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ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Nov 9, 2015 9:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: ASUS

Maximus VIII Extreme Circuit Analysis Continued

 

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At the heart of the audio is a Realtek ALC1150 under an EMI shield with SupremeFX written on it. ASUS's latest SupremeFX 2015 implementation is perhaps their best so far. There is an ESS SABRE ES9023P DAC, a dedicated clock generator, Nichicon Gold series audio capacitors, Texas Instruments RC4580 amplifier, a sense amplifier to detect proper impedance, and a de-pop relay from NEC (which isn't too loud). There are ten red LEDs on the backside of the motherboard that illuminate the PCB divide as well as five red LEDs that illuminate PCI-E slot arrangement. The audio section of the PCB is physically isolated from the rest of the motherboard to reduce interference.

 

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An ASMedia ASM1187e is located underneath the middle heat sink, and it is a 1:7 PCI-E switch chip. One PCI-E 3.0 lane from the PCH is routed to the chip, and then five outputs are connected to two PCI-E 1x slots, the WIFI/BT controller, the ASM1061 (two SATA6Gb/s), and the ASM1042 (two USB 3.0 on the back panel). The ASM1042 provides two USB 3.0 on the back panel IO and the ASM1142 provides two USB 3.1 Type-A ports on the back panel IO.

 

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The Maximus VIII Extreme uses Intel's latest Gbit NIC with the i219v PHY. For the 3x3 (3R3T) 1300Mbps (1.3Gbps) WIFI/BT4 controller ASUS utilizes the AzureWave wireless card based on the Broadcom BCM94360 that is very fast.

 

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An ASMedia ASM1061 provides two SATA6Gb/s ports. The nuvoTon NCT6793D provides SuperIO functionality.

 

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Two ASMedia 1480 switch PCI-E bandwidth between the U.2 and M.2 ports and six others control the CPU's PCI-E lanes to support multi-GPU configurations.

 

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There are a lot of ROG-branded ICs scattered around the motherboard, and they provide extra fan control as well as OC features. The motherboard utilizes two 128Mbit BIOS ROMs. The IC labeled "BIOS" supports the USB Flashback features; the TPU IC most likely helps with monitoring and fan control, and the ROG chip is probably for OC features. There are also some extra clock generators possibly used to help regulate all the different clocks, and perhaps even have to do with the OC Panel functionality.

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