ASUS Z270 Maximus IX Extreme Preview
Published: 24th March 2017 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
When we first looked at the middle options in the Maximus IX range we must confess that we had quite a few conversations over a pint about what exactly ASUS could do with the Extreme. Both the Maximus IX Code and the Maximus IX Formula came equipped with the ASUS Armor which we first saw back in the P67 days and has been refined ever since. Both had plenty of SATA slots, AURA lighting, M.2 support, blazing DDR4 speeds, front panel USB 3.1 and all the rest. In fact we struggled to work out what was missing from the Code and Formula, let alone how ASUS could justify calling the next model the Extreme, especially given how fast we could overclock the other Maximus IX models.
Today we get our answer, and it is, as answers so often are, desperately simple when you boil it down.
So what did ASUS do to justify this model being the Maximus IX Extreme, and perhaps that lofty price tag? In short, they threw everything they had at it, and quite a few things we didn't realise they had. It is, to borrow a phrase from Nigel Tufnel, a motherboard that goes up to eleven.
If you're here then you already know the plentiful features available from the Z270 chipset, so let's only focus on what is - to our knowledge at least - either unique to the Maximus IX Extreme or extremely rare to find elsewhere. Firstly we have support for the forthcoming Intel Optane technology. This promises to deliver the holy grail combination of blazing fast access times whilst not requiring you to give up your first born and an internal organ to achieve those access speeds on large storage mediums. Now this isn't the first time we've heard claims about a technology which unifies the processor, chipset and storage devices to give the best of both speed and capacity worlds, but with Intel behind it there is a serious chance it might be the first to do so successfully.
Next up you'll notice that the WiFi supports MU-MIMO. "So what?", we hear you say, "our AC WiFi is plenty fast enough". So it might be, but it is a single pipe delivering data across the myriad of wireless devices that we have in our homes. Sure the gap between each packet being sent is so small you'll struggle to notice, but it is only serving a single packet of data to a single device at a time. The MU-MIMO (Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology serves packets of data to all your devices continuously. So as our bandwidth becomes ever more saturated with 4K Netflix streaming whilst downloading a Sky boxset, checking Twitter and pwning n00bs in Overwatch, so eventually you're left waiting around. Not with MU-MIMO. It will be as revolutionary as Fibre internet.
The next element to be worthy of mention requires pictorial accompaniment, so click on to the next page.