ASUS MAXIMUS VII FORMULA/WATCH DOGS: expensive and cool

ASUS MAXIMUS VII FORMULA/WATCH DOGS: expensive and cool

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    Top products from Republic of Gamers series can hardly be called a balanced solution. Want to know why every owner of a board firmly convinced I made the right choice? Welcome to the world without compromise.

    Introduction

    The recipe of such board is simple: take a group of experienced engineers and instruct them to design something for that in any circumstances and under no circumstances should be ashamed.

    To do this, however, have to provide them with the best components, provide unlimited access to the designers and say goodbye to the idea that the result of the work will have a mouth-watering price.

    Motherboard ASUS Maximus VII Formula

    We are certain it is not know whether ASUS guided by such considerations, but we firmly believe that Maximus VII Formula interested in the vast majority of our readers. If not as a candidate for the base system, then at least as a visual aid on how to do the right motherboard.

    Specifications of Motherboard ASUS Maximus VII Formula

    ASUS Maximus VII Formula
    Processor Processors Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron by LGA1150 (fourth, updated fourth and fifth generation microarchitecture Core).
    Chipset Intel Z97 Express.
    Memory Subsystem 4 x DIMM DDR3 (ECC and non-ECC) unbuffered memory up to 32 GB;
    dual-channel mode;
    support for DDR3 3300 (OC) / 3200 (OC) / 3100 (OC) / 3000 (OC) / 2933 (OC) / 2800 (OC) / 2666 (OC) / 2600 (OC) / 2500 (OC) / 2400 (OC ) / 2200 (OC) / 2133 (OC) / 2000 (OC) / 1866 (OC) / 1800 (OC) / 1600/1333 MHz;
    support XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) 1.3 / 1.2.
    Graphical interface The integrated graphics core processor allows you to use HDMI (1.4a) and DisplayPort.Supports resolutions up to 4K inclusive.
    Audio ROG SupremeFX Formula 2014: Realtec ALC1150;
    Cirrus Logic® CS4398 DAC: 120 dB SNR, -107 dB THD + N;
    support 192 kHz / 24-bit audio output;
    operational amplifier LM4562;
    ELNA capacitors and WIMA;
    supports the definition of the type of device, multithreaded playback, front audio panel connectors reassignment.
    Network
    interface
    Network controller Gigabit LAN (Intel I218V, 10/100/1000 Mbps);
    Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, 2,4 and 5 Ghz (mPCIe Combo III);
    Bluetooth 4.0.
    Connectors for expansion boards 1x PCI Express x16, mode x16 / x8, Gen 3;
    1x PCI Express x16, operation x8, Gen 3;
    1x PCI Express x16, operation x4, Gen 2;
    3x PCI Express x1, Gen 2;
    1 x mini-PCI Express, operation x1, Gen 2, the board mPCIe Combo III.
    Scalability of the video subsystem AMD 3-Way CrossFireX;
    NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI.
    Interfaces drives Chipset Intel Z97 Express: 4 x SATA 3, the capacity of up to 6 Gbit / s;
    1 x SATAe, capacity of up to 10 Gbit / s (or 2 x SATA 3);
    1 x M.2, capacity of up to 10 Gbit / s (PCIe) or up to 6 Gbit / s (SATA), size till 2260, the board mPCIe Combo III.Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug.Controller ASMedia ASM106SE: 1 x SATAe, bandwidth up to 10 Gbit / s (or 2 x SATA 3).
    Controller ASMedia ASM1061: 2 x SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6 Gbit / s.
    USB interface Chipset Intel Z97 Express:
    6 x USB 3.0 (4 on the back panel, 2 ports are connected to the appropriate connector on the system board);
    6 x USB 2.0 (2 on the back panel, 4 ports are connected to the appropriate connector on the system board: USB and ROG EXT).
    Controller ASMedia ASM1042: 2 x USB 3.0 (on the back).
    Internal connectors and buttons on the system board 1 x plug USB 3.0 (2 ports);
    1 x plug USB 2.0 (2 ports);
    1 x plug ROG Extension / USB 2.0;
    6 x SATA 3;
    2 x SATAe;
    1 x plug TPM;
    1 x plug TB header;
    1 x audio connector on the front panel;
    1 x plug buttons / LED housing;
    2 x 4-pin connector for the CPU fan;
    6 x 4-pin connectors for the system fan;
    1 x 24-pin ATX-connector;
    1 x 4-pin ATX 12V;
    1 x 8-pin ATX 12V;
    1 x button START;
    1 x Reset button 1 x button MemOK !;
    1 x button SOUNDSTAGE;
    1 x button KEYBOT;
    1 x connector for an external temperature sensor.
    Connectors and buttons on the back panel 1 x PS / 2 port (combined);
    2 x Port USB 2.0;
    6 x Port USB 3.0;
    1 x Port HDMI;
    1 x Port DisplayPort;
    1 x RJ-45 port;
    6 x 3,5 mm audio jack;
    1 x Optical SPDIF-out interface;
    1 x Button BIOS ROG Connect;
    1 x Button BIOS Flashback / Clear CMOS.
    Chip
    I / O-controller
    Nuvoton NCT6791D
    BIOS 1 x 64 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with graphical user interface
    Proprietary features and technologies AI Suite 3;
    Ai Charger;
    USB Charger +;
    USB 3.0 Boost;
    Disk Unlocker;
    ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3;
    ASUS EZ Flash 2;
    ASUS USB BIOS Flashback;
    Push Notice;
    ASUS Q-Shield;
    ASUS Q-Code;
    ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED);
    ASUS Q-Slot;
    ASUS Q-DIMM;
    ASUS Q-Connector;
    ASUS ROG Connect;
    CrossChill Copper;
    ROG Armor;
    ROG SupremeFX Formula 2014;
    ASUS CPR (CPU Parameter Recall).
    Operating System Microsoft Windows 8.1 / 8/7 / Vista
    Form factor, dimensions (mm) ATX, 305×244
    Price $ 312 (Buy from Amazon)

    Package contents

    Come to us motherboard – not quite an ordinary product, so she packed accordingly. If it were not for the numerous markers of supported technologies and discreet inscription motherboard next to the board, you would think that hiding inside trading version of the video game Watch Dogs.

