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ASUS Maximus XI Extreme: Z390 with all the things!

Z390 ROG to the extreme is here!

We would like to introduce you to the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme. ASUS and their Maximus series of boards have been synonymous with gamers, overclockers and overall enthusiasts over the many years since ROG or Republic of Gamers came to be. However, some things have changed as the extreme overclocking or XOC community has evolved and so has the hardware. It used to be that you got a Maximus extreme board and it was the best for LN2 and benchmarking usage but could also be used for gaming while the Formula moniker was more for highly featured liquid cooling and gaming enthusiasts.

Now over the past few generations highly specialized boards such as a ROG addition of the APEX board which is specially built for optimal overclocking performance with shortest memory traces via single DIMM per channel designs. Normally APEX models arrive a little later in some cases but in the Z390 Generation, we see a mATX Gene offering being built very much like an APEX part. So now I do question if there will indeed be an APEX for this gen. BTW it’s worth noting I am really excited to lift the veil on the Gene board to see exactly what its capable of.

Now to the board we have today, the Maximus XI Extreme. As I mentioned before there are now such a mix even in the ROG side of boards that the water has become a bit murky and it’s a bit tougher to know which board you need if you are a novice builder. Well, I am here to tell you that the Maximus XI Extreme has everything you would likely ever want in a mainstream model board and then some. While an XOC user may look at this and want something more like an APEX, this may not be ideal for breaking memory speed records it could still hold its own with the 10 high amp power stage VRM. It has an IO full of goodies and more than enough tuning capability to give you a good base for pretty much any Z390 based build.  But at what cost.

 

 

Here we get a sneak peek at the Maximus XI Extreme.

The Maximus XI Extreme is still not on the market yet but “coming soon” (As early as Week 3 November on Amazon, with Newegg coming first)

Here are the boards we will be testing:

  • ASUS Maximus XI Extreme $599 Amazon
  • MSI MPG Z90 Gaming EDGE AC  $189.99 (Source: Amazon)
  • Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro WiFi  $191.04 (Source: Amazon)

Now that’s a hell of a price delta but these are the first 3 boards we received and since we review the boards in order of receipt, first up will be this one. and with that, the charts will update as more boards are tested. Do note that some of these boards are “Post Tariff” pricing which unfortunately is going to hit the motherboard market pretty hard for the most part.

Now let’s look at the spec table.

