Here are key points about the ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex.
Overclocking is Excellent: VRM quality is proven and strong, the VRM power stages here are identical to those on the Maximus VIII Extreme, and the layout and design for other VRMs is identical to the Maximus IX Apex, both of which are proven motherboards. The motherboard also has an awesome assortment of overclocking features, some of them unique. Take, for example, the condensation detection system and pause switch. When it comes to overclocking profiles, no one does it like ASUS ROG. They have a full page of CPU overclocking presets, all the way from a handful of 5Ghz profiles to 300MHz BCLK profiles, and even LN2 profiles. Memory overclocking profiles are also plentiful, and you also get the ability to choose what training algorithms are used on your memory. It might be very complex or overwhelming for some people, but the profiles try and simplify things for those not as familiar with things.
RGB Lighting and Aesthetics: I really love how RGB LEDs under the motherboard produce a vivid glow. I like the RGBs under the VRM heat sink and under the ROG nameplate and customizable nameplate. The X-shape of the PCB is a nice touch as well. The customizable nameplate might seem like decoration, but it serves a purpose in the professional overclocking world. Sometimes you just have too many of the same motherboard to keep track of, or you are at a competition and your board is mixed up with someone else's, or you have an issue with someone who has sticky fingers.
5G NIC: I am not really sure why the motherboard has a 5Gbit NIC and a 1Gbit NIC. The motherboard is supposed to be targeting mainly overclockers and modders, but I get the feeling ASUS has found another market; those who want the ability to mod or overclock down the road if they choose. That market is one some vendors don't understand exists and having been part of that market when I was younger; it's a bit difficult to describe.
Fans: Ten fan headers is a nice touch, and while three of them run full speed all the time (preferred for subzero overclocking), the rest can be fully controlled. ASUS has also added the ability to reference multiple temperature sensors at once. You also get a 3A header, which is also useful for high current pumps or a daisy chain of fans.
Four SATA and no Addressable RGB: I was surprised to find four RGB LED headers, but no addressable RGB header. I was also surprised to find only four SATA ports, but I get it, fewer switches to M.2 means less board noise and trace routing.
You want it all because it's cool, and that's what the Apex delivers well. When I was younger and first got into the PC game, I really wanted those nice Abit and DFI motherboards, but I could never afford them. I wanted them because of how they looked, the special unique features they had, and because all the pros were using them. That is exactly what the Maximus X Apex is, it is a total niche product and ASUS has once again upped the game. The true purpose of the Maximus X Apex is to push overclocking boundaries, and it does that with ease.
However, it seems that ASUS got bored of just pushing overclocking boundaries and went and pushed others as well. They went and added four RGB LED headers (most I have ever seen), but left out any addressable RGB LED header. They added a 5Gbit NIC, upped fan headers to 10, and then they moved all M.2 to the DIMM.2 card. I think the merging of niche modding, overclocking, and power user technologies is an interesting move, at least now you can move your validation to your network five times as fast as before.
If you are in the market for one of the coolest and most robust overclocking motherboards on the market, the ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex is definitely worth a look.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: ASUS's ROG Maximus X Apex does networking and lighting like a pro, but that's only because it got bored after it mastered overclocking.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed 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 X Apex (Intel Z370) Motherboard retails for £XXX at Amazon UK.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and ROG Maximus X Apex Overview]
- Page 3 [ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex 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]
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