A formula for Z370 success.
Asus Republic of Gamers motherboards frequently find their way onto PC enthusiast’s shortlists. Take just one glance at it and you know you’re looking at a seriously high end motherboard. It looks rather like a blend of the full cover Sabretooth series combined with the functionality of the Apex models. Looks are only a part of it of course. Its chock full of features and it should be capable of getting the most from your Intel Coffee Lake processor.
The feature list is comprehensive as you’d expect. An EK water block is a significant inclusion which gives you an idea of its target audience. As you can see, most of the board is covered on the front AND the back which adds to the look.
The I/O area has an integrated shield and is packed with loads of USB ports and AC Wi-Fi along with the usual array of ports. Ideally we’d like to see a 5G or 10G Ethernet port on a top end board like this for a little bit of future proofing. Six SATA ports and a pair of M.2 slots take care of storage needs. If we are to nit-pick, perhaps an extra pair of SATA ports would be nice?
One of the eye catching features is something Asus calls LiveDash, which is a user customizable 1.3in OLED panel in the centre of the board. It can show various system parameters or be customized with your own design. Super cool! There’s a healthy dose of RGB lighting as you’d expect, but it appears to be almost understated in an age of RGB overload. It really does look good.
The Z370 chipset, being an evolution of Z270 means that the platform is mature and performance is within a few percent across all Z370 motherboards. In our benchmarks, a 5GHz i7-8700K paired with a GTX 1080 Ti put out some really nice frame rates with our demanding test suite at 1080p. This is of course a key for cranking out FPS on high refresh rate monitors. In system benchmarks we see the power of the overclocked 8700K with excellent Cinebench and PCMark results.
OVERCLOCKING TO THE MAXIMUS
Unless your CPU is a dud you can pretty much get away with bumping the clock multiplier and some extra voltage to achieve speeds of 5GHz+ across all cores. Your cooling will give out well before the motherboard breaks a sweat. We also tried a set of very fast G.Skill DDR4-3866 and got it purring with zero effort with the XMP setting. Tweakers who like to wring out every last bit of performance will be impressed with a familiar fully featured ROG bios.
The Asus Maximus X Formula is a very nice looking motherboard. The somewhat subtle RGB implementation and OLED display demand to be showed off in a windowed case. You always have to pay a relative premium for ROG boards but if you’re looking for a motherboard to rock your 8th generation processor and look good doing it, then this one deserves to be on your shortlist.