ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Extreme and Extreme Assembly Review
Published: 5th February 2016 | Source: ASUS | Price: £325 & £475 |
Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly
The Extreme Assembly is roughly the same motherboard. However, whilst the regular Extreme is aimed more at the hardcore overclockers the Extreme Assembly - although still capable of enormous overclocking performance - is more in keeping with the gaming part of the ROG name, and also utilises the ASUS move towards using orange as their dominant colour. Obviously one member of the OC3D team is delighted with this development but even the rest of us are happy with the change. If it forces accessory manufacturers to stop producing things in the three primary colours we're all sick of then all the better.
Just like its Extreme brethren the Assembly has a full RGB logo if you want to tweak it to your satisfaction. With the orange being subtler than the red, and the silver a few shades lighter on the Assembly than the regular Extreme, it is both different and familiar at the same time.
So if the Assembly is similar to the Extreme what does it do differently? These two add-ons are enough that we think this is actually the one of the two to go for if you're a regular user who just demands excellence.
Firstly the 10G Express card is 10Gbit/s LAN. Let that sink in. 10 GIGABITs. Even the GigaLAN we're used to experiencing somehow seems sluggish, and if you use your LAN to pump data around your home network as well just receive your internet then the extra speed will be welcome. Good luck finding something that will saturate this much bandwidth.
Whilst onboard sound has improved beyond all recognition in recent iterations, there are still plenty of people who require even better audio and the Assembly has you covered in a way far beyond the mere call of duty. The USB DAC/Headphone AMP is stuffed with high-end hardware to ensure the best possible audio experience. At the heart is the ESS 9018K2M, ESS' top end 32-bit DAC. This is backed up by a pair of LM4562 Op amps, a TPA6120A2 Headphone amp, Cirrus Logic CS5261 and 5 RC4580 Op amps. With Signal Noise Ratio of -121.1dB you can be certain that no matter how demanding your requirements are the Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly has you covered.