ASUS ROG Maximus XII Apex Preview
Published: 20th May 2020 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Up Close continued
We know we mentioned them on the last page, but this image gives you a clearer indication on how the SATA ports are designed. Those of you with plentiful drives or lengthy cables might find routing a bit of a pain. We look forwards to testing how easily you can fit eight SATA cables in to this space.
Moving round the corner there is a USB 3.1 front panel connector surrounded by a collection of fan and pump headers, as well as flow monitoring points should you have a fully-fledged water cooling setup.
Starting from the USB 2.0 headers on the right, it's good to see a wide selection available. So many of our modern RGB-equipped components use the USB header to control them that many of us either have to carefully choose which lighting we want or buy an internal expander. Not so here. Next to that is the ASUS Node, and of course the all important SupremeFX audio. We're old enough that the fact onboard sound is so good it's put external soundcards out of business for all but the most dedicated audiophile is a constant joy.
The CPU socket is surrounded by black CAPs and deeply slashed heatsinks keeping the 16 stage power phase cool. It's surprising how much you can see through the gaps, which are used for RGB lighting on the left hand one, and 'simple' ventilation on the north-most one.
You can see at this board level shot how well the heatsink blends across whilst leaving plenty of room for air to flow, as well as the braced CPU power inputs via the ProCool II headers.
Lastly around the back we have, from top to bottom, BIOS control buttons, a pair of separate PS/2 ports - which have made a curious reappearance on a lot of Z490 motherboards, 5 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (four Type-A and one Type-C) alongside 5 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, the Intel 2.5G ethernet and WiFi 6 antenna, and the jacks for the S1220A audio.