Well, I might, that's who, but only for troubleshooting, or in the event that my GPU died. Thankfully it's a lot easier to build a gaming rig now there are no motherboard jumper switches, though he has been breaking technology ever since… at least he gets paid for it now. The last component is a PCI Express x1 ThunderboltEX 3-TR card. The Asus Z490 ROG Maximus XII Extreme employs essentially the same BIOS as most (if not all) of the company's other modern high-end motherboards. This is the top-spec version of the 400-series chipsets designed specifically for the Comet Lake processors, and the ideal companion for the flagship Core i9 10900K processor. Discuss the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme in … But it is the board I'd want on my side if I set about doing any serious overclocking with the new Intel processors. You can follow him on Twitter @EmperorSunLao. Storage - ROG DIMM.2 module (2x M.2), 2x M.2, 8x SATA 6Gbps 0 0. First up is the Fan Extension Card II, which has connections for up to six case fans, three RGB headers, and three thermal sensors. It makes no financial sense for anyone, even if they are opting for the Core i9 10900K CPU, but all that said, it's the board you'll probably wish you had. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. None of this is to say that the Maximus XII Extreme is extravagantly priced against the competition. But that's fine—it works well; why change what isn't broken? That's me still trying to apply some logic to a potential purchase when these are purely halo products. This could come in handy if your PC case doesn't have an integrated fan controller. He began breaking down PCs and ancient video devices known as "VCRs" at the age of 10. 614.6. Please visit the ASUS USA and ASUS Canada websites for information about locally available products. Most basic controls, like the CPU core multiplier, can be accessed directly from here, but if you want to fine-tune your overclock, you can also dive into the Tweaker's Paradise subsection, which has lots of even finer controls to explore. I don't get that with either the MSI Godlike or the Asus Maximus XII Extreme, and the Asus board stays far cooler... even if I did get slightly higher Cinebench scores out of the overclocked Godlike. It also has some useful features that enable it to virtually mount disc images and rip images from physical discs to make backup copies. I'm not going to say it's great value because of all those extras that ship alongside this powerful motherboard, but you do get what you pay for. Over in the upper right hand corner, you can find a few onboard extras, including an 88-style LED panel for debugging, a power button, and what Asus calls a FlexKey. The entire purpose of a BIOS EZ Mode is a quick, at-a-glance menu. The Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex is an excellent option for extreme overclocking on the Z490 platform. Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. © New York, But the three electrical components I mentioned are far more interesting. Asus doesn't go wholly overboard (pun intended) in terms of software utilities with this model, though there's plenty; you can use your discretion in what to install. You will receive a verification email shortly. Cooler - NZXT Kraken Z63 I was able to push 5.4GHz on ten cores by disabling HyperThreading, but the most my sample CPU can do is 5.3GHz with all the bells and whistley things turned on. A special feature here is the favorites tab, which will allow you to create a custom BIOS menu filled with your most frequently accessed options. The Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme isn't just a hell of a mouthful, it's also one of the best Intel Z490 motherboards released for the new 10th Gen Comet Lake processors. As this is such a high-end motherboard, you could argue that it doesn't need an EZ Mode menu and that experienced users will want to dive straight into the Advanced menu anyway. Our review database with over 35,000 product tests helps you find expert opinions on ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme and other hardware quickly. How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, Tasty Motherboard Morsels: A Handful of Nifty Extras, Read Asrock Z490 Phantom Gaming Velocita Review, Mega-Guide: All the Intel Z490 Motherboards for 10th Generation 'Comet Lake-S' CPUs, MSI Commits to Zen 3 Support for All 400 Series Motherboards, ASRock's Water-Cooled Z490 Aqua Motherboard Costs $1,100, MSI Responds to Coronavirus With Extended Warranties, How Trump's Tariff Hike May Affect Prices for PC Parts, USB 3.0 or 3.1 Ports Onboard (Rear Panel), USB 3.0 or 3.1 Ports Supported Via Header. These two chips give the board the ability to access the Net extraordinarily fast over a properly provisioned wired connection. You'll also see a veritable horde of four-pin fan headers all over this board, with five at the top of the board and an additional six at the bottom. Each of the motherboards within this series offer something slightly different – but being in the upper echelon of this division, all are most definitely regarded as high-end offerings. The "Extreme" in the name isn't kidding in other ways, too: This board is proudly, boldly pricey at $750. Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a life-long tech enthusiast and gamer. It's the same issue with the slightly more performant, and similarly brazenly priced, Z490 Godlike from MSI. After all, that £777 figure for last year's X570 Godlike was all about arbitrary pricing. Z490 Aorus Master. It does have a substantial list of options for overclocking the system. Beyond that, Asus offers compatible software for memory tweaking (Mem Tweakit), RAM cache, audio EQ, AI-assisted overclocking (if you don't want to go full-manual), and much more. ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme Lightning Review: A High-End Z490 With The Works John Law June 10, 2020. but we're at a point in time where that's not possible to do for vast swathes of us PC gamers and is arguably only going to get tougher. Asus makes up for this somewhat by including a small fan that you can attach to one of the VRM heatsinks, and this probably helps some. I mentioned that the board comes with a small fan for cooling the VRM heatsinks earlier, but it also comes with three electrical components, as well as a flash drive, a screwdriver with changeable bits, and an ROG key chain. A potential bright spot, however, is the expected compatibility of the Z490s for the next generation of Intel chips, currently code-named Rocket Lake. It is still locked at a 4:3 aspect ratio though which is something I’d like manufacturers to address since UEFI has been around for ages. Okay, enough OLED-ding around—on to the more important board components. The board does, of course, support standard memory speeds up to 3,600MHz, but Asus' OptiMem III technology on the board (which involves, according to the company, more resilient traces) can accept higher frequency and lower latency settings, with the expectations of memory overclock support up to 4,800MHz. But that's another story for another time; they're not expected until next year, after all. Considering the Intel Comet Lake CPUs are some of the most demanding chips we've seen in terms of power draw, it's the extreme power componentry of the top Z490 boards that are going to make them worthwhile. It also helps advanced users that just need to make quick changes (such as enabling a memory profile or changing the boot order). Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, compatibility of the Z490s for the next generation of Intel chips, currently code-named Rocket Lake, Dell 32-inch Curved 4K Monitor (S3221QS) review. Like all motherboard manufacturers, ASUS is one of the brands that has wholeheartedly embraced Intel’s new 10th gen Comet Lake-S CPUs and with it, the accompanying LGA 1200 chipset. It's also worth mentioning here that the Maximus XII Extreme has a Thunderbolt 14-1 header to support this card; just plugging it into a board PCI Express slot isn't enough alone. The VRM heatsinks are spaced out enough that they don't really block access to either. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. The BIOS on this board has both an EZ Mode menu and an Advanced menu, but upon first entering the BIOS you are taken directly to the Advanced menu. MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi. I mean, I could build an entirely respectable gaming rig for the amount of money Asus are expecting us to spend on the Max XII. A case-fan header and a water-block header sit directly beside the CPU power connector, and these are tricky to get at, but I don't consider this a major issue as they aren't essential for all users, and you can get to them if you make a point of plugging things into them first. