Here is my review of the Asus Maximus VI Impact Motherboard! ^-^

This is Republic of Gamers first ever Mini-ITX board and part of the Haswell series of Asus’s Maximus motherboards. (Consisting of: Impact = Mini-ITX, Gene = Micro ATX, Hero = ATX, Formula = ATX & Extreme = EATX).

Despite the Impact being a Mini-ITX board, Asus have tried to ensure that the board still keeps to ROG’s values by being a great board to both game and overclock on.

I compared it’s overclocking ability to the full ATX Gigabyte Z87x-UD3H motherboard. This is a bit of a strange comparison, but the Impact is a more expensive and therefore should overclock better, but it’s also a Mini-ITX board which means they normally don’t overclock as well as bigger boards. So I imagined that they would balance each other out and make for an interesting comparison.

The Impact makes use of an upgraded version (from Digi+ to Digi+3) of the VRM daughter board design that can be found on the Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX board. However I originally wasn’t happy at all with the lack of precision/control that I had when overclocking, as purely using CPU-Z to check the running vCore whilst stress testing, I found the Gigabye Z87x-UD3H I was testing against to be rock solid, in that what you asked for in BIOS it did almost exactly in CPU-Z. There was never any vdroop or vboost, it was just solid and seemed like the perfect platform to overclock on.

However then with the Asus Maximus VI Impact, in CPU-Z the vCore bounced around alot, definitely not as solid as I expected. It was also always a noticeable amount higher then what I’d set it to. I found my self having to work out what the increase was between what was set in BIOS and CPU-Z, and then having to set the vCore a little bit lower then I wanted to actually see the desired amount in software during tests.

This left me a bit disappointed with the Impact to be honest, I know that to many the level of difference that I was seeing would just be seen as margin of error and they would therefore not think twice about it. But the Impact was just not as precise and a lot more unpredictable and because of that a bit of a pain to work with.

After talking with Asus and sending settings to their R&D team, we discussed how the two brands offerings work differently, causing issues with software comparisons. It really wasn’t a discussion about which board does it better, just about finding a fair way to be able to accurately compare.

So after then buying a multimeter and spending over an additional 19 hours running stability tests and taking readings to get the most accurate results that I physically could with the gear that I had (I’m aware that there’s limitations to budget equipment like this), I was actually really surprised to see that my original thoughts were the other way round and that I had more precision when overclocking with the Impact motherboard than I did with Gigabyte.

This is also all within margin or error to be honest, and both boards are very capable. You really don’t notice much differences any more between motherboard models when overclocking, and the real world differences are pretty much non-existent, which is why I didn’t expand my tests into game, CPU or system benchmarks.

It just surprised me to find many sites using purely software based voltage measurements like CPU-Z and just showing different print screens to compare boards. That’s not me calling anyone specific out, just something I found odd as someone new to reviewing motherboards. I’m no where near an overclocking expert though, nor do I claim to be. This is really just a novice overclocker’s initial thoughts when using these two boards.

I would like to apologise though for the rushed, quick look feel that the rest of the video has, which is the result from not getting as much time as I would like to be able to film anymore.

4 Responses

  1. Mallo

    Really, really deep, and thorough review. Every single last detail was covered this time, not leaving anything behind! Linus did his thing, with the whole quick overview of the baby, but you really went deep with this one.
    Great review, Lauren! Really hope the next one isn’t as far away!

    ..Or we might have to ban the rest of the Tasty family from the living room! :o)

    Reply
    • Riddler

      I have to disagree with my colleague above and wonder if this site employs any editors at all. The review is riddled with typos and grammatical inconsistencies which just makes me shake my head. In addition the review tries to take a technical turn by measuring the voltages, but neglects to mention the power supply used and other important details. I’m also not sure why the Gigabyte board was selected instead of comparing the board to the an ATX variant of the Maximus VI series.

      Regardless the board seems like an interesting foray into the MiniITX market and should make for some interesting case modding.

      Reply
      • Lauren

        I apologize for my poor writing skills. It was only suppose to be a quick, blog-style post to go alongside the video review, it wasn’t intended to be a written review at all, however I will go back over it and try to fix the typos and grammatical inconsistencies and I’ll also add a methodology section.

        I chose the Gigabyte Z87x-UD3H board to compare against, because I wanted to see how well the Digi+3 VRM design compared against another platforms VRM design.
        Also there has been a lot of talk about Asus’s boards not overclocking as well as competitors and I wanted to see if that was true.

  2. Techstrats

    Hey Lauren, Great job! I have had bad luck with mini’s, especially when it comes to cooling. Do you have a case or cooling options you could recommend for this board?

    Reply

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