    This illusion dissipates as soon as you turn the box or open it like a book: here is not to know the style and brand colors Republic of Gamers becomes impossible, and it’s not a huge logo at the top of the box. To create the right impression about the product works all – the selection of images, captions, fonts.

    As befits a product in this price category, Maximus VII Formula is presented to the user in person rather than in the form of pictures.

    From trouble when transporting it protects not only the clear plastic shield, but also tailored exactly to the standards of the cardboard frame black.

    Package packaged similarly, except that the viewing window for it is not provided. All accessories neatly into cells, so a more careful consideration resort to proven ways – expand all over several blocks.

    Manual, DVD-ROM with drivers and utilities, as well as a set of marking (for some reason only six) drives and sticker meet us at each board series ROG. A sign on the door handle with the request “Do Not Disturb” is also probably familiar to our readers, as well as pads Q-Connector, improving understanding of case and motherboard.

    But additional wireless module and interesting antenna across not so often. Moreover, complete with this high-tech card is an activation code for the full version at least a high-tech game Watch Dogs! Representatives of the gaming community to accurately assess.

    So you do not have the impression that we can only extol products ASUS, brought a spoonful of tar – supplied again put the thermocouple. Is such a deficient product?

    ASUS Maximus VII Formula is (currently) top of the line Republic of Gamers on chipset Intel Z97 Express, that makes her look the part. First of all, pay attention to the plastic cover, which reminds us of Cards series The Ultimate Force and Thermal Armor.

    The difference is that here it is not positioned as a solution, which improves heat dissipation or wood dust. Besides the obvious way of fixing the reinforcement plate on the back side of the board, “armor” is, rather, part of the image, the method not only provide a model of competing products, but also to isolate in their own group.

    If we do willpower and to distance himself from a marketing and design of plastic, we have a representative ROG: matte black coating PCB, black and red colors for the slots, connectors and buttons. Radiator CPU power, like most of the fees, hidden from the eyes.

    Free space on the PCB looked through only around the CPU socket, but we can check it out only when a peek under the “shell”.

    Looking from the rear supports the hypothesis about the role of the plastic casing to fix the huge backplate own board. Strictly speaking, this is not an assumption at all, and gently slip the brain the memory of ASUS SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK I.

    Stamping around the CPU socket, apparently, is also not devoid of meaning – they are in contact with the components of the VRM, removing them from the excess heat. As in the best cases, there is a rather large hole designed for trouble-free installation of the reinforcement plate of the CPU cooler. And of course, it would be impossible to provide this metal plate without logo Republic of Gamers.

    Without going too far, razukomplektuem fee. Despite the fact that in this place the article ASUS Maximus VII Formula will be without their knightly armor, in the course of the text will meet “suited up” pictures. In those cases when you need to look at naked PCB, ROG Armor will disappear from the image.

    The plastic “shell” no particular interest: protects against jumped off a screwdriver fixes backplate, making cost a little more brutal – more of it is required. In the center you can see a window with the logo applied on the film series. Similar solution met us at Maximus VII Gene: add here the darkness, and a few LEDs to understand what is at stake.

    Reinforcement plate for us is much more interesting. Firstly, it is made of two layers of high quality (SECC) steel, which is especially evident in areas of the decorative “notches”. As a result, a molded metal millimeter counteracts forces which could be attached to the PCB.

    Secondly, some of the elements VRM, located on the back of the socket part, through thermal plate gives warmth. Finally, despite the absence of any legs, cost is extremely convenient to use as an open test bench, and move from place to place.

    Putting aside the security features in the side and see how the board itself began to look. Let’s start with the fact that now seems obvious – the radiator power subsystem processor is not as simple as it seemed at first glance.

    The combined solution, called CrossChill Copper, can be used both independently and in the loop water cooling system. All that is required for integration into the NWO – Screw suitable fittings (¼ to ½ inch) with a half-inch base.

    Needless to say that the quality of the heatsink in this case significantly improve? If you do not yet have decided to include in the circuit board, two rubber plugs will save the interior of the radiator from dust. Heat sink is not so steep, but, thanks to aggressive propylene element does not look odd.

    I can not lose sight of the path of the free PCB, separating the audio part. On this board, her way with a jeweler’s precision routed to avoid sources of interference, which is why it gets pretty intricate look. Become visible metal EMI protection of the main audio codec and unusual red capacitors. The rest of the board reiterates its slightly less advanced relative to the series.

    The back side is not anything really new adds, is that because of the contrast of the mounting holes “armor” are beginning to look more formidable. Besides the trained eye will notice that the massive radiator VRM simply fasten screws, that is not using reinforcement plates – their role has assumed the main backplate. In addition, between the first pair of PCIe x16 slots noticeable chip brand name ROG.