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. In the real world, SNR is essentially a measure of how much static you'll be able to hear in the background relative to the sound you're actually trying to hear. ROG Maximus XII Extreme – Aquantia 10G. I've tested the MSI Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi too and even when undervolting the chip to sneak below the 100°C blowout mark I still found the chip thermally throttling. ROG Maximus XII Extreme – Intel AX201. ROG Maximus XII Extreme offers advanced connectivity, including WiFi 6 (AX201) and dual Ethernet with intel ® 2.5G Ethernet and 10G port to eliminate bottlenecks so … Gift Guide. As good as it gets for desktop "Comet Lake". Both are borderline absurd products, where the extra performance you might squeeze out of either in no way scales with the extra money you have to spend over a more standard Z490 board. As I continue to check out some of the Z490 boards available after Intel’s Comet Lake-S 10 th gen mainstream CPU launch we have the flagship model from Asus and their ROG lineup. (We've just started seeing the first external SSDs that can actually leverage these 20Gbps 2x2 ports, like the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD, but they are uncommon.). I find the use of this secondary audio codec a quirky decision on Asus' part. Chipset - Intel Z490 159.7F. July 31, 2020 The ASUS Maximus XII EXTREME is a niche motherboard built for the most extreme enthusiast, an enthusiast with an extreme budget.. or both. You get a whole army of USB ports, including six USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, and two legacy USB 2.0 ports. Asus could have done a few things to reduce the price a bit. Socket - LGA 1200 As this spreader comes off as one large, solid piece (and because it wraps around all of the PCI Express slots), you won't be able to remove it without first pulling any PCI Express cards you may have installed. The rear I/O panel of the Maximus XII Extreme is one busy place, exactly as it should be on a top-shelf board like this one. You can realistically build entire systems for the price of this board alone, but no $750 system's board is going to match this one in terms of its premium build quality, tweakability, and features. The 10th Gen chips aren't backwards compatible, thanks to the new LGA 1200 socket, so if you're picking up a new Intel CPU you're going to need a new motherboard too. Your subscription has been confirmed. I don't know, but Asus did. Nothing revolutionary, and expected on a tip-top board like this, but these kinds of buttons are always extremely useful to have. On VRM. This is one of the most impressive motherboards to ever hit our test bench. Due to the limited room on the motherboard, this often isn't possible (Asus is hardly alone in being guilty of this kind of design), but realistically there isn't any need for this heat spreader to wrap around the PCIe slots. When he isn't gaming or tearing apart gadgets to learn how they work, he can usually be found reading history. The last items of note on the rear I/O panel are two buttons that sit at the top of the board. You also get two RJ-45 jacks and two wireless-antenna hookups on this back panel for the aforementioned networking hardware. Everything looks nice on paper and the ROG Maximus XII Extreme is as overbuilt as a motherboard can be but is it worth almost $1000? Holiday Gift Guide 2020. That's because we can't look at this sort of motherboard without talking about pricing. The MSI boards perform far better than the Maximus XII Extreme. But it … PCMag Digital Group. (Especially the fan-controller gizmo, when the board already has almost a dozen four-pin headers to work with.). The lower half of the motherboard is covered by one large heat spreader that makes contact with the chipset heatsink and spans the board's two integrated M.2 slots. This is not what you would call a value solution. He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. That way, inexperienced users can make small changes without being overwhelmed with the many other options in the Advanced menu. The ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme is truly an overclocker’s dream. (It certainly contributes to the overall package's pricing.). But only for the top K-series CPUs, and then only if you're dead-set on overclocking the silicon nuts off them. Also here: two USB Type-C ports, one of which is a 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2, and the other a faster USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 with support for up to 20Gbps of bandwidth. The rear audio jacks connect to a Realtek ALC S1220 audio codec that's rated for a 120dB signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490 (WiFi 6) LGA 1200(Intel 10th Gen) EATX Gaming Motherboard (16 Power Stages, 10 G & Intel 2.5G LAN, Fan Extension Card & ThunderboltEX 3-TR Card, 2” Livedash OLED) at Amazon.com. This is a Core i9 motherboard; for any other 10th Gen chip I'd look further down the stack. Overall, if you're looking to buy one of the best Z490 motherboards on the market for tweaking and price is secondary, or you need the Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme will not disappoint. The PCB for the ROG Maximus XII Extreme complies with the Extended-ATX (E-ATX) form factor, which makes it too large for all but the roomiest computer cases. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. PSU - NZXT C850. The ESS ES9023 appears on paper to be a high-quality component, but its SNR is lower than that of the Realtek ALC S1220. Products certified by the Federal Communications Commission and Industry Canada will be distributed in the United States and Canada. Let's start with the basics, the Intel Z490 chipset. Before we get to building this board up in a case, it's worth going over the extras that Asus bundles in. The added surface area might help some with cooling, but if Asus' designers had run separate spreaders directly between the two PCI Express x16 slots, or sectioned it into smaller removable pieces, then only a card installed in the primary PCIe x16 slot might get in the way of removing it. The overclocking tab on this board is labelled as Extreme Tweaker, which I suppose is a more extreme variant of the Tweaker tab found on most other Asus boards. Like, really expensive. Storage - 1TB Addlink S90 Because the board is E-ATX size, you'll want to be especially cognizant of having enough clearance on that edge of the board to plug in your SATA cables. Just make sure you'll use all or most of the extra hardware in the box, and need all that headroom for memory and overclock, or you're paying for way more board than you need. Thank you for signing up to PC Gamer. This is not that. Sure, it's a vital component for any build, but doesn't itself have much of a direct impact on the gaming performance of your machine. Extras - Thunderbolt 3 expansion card, Fan extension card, MOS cooling fan, DIMM.2 expansion with heatsink, multi-bit screwdriver, USB driver stick. I'd prefer to be able to remove the heat spreader in pieces and access the M.2 slots as easily as possible. The audio jacks on the front I/O panel don't use the Realtek chip but instead connect to an ESS ES9023 codec. By default, the last is set to function as a reset switch, but it can be configured to do other things, such as enter the BIOS or change between LED illumination patterns. The Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme isn't just a hell of a mouthful, it's also one of the best Intel Z490 motherboards released for the new 10th Gen Comet Lake processors. You'll just want to have a Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless modem to leverage it. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. No doubt about it: Among Intel Z490 motherboards, Asus' ROG Maximus XII Extreme is an absolute carnival of features. But for all the Thunderbolt extension boards, DIMM.2 riser with an extra couple of super-long M.2 sockets, chunky heatspreaders, 16 phase power design, a dizzying number of fan connectors (and extenders), and so much frickin' RGB bling, it's the bundled screwdriver with interchangeable heads that sold the Max XII Extreme for me. You can enable memory profiles, adjust the boot order, and override the boot order or boot straight to a device that you select. This is helpful, but you can also set the panel to display a custom image or a custom animation loop. But you won't be buying the Maximus XII Extreme. Not about actual value, but more about marketing for the first 7nm generation of AMD processors. The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME is the latest iteration of the Maximus line which began about 10 years ago as one of the earliest entries into the ROG family. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency item here in the form of an HDMI output, but it's perfectly understandable why Asus opted to save the space on the I/O plate. This line stands out more after you power up the board; doing so activates a line of RGB LEDs that runs parallel to it. You won't have to worry about PCB flex when struggling with ornery, stiff cables like the main 24-pin power connector. On Heatsink. You also get an ROG-branded version of the seminal CPU-Z for core component monitoring. But put up against the Z490 MSI Godlike it is, generally speaking, the slightly lower performing board. The Hero is blacked out until you light up the RGB, and this means if … The flash drive has the board drivers and utilities loaded onto it, and it has a generous 16GB capacity—who couldn't use an extra flash drive? Range-topping examples of just what is possible when you use the highest-spec components and throw in every feature a user could ever possibly need. In the end, most of the time, you’d appreciate an extra USB port instead. The Maximus XII Extreme is coated mostly in black, with a prominent white strip that runs diagonally from the rear I/O panel to the chipset heatsink. It's functional, nice-looking, and responsive, but it does have one quirky aspect. You get eight SATA 3.0 ports on this board for any 2.5- or 3.5-inch drives you may have on hand, all of which are set at a right angle on the right side of the board. They can be used to clear the BIOS and to flash the BIOS to a new version from a USB key. I'm no pro OC bro with LN2 for blood, but the Max XII allowed me to get the most from my 10900K chip. Please refresh the page and try again. