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ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 Motherboard

ASUS Maximus IV ExtremeThere is a lot offered by the Maximus IV Extreme in addition to the support of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor and SATA-III, thanks to the P67 chip. It also packs incredible cooling, extreme performance and an over-abundance of overclocking options (if there is such a thing). For those that have the budget for such a powerful motherboard like the Maximus IV Extreme, the sky truly is the limit. We can’t wait to put the board through it’s paces, so lets get on with the show!

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ASUS Maximus IV Extreme

ASUS Maximus IV ExtremeThere is a lot offered by the Maximus IV Extreme in addition to the support of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor and SATA-III, thanks to the P67 chip. It also packs incredible cooling, extreme performance and an over-abundance of overclocking options (if there is such a thing). For those that have the budget for such a powerful motherboard like the Maximus IV Extreme, the sky truly is the limit. We can’t wait to put the board through it’s paces, so lets get on with the show!

Introduction to the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 Motherboard

With the introduction of the new Intel Z68 chipset, we thought we had seen the last of the P67 models in our lab; twas not the case. When the representative for the largest manufacturer of enthusiast motherboards give you the opportunity to review a legend, you don’t past it up.

ASUS have sent us several P67 based motherboards over the past few months, none of which are as sought after by the enthusiasts as the Maximus IV Extreme. Being part of the Republic of Gamer product line you know that you will not only will get every last feature supported by the chipset, but then some as well. ASUS have always put an extra effort in to giving the consumer what they want in a motherboard. Sometimes, the consumer gets even more than what they were after, all thanks to ASUS going that extra mile.

There is a lot offered by the Maximus IV Extreme in addition to the support of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor and SATA-III, thanks to the P67 chip. It also packs incredible cooling, extreme performance and an over-abundance of overclocking options (if there is such a thing). For those that have the budget for such a powerful motherboard like the Maximus IV Extreme, the sky truly is the limit. We can’t wait to put the board through it’s paces, so lets get on with the show!

ASUS take on the Maximus IV Extreme

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.

Specifications

CPUIntel® Socket 1155 for 2nd Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3 Processors
Supports Intel® 32 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list
ChipsetIntel® P67 Express Chipset
Memory4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333 Hz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
* According to Intel® SPEC, the Max. 32GB memory capacity can be supported with DIMMs of 8GB (or above). ASUS will update QVL once the DIMMs are available on the market.
* Refer to www.asus.com or user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Due to CPU behavior, DDR3 2200/2000/1800 MHz memory module will run at DDR3 2133/1866/1600 MHz frequency as default.
Expansion Slots4 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (@ x16, or dual x8, or x8, x16, x16)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA® 3-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD CrossFireX™ Technology
BluetoothBluetooth Module Accessory Card
– Bluetooth V2.0/V2.1+EDR
– RC Bluetooth On/Off Switch
StorageIntel® P67 Express Chipset *¹
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (Red)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s ports (Gray)
-Intel® Rapid Storage Technology
-Support RAID 0,1,5,10
Marvell® 9182 PCIe SATA6Gb/s controller *¹
2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports (Red)
JMicron® 362 controller
2 x External SATA 3Gb/s ports at rear (SATA On-the-Go)
* Due to the Windows XP/ Vista limitation, the RAID array with the total capacity over 2TB cannot be set as a boot disk. A RAID array over 2TB can only be set as a data disk only.
LAN2 x Intel® Gigabit LAN
AudioRealtek® ALC 889 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
– Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature:
– Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
– Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
USB1 x NEC USB3.0 Controller with 2 x VIA SuperSpeed USB hub controllers:
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports at rear
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports at mid-board for front panel support
Intel® P67 Express Chipset

