Asus P67 1155 Sandybridge Sneak Peak
Published: 14th November 2010 | Source: Asus | Price: |
The Maximus IV Extreme
Now that we have covered some of the features found on all P67 boards, it is now time to discuss some of the perks of the new Republic of Gamers flavour. Without singing you all to sleep, I shall briefly outline some of its key innovations
The Culling of Legacy Devices
So you actively use legacy devices? Seriously, go away. The new Maximus IV Extreme is aimed squarely at those who care about current generation interfaces USB 3.0 (that's right, 8xUSB3.0), e-SATA and Bluetooth. Ultimately the "gamers" audience who will be buying this product will care more about being able to install all the latest peripherals. Consider it as a better way to utilise motherboard real estate.
That said, one antique interface has escaped; PS/2. As the ROG series caters for overclockers, it makes perfect sense to keep the trusty interface that will never fail you in BIOS.
Enhanced Memory and GPU Detection
The M4E's BIOS offers a greater level of GPU and memory detection in order to find non operative equipment before running those all important benchmarks. Time saved, greater convenience.
ROG Connect Enhanced and iPhone iDirect Application
For those who are unaware, ROG Connect was introduced as a remote system tweaking (last mile overclocking) and diagnostics tool. The system leverages the USB interface to link your ROG powered machine to any other laptop/desktop. Consider it the vehicle engine remapping tool of the computing world.
ROG Connect on the new Maximus 4 now covers greater component integration; it has been updated to incorporate graphics card (Core, Memory, Shader) overclocking as well as GPU core voltage manipulation. The feature is expected to work with multiple vendors, however there is no guarantee that a custom design from another manufacturer will be compatible.
Further, Asus have finally brought iPhone/iPad compatibility for remote bluetooth overclocking - the application is known as iDirect. The application is expected to be very responsive and just as effective as the Android, Windows and Symbian equivalents.
Asus ROG Connect and RC Bluetooth/iDirect does not have worthy competition. While other remote overclocking tools exist, there are few that link with a dedicated processing unit such as iROG. The end result is that the end user can seemlessly overclock remotely without causing interruption to on going applications - that's right, CPU utilisation is 0% while changing overclock parameters. The only exception to this is the iDirect application which requires a small driver to pass operation calls; even so we witnessed processor utilisation peaking at a mere 1-2% during the action.
Revamped Sound & Network Capability
From a sound perspective, Asus are answering the needs of many of today's gamers. While previous Creative X-Fi adaptations have been incorporated in ROG boards, a headphone amplifier has been implemented. This is expected to greatly improve sound quality.
Here's the interesting part however. Asus are introducing a Network Processing Unit, which will improve packet and bandwidth control and also offload resources from the processor. It was said during the seminar that gamers could see significantly better ping times in a given game server when compared to another user with the same internet connection.