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ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Mar 2, 2016 2:19 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASUS

Maximus VIII Formula Circuit Analysis Continued

 

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The audio on the Maximus VIII Formula is one of the main selling points for gamers, and ASUS has done a nice job. The ALC1150 is being enhanced by an ESS Sabre ESS9023P DAC, a dedicated clock, Nichicon Gold series audio capacitors, Texas Instruments R45801 amplifier, a sense pre-amp, and an NEC relay for de-pop. Overall it is quite nice for integrated audio, and similar in quality to other very high-end offerings such as the audio on the Maximus VIII Extreme. ASUS also decided to utilize Intel's USB 3.1 controller, the DSL6540 along with two EtronTech USB 3.1 power delivery and Type-C switch chips (EJ179S and EJ179V).

 

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ASUS provides an Intel i219v as the LAN PHY to compliment the integrated NIC in the PCH. They also use an IDT 6V41538NLG for enhancing BLCK overclocking abilities.

 

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An ASMedia ASM1184e is used to expand a single PCI-E 3.0 lane into numerous PCI-E 2.0 lanes for the PCI-E 1x slots and the Wi-Fi/BT card. The ASMedia ASM1042A is used as a USB 3.0 hub for some of the backpanel USB 3.0 ports, and an ASMedia 1443K is used as a level shifter for the HDMI 1.4 port on the backpanel IO.

 

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I believe that this ROG chip is used for RGB LED control of the LEDs in the shield, the PCH, and the RGB header. Other ROG chips are used for ASUS ROG specific features like the Macro key functionality. The four ASMedia ASM1480s are used for switching PCI-E bandwidth between the first and second full sized PCI-E 16x slots.

 

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The TPU chip is most likely for expanding fan control and temperature monitoring. The BIOS ROM is a 128Mbit (16MB) Winbond part and can be replaced by the user if required. A nuvoTon NCT6793D is the SuperIO and provides basic functionality for fan control and the PS/2 port on the IO panel.

 

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These remaining ASMedia 1480 are used to switch 32Gb/s of PCI-E 3.0 between the M.2, U.2, and SATAExpress1 slots and two HSIO SATA/PCI-E ports between SATA6G_56 and the third PCI-E 16x slot( electrically 4x PCI-E 3.0). Two extra SATA 6Gb/s ports are provided by an ASMedia ASM1061 controller. A chip labeled BIOS provides USB BIOS Flashback functionality, allowing for simple BIOS recovery.

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