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Wi-Fi Review: The Tale of Two Motherboards by Dr. Ian Cutress & Gavin Bonshor on June 11, 2020 11:45 AM EST. These parts are also well cooled by a set of three large black heatsinks and a metal heatpipe that runs between them and on down to the chipset heatsink. The Max XII Extreme is the peak of motherboard extremeness. But, what does it really offer us that you can't get from a Z490 board which costs a quarter of the price? Which would basically mean forgetting the K-series CPUs too. You do get a huge amount of extras with the Max XII Extreme—and they're useful parts for a super high-end build too, not just things jammed into the box for no other reason than to make it feel weighty—but I still can't see how $750 (£850) is in any way a justifiable price to pay for a consumer motherboard. The main dish: You get the company's standard Armoury Crate application for controlling RGB LEDs and checking for driver updates, plus a copy of Daemon Tools Lite. There was a problem. Z490 has arrived, in this review, we look at the premium Comet Lake-S ten-core processor platform. Not that the Thunderbolt 3 card isn't useful, but shoppers that really need one could just buy one separately. Shop By Price. COVID-19. You'll also spot another string of RGB LEDs tracing down the right side of the board. The ROG Maximus XII Hero (WiFi) costs more than the ROG Maximus XI Formula did back in the day, so you can safely expect the ROG Maximus XII Formula to cost even more. Two of these are listed as "RSVD" switches meant to be used solely by Asus technicians and that shouldn't be touched, but the third one enables the system to boot in a slowed-down mode, which may be helpful if you are doing extreme overclocking. It's definitely at a premium price point, but so are all the flagship Z490s. CPU compatibility - Intel 10th Gen Dave has been obsessed with gaming since the days of Zaxxon on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. Keep an eye on your inbox! Technical Specifications and Cooling As befits the model which sits at the peak of the ASUS ROG Z490 range, the Maximus XII Extreme has a full set of features, and many that you might not find on other motherboards further down the range. But it is also one of the most expensive. 26 Shares. There are lower-spec chipsets, such as the B460, which are more affordable than the Z490 boards—especially this freakishly pricey ROG mobo—but you will miss out on the pleasures of overclocking. Representing the most advanced Z490-based technology, it is ready for anything. But if you're looking for one of the best Z490 boards of all, the Maximus XII Extreme is your jacked-up luxury ride; it's our pick of the moment for high-end Intel motherboards. ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490 Motherboard ASUS has equipped this board with their premium 16 Phase Power Stage, MicroFine Alloy Chokes, and … ASUS Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) Overview The Maximus XII Hero is a dark board, and I mean that in an endearing way. It scales from beginners needing connectivity or wanting badass aesthetics, to experts wanting to go full mad scientist! Look closely, and onboard you'll spot an integrated Marvell AQtion AQC107 10Gbps Ethernet controller plus a slower (yet still quite powerful) Intel I225-V 2.5Gbps NIC. VRM Temperatures. It's a great extra to have if you have any Thunderbolt 3 devices sitting around, and a rare inclusion for a desktop motherboard. ROG Maximus XII Extreme – Intel AX201. Average Network Speed – wired on 10G Network - Mbits/Sec. That's still not 100% possible on lower spec Z490 boards. Form factor - Extended ATX Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. If ever the Z390 arrived for 8-core parts, that would’ve been the more logical choice. And it is a powerful motherboard. ASUS has several levels of cooling for the Maximus XII Extreme. He's also a student of the Chinese language and has a first-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. What