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Asus Maximus Formula & Maximus Extreme

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Nature 22nd November 2007, 10:02 Quote
Why buy a new enthusiast board with no support 1600 fsb when there are other ASUS and Gigabyte boards that do and are available?
Hiren 22nd November 2007, 15:18 Quote
Awesome review as always Bindi!
Jamie 22nd November 2007, 15:22 Quote
I wonder why they've included waterblocks on the nbr of these boards. Any serious gamer that is actually bothering with watercooling will want to use their own chipset block. It would have been more sensible, in my opinion, to include an easy to remove heatsink with a decent universal mounting system.
sheninat0r 22nd November 2007, 15:23 Quote
On the eSATA test, the Formula is listed in the graph...
Tim S 22nd November 2007, 16:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheninat0r
On the eSATA test, the Formula is listed in the graph...

Thanks for highlighting that, it should be fixed now - the IP35 Pro was supposed to be in the graph and not the Maximus Formula. :o
Max Spain 22nd November 2007, 17:16 Quote
Well, I was planning on getting a Maximus Formula and now I'm not so sure. Most other reviews I have read have been positive, so the only thing I can think of is that you received a bad board. Especially since the EPU didn't work. If you do get a response from Asus about that, I'd certainly like to read it. Maybe the board just has a bad bios. Also, on the key on page 2, item #6 is incorrect.
ledbythereaper 22nd November 2007, 17:25 Quote
Whats the point in a high end 'gaming' mobo with a northbridge block.. when it's 3/8" and not 1/2".. imo Asus should allow you to replace the barbs.
Tim S 22nd November 2007, 17:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledbythereaper
Whats the point in a high end 'gaming' mobo with a northbridge block.. when it's 3/8" and not 1/2".. imo Asus should allow you to replace the barbs.

We echoed this sentiment in the meeting we recently had with the one of the RoG engineers and the RoG product manager - hopefully they'll listen!
simosaurus 22nd November 2007, 18:23 Quote
could someone quickly explain the difference between the ram slots? i know one is white and one is blue, but the white ones seem to have different clips at the ends, is this for any reason or just the way it is?
-EVRE- 22nd November 2007, 20:32 Quote
9 Intel motherboard articles in a row since the last AMD motherboard news.

I know Intel is #1 right now, but there has been a few things to cover on the AMD front. I hope to see something soon on an AMD board soon since Phenom is out.
E.E.L. Ambiense 23rd November 2007, 01:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledbythereaper
Whats the point in a high end 'gaming' mobo with a northbridge block.. when it's 3/8" and not 1/2".. imo Asus should allow you to replace the barbs.

That's exactly what I was thinking too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
We echoed this sentiment in the meeting we recently had with the one of the RoG engineers and the RoG product manager - hopefully they'll listen!

I truly hope they do listen, because that seems ridiculous to go through the trouble of sticking a block on it, yet not make it 'modular' enough to allow the user to put whatever kind of barbs he/she wants on it.
Sparrowhawk 23rd November 2007, 03:31 Quote
Any idea if they will be making an SLi version of it, instead of just Crossfire? Kinda sucks if you like the board, but bought into one multi-GPU system and not the other.
Woodstock 23rd November 2007, 04:04 Quote
@sparrohawk
X38 doesnt offically support SLI, because its not a nvidia chipset, but normally there is "hacked" drivers to enable it.

Imo x38 has been a disappointment
Tim S 23rd November 2007, 07:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by -EVRE-
9 Intel motherboard articles in a row since the last AMD motherboard news.

I know Intel is #1 right now, but there has been a few things to cover on the AMD front. I hope to see something soon on an AMD board soon since Phenom is out.

the board Rich is looking at now is a 790FX board
Bindibadgi 23rd November 2007, 08:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by -EVRE-
9 Intel motherboard articles in a row since the last AMD motherboard news.

I know Intel is #1 right now, but there has been a few things to cover on the AMD front. I hope to see something soon on an AMD board soon since Phenom is out.

