Preview: ASUS Maximus V Extreme
Category : Z77
Published by Marc Büchel on 28.06.12
The Maximus V Extreme, is ASUS' new flagship model regarding Intels latest Z77 chipset. In this preview we're going to show you how many and which new features ASUS has put into this product. What we can reveal by now: there is really a lot of new stuff.

The Maximus V Extreme is ASUS' high end overclocking motherboard regarding Intels latest Z77 chipset. Therefore we're really curious what they've come up with from the layout and design as well as feature perspective.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion

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Specs and Delivery

CPU Intel Socket 1155 3rd/2nd Generation Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron (22/32nm)
Chipset Intel Z77 Express
Memory Dual Channel
4 x DIMM, max. 32GB, DDR3 2800 (OC) / 2666 (OC) / 2600(OC) / 2400 (OC) / 2200 (OC) / 2133 (OC) / 2000 (OC) / 1866 (OC) / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz, non-ECC, un-buffered memory, XMP 1.3
AMD 4-Way CrossFireX
LucidLogix Virtu MVP Technology
Slots 5 x PCI-Express 3.0 x16
- Configuration:
- x16 (Z77)
- x8/x8 (Z77)
- x8/x8/x8 (PLX)
- x8/x8/x8/x8 (PLX)

1 x PCI-Express 2.0 x4
1 x mini-PCI Express 2.0 x1 (mPCI Combo)
Audio Realtek ALC898 7.1-Channel HD Audio Codec
Storage 2 x SATA 6.0 Gbps (Intel, red)
2 x SATA 3.0 Gbps (Intel, black)
2 x SATA 6.0 Gbps (ASMedia, red)
2 x SATA 6.0 Gbps (ASMedia, red)
Bluetooth Bluetooth v4.0
LAN 1 x Intel Gigabit LAN
I/O internal 2 x USB 3.0 connectors support additional 4 USB 3.0 ports (1x Z77 & 1x ASMedia)
2 x USB 2.0 connectors support additional 4 USB 2.0 ports (Z77)
6 x SATA 6 Gb/s connectors (red) (2x Z77 & 4x ASMedia)
2 x SATA 3 Gb/s connectors (black) (Z77)
1 x eSATA 3 gb/s
2 x Subzero Sense connectors
2 x VGA Hotwire header sets
1 x OC Key header
1 x ROG Connect switch header
8 x 4-pin Fan connectors: 2 x CPU, 3 x Chassis / 3 x Optional
15 x ProbeIt measurement points
7 x ProbeIt cable connectors
3 x Thermal sensor connectors
1 x 6-pin EZ Plug connector (blak) (for PCIe slots)
1 x 4-pin EZ Plug connector (white) (for back I/O and PCIe slots)
1 x LN2 Mode header
1 x Slow Mode switch
1 x START (Power-on) button
1 x Reset button
1 x Go button
1 x S/PDIF OUT header
1 x Front panel audio connector (AAFP)
1 x System panel connector
1 x mPCIe Combo header
1 x 24-pin EATX 12V power connector
1 x 8-pin EATX 12V power connector
1 x 4-pin EATX 12V power connector
I/O Back Panel 1 x Thunderbolt port
1 x Clear CMOS button
1 x ROG Connect On/Off button
4 x USB 2.0 (1 x ROG Connect)
1 x PS/2 Keyboard/mouse combo port
4 x USB 3.0 ports (blue) (2x Z77 & 2x ASMedia)
1 x Optical S/PDIF IN
1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT
1 x HDMI port
1 x DisplayPort
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
5 x Audio jacks
Forfactor Extended-ATX (30.5cm x 27.2cm)



Regarding the delivery one might find more than needed. For instance: you get a quad- and a tripl-SLI bridge which feature a PCB. Furthermore there is a flexible SLI-bridge as well as a flexible CrossFire-Bridge. One can also be very curious about the OC-Key which allows an overlay screen while you're benching your system. For this littel bugger we will write an independant article.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion

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Extreme Engine Digi+ II Since quite some time ASUS has been equipping its boards with digital power designs. Using the right software it is not only possible to adjust voltages while being in Windows on can now also control impedances. Furthermore this board features high quality 10K black metallic capacitor which guarantee a long lifespan.

