ASUS Maximus III Extreme 1156 Motherboard

Test Setup and Overclocking

Test Setup and Overclocking

Of course having all this potential isn't much good without giving it a damn good thrashing. So here is todays test setup which uses the standard P55 components we test with, so hopefully the results are comparable across our reviews.

CPU : Intel i7 870 @ 2.93GHz
GPU : ASUS GTX275
RAM : G.Skill Trident 2000MHz CL9 4GB
PSU : Cougar 1000CM
HDD : Samsung Spinpoint 1TB
Motherboard : ASUS Maximus III Extreme
OS : Windows 7 64
Cooling : Cooler Master 212 Hyper Plus

The temptation with any hardcore overclocking based motherboard is to put the CPU under water or with some ultra hardware and go for a major overclock that 90% of the readers will never achieve. We much rather give you an overclock that you can go away and feel confident that you could achieve tomorrow with the same hardware. For this reason we stick to air cooling and an average hardware selection. Of course with a motherboard like this we have to give it the full monty processor.

The Intel 870 will run all day with a clock around the high 3GHz mark, and 4 is possible with a voltage hike. Once you get past that it very much depends upon the chip you have and the many black arts that come with a good overclock. Anyone who has delved into this side of the industry will know that sometimes you get a chip that overclocks well, and others you'll get one that wouldn't budge even if you hooked it up to 240v, much less something sensible.

Naturally as the Maximus III Extreme is billed as an overclocker, 4GHz had to be the first point of call. It's always important, even if you know the chip you're using and such, to always overclock incrementally. With the Maximus III Extreme not available yet the BIOS isn't so mature that we can just barrel in, but within a couple of days of beginning testing we received a new BIOS from ASUS that greatly improved the ease of overclocking and the stability we could expect to obtain.

To cut a short story even shorter, the Maximus III Extreme nailed 4GHz easily. It took a little bit of tweaking with voltages to get it stable but it was a very painless process and certainly we were hopeful of pushing on past 4GHz without going past the 1.4v mark, which we feel is the point at which temperatures become too much of a factor to comfortably stick on air.

   

Having got it perfectly stable at 4GHz it was time to see if the Maximus III would enable us to squeeze a bit more out. 4.1GHz wasn't too bad at all and a nice 1.1GHz overclock. 4.2 definitely started to need a few extra volts across the board, although the excellent Maximus III BIOS made sure we were never in the dark about the process with everything handily kept in in the one screen.

Finally we reach 4.4GHz still using all four cores, and hyperthreading still enabled, and under our 1.4v air-cooled limit. This is a staggering overclock considering how fresh the BIOS is and how little experience we've had with this board. Given more time and a more mature BIOS we're sure some insane clocks can be had.

    

This was stable enough to run all of our tests, but not Prime stable and so to make sure that we aren't making false claims about our results we clocked it back to the bulletproof 4GHz mark, which was used for all our testing.

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Most Recent Comments

19-02-2010, 05:16:07

tinytomlogan
Always good to post the first proper full review.... OC3D takes first place yet again! VonBlade has worked all hours to bring you the first review of the Asus Maximus III Extreme.

Continue Reading

19-02-2010, 17:49:54

JN
the red and black themes still aren't wearing thin on me yet

Looks like a pretty awesome board.

20-02-2010, 08:39:54

pazman4
Looks Sweet. Nice review, thanks

21-02-2010, 16:35:36

cl0ck_ed
Still can't see how anybody could justify buying this when x58 mobo's are about the same price and the 920's are cheaper than 860's.

21-02-2010, 19:33:37

VonBlade
Because you're getting LOADS more motherboard for the same price, the 1156s clock much easier than the X58 stuff, dual channel is naturally a lot cheaper and, if hyper-threading isn't important to you, a i5 750 is way cheaper than a 920. Yes the X58 is amazing. But the P55 is much better value.

This Maximus III is a mental amount of motherboard. The serious contender for it in X58 terms is the Quad Classified. And if you're trying to say they're the same money....

22-02-2010, 14:10:54

cl0ck_ed
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='VonBlade'
Because you're getting LOADS more motherboard for the same price, the 1156s clock much easier than the X58 stuff, dual channel is naturally a lot cheaper and, if hyper-threading isn't important to you, a i5 750 is way cheaper than a 920. Yes the X58 is amazing. But the P55 is much better value.

This Maximus III is a mental amount of motherboard. The serious contender for it in X58 terms is the Quad Classified. And if you're trying to say they're the same money....
I have to disagree 1366 overclocks much better than 1156. You can put dual channel on x58 if that is a concern. Yes i5 750 is good value but p55 i7's are expensive in the UK.

You bring value into the discussion but anyone buying p55 has a lower budget and will therefore buy the 750. People on higher budgets will more than likely get the x58 based system that will support the 6 core 32nm cpus that will be shortly released.

People that have funds for a tri/quad sli/xfire system will have enough for the classified.
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