CPU Cooler Fit and Included Accessories

CPU Cooler Fit

To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D15 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction and two huge vertical cooling towers.

When oriented in its default configuration with air blown towards the rear panel of the case, the Noctua cooler fits into the CPU socket area of the Maximus VIII Formula without issues. Further, the spacing between the CPU socket area and the primary PCIe x16 slot are sufficient to seat a video card with the cooler mounted.

The closeup views of the cooler seating and mounting further display just how well the Noctua cooler fits to the board. Even though the socket area looks tight on all sides thanks to the board's armored surface, the cooler has more than enough room with no tight areas on any sides.

The Noctua hold down mechanism is large enough to quickly determine exactly how much space is available around the CPU socket. While the mount looks tight to the left side of the socket, the Noctua mounts fits the socket with no tight areas or contact points evident between it and the on board capacitors, chokes, or heat sinks.

The cooler's backplate rests on the socket backplate, minimizing the risk of direct board contact. Further, there is no circuitry in close promixity to the socket to pose risks.

Included Accessories

The Maximus VIII Formula motherboard comes with all the necessary components to get the board up and running, as well as some nice to haves to further justify the board's price point.

The manual included with the Maximus VIII Formula is as full features as we've come to expect from ASUS, written in a clear and detailed language. Also included is a driver DVD with all necessary hardware drivers and Window's utilities, ROG case badges, and ROG case labels. The case labels can be used to label SATA cables, hard drives and SSDs, as well as Keybot-related function keys.

The board's rear panel shield is an aluminum plate with the port identifying text and icons printed in tan text on its surface. Under good lighting, the text and icons are easy to read, but would be challenging to see under poor lighting conditions.

ASUS bundled in eight black and white 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated port. The cables have integrated port locks and a mix of straight and 90 degree connectors.

For multi-GPU use, ASUS includes a two-way NVIDIA SLI cable.

For use with the on-board front panel header, ASUS included one of their Q-Connector header plugs. You simply plug the front panel case leads into the Q-Connector, then plug the Q-Connector into the appropriate board header. It makes the installation of the front panel plugs much easier.

For use with the integrated WIFI adapter, ASUS includes a dual-plug antennae with gold-plated screw-in connectors. 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.

For use with an external RBG LED strip, ASUS included an extension cable that plugs into the board's RBG LED header for powering and syncing the external strip with the board's illumination settings.

ASUS included a CPU installation tool with the motherboard to ensure easy and proper CPU installation into the board's socket. You simply snap the plastic guide over top of the CPU and place the CPU in the socket with the "This Side Up" arrow placed near the socket hinge. The plastic guide remains in place when you lock the CPU into the socket.

ASUS also included a ROG-branded door hanger.

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