Packaging and Overview
The Maximus VIII Formula's box is very similar to that of the Maximus VIII Extreme. Packaging reveals that the motherboard and all the accessories are well protected from the elements.
There are plenty of accessories: 8x SATA 6Gb/s cables, SLI bridge, IO shield, 12-in-1 ROG cable-labels, Q-connector, ROG door hanger, CPU installation tool, ROG fan label, m.2 screws, 2T2R Wi-Fi antennas, 80cm RGB extension cable, and software DVD/user manuals.
The ASUS Maximus VIII Formula has seven fan header circled in red, and a fan extension header circled in blue. All fan headers are PWM or DC mode and can be configured in the UEFI or through Windows. ASUS's fan control is top notch, and you can choose which temperature sensors control which fans.
The sleek gray/black shield covers most of the Maximus VIII Formula, and some hints of silver are present, but they vanish when the motherboard is installed in a case. A strip of translucent plastic near the VRM, the area with "FORMULA" on the center of the motherboard, and the ROG logo on the PCH are all lit by RGB LEDs, and the effect is quite magnificent.
I was surprised to find that ASUS provides a metal back shield like they did on their TUF series motherboards. The backside shield helps strengthen the PCB and cools the back of the CPU VRM with some heat pads.
The IO panel on the Maximus VIII Formula carries six USB 3.0 ports, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C, a 1Gbit NIC port, clear CMOS, BIOS flashback, two Wi-Fi antenna connectors, and S/PDIF with gold plated TOSLINK for audio output.
The PCI-E layout is quite simple. The first two gray PCI-E 16x slots are wired to the CPU and operate at 16x/0x or 8x/8x for SLI/CrossFireX. The last PCI-E 16x slot is hard wired 4x to the PCH and shared bandwidth with SATA ports 5/6. All the PCI-E 1x slots are PCI-E 2.0 and get their bandwidth from an ASMedia PCI-E bridge.
The U.2, M.2, and SATAExpress1 connectors all share bandwidth, priority is given to the M.2 slot so you might need to configure the BIOS if you are going to use the other connections. The two SATA6Gb/s ports that are part of a darker colored connector come from an ASMedia controller while the remaining gray ones originate from the PCH. I like what ASUS has done with the right angled USB 3.0 header. To install an M.2 drive, you must remove a single screw and then you just pop the cover, revealing the extra-long M.2 slot.
I was very happy to see a POST code display as well as power and reset buttons at the top of the motherboard.
ASUS also provides a MemOK button, a second USB 3.0 internal header, and many other headers at the bottom of the motherboard. The most interesting of which is an RGB LED strip header. Users can control this header and the rest of the RGBs through software in Windows.
ASUS provided a CableMod premium LED lighting strip, and it works very well with the header. I do not think that the retail package comes with the LED strip; it was provided so that reviewers can test the feature.
I did remove the shield from the motherboard.
The heat sink on the VRM is no joke, and the PCH LED is revealed when everything is removed. The back of the PCB is quite bare, and I was very surprised to find that the audio divide is not illuminated.
The VRM heat sink is no joke. At close to $400, the Maximus VIII Formula is an expensive motherboard, but I would think some of that cost has gone into collaboration with EKWB. The VRM block isn't your typical motherboard manufacturer VRM water block with a hollowed out heat pipe. Instead, there are microchannels, o-rings, and proper fittings. Even if you don't put water in there, it will still cool the VRM quite well.
PRICING: You can find the ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United Kingdom: The ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard retails for £311 at Amazon UK.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Maximus VIII Formula Overview]
- Page 3 [ASUS Maximus VIII Formula Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASUS Maximus VIII Formula Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Vivendi could push for an Ubisoft takeover this year
- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds charity event: May 4
- Jeff Goldblum joins 'Jurassic World 2' cast
- MSI bundles super-fast Optane M.2 with motherboards
- Director hoping for 'Guardians of the Galaxy' 4K Blu-ray
- Synology RT2600ac Wireless Router Review
- Cursor disappearing randomly
- AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11G Review
- Intel Optane Memory 32GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 K6 USB 3.1/TB Issues
- Nokia partners with Lucasfilm to deliver an immersive behind-the-scenes VR experience of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- New LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 bridges the port gap and delivers massive capacity to streamline creative workflows
- ENERMAX launches D.F. STORM, the 3500RPM fan featuring self-cleaning design
- Tenda unveils new USB 3.0 AC1300 wireless network adapter
- SAPPHIRE introduces new PULSE graphics card family