    The traditional four-slot 240-pin DDR3-memory pairs are painted in red and black, which makes it possible to properly install memory modules for dual-channel operation without reading the instructions.

    The board supports up to 32 GB unbuffered non-ECC memory with frequencies up to 3300 MHz inclusive (marked OC). Unilateral latch Q-Dimm modules are fixed only on the top side, allowing you to set the bar even with one hand.

    To the right of the memory slots were LED POST-code Q-code, and press the RESET button and START. Last part-time is an indicator of power, and quite bright. Q-code while the system displays a number corresponding to the current mode Sound Stage. On the opposite side found a button MemOK! It overlaps a bit plastic casing, but the usability is not affected.

    Area for measuring ProbeIt held exactly on the edge of the board between the above points. The size and relative position of contacts will not allow the use of standard clips without fear cause a short circuit. It is interesting that some of the markings is hiding under the ubiquitous plastic.

    This small miscalculation in ergonomics makes contact to the user to determine the identity or points experimentally. During a single voltage measurement inconvenience almost there, but if you need constant monitoring, the only way to free your hands will be soldering pads, which can be conveniently inserted probes multimeter.

    Surprising that the instruction is silent on the appointment of a jumper, is located between the button MemOK! and pads for measuring voltages. The most logical would be to include it with the help of LN2 Mode.

    At first we even thought that this feature was removed intentionally, and with the pump will return its board Maximus VII Extreme (despite the fact that the mention of this motherboard removed from almost all press releases). In general, we will not pull the cat’s tail – seemingly lost mode LN2 Mode on Maximus VII Formula is present and activated it this unmarked jumper.

    Along the main power connector housed LEDs Q LEDs, lighting up at the time of initialization of the corresponding component of the system. Their excessive brightness will be somewhat difficult to perception, but for a rough estimate of the current phase load this decision is very convenient.

    About powering can tell not only the button START, but also gradually changing brightness of the Republic of Gamers logo on the slot for the video card. This is the same translucent insert placed in the recess of the plastic casing. Not to be lost in the darkness, equipped with its own green backlight button and Clear CMOS.

    PCI Express slot on the board six three PCIe x16 and three PCIe x1. The first two full-size connector can operate in modes x16 / 0 or x8 / x8. The capacity of the third depends on the combination of equipment or force selected by the user: the fact that he shares some of the lines to the controller ASM106SE, through which implemented the second port SATA Express.

    In addition, because of its “chipset” origin, provided a high-speed modes x4 x2 and the second generation of tires. Using any device all four lines will deprive you of the additional port SATAe, so it is possible to divide the hard-bandwidth in half by means of BIOS. The remaining three x1 slots “open”, ie do not have a closing septum. This will – if necessary – to impose on them any expansion card.

    To do this, however, have to remove the plastic cover and the reinforcement plate, do not forget that in the operation of the board in the “hard” mode is not superfluous to somehow compensate for the fact that the backplate is no longer removes the heat from the VRM components on the back side of the PCB.

    This expansion slots does not end there. In the upper left hand corner, next to the two blocks of additional power, there is a proprietary 42-pin connector for the installation of corporate solutions mPCIe Combo III.

    This daughter card is added to the credit of “Formula” slots miniPCIe and M.2.

    The first of these previously occupied unit AzureWave AW-CE123H (BCM94352HM), providing support for Wi-Fi (802.11a / b / g / n / ac) and Bluetooth (4.0). Very expensive and very efficient solution.

    Attached is an interesting antenna transformer having two circuit for transmission and reception, which is very beneficial effect on the speed of wireless communications.

    Nestled on the reverse side mPCIe Combo III connector M.2 with joy would be willing to take the drive of any length, but the VRM heatsink and the plastic casing to limit the choice of construction size 2260. holding the module will be two soft pads, so you could say that not to install the required tool.

    Nevertheless, due to the above-mentioned constraints drive installation will require the dismantling of the combo card. It is worth mentioning that the data are as PCIe-, and SATA-line.

    Operates all this variety of configurations thanks to numerous chips from ASMedia. Quartet ASM1480 switches on the first PCI Express x16 slot helps in implementing SLI- and CrossFireX-cords.

    ASM1187e, ASM1440 and ASM1480 implement pereklyuchaemost PCIe / SATAe and M.2 / SATAe (both PCIe-, and SATA-component). That is in the upper left corner of the board connector M.2 not feel hunger for information, along the way there are numerous paths signal repeaters ASM1467.

    sm.ov_satas.600

    Continuing the theme of connection, we note a huge amount of storage SATA-ports. When not to use trendy SATA Express, their number reaches ten. Reducing the number of SATA3-to six devices, you can connect two modern drives. Of course, the possibility to combine them into RAID-array is not, due to the use of different controllers.

    This feature is available only for “chipset” SATA, willed engineers separated into two groups: four ports on the right edge and two ports that are part of the lower SATAe. For their support RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 10, and a full set of proprietary technologies Intel: Rapid Start, Smart Response, Smart Connection.

    sm.ov_cntr_asm1061.400 sm.ov_cntr_asm106se.400

    Sandwiched between a pair of SATA-ports is supported by the ASM1061. His colleague ASM106SE, as mentioned above, an additional charge of (upper) port SATA Express.

    sm.ov_cntr_asm1042.600

    With USB 3.0 card in a full order. Six ports brought to the rear panel, and two of them have been obtained by means of an additional controller ASM1042AE. Two more possible to “remove” with pads, located near the power connector ATX.

    sm.ov_cntr_z97.600

    With USB 2.0 chipsets from Intel for a long time to cope on their own. Two ports brought to the interface panel, one of them are switched with chip KeyBot, the second is used as an interface ROG Connect and BIOS Flashback.

