ASUS’s previous-gen motherboard launch for Intel was memorable for introducing their teaming power delivery design which saw the Maximus XI Hero criticized for its VRM configuration. We understood on the get-go was ASUS was getting at since marketing means a lot of things to people, a lot of things were said and the X570 rolled-in and all was forgiven. Today, Intel is launching their 10th-generation Comet Lake-S processors, still fabbed on the same 14nm process we’ve seen all those years ago. But with endurance comes growth, and while Intel struggles with their new process, the 14nm has been refined over time that it has been wringed to death by Intel.
And we literally mean death as this is Intel’s last dance with 14nm, hopefully, otherwise they’ll meet the Piledriver faith.
To compliment this launch, motherboard makers are again unleashing their top-end motherboars to support the LGA1200 processor packing the Z490 chipset. In this review, we’ll take a look at ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME, the one overclocking series board, now aimed at premium watercooling enthusiast but still maintains its pedigree of pushing performance to the limit. Read on to see how ASUS ROG is bringing the EXTREME this time around in this review. Let’s begin!
Intel 400 series Chipset – Z490
Let’s be honest Intel, I’d usually do a full breakdown of the chipset for this generation but truth be told, it’s pretty much the Z390 with WIFI6 and LGA1200 socket. Intel cites that the new motherboards required a new power configuration hence the new socket but then again, that’s for the socket, the chipset itself is left with just WIFI6. Intel could’ve released second-gen Z390 but it wouldn’t make motherboard makers happy, would it? For motherboard makers though, they have full freedom to explore newer power implementations. With experience from AMD’s high core-count chips, the Z490 should inherit a lot from the X570 of last-generation in the power delivery side and have some space to play around with the features.
|Intel Z390, B460, Z370 and Z270 Chipset Comparison|
|Max PCH PCIe 3.0 Lanes||24||24||24||24|
|Max USB 3.1 (Gen2/Gen1)||6/10||?||6/10||0/10|
|Max SATA Ports||6||6||6||6|
|Memory Channels (Dual)||2/2||2/2||2/2||2/2|
|Intel Optane Memory Support||Y||?||Y||Y|
|Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST)||Y||?||Y||Y|
|Max Rapid Storage Technology Ports||3||?||3||3|
|Integrated WiFi MAC||Wi-Fi 6||Wi-Fi 6||Wi-Fi 5||N|
|Intel Smart Sound||Y||?||Y||Y|
|Integrated SDXC (SDA 3.0) Support||?||?||Y||N|
|Max HSIO Lanes||30||?||30||30|
|Intel Smart Sound||?||?||Y||Y|
Table courtesy of Anandtech