After almost a decade of total market dominance, Intel has spent the past few years on the defensive. AMD's Ryzen processors continue to show improvement year over year, with the most recent Ryzen 5000 series taking the crown of best gaming processor: Intel's last bastion of superiority.
Now, with a booming hardware market, Intel is preparing to make up some of that lost ground with the new 11th Gen Intel Core Processors. Intel is claiming these new 11th Gen CPUs offer double-digit IPC improvements despite remaining on a 14 nm process. The top-end 8-core Intel Core i9-11900K may not be able to compete against its Ryzen 9 5900X AMD rival in heavily multi-threaded scenarios, but the higher clock speeds and alleged IPC improvements could be enough to take back the gaming crown. Along with the new CPUs, there is a new chipset to match, the Intel Z590. Last year's Z490 chipset motherboards are also compatible with the new 11th Gen Intel Core Processors, but Z590 introduces some key advantages.
First, Z590 offers native PCIe 4.0 support from the CPU, which means the PCIe and M.2 slots powered off the CPU will offer PCIe 4.0 connectivity when an 11th Gen CPU is installed. The PCIe and M.2 slots controlled by the Z590 chipset are still PCI 3.0. While many high-end Z490 motherboards advertised this capability, it was not a standard feature for the platform. In addition to PCIe 4.0 support, Z590 offers USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 from the chipset. The USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 standard offers speeds of up to 20 Gb/s. Finally, Z590 boasts native support for 3200 MHz DDR4 memory. With these upgrades, Intel's Z series platform has feature parity with AMD's B550. On paper, Intel is catching up to AMD, but only testing will tell if these new Z590 motherboards are up to the challenge.
The Maximus family serves as ASUS's flagship line for Intel motherboards, with premium looks, premium features, blazing performance, and broad overclocking support. The Maximus lineup typically comprises four models: the Extreme Glacial, Apex, Formula, and Extreme. Intel's Z590 chipset is no exception. The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is the pinnacle of the Maximus line, featuring the absolute latest and best technology ASUS has to offer.
The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial features an extreme VRM solution with no less than 20 top of the line power stages from Texas Instruments, each rated for 100 A. On top of that, there is a massive full-coverage monoblock to keep not only the CPU and VRM cool, but also the chipset.
Dual BIOS and BIOS flashback have also been included, as well as ASUS's excellent BIOS designed to provide an optimal, stress-free overclocking experience. The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial also offers great connectivity with not only WiFi 6 and 2.5 Gb/s Ethernet, but also 10 Gb/s Ethernet, Thunderbolt 4, and five M.2 slots. All of this performance is bundled into a beautiful silver and mirror-polished package with excellent RGB options and even an OLED screen.
Let's take a closer look at what the best of the Maximus line has to offer!
|CPU Support:||Intel 10th Gen or later processors|
|Power Design:||CPU Power: 20-phase |
Memory Power: 2-phase
|Integrated Graphics:||Dependent on installed CPU|
|Memory:||4x DIMM, supports dual-channel DDR4-5333 (OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||Dual AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:|| 2x PCIe x16 slots (x16/x0 or x8/x8)|
1x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
|Storage:|| 6x SATA 6 Gb/s ports |
5x M.2 ports (SATA3/PCIe x4)
|Networking:||1x Intel® I225-V 2.5 Gb Ethernet|
1x Marvell® AQtion AQC113CS 10Gb
1x Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210
|Rear Ports:||2x Thunderbolt™ 4 USB Type-C® port(s)|
8x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s) (8 x Type-A)
1x HDMI™ port
1x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
1x Marvell® AQtion AQC113CS 10Gb Ethernet
1x Intel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
5x LED-illuminated audio jacks
1x Optical S/PDIF out port
1x BIOS FlashBack™ button
1x Clear CMOS button
|Audio:||1x Realtek ALC4082 Codec|
|Fan Headers:||6x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||E-ATX Form Factor: 12.0 x 10.9 in.; 30.5 x 27.7 cm|