ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Formula Review
Published: 19th October 2018 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
We know that you've probably read an awful lot of Z390 coverage today, and we appreciate your time. The nature of the beast is such that a lot of what we're about to say will be familiar, but it is only a reflection of the excellent consistency that the newest generation of Intel hardware obtains.
The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula looks a lot different to either the Hero or the Extreme, with the Armor lending a very attractive aesthetic to proceedings whilst also enabling the ASUS designers to go all out on utilising the AURA Sync lighting. We've been huge fans of the Armor looks ever since it first appeared and this latest iteration that combines smoothness with mirrored sections is especially attractive. With so many of us running RGB lighting, and the proliferation of lights on the Maximus XI Formula itself shine well off the reflective portions to give a glow to your system that only enhances the Armor aesthetic.
Performance wise the Formula puts up a very good showing. One thing that has become clear is that any of the Z390s have excellent stock performance, squeezing a lot from the Core i9-9900K. If you're determined to extract all the calculative capacity that the newest 9th Generation Intel CPU has to offer then the overclocking prowess of the Z390 is endlessly consistent. Understandably if you're looking to use more complicated cooling solutions than our AIO or push into the absolute overclocking limits then the extra headers and power phases of the motherboards higher in their respective ranges will provide you with more tools to flex your skills. The Maximus XI Formula might not quite have the leading edge stuff of the Extreme variant, but it's darn close and certainly in our graphs it clearly has plenty of performance for almost everyone.
On the feature side of things nobody could accuse the ASUS ROG range of being lacking in fancy features and it certainly doesn't. All the main ROG elements that you've come to know such as GameFirst and SonicRadar have been revised and updated. One area that has seen a significant increase in things to play with is the 5 Way Optimisation. Until now it's been great at ensuring your system has all the cooling it requires without running the fans at ear-splitting levels, but now it also comes with an AI Overclocking tool that lets you expand the performance of your new purchase automatically. If you are new to overclocking then it also will provide you with a great CPU specific baseline from which to launch your own overclocking efforts.
With a huge array of features, high bandwidth connectivity options, great performance and glorious looks the Maximus XI Formula is an awful lot of motherboard for an attractive price tag and thus wins our OC3D Enthusiast Award.