It is only early this year that Gigabyte began producing a special gamer-oriented mainboard series under the G1-Killer brand and later, in spring, announced an overclocker-friendly product. You can learn about the capabilities of Gigabyte's special mainboards from our review Gigabyte G1.Sniper and GA-X58A-OC: LGA1366 Mainboards for Gamers and Enthusiasts. Recently we’ve covered the LGA1155 G1.Sniper 2 as well. Meanwhile, ASUSTeK has long been producing its Republic of Gamers series which includes products for both gamers and overclockers. ROG mainboards are not separated into two product lines for the two mentioned categories of users. Instead, they split up in two subseries depending on the CPU maker: Maximus for Intel CPUs and Crosshair for AMD CPUs. We reviewed one such mainboard (it was the ASUS Maximus III Formula) about two years ago, so it's time for us to check out what's new in the Republic of Gamers. We’ll do this by testing a Maximus IV Extreme mainboard which is based on the B3 revision of the Intel P67 Express chipset and supports newest LGA1155 processors. It stands out among ordinary products with a colossal number of various features, technologies and innovations. We've seen some of them in other mainboards from ASUS and other brands but we could never imagine that it is possible to implement all of them in a single product.
Packaging and Accessories
The box with ASUS Maximus IV Extreme is designed in the unmistakable Republic of Gamers style. The face panel can be flipped back, allowing you to take a look at the mainboard through a window. Descriptions of some of the product features can be found all over the box.
Besides the mainboard, the box contains a lot of accessories in its numerous compartments:
- Eight SATA cables with metal connector locks, half with L-shaped locks and another half with straight ones. Two pairs are specifically designed for SATA 6 Gbps devices (have white inserts on the connectors);
- “12-in-1 ROG Cable Label” a sheet with twelve paper tags that can be used to mark all SATA cables;
- Rear panel bracket with two USB 2.0 ports;
- A flexible bridge for two-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
- A hard bridge for 3-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
- “Asus Q-Connector” set including adapters for easy connection of the system case front panel buttons and indicators and a USB 2.0 port;
- ROG Connect Cable – a cable with two USBs to connect to other PCs;
- RC Bluetooth module;
- I/O Shield for the back panel;
- A couple of plastic ties for cable management;
- Probelt cable for convenient voltage measuring with a voltmeter;
- Three cables with additional thermal diodes;
- ROG Theme Label – a large sticker with a Republic of Gamers image like the one in the lower right corner of the mainboard package;
- “Powered by Republic of Gamers” sticker;
- User manual;
- DVD disk with software and drivers (including 3DMark Vantage Advanced Edition and a one-year Kaspersky license).
Although the accessories are exceptionally gorgeous, we don’t see a USB 3.0 module here that might be used to output USB 3.0 ports to the front panel of the system case. This is also the first mainboard we've ever seen to come with SATA cables that have only L-shaped connectors. Straight connectors can be handier in some situations, so there are usually two types of SATA cables included with other mainboards.