    Two additional ports are available with the appropriate pads on the bottom of the board. Just a couple of USB 2.0, you can get when you do not use branded OC Panel or Front Base and connect to the second half of the connector ROG_EXT.

    sm.truevolt.600

    Quality power to all USB-devices also paid their portion of attention: there are two independent sources. Such technology simply could not do without some catchy name, so the guys from ASUS called it TrueVolt. They painted this wonderful picture perfectly illustrating all its essence.

    Reliable DC power source with low noise level will be useful to all USB-devices, but especially benefit from such a solution will feel the owners of external DACs.

    sm.ov_supremefx.600

    Motherboard manufacturers do not get tired to improve the audio section of flagship models, adding a low-noise digital-to-analog converters, the unusual capacitors, if not offering users to select operational amplifiers to your taste.

    Not surprisingly, the ASUS Maximus VII Formula everything is done with the latest technology: SupremeFX Formula 2014 – not only a beautiful marketing name, but also a whole range of technologies that provide a great sound.

    sm.ov_supremefx_closed.600

    It begins with an electrical isolation of the audio part. Dividing strip empty PCB sly snake was put along the edge of the board to make the most efficient use of every square inch of PCB. In addition, the left and right channels (emphasis is on uncompromising quality stereo) are separated on different layers and do not intersect each other.

    The next line of defense becomes a metal cover, which hides one of the best codecs, Realtek ALC1150, which provides excellent multichannel audio portion of your favorite games and movies. Make the picture even more intense can the German thin-film capacitors WIMA, helping to make the sounds of a very high and very low frequencies more vivid and realistic.

    sm.cntr_cs4398.600

    The picture would be incomplete without the use of thoroughbred chip CS4398 from Cirrus Logic. This DAC is used in the best digital sound cards and provides crazy 120 dB signal to noise ratio.

    sm.cntr_lm4562.600

    Support he was getting from the Japanese “audiophile” capacitors ELNA production and excellent operational amplifier LM4562 from Texas Instruments. Do not forget that this is only true when using the stereo on the rear panel interfaces and audio playback in 24 bit mode. Otherwise, the SNR will decrease slightly due to the quantization noise.

    sm.cntr_senseamp.600

    As for the front output connected to the AAFP connector on the board, then for him the ASUS stashed “betterizer”: branded chip SenseAmp determine resistance headphones and properly adjust the sound for the better.

    In addition to well-designed physical path, the user receives a lot of software solutions. Sonic Sound Studio will make a pair of headphones out of your virtual system 7.1, Sonic Sound Stage optimizes sound mode for one of the four major game genres and Sonic Radar II visual clues to help find the source of the sound in the game.

    sm.ov_cntr_nct6791d.600

    main chip Super I/O

    Nuvoton chip NCT6791D from this time was out of the chipset heatsink, but in normal use it safely hidden by a plastic cover. Thanks to the implemented control of temperatures, fan speeds, and monitoring of the main stress.

    Connectors for fans, of which you can connect as many as eight, four-terminal quite often, but it does not mean that the ability to control the speed by varying the voltage disappeared somewhere. In addition to a pair of built-in temperature sensors can be connected to one external (if you have one): connector T_SENSOR1 offers.

    JavaScript interface ROG Extension inevitably leads to the appearance of on-board chip ROG labeled 035-A2. Integrated circuit 036-A3 owes technology ROG Connect. Hardware-software complex KeyBot also could not do without the support of the silicon.

    sm.ov_cntr_i218v.600

    Unusual grozozaschischenny RJ-45 port, and able to withstand electrostatic discharges, head to the controller WGI218V. Do not be confused by the strange markings chip – ASUS uses this high-performance solution from Intel. We probably got predreliznogo sample board. Not to mention the technology GameFirst III, which is, in fact, a mixture of QoS with an emphasis on video games and a simple firewall. In general, useful software for owners of narrow channels or lovers continuous file sharing.

    sm.ov_mb_bottom.600

    Internal terminal block and fragment ROG Armor

    Internal conclusions, as usual, prostrated along the bottom edge of the board. In going from left to right we see: AAFP; block connection board ASUS ThunderboltEX; TPM; two groups of findings ROG_EXT; block USB 2.0; connectors connect buttons / indicators, housing and terminals for thermocouples over them. Mention deliberately missing buttons and SOUNDSTAGE KEYBOT, responsible for the same function, a couple of blocks for the connection of fans and a crib with a chip containing the image BIOS.

    sm.ov_mb_backpanel.600

    On the rear panel interface ASUS Maximus VII Formula, which turned out under the peak of the plastic casing, brought: button BIOS Flashback / ROG Connect and Clear CMOS; two USB 2.0 ports and a combo PS / 2; DisplayPort, HDMI and optical audio output; four USB 3.0 (bottom – Intel, the top – ASMedia); two USB 3.0 (Intel) and a network port; six gold-plated connectors mini-jack.

    Once again, remember that USB-port, located next to the PS / 2, is in close cooperation with the chip KEYBOT. Sharing with them the same rack USB 2.0 can be used to connect the drive with the image of the firmware or manager for ROG Connect your computer.

    sm.ov_cntr_asm1442.600

    Familiar ASM1442K chip operates both video outputs.

