Today we’re facing the launch of a brand new architecture from Intel dubbed “Sandy Bridge”. If you haven’t seen the leaks around the net over the past few months, you haven’t been paying attention. Everyone is excited about the potential of this new architecture, and it’s no wonder. The rumors of nearly 5GHz with air cooling coupled with a healthy dose of architectural efficiency improvements will create a lot of happy enthusiasts. The manufacturers in this game have not been sitting idle either, with each one cleverly seeding tons of samples to add to the pre-launch hype.
My subject today is the new Asus Maximus IV Extreme, a Republic of Gamers (“ROG”) branded model which represents the top-end of the P67 offerings from Asus. As always, they’ve managed to pack an overwhelming number of technologies and features into this product and it’s my goal to give you honest feedback based on my experience.
The Maximus IV Extreme motherboard represents the top-end of the Asus lineup for the P67 launch. As such, it is a full-featured product, and unfortunately, does not conform to the standard ATX form factor as it is slightly wider at 10.6″ as opposed to the standard 9.6″ of the ATX specification. This is fairly common among top-range boards these days and is unlikely to be an issue with any large modern case.
The new socket, LGA1155, is the same size as the LGA1156 socket for the H55/H57/P55 platform, so all of your LGA1156 coolers should work fine for the new socket as well.
The board layout is fairly conventional, but the socket area is a little tight (more details on that in a bit).
The underside of the board reveals more about the quality design, with additional heat spreaders on the rear of the VRM section (with proper screws no less!).