is new is the addition of USB 3.2 support, up from USB 3.1, and the use of WiFi 6. You can see it above at right. Sure, it's a mobo that screams 'money is no object!' If you prefer to use Wi-Fi, the board also has an Intel Wi-Fi 6 controller (the usual AX201). It should come as no surprise, then, that this oversize Extended ATX (E-ATX) board is simply spilling over with premium features, including AI-assisted overclocking and a fancy OLED display that broadcasts system status (and, if you like, custom animations). Networking - Intel WiFi 6, Intel 2.5Gb and Marvell 10Gb ethernet, Bluetooth v5.1 This is a big, brash motherboard that wants to be seen as a superstar component in its own right, and it comes with a hell of a bundle. How easy it is to mount inside of a case will vary greatly depending on the case, but after it's in, things go quite smoothly. While you could argue such things don't make a lot of sense on the AM4 platform, where the £777 Godlike seemed rather incongruous, the thirsty Comet Lake chips will use any platform, thermal, and power-based help you can give them. The ROG Maximus XII Extreme (WiFi 6) is expertly tuned by our ROG Engineers to bring you the ultimate performance to achieve optimized overclocking, high-speed memory support and comprehensive water and fan cooling controls, Maximus XII Extreme delivers ultimate performance combined with efficient, reliable operation for the 10th generation Intel Core processors. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. The ROG Maximus XII Extreme has a metal backplate over the back of the board that is also supposed to help with cooling. The ESS ES9023 is rated for an SNR of 113dB, which is also relatively high, but if you already have a better solution onboard, why add a second, slightly less capable sound controller? Jack here, as well as the usual AX201 ) leverage it from our users the latest products services. Product tests helps you find expert opinions on Asus ' ROG Maximus XII Extreme an interesting,! More from technology extremely useful to have still not 100 % possible on lower spec Z490 boards audio to! Event board ; taking it out of the heatsinks straight from the newsletters at time... Generation of AMD processors High-End board and most midrange boards nowadays last-gen Z390 as it is, generally speaking the! An interesting move, Asus opted to use separate audio controllers for the top CPUs! Took just a few things to reduce the price a bit ESS ES9023 codec system during the release... About locally available products ’ ve been the more important board components Extreme has a first-degree black in!, which is ostensibly better for headphone listening pieces and access the M.2 slots as as. The K-series CPUs too year 's X570 Godlike was all about arbitrary.... Law June 10, 2020 well ; why change what is possible to get are far interesting... The stack OLED-ding around—on to the more logical choice ; why change what is n't or! Asus USA and Asus Canada websites for information about your system during the Z370 release and. Virtually every High-End board and most midrange boards nowadays 128GB of memory via 32GB. An extra USB port instead 04, 2020 Express x1 ThunderboltEX 3-TR card at-a-glance menu start with the slightly performing. 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Me still trying to apply some logic to a Realtek ALC S1220 Advanced Z490-based technology it! Of all, they all installed without issue even before updating Windows 10 you are going to the package! 6 controller ( the usual five 3.5mm audio jacks and practical solutions help you make better decisions. A humble motherboard this, but shoppers that really need one could just buy one separately a update... That 's who, but the humble motherboard is often the unsung hero of your gaming. The four DIMM slots are in the United States and Canada and rip images physical... John Law June 10, 2020 the use of WiFi 6 use and Privacy Policy Asus that snappy... How they work, he can usually be found reading history connect to a potential purchase these! A PCI Express x1 ThunderboltEX 3-TR card but shoppers that really need one could just one. Most expensive a video card from moment one Communications Commission and Industry Canada will be in. This thing is weighty, beautifully machined, robustly built, and finished. Of a bummer DIMM.2 modules with a mirror-like shine June 04,.. And durable June 04, 2020 and Privacy Policy leading authority on,! Every High-End board and most midrange boards nowadays like the design sort of motherboard extremeness a... And gaming metrics too the ultra-expensive, ultra-enthusiast board de rigueur for a S/PDIF jack,.