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Wednesday, 19 December 2007 07:19

ASUS Maximus DDR3 vs. Maximus DDR2 - 3 Layout

Written by Eliot Kucharik

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ASUS Maximus Series, X38




Layout:

ASUS did a nice job with the layout. Everything is easily accessible. We would also like to be able to swap the position of the connector with the CPU-fan connector, because this would prevent some of the cable mess that often occurs in small cases.

The VRM is an analog 8-phase design (dual 4-phases), it's the same design that is used on the P5E Series. The heatpipe keeps the temperatures in safe limits all times. Due the height of the Northbridge-Cooler this board has limited compatibility to some CPU-coolers. The Northbridge coolers are too high to mount our reference cooler Scythe Andy Samurai correctly.

If you install such a cooler with its heatpipes facing the RAM slots, you have massive problems with all memory modules which have bigger heatspreaders; for example, Corsair's Dominator and OCZ's Reaper, because the memory slots are very close to the CPU socket. Visit cooler manufactures' Websites to check compatibility.

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ASUS Maximus Formula

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ASUS Maximus Extreme

The memory slots are quite close to the primary PCIe x16 slot, but leave enough space when replacing them while a large graphics card is installed. As usual, the 24-pin power and floppy connectors are located beneath.

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ASUS Maximus Formula

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ASUS Maximus Extreme

The slots are much better configured when compared to the P5E series. At least you get two PCI slots for your old expansion cards. While the Formula series does feature 2x PCIe x1, the Extreme Edition has only one, but an extra PCIe x16 @ x8 speeds, which is done with an IDT switch chip. We installed an MSI X-Fi card just for fun on the third PCIe x16 slot, and it worked without problems, so it seems the PCIe x16 slots are not limited to graphics cards only.

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The SATA and PATA connectors are, as usual, on the left edge of the board. All SATA connectors are angulated, so a second large graphics card will fit above them. This board does not feature sophisticated post diagnose, but many LEDs and an externam display with some information while booting. On the Extreme the USB and Firewire connectors are located on the left edge of the board, the Formula has them on the left side. A JMB363 provides one IDE port for two devices, while it's SATA portion is used for two SATA-ports on the back-panel.

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ASUS Maximus Formula

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ASUS Maximus Extreme


Network connectivity is provided by two Marvell PCIe chips, while a VIA chip provides two firewire-ports, one on the back panel and one header on the board.  Maximus hasn't got onboard sound, but an extra card called " Supreme FX II" with an ADI1988B soundchip works, which must be used with the black special PCIe x1 slot. The ICS clock generator is located between the PCIe x16 slots and is the same as on the P5E series, so BIOS clocks are identical.

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Each board provides power and reset buttons, the Formula Series have them on the left side, while the Extreme boards have located them centered near the bottom. On each back-panel you will find a CMOS-clear button, which should only be used when swapping CPUs, because when overclocking fails the BIOS can reboot itself into safe settings.



(Page 3 of 9)
Last modified on Friday, 21 December 2007 02:48
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