ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490 Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 5 days ago
A Closer Look
This is one of the flagship motherboards of the Z490 range, so it has to both look the part and offer the performance and feature set to match the big price tag. Well, they certainly nailed the looks, it’s ultra-sleek and clean looking, but it’s packing some pretty hefty hardware. Literally too, as this board is not what I would call light. There’s armour and heatsinks all over the place though, which we do love.
Plus you get their Live Dash OLED display above the PCIe slots to show animations, system stats and more.
The bulk of the weight comes from these massive heatsinks surrounding the CPU. There’s one at the top, one on the left, and an extra one at the bottom. However, it’s more complex than that. There’s a huge heatpipe running through all three of them, but it continues down to the chipset and M.2 heatsink, basically turn the whole thing into a giant cooler. It’s not for nothing either, as the MAXIMUS XII EXTREME is packing a 16 power stage design, ensuring you can push those 10th Gen CPUs to the limit.
Power is drawn from a pair of ProCool II Power Connectors, which are reinforced and armoured for improved stability and durability.
The board features more reinforcement on the DIMM slots, which come with OPTIMEM III, ensuring you can get the best out of your memory kit. Plus, they have their DIMM.2 there also, which is awesome. Plus you get all the BIOS debug LED, power controls, dip switches on the right side also.
The chipset heatsink is enormous, wrapping around the PCIe lanes, to form some massive M.2 heatsinks. There no shortage of them either when you include the DIMM.2, the board will take four M.2 drives.
- 1 x M.2 2280 supports PCIe 3.0 x4 & SATA mode
- 2 x M.2 2280 supports PCIe 3.0 x4
- 2 x M.2 22110 supports PCIe 3.0 x4 mode (from DIMM.2)
The board offers up two full-size PCI lanes, will are armoured, obviously. However, the top slot is actually a 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. To the left of all that, you’ll see a shroud covering (most of) the SupremeFX audio hardware too. That comes with the S1220 Codec and the powerful ESS ES9023P DAC. However, there’s also the Texas Instruments RC4580 op amp.
The rear I/O is pre-installed, and it’s pretty hefty on the tech too. There’s BIOS FlashBack and CMOS controls at the top. Then you have TEN USB ports, that’s 6 x 3.2 Gen 1, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, and 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. Oh and if that’s not enough, two Thunderbolt ports, 10 GbE Marvell AQtion LAN, 2.5GbE LAN, and Intel WiFi 6 AX201 are also included; you’ll not be left short of connectivity then! Plus one of my favourite features, gold-plated audio jacks that are LED lit inside when the board is power on; it’s just cool.