ASUS Z87 Maximus VI Formula Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

ASUS Z87 Maximus VI Formula Review


The Formula range has usually been the affordable variant of the Extreme. Retaining the performance whilst stripping away the frippery to keep the price low has been a successful venture. However, given our feelings about the Extreme we're hoping that the Formula is anything but formulaic, but rather is a complete overhaul.

Those of you who pay attention to our reviews know that we usually are aware of what we think before we start writing, having already tested. So if you've got your ASUS fanboy fingers ready to flood our forum with vitriol, thankfully the Formula is a vast improvement and everything that the Extreme should have been when it arrived. So we've spoilt the ending somewhat, but the journey is still a fun one.

Technical Specifications

As you would expect from a ROG motherboard, the Formula is absolutely bursting with features. Indeed it speaks volumes about ASUS' desire to rectify earlier mistakes that they have crammed quite so much into the lower end ROG model.

  • CPU
    Intel® Socket 1150 for 4th Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors
    Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
    Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

    Intel® Z87

  • Memory
    4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 3100(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2600(O.C.)/2500(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
    Dual Channel Memory Architecture
    Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

    Integrated Graphics Processor
    Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports
    - Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
    - Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
    Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
  • Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
    Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology

  • Expansion Slots
    3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8 or x8/x4/x4)
    1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1
    3 x PCIe 2.0 x1

  • Storage
    Intel® Z87 chipset :
    6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
    Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
    Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology
    Intel® Z87 chipset :
    1 x M.2 (NGFF) Socket 2 on mPCIe Combo II expansion card(s), black
    Support M.2 (NGFF) Type 2242 SSD card (22mm x 42mm), Support PCI express 2.0 x1 and SATA 6Gb/s standards
    ASMedia® ASM1061 controller :
    4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red

  • LAN
    Intel® I217V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
  • Wireless Data Network
    Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
    Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
  • BluetoothBluetooth V4.0
    Bluetooth V3.0+HS

  • Audio
    ROG SupremeFX Formula 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
    - Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming
    - SupremeFX Shielding Technology
    - Cirrus Logic® CS4398 DAC: 120 dB SNR, -107 dB THD+N (Max. 192 kHz/ 24 -bit)
    - TI 6120A2 high fidelity headphone amplifier
    - WIMA® film capacitors
    - ELNA® premium audio capacitors
    - High-fidelity audio OP AMP(s)
    - Differential circuit design
    Audio Feature :
    - Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection 
    - Sonic Radar
    - DTS Connect
    - Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

  • USB Ports
    Intel® Z87 chipset :
    4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
    Intel® Z87 chipset :
    8 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)
    ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
    4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue)

  • ROG Exclusive Features
    CrossChill (Hybrid air and liquid cooling)
    ROG Armor (including top cover and SECC steel backplate)
    mPCIe Combo II (mPCIe/M.2 combo card)
    Extreme Engine Digi+ III :
    - 8 + 2 phase power design
    - NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
    - 60A BlackWing Chokes
    - 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
    UEFI BIOS features :
    - ROG BIOS Print
    - GPU.DIMM Post
    - Tweakers' Paradise
    - ROG SSD Secure Erase
    ROG RAMDisk
    GameFirst II
    Extreme Tweaker

  • Special Features

    ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-Way Optimization :
    - The tuning key perfectly consolidates ASUS-exclusive DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, and Fan Xpert 2 optimize the digital power setting, system performance, power saving and whole system cooling configuration
    CPU Level Up
    ASUS Wi-Fi GO!
    - Wi-Fi GO! Function: Cloud GO!, Media Streaming Hub, Smart Sensor Control, Remote Desktop, Remote Keyboard & Mouse, File Transfer, Capture & Send
    - Wi-Fi Engine for network sharing and connection: Client Mode, AP Mode
    - Wi-Fi GO! & NFC Remote for portable Smartphone/Tablet, supporting iOS & Android systems
    ASUS Exclusive Features :
    - GPU Boost
    - USB BIOS Flashback
    - AI Suite 3
    - Ai Charger+
    - USB Charger+
    - USB 3.0 Boost
    - Disk Unlocker
    - ASUS O.C. Profile
    - ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
    - ASUS EZ Flash 2
    ASUS Q-Design :
    - ASUS Q-Shield
    - ASUS Q-Code
    - ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
    - ASUS Q-Slot
    - ASUS Q-Connector
    Overclocking Protection :
    - ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

  • Back I/O Ports

    1 x DisplayPort
    1 x HDMI
    1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
    6 x USB 3.0 (blue)
    4 x USB 2.0
    1 x Optical S/PDIF out
    6 x Audio jack(s)
    1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
    1 x ROG Connect On/ Off switch(es)

  • Internal I/O Ports
    1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
    2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
    1 x TPM connector(s)
    10 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
    1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
    1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)
    3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
    3 x Optional Fan connector(s)
    1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
    1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
    1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
    1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
    1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
    1 x System panel(s)
    1 x DirectKey Button(s)
    1 x DRCT header(s)
    1 x MemOK! button(s)
    10 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
    3 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
    1 x Power-on button(s)
    1 x Reset button(s)
    1 x FastBoot switch(es)
    1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
    1 x mPCIe Combo II connector(s)

  • Accessories
    User's manual
    I/O Shield
    8 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
    1 x ASUS 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
    1 x SLI bridge(s)
    1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
    1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
    1 x mPCIe Combo II card(s) with dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth v4.0/3.0+HS module
    1 x ROG Door Hanger(s)
  • BIOS
    64Mb UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI5.0a Multi-Language BIOS

  • Form Factor
    ATX Form Factor
    12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )
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Most Recent Comments

04-11-2013, 11:02:01


Does the Asus Maximus Formula have what it takes to tempt our purse strings?

