Wednesday, December 30th 2015

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces the Maximus VIII Formula Motherboard

SUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced Maximus VIII Formula, a Z170 Express chipset-based ATX gaming motherboard with exclusive CrossChill EK cooling, epic aesthetics and strength with Aura RGB lighting and ROG Armor, and 5-Way Optimization, Intel Gigabit Ethernet and LANGuard to deliver game-conquering performance.

Equipped with an LGA1151 socket and optimized to unleash the maximum performance of 6th-generation Intel Core ('Skylake') processors and DDR4 memory, Maximus VIII Formula is also engineered with champion-level SupremeFX 2015 audio technology to elevate even the smallest in-game sound details - making every battle arena sound as real as life.

The new board is also kitted out with the newest and fastest connectivity, with NVM Express (NVMe) U.2 and M.2 for up to 32 Gbps transfers, USB 3.1 Type-A and reversible Type-C for the best compatibility and any-way-up convenience, and latest 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) wireless connections.

Best-in-class cooling: Exclusive CrossChill EK hybrid cooling with air or liquid
To create gaming cooling that's the best in its class ROG teamed up with the cooling masters at EK Water Blocks to develop CrossChill EK - exclusive to Maximus VIII Formula. This extreme-performance cooling block has a high-conductivity copper channel that's ready for either air or liquid, and is literally the coolest choice available for custom-chilled builds, ensuring quieter, cooler gaming rigs.

CrossChill EK gets to work right away with air, requiring no specialist knowledge or equipment to reduce temperatures across the board. The exclusive block is also equipped with standard G1/4in-thread fittings, so it's compatible with many existing liquid-cooling setups. For those that like to chill with liquid, CrossChill EK shrinks MOSFET temperatures by up to 23˚C.

Epic aesthetics and strength: Aura RGB header and controls, plus ROG Armor reinforcement
Maximus VIII Formula is the gaming motherboard that delivers style, strength, and cooling in one, with all-new Aura RGB LED illumination and tough ROG Armor.

The style begins with high-precision laser-engraving technology, which our engineers employ to carve beautifully intricate patterns across the ROG Armor that enrobes Maximus VIII Formula, allowing the radiant RGB light of 28 integrated LEDs to shine through and illuminate key parts of the board - including the MOSFET heatsink cover, PCI Express area and the striking ROG logo on the PCH cover.

Maximus VIII Formula also eliminates the hassle of using external RGB controllers to create striking illumination. With an integrated Aura RGB-strip header and included extension cable, it's quick and easy to cast brilliant colors across any gaming rig or light up LAN parties. A standard 12V RGB strip simply slides onto the Maximus VIII Formula's integrated 4-pin Aura RGB-strip header, enabling gamers to weave lighting any way they please.

To control the illumination, Maximus VIII Formula includes the Aura lighting-control utility. This allows users to manage the motherboard's powerful built-in RGB LEDs or an attached RGB strip, or both - and in perfect synchronization. Aura provides rig-builders with the creative freedom to experiment with six different lighting schemes, including static, strobing and pulsating effects. The Aura utility also offers the ability to change LED colors in time with music, or have them indicate CPU temperature.

ROG Armor is Maximus VIII Formula's high-style thermal protection that blocks heat from graphics cards, ensuring lower system temperatures for better performance - and all with sleek looks. In addition, a steel, electro-galvanized, cold-rolled coil (SECC) backplate that strengthens Maximus VIII Formula to prevent bending, employing thermal pads to efficiently conduct heat away from crucial components.
Game-conquering performance: 5-Way Optimization, SupremeFX 2015, Intel LAN and LANGuard
Maximus VIII Formula extends ROG's boundary-busting heritage to stretch performance further than ever before, with the best overclocking (OC) design, friendly and multi-award-winning UEFI BIOS and intuitive control utility for exceptional gaming experiences - and unmatched overclocking opportunities.

