I'm not going to go into too much detail on the Mini-ITX platform because the chances are if you're a fan of the platform like myself, you would've read our recent coverage of Mini-ITX boards that have arrived recently. One thing we do notice about the platform, though, is that come launch time of a new chipset, most companies don't pay too much attention to it.
Saying that, though, the one company that seems to always be ready with a Mini-ITX board at launch of a new chipset is ASRock. The ASRock Z87E-ITX did a good job of impressing us. It came in at a good price and was pretty much everything you'd expect from a Mini-ITX motherboard. More recently, though, we saw both MSI and GIGABYTE bring Mini-ITX boards out. Both the MSI Z87I and GIGABYTE Z87N-WIFI impressed us and really gave us a few more options.
When it comes to the major motherboards players, the only company that was missing from the Mini-ITX game was ASUS. Well, that is until today. I must admit when it came to pulling the new ASUS Maximus VI Impact out of the box, I found myself extremely impressed. It was all looking very good for ASUS from first glance. But what we really couldn't wait to find out was just what this new motherboard from ASUS was capable of. So, let's not delay any longer, and just get stuck straight into it.
While the box of the Maximus VI Impact may be small, thanks to the opening flap on the front, we've got an absolute wealth of information on offer. The whole design is very typical ROG and the front gives us the model number and a couple of logos. Opening up the flap, you can see across the top some of the main features are highlighted. This includes the SupremeFX Impact audio component, along with the mPCIe Combo II card, which offers a ton of features for something so small.
As we move to the bottom of the box, we can see some of the included software technologies like GameFirst II and RAMDisk, along with mention of Daemon Tools Pro and Kaspersky Anti-Virus being included at the bottom. In the middle, you can see a lot of focus is being placed on the Impact Power system. The back of the box goes on again to highlight some of those main features that are covered and give us a run down on the main specifications and a look at the I/O plate at the back of the board.
Starting to move inside the box you can see the standard inclusions like User Guide, Driver CD, four SATA cables and our rear I/O back plate. Along with that you can see we've also got an extra cable that plugs into your front panel connector. Those leads are then extended making plugging in everything just that little bit easier. Moving away from here, though, is where the bundle becomes a lot more interesting.
Above you can see the SupremeFX Impact adapter that is installed to the motherboard. We'll take a closer look at how it connects in the next page. While we see so many motherboards just offer a Realtek solution for Audio, with this we get ROG SupremeFX Impact 8-Channel High Definition Audio. A clear step up from so many other motherboards.
Along with the SurpremeFX Impact we've also got an antenna for the wireless card that is installed on the included mPCIe Combo II card that can be seen above. Along with the wireless card that includes support for Wi-Fi 802.11 A/C and Bluetooth 4.0, we have a NGFF (M.2) or Next Generation Form Factor port. Aimed to replace both mPCIe and mSATA, this new connection is optimized for SSD performance and one we should see show up more and more in the coming months.
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