VRM Block: The custom waterblock that sits on the Maximus XI Formula has been specifically designed for this motherboard by EKWB, a leading maker of high-performance computer watercooling parts. Even though we didn't watercool the VRM block, it still performed quite well as a normal heat sink since it's mostly a copper block.
5G Networking: The Aquantia 5Gbit NBase-T LAN controller they used helps future proof the motherboard for the future. With faster ISP offerings, faster Wireless AC, and even faster Wireless AX, multi-Gbit LAN is the future.
Solid VRM: ASUS's VRM uses 50A DrMOS with an IR digital PWM controller, but they aren't using doublers to improve transient response times. We see this in digital scope shots when comparing their previous design to their current design, and you can see the output is much tamer. They have also used this new VRM design on their high-end X299 and X399 motherboards, just with slightly better VRM components and in a higher phase count because the CPUs for those platforms can pull power in the kilowatt range.
Pricey: If you aren't going to be using the waterblock as a waterblock, we highly recommend you look at the Maximus XI Hero WIFI if you don't need 5Gbit LAN. The motherboards have very similar VRMs, but the Hero has slightly fewer features and no waterblock, but costs more than $100 less.
Solid motherboard all around can easily be said of the ASUS Maximus XI Formula. The waterblock is very well engineered, and of high quality, the WIFI is the latest, the 5Gbit LAN is awesome, and the VRM is solid.
The motherboard is very well rounded, but you will pay a premium for the block and 5Gbit LAN, and if you need and want those features, then this motherboard might be perfect for you. We also want to mention this motherboard is a stunner; its large OLED display and it's special coating over the shield are amazing to look at if you like stylized RGB.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a premium Z390 motherboard you can watercool and also have do pretty much everything else, give the Z390 Maximus XI Formula a look.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Maximus XI Formula Overview]
- Page 3 [ASUS Maximus XI Formula Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASUS Maximus XI 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]