No-one needs to be an expert to max out gaming performance with Maximus VIII Formula, because 5-Way Optimization sorts all the complex settings for instant, highly-controllable performance boosts. This exclusive technology dynamically optimizes essential aspects of Maximus VIII Formula systems based on real-time use, maximizing CPU performance and minimizing energy use. With ultra-stable digital power ASUS ROG Digi+, cool and quiet fans and even networking and audio settings that are tailored for the apps being using, 5-Way Optimization ensures that the PC is perfect for gaming, entertainment, productivity or anything else - and all with a single click.

Maximus VIII Formula is also engineered with crystal-clear gaming audio, in the shape of SupremeFX 2015. This brings together the best gaming-audio inputs and outputs, special shielded designs, and a collection of carefully selected professional-grade audio components, including an ESS ES9023P digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with Hyperstream technology, ultra-low-jitter clock, Nichicon capacitors and 2VRMS headphone amp. Sonic SenseAmp is incorporated to automatically detect and optimize any headset (32-600 ohms) for purest sound quality.

SupremeFX 2015 also features intuitive the Sonic Studio II suite for the quick application of the best audio effects for different listening scenarios, plus Perfect Voice noise-cancellation technology for team conversations with total clarity.

For faster online gaming with greater throughput and minimized lag, Maximus VIII Formula has the very latest Intel Ethernet (I219-V) Gigabit LAN. This has the serious double advantage of reducing CPU overhead and offering exceptionally high TCP and UDP throughput, so there's more power for gaming and gameplay. The port is protected by exclusive LANGuard technology for safer, more reliable connections, employing advanced signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounting processes both to protect Maximus VIII Formula and deliver pumped-up throughput.

Next-gen connectivity: NVM Express U.2 and M.2, USB 3.1 Type-A/C, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Maximus VIII Formula enables gamers to join the NVMe revolution and unlock the full potential of the latest solid-state drives (SSDs), with both U.2 and M.2 connectors on board for data-transfer speeds of up to 32 Gbps - and all with plug-and-play ease.

With both USB 3.1 Type-A and reversible USB 3.1 Type-C built in, Maximus VIII Formula also offers the speed and convenience of both variants of the latest USB standard. ASUS-exclusive USB 3.1 Boost technology automatically accelerates USB 3.1 performance even further.

For the very fastest wireless connections, Maximus VIII Formula has 802.11ac Wi-Fi integrated, with an external 2×2 (2 transmit, 2 receive) dual-band 2.4/5GHz antenna included.
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29 Comments on ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces the Maximus VIII Formula Motherboard

#1
nickbaldwin86
why only 1 u.2??? the new Hero Viii v2 is going to have 2 U.2 connections!

Cost? $300 or 400?

I want t. The LED features are cool!
Posted on Reply
#2
bogami
ROG MAXSIMUS HERO ALPHA VIII is a better choice depending on the given performance in particular in that it offers 2xU.2 and M.2 which means 3x U.2 is possible that the full utilization of chipset Z-170.Liquid cooling can it be purchased and the plastic casing with ice decorative LED does not give us any real advantages. is onle lipstick. So FORMULA name somehow does not reach the expected. I would say that it is a real mess with the names of the ATX series this year . Good but too expensive. 180$ max class board.Liquid cooling of Mosfets is also fetish , is not useful since there is no need for such strong cooling . Here it would be better donate EK CPU block in this package.
Posted on Reply
#3
Dr_b_
Gimmicky plastic cover, heavy metal backplate which requires additional holes through motherboard -- they had to cut out m.2 sockets because of that.

I had the previous gen formula board, it was ok, but ran it without the plastic cover and metal backplate because the backplate interfered with mounting in my case.

The plastic cover and metal backplate are really not doing anything, waste of resources.

