ASUS Maximus III Extreme 1156 Motherboard
Published: 19th February 2010 | Source: ASUS | Price: around £250 |
Conclusions are often a balancing act in which we try and explain how the bad points outweigh the good, or the good points outweigh the good. We nit pick and just try and balance it all out until we are happy with the score we've given, and you can then make tiny adjustments depends on how you feel about the good or bad points we've raised.
The ASUS Maximus III Extreme makes all of this a non-issue by being brilliant.
The packaging is stunning, exuding both class and sturdiness. The box itself is fantastically laid out and the design is excellent. Internally the motherboard is protected well with more sturdy cardboard, and the accessories box is of the same high quality.
The accessories themselves are all well-made and not an afterthought. The manual is a particular highlight. The included SATA Cables are black, latched and one of the ends is at an angle to ensure easy insertion and routing.
The board. What more can I say. It's feature rich beyond almost anything else we've seen, fantastic build quality, comes complete with a plethora of features that assist everyone from the overclocking neophyte to the people already preparing their LN2.
The ROG Connect features add yet another layer of control, and along with the twin user-selectable BIOS, MemOK and GO features, it should be impossible to ever end up with a situation you need to clear the CMOS in, much less coax the board back into life. Although 4GHz rock-solid stable
Quad and Tri card compatibility, or five cards for the Folders among you, USB3, SATA 6Gb/s, support for incredible speeds and all wrapped up in great package.
Unfortunately this does come and quite a steep price. When X58 motherboards were first released most of us baulked at some of the prices being discussed for even average boards. Thankfully the P55 based offerings quickly fixed that by definitely being the budget option of the two.
Now I don't know if the P55 marketplace is so hot right now that manufacturers are moving towards it as their product of choice, but early indications are that the Maximus III Extreme will come to the market around the £250 mark. Almost spot on the Rampage II Extreme price.
This doesn't bode well for two reasons. Firstly it makes any thoughts that the whole 1156 option is "more affordable" instantly rubbish. Yes ok this is a premium product, but is it seriously that much better than the competition. After all, if the pricing is right (and with the Formula at 190ish it seems likely) then the only P55 motherboards more expensive are the MSI Big Bang ones, and they are all sorts of weird and wonderful tech.
There is no denying the performance. The packaging is sublime. But the price point is eye-watering. If you must have the absolute best, this is it. If you've got budgetary concerns, there are plenty of other options, including the lesser models of this very board.
For those of you with a video fetish Tom kindly did a box opening video.
- Stunning performance
- Great looks
- Wonderful packaging
- If that price proves accurate, this will swiftly become a con.
- None to speak of