OC Panel Kit

In keeping with the Extreme moniker of the board, ASUS bundled in the latest revision of their hand-held monitoring device with the Maximus VIII Extreme board – dubbed the OC Panel II. The OC Panel II device serves dual purposes – monitoring board voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds, as well as on-the-fly overclocking of board voltages and bus speeds.

The OC Panel II has two modes of operation – Normal mode and Extreme mode. In Normal mode, the panel lays flat in a 5.25" docking enclosure with the screen oriented perpendicular to its body so that is faces out in the dock. In Extreme mode, the panel can be used as a hand-held device or standing upright via its kick-stand. In this mode, the screen is parallel to the OC Panel II body.

The OC Panel device has a 2.6" LCM display with mode switch and CPU Level Up buttons to the left of the display, and system power and fan speed control buttons to the right of the display. On the body of the device are control buttons for interacting with the device menus and settings, as well as Clear and Reset buttons.

The kit includes a cable used to connect the OC Panel II device to the motherboard using the headers labeled ROG_EXT on the Maximus VIII Extreme. ASUS went the extra mile with the OC Panel cable by sleeving the cable wires with dense weave nylon-style sleeving. Note that using the OC Panel cable takes up one of the integrated USB 2.0 headers. The cable plugs directly into the bottom of the OC Panel III unit. The unite is powered via the SATA power port by connecting a SATA power connector from the PSU to this port device.

The OC Panel's 5.25" external enclosure is a single bay enclosure made of steel with a plastic face plate. The face plate is embossed with the ROG logo. Also included are 6 screws for mounting the OC Panel II into the enclosure and for mounting the enclosure in your case bay. Notice how the bottom of the enclosure has a cut-out section to compensate for the buttons on the device's body.

In Normal mode, the OC Panel device mounts to the included 5.25" drive enclosure with the display face flush with the enclosure front panel. The device mounts to the enclosure via screws through the top of the enclosure that interface with embedded threaded holes on the device's backside.

In Extreme mode, the lower front panel of the OC Panel II device can be removed to expose additional headers, measurement points, and direct solder points that can be used for control and informational purposes. The front panel slides down and lifts off the device as shown.

In the upper left corner of the device PCB are the VGA Hotwire headers (two 3-pin headers colored red and black), three 4-pin fan headers, two temperature sensor headers, and Probelt VGA voltage measurement points (labeled V1 / V2 / V3). The VGA Hotwire headers are used for connecting to wires coming from your system video cards to control on board settings and voltages. The Probelt voltage measurement points allow for direct system voltage measurement using a multi-meter.

In the upper right corner of the OC Panel II's PCB are a 4-pin fan header, a temperature sensor header, and the SlowMode and PauseMode switches. When enabled, the PauseMode forces the system to halt at its current state and illuminates an LED connected to the PauseMode header. The SlowMode switch functions the same as the SlowMode switch on the board, forcing an automate system slowdown, slowing the system boot process and CPU frequency, to help prevent system crashing at extreme cooling speeds.

On the upper left side of the device are the Subzero Sense ports. These ports are used to connect a K-type thermocouple probe to get temperature readouts for motherboard devices while using LN2 cooling. Temperature readings from the port are accurate to -193 degrees Celsius.

When the OC Panel II device is powered and connected to the Maximus VIII Extreme board via its connection cable, it provides CPU temperature, base clock speed, CPU fan header RPM speed, and CPU clock ratio by default on its display. Values are display regardless of the board's power state. The displayed values and device functionality can be customized using the control buttons to the right and left of the device's main display. In addition, the ROG logo embedded in the bottom panel glows red when the OC Panel II device is powered.

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