    Power Subsystem

    sm.pwr_cpu_vrm_1.600

    CPU power converter

    As a system motherboard power advocates vosmifazny converter with digital control Extreme Engine Digi + III.

    sm.pwr_cpu_vrm_2.600

    We seem to have somewhere already seen something like this? Indeed, the power supply system repeats the judges on the board Maximus VII Gene – a little different chokes in this case does not count. Another difference lies in the fact that now there is an additional four-pin connector for additional power supply (forgive the pun) – the life-giving current can be supplied by more conductors.

    sm.pwr_cpu_pwm.600

    PWM-controller CPU power phases

    At the helm was a PWM controller DIGI + labeled ASP1257.

    sm.pwr_cpu_driver.600 sm.pwr_nextfet.600

    Consider the device power phases. Each of them consists of driver IR3535 from International Rectifier (located on the reverse side of the board) and NexFET’a CSD87350Q5D from Texas Instruments. All are also used “premium” Japanese capacitors 10K Ti-TUF CAP, but other than that, chokes lose a few extra degrees and acquired its new name – BlackWing Chokes.

    sm.pwr_dram.600 sm.pwr_dram_pwm.400 sm.pwr_dram_phases.400

    Part of the power converter RAM

    The power subsystem memory repeats the one we saw on the board-in-square , that is still a member of the PWM controller ASP1103 and two NexFET CSD87588N from TI.

    sm.pwr_radiators_top.400 sm.pwr_radiators_bottom.400

    Radiators of board

    Both boards are covered radiator abrasion resistant material and look quite massive. Of course, the heat exchanger chipset with its seventy grams does not compare to the effectiveness of the combined 300 g monster set to VRM, but no one calls him the wonders of performance.

    During the test the temperature of the chipset does not rise above 43 degrees, so for his long and happy life, you should not worry. As an intermediate interface standard used for the ASUS viscous “thermorubber.”

    Big Brother also did not disappoint – continuous operating temperature of the VRM, according to AI Suite 3, did not exceed 67 degrees, and the heat sink and PCB around the CPU socket only warmed up to 61 and 58 degrees, respectively.

    Heat is transferred through thermal. Distinct imprint clearly says that the problems with skewed or insufficient clamp is not observed. Note that the test was carried out without additional cooling. Details can be found in the section “Overclocking and stability.”

    sm.pwr_chill_1.600

    Armed with a screwdriver, patience and precision, we decided to look at the internal structure of CrossChill Copper with my own eyes. As befits a product, designed for a long operation, the design allows the possibility for subsequent disassembly quality cleaning. On guard tranquility Users are 14 screws, with a tremendous effort of attracting the top cover of the water block (in this context, let call it that way) to its base.

    sm.pwr_chill_2.600

    Serves as an additional means of sealing the soft rubber gasket, made exactly to the shape of the corresponding recesses on the perimeter of the main camera. Surprising ease (40 grams) of the cover, probably due to the aluminum alloy, which is to prevent the formation of a galvanic couple with the bare copper is additionally protected by anodizing.

    sm.pwr_chill_3.600

    The main part of the heat exchanger formed by a similar technology, but has a copper core. This is clearly seen as a real photographs, and the promo images ASUS. The structure of the inner chamber is focused rather on the large flow of water: this is said to be rectangular, so to speak, a needle with a large cross section, and the support half-inch fittings.

    Nevertheless, the use CrossChill Copper as part of any (except for very very toy) liquid cooling system will benefit the board. Another thing that will take advantage of this opportunity a matter of interest owners.

    UEFI and AI Suite 3

    The firmware is on the 64-megabit chip Winbond W25Q64FV, established in a crib at the lower edge of the board. Using a common chip and successful placement will quickly and easily replace it with a similar.

    Fee quite briskly and easily refreshed with USB-disk to the latest at the time of testing the firmware version – 0603 July 14, 2014 It is easy to see, for this use the built-in UEFI BIOS utility ASUS EZ Flash 2. After updating the settings have been reset to the default. In some places, for clarity, is set to anything else.

    When you enter the BIOS user sees Advanced Mode, open the partition Extreme Tweaker.

    Number of settings in this section distinguishes ROG-boards from other products ASUS. Despite the fact that in recent times and the rest of the series get a lot of options that contribute to a more successful overclocking, only red and black boards have the most fine-tuning. Caption Republic of Gamers on the board remains the guarantor of that overclocking you will have everything you need – and more.

    Please note that this screenshot LN2 Mode status is marked as Enabled. Recall that for its activation is responsible unnamed jumper located near the area ProbeIt, not mentioned in any instructions or in promotional materials.

    In an isolated area of the installation, you can choose the usual stress regimes Override, Offset and Adaptive. In addition, there is a selector Fully Manual Mode, which reduces the number of control elements only to the name of the voltage and the input field its value.

    In the process, the board found an interesting bug: Adaptive mode allows you to set the CPU outrageous 2,919 volts. Will I lose value when you restart the check did not – sorry for the processor.

    Adjustment ranges are shown in the table below.

    Voltage, V Minimum value
    Maximum value Step
    CPU Core Voltage 1.05 2 2 0.003125
    CPU Cache Voltage 1.05 2.2 0.003125
    CPU Graphics Voltage 0.8 1.92 0,001
    CPU System Agent Voltage 0.85 2.2 0.003125
    CPU Analog I / O Voltage 1.0 2.2 0.003125
    CPU Digital I / O Voltage 1.0 2.2 0.003125
    Initial CPU Input Voltage 0.8 2.44 0.01
    Eventual CPU Input Voltage 0.8 2.44 0.01
    DRAM Voltage 1.2 2.4 0,005
    PCH Core Voltage 0.7 1.8 0.00625
    PCH VLX Voltage 0.8 2.0 0.00625
    VTTDDR Voltage 0.6 1.4 0.00625

    CPU System Agent Voltage, CPU Analog I / O Voltage and CPU Digital I / O Voltage, unlike the other boards series available for direct input of values.

    Let us recall a few features of the keyboard. The “+” and “-” change the highlighted item in the direction of increasing and decreasing. Entering zero selects the minimum value for the current field. Enter any known higher value will lead to the selection of the maximum value. Automatic selection of the / relay will be activated, if you enter any non-numeric character or word.

    Timings and sub-timings are presented in a very wide range. Fans of the finest tuning surely be satisfied. The dual-mode option Maximus Tweak not be compared to manual selection of parameters, but will help to increase stability or overclocking.

    Sections on the motherboard VRM and processor iVR also not troubled: many settings the power subsystem – one of the trump cards ASUS. Nine levels of Load Line Calibration will provide power for you with a comfortable precision.

    CPU Level UP increases the frequency of the CPU to the selected value (available values ​​4200, 4400 and 4600 MHz). In addition to the processor, easy overclocking RAM is exposed if there is XMP-profile, the board uses it.

    Presets (Presets) will help determine the appropriate level of your system performance with a single click. Also, they are very useful for beginners – you can see what parameters change fee, and gain experience.

    Interesting only harsh professionals subsection Tweakers’ Paradise gives you access to the most delicate settings. We’re not even quite sure what they someone uses.

    GPU.DIMM Post at the height of bench-session will allow time to detect failed / frozen memory module or graphics card.

    The Main tab is quite typical. Purely informational string containing version UEFI BIOS, chipset details, frequency of the CPU, the total available volume / speed of the memory, replaced by the choice of language, setting the time and subsection Security.

    The Advanced section provides access to a variety of advanced settings of the processor and integrated into the board components.

    Its Onboard Devices Configuration section in this time does not fit on one screen – too large number of “attachment” of equipment on board. Here, you can individually disable the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth complete mPCIE Combo III and disable extra controllers.

    PCH Storage Configuration not only displays all connected drives, but will also provide the ability to disable the selected port separately, activate the “hot plugging” the disc to select the preferred high-speed interface (M.2 or SATAe).

    If you plan to operate a permanent board in the dark, can be forced to disable the indicator LEDs and backlit logo Republic of Gamers.

    Monitor, obviously designed for monitoring parameters of board. Missing supplied thermocouple cost MAXIMUS VII FORMULA not only rows with N / A, but our censure.

    Fan Speed ​​Monitor is the same information page, as shown above. His only task – to display the speed of connected fans.

    Give the opportunity not only to see but also touch are called partitions Q-Fan Tuning and Fan Speed ​​Control. They can be trusted automation or ask your own fan speed dependence of reading temperature sensors.

    Under Boot can directly or indirectly affect the startup speed of the system and set the priority of drives.

    In the Tool available built-in utility updates the firmware, paranoid eraser SSD, a summary of the video card (if it is not too old) and memory modules. It is also the main entrance to the overclocking profiles and configure the behavior of option purchased OC Panel.

    ASUS Overclocking Profile identifies the user to eight cells, which can save the current configuration. You then were able to remember exactly what is stored in a particular profile, it is possible to add a 14-character note. Since the firmware upgrade profiles are deleted, there were no system of export / import with the participation of an external storage device.

    As mentioned at the beginning of this section, a BIOS update by the EZ Flash 2 is passed without a hitch. Nevertheless, it should be noted that all of your notes, saved profiles and carefully selected by a “favorites” sink into oblivion. Firmware image can be taken from any connected drive to the motherboard, if you can find it: the folder is still sorted in some unknown manner.

    Section My Favorites imposed at the very beginning, and you can make a start. Selection of the necessary elements via an optional interface that contains all the options and sub-BIOS. He is called by pressing the “F3” or mouse click. All selections based on the order of addition will be displayed in the main section.

    Very convenient that, in addition to the variable fields can be taken here of temperature and voltage. It is possible to add to the “favorites” even line that loads a specific profile of acceleration. However, to enable this menu in one click will not work – it will be displayed, but will be unavailable for selection.

    The fight against this disease is simple, but requires additional gestures – you need to go to ASUS Overclocking Profile and exit. After this manipulation point Load from Profile will become active and will activate itself. That is why the screenshot link to the list of profiles, and a string that is responsible for their instant downloading, located within walking distance from each other.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B00M5DUVT0″ cloaking=”no” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]That you have not forgotten something important, the board has the opportunity to take notes. The only disadvantage is that all nine diligently filled rows can not be “pull” out. Is the screen to take a picture.

    Not very convenient because of the low resolution (1024×768) EZ Mode displays can be useful if you do not want to spend time learning sections Advanced Mode.

    About pursuing the same goal step by step setup wizard RAID and overclocking: ASUS made sure that both of these events ended safely.

    Recall that when you select Save and Exit or press the “F10” you will be shown a list of changes. Very convenient option.

    Brief information in a pop-up menu will remind you about the basics of working with UEFI BIOS and learn to use “hot keys”.

    And for those who could not or did not want to remember the meaning of the keys “F5”, “F10” and “Esc”, left section Exit.

    AI Suite 3 version 1.1.83 has not undergone any changes. At least visually.

