The current guest of the laboratory, having reached the stores, turned out to be the most expensive ASUS product from the latest series on the Ukrainian market. For Kaby Lake-S processors, the manufacturer has announced a lot of motherboards, some of them are completely new. This model, as before, occupies the top lines in the family based on the latest chipsets. The main features are: a special power supply radiator with a built-in water block, a ROG Armor protective panel, a pre-installed wireless network adapter.
The model of the previous generation looked like this, having won our sympathy then. This time, the engineers paid more attention to setting up and monitoring the LSS, however, the same steps have already been seen on the more modest ROG Maximus IX Hero. The general set of characteristics is in the table.
|Model||ASUS ROG Maximus 9 Formula|
|Official product page on the Web||asus.com|
|Processor socket||Socket 1151|
|Processors||Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron (Skylake-S, Kaby Lake-S)|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2666*/2800*/3000*/3200*/3300*/3333*/3400*/3466*/3600*/3733*/3866*/4000*/4133*(OC), maximum 64 GB|
|PCI slots||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16+x0, x8+x8)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)
3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel HD 510/530/610/630|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4b|
|Number of connected fans||8x 4pin, 1x 5pin (Extension Fan connector)|
|The port is USB||4 x 3.1 Gen2 (2x rear panel connectors (A and C), 2x ASM2142)
6 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel, Z270)
6 x 2.0 (4 connectors on the rear panel, Z270)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z270)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z270)|
|Built-in sound||SupremeFX (7.1, HDA):
Codec — S1220 (Realtek ALC1220)
DAC — ESS Sabre ES9023P
Op Amp — Texas Instruments RC4580
|Networking||Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)
Qualcomm Atheros QCNFA364A (Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 (Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1))
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||Water block CrossChill II from EK, ROG Armor (including the rear panel is protected), ROG Water Cooling Zone (support for a flow sensor and a pair of temperature sensors), 3D Print ready (presence of holes for attaching products from 3D printers), case sockets USB 3.1 provided with 15 W power and a symmetrical socket on the board, support for AMD 3-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI, Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED), POST indicator, buttons: Start, Reset , MemOK!, ClrCMOS and others; technologies: Keybot II, Lighting Control Center (ROG Aura lighting system, including a pair of Aura RGB Strip Header), USB BIOS Flashback and others|
|Retail price, $||426|
Packaging and equipment
Everything is in a huge box, in the design they used a black and red range of shades.
There is no handle, it would not interfere here. The top cover intricately goes to the side, behind it you can immediately see the board laid on its own pallet. They did not come up with any folding false linings.
Details about the product are placed exclusively on the back of the box. The main part is occupied by a photo of the product and its characteristics. This time they kept silent about software support.
The set is noticeably more interesting than usual. There is:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- separate sticker with the ROG logo;
- a set of stickers with various images of the ROG series;
- another set of ROG stickers for cables;
- cup holder also with ROG logo;
- coupon with a discount for the procedure of braiding wires (rounding);
- an adapter for convenient connection of ASUS Q-Connector case connectors;
- branded plastic retainer for the processor;
- mounting screw and stand for M.2 devices;
- bracket-rack, a pair of screws and a plastic retainer for M.2 format devices;
- double hard bridge for organizing SLI;
- extension cord for connecting LED strip;
- six SATA 6Gb / s cables, three of which have an L-shaped connector at one end;
- remote Wi-Fi antenna with the possibility of fixing two positions, equipped with a stand with a built-in magnet.
Updating the number by one had almost no effect on the appearance of the board, strict dark motifs were used. Its dimensions correspond to the ATX format, there are nine points for mounting in the case.
One to one, the design was repeated for the reinforcing plate, only now it will not participate in the cooling of anything.
The general idea of the layout of elements on the PCB has been preserved, for the most part the new sockets are noticeable at the bottom edge.
The upper part of the «shield» is made of plastic, and the lower base is metal.
There are two areas with RGB backlight, the third node is located near the chipset, a light-scattering filter has been prepared for it, which helps to design the logo illumination.
Due to the reduced air circulation under the casing, the developers have provided a massive cooler for the needs of the Intel Z270 chip.
SATA sockets are made longitudinally and there are six pieces.
A pair of M.2 sockets for drives has also been prepared: one is hidden behind a cover plate, and for the second there is a stand-bracket in the kit.
There is a pair of third-generation USB pads for body cables and one for the second revision.
For the fresh version, one of the options turned out to be a modern symmetrical type, while the second port of the usual, classic style. The ATX power socket has notches, through which the light from the four Q-LED diagnostic LEDs will pass.
A little higher there are buttons to start and restart the system. The indicator of POST codes (red glow) can also be useful.
A little less attention is paid to three more useful units, however, in the open stand mode, there should be no problems with access to them.
Racks are highlighted with white plastic, which are of particular interest to the owners of the LSS.
Two gray reinforced slots will be able to work with sixteen PCI-E lines from the CPU, the rest will interact with the hub.
In addition to the fresh ALC1220 codec, the sound processing circuit includes a DAC with a separate oscillator and an op-amp. There is a shielding gap, although this time it is rather formal.
The hybrid cooling system will not cause trouble when installing cooling systems, its height is small.
The only difference in the organization of the power stabilizer circuit from the ROG Maximus IX Hero is a greater distance from the top edge of the board. The PWM controller model is ASP1400BT. He is assisted by six drivers who are nearby. Each works with a pair of Texas Instruments CSD87350Q5D chokes and power assemblies. Four channels are allocated for CPU voltage stabilization, two more for GPU. That is, there is a doubling of the components in each.
Radiators are securely fixed with screws. The role of a heat-conducting substance is everywhere performed by a wide thermal pad.
The updated version of the EK CrossChill II cooler offers reduced flow resistance thanks to a new approach resulting in an increased number of fins while reducing the cross section of each.
There are more varieties of I / O ports on the rear panel due to the pre-installed wireless network controller. The rest of the kit is exactly the same as the younger Hero model. For a modern PC, it looks suitable. Of course, it is impossible not to notice the already mounted protective panel. It remains in its place even after the dismantling of ROG Armor.