ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX CODE Z270 LGA 1151 Motherboard Review
ASUS ROG Maximus IX Code3rd January 2017
There are two parts of this review, first one is the processor and the second is the motherboard. While the review mainly focused on the motherboard, the processor is something to talk about as they are an essential part of this yearly upgrade cycle that Intel is bringing to consumers.
Intel's Core i7-7700K Is Nothing To Get Excited About
Intel Kaby Lake series brings us the 7th generation processors in the mainstream market. They feature what Intel calls their most optimized 14nm node, 14nm+. Intel also says that these processors bring performance improvements and support for higher clock speeds. Essentially, Kaby Lake is a better tuned Skylake microarchitecture for the mainstream community.
But Kaby Lake isn't as exciting as it sounds. With Kaby Lake being one of the worst Intel launches when it comes to NDA, a majority of the tech sites have already tested the Core i7-7700K processor. Yes, it is faster compared to Core i7-6700K. But as a result of obtaining faster clocks, it runs hotter and sips more power.
It does what Intel promised, to deliver faster performance and higher clock speeds but it breaks the efficiency rating of Core processors which although it doesn't matter a whole lot to the mainstream audience, it is something that goes against the principles defined by Intel. So yeah, you get that 10% faster performance than Core i7-6700K and you also get that 7% clock speed bump. In return, you get higher temperatures that are much worse when overclocking (The Core i7-7700K can do 5 GHz with ease provided you have a beast of a cooler) and with that clock bump, you get higher power consumption.
Lastly, there's no IPC increase. Kaby Lake is the same as Skylake with higher clock speeds to put it simply and the worst thing is that it might be so for the next 2-3 generations. Upcoming Intel Core series such as Coffee Lake (Kaby Lake refresh) and Cannonlake will be bringing no incremental IPC improvements, but will add more cores for better performance throughput. So without more to say, the Intel Core i7-7700K is without a doubt the fastest mainstream chip in the market but it has too many drawbacks in terms of power and temperatures that make Skylake still look the better option for gamers.
Farewell 100-Series, 200-Series Boards Are The Best Option For 6th and 7th Generation Core PC Builders
ASUS is offering some really high-end products with the Intel 200-series platform launch. We tested one of them and the experience was really great. The ASUS 9th generation ROG MAXIMUS IX Code motherboard is a true high-end motherboard that is designed for gamers and enthusiasts. All around, the motherboard packed everything we wanted from a board.
The design scheme is really interesting as the black and silver textures do away with the renowned red and black color scheme we used to see on ROG motherboards. Instead, the motherboard features AURA RGB that will allow us to change color schemes on several sections of the motherboard which is a great feature for fans of RGB lighting. The motherboard also comes with the ROG Armor plating which covers the entire board and really gives a neat presentation of the board inside PCs.
In terms of overclocking, this board allowed us to reach 5 GHz with ease. The ASUS DIGI+ digital VRM is really strong here as it allows for some great OC numbers. The M.2 slot under the cover can be reached easily while the second M.2 slot that houses devices in a vertical position looks odd. The embedded power and reset switch inside the ROG Armor is another neat feature and the cut outs are ideally placed for you to install the board.
At $357 US, the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Code is an expensive product but it has a design that is really high-end and aimed at enthusiasts. The board packs so much that you'll run out of devices to plug into this product. It's a high-end product with so much in terms of I/O and features which makes it worth its price.
At $357 US, the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Code is a expensive product but it has a design that is really high-end and aimed at enthusiasts. It's a high-end product with so much in terms of I/O, OC Support and features which makes it worth its price.
- Great Design Quality
- Great OC Support
- Metal PCI-e Slots
- Full ROG Armor Coverage
- Intel Optane Support
- Intel 6th and 7th Gen Support
- Dual USB 3.1 (Type-A + Type-C)
- Lots of storage capabilities
- Lots of I/O capabilities
- Onboard WiFi Module
- Onboard SupremeFX Audio
- Front Panel USB 3.1 Port
- RGB AURA Lightning
- High Price ($357 US)
- No U.2 SSD Support
- Vertical M.2 Slot
- Non Metal DIMM slots
- Kaby Lake Not a Big Improvement From Skylake