9 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports at mid-board, 1 port at rear is also for ROG connect)
1 x NEC USB3.0 Controller *²
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports at rear
Overclocking FeaturesROG Connect *³
RC Bluetooth *³
ROG iDirect *³
ROG Extreme Engine Digi+
– 8-phase CPU power
– 3-phase Memory power
– ML Cap on CPU only
ProbeIt
ROG OC Kit
– LN2 Mode
– PCIe x16 Lane Switch
– Debug LED
– Q_Reset
EFI BIOS features
– ROG BIOS Print
– GPU.DIMM Post
– CPU Socket Monitor
iROG
Extreme Tweaker
Loadline Calibration
USB BIOS Flashback
– BIOS Flashback with onboard switch button
Intelligent overclocking tools:
– ASUS TurboV Evo
– O.C Profile
Overclocking Protection:
– COP EX (Component Overheat Protection – EX)
– Voltiminder LED
– ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special FeaturesASUS TurboV EVO :
– CPU Level Up
ASUS Exclusive Features :
– MemOK!
– Onboard Button : Power/Reset/Clr CMOS (at back IO)
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
– ASUS Q-Fan Plus
– ASUS Fan Xpert
ASUS EZ DIY :
– ASUS Q-Shield
– ASUS O.C. Profile
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
– ASUS EZ Flash 2
– ASUS MyLogo 2
ASUS Q-Design :
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
– ASUS Q-Slot
– ASUS Q-DIMM
– ASUS Q-Connector
Back Panel I/O Ports1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
8 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0 (white port can be switched to ROG Connect)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x ROG Connect On/ Off switch(es)
1 x RC Bluetooth switch(es)
Internal I/O Connectors1 x USB 3.0 header(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
4 x USB 2.0 header(s) support(s) additional 8 USB 2.0 port(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x Power Fan connector(s)
3 x Optional Fan connector(s)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
8 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
3 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x En/Dis-able Clr CMOS header(s)
1 x RC Bluetooth header(s)
1 x LN2 Mode header(s)
1 x Q Reset switch(es)
2 x EZ Plug connector(s) (4-pin Molex power connector)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Go Button(s)
1 x BIOS Switch button(s)
1 x ROG light connector(s)
AccessiresUser’s manual
ROG Exclusive Feature Guide
I/O Shield
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
2 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x CrossFire cable(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x 2-port USB 2.0 module(s)
1 x ROG Connect cable(s)
1 x ProbeIt cable set(s)
1 x Thermal sensor cable pack(s)
1 x Cable ties pack(s)
1 x ROG theme label(s)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
1 x RC Bluetooth card(s)
BIOS32 Mb Flash ROM , EFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI2.0a Multi-Language BIOS
ManageabilityWfM 2.0,DMI 2.0,WOL by PME,WOR by PME,PXE
Support DiscDrivers
ASUS AI Suite II
ROG CPU-Z
3DMark Vantage
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus 1-year license
Form FactorExtended ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 10.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 26.9 cm )
Notes*1: Due to the Windows XP/ Vista limitation, the RAID array with the total capacity over 2TB cannot be set as a boot disk. A RAID array over 2TB can only be set as a data disk only.
*2: With 2 x VIA SuperSpeed USB hub controllers.
*3: For using ROG Connect, RC Bluetooth, and ROG iDirect, please refer to Software Compatible List.
  • All specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check with your supplier for exact offers. Products may not be available in all markets.
  • PCB color and bundled software versions are subject to change without notice.
  • Brand and product names mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies.
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Closer look

If you call yourself a gamer, overclocker, enthusiast, or just someone that knows enough about computers to get themselves into trouble, then you will likely have heard about ASUS’s Republic Of Gamers (ROG) line of motherboards. This model line of boards have been around for some time, heralding back to the old P965 Commando, whose black PCB have became synonymous with “ROG”. ASUS have always been ones to make a great looking motherboard, often with performance to match, which history looks to be repeating itself here as well. The Maximus IV Extreme (or simply M4E from here on) is visually a work of art, but was also meant to be used and abused. Thanks to all its overclocking abilities and gaming potential, built on top of the high quality construction, the M4E will take whatever you can dish out; then some.

The design of the M4E is an ideal layout with ASUS having strategically placed everything right where it is of most use, right down to the eight (yes, 8) PWM fan headers. With most of the connectors and plugs mounted on the outer perimeter, out-of-sight cable management should be relatively hassle free.Along with the fan headers are thermal probe headers which is great for further safeguarding of the system. The layout is one thing but the size of the motherboard is another. The M4E is slightly wider than the average ATX motherboard due to being based on the Extended ATX platform, coming in a full 86mm wider (or 3.4 inches to us Yanks) than your typical desktop board, but familiar to server and workstation solutions. While squeezing it into a smaller/narrower case will no doubt present an issue, we don’t see too many people buying a motherboard of this caliber and cramming it into a small cheap case, but we still suggest double checking for compatibility.

The M4E is based around the P67 Cougar Point chipset and thus supports the Sandy Bridge processors. So obviously the board only has support for the LGA1155 processors, meaning previous generation socket 1156 processors are a no-go. With the unlocked multiplier Core i7 2600K being the current top end of such processors, it would be a match made in heaven for this board. The other ‘K’ series processor, the i5 2500K, would be an equally joyous pairing with this board, as it is able to be overclocked to very high levels (our own being capable of 4.8GHz w/o effort). The rest of the processors capable with the board would be the multiple other models from the 2100, 2200, 2400, 2500 and 2600 series of Core i3, i5 and i7.