    Dual Intelligent Processor 5 performs auto-tuning system in accordance with user preferences. It is enough to specify the interest rate of the processor and remove the check mark from the extra points. During the overall performance of the algorithm will be executed overclocking the CPU and RAM, as well as tests conducted all connected to the motherboard fans and even a fan video.

    This allows the system to vary the speed is very flexible CO, providing a balance between the comfortable noise level and high efficiency cooling. Then be adjusted and the power profile is activated optimal operation of the power converter.

    Section TPU cope with overclocking much better – provided the user has a certain experience. From here you can adjust almost any multipliers and voltages available in UEFI BIOS. Memory, you can still overclock only the “old way.” Most of the changes applied by clicking Apply and remain active until you reboot. Frequently used settings can be saved in the selected profiles.

    It is possible to change the CPU Strap, but the actual switch will only happen after a reboot.

    With TurboApp conveniently increase the frequency of the CPU only during start-up of one of the selected programs.

    Fan Xpert 3 can control the fan speed is not worse than the board itself. After testing the fans an opportunity to quickly switch between profiles from the menu on the system tray.

    Section DIGI + allows you to fly to change the mode of operation of the power converter of the processor and memory. Synchronize the changes with the BIOS does not occur.

    Section EPU is used to optimize the energy efficiency of the system.

    This is followed by the whole scattering utilities, somehow life-enhancing. Two of them are responsible for the acceleration of charging mobile devices (which can be done and when the system is off). Another optimizes high-speed USB-drive mode for maximum speed.

    This sub-program is useful to those who have forgotten, from which to build a computer.

    EZ Update allows you to update the BIOS from an existing image, or download it from the Internet. Just click on the familiar through the last review the “Praveryts at a time!”.

    Another application allows you to download updates on a schedule, immediately placing them on a flash drive. The remainder of the work will make the previously mentioned module we EZ Flash 2.

    Finally we left very convenient utility that allows to perform automatic login UEFI BIOS at the next startup.

    Overclocking and stability

    Overclocking can be done from the UEFI BIOS and the operating system – with the application of AI Suite 3. Even greater control over the situation can be obtained using OC Panel and / or ROG Connect.

    First of all check the ASUS Maximus VII Formula’s ability to maintain a high base frequency. To do this, the CPU multiplier is set to 24, the Vcore is chosen equal to 1.35, and the memory is transferred to the most low-frequency mode with high latency.

    At standard CPU Strap succeeded BCLK, equal to 116.3 MHz. For our processor is by far the best result. The board is almost 10 MHz broke away from nearest rival in the form of ASRock Z97 Extreme6.

    With increasing CPU Strap one step (up to 125 MHz) has been achieved performance at 145.4 MHz BCLK.

    Finally, with respect to BCLK / PCIE 1,66 we got the frequency 174.5 MHz.

    If the last value is not very far removed from the results of the other cards, the first two make you think: why the difference is so great? The answer probably lies not only in the good element base board, but also in the advanced options that are not available to competitors.

    One of these “killer features,” is the ability to adjust some resistance with the option Source Clock Tuner. It becomes active only when manually specifying CPU Strap, and if you follow the advice displayed in the bottom of the window, you can really increase the frequency potential of the bunch “charge – the processor.”

    It remains to add one very important detail: the ‘overclocking’ bus ASUS Maximus VII Formula starts to behave very capricious, leaving an infinite restart loop. Even Clear CMOS Switch is not always cope alone, requiring his assistance blackout system. In other words, with the help of the board can be achieved very, very high rates, but the time it would take a lot.

    But at the maximum frequency to overtake an opponent of ASRock failed: all managed to get at 1.35 – 4800 MHz. Increasing the voltage allowed a short time to operate at frequencies of 4.9 and 5 GHz, but this led to a sudden freeze OS. Fortunately, in this case the system of protection against excessive acceleration rehearsed perfectly, allowing to adjust the frequency of the CPU without the hassle.

    Seeing what can be done on their own, give management board. To do this, select the target frequency (4200, 4400 or 4600 MHz) in the BIOS or AI Suite 3 and wait until the system is rebooted.

    The first mode is very gentle. Voltage does not exceed the safe limits (1.15 volts), overheating under load system is not threatened. Please note that your motherboard does not only broke up the processor, but also activated the XMP-profile RAM.

    The second level of productivity differs increased by 200 MHz processor clock speed and simultaneously increased by 0.1 V voltage. If AI Suite 3 conducted a stability test, it would become clear that this combination of parameters the CPU will overheat and go into throttling.

    Voltage 1.3 Volts in conjunction with a frequency of 4600 MHz is not allowed this mode likely to use 24/7/365. However, if the nature of the load is not multi-threaded, this profile is suitable as a “weapon of last chance”, allowing more work done in less time. Naturally, if you can handle the cooling system and the processor starts dropping beats.

    Now we only have to check the power system motherboard in conditions close to the fighting. Not that we doubted it (especially considering that before this test is passed Maximus VII Gene with very similar VRM), but an order is an order. Testing technique is as follows: CPU frequency is set to 4300 MHz (43×100), selectable core voltage of 1.2 V, the input of the power converter processor (iVR) served 1.7 V.

    Due to the measuring points ProbeIt stress once again we can see what makes iVR processor voltage output motherboard. Multimeter reading can be found in lines Hard, displayed AI Suite 3 values ​​are marked as Soft. The measurements will be carried out in idle moments and the load created by the test LinX 0.6.4 (the problem is limited to the amount of RAM – 10000).