Continue ReadingQuote

04-11-2013, 11:06:56

YES! it is the mother of boardsQuote

04-11-2013, 11:34:34

Looks like the presentation should've been 11 Quote

04-11-2013, 14:36:23


04-11-2013, 15:36:16

Can anyone tell me can I mount a Cooler Master V8 GTS on this would be a dream combination..... :-DQuote

04-11-2013, 15:39:04

I happen to be reviewing the V8 GTS a the moment, so if Tom will send me over the board I'll let you know (don't expect to get I back though matey)Quote

04-11-2013, 19:09:28

Thnx man,much appreciated!Quote

05-11-2013, 01:01:31

Sexiest motherboard i have ever seen. Would be better if they made a blue or white version though.Quote

05-11-2013, 21:04:56

This board really looks promising. Question: What material is the integrated water block made of? Some boards with water blocks built in use aluminum, which to me is just horrendous. Can we hope that if it's not copper or nickel that it's at least brass?Quote

05-11-2013, 21:20:26

Never liked them panels ASUS do on some boards. They cover all the sexy looking stuff Quote

06-11-2013, 06:20:11

Originally Posted by ThisMaySting View Post
This board really looks promising. Question: What material is the integrated water block made of? Some boards with water blocks built in use aluminum, which to me is just horrendous. Can we hope that if it's not copper or nickel that it's at least brass?
It's aluminium. Asus claims the coating will pervent any corrosion but who knows.Quote

06-11-2013, 06:25:49

Originally Posted by KTM_RULZ View Post
It's aluminium. Asus claims the coating will pervent any corrosion but who knows.
Yeah it will work fine, this is just n000bs worrying about nothing tbhQuote

06-11-2013, 14:34:16

I have to say this looks amazing.

I've been waiting to see a 'premium' board, with good PCI-E layout for SLI GPU's meaning : once PCI space to the CPU so large CPU air cooler and GPU dont almost touch, and then at least 3 units between first PCI-E slot to the next, so the a dual slot GPU can breathe, AND quality on-board sound.

I simply cannot believe how rare such a board is - nor how common it is for boards to try to accommodate 3 or 4 GPU although hardly any uses such a setup = waste.

It almost makes me sad, that I cannot justify a upgrade at this point as this would go VERY nicely with my Asus GTx780 OC DCUII, but my x58 board with a i7-950 @ 4.0 Ghz is actually still a very capable setup.Quote

06-11-2013, 17:47:32

Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
Yeah it will work fine, this is just n000bs worrying about nothing tbh
Was I just called a n000b by Tiny Tom Logan? That would be awesome. If it wasn't directed at me, damn, guess I am going to have to try harder.

I wasn't aware they "coated" it. This is an interesting take on it. I like this board, a lot.

Time to buy and delid a Haswell...Quote

06-11-2013, 17:53:54

Looks great, I love the armor on it. Nice to see they're toning down the ROG stuff (as in less logos), never been a fan of it.Quote

06-11-2013, 17:58:16

Can't decide wether I love the stealthy look or I think it looks like a plastic piece of legos.

Seems like a nice performer though and... less overpriced than ROG boards used to be? Quote

07-11-2013, 08:42:21

Think this may be the first major "warning shot across the bow" of sound card manufacturers? The three bits (preview & review vids + article) got my attention. Another great job by TTL & OC3D!Quote

08-11-2013, 18:00:23

I would buy it but I would buy an after market NB water block. Call me a noob I honestly could not care less, when I am paying for something I want what I want, and since I work my arse off for my money, then yeah, I am going to GET what I want. Not aluminum with a "coating" and "faith" in ASUS...put too much "faith" in ASUS in the past, and it did sting.Quote

14-04-2014, 16:02:27

Hi guys + gals + Gov'

May i suggest a topic/focus area in the reviews on something that just hit a mate of mine really hard:

He got this mobo, + 2 Asus gtx780 Posidon's AND a ASUS RAIDR "SSD" PCIe card. Now, I'd say he has done his homework, but it turned out he missed one critical detail:

When installing two Nvidia GPU's, the last PCIe slot becomes useless. There are no more PCI lanes, as the two previous slots are using 8 each, and there is only 16 to begin with. There is nothing left, for the bottom slot. This is where the RAIDR card, his boot / OS drive, was supposed to go!

Now, this may be apperent to some of you - but unless you really educate yourself in the deepests details of PCI lanes, I have to say it's VERY easy to get this wrong.

It's "ROG" mobo - with 3 PCIe slots. It's SLI certified. What, exactly, is it - that should alert you yo the fact, that the 3 slot cannot be used if you run SLI?

It's not mentioned ANYWHERE and I do not think it's fair to say that it should be obvious to anyone.

It's not like a PSU and QUAD SLI where you can run out of power. The watt needed are clearly mentioned on cards, and the PSU's output is usually printed in big fat numbers.

Now, PCI lane count is just as important as power or physical room inside your case - but nowhere do you seem to get warned or (clearly) informed about this. It is a 'hidden' detail and with no physical manifestations.

In the review here, yes, it does get said that you will get x8, x4, x4 if using all slots. However, it does NOT say (in any clear way) that it means your 3rd physical PCIe slot is now useless if you use SLI.

With (hopefully) more SSD's taking the form of a PCIe card (and thus doing away with the stupidity of using a controller though out for mechanical/rotating discs to access NAND/flash based storage) information on this subject could be useful for many.

Or so I think :-)Quote

25-04-2014, 11:21:47

to me the sexiest part of this mobo is the lack of a ps2 port.Quote

25-04-2014, 11:26:08

Originally Posted by vajoiner View Post
to me the sexiest part of this mobo is the lack of a ps2 port.

vajoiner hahahahaaaaaaaaaa

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