And it is true that mosfets do not necessarily need liquid cooling. Its ok, but not required and would just add further complexity to your cooling loop. I used it on my older gen formula, but it didnt change anything, system was stable before and after. Most people doing that anyway are going to want to get their own mosfet block, or monoblock (cpu+mos).
Posted on Reply
#4
nickbaldwin86
bogami said:
ROG MAXSIMUS HERO ALPHA VIII is a better choice depending on the given performance in particular in that it offers 2xU.2 and M.2 which means 3x U.2 is possible that the full utilization of chipset Z-170.Liquid cooling can it be purchased and the plastic casing with ice decorative LED does not give us any real advantages. is onle lipstick. So FORMULA name somehow does not reach the expected. I would say that it is a real mess with the names of the ATX series this year . Good but too expensive. 180$ max class board.Liquid cooling of Mosfets is also fetish , is not useful since there is no need for such strong cooling . Here it would be better donate EK CPU block in this package.
Hero Alpha that is the one! I think that is the board I will be waiting for if I do upgrade. I like the fact it has more U.2 and they are honestly the most amazing thing to happen to solid state in a long time
Posted on Reply
#5
jsfitz54
What I like about the specifications is the built in Sound and Wi-Fi. I agree the lights are lipstick but still nice.
I may make this my next board. I will wait for some reviews: @cadaveca, where are you?
I have been very happy with my Rampage III Formula overall and the sound quality.
Posted on Reply
#6
Dr_b_
jsfitz54 said:
What I like about the specifications is the built in Sound and Wi-Fi. I agree the lights are lipstick but still nice.
I may make this my next board. I will wait for some reviews: @cadaveca, where are you?
I have been very happy with my Rampage III Formula overall and the sound quality.
All motherboards have built in sound (using the exact same codec here) and a lot also have built in wifi, this is hardly a differentiator here.

They are selling this with an EK mosfet block, plastic case, metal backplate, and LED as the key marketing points, which are all superfluous -- any other mobo with same chipset will likely have the same performance. If you are into water cooling, then this is something that might interest you, not because you like built in sound or wifi.
Posted on Reply
#7
ssdpro
bogami said:
ROG MAXSIMUS HERO ALPHA VIII is a better choice
I agree. All of the Z170 boards, being in the upper end performance/mainstream segment (as opposed to the performance/enthusiast X99), share bandwidth between features of the Z170 chipset. This Formula board shares bandwidth between the M.2, U.2, and a couple SATA ports. You either use M.2 or U.2, or those 2 SATA ports - not together. http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/ROG-MAXIMUS-VIII-FORMULA/specifications/

The Alpha's M.2 shares with the PCIEX_3 port. The first U.2 shares with nothing and second shares with 4 SATA ports. That really is optimal. If you use both U.2 ports (unlikely) you still have 2 old SATA ports and the M.2 port along with 1 x16 or 2 8x PCIE slots.
Posted on Reply
#8
Chaitanya
Other than the bling, this board has nothing special to offer over Hero Alpha. Sure Asus definitely know how to make crap.
Posted on Reply
#9
RejZoR
Dr_b_ said:
Gimmicky plastic cover, heavy metal backplate which requires additional holes through motherboard -- they had to cut out m.2 sockets because of that.

I had the previous gen formula board, it was ok, but ran it without the plastic cover and metal backplate because the backplate interfered with mounting in my case.

The plastic cover and metal backplate are really not doing anything, waste of resources.

And it is true that mosfets do not necessarily need liquid cooling. Its ok, but not required and would just add further complexity to your cooling loop. I used it on my older gen formula, but it didnt change anything, system was stable before and after. Most people doing that anyway are going to want to get their own mosfet block, or monoblock (cpu+mos).
Well, if you think metal backplate does NOTHING, then you don't have a clue about things. Backplate not only prevents board from flexing under heavy stress (high tension cooler brackets, anyone who ever had disconnected DIMM slots because of it knows what I'm on about), it's also preventing short circuits on the back of motherboard and is helping cool components on the rear of motherboard. ASUS took the design from Sabertooth series and if I judge it on Sabertooth X99, it does have a function. And while plastic cover is a bit of a gimmick, it does help case airflow and looks.

As for mosfets not needing cooling, mosfets do get very hot and hotter mosfets mean they will drop in efficiency, delivering less amps. Which in turn can affect stability at very high overclocks. Also cool mosfets will degrade much slower than constantly hot ones.
Posted on Reply
#10
Parn
Considering there is hardly any SATAe devices on the market I would have preferred more U.2 ports like the HERO Alpha instead of the two useless SATAe ports on the Formula (also on HERO and Extreme).