ASUS implemented a new feature into the M4E that will protect the end user in the long run, dubbed CPU Socket Monitor. If you’re the kind of person who finds themselves installing a new, or reinstalling your CPU repeatedly — and what enthusiast isn’t? — then there is always the risk of bent pins. For a crude analogy, if you’ve ever bent a coat hanger over and over until the point of breaking, this is no different to what happens to pins which get bent too often. It may not be visually apparent but what occurs is the pins getting micro-fractures, causing increased resistance. One problem this could cause, at least on data pins, is system instability because of the high operating frequencies of today’s CPUs. However, power and ground pins can heat up substantially, whereby creating more resistance, eventually burning out the contact through a short. CPU Socket Monitor is a thermal system that monitors the socket temps to make sure this doesn’t occur.

Surrounding the CPU socket are a series of passively-cooled aluminum heat sinks, interconnected via a copper heat pipe. These heat sinks are used to cool both the Digi+ VRM for the processor it’s memory controller, along with Intel’s PCH. The heat sink has a very appealing racy and aggressive look to them but we encountered no issues when test fitting a few of the larger coolers we had laying around the lab.

Speaking of Digi+, this is what ASUS labeled the phase power solution on the M4E ROG: Extreme Engine Digi+. ASUS uses a digital PWM to deliver a mixture of digital and analog phased power allowing for the most stable overclock. The high level of efficiency comes from the fact that ASUS’s circuitry can operate at a switching frequency as low as 250 lHz, up to a frequency of 1000 kHz (user adjustable in steps of 50 kHz), while most manufacturers uses a conventional VRM that requires operation at 800 kHz or even higher. All in all this means faster response due to the lack of switching delay, less heat dissipation, cleaner power delivery and more current available.

The DIMM area is chocked full of useful features, but we will start with the obvious and talk about the memory capabilities. The M4E has a total of four slots that can handle a total of 32GB of DDR3 ram operating at 1333MHz standard mode, but if you decide to overclock the ram frequency can go as high as (or higher than) 2200MHz. The two colors (black and red) represent the corresponding dual channels, and it is recommended to use the red slows first if only running two sticks of memory. ASUS also uses the Q-DIMM feature (bottom latch permanently locked) on the M4E to adequately secure the memory modules into each slot, but also make it more user friendly if ever upgrading as to not interfere with the video card. ASUS uses an advance phase array for DRAM stability. This comes very handy at very high overclocks.

Like most of ASUS’s higher end motherboards the M4E also has a reset and power button directly on the PCB. Sitting on the corner of the board is the system’s POST diagnostic LED debug display. Something that I have never seen on a motherboard before now though, is an LN2 Mode switch. This allows the user to eliminate the ‘cold bug’ issue, which normally crops up during extreme sub-zero cooling with LN2. An option that is very useful for the every day bencher would be the ability to measure true voltages directly from the motherboard using a pair of leads and a digital multi-meter. The voltage test points include: DRAM, VCore, CPU, NF200, PCH, and others. The Go Button while pressed when powering down will set the memory setting to a more suitable state when rebooting the system. Secondly, the button will access a saved profile (user set) in the UEFI to quickly post boot a stable overclock. Lastly, we have the four slide switches which will allow the user to activate and deactivate each of the four x16 PCIe slots. Handy for benching but also diagnostic testing for determining which GPU is inoperable if the situation may arise.

For those into multi-storage drive setups will be pleased with the M4E as it supports a total of eight devices:  four being SATA 2 and four being SATA 3. All four of the SATA 2, and two of SATA 3 ports, are controlled via Intel’s P67 PCH. The remaining two SATA 3 ports are controlled by a Marvell 9182 chip. Because of the PCIe 4x support and not 1x like the 9128 better read/write performance is guaranteed. Dual RAID support is also present with 0, 1, 5 and 10 capability. The M4E also features a dual BIOS for when things become a little hectic, and with a simple press of the BIOS Switch button you can easily get your system back up and running with a stock BIOS. Alerternatively, you could also keep your LN2-specific BIOS safely tucked away on one, quickly being able to switch to it during extreme cooling runs. The feature is also great if you want to switch between an overclock BIOS and a more modest BIOS setting. Look at it as an extra, highly configurable user profile.

