ASUS Maximus VI Formula Overview
As we take a first look at the Maximus VI Formula we can tell that it is an ASUS Republic of Gamers board by the color scheme of black and red. This not only looks great, but will also match ASUS’s own video cards. One thing that you will instantly notice that is different about this motherboard is that it has the Thermal Armor we normally see in ASUS’s TUF series installed. It is installed on both the front and back of the board. The top part is made of strong ABS and blocks graphics card heat from affecting components of the motherboard. The back is made of SECC steel and supports the motherboard and has thermal pads to draw heat away from crucial components.
Starting towards the top center of the board we have the LGA1150 socket, which of course supports Intel’s 4th generation Haswell processors. The Maximus VI Formula features an 8 + 2 all digital power phase design, that is 8 phases for the CPU and 2 for the memory. ASUS calls their power delivery system Extreme Engine DIGI+ III and it is made up of some pretty high quality components. First you have NexFET MOSFETs that have 90% greater efficiency under normal operation. There also also 60A BlackWing chokes that are an ROG exclusive and as the same suggests support up to 60A, have 3-5C lower temperatures and have a gold-treated coating for minimal-loss power delivery. The board also features 10K black metallic capacitors that offer a 20% greater low temperature endurance and 5X longer lifetime usage.
Covering the power delivery components is ASUS’s new CrossChill hybrid thermal design. It is made up of a finned heatsink base with a pin-fin water channel to increase cooling efficiency for passive and water cooling. Since this is a hybrid design there are G1/4 threaded fittings which are pretty much the standard when it comes to water cooling. If you do not choose to use the water cooling aspect of this cooler there are rubber covers for the fittings. At the far top of the board there is your typical 8pin power connection plus a 4pin as well. There is also a 4pin fan header and the connection for the mPCIe Combo II card.
Moving over to the other side of the board you have your DIMM slots. There are a total of four and they are color-coded for dual-channel operation. Along the edge of the board there is the USB 3.0 header, 24pin ATX power connection, 4pin fan connector, power and reset buttons and debug LED. At the top corner of the board you will also find voltage checkpoints if you happen to have a multimeter, and the MemOK! button. Also nestled between the DIMM slots and CPU socket are your CPU fan and CPU optional fan headers.
Moving down the board you have quite a lot of SATA connectors, 10 total and they all are SATA 6GB/s. The first six are controlled by the Z87 chipset while the last 4 are controlled by the ASMedia AMS1061 controller. RAID modes 0, 1, 5 and 10 are supported. There is a heatsink covering the PCH and it also has an ASUS logo on it.
Like most motherboards along the bottom of the board is where you will find all of the rest of your headers and connections. From right to left you have the DirectKey button, front panel headers, temperature probe header, 4 pin fan header, USB header, ROG EXT header, 4 pin fan header, Thunderbolt header, TPM header, molex power connection for the PCI-Express slots and HD audio header. We mentioned a temperature probe header, there are actually three on this board. I’m not sure if I agree at the placement of the molex connection on the bottom of the board either. If you have this system in a case your power supply could block this connection. Although, if you do happen to need to use this connection it is most likely that you are not using this motherboard in a case rather it is on a test or OC bench.
The SupremeFX audio components are covered by the ROG Armor, but these components feature premium ELNA audio capacitors, top quality WIMA film capacitors, class leading 120dB digital/analog converter and a Hi-Fi level 600ohm headphone amplifier. For reduced interference there is the SupremeFX shielding + EMI cover, red line shielding that physically separates the PCB into two parts, and PCB shielding.
As far as expansion slots go you have three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots and three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots. The Formula does have support for both NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX technology. The way the slots work is if you have a single card installed in the top slot it will operate at x16 speed. If you have two cards they will operate at x8 speed. And if you have three cards install they will operate at x8, x4, x4. Moving around to the rear I/O you have the BIOS flashback button, ROG connection button, 4 USB 2.0 ports, six USB 3.0 ports, optical audio, HDMI, DisplayPort, Gigabit ethernet, and audio connections.