Also this plastic casing actually covers the M.2 port. Am I right this is a bad design as it blocks airflow to the M.2 SSD and prevents it from being cooled properly?
Posted on Reply
#11
RejZoR
Technically, yes. But it looks very nice. There are vents that use convection to do air circulation. Which can work better than heat that just spreads in all directions. At worst, it behaves the same.
Posted on Reply
#12
ssdpro
Parn said:
Also this plastic casing actually covers the M.2 port. Am I right this is a bad design as it blocks airflow to the M.2 SSD and prevents it from being cooled properly?
ASUS knows the cover will block airflow to a M.2 so they made the part detachable. My 950 gets so hot I would be surprised if even detaching that part would be enough. Samsung also knows the drive needs max airflow and recommends a fan. Plus, Samsung's firmware will throttle the drive if you put it under that armor and it does overheat. Check the 950 Pro datasheet for confirmation. http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/document/Samsung_SSD_950_PRO_Data_Sheet_rev_11.pdf

Aside from the armor which is mostly harmless (except for the M.2 issue) the real problem is the sharing. This Formula board shares bandwidth between the M.2, U.2, and a couple SATA ports. You either use M.2 or U.2, or those 2 SATA ports - not together. http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/ROG-MAXIMUS-VIII-FORMULA/specifications/
Posted on Reply
#13
EarthDog
Interesting board. Im sure we will get a review up on it soon... I wonder where they believe it fits within the product stack...

RejZoR said:
and is helping cool components on the rear of motherboard.
Unless there is a thermal pad between the backplate and the PCB, its not doing squat for thermals.

ssdpro said:
My 950 gets so hot I would be surprised if even detaching that part would be enough. Samsung also knows the drive needs max airflow and recommends a fan. Plus, Samsung's firmware will throttle the drive if you put it under that armor and it does overheat. Check the 950 Pro datasheet for confirmation. http://www.samsung.com/global/busin...ent/Samsung_SSD_950_PRO_Data_Sheet_rev_11.pdf
LOL, no doubt. I put a heatsink on mine. No more throttling with normal case airflow that way. :)
Posted on Reply
#14
RejZoR
EarthDog said:
Interesting board. Im sure we will get a review up on it soon... I wonder where they believe it fits within the product stack...

Unless there is a thermal pad between the backplate and the PCB, its not doing squat for thermals.

LOL, no doubt. I put a heatsink on mine. No more throttling with normal case airflow that way. :)
It has thermal pads. And the thermal armor gets quite hot. Meaning heat is being transfered. I've even sticked a small fan on the back to make it active cooled.

I just remembered, I could drill a hole for 40mm fans and mount them directly on the frame to cool PCB from behind. Hm.
Posted on Reply
#15
EarthDog
Ahh yes... The Sabertooth Mark 1 has a thermal pad up by the VRMs, but that is it...and the only area it cools. I would assume this is the same...

EDIT: That long service badge looks TERRIBLE as far as its location... ick. I wonder why they didn't put banners in the avatar area???
Posted on Reply
#17
EarthDog
I think I have seen around 74C? I looked at that thing and balked. If I wanted PCIe physical, I would have went with the Intel drive! :p
Posted on Reply
#18
R-T-B
EarthDog said:
I think I have seen around 74C? I looked at that thing and balked. If I wanted PCIe physical, I would have went with the Intel drive! :p
I had a free slot, that said it is a bit silly (and certainly overpriced) even if it does it's job.
Posted on Reply
#19
PP Mguire
If my current M.2 card was a gen 3 I'd definitely consider getting a heatsink, granted if I ever bought a 950. So far my Predator runs cool and I've experienced no throttling, but it also isn't as fast :p
Posted on Reply
#20
Dr_b_
RejZoR said:
Well, if you think metal backplate does NOTHING, then you don't have a clue about things. Backplate not only prevents board from flexing under heavy stress (high tension cooler brackets, anyone who ever had disconnected DIMM slots because of it knows what I'm on about), it's also preventing short circuits on the back of motherboard and is helping cool components on the rear of motherboard. ASUS took the design from Sabertooth series and if I judge it on Sabertooth X99, it does have a function. And while plastic cover is a bit of a gimmick, it does help case airflow and looks.