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The pair of iROG and TPU chips located in the corner of the motherboard allows for all the extra settings and options within the TurboEVO Windows-based application, providing system component communicate with other various devices like your laptop through ROG Connect, or your iPad/ iPhone through ROG iDirect. The latter of the two options each allows the user to keep a watchful eye on the system through the ability to view temps, voltage and other status options. The rather humorous part about these though, would have to be the ability to overclock the system remotely.

Now, in to the M4E’s expansion slots of the M4E. There are a total of four full length x16 slots with each using ASUS’s Q-Slot secure connector. A simple press downwards on the tab will immediately unlock the card from the slot for easy card removal. As for slot operations, when only one slot is populated it will operate at the full x16 bandwidth. If two GPU’s is going to be used then bandwidth is deceased and will operate at x8 per slot. Once a third card is added to the system the slots will operate at x8, x16 and x16. The M4E can support the standard SLI and Crossfire configurations, but also Triple and Quad Crossfire with the aid of Nvidia’s NF200 controller integrated above the PCIe slots. In addition to the four x16 slots there are also one of each x1 and x4 slots available. If using all three of the longer slots with dual slot coolers, then these two smaller ones are unusable.

The PLX PCIe switch near the x4 slot helps by properly switching on/off the number of PCIe lanes to the port, based on the card installed. And if you are using all the slots for other devices and cards, ASUS provided dual Molex (EZ Plug) connectors; top for NF200 power, bottom for additional PCIe lane power. And because the PCIe lanes are shared across several features like USB ports these Molex connectors when powered helps stability to the added USB3 controllers and ports.

List of rear panel connections:

 

  • PS/2 combo keyboard/mouse
  • Bluetooth module (not installed, sits over vertical USB)
  • 9 USB ports: 1x USB 2.0, 8x USB 3.0 (Single NEC controller+dual VIA USB3 hub)
  • 1 eSATA (JMicron JMB362)
  • 2x LAN port (Intel for better performance and driver reliability)
  • 1 S/PDIF for 8-channel digital audio (optical)
  • 8-channel analog audio (Realtek ALC889)
  • Clear CMOS
  • ROG Connect (vertical USB port)
  • RC Bluetooth (via Bluetooth module)

UEFI BIOS

We have reviewed several motherboards using the newer Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, or UEFI for short. Very little has change between the different motherboards we have tested these last seven months, but the Maximus takes it a few steps further by offering a screenshot capture option. This will allow for users to take images of their BIOS settings, for personal reference or to share, without having the need for a camera. The feature will come in handy if the need for help with overclocking, or other issues arises. All images would be saved to a flash drive, so one would need to be installed. Just make sure there is enough space available on it, as the BIOS saves the screen captures in BMP format, making for some large image files. We’ve converted these down to JPG for easier loading in your web browser.


Extreme Tweaker – voltage settings


CPU Configuration


System Monitoring


Voltage Monitoring


Temperature Monitoring


Fan Speed Monitoring


Q-Fan Control – fan speed settings


Tools menu – EZ Flash, DRAM SPD Info, OC Profile manager, Go Button File (set the profile it accesses), BIOS Flashback


Extreme Tweaker – Overclocking options


DRAM Settings


GPU/DIMM Post


CPU Performance Settings – Multiplier, speed step, turbo power parameters


Digi+ VRM & Phase Power Control – PWM operating mode, VCore control, DRAM voltage control, + more

TurboV EVO

You may remember in the “Closer Look” section of this review we showed images of the many iROG chips the motherboard features. These chips work hand in hand with the TurboV EVO Windows application. The mix of a hardware controlled, but through Windows GUI application allows for more intensive real-time usage of the BIOS options. Being one of the most advanced overclocking software suits, TurboV is truly a real-time experience. Not only are you able to access the basic BIOS features, ASUS also gives you full access to all the advanced controls like the numerous voltage settings. The application is fully modular as well, allowing for the end user to only have showing what they wish, eliminating anything they consider to be clutter.


TurboV


EPU


DIGI+ VRM


Probe II

ROG Connect

ROG Connect is a series of features that will allow the end user to achieve a remote overclock. The first is via another computer connected via the USB port. The second option would be via a mobile or portable device through Bluetooth. We have experimented with both options and find it to be handy and a neat way to overclock a system. The latter option can be done using Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and even Apple products. The Apple devices require the user to download the app from the Apple Store, but don’t worry it is free. Besides overclocking and monitoring, this feature is also good for transferring files if need be, since it operates over Bluetooth. The Bluetooth module can be used for more than just ROG functions but more simpler things like adding headsets, keyboards and other devices that have BT connectivity.

