CPU Cooler Fit and Included Accessories
CPU Cooler Fit
To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D14 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction and two huge vertical cooling towers.
When running the unit blowing air towards the rear panel, there is more than enough room along the front and back sides to accommodate the cooler and any installed peripherals. There is even sufficient room for a card in the primary PCI-Express x1 slot without any space concerns. The SupremeFX Impact and Combo II add-on cards are small enough to not conflict with the cooler as well.
From the right side view, you can see that the cooler easily fits over the board's daughter card. The middle fan comes close to contacting the top of the daughter board, clearing it barely.
From the left side view, you can see that there are no space conflicts with the rear panel components nor with memory modules, which sit directly under the front cooling radiator.
The Noctua hold down mechanism illustrates how well ASUS designed the layout of the socket area to fit just about any cooler. The left mount easily sits above the chipset cooler. The right mount looks close to the daughter card, but has plenty of clearance.
With the Noctua X-style mounting bracket, there are not conflicts nor risk of damage to the underside components. However, if you used a mount that surrounding the CPU plate rather than sat on top of it, you could run the risk of crushing the componenets sitting in close proximity to the socket plate.
ASUS includes everything you need to get the board running, including quite a few add-ins that you expect to see with a ROG board.
As we've come to expect from ASUS, the Maximus VI Impact's manual is well-written and full of all the information you could want about the board and its features. The install DVD comes packed with ASUS goodness as well.
The rear panel shield is a flat black color with all port holes labeled in white lettering for easy identification.
ASUS packed in four 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the on board ports. The cables have integrated port locks and straight connectors.
For use with the on-board front panel headers, ASUS included a modified version of their Q-Connector header plug. You simply plug the front panel plugs into the Q-Connector and plug the Q-Connector into the appropriate board header. It makes installation the front panel plugs much easier, especially with the cable extensions integrated into the connector.
For attaching to wireless and Bluetooth-based networks, ASUS included their redesigned dual-plug antennae. The antennae can be used in a flat or upright orientation with its flat surface optimized for broadcast and reception of 802.11ac type signals.
The included mPCIe Combo II device plugs into the mPCIe slot adjacent to the rear panel, adding Intel-based 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities to the board. Additionally, the card supports use of an M.2 form factor SSD card plugged into the NGFF slot on the back of the card.
The included SupremeFX Impact audio add-in card plugs into the device socket in between the mPCIe slot and rear panel, adding a Realtek HD audio controller to the board. The card adds 3 analogue audio ports to the rear panel as well as an HD front panel audio header at the front of the card.
As an added bonus, ASUS includes SATA cable labels and ROG-branded swag in the form of a metallic case badge.