People are still *only* just getting us AMD boards, and I've no Phenom to test with :(
Paradigm Shifter 23rd November 2007, 09:56 Quote
Hm. I was thinking of buying the Formula. Now I'm not so sure...
creach 23rd November 2007, 14:20 Quote
I'm confident that many of the issues you guys faced (particularly stability-wise) with the Formula was courtesy of an outdated BIOS (v0505). I believe the latest version is 0901, which supposedly fixes quite a few things.
Bindibadgi 23rd November 2007, 16:58 Quote
Welcome! I hear that comment loud and clear :)

Well to be honest - I was given the BIOS a little while ago and all our testing was done with that a few weeks back. I tried updating using the included BIOS update program for windows and even redownloaded it from the Asus website but neither seemed to work.

In addition, Asus website doesn't list any BIOS' for me for that particular board (I've just checked this minute) - we got sent this BIOS from Asus themselves, however it does list them for the non-SE version but there's no link between them. Any customer buying this board will not know that they are interchangeable. Customers just using the Asus Update will just be left with a non-working update utility too.

It's still a BIOS that Asus gave us and what people will have used - it's not even a release BIOS we expect problems with - does it really take NINE internal BIOS revisions?

I will update the Formula SE with the 0901 from the non-SE to see if it does fix the problems, but it still doesn't change the fact it's an expensive board with little performance advantage over one of half the cost. You have to make up your own mind if it's worth spending £30-60 more than other equivalent boards for the bling, basically.

I'm getting an X48 next week so we'll see how that works out :D
marscay 23rd November 2007, 18:07 Quote
i don't see the point of reviewing a board when quite clearly it's before the bios has a chance to mature.

as lots of ppl have shown, the forumla is a nice fast stable board now and if you want proper 16x lanes with your crossfire setup it's hardly a purchase for 'bling'.

as far as updating the bios, experienced ppl who've been around the block still use dos and refuse to even try and flash within windows .....afudos works just fine you know.

yet you praise the extreme which costs £30 more let alone the price of DDR3 for little performance benefits.

very amateurish and a dissapointing review.
Tim S 24th November 2007, 10:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by marscay
i don't see the point of reviewing a board when quite clearly it's before the bios has a chance to mature.

If we waited for BIOSes to mature on every board, we'd be at least a month behind everyone else reviewing motherboards, which means there's actually little point in bothering to review motherboards at all. Richard usually has three or four motherboards on the go at any one time and these things don't just appear in a couple of days - I know he's been working on this review on and off for at least three or four weeks.

He fired up the board when it first arrived with the initial BIOS installed and we decided against reviewing it at that point in time because of the issues. One has to make a judgement as to when to review a board, bearing in mind that the BIOS revision we reviewed the board using was its third.

Many boards we review using the second BIOS revision, because that fixes most of the major issues - the third BIOS on this board STILL hadn't fixed many quite important problems, so what do we do? Wait until the board is mature (which could be anywhere from a month to never), or put a buyer beware out? I think the former is a safer option personally, as we can always come back to it.

In fact, I've asked Richard to go over the board again with the new BIOS and see if the issues we encountered are still present or if they're fixed. He'll be back to report on his findings on that soon.

The point you make about the Maximus Extreme is a strange one - we didn't recommend it because of the cost of DDR3 memory (that's the sole reason why it didn't get a recommendation from us). However, we made the point that if someone has sold themselves on the idea of DDR3 memory (even though we think it is pointless at the moment), this is the board to get. You can't just dismiss DDR3 as never being worthwhile, even though it isn't worth considering right now - if someone wanted to be "future proof" (I love that word in the IT industry), there's no reason to look elsewhere.

I hope this explains our stance on why this review was published now and not in another month's time when the board is no longer available for purchase (that's an educated guess, fwiw).
Bindibadgi 24th November 2007, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by marscay
i don't see the point of reviewing a board when quite clearly it's before the bios has a chance to mature.

as lots of ppl have shown, the forumla is a nice fast stable board now and if you want proper 16x lanes with your crossfire setup it's hardly a purchase for 'bling'.

as far as updating the bios, experienced ppl who've been around the block still use dos and refuse to even try and flash within windows .....afudos works just fine you know.

yet you praise the extreme which costs £30 more let alone the price of DDR3 for little performance benefits.

very amateurish and a dissapointing review.

