Asus Maximus Formula Special Edition X38 S775 Motherboard

Packaging & Contents

Packaging & Contents

The Maximus Formula uses the same style of packaging as seen on many of Asus' previous "Republic of Gamers" motherboards. I've always been a fan of this packaging as it manages to have a "Gamer" feel to it without being covered in cheesy CGI character graphics.

Asus Maximus Formula Box Front 

As you can see from above, the cardboard outer-box is printed with a grey gradient along with a bullet hole effect situated just above the large silver "Maximus" lettering. Very little information can be found on the front of the box, with only: Fusion, Intel X38 and Asus logos being displayed at the bottom.

Asus Maximus Formula Box Front Asus Maximus Formula Box Front Flap

However, as with the previously reviewed Blitz board, Asus have placed a flap at the front of the box. Once opened you are presented with two plastic windows that show off the Fusion water block system along with the SuppremeFX II soundcard. Also at the top of the flap is a wealth of information regarding the features of the board along with brief explanations on what they do.

Asus Maximus Formula Box Back

Around the back of the box Asus have printed the technical specifications for the Maximus. As we saw on page 1, the board provides provides support for all LGA775 processors along with backward compatibility for DDR2 memory (1066/800/667) and ATI Crossfire (with both cards in x16 mode).

Asus Maximus Formula Box Side Asus Maximus Formula Box Open

To allow the motherboard to be seen from the top and side of the outer-box, Asus have placed the board inside a clear plastic moulded shell. This provides good protection against courier inflicted damage and keeps the board seperate from other items that could possibly be responsible for damaging the fragile components on the board during transit.

Asus Maximus Formula Box Contents Asus Maximus Formula Contents

As you'd expect from motherboard coming from Asus' "Repubic of Gamers" series, the Maximus is bundled with a whole host of goodies including a full version of the popular FPS shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R all packaged up inside the accessories box. Also included in the pack are the following items:

• Fusion Block System Accessory
• 1x ASUS Optional Fan
• 3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
• 1x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
• 1x Floppy disk drive cable
• 6x SATA cables
• 2x SATA power cables
• 2-port USB2.0 module
• IEEE1394a module
• I/O Shield
• Cable Ties
• User's manual
• Futuremark ® 3DMark® 06 Advanced Edition
• Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
• The hottest 3D Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
• LCD Poster
• SupremeFX II HD sound card

Asus Maximus Formula LCD Poster Asus Maximus Formula Q-Fan

Asus Maximus Formula Fusion Block Accessories Asus Maximus Formula Q-Connector

Some of the more notable accessories are the items shown above. From top left to bottom right we have: the Asus LCD poster, Asus optional fans, Fusion block accessories and the 3-in-1 Q-Connector's.

Starting with the LCD Poster, this device displays information on the motherboard POST sequence. If at any point the board fails to boot or gets stuck during POST, a quick glance at the LCD Poster should identify what component in your system is malfunctioning.

Moving on to the optional fans...These coolers have been included with many of Asus' Premium, Deluxe and ROG motherboards for quite some time. Designed to clip on to the finned heatsink that covers the mosfets at the top of the board, the fans pull air up through the heatsink fins and expel the hot air out the back of your PC case. They are reasonably quiet and come complete with 3-Pin connectors so that they can easily be controlled using the BIOS or Asus software.

Next up are the Fusion block accessories. Asus have catered for all types of water cooling with barbs ranging from 10mm up to 1/2" ID diameters. Also included in the bag are several clips for securing the tubing to the barbs to prevent leaks.

Last but not least is the 3-in-1 Q-Connectors. These three small blocks are quite simply a godsend for the enthusiast who regulary disconnects their motherboard and is then faced with the frustration of trying to place the power/reset/activity LED connectors back on the motherboard header. They are also very clearly labeled - so no need to refer to the manual while setting your new motherboard up ;)

Asus Maximus Formula SupremeFX II

Asus Maximus Formula SupremeFX II Asus Maximus Formula SupremeFX II PCB

It's great to see that Asus have decided to go for an add-in sound card on the Maximus Formula. With so many decent after-market sound cards available, users of high-end motherboards are more than likely to already own a PCI based solution that will generally outperform any type of onboard sound.

However, in testing it has to be said that the ADI AD1988B based SupremeFX II PCIx card did offer well above average sound quality for a card of its type. Not quite on par with the likes of our Creative X-FI card, but certainly not abusive on the ears either.
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Most Recent Comments

06-11-2007, 04:26:00

JN
"Asus once again add some more firepower to their "Republic of Gamers" linup with the X38 based Maximus range. We take a look at the DDR2 based "Formula" version."

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...163812699s.jpg

Asus Maximus Formula Review

06-11-2007, 05:08:01

Mr. Smith
God that took some reading!

It doesn't perform much better than the P35 dfi and is almost identicle to the blitz, bar a few extra insane/unusable voltage options so I feel no inclination to buy this.

Nice to see the score being penalised for the pretty outragous price!

Overall, ROG ftw!

06-11-2007, 05:20:13

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
God that took some reading!

It doesn't perform much better than the P35 dfi and is almost identicle to the blitz, bar a few extra insane/unusable voltage options so I feel no inclination to buy this.

Nice to see the score being penalised for the pretty outragous price!

Overall, ROG ftw!
Yeah, personally I wouldn't upgrade from a Blitz or other high-end P35 board to it as it doesn't really have much more going for it (not until we see some PCI-E 2.0 ATI cards worth CF'ing).

But as a purchase for a new rig it's one hell of a beastly board - and I'm real glad that watercooling isn't a requirement anymore. That was a pretty big downer on the Blitz.

06-11-2007, 05:29:29

Mr. Smith
I guess it's lucky I had w/c for the blitz! That is a marked improvement, did you actually state that in the review? That water was no longer required? Must have missed that.

The only additional thing I would have liked to have seen is the removal of the nb waterblock just so you could further comment on its construction...

Re. cards worth CF'ing, I hope there are some I have this desire to CF or SLI even though I know its not really worth it!

06-11-2007, 06:08:03

Aqua-Pc's
Bah ive just had to fork out for one of these to pop my QX9650 in

But the board looks good to me

06-11-2007, 06:15:49

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
I guess it's lucky I had w/c for the blitz! That is a marked improvement, did you actually state that in the review? That water was no longer required? Must have missed that.
Yeah mate it's in the conclusion (*hopes he didn't accidentally delete it*)

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'

The only additional thing I would have liked to have seen is the removal of the nb waterblock just so you could further comment on its construction...

Re. cards worth CF'ing, I hope there are some I have this desire to CF or SLI even though I know its not really worth it!
The block is actually extremely hard to remove as they've used some kind of thermal cement on it. I did have a quick go at levering it off, but didnt want to get a slapped wrist for breaking one of Asus limited review boards

As for the construction, the heatpipe side of things is the same as the blitz, but the finned heatsinks around the block and on the 'fets feel much thicker aluminium.

06-11-2007, 06:21:33

Mr. Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Aqua-Pc's'
Bah ive just had to fork out for one of these to pop my QX9650 in

But the board looks good to me
Niiiice, do you already have the proccy? ES?

Jim - just stick a credit card under and prize it apart, whats the worst that can happen? coughcorsaircough

06-11-2007, 06:25:03

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'

Jim - just stick a credit card under and prize it apart, whats the worst that can happen? coughcorsaircough
Haha I wondered when that come back to haunt me. Its not my fault you Karate chopped it!

06-11-2007, 06:32:37

Mr. Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='XMS'
Haha I wondered when that come back to haunt me. Its not my fault you Karate chopped it!
Lol, I know, I know. Hey, we better get back on topic before a mod/admin tells us off!

06-11-2007, 06:40:38

llwyd
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
Lol, I know, I know. Hey, we better get back on topic before a mod/admin tells us off!
:whack:

06-11-2007, 06:46:36

Aqua-Pc's
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
Niiiice, do you already have the proccy? ES?
Yeh intel where kind enough to giv me one for our lil project @ i32 ;P

06-11-2007, 06:47:53

Mr. Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='llwyd'
:whack:
LOL - Hey, what'cha do that for? Jim, get him! :haha:

06-11-2007, 09:21:18

steve30x
Id love one of these motherboards along with a good Core 2 Quad and watercool the lot LOL. It would cost too much though.

06-11-2007, 10:23:58

Brooksie
Wish I can afford that Love the 'Crazy' upgrade setting on the bios

06-11-2007, 10:54:24

Mr. Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Brooksie'
Wish I can afford that Love the 'Crazy' upgrade setting on the bios
LOL - that made me smile, I'm waiting for the 'WTF' setting to appear

06-11-2007, 22:56:07

steve30x
Im sure if the WTF setting showed up after you reboot a screen with big red writing would come up saying

DIE NOOB DIE

And then reset to default after a second reboot

07-11-2007, 08:18:09

Bungral
Quality review.. Great read... Did take forever though

18-11-2007, 14:07:05

Azza
Great review.

I canny wait to get mine to replace my P5K Premium.

01-02-2008, 18:55:45

psies
OK this is my story.

I bought this Asus Formula maximus.. Paid quit a few bucks for it.. But hey i am a fanatic gamer..

So i bought two MSI 3870 cards to place them in CF...

Build the system..... everything was ready to go.. expect for.. uhm must pair those card together with a cf bridge.. WTF? where is the bridge? WTF?

I checked ASUS motherboard box... cables, http://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gif, fans, cdroms, manuals.. where the http://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gif is that brigde? Checked out the outside of the box.. gaming series motherboard... euh yeah well where is the freaking CF bridge then??

Ok well i ve got two cards, maybe they shipped with the cards... checked out the accessoires of the vga box.. oh man you got to be kidding me!!! NO CROSSFIRE BRIDGE!!!

I paid over 600 EURO's only for 2 cards and one motherboard and there is NO http://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifING CF BRIDGE!!!!!!!

On the outside of the MSI 3870 box it says the bridge is optional.. pfff

but everybody says the motherboard supplier must supply the bridge! I cannot image you didn't notice this in your review! Execellent features you mentioned.. Cannot think of anything negative... WELL I CAN! there is no brigde. How can they forget the most important item on a gaming board like this.

Who will spend that much money on board just to play with one card?? Hell no, buyers will definitly play in crossfire...

I am totally http://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifhttp://forum.overclock3d.net/oc3d_gf...es/cussing.gifed of about this. I email Asus about this.. know what they say" Go back to your shop and ask for one...........

The shop didn't have it in stock, and they have no idea where they can buy one. They say it should come with either the vga card or the motherboard...

Last time i spend my money on ASUS stuff

01-02-2008, 18:57:04

Hatman
Could try ebay.

01-02-2008, 19:04:05

psies
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Hatman'
Could try ebay.
Offcourse i can get a crossfire bridge somewhere. But that's not the point.

The point is, you are paying a hell of money and you cannot play because ASUS just simply forget to put in a crossfire bridge.

I think that's pretty stupid wouldnt you say?

besides when i buy one on ebay (around 10 till 15 euro's + shipping) i will pay an additional 20 euro's orso.. For what? for this little stupid thing which should have come with the motherboard or videocard..

When you buy a porsche you expect that there are wheels and rubber under the damn car...

01-02-2008, 19:06:23

steve30x
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='psies'
Offcourse i can get a crossfire bridge somewhere. But that's not the point.

The point is, you are paying a hell of lot of money and you cannot play because ASUS just simply forget to put in a crossfire bridge.

I think that's pretty stupid wouldnt you say?
I didnt get one of those with the Abit IP35 I got last week. But that motherboard is being RMA'd

01-02-2008, 19:06:30

Hatman
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='psies'
Offcourse i can get a crossfire bridge somewhere. But that's not the point.

The point is, you are paying a hell of lot of money and you cannot play because ASUS just simply forget to put in a crossfire bridge.

I think that's pretty stupid wouldnt you say?
Yep

Wonder if there are other ones they forgot to put it in or this is a one off..

01-02-2008, 19:13:16

steve30x
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Hatman'
Yep

Wonder if there are other ones they forgot to put it in or this is a one off..
In my previous experience the bridge never came with ATI crossfire motherboards and when that special lead was needed for crossfire I had to search for one.

01-02-2008, 19:19:48

psies
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='steve30x'
In my previous experience the bridge never came with ATI crossfire motherboards and when that special lead was needed for crossfire I had to search for one.
MSI ships their mobo's with one. Sapphire vga cards also comes with one bridge.

Is asus trying to safe some money here?

01-02-2008, 19:21:43

steve30x
The Abit IP35 pro doesnt have one in the box

21-02-2008, 10:34:23

LoveDuckie
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='psies'
MSI ships their mobo's with one. Sapphire vga cards also comes with one bridge.

Is asus trying to safe some money here?
You're completely incorrect, it isn't ASUS' fault.

If you check the contents of packaging, everywhere it says that it does not come with a crossfire bridge.

I would also personally know that this board does not come with a bridge as I have the motherboard myself and I RMA'd it 3 times meaning I DEFINITELY know it doesn't come with it.

Please note that the chipset on the motherboard is an INTEL chipset rather than one that was made directly from ATi/AMD, meaning that okay sure it supports CrossFire but it wasn't made by the blokes at ATi/AMD, so therefore they don't share the responsibility to give out CrossFire bridges.

However, the products that should ship with this particular component are the graphics cards themselves. An example of this would be my HIS iTurbo version of the x3870, not only did that come with an Analogue to DVI converter it also came with a CrossFire bridge.

I suggest in the most modest & sincerest way that you do your research next time.
Reply
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