Board Features

Having gone through and generated the following table for the M8E, I find it mildly amusing, especially as I’ve just put a $120 motherboard on the test bed here. By comparison, instead of most of the sections saying none/blank, when dealing with a $500 motherboard everything is filled up. More SATA ports, more features and more room to add things means that a halo motherboard has to be the Rambo of a PC build.

ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price Amazon US
Size E-ATX
CPU Interface LGA1151
Chipset Intel Z170
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
Supporting 64GB
Dual Channel
Up to 3866 MHz
Memory Slots (DDR3L) None
Video Outputs HDMI to 4096x2160 @ 24 Hz
DisplayPort at 4096x2304 @ 60 Hz
Network Connectivity Intel I219-V
3T3R 802.11ac Wi-Fi Go! Module
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC1150 with ESS ES9023P DAC bypass
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 3 x PCIe 3.0 (x16, x8/x8, x8/x4/x4)
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
2 x PCIe 3.0 x1
Onboard SATA Six, RAID 0/1/5/10
Two from ASMedia ASM1061
Onboard SATA Express Two, RAID
Onboard M.2 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA, RAID 0/1, NVMe
Onboard U.2 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4 (switched with M.2)
Thunderbolt TB3 via Type-C
USB 3.1 2 x Type-A from ASMedia ASM1142 Controller
1 x Type-A and 1 x Type-C from Intel Alpine Ridge
USB 3.0 4 x Rear Panel
4 via headers
USB 2.0 6 via headers
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 8-pin CPU
1 x 4-pin CPU
Fan Headers 1 x CPU (4-pin)
1 x CPU_OPT (4-pin)
4 x CHA/SYS (4-pin)
IO Panel 1 x Combination PS/2
4 x USB 3.0
3 x USB 3.1 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
1 x Network RJ-45 (Intel I219-V)
Clear CMOS Button
USB BIOS Flashback Button
3T3R 802.11ac Wi-Fi Go! Module
Audio Jacks
Other Features OC Panel Header
Thunderbolt Header
4-pin EZ-PLUG Header
Front Panel Header
5-pin Fan Extension Header
MemOK! Button
Slow Mode Switch
9 x Voltage measurement points
3 x Thermal Sensor Headers
1 x DRAM Channel Jumper
Power/Reset Buttons
BIOS Switch Button
SLI/CFX Switch
LN2 Mode Jumper
Safe Boot Button
ReTry Button

The big active features for ASUS come in at the 3T3R tri-stream WiFi, an ESS DAC, Thunderbolt 3 support via Intel’s Alpine Ridge controller, a total of four USB 3.1 ports split between the Alpine Ridge and ASMedia’s ASM1142 controller and then the sheer amount of switches and buttons onboard for power users to configure their experience. The OC Panel header for both power users and extreme overclockers comes in handy with the bundled OC Panel.

Using the chipset diagram, it shows a slightly more complex picture. Everything on the left side is what we would expect, including the complex way that x8/x4/x4 is implemented on the PCIe side, although it is worth noting that the HDMI 1.4b port is provided through the Alpine Ridge controller rather than the CPU. I would assume this is actually just a bypass to help with routing though it may suggest that the TB3 controller cannot use HDMI when the DisplayPort functionality is in use. I’ll be synchronizing with ASUS on this.

On the right hand side we see that two of the SATA ports (4/5) share bandwidth with the PCIe x4 slot at the bottom of the board. When SATA devices are connected, the PCIe slot will reduce to x2 bandwidth. Also on the right hand side is an ASM1187 controller, which looks like a 6-port PCIe switch. Taking one PCIe lane in, it gives an output to five ports which include the two ASMedia SATA ports, two of the rear USB 3.0 ports, the Wi-Fi module and the two PCIe x1 slots. However, unless one of the PCIe x1 slots is using full bandwidth, I doubt it is much of an issue, and if anything it would be a latency issue. But it might also explain why we could not get proper USB 3.0 speed results through the ASMedia controller.

