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Asus RoG Maximus V Formula review

Are these boards really for gamers any more?

Our Verdict

For

  • Packed with features
  • Pre-fitted blocks for liquid cooling
  • Good auto-OC results

Against

  • Price
  • No real performance difference to standard boards

The Republic of Gamers (RoG) has come out firing on the Intel Z77 chipset once again with the Asus RoG Maximus V Formula. This is a high-end motherboard with hardcore overclocking pretensions.

It has an Extended ATX format, making it a rather large board, replete with blocks that are ready for liquid-cooling over the power circuitry, and voltage report points by the board-mounted power and reset switches.

Asus has also shoe-horned as many extras into the RoG Maximus V Formula as it can manage, with the possible exception of the forthcoming ThunderBolt add-in card to make nice with Intel and Apple's new interconnect.

That's not the card Asus tried to foist on us before. Gone is the Xonar sound card/BigFoot NIC combo we saw in the Asus RoG Rampage IV Extreme. There's 7.1 SupremeFX audio, with integrated headphone amp and a mini PCIe combo card incorporating two slots for mSATA and a dual-band Wi-Fi card. There's also an extra ASMedia USB 3.0 controller, adding an extra pair of ports to the back panel.

Gamers?

Asus Maximus

But this is a Republic of Gamers board, so forget all the angular water blocks and shiny extras. What we really want to know is how it performs.

We have a bit of a problem with the RoG brand from Asus. Originally, as the name would suggest, it seemed to be a brand containing the very highest performing boards with a view to getting the highest frame rates in-game.

It's got to the stage now with the limits Intel has placed on CPU overclocking - where the multiplier is your only real course of action - that even the straight Asus boards, such as the P8Z77-V Pro, are capable of some of the fastest frame rates around.

What does that all mean for the scores on the doors for the Asus Maximus V Formula? Compared with the Sabertooth Z77 at stock speeds, the RoG board does have a slight advantage. That said, 0.13 of a frame per second in-game between the two boards doesn't really add up to the extra £130 Asus wants you to pay for the red highlights and RoG branding.

In the overclocking stakes, things are slightly different. The auto-overclocking of the two boards has the Sabertooth topping out at 4.2GHz and the RoG at 4.6GHz. Still, you can just push the multiplier up to x47 and the Sabertooth will run just fine at 4.7GHz.

Benchmarks

Stock performance
Cinebench R11.5: Index score: Higher is better
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS V FORMULA: 7.99
ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77: 7.91

Auto OC performance
x264 v4.0: Frames per second: Higher is better
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS V FORMULA: 51
ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77: 47

Maximum OC performance
Shogun CPU: Frames per second: Higher is better
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS V FORMULA: 48
ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77: 47

With a little judicious voltage tweaking you can get the RoG up to 4.8GHz, but that will give you precious little gaming advantage. I expect that you can get some impressive overclocking numbers with the BIOS in LN2 mode and a flask of the chilly stuff, but you're not going to be doing that for gaming. That's all for the Republic of LN2 sniffers, not Gamers.

When the average PC tweaker could get much better performance out of their RoG boards, they were relevant. With the performance of Asus' own Sabertooth and Pro boards though, there's little justification for spending the extra money.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelZ77 Express
Multi GPU SupportedSLI, CrossFireX
Onboard VideoCPU Dependent Video
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots3
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameROG
Form FactorExtended ATX
Processor SupportedCore i5, Core i7, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Audio Channels7.1
BluetoothYes
Gigabit EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Number of SATA Interfaces8
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
eSATAYes
HDMIYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
DisplayPortYes
Total Number of USB Ports8
Number of USB 3.0 Ports4
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports6
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports4
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 3.0, PCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots7
Memory Form FactorUDIMM
Number of eSATA Ports1
Number of mSATA Interfaces1
Processor TechnologyTurbo Boost Technology 2.0, Smart Response Technology
Width304.8 mm
Depth256.5 mm
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelMaximus V Formula
Product NameMaximus V Formula Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeSerial ATA/300, Serial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part NumberMAXIMUS V FORMULA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

The Republic of Gamers consists only the best of the best. We offer the best hardware engineering, the fastest performance, the most innovating ideas, and we welcome the best gamers to join in.

In the Republic of Gamers, mercy rules are only for the weak, and bragging rights means everything. We believe in making statements and we excel in competitions. If your character matches our trait, then join the elite club, make your presence felt, in the Republic of Gamers.