Thunderbolt ASUS ships the Maximus V Extreme with native Thunderbolt support. Utilizing the x4 lanes of PCI Express together with the iGPU integrated DisplayPort output, the Maximus V Extreme is capable of delivering a simultaneous bi-directional throughput of 10 Gbps data via this Thunderbolt port. This port is also capable of displaying video content with up to 2560 x 1600 resolution. Fruthermore it is also possible to realize a triple display solution using only the iGPU.

3.3 Volt Power Generator Many VGA cards rely heavily on the delivery of +3.3V for its display PLL and VSynch functionalities. Furthermore the +3.3V rail also asks as a major source of pull-up for various parts of the GPU. ASUS has now made a dedicated PCI Express 3.3V Power Generator, which generates its own power to the +3.3V Aux used by VGA cards. This allows the VGA cards to consume +3.3V Aux power independent from what was made available through the +3.3V rail of their power supply. At the end of the day this feature allows better overclocking capabilities especiall for multi GPU setups.

VGA Power Control Extreme overclockers often look for ways to easily increase the voltages on their VGA cards. Using VGA Power Controller you get four sets of pin connections to the SMBus Clock and SMBus Data. Users will be able to make adjustments of the l2C Address, Over Current Protection, Load-Line, Manual Voltage Level and Switching Frequency to the power solution of up to four VGA cards at the same time.

Subzero Sense Subzero Sense integrates 2 x Type-K Probe digital Thermometers onboard. This enables extreme overclockers to be able to keep track of the critical temperature on the fly within the range between -200 to +200°C.

OC Key OC Key enables useres with the capability to conduct CPU-free, debug tool (OSD Poster), real-time monitor (OSD Monitor) and tweaking (OSD TweakIt) on the same screen used by the overclocking system.

VGA Hotwire The VGA Hotwire integrates a set of six variable resistors, each paired up with a dedicated voltage sensor, allowing extreme overclockers to be able to make direct detection, as well as modifications to the VGA cards without having to go through the trouble of skilling themselves to operate the external veriable resistors, in order to complete the mod.

mPCIe Combo expansion card The ROG mPCIe Combo expansion card enables users to expand the capability of the motherboard with either the mSATA or mPCIe devices. Furthermore there is the bundled BT3.0/4.0 with Dual Band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n card.

EPU If you activate the EPU this chip monitors all possible voltages and clock speeds and automatically sets them to guarantee an energy efficient operation of you system.
TPU As soon as one activates the TPU this chips monitors all possible voltages and clock speeds using the according software. The difference to the EPU is that TPU will provide as much performance as possible. Therefore it can increase clock speeds and voltages.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion

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At a first glance the ASUS Maximus V Extreme looks very good with its harmonic design. Once again the ROG-colors - red, black and white - suite nicely and together with the black PCB it becomes a beautiful product. The layout itself is well thought and there is for example plenty of space around the CPU socket to install even todays largest CPU coolers. The fact that there are SATA connector which have been angled by 90 degrees allow an easy installation of oversized graphics cards.

The ASUS Maximus V Extreme comes with a digital 8+4+2 phase power design. The CPU gets eight phases, the iGPU can rely on four phases and the memory gets a stable current supply from two individual pahses. Furthermore ASUS equips this board with their so called "Black Metallic Chokes". These can resist temperatures ranging from -70°C to +125°C. This makes the power desing even better for extreme overclocking where extremely low temperatures around the CPU socket can be reached.

