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, 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.Quote

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 Quote

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.Quote

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?Quote

10-07-2008, 11:22:20

WC Annihilus
Edit: think I read that wrongQuote
Reply
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