Overclocking and Conclusion
To give a feel for the Maximus VI Formula's overclocking performance capabilities, we attempted to push the board to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. I was able to get the board running stable for over 4hrs at a 4.67GHz CPU speed, a 1780MHz memory speed, and a 4.0GHz ring bus speed at a 167MHz base clock. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with FurMark running at 1280×1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode.
Note that this is is meant only as a quick preview of the board's performance potential. With more time to tweak the settings to a greater extent, pushing to a higher base clock and ring bus speed may have been achievable, in addition to an overnight stability run without issue.
The Maximus VI Formula is another well design board from ASUS, worthy of the ROG-branding that it so gloriously displays. The board performed on par or better than the other test systems at stock speeds, as well as easily meeting the expected overclocking thresholds.
As of February 25, the ASUS Maximum VI Formula 08 was available at Newegg.com for $309.79 with free shipping. The board was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $330.00 with Prime shipping and TigerDirect.com for $309.99.
Before continuing with our final thoughts on the Maximus VI Formula, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at ASUS a hearty “Thank You” for allowing us the opportunity and pleasure to review such a stellar example of motherboard engineering. With the Maximus VI Formula board, ASUS successfully melded elements from their ROG Maximus VI Extreme and TUF Sabertooth Z87 boards to form a synthesis greater than its parts. ASUS successfully paired the TUF-series Thermal Armor overlay (branded ROG Armor) and underlay with ROG-based SupremeFX sound, Extreme Engine Digi+ III power, and mPCIe Combo II card technologies to make an aesthetically pleasing and high performance product. The Maximus VI Formula is visually striking with its black and red coloration and engineered to match. While the board may not pack the 16+ power phases that other high-end solutions offer, its digital power circuitry is tough enough to handle anything you throw at it, proven with its stock and overclocking performance. Throw in the amount of features ASUS was able to integrate into this ATX-sized board without crowding in components, and you have a board made for enthusiasts and gamer alike. Throw in the CrossChill hybrid VRM cooling solution for the water cooling enthusiasts, and ASUS has a solution that covers the entire enthusiast community.
The only minor challenges with the board come from its ROG Armor overlay. The CMOS battery is hidden beneath the overlay with no access to it without removing the entire overlay. An access door would have been a nice to have, but may have affected the overlay's strength and durability. The only other challenge with the ROG Armor's design is the lack of air flow through the channel created between the board surface and the overlay. While the CrossChill hybrid VRM cooler is a very welcome addition to the board, it does not solve this issue.
- Stock performance
- Overclocking performance
- Board layout and design
- Accessible PCI-Express x1 slot with multiple PCI-Express x16 slots filled
- UEFI BIOS design and usability
- Motherboard manual information on base features
- Intel GigE NIC
- Quality of included power circuitry
- ROG Armor
- CrossChill hybrid VRM cooling solution
- mPCIe Combo II card with support for 802.11ac wireless and M.2 SATA device
- Lack of easy access to CMOS battery
- Lack of active cooling for channel created by Thermal Armor overlay
- Power components in close proximity to under-board socket plate