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ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula Z270 Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Jan 3, 2017 5:30 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASUS

Here are key points about the ASUS Maximus IX Formula.


What's Hot


Solid All Around Performance: The performance numbers in CPU, memory, system, and GPU benchmarks so that ASUS has tweaked the Maximus IX Formula well. The same can be said about IO performance, storage and networking speeds were also excellent. What impressed me was overclocking capabilities and VRM thermal performance, the board runs cool and facilitates fast processors.



Water Cooling Delight: The motherboard comes with an EK water block which has been improved over the EK block its predecessor was equipped with, showing that ASUS is trying to improve their designs even when they are good enough. I also liked the water cooling input and output temperature headers and pump tachometer header, a novel way to add value for water cooling nuts.


Excellent USB Capabilities: USB 3.1 type-C and type-A on the rear IO and the USB 3.1 20-pin internal header provide more than enough of the latest USB technology. What also impressed me was that the rear IO panel is filled with four USB 3.0 port and four USB 2.0 ports, for a total of ten USB ports on the rear IO panel.


Stunning Aesthetics: The shield on the front and back of the Maximus IX Formula allows the motherboard to blend into the background while RGB LEDs add accent lighting to heat sinks and critical areas of the motherboard.


Integrated IO Shield: People went nuts over the Rampage V Edition 10's integrated IO panel, and I can see why. The integrated panel makes installation easier and avoids alignment issues.


Audio: ASUS's implementation of the ALC1220 with an ESS Sabre DAC and other premium audio components produces a solid onboard audio solution.


What's Not


Paying a Premium for the Block: At around $370, the Maximus IX Formula is not cheap, and you are paying a big premium for the custom EK water block for the VRM. Otherwise, you could probably find other boards in this price range with features such as ThunderBolt 3 or 4-way multi-GPU support.



Final Thoughts


One of the biggest questions or complaints I see regarding 200 series motherboards is that they are basically RGB LED versions of their 100 series counterparts, but that just simply isn't true. Many 200-series motherboards offer a lot more than their predecessors, and the Maximus IX Formula is one of those motherboards. While it looks similar, it is loaded with new features such as USB 3.1, better audio, better fan control, better VRM cooling, and new additions such as the integrated IO panel and the ROG water cooling zone.




Another aspect I found interesting was ASUS's prioritization of features. ASUS made a shift to add more USB ports on the rear IO panel, reduce the number of SATA ports, remove U.2, and add another M.2 port. These changes show that ASUS took note of certain shortcomings of the Maximus VIII Formula and addressed them when producing the Maximus IX Formula.


In the end, we have a premium high-end motherboard, built for water cooling enthusiasts and overclockers, but it comes with a premium price tag. If you are looking for a loaded motherboard for a new Intel Kaby Lake build, the Maximus IX Formula is definitely worth a look.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (including Overclocking)96%
Quality including Design and Build94%
General Features91%
Bundle and Packaging95%
Value for Money89%
Overall TweakTown Rating93%

The Bottom Line: Strong performance in benchmarks, overclocking, and thermals reveal that the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula is a premium motherboard designed for blazing fast systems.

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