Totally you'll find four DIMM-slots on the Maximus V Extreme. Officially supported are DDR3 2800 (OC), 2666 (OC), 2600(OC), 2400 (OC), 2200 (OC), 2133 (OC), 2000 (OC), 1866 (OC), 1600, 1333 and 1066 MHz. There is engough space between the DIMM-slots and the CPU socket which means that you wont encounter compatibility problems with big coolers even when you choose to install RAM with big heatspreaders. Also supported are Xtreme Memory Profiles (XMP) in version 1.3.

On the Maximus V Extreme the southbridge as well as the PLX chip, which can be found between CPU socket and the first PCI-Express x16 slot, are being cooled by passiv cooling blocks, which have been connected via a heatpipe. For the current converters we see a very similar picture. There are also two passive cooling elements connected via a heatpipe. In fact, the PLX chip is always an interesting feature. In this case ASUS chose to put a PLX PEX8747 PCI Express 3.0 bridge chip onto the board. This chip is able to multiply the 16 lanes, which come from the CPU, by two an therefore provied 32 lanes. As long as you don't use more than two graphics card 16 lanes are sufficient but once you run a setup with three or four graphics cards you will need at least 24 or 32 lanes.


Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion

Discuss this article in the forums


Connectors and I/O

Totally ASUS equipped the Maximus V Extreme with eight angled SATA ports. At the bottom edge of the board there is an additional straight SATA port. This should be enough for any office gaming system or overclocking setup. You'll also find practical onboard power- and reset-buttons in the top right corner of the board. There is also a debug display. Furthermore in this area of the board there are voltage read out point. Almost standard for the ROG Extreme motherboards meanwhile is the possiblity to disable the different PCI-Express x16 Slots one by one. Between power/reset button and the DIMM slots one can find the VGA Power Control as well as the VGA Hotwire headers to which you can connect the cables you soldered to a GPUs voltage regulation. You can even disable your GPUs over current protection, adjust load-line or switching frequency.


Totally you'll find eight fan header on the Maximus V Extreme which is more than enough, to provide a well equipped high-end or overclocking-system with fresh air. The fan headers are located around the CPU socket as spread over the motherboard


Looking at the external connectors directly at the back-panel ASUS equipped the Maximus V Extreme with one PS2 mouse/keyboard connector, four USB 3.0/2.0 ports, four USB 2.0/1.1 ports, an expansion slot for the mPCIe expanson card, which is included in delivery, one gigabit ethernet port, an HDMI and a DisplayPort connector as well as an optical out and an analogue audio panel. Furtheremore you'll also find a Thunderbolt connector, a clear CMOS button and a BIOS flashback button.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion

Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]


Allgemein   + -
The first impression the Maximus V Extreme from ASUS leaves makes us want more. Once again we like the ROG design, which meanwhile belongs to the evergreens in the industry. Furthermore there are four PCI Express 3.0 slots which makes this board future proof. In the introduction we were talking that with the motherboard ASUS claims that extreme is back and in this category then, we find for example the OC-key. This little device lets you monitor all the system readouts onscreen. What you're also going to find are connectors for professional temperature sensors, which allow accurate temperature monitoring. This is especially useful for extreme overclocking where you have tempeture which go all the way down to -196°C.   - Design
- 4 x PCI-Express 3.0 Slot
- OC-key
- Professional temperature sensors - VGA Hotwire
- VGA Power Control
Layout   + -

Basically the ASUS Maximus V Extreme's Layout has been very well thought. Once more practical are the angled SATA connectors as well as the power- and reset-buttons. There is also a debug display which is very useful in case you should have issues with a component in your system or the board itself. Even the placement of the PCI-Express x16 is very well chosen. There is a total of five of these slots, whereas red ones can access eight lanes each when there are graphics cards in every slot. We also liked the voltage readouts as well as the possibility that one can deactivate the different PCI-Express x16 expansion slots via dip switches. The Maximus V Extreme really seems to be a very complete overclocking motherboard.

  - Angled SATA connectors - Power/Reset-Button onboard
- Debug display
- Space around the CPU socket - Voltage readouts

Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion

Discuss this article in the forums