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First Looks: ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula motherboard

By Aaron Yip - 1 May 2020

First Looks: ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula motherboard

ASUS makes some of the finest motherboards and we have always rated them highly. So, when ASUS sent over their newest ROG Maximus XII Formula motherboard for us to have a first look, there were certainly high expectations of it.

Traditionally the go-to board for hardcore gamers and overclockers with its elaborate liquid-cooling setup, the ROG Maximus XII Formula is part of the new line of Intel Z490 chipset-based motherboards that supports Intel’s new 10th-Gen Comet Lake-S processors.

The ROG Maximus XII Formula is based on the Intel Z490 Chipset that supports the chipmaker's newest 10th-Gen desktop processors.

The armour is there as a reinforcement to protect the board's structural integrity - given that you may pair it up with multiple high-end and heavy cards.

Visually, the ROG Maximus XII Formula looks no different from its predecessor – the Z390-based Maximus XI Formula. The main features of the board are still the extensive steel armour that covers a large part of the board, the huge integrated I/O shield and the CrossChill EK III VRM hybrid cooling block on the VRMs. The colour scheme is now a mixed of glossy and matt black, along with the obligatory RGB light show when you turn the power on. I can appreciate that it’s not overly flashy, though.

At the bottom left is the SupremeFX chip that powers the onboard audio.

Below the second graphics slot is the heat shield cover for the two M.2 slots. It's intended for bare SSDs that are supplied without their own heatsink or heat spreader.

The Maximus XII Formula also comes with a 16-phase teamed power delivery for the CPU, which is using 60 A power stages. It has three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which run at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/+4, with a single PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. For storage, there are three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, each with its own individual heatsink, and six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.

The ROG Maximus XII Formula has no lack of connectors and inputs.

For networking, the motherboard has a solid setup. ASUS included an Aquantia AQC107 10 G Ethernet controller, with an additional Intel I225-V 2.5 G controller for dual LAN into the Maximus XII Formula. It even managed to cram in an Intel AX201 WiFi 6 wireless interface with support for BT 5.1 devices. A SupremeFX S1220 HD audio codec powers the onboard audio.

The board is built for overclocking as much as it is for performance.

The Maximus XII Formula features four DIMM slots with support for up to DDR4-4700, with a total memory capacity of up to 128GB. Overclockers are not left out, of course. Like the previous Maximus XI Formula, the new board also comes with an overclocker’s toolkit that includes a reset and power button with a 2-digit Debug LED.

The ROG Maximus XII Formula will be available at authorised ASUS retailers from 29 May onwards, with pricing to be announced later (hint: it won't be cheap).