Asus Maximus III FormulaManufacturer: Asus
UK Price (as Reviewed): £183.48 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as Reviewed): $249.99 (ex. Tax)
The third generation Maximus has some big boots to fill. It's a direct sequel to one of the best motherboards we've ever seen, the Maximus II Formula
. It was a beautifully crafted piece of engineering, and we concluded our review by saying "if you want a board with great gaming performance, a fun, intuitive and very full BIOS with fantastic overclocking and a design made for exactly its application - you'll be very hard pushed to find something better.
The Maximus III therefore, has to hit a bar so high few can even see. It make a good start, with a design clearly evolved from the Maximus II. It's beautiful to look at, and instead of just laying on a few more SATA ports or chucking on bigger heatsinks, the Asus RoG team has once again created some exclusive additions just for this motherboard. If you're interested, skip to page 4
, to read up on RoG Connect; Asus' latest overclocking idea, however don't forget to have a nose at the layout
and updated BIOS options
you get too!
With such a good resumé, you'd think all it needs now is the once over and some test results to confirm our suspicions, however, while we won't deny there are elements of awesomeness, not everything went quite 100 per cent smoothly.
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- Support for Intel Lynnfield Core i5 and Core i7 LGA1156 CPUs
- Intel P55
- Four 1.5V DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 16GB of memory up to "2,133MHz (OC)"
- One Gigabit Ethernet controller from Realtek 8110SC
- Two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots providing either one x16 or two x8 links
- One PCI-Express x4 slot
- Two PCI slots
- Six SATA 3Gbps ports supporting Intel Matrix RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 and JBOD from Intel P55
- One IDE port supporting two devices and two SATA 3Gbps from JMicron JMB363
- Two SATA 3Gbps from JMicron 322 for "Asus Speeding HDD" including hardware RAID 0 and 1
- One eSATA 3Gbps port from JMicron 363
- 14 USB 2.0 ports - eight on rear I/O, six via pin-outs
- IEEE1394a Firewire supporting two ports - one via pin-outs, one on the rear I/O
- VIA VT2020 10-channel High-Definition audio codec supporting VIA Envy HD 192/24 "absolute pitch" audio and Creative X-Fi software including EAX Advanced HD 4.0, CMSS-3D, X-Fi Crystalizer and Creative ALchemy
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In the box there are plenty of SATA cables to go around, as well as a PCI bracket for USB and an eSATA port, although no Firewire, perhaps because Asus assumes you'll use the front panel connectors from your chassis. There's the usual pinky-friendly Q-shield and an SLI bridge thrown in too.
Unique features include a RoG sticker for the corner of your case, a dozen SATA cable labels - a nice touch, but for pedantic uber neatness we'd rather not use them, and a USB A-to-A cable for the RoG Connect feature. All in all, it's a good bundle.