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ASUS launches ROG Maximus VIII Impact mini-ITX motherboard

by Mark Tyson on 12 October 2015, 12:01

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacvdq

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ASUS has announced the ROG Maximus VIII Impact gaming motherboard. This Intel Z170 Express chipset mini-ITX motherboard is designed to facilitate the best compatibility with compact chassis designs and components whilst providing "ATX-grade gaming power, audio, networking and connectivity," plus game boosting features like overclocking.

A mini-ITX motherboard is certainly quite small at 17 x 17cm square but ASUS asserts that the ROG Maximus VIII Impact motherboard is not "a cut-down version of a full-size motherboard". Rather than a simple chop job we are told that, to bring the same level of performance to a smaller package, ASUS engineers must make use of superior premium components and use tech and imagination to solve miniaturisation problems. For example this motherboard features a full-sized Impact Power III VRM that is vertically mounted. But of course it doesn't have that much capacity for add in boards or components; there are just 2x DIMM slots and 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, for example.

With less room for air circulation cooling is said to be critical. Again this requires high-end components with greater latitude for heat variation. Overclocking is still a big feature of this tiny board with ASUS 5-Way Optimization auto-tuning and Pro Clock technology designed to help you get the most from your Skylake processor / DDR4 memory component combo.

ASUS trumpets audio, networking and connectivity performance of the ROG Maximus VIII Impact motherboard as being the best available in a mini-ITX solution. Audio is handled by the ROG SupremeFX Impact III which uses an ESS ES9023P digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) with Hyperstream technology, ultra-low-jitter clock, Nichicon capacitors, 2VRMS headphone amp, and Sonic SenseAmp. Audio effects are provided by ASUS's Sonic Studio II.

Internal storage is connected via one of 4x SATA 6Gbit/s connectors or the U.2 connector which utilises NVM Express (NVMe) technology to provide data speeds of up to 32Gbit/s. For connecting external stornage and devices the motherboard is equipped with both USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and reversible Type-C connectors for data-transfer speeds of up to 10Gbit/s.

Intel Gigabit Ethernet is installed with ASUS LANGuard and GameFirst technology to optimise gaming network traffic. For wireless networking ASUS has equipped 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2×2 dual-band 2.4/5GHz antennas for up 867Mbit/s transfer speeds plus Multi-User MIMO tech.

Pricing and availability are yet to be announced. Full specs are listed below.

Processor/CPU socket

LGA1151 socket for 6th-generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron processors

Chipset

Intel Z170 Express

Memory

2 x DIMMs, up to a maximum of 32GB, DDR4 4133 (OC)

Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) supported

Expansion slots

1 x PCIe 3.0 x16

Graphics (VGA)

Integrated Intel HD Graphics processor

HDMI with maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 at 24Hz

Intel InTru 3D / Quick Sync Video / Clear Video HD Technology / Insider

Storage

4 x SATA 6Gbit/s

1 x U.2

Networking/LAN

Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN with ASUS LANGuard and GameFirst technologies

Wireless

Dual-band 2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support

Bluetooth V4.1, 4.0LE, 3.0+HS

USB

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A (on back panel)

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (on back panel)

6 x USB 3.0 ports (4 on back panel, 2 mid-board)

Audio

ROG SupremeFX Impact III

- SupremeFX shielding technology

- ES9023P high-definition codec

- Sonic SenseAmp

- 2VRMS headphone amp (32-600 ohms)

- Jack-detection, multi-streaming, front-panel mic jack-retasking

- Optical S/PDIF-out port on back panel

- Front-panel audio connector

Dimensions / form factor

Mini-ITX, 6.7 x 6.7in (17 x 17cm)



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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always like these motherboard form Asus, but surprised they left out the M.2 and USB 2 headers… disappointed but relieved as I want those features so won't be getting this one this time :)
eyezpy
always like these motherboard form Asus, but surprised they left out the M.2 and USB 2 headers… disappointed but relieved as I want those features so won't be getting this one this time :)
no m2 but they do support the next gen ‘ssd’ socket (u.2) so you can get something like the intel 750 in 2.5" instead…. I'm sure others will support it sooner than later too as it's already in enterprise use.
eyezpy
always like these motherboard form Asus, but surprised they left out the M.2 and USB 2 headers… disappointed but relieved as I want those features so won't be getting this one this time :)

While you're right about the lack of M.2, there is a USB2 header on the board, it's just below the ATX Power header on the right hand side.
No M.2 slot? :(
This is almost the most perfect one considering its size and what it offers as a mini-ITX board. Few limitations can fixed with easy work around and alternatives.