ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Impact MITX Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Impact mITX Review

Introduction

The days when an mITX motherboard meant that you were accepting of barest minimum of performance, using it solely as a means to transport your legally obtained digital media to your television are long gone. Maybe it's a side effect of the move towards smart televisions removing the importance of an HTPC, or maybe manufacturers have seen a small (ahem) niche in the market and filled it with high-performance motherboards. Either way we have seen an influx of boards that are big in performance despite being small in stature.

ASUS have, with their raft of offerings, been near the forefront of this revolution and today we're looking at the latest model in their ever-expanding ROG range, the Maximus VIII Impact. To give this the Maximus name shows how confident ASUS are in the potential capabilities of this Z170 motherboard, so let's put it to the test.

Technical Specifications

As you would expect from such a seriously compact motherboard the Maximus VIII Impact has all the features you'd hope to find, just less of them. So there are two DIMM slots, but supporting up to 4133MHz DDR4. PCI Express 3.0, but just the one x16 slot. Perhaps the oddest decision is to go to the U.2 storage option. This is unquestionably a beneficial step if you plan on keeping the Impact for a long time, but right now there is a distinct lack of supporting hardware unless you buy the Intel 750s. The headline grabbing part of the Impact has to be the separate board for the Supreme FX III Impact audio. Because it's in the PCI Express x1 slot you can switch it out for a more dedicated offering if you so choose.

ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Impact mITX Review

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Most Recent Comments

30-11-2015, 07:00:26

RandomBadger
*Drool*Quote

30-11-2015, 10:55:28

dwatterworth
These series of boards since the P8Z77i Deluxe have been fantastic.
I gave the Z87 impact a swing.

I'm not audiophile by any means, but if there is choice between the two, I prefer better audio (output, in-game, etc) than video quality, especially on games with very immersive story lines.
My quibble:
The separate sound card board quality is fantastic, but is somewhat lessened by not having analog outputs for anything beyond 5.1 surround. I know it's a much lower market for users looking for things over 5.1, but personally I hated having to have analog cable extensions for the reach-around to the side panel outputs to hit 7.1 channels. When such a premium piece of tech is let loose into the wild, the details become a lot more important. It seems like there is some room for a 'bump-out' to the left of the sound card outputs that could fit the extra sockets easily.
*Minutia rant complete*Quote
Reply
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