ASUS ROG Z270 Maximus IX Code and Formula Review & Comparison
Published: 3rd January 2017 | Source: ASUS | Price: £229 & £349 |
If you've come here from our review of the Strix, then you'll know that we're not going to make a habit of putting a couple of products together in the one review. And if you've skipped straight here to see what the latest ROG motherboards have to offer, then hello, but make sure you read all of our other Z270 reviews too. We didn't miss out on the whole of the festive season so we could bring you all this content for nothing.
Like the Z270E and Z270F Strix motherboards the Code and the Formula are so extremely close in features and performance that the minor differences aren't enough to make them worthy of separate reviews. We know your time is valuable so making you read the same thing twice is something you wont appreciate. The big change between the two is that the Formula has a EK waterblock built into it. Given the rise in popularity of watercooling as it quickly moved from something requiring a degree and lots of towels to partake in to something that even the scared neophyte can achieve it is nice to have a motherboard which utilises this without forcing you to buy a separate waterblock and disassemble your prize purchase. Now the Maximus IX isn't the first motherboard to include watercooling as an option, but it's the first to do so in a manner that doesn't compromise the air cooling capabilities of the product, and the Maximus IX, in both Code and Formula trim, are the coolest of the Z270s we tested. The benefits of a good cooling solution paired to a motherboard which runs quickly but at low voltages.
Speaking of running quickly, wow these things are absolute monsters. We know that the 14nm Finfet process of the latest 7th Generation Intel CPUs lets them easily hit 5GHz but the Maximus IX crushed it, hitting 5.1 GHz easily and even making 5.2 GHz, albeit not completely stable enough to run our full suite of tests. In addition to the high CPU overclocking the Maximus IX also managed to run with 4000 MHz memory at the same time, something which pretty much puts them in a class of their own. If you're in the market to bust some overclocking records with the latest i7-7700K then the ASUS ROG offerings are a real good place to start. The quality of the BIOS aids this too. The ASUS ROG team who work on their BIOS have had plenty of experience and it shows, with both the Code and the Formula working perfectly straight out the box.
Obviously with any premium product there is a price to pay, and as we've seen from the Z270 tests there isn't masses to choose between the various motherboards available, but if you absolutely demand the best then the Maximus IX continues the historical greatness of this particular brand.