How long does it take for a BIOS to mature? 3 days? 3 weeks? 6 months? It's completely infeasible for any reviewer to constantly re-review and update scores. If you can buy it why do you have to wait for it to work properly - it had a feature out the box that didn't work, yet works fine on other boards we've tested.

I don't agree about the cost of DDR3 on the Extreme. You can do proper three way, dual height CrossFire-X, you can't do that with the Formula - it's the same as a other boards that cost less. If you're going to pay £190 for these features and you're preparing to use 3 cards, DDR3 is no problem for you. These features are not available anywhere else. The formula has a few bits but I didn't feel it was worth the extra money for a DDR2 board as much - why are you so concerned with saving money yet are willing to pay for something that doesn't perform better than a board £60 cheaper and doesnt have any more core features than a board £30 cheaper? Im not going to like it just because it's an RoG - it still has to be worth buying.

I don't see why people have to be so elitist about flashing a BIOS in windows - it's again a feature that ships with the board that doesnt work. I still overclock from the BIOS, because it genuinely works better than any Windows software but for Asus Update or whatever it works EXACTLY the same. Asus has screwed up for not listing any BIOS' for this particular board making Asus Update just not work - if I was a customer, I'd probably not know any better.

I will be going back to the 0901+ BIOS on the Formula to see if it does actually fix things, just because I love you all so much ;) :P :D

But considering the X38 is just an evolution of the P35 - the BIOS shouldn't take this much work (especially for Asus that have 2/3 BIOS engineers per project, compared to just one elsewhere) and no one else has needed a few months to get a board simply stable.

Anyway, I like a good discussion and I appreciate the comments! Remember it's always good to read around, I just hope I stay on your list ;)
[USRF]Obiwan 24th November 2007, 19:12 Quote
I dont get it...

See, I was looking to upgrade my motherboard and processor one of these months and looked roughly through 400+ recent motherboards with 4+ different intel chipsets. And NON of them where SLI. I could not believe it! All of them where crossfire. I must have been on another planet for a year because to my knowledge, the leader is the nvidia 8800 for over a year now and all i see is crossfire motherboard? I must be dreaming, this is totaly patetic. So.. then I thought; maybe motherboard makers are selling bundled packaged like get a crossfire mobo and get 2 ati crossfire cards for free! But nope, non of that. So there we are with over 400+ 'crossfire' motherboards. (and counting) And the best videocards in the world, 8800GTX/GT/GTS and they dont like each other

Well, I must admid that I did find a few intel SLI motherboards but those are over 8 months old i680/i650 nividia chipset motherboards...

And now recently i found out there will be some nForce 7xx boards coming out soon, but waaay waay too late if you ask me.
Woodstock 24th November 2007, 19:41 Quote
@[USRF]Obiwan

SLI is a nivida product, and they will only allow nvidia chipsets to officially support it, there is normally hacked drivers released to allow it on other chipsets
Tim S 24th November 2007, 22:59 Quote
Nvidia keeps SLI to its own chipsets in the markets it competes in and having asked them about whether something like X38 would ever be opened out, the answer I got was a resounding no. However, in higher end markets (like with Skulltrail), Nvidia has opened SLI out to Intel by requiring an nForce chip (which enables the drivers to work properly) in addition to the Intel north/south bridges.

As for 680/780... 680 was released last year and Nvidia doesn't release 15 chipsets a year - 780 will be an update that will come soon and the only thing that current 680 motherboards don't support is 45nm processors. The QA process is underway to enable that via a simple BIOS update though, so if I were you, I'd buy a 680i motherboard now... I can't say much more about 780 other than acknowledge it exists (hell, pictures have been on l'internets) but my advice should be telling enough. ;)
Dev25 6th December 2007, 16:42 Quote
(Yes i know this is old)

But i would like to see a P5E review up here and a quick camparision as i too was looking at the (Non-SE) Version
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