Overclocking and Conclusion
To give a feel for the overclocking performance potential of the Maximus VIII Impact motherboard, we attempted to push it to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. The board was able to hit a maximum base clock speed of 267MHz with a CPU speed of 4.5GHz, a matching 4.5GHz ring bus speed, and a 2840MHz memory speed. With the base clock rolled back to 167MHz, we were able to push the CPU to 4.67GHz with a 4.5GHz ring bus and 3340Mhz memory speeds. With the base clock rolled back to its stock 100Mhz speed, we pushed the CPU to 4.7GHz with a 4.5GHz ring bus and 3466MHz memory speeds. The memory has run faster in other boards, but wouldn't go much above 3340Mhz in this board. All overclocking sessions remained stable for over 4hrs. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark running at 1280×1024 resolution and 8x MSAA in stress test mode. Note that 8GB (2 x 4GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 memory modules were used for the overclocking tests.
267MHz Base Clock Stats with 2840MHz Memory
167MHz Base Clock Stats with 3340MHz Memory
100MHz Base Clock Stats with 3460MHz Memory
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 performance of the Maximus VIII impact motherboard is nothing short of astounding. It handled all the benchmark tests at stock speeds with ease and even managed to pull of a very impressive overclocking run as well.
As of December 31, the ASUS Maximus VIII Gene motherboard was available at Amazon.com for $239.99 with free shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for $238.61 and from B&H for $248.89.
ASUS did a stellar job in designing the Maximus VIII Impact board, a board that more than justifies its ROG namesake. While there are some tight areas on the board, the layout was designed as optimally as possible with ASUS using vertical space to making up for the lack of horizontal real estate. Like the other Z170 boards in the ROG line, the Maximus VIII Impact features the updated version of the ROG branding and color scheme, giving it an appealing gamer-friendly aesthetic. The board's performance was nothing short of astounding with no difference seen between it and its full sized siblings in both stock and overclocked speeds.
There were only a few exceptions with the board, but remain minor inconveniences in light of the board's otherwise stellar design and performance. The layout of the SATA ports in a vertical orientation can make for a challenging build if you choose to install memory or your video card prior to installing the drive cables. Further, the CPU power daughter board can get in the way of installing larger coolers, as seen earlier in this review with installing the Noctua NH-D15 cooler in its standard front to back orientation. However, the cooler did fit without issues installed in a side to side flow orientation. The only other oddity was the lack of an M.2 slot on the board, but this was most likely a decision made to save on space. However, they did integrate a PCIe x4 U.2 port in-lieu of the absent M.2 port.
- Stock performance
- Overclocking performance
- Board aesthetics, layout, and design
- Motherboard manual details and quality
- UEFI BIOS design and usability
- Intel GigE network controller performance
- Integrated sound subsystem quality
- Inclusion of PCIe x4 U.2 port in rear panel
- Front panel header extension cable
- Inclusion of Fan Extension card for addition fan and temperature sensor headers
- CMOS battery placement on side of USB 3.0 port block in rear panel
- Lack of M.2 port
- Space constraints for larger coolers with CPU power daughter board
- Placement of SATA slots can make for build challenges