Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
Pricing on the ASUS Maximus VI Impact has just popped up online and it's higher than I thought it would be. I knew that it would carry a premium price tag, and a big one at that. When you consider the ASUS Z87I-DELUXE already comes in at $179.99, it was obvious an ROG variant of the Mini-ITX offering was going to come in higher than that.
Coming in at $229.99 at the time of writing, the ASUS Maximus VI Impact isn't just an expensive motherboard by Mini-ITX standards, but it's an expensive motherboard by normal standards. When it comes to our scoring system, though, everything is relative. While the price of the board is high, it's also extremely small, and what ASUS has managed to do with such a tiny foot print feels like nothing short of amazing.
While we've been saying for a while now that just because you go for a Mini-ITX motherboard, it doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice a ton of stuff. That holds a lot of truth when it comes to comparing to your general motherboard. Saying that, though, the Mini-ITX platform still misses out on a lot of things when it comes to comparing truly top-end motherboards.
That was until today, it feels. This isn't a Mini-ITX board that ASUS has made red and black and then chosen to throw the ROG tag on it. This is a Mini-ITX board that is truly worthy of the ROG title. Sure, you're not going to get SLI or CrossFire support and there's other features that you're not going to get because of the size of the board. But until today, I have to admit we're seeing more features than I thought was possible or imaginable on a motherboard so small.
ASUS has really shown us here today that you don't need a huge foot print to get amazing features on a motherboard. With superb sound, excellent networking, NGFF connectivity for super-fast future SSD storage and a fantastic power setup, we've really got so much more than you would expect out of a board this size.
Like any board that carries the ROG tag, the Maximus VI Impact carries the same price bump that you would expect. Is it worth it? The answer is a "god yes" and a "god no" at the same time. If you want to build a system and you don't mind what size case and motherboard it's built around, then the price tag associated with this board isn't worth it.
On the other hand, if you want to build a system that has a small foot print and truly kicks ass, there really is no other board that can touch this right now. The Maximus VI Impact is either the board you've been waiting for or one you don't really care about. Either way, ASUS has set the benchmark for performance based Mini-ITX motherboards today. And if we're completely honest, we're not quite sure when someone will catch up to them.