ASUS show off their latest R.O.G board
Over the past couple of weeks a single picture of ASUS' latest Republic Of Gamers motherboard - the Maximus II Formula has been doing the rounds on the internet. However, today at a conference hosted by ASUS about their latest P5Q motherboard with its slew of new features (which we'll cover separately later), we were also fortunate enough to get a look at the latest R.O.G in the flesh and my my is she a stunner...
First up the appearance of the Maximus II has improved from some of it's predecessors with a rather mean looking black and red heatpipe assembly. ASUS have also been listening to enthusiasts and have made the cooling system partially modular so the Northbridge finned area of the heatsink can be removed and replaced with a waterblock. Those horrible plastic push-pins have also been given the elbow, with ASUS opting to screw the entire cooling system in from the back of the motherboard with...screws.
Despite the Southbridge cooler looking much like the P35 based ASUS Blitz which featured a Crosslinx chip, ASUS have confirmed that no such chip will be present on the Maximus II - thus limiting its PCI-E arrangement to 16x8.
Mosfet manufacturers must be loving ASUS at the moment with the Maximus II featuring 16-Phase PWM for the CPU, 3-Phase for the Northbridge and 2-Phase for the DDR2 slots. ASUS claim that this provides up to 14c cooler operation that 12-Phase power designs employed by other manufacturers while also obtaining 96% efficiency and reducing voltage overshoot/undershoot that can lessen the life expectancy of a CPU.
Two CMOS chips are also installed on the Maximus II with a jumper that allows switching between them. While this is clearly handy if a BIOS flash goes south, the ability to flash each CMOS chip with a different BIOS version will be music to the ears of many overclockers who simply can't decide which BIOS release offers them the best performance.
While on the subject of music, ASUS also gave us a peek at the latest SupremeFX "On-Board" soundcard due to be bundled with the Maximus II. On the surface this may look fairly similar to previous incarnations, but ASUS have dropped the ADI AD1988B processor used on the SupremeFX II
in favour of the X-Fi EAX 4.0 chip from Creative. Questions were raised as to why they simply didn't bundle in the Xonar DX
card, but the bottom line came down to price.
Release dates are uncertain as yet, but the board is due to showcase at Computex in a few weeks time and we expect it will hit mass production shortly after.
Think you'll be buying one? Let us know in the forums