With the special highlights mentioned on the previous, page, we continue to run through some of the more 'regular' features of ASUS Maximus VI Impact. For starters, due to the limited space, there are only two DIMM slots; however, they are capable of supporting DDR3 memory modules that have been rated to operate at the frequency of up to 3000MHz.. The total capacity maxes out at 16GB, but it might just be sufficient for the average enthusiast that this board is aimed at.
Moving beyond the DIMM slot, we see the four SATA 6Gbps connectors and the lone PCIe Gen.3 x16 expansion slot. The other expansion slot is found on the bundled mPCIe combo card where the user can install a M.2 (NGFF) SSD.
Next, we move to the rear I/O ports of the board where there is a raised daughter-board with a number of onboard buttons. Looking at the left stack, we have the optical S/PDIF out port, the HDMI port and the DisplayPort. The four black USB 2.0 ports are to the right of the daughter-board. A lone red external SATA port sits on top of a pair of USB 3.0 ports. The last stack consists of a Gigabit LAN port located on top of another pair of USB 3.0 ports. The port is on the Intel I217V Gigabit LAN controller. According to ASUS, it works with the ROG GameFirst II traffic shaping feature to reduce lags for online gaming.
There are a total of four onboard buttons on the daughter board. They are as follows:-
There is a Q-Code debug LED display that will provide 2-digit error codes in the event of system hang-ups.
According to the board's manual, the ROG Connect button of the Maximus VI Impact is used to update the BIOS of board with the USB BIOS flashback feature. However, we are quite sure that it also has the function that is identical to the one found on the Maximus VI Extreme motherboard. On the ATX board, the ROG Connect works in tandem with the RC TweakIt software, in order to allow the user to remotely tweak the system's settings from another PC. We will update this section as soon as we get clarification from ASUS.
The ASUS Maximus VI Impact mini-ITX motherboard is one that is packed to the brim with high-end features. In order to save space due to its limited PCB real estate, the engineers have cleverly opted to put them on daughter boards, and its audio features are packaged onto an expansion card. The board also inherits the option to connect the ROG OC Panel. This would be ideal if the ROG OC Panel is available as a separate purchase (which we've no word about yet). Due to its form factor, the board is inherently lacking in expansion slots. It has only one PCIe Gen.3 slot that is reserved for a discrete graphics card. This board is clearly positioned at gamers and power users who are looking to build their ultimate small form factor system.
However, with its S$389 price tag, this mini-ITX board is more expensive than the majority of Intel 8-series ATX boards. Therefore, its immediate appeal will resonate with end-consumers who desire certain high-end features of the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme board. While these consumers balk at the prohibitive cost of the latter (S$649 to be exact), they can somewhat get their fix with the Maximus VI Impact, provided that one is willing to live with the mini-ITX form factor limitations. Apart from that, the only concern would be how cramped the board can get if it's fully decked out with all daughter boards and a discrete graphics card. Good cooling measures must be in place around the processor to prevent hot air from re-circulating and walled-in between all the cards jutting out around the socket area.
Stay tuned for a full review in the near future.