First Look: Asus Maximus II Formula IIManufacturer: Asus
Even though it’s a P45-based Republic of Gamers board, it’s curiously not fallen under the Blitz branding that was used for the P35-based RoG boards – Asus is changing things around slightly by slotting all Intel-based boards under either the Rampage or Maximus nomenclature, with the Striker branding saved for Nvidia chipsets on Intel platforms.
When Derek Yu, RoG Product Manager, produced the first sample of the Maximus II Formula, my jaw dropped quite literally. I’m finding it difficult to describe it without swearing, but the Maximus II Formula looks like a simply gorgeous
piece of hardware. In comparison to what we have here, the original Maximus now looks like a lump of mish-mash and we now realise Asus was aware of this. In light of this fact, the company has completely revamped the styling to make it about a million times better.
It’s got oodles and oodles of features too – the entire heatpipe array is screwed down with ten screws. Derek laughed as he told this to the small gaggle of hacks – apparently, manufacturing was none too pleased because push-pins are much easier.
While the heatpipe array remains very low profile to distribute the heat evenly – the north bridge and one of the PWM heatsinks are independently removable so you can use whatever cooler you want. This gets them around the heatpipe and watercooling limitation where people want to use their own.
There’s no CrossLinx this time around, even despite the massive heatsink – instead it’s just a large expanse to distribute the heat and to make it look good.
Asus also features a dual BIOS setup – while this doesn’t sound special on the surface, the key feature is that they can be individually configured with either the same BIOS file as a backup, or two different BIOS versions if you want to try beta BIOS revisions on one, and retail on the other. The board features a jumper that can be flicked to choose between them. And yes, Asus is starting a public beta BIOS program as well!
The two RoG branded chips to the right of the BIOS handle them and also the more advanced overclocking algorithms included in the RoG BIOS.