CPUIntel® Socket 1151 9th / 8th Gen Intel® Core™, Pentium® Gold and Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 14 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® Z390
Memory4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, Up to DDR4 4400(O.C)MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.
* Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
GraphicIntegrated Graphics Processor- Intel® UHD Graphics support
VGA output support : HDMI port
– Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 30 Hz
Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion SlotsSocket 1151 for 9th / 8th Gen Intel® Core™, Pentium® Gold and Celeron® processors
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
Intel® Z390 Chipset
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode) *1
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1
StorageSocket 1151 for 9th / 8th Gen Intel® Core™, Pentium® Gold and Celeron® processors : 
1 x ROG DIMM.2 Module support(CPU_DIMM.2), with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*2
Intel® Z390 Chipset : 
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*3
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
6 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s)
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
LANAquantia AQC111C 5G LAN
Intel® I219V, Dual interconnect between the Integrated Media Access Controller (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY)
Anti-surge LANGuard
ROG GameFirst Technology
Wireless Data NetworkIntel® Wireless-AC 9560
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Supports MU-MIMO
Supports channel bandwidth: HT20/HT40/HT80/HT160
Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth® 5.0
Audio
ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220
– Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
– Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
– High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
– SupremeFX Shielding Technology
– ESS® ES9023P
– Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *4
Audio Feature :
– Gold-plated jacks
– Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
– Sonic Radar III
– Sonic Studio III + Sonic Studio Link
USB Ports
Intel® Z390 Chipset :
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector port(s)
Intel® Z390 Chipset :
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port(s) (4 at back panel, )
Intel® Z390 Chipset :
8 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (4 at back panel, , 4 at mid-board)
Intel® Z390 Chipset :
4 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at mid-board)
ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 1 controller :
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (2 at back panel, )
ROG Exclusive FeaturesReTry Button
Start Button
Reset Button
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
– MicroFine Alloy Chokes
– 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
– OptiMOS™ MOSFET
Mem TweakIt
Extreme Tweaker
ROG Exclusive Software
– Mem Tweakit
– RAMCache III
– RAMDisk
– CPU-Z
– GameFirst V
– Sonic Studio III + Sonic Studio Link
– Sonic Radar III
Special FeaturesASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 :
– 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU Insight, EPU Guidance, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Expert 4, and Turbo App
AURA :
– Aura Lighting Control
– Aura RGB Strip Headers
– Aura Lighting Effects Synchronization with compatible ASUS ROG devices
– Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)
ASUS Exclusive Features :
– USB BIOS Flashback
– MemOK! II
– AI Suite 3
– Ai Charger
– Pre-mounted I/O Shield
– ASUS NODE: hardware control interface
ASUS EZ DIY :
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
– ASUS EZ Flash 3
ASUS Q-Design :
– ASUS Q-Code
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
– ASUS Q-Slot
– ASUS Q-DIMM
– ASUS Q-Connector
Overclocking Protection :
– ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
MemOK! II
OptiMem II
Back I/O Ports1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)1 x Type-C+3 x Type-A
6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ,
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
5 x LED-illuminated audio jacks
1 x AQC-111C 5G LAN port
Internal I/O Ports1 x W_PUMP+ 1
1 x W_PUMP+ 2
1 x WB_SENSOR
2 x Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)
2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1(up to 5Gbps) connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
2 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (2 x 4 -pin)
1 x Thunderbolt header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
2 x 8-pin EATX 12V Power connectors
1 x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
1 x MemOK! II switch(es)
1 x Slow Mode switch(es)
9 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x BIOS Switch button(s)
1 x Node Connector(s)
1 x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
1 x Safe Boot button
1 x ReTry button
1 x System panel connector
1 x W_IN header
1 x W_OUT header
1 x W_FLOW header
1 x Thermal sensor connector
1 x Start button
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector
1 x DIMM.2 Slot supports 2 M.2 drives (2242-22110)
1 x RSVD Switch
8 x Radiator Fan Headers
AccessoriesUser’s manual
1 x ROG logo plate sticker
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
3 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x ASUS 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
1 x Fan Extension Card (3 x 4-pin fan out)
1 x Fan Extension card screw pack
1 x Fan Extension card cable
1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)
1 x ROG big sticker
1 x Q-Connector
1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (80 cm)
1 x Extension cable for Addressable LED
1 x USB drive with utilities and drivers
1 x ROG coaster(s)
2 x ROG weave SATA 6G cable
BIOS2 x 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI3.0, SM BIOS 3.1, ACPI 6.1
ManageabilityWOL, PXE
Operating SystemWindows® 10 64-bit
Note*1 When SATA56 is enabled, PCIe x 16_3 will run at x2 mode.
*2 The DIMM.2 Slots (M.2_1/2) are disabled by default. Please adjust BIOS settings to enable DIMM.2 Slots.
*3 When M.2_1 socket 3 is operating in SATA mode, SATA port 2 will be disabled.
*4 Due to limitations in HDA bandwidth, 32-Bit/192kHz is not supported for 8-Channel audio.

You will notice I highlighted and bolded specific entries in RED there is a reason for this. These are the things we found most interesting and really cool. We will discuss these further.

 

Ok, now we must explain, these were simply the first 3 boards which we received. So yes the ASUS board is leaps and bounds as far as price point over the competition in this initial review, now we just must figure out, is its feature set good enough to get you to drop your hard earned coin on it?

Read on and lets dive in.

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