In The Box

We get the following:

User Manual
Driver DVD
Rear IO Shield
OC Panel plus 5.25-inch Bay
Fan Extension Board
Wi-Fi Antenna
Thermal Probes
CPU Installation tool
Eight SATA Cables
ASUS ROG Stickers
ASUS ROG Door Handle Sign
Flexi-CrossFire Connector
Flexi-SLI Connector

At $500 and being part of the ROG brand it means the in-box goodies should be plentiful. The star of the pack is the OC Panel, used by extreme overclockers to make adjustments on the fly or system builders to monitor fan speeds/temperatures with one-button overclocks.

We’ve discussed the OC Panel at length before, and this is the third generation with the same model, featuring more fan headers, VGA Hotplug and extra switches for system control.

Also in the box are a set of thermal probes to use on the extra thermal probe headers on the motherboard, giving the ASUS software extra read points for temperature if the user wants to monitor specific zones in their build. The CPU installation tool is there to help new build users put the processor in the motherboard, although I didn’t find much use for it (I’ve never dropped a CPU in a socket yet…). It is interesting to see so many SATA cables in the box though, however these are mostly likely bought in bulk and minimal cost to a board like this.

ASUS also sells the Maximus VIII Extreme/Assembly, which comes with a custom audio output dock as well as a Tahuti Networks based 10 gigabit Ethernet card using RJ-45.

Overview and Feature Comparison Visual Inspection and Test Setup


View All Comments

  • HollyDOL - Friday, April 8, 2016 - link

    agreed, SATAe is useless...
    So far the only board with 2xU.2 I found is Asus's Maximus VIII Hero Alpha... but then there are lots of features on it I could live without without giving me a wrinkle :-)
  • shineproductions - Saturday, April 9, 2016 - link

    ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ is an excellent board. Reply
  • pseudoid - Friday, April 8, 2016 - link

    I had an older Maximus Formula and was way overdue for an update to my rig. I opted for the Asus Z170 Deluxe with dual-LANs.
    I am not a gamer and wanted a current tip of the technology top-dog with the hopes that it will last me as long as my previous ROG rig lasted, once setup. Massive learning curve prior to build. Everything worked fine but my only regret is the fact that these high-end MoBo types require much maintenance.
    I don't know >> seems like there at least 10 Asus applications that are installed in Win10, and one that is called "EZUpdate" but even if it worked properly to tell me the available updates, it still takes a lot of time to maintain the beast.
    You have been warned!
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - link

    "Option" Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - link

    Yes, medical tech actually has to work reliably. Reply
  • olePigeon - Thursday, April 14, 2016 - link

    Is there any reason why they don't use tantalum capacitors? They'd be much lower profile and, in my opinion, would look nicer. Reply
  • vacavalier - Sunday, April 24, 2016 - link

    Your choice of GPU's is baffling, to say the least... Why not, test using more common-place/popularly used GPU's for more realistic testing.

    I am not saying or advocating that this will shame the Maximus Extreme, but at least use up-to-date GPU's, as you are running the latest CPU/RAM/Motherboard layout(s) for this...

    Just saying...
  • jp209087 - Monday, September 5, 2016 - link

    No doubt this is one of the best gaming system to buy, but its also costly too. Also consider review this <a href=" Reply
  • Gastec - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    Asus pricing this motherboard so high is just a move to raise the prices of the their more mainstream motherboards in the future. Nvidia does it too and soon everybody will do it. You were used to upgrade a certain PC component with n amount of money in the past years? Well, how about you try this next-gen pricing: TWICE what you used to pay :) Reply
  • north0019 - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - link

    I bought one of these boards back in June because I'm building a No Compromise RIG
    Only problem is that the board has been back to Asus 3 times now with failure to post.
    Customer service at ASUS is the worst with phone support not talking with tech support and complete lack of follow thru or ability to communicate what work if any has been done.

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