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ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Extreme Review

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ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Extreme Testing:

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 3.0 is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the Cache and Memory benchmark tool to measure memory performance.




CrystalDiskMark 3.0: CrystalDiskMark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds of drives by using 4K blocks, 512K blocks, and sequential data. For the test, we chose the 1000MB option.




ATTO 2.47 will be used to measure USB 3.0 performance using an SSD attached to an external USB 3.0 drive dock.



LAN performance will be tested via a utility to gauge the performance of the onboard network solutions. The motherboard being tested will be connected via a Gigabit switch to another system with an integrated Gigabit network solution on board.

iPerf is a small lightweight utility run from the command prompt and can be used to measure both TCP and UDP performance on a network. iPerf is cross-platform software and open source. The test is configured to run for 20 seconds with a window size of 256 KB and four simultaneous streams that should be able to saturate the TCP link on a good NIC.



RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.25 is used to test the sound solution on board each motherboard. Nothing beats a good set of ears and headphones, but this is a graphic representation of the capabilities of the installed hardware. Sampling mode is 24-bit 44kHz.

MSI Z170A Gaming M7

Gigabyte Z170X-UD5

Frequency Response dB
+0.94,-1.37 +0.55,-1.58 +0.68,+0.06 +0.19,-0.17 +0.50,-1.56
Noise Level dBA
-140.1 -96.5 -91.5 -83.2 -99.2
Dynamic Range dBA
126.4 96.4 91.4 83.1 99.2
Total Harmonic distortion %
0.0025 0.082 0.0039 0.191 0.025
Intermodulation distortion +noise
4.071 0.971 0.0096 0.382 0.586
Stereo Crosstalk,db
-137.9 -93.9 -88.1 -80.8 -97.8
Intermodulation distortion + noise (Swept Freq) %
0.0056 0.239 0.0085 0.384 0.032
Frequency Response (Swept Sine), db
+1.7,-7.8 +0.4,-1.7 +0.3,-0.1 +0.16,-0.17 +0.2,-2.0











Looking at the memory and drive testing, the memory performance is similar across the board. ASUS does a lot of back end tuning to ensure you get not only memory compatibility, but good memory performance right out of the box. Thankfully, ASUS also makes it easy to tune performance by using the specific by DIMM type tweaks in the BIOS. Disk drive performance is comparable across each of the tests in CrystalDiskMark. Disk performance via the USB 3.0/3.1 ports is excellent as it has been for quite some time, thanks to ASUS USB 3.1 Boost that drives data transfer rates up to an external drive.

In iPerf, the ASUS M8E delivers data throughput of 939 Mbits/s by using an Intel I219-V controller to manage the LAN functionality. By comparison, the spread between boards is still, at most, 4 Mbits/sec. This should give you an expectation of consistent performance across ASUS' product stack. One added upside is ASUS' own GameFirst II management software so you can prioritize which traffic goes first when doing some fraggin'.

ASUS pioneered the concept of separating the audio hardware on board the motherboard PCB from the other electronics to improve audio quality. On a hardware level, the SupremeFX 2015 audio solution is as good as many discrete solutions. In the Rightmark Audio testing, the overall rating was Good with many Excellent marks. Actually listening to audio tracks, gaming, and movies is subjective, but I found this solution met all of my needs.

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