ROG CPU-Z

For testing, we disabled the Turbo setting in the BIOS to allow the system to run at the CPU’s default values. For RAM settings we elected to use the XMP profile set in the memory kit we were using, which was 2133MHz @ 9-10-9-24.

USB BIOS Flash Back

This feature will allow the enduser to flash either of the bootable BIOS chips without the need of a GPU, memory nor CPU. All that is needed in a flash drive and a power supply. Insert the USB drive and press the ROG button and the system does the rest.

Q-LED

There are many of us that when an error comes about have troubles identifying the issue. Even with PC speakers and debug devices its still a tiring process as research is needed to figure the issue. With the Q-LED system which is a series of LED placed around the motherboard, things become more simplified. Just located the LED that remains red during the boot process narrows the problem down.

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Test Hardware:
Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 BIOS 1303
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K
Ram: Crucial Tracer 4GB (XMP Profile 1)
Video Card: ASUS Radeon HD 5870
HDD: Hitachi 1TB
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
Case: NA
Cooling: Scythe Yasya
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5

Results

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
PCMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed for Windows Vista offering one-click simplicity for casual users and detailed, professional grade testing for industry, press and enthusiasts. A PCMark score is a measure of your computer’s performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security. From desktops and laptops to workstations and gaming rigs, by comparing your PCMark Vantage score with other similar systems you can find the hardware and software bottlenecks that stop you getting more from your PC.

SiSoftware Sandra 2011
We are pleased to announce the launch of SiSoftware Sandra 2011, the latest version of our award-winning utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks. A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GP Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU/GPCPU/GPAPU performance.

AIDA64
AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for home users. AIDA64 Extreme Edition provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives. AIDA64 is compatible with all current 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

 

Super PI Mod 1.5 XS
In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr. Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.

HD Tune Pro 3.50
HD Tune is a hard disk utility with many functions. It can be used to measure the drive’s performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more.

Geekbench2.1.13
Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.

Unigine Heaven 2.5
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

Overclocking

We took two approaches to overclocking on the M4E. The first was through ASUS’s Auto Tuning feature from within TurboEVO application. Furthermore, there are two options to choose from: Performance and Extreme. The Performance option only deals with the overclocking of the CPU, while Extreme deals with the overclocking of the CPU and RAM together. We took the Performance route and netted a 4.2GHz. A decent overclock in our books, but could be better.

The next route we took was manual overclocking the board via the BIOS. The only options we played with was the rising of the CPU voltage to 1.4 volts and the CPU multiplier, which we maxed out at 48x under this voltage setting. The system was completely stable as a 24/7 gaming rig.

Conclusion

The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme is an incredible motherboard with features galore. Features that we have only come to see from a company such as ASUS, from their years of providing this select consumer market just what they want. The M4E may not be for the masses, but for the overclocker and bencher this is definitely a must have motherboard, even if it is only to do extreme benching.

The GPU.DIMM features is one of the more benching friendly features, by offering the bencher the ability to set the GPU and DIMM components to a more boot capable level, through lower PCIe bandwidth and frequecies to allow the system reboot successfully. We all have experienced a bad overclock and have the system suffer quick spin ups resulting in a unsuccessful reboot. This one feature can solve all of that.

For the LN2 users among us who are all about extreme cooling, then ASUS has a feature for you. There is a small switch near the DIMM slots to select and LN2 mode which will eliminate the cold bug from occuring. This, along with the ability to manual select PCIe slot operations, takes benching to a whole nother level. We feel the fact an individual has the means to disable PCIe slots to find a defective GPU without removing it from the rig, or releaving unecessary additional board stress is outstanding.

ASUS’s ROG line is more than about good looks, which the M4E definitely has so don’t get us wrong, but it is also about overclocking and stability. Like other ROG motherboards the M4E has several avenues which one can take to overclock. There is the traditional BIOS method, and the TurboEVO way within Windows, both of which we have talked about in a few ASUS reviews. Yet an additional option is offered the ability to overclock via another PC or laptop takes it over the top. Then add in the fact you can take your mobile device and overclock via Bluetooth is just plain wicked.

The Maximus IV Extreme is the certainly tops when it comes to P67 chipset motherboards. I really would like to thank both JJ and ASUS for making this happen. The only expected, and understandable, catch is the M4E comes with a fairly hefty price tag. At $330, the M4E can easily empty most peoples wallet, but is still about 1/2 the price of the previous generation extreme performance X58 platform. If your hobby is overclocking and benching, toss in some casual gaming, you know the amount of cash it takes to fuel your needs. As such, we see many people who will be happy to fork out the cash for this motherboard, and it won’t disappoint!

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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