Asus Maximus Extreme X38 Review
A month after the launch of the Asus Maximus Formula, we take the Asus Maximus Extreme for a spin. Will the latest addition to the Republic of Gamers series bring gaming performance to the next level? Read on to find out!
Asus started the Republic of Gamers (R.o.G.) series with the introduction of the Crosshair motherboard just 16 months ago and has since made many additions such as the Commando and Striker mainboards. Targetted at the hardcore gaming crowd, the hallmark of the R.o.G motherboards are the sheer amount of features not commonly found on other mainboards. Most prominent amongst these features are the LCD panels used to display boot information, dual gigabit ethernet capabilities and the extensive BIOS tweaking capabilities for overclocking so that users can squeeze every last drop of performance out of their computers. The latest addition to the series that we have in our labs today is no exception to this.
Based on Intel’s X38 Express chipset, the Asus Maximus Extreme supports DDR3 memory up to 1800MHz for greater performance and also supports PCIe 2.0 on its 3 PCIe x16 slots.
That is, three PCIe x16 slots which can operate in either of two modes; either two slots at PCIe 2.0 x16 or one slot at PCIe 2.0 x16 and two slots at x8. It is able to achieve this through the use of IDT’s 24-lane PCIe switch that Asus prefers to term "Crosslinx technology". This would come in useful for gamers as the board supports CrossFireX as well and would be able to run up to three ATI Radeons in CrossFire once the drivers for CrossFireX are released.
Real gamers place their stakes on wired networking rather than Wi-Fi and so Asus has used a pair of Marvell Gigabit Ethernet controllers capable of Teaming rather than to place the Wi-fi AP commonly found on their other mainboards.
Using systems at stock are for normal users as far as hardcore enthusiasts and gamers are concerned and Asus knows this; several interesting features catering to the overclocking crowd are therefore, also included in the Maximus Extreme board. Amongst these features are the LCD read-out panel to help troubleshoot issues when overclocking and the use of high quality Solid Polymer capacitors throughtout the board to provide the superior reliability that can be expected of the Asus R.o.G. series.