 which will mean both cards will run at x8. ASUS feel that x8 / x8 via the Intel chip is a better option than x16 / x16 via the NF200 due to it creating another communication point. This is something we'll have to indeed look at a little later.
Moving away from the PCI-E slots and getting into the bottom of the board, we can see another Molex connector on the far left. This will help give some more power to the board if you're opting for a multi VGA setup. Next to that we've got a bunch of headers including; front panel audio, system fans and four USB 2.0 headers. Next to those headers we've got our front panel header and a little switch which gives us the ability to switch between the two BIOS'. Each BIOS has an LED that corresponds to it and as you click the button, the LED will switch showing which BIOS is active.
Turning the corner, you can see we've got eight SATA headers. We've got four gray which are SATA II and run off the P67 chipset and four red which are SATA III. The two red that are closest to the grey run off the P67 chip and should be your first option, while the other two run off the Marvell 9182 controller. I would've liked to have seen ASUS use maybe a different color for the Marvel instead of being the same red as the Intel based ones, but it's not the end of the world. You'll just want to make sure you're using the Intel controlled SATA III ports ideally.
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