ASUS ROG Z370 Maximus X Formula Review
Published: 3rd December 2017 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
As we said at the start of today's review, the Formula variant of the relevant ASUS model tends to be the one that sells the most just because it's priced at a level more people can afford than the Extreme/Apex etc model.
If you're the type of person who shops at this high midrange/low high end price point then you'll probably be used to doing the very thing that was the ethos behind our website. Namely buying something more affordable and then using overclocking to squeeze the performance of a more expensive model out of it. Buying a high end model and just running it in its vanilla form is somewhat missing the point. Why go for something that has high quality power components and then not stress them? Anyway, if you're the type of person who wants to purchase a product which could reward you for the time you spend overclocking it then boy have ASUS got the motherboard for you.
Part of the reason, okay a really large part, that we recommend you overclock the Formula is because the stock performance was pretty disappointing throughout all of our tests. We have to say we've no idea why. The memory results are fine and, as we've seen in our many Z370 reviews, the consistency of the Core i7 8700K cannot be denied. Now it's worth mentioning that it isn't miles behind the competition, but given how good both the ASUS Maximus X Hero and Maximus X Apex were in both setups it's hard not to come away from the Formula wondering what happened.
Stock performance might be disappointing but if you're willing to make the effort and go into the easy to use BIOS and push your 8th Generation Intel CPU a little beyond the recommended speeds then unquestionably the performance is good enough to justify the ROG branding on the box. In fact in a lot of our tests the Formula was to be found at the, ahem, apex of our graph. It was even ahead of some much pricier models. Clearly there is plenty of go underneath the hood, it's just that you need to go under the metaphorical hood to unleash the majority of it.
Beyond the performance the ROG Maximus X Formula is everything you would hope to find from a model with such an illustrious name. It has a huge selection of accessories and the PCB itself is stuffed to the gunwales with connectivity options from dedicated water pump headers with flow monitoring, through the ASUS AURA Sync RGB headers, to M.2 slots and a veritable cornucopia of USB 3.1 sockets. It's worth mentioning how fabulous this thing looks too. Every element is blended together in a system that ends up with the PCB looking like it has been hewn from a single piece of plastic. It lends an air of premium quality and looks the business when built into a system. Equally the lighting is excellent. It might not be as gaudy as some other Z370s on the market, but the colour reproduction is good and it works in conjunction with the display to bring a nice amount of customisation options. It can't be long until motherboards start coming with screens more akin to those on our phones, especially given the price of some premium motherboards these days.
So the ASUS Maximus X Formula. It's not as good as the Apex at stock, but if you're willing to spend the time extracting the maximum from your setup then it will still reward you in a manner befitting the Republic of Gamers brand, and thus it wins our OC3D Enthusiast Grade award.