CPU & Motherboards

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME (Z490) LGA1200 Motherboard Unboxing & First Impressions

For an elusive release, the Maximus Extreme-class motherboard stood for the best of the best in terms of performance for the ASUS ROG family of motherboard and has held a distinct position a maximum performance motherboard that comprises only the best of what ASUS has to offer. When ASUS doesn’t feel like it though, sometimes, we don’t get an EXTREME-class motherboard. So despite the fact that we’re into the 12th iteration of the Maximus line, we’ve only had numerous appearances from an EXTREME board and with overclocking not as big of a deal as it used to b for the mainstream market, ASUS has transitioned the EXTREME into a watercooling board, continuing its overclocking legacy but shaving some technical prowess off for some maximum cooling options.

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME (Z490) LGA1200 Motherboard

Today, Intel lifts the veil on their LGA 1200 motherboards and we’re now allowed to share with you what we’re working with as we head to a CPU release from Intel in an attempt to thwart off AMD. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME (M12E) and check what’s inside the box as well as what’s on the board.

Let’s get started!



ASUS packs the ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME in its standard ROG box. Its actually the same box we’ve seen for around 2 years now and nothing much has changed.  Over at the back we have details about the board which we’ll talk about in this article.

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME (Z490) LGA1200 Wifi/Bluetooth Antenna, 30mm cooling fan, and fan mounting bracket for 30mm fan

This box has a lot of compartment so we’ll just walk through the inclusion. First-up: the Bluetooth and WIFI antenna. Together with that we have a 3omm miniature fan along with a mounting arm. This is similar to the cooling solution used on the first Zenith motherboard ASUS has released from time to time for boards that may need supplementary cooling on their VRMs which seems to be the case with the Maximus XII Extreme.

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME (Z490) LGA1200 Motherboard M.2 mounting screws, pads, screws, Q Connector, ROG badge, and ROG installation USB drive

You get a bunch of M.2 screws to hold your device to the slots as well as pad stickers for support. You also get a Q-connector which allows easy placement of front panel headers to the board. You get some extra screws which I believe are for the Fan Extension Card II and you get a logo badge and USB installation flash drive.

ASUS has included a Thunderbolt III expansion card with the Maximus XII Extreme: the ThunderboltEXT3-TR. This card required 6-pin PCIe power as well connection to a Thunderbolt header on the motherboard as well as USB. The card support two (2) mini-DisplayPort input and two (2) Thunderbolt3 Type-C output.

ASUS has also included a Fan Extension Card II daughtercard with the M12E which allows expanding the already rich array of fan headers with 6 more plus a pair of RGB headers. The extension card can be connected via ASUS Node cable for further control and monitoring.

Most high-end Extreme boards from ASUS support the ROG DIMM_2 module which is a special M.2 host card for the Extreme boards. Underneath the heatsink, you can mount two M.2 devices.

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME (Z490) LGA1200 Motherboard Cables

Cables included with the ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME are 3 pairs of sleeved SATA cables,  two DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort, RGB headers, thermal probes, a node cable, a USB internal header and a Thunderbolt internal header.

In terms of extras, ASUS has included a screwdriver with a replacement head as well as a nice little tag.

Rounding up the package are the manuals, a sticker sheet and the power cable for the fan hub.

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BossMac Suba

Owner and lead reviewer for Back2Gaming. More than 10-year of corporate IT experience as well as consumer IT journalism. His extensive skill set and experience in communicating complicated technical details into easily understandable bits. He's been with you since dial-up and the ISA slot. His favorite animal is the scapegoat.

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