    Measure the voltage at the output VRM motherboard (CPU Input Voltage)
    LLC Level FullAuto 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    Idle Hard 1,870 1,679 1,688 1,693 1,698 1,703 1,706 1,716 1,719 1,725
    Soft 1,856 1,664 1,680 1,680 1,680 1,696 1,696 1,696 1,712 1,712
    Load Hard 1,883 1,600 1,630 1,650 1,677 1,680 1,692 1,722 1,731 1,751
    Soft 1,872 1,616 1,648 1,648 1,664 1,680 1,680 1,712 1,728 1,744
    Measure the voltage at the output iVR CPU (Vcore)
    LLC Level FullAuto 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    Idle Hard 1,240 1,215 1,215 1,215 1,215 1,215 1,215 1,215 1,215 1,215
    Soft 1,264 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200
    Load Hard 1,255 1,228 1,228 1,228 1,229 1,229 1,229 1,230 1,230 1,230
    Soft 1,280 1,216 1,216 1,216 1,216 1,216 1,216 1,216 1,216 1,216

    FullAuto – both voltage and LLC Level established at the discretion of the board. By the way, Load-Line Calibration if Auto is set to Level 8. Based on the data, it is recommended to use a constant Level 7. As expected, in this aspect of behavior repeated charge of her younger cousin – Gene.

    The power converter of RAM is a bit over voltage: when installed in the BIOS 1,57 volts at idle and load board gave out 1,588 V. More comments to it are not available.

    VRM temperature depends on the value of Load-Line Calibration, but rather conditional. In the most aggressive (ninth) level maximum temperature sensor VRM board under load was 67 degrees. When the temperature dropped and a simple stabilized at around 44 degrees Celsius. Parasitic wanton overheating was found.

    Performance Testing

    Dodgy technology ASUS Multicore Enhancement with default settings increases the CPU multiplier to 39 and does not reset it, even with a load of eight threads. This could have resulted in almost 10% advantage over the “more honest” boards.

    Therefore, to test all the boards on an equal footing factor was forcibly limited to values ​​of 35 and 44 testing occurred after the installation of the firmware (AI Suite 3), as a consequence, on the overall performance may be affected by software defects.

    The equipment used during the tests is presented in the table below.

    Test system
    Processor Intel Core i7-4770K (LGA 1150 3.5GHz; Haswell)
    CPU cooler Antek Kuhler 620 @ Arctic Cooling MX-4
    Memory 2 x 1024 MB DDR3 Apacer @ 1600MHz / 8-8-8-24 1T
    Graphics Card ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU (ATI Radeon HD 5850, 1024MB; PCI-e x16;
    driver version 12.10)
    Disk Subsystem Crucial RealSSD C300 (64GB)
    Power Supply CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold (600 W, RS-600-80-GA-D3)
    OS Windows 8 Pro x64

    Synthetic tests results

    aida64_latency aida64_speed

    Tests of application software

    sciencemark cinebench

    Benchmarks

    superpi fritz winrar

    Game tests

    game_tests

    Version and program settings used during the test (unless otherwise indicated on the graph):

    • AIDA64 – v3.00.2500
    • Fritz Chess Benchmark – v4.2.0.0
    • Far Cry 2 – v0.1.0.1, Ranch Small, 1024 x 768, Default
    • World in Conflict – v1.0, 1024×768, Medium
    • Resident Evil 5 Demo – v1.0.0.29, 1024 x 768, DX10
    • X3 Demo, v2.5.0.0 – Default

    As tests have shown once again, the motherboard has little effect on the overall system performance. “Formula” shows similar to the rest of the samples tested results. Note that this is only ASUS motherboard on the list, which is tested with memory functioning in the mode of 1600 MHz / 8-8-8-24 1T. Its predecessors were tested with another set of RAM (2 x 8096 MB DDR3 Corsair Venegance @ 1866 MHz / 9-10-9-27 2T).

    Conclusions

    Pros:

    • capacity of power converter;
    • excellent overclocking capabilities;
    • usability as an open bench;
    • high audio path;
    • performance of the card Wi-Fi / Bluetooth;
    • ability to connect to the CBO;
    • presence of voltage measuring points;
    • convenient buttons and indicators;
    • display diagnostic POST-codes;
    • support advanced processors and storage devices;
    • reinforcement plate and the protective plastic cover;
    • flexible policy configuration of the cooling system;
    • full version of the game Watch Dogs in the kit;
    • abundance of proprietary technologies;
    • design

    Cons:

    • supplied no thermocouple;
    • protection against overclocking does not work at high BCLK;
    • minor errors in the company’s software and firmware.

    Motherboard ASUS Maximus VII Formula/Watch Dogs contained in itself the best practices in all areas of the company. Electronics specialists have designed a great power converter, which is enough power for the most daring experiments with Haswell processors and Devils’ Canyon.

    To audio component undoubtedly had a hand in the engineers involved in the development of top models Xonar. Not the last of the minds came up with and implemented in hardware and software dozens of proprietary technologies and interesting innovations.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B00M5DUVT0″ cloaking=”no” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]Designers also rasstaralis board and gave a very interesting and aggressive look, while maintaining a recognizable style of Republic of Gamers. Programmers worked on optimizing the BIOS and AI Suite 3 … no, programmers in this series today we do not deliver, do not hold out a little bit. Hopefully, in the next generation cards they can surprise us so much that we forget about all the minor issues and bugs in the software.

    High price, of course, greatly reduces the target audience of the new “Formula”, but this is one of those occasions when they choose, without regard to cost. Everyone who really need this board, eventually it will become. And we think they will remain satisfied with it.

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