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Asus Maximus Extreme - Asus Maximus Extreme

By Leo Waldock

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

For instance there's a flick switch next to the CMOS battery and front panel headers that enables and disables the Clear CMOS battery on the I/O panel. This is a fine idea as the Clear CMOS button is very easy to press in error when you're installing a digital audio or Firewire device.

If you hit problems with your PC, the Maximus range includes a handy gizmo called the LCD Poster. This is a small LCD display that connects to a header on the board with wires that feed out through the I/O panel so you can sit the Poster on your desk or on top of the PC. During POST it displays messages that show you how the process is going and if you hit problems you should be able to pinpoint where the fault lies within moments.

The other tweaks are cosmetic and add an illuminated Republic of Gamers logo to the Northbridge cooler as well as three sets of LEDS that announce to the world whether your CPU is running on Normal, High or Crazy settings. We'll come to that in a moment.

Taken together the various Extreme features are all very nice but the big question is whether you need three graphics slots on a gaming motherboard? For that matter do you even need two graphics slots? The obvious answer is that a single graphics card is perfectly adequate for most, provided you run a GeForce 8800 or Radeon HD 2900. However, if you've seen how Crysis performs on a single card, you might well feel the need to gang up two ATI cards in CrossFire. Triple graphics cards are a completely different matter as ATI Catalyst drivers don't support a third card, either for pure graphics or for physics, and we're not aware of any games that currently benefit from a third card.

Just to make sure we plugged in two HD 2900 XT cards in CrossFire and then added a Radeon X1950 GT to see what happened. The Catalyst Control Centre recognised the third card and showed a desktop that potentially spanned six screens (two monitors per graphics card) but 3DMark06 showed lower performance with three graphics cards than it did with two.

Let's assume that triple CrossFire will be added in the coming months in which case the graphics cards will take up most of the space that's available for expansion cards, giving you the choice of using the Asus audio riser card in the top-most PCIe x1 slot or you could use the single available PCI slot for an X-Fi. There's another option as you might want to use the third PCIe slot for a RAID 5 or RAID 6 controller card along with CrossFire graphics but that would be a very exotic choice.

Provided you use the supplied bracket that carries one Firewire and two USB ports then you'll find that the Maximus Extreme offers all of the ports and connectors that you'll need.

Netsurfer2

August 8, 2009, 2:06 pm

I have an Asus Maximus Extreme motherboard and have only two HP ATI FirePro V7750 Video cards with 1 gig of memory on each one. I recommend running an scsi 320 card on the other PCIE 2.0 slot.





My specs:


Asus Maximus Extreme Motherboard (1302 Bios)


Thermotake 1200watt power supply


Q9650 3.0Gig 45NM Quad Core processor


2x ATI FirePro V7750 video cards (crossfired)(For Rendering AutoCAD, 3D Studio MAX, Maya)


Corsair 2x 2gig (999,24) DDR3 RAM 1600mhz


Zalman Resonator 1 V2 Water Cooling


2x 500 gig ESATA Seagate Hard Drives (newly updated firmware)


Windows 7 64bit





My next purchase will be an Adaptec SCSI PCIE card with cheetah drives, which hopefully I will be able to max out the potential of this motherboard (smiles).





Wish me luck!!!

ken

October 25, 2009, 7:00 pm

good on ya mate

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