As for mosfets not needing cooling, mosfets do get very hot and hotter mosfets mean they will drop in efficiency, delivering less amps. Which in turn can affect stability at very high overclocks. Also cool mosfets will degrade much slower than constantly hot ones.
I have used motherboards for 15 years, I never short circuited my motherboard because it didn't have a backplate on it. I also never broke a motherboard due to flex stress. This most likely holds true for a lot of people. If it was necessary, or something that happened all the time, all of asus boards would have it. They do not.

I get that it prevents flexion and contact with the back, but its certainly not a requirement to get use out of the board. It is "gimmicky", sorry. Not sure how a plastic cover assists with airflow either, in fact it would seem like an insulator, there is no fan like on Sabertooth, unless you mean some sort of assistance with laminar air flow because there is a cover, which is a shaky argument at best.

I never said mosfets do not need cooling. Yes, heat rots ICs, everyone understands that, but these do not require liquid cooling. They just don't. The service life of this board before it goes obsolete is what, a couple years? The mosfets ain't gonna break in that time, or even 5 years, because you didn't liquid cool it.
Posted on Reply
#21
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Dr_b_ said:
The mosfets ain't gonna break in that time, or even 5 years, because you didn't liquid cool it.
Technically, the idea that you even need a large heatsink is the opposite of what truly makes MOSFETs good. Let me see a board with ZERO cooling that can handle the paltry 250W one of these Skylake chips might need for 24/7 OC use.

jsfitz54 said:
I may make this my next board. I will wait for some reviews: @cadaveca, where are you?
Outside, playing with my kids! Back to normal next week!:rockout:
Posted on Reply
#22
RejZoR
Armor backplate is not on all boards because it adds complexity and cost. Sabertooth are one of the most expensive boards and so is the Formula. As for the board bending, I had it with Rampage II Gene to a point where DIMM closest to CPU socket lost contact with RAM stick. Just so you get the message. Backplate will prevent that from happening. As for the shorts, they can happen, especially in cheap cases. Not that users of such high end boards would use them but still.
Posted on Reply
#23
iO
The VRM block seems nice, the rest is just gimmicky crap.
How about they add something useful like a special fan header that is capable of handling and controlling pumps or so...

And a board that is more expensive than even the most expensive CPU... WTF?!
Posted on Reply
#24
EarthDog
RejZoR said:
Armor backplate is not on all boards because it adds complexity and cost. Sabertooth are one of the most expensive boards and so is the Formula. As for the board bending, I had it with Rampage II Gene to a point where DIMM closest to CPU socket lost contact with RAM stick. Just so you get the message. Backplate will prevent that from happening. As for the shorts, they can happen, especially in cheap cases. Not that users of such high end boards would use them but still.
Its a rare issue, the board bending like that. Most all boards have some curveature to it... but 99% wouldnt require a back plate.

While it is a bit more costly (likely less than you think - Its stamped aluminum and a few screws), I would question if that is the reason more don't use it. I would imagine they look at it as extraneous considering its relative usefulness in a typical PC usage environment.
Posted on Reply
#25
Dr_b_
One last thought on board bending, sure if you manhandle the board, you can break it, but if you are careful that won't happen. There are probably dozens of cases where people, like yourself, have broken a motherboard. And maybe one day in the future I will too. But a backplate is a solution looking for a widespread problem that doesn't exist.

Like others have pointed out, 99% of use cases will not require a backplate, and by having to secure the backplate to the motherboard, you have to drill more holes in the motherboard, which cause complications for trace routing and things are going to be sacrificed, like, say, an extra m.2 slot for example. I own the previous generation formula, it came with this backplate and plastic shroud. I removed them both, the backplate also interfered with installation in the case (the case i have was a corsair, it didnt use standoffs, but had bent up metal humps, the backplate interfered with that and the board would not rest on these "standoffs". The board was and is running absolutely fine without the backplate, i did not break it, i did not short circuit it. It was essentially extra crap that we had to pay for, at least in my case.

This is probably catering to those people who like that sort of thing (yourself included RejZor because you are so vociferously defending it), but please dont tell us its going to prevent stuff from happening that doesn't usually happen to most users, and admit it is just window dressing, or the spoilers on cars you see people driving around. It's rice.
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