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  • ASUS Maximus XII Formula Motherboard Review
  • ASUS Maximus XII Formula Motherboard Review

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    Introduction

    When looking at specialized motherboards you start to notice different things.  For overclockers you see products designed to take advantage of speed which might be options for installing LN2 cooling hardware and hardware mods to minimize electrical noise.  Things change slightly when you consider “show” builds.  For this hardware segment the purpose is to offer hardware that works well for the DIY enthusiast system builder including things like enhanced storage options, decorative coverings, RGB and watercooling support.  

    In this review we will be looking at the ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus XII Formula.  If I was to classify this motherboard it would be a product designed for those who want the best motherboard available but aren’t interested in performance enhancements.  These users would be assembling a system to show off online or at the local LAN and want to have the most flexibility to build the system they want with the hardware they can aquire.

    This is the second ROG Maximus Formula motherboard I have reviewed and in both instances I considered it to be a luxury product designed for the enthusiast system builder and those who are practical and don't mind spending a few bucks.

    Specifications

    CPU
    Intel® Socket 1200 for 10th Gen Intel® Core™, Pentium® Gold and Celeron® Processors
    Supports Intel® 14 nm CPU
    Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0**
    * Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list
    **Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 support depends on the CPU types.

    Chipset
    Intel® Z490

    Memory
    4 x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4 4800(O.C.)/4700(O.C)/4600(O.C)/4500(O.C)/4400(O.C)/4266(O.C.)/4133(O.C.)/4000(O.C.)/3866(O.C.)/3733(O.C.)/3600(O.C.)/3466(O.C.)/3400(O.C.)/3333(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933/2800/2666/2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *
    Dual Channel Memory Architecture
    Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
    OptiMem III
    * 10th Gen Intel® Core™i9/i7 CPUs support 2933/2800/2666/2400/2133 natively, Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).  

    Multi-GPU Support
    Supports NVIDIA 2-Way SLI® Technology
    Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology

    Expansion Slots
    Intel® 10th Gen Processors
    2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8) *1
    Intel® Z490 Chipset
    1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4 mode) *2
    1 x PCIe 3.0 x1 *3

    Storage
    Total supports 3 x M.2 slots and 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
    Intel® Z490 Chipset :
    1 x M.2_1 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*4
    1 x M.2_2 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*5
    6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)
    1 x M.2_3 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*6
    Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
    Intel® Rapid Storage Technology supports
    Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

    LAN
    Intel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
    Marvell® AQtion AQC107 10Gb Ethernet
    ASUS LANGuard
    Wireless Data Network
    Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201
    2x2 Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax) support 1024QAM/OFDMA/MU-MIMO
    Supports up to 2.4Gbps max data rate
    Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
    Supports channel bandwidth: HT20/HT40/HT80/HT160
    Supports CNVI interface
    Bluetooth
    Bluetooth v5.1*
    *BT 5.1 function will be ready in Windows 10 build 19041 or later.

    Audio
    ROG SupremeFX 7.1 Surround Sound High Definition Audio CODEC S1220
    - Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
    - Supports : Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking, up to 24-Bit/192kHz playback
    - High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
    - Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback
    Audio Feature :
    - SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
    - Gold-plated jacks
    - Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
    - Premium Japanese audio capacitors
    - Audio Cover

    USB Ports
    Rear USB Port ( Total 10 )
    4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s)(3 x Type-A + USB Type-CTM)
    6 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)(6 x Type-A)
    Front USB Port ( Total 9 )
    1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front panel connector port(s)
    4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)
    4 x USB 2.0 port(s)

    Software Features
    ROG Exclusive Software
    - Mem Tweakit
    - RAMCache III
    - ROG CPU-Z
    - GameFirst VI
    - Sonic Studio III + Sonic Studio Virtual Mixer
    - Sonic Radar III
    - DTS® Sound Unbound
    - Overwolf
    - BullGuard Internet Security (1-year full version)
    ASUS Exclusive Software
    Armoury Crate
    - Aura Creator
    - Aura Sync
    AI Suite 3
    - 5-way Optimization with AI Overclocking
    TPU
    EPU
    Digi+ Power Control
    Fan Xpert 4
    Turbo app
    - EZ update
    AI Charger
    WinRAR
    UEFI BIOS
    AI Overclocking Guide
    ASUS EZ DIY
    - ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
    - ASUS EZ Flash 3
    - ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
    FlexKey

    Operating System Support
    Windows® 10 64-bit

    ASUS Special Features
    ROG Extreme OC kit
    - FlexKey button
    - ReTry button
    - Start button
    ASUS Q-Design
    - ASUS Q-Code
    - ASUS Q-Connector
    - ASUS Q-DIMM
    - ASUS Q-LED (CPU [red], DRAM [yellow], VGA [white], Boot Device [yellow green])
    - ASUS Q-Slot
    ASUS Thermal Solution
    - Aluminum M.2 heatsink
    - CrossChill EK III
    - Steel backplate
    ASUS EZ DIY
    - BIOS Flashback™ button
    - Clear CMOS button
    - Procool II
    - Pre- mounted I/O shield
    - SafeSlot
    AURA Sync
    - ROG Aura sync Armor
    - Standard RGB header(s)
    - Addressable Gen 2 RGB header(s)
    LiveDash OLED 2"

    Back I/O Ports
    1 x Intel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
    1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
    4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
    6 x USB 3.2 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 Gold-plated audio jacks
    1 x Aquantia AQC-107 10G LAN port

    Internal I/O Ports
    1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
    1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)
    3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
    1 x AIO_PUMP connector
    1 x H_AMP fan connector
    1 x W_PUMP+ connector
    1 x W_IN header
    2 x W_OUT header
    3 x W_FLOW header
    1 x AAFP connector
    2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers
    2 x Addressable Gen 2 header(s)
    2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1(up to 5Gbps) connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s)
    2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
    3 x M.2 Socket 3
    6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
    1 x Thunderbolt header(s)
    1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
    1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
    1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
    1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
    1 x ReTry button
    1 x System panel connector
    1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front panel connector
    1 x Speaker connector
    1 x Start button
    1 x FlexKey button

    Accessories
    User's manual
    Addressable LED extension cable
    1 x ROG logo plate sticker
    4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
    2 x M.2 Screw Package
    1 x Supporting DVD
    1 x ROG big sticker
    1 x Q-Connector
    1 x Wi-Fi Antenna(s)
    1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (40 cm)
    2 x ROG weave SATA 6G cable
    1 x ROG Thank you card
    1 ROG key chain

    BIOS
    256 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS
    Manageability
    WOL by PME, PXE

    Form Factor
    ATX Form Factor
    12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )