ASUS Maximus II Formula P45 Motherboard

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup
 
Matching our previous reviews of P45 based motherboards, we used the same setup to guarantee a fair review.
 
 
During the testing of the setup above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. 

For the 3DMark and gaming tests, both single card and CrossfireX configurations were used for the purposes of testing the scaling of the P45's 8x8 configuration.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
 
Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance
• HDTach 3.0.4.0
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06

3D Games
• Oblivion
• F.E.A.R
• Call of Duty 4
 
 
Overclocking
 
Much like the MSI Diamond that we reviewed previously, the wealth of options in the BIOS need to be tweaked to get the very best out of this motherboard. While moderate overclocks were easily gained through the AUTO options and Level up configurations, better overclocks were accomplished tweaking the Vcore/NB/VTT voltages. Time constraints prevented me from delving any further into the GTL settings in attempts to eek a little more out of the board unfortunately.
 
Max Overclock (Air Cooling) Max FSB (Air cooling)
 
While not the best results we have had out of a P45 Board, an FSB of 500mhz and overall overclock in excess of 3.9ghz is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Given more time, 4ghz should have been attainable without too much difficulty. I am in no doubt that the overclock could be pushed even with a little more voltage and various tweaks the board has to offer, but with the high ambient summer temps now in full force, we were limited in our air cooling performance and as such I had to hold back a little. That said, the Maximus II Formula certainly proved to be a worthy overclocker's board and can most definitely push the envelope with regards to getting the most out of a CPU.
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Most Recent Comments

10-07-2008, 08:45:38

JN
"With more features than ever before, very cool looking heatsinks and a shiny new chipset. Does the Maximus II have what it takes to be crowned P45 King?" - By Webbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...234845465s.jpg



ASUS Maximus II Formula P45 Motherboard

10-07-2008, 09:01:45

Bungral
Tis very very nice indeed. I really like the look of it.

That said.. With the new Rampage looking just as good, If I had the wedge and was after a new mobo, I'd plump for the Rampage.

10-07-2008, 09:57:02

Mr. Smith
Rich, your OC tests - is the 3.9 jiggahurtz stable or just a screenie? Also, how does that compare to other mobos you've had the chip on?

I think that is relevant...

Ta

10-07-2008, 10:15:55

w3bbo
Prime95 was run for overnight (8 hours) aswell as a 1hr hour OCCT run - not exactly proof of 24/7 stability but it's good enough imo. This is compared against similar results with the MSI and P5Q deluxe. I rated the Maximus higher as, along with the ridiculous amount of BIOS tweaks available with more time and a more mature BIOS it is my belief the Maximus can at least equal the P5Q, not only that but gaming wise the maximus is already ahead of the P5Q albeit not by much.

Also overclocking on air, as I'm sure you are aware, can be heavily influenced by ambient air temps which due to the recent hot weather is limiting the possibilities. Using phase change is not realy an option as it isn't indicative of the 'average' user and wouldn't give a fair representation of the possibilities of the motherboard.

Because the P45 uses PCIE 2.0 which is double the bandwidth of PCIe 1.1 the need for 16 lanes is debatable so going for an X48 (which appears not to clock as good as P45) is not a decision that should be taken lightly. I guess it comes down to if you want every last ounce of CPU or GPU power - CPU = P45, GPU=X48 imo.

10-07-2008, 11:20:50

Luigi
Wow, Nice review

One thing that was in the press release, but I didnt see demonstrated, was the removable part of heatpipe cooling on the NB?

Is this possible?

10-07-2008, 11:22:20

WC Annihilus
Edit: think I read that wrong

10-07-2008, 11:26:52

Luigi
Yeah, apparently just the NB part can be taking off for water cooling, so you dont have to do the whole board?

10-07-2008, 11:30:17

WC Annihilus
Looking at the removed assembly pic, I don't really see how that would work, but I suppose I should let webbo answer this one

10-07-2008, 11:38:19

w3bbo
Yes it is possible - I'll upload a pic of that for you but I didn't include it in the review due to space constraints and the fact I can't understand why anyone would want to as if you are going to apply an aftermarket solution, the whole heatpipe would be best to be removed. I thought it better to include the whole heatpipe removal than just the top of the NB.

Just for you :

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...163754119l.jpg

As you can see, if you used an aftermarket solution you would in effect be creating a sandwhich effect and the cooling would be hampered by having to battle with two lots of TIM. Hence, best to remove the whole lot if that is your aim.

10-07-2008, 12:55:17

Pjalchemist
Loving my bord. Right out the box been able to hit 600FSB after latest BIOS update. It is eye catching. I can see there point in regards to the NB WC option, not much room to play though. Glad they have ditched push pins and the so called TIM. Think they lost too many bords that way! Luck has it i have an X38 IHS so when it come to going DICE on the NB i'll lid it. Nice review and nice ES bord!

10-07-2008, 13:00:44

w3bbo
Cheers Pete

31-08-2008, 07:52:17

ogmw
Hello im new to these forums and to overclocking so hello...

I have the Same MB and a Q6600 CPU and OCZ DDR2 platinum 800 RAM...

Just wanting to know the settings for the 3.6ghz OC and also is it stable?

Thanks
Reply
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