Conclusion: The board's feature set is impressive and the performance was acceptable, but we did have a few issues regarding stability. But before I begin to explain the problems we ran into, it should be noted that we have been unable to acquire a new sample of this product, so we cannot rule out the option this may be a problem limited to our sample. When tested using a Core 2 Duo Q9450 processor, the Maximus II Formula proved to be rock solid.
Conclusion: In a sense, it's difficult to find new things to say about releases from ASUS' Republic of Gamers motherboard series; such is the consistent quality that they have exhibited over the past year or so. As per previous offerings, aesthetically the Maximus II Formula looks reasonably stylish, the board layout is pretty much perfect, the overclocking options are exhaustive and offer plenty for both beginners and seasoned veterans, and performance is exactly as you'd expect.
Summary: There’s a catch to all this goodness: The MIIF has a $260 street price, while the equally fast MSI P45 Platinum is about $75 less. But that extra $75 does get you a lot, including an English-language POST LCD box, X-Fi EAX4 support (hopefully), and more SATA ports. It also gets you a heatsink that doesn’t look like a bad art-school project.
Pros: Tons of SATA ports, some X-Fi support, an eye-pleasing color scheme.
P45 head-to-head: MSI P45 Platinum and Asus Maximus II Formula
16 July 2008
Summary: In this article we´ll focus on what the MSI P45 Platinum and Asus Maximus II Formula can bring us in terms of performance, overclocking and the performance gained from overclocking. We´ll be giving you basic pointers for obtaining better results and will spend a little time on the energy-saving technology used on these boards.
Excerpt: At first glance, Intel's technical documentation for the new P45 / G45 Express series chipsets, you'll note looks alarmingly similar to the previous generation P35 / G35 Express series that this new lineup of chipsets is meant to replace. As the P35 series was a rather successful architecture, this immediately struck us on a positive first note about the P45.
Summary: Initially I had my doubts about the performance of the Asus Maximus II Formula. I thought that Asus's ROG - "Republic of Gamers" was nothing but a marketing ploy, a gimmick to entice gaming enthusiasts to buy their boards ... but how wrong was I. During our tests, the Asus Maximus II Formula produced excellent scores in all of our tests and benchmarks. In fact, it was one of the fastest P45 motherboard we tested to date.
Pros: - Uses Intel's aslready proven P45 chipset, - Supports DDR2 ram, - Excellent performance, - Good overclocking ability (with some tweaking), - Separate Creative X-Fi HD audio card, - LCD poster for diagnostic purposes, - Internal Power-on and Reset switches, - Lots of innovative features from Asus, - New Asus Extreme and EPU engines
Cons: - Pricey for a P45 motherboard, - May not suit everyone. It's very enthusiast.
Summary: As it turned out, it is quite hard to formulate conclusions regarding ASUS Maximus II Formula. From the viewpoint of the buyer who purchases a motherboard with a regular cooling system, this product has absolutely nothing to complain about: it offers superb expansion options, powerful overclocking tools, and a fantastic overclocking capability.
Pros: High stability and performance;, 8-phase CPU power scheme;, 3-phase power scheme for the north bridge, and 2-phase for the memory;, Two PCI Express x16 v2.0 slots;, Support for SerialATA II/RAID (9 links; ICH10R+88SE6121+Sil5723);, Support for one P-ATA link (88SE6121);, Two LAN controllers (Gigabit Ethernet);, Support for USB2.0 (12 ports) and IEEE-1394 (FireWire, 2 ports);, A wide selection of ASUS' proprietary technologies (PC Probe II, EZ Flash 2, BIOS Flashback, ...
Cons: The package bundle does not match the level of a high-end product;, The cooling system may have a serious flaw;
Conclusion: I found it very hard not to adore this motherboard to be quite honest. Visually, the board is stunning with new look gun metal grey heat sinks splashed with blood red 'shields', which is a much more appealing sight than copper coloured aluminium heat sinks of old. The Maximus' layout is nigh on perfect, with all the connections in the right places making for clutter free cabling.
Pros: Multitude of BIOS options, Excellent BIOS recovery, Visually stunning, X-FI riser card, 16 phase power design, Screw down heatsinks, Energy saving, LCD Poster options, Support for 16GB of DDR2