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Asus ROG Maximus V Extreme (Z77) Subzero Review

Simply put the Maximus V Extreme is the most overclocking focused motherboard we have seen. The amount of features focused on extreme overclocking are abundant as they are complex and thorough. Some of them are very unique and others are common now. During this period of extreme overclocking fondness, motherboard manufacturers are taking their own unique stab at some of the more complex overclocking technologies. ASUS now has their OC-Key and Subzero sense which together offer very unique approaches towards extreme overclocking. Subzero sense goes hand in hand with OC Key, as you need a way to monitor those thermocouples while the system is off and while it is on, but not use up many resources. OC-Key is the perfect way to do this. OC Key also gives real-time parameter change while is only rivaled by a few features from some other manufacturers, which can’t even change half the amount of parameters that OC-Key can. The overclocking performance of the Maximus 5 Extreme is also very good, many ASUS users report that this motherboard has the best memory OC among all the ROG boards for Z77, and they would be right. It is just too easy to load up a profile and set the multiplier to hit the max clocks of your memory.

However all this perfection comes with a few downsides. First of all is price, this has to be one of the most expensive Z77 motherboards, and you don’t get many gaming features as you would with the Formula. Nor do you get that much USB 3.0 or dual NIC that would you would with the P8Z77-V Premium. What you get instead are more OC features than any other Z77 board on the market. There are a few other cons, and the first is that the BIOS while very extensive might scare a few people who don’t know their way around a ROG UEFI. Also I am sure ASUS is working to better this, but memory OC C.P.R. wasn’t functioning. ASUS CPR is their OC recovery which is engaged after an AC power loss, which works correctly on the other Z77 ROG boards. The upside is that you won’t really need memory OC recovery as the motherboard is pretty much guaranteed to POST when you want it to with high memory frequencies. Also the DPC spikes during OC-Key changes should be noted as you shouldn’t change parameters while a benchmark is running or it might hurt your score or crash the system if it is almost unstable.

If we put some of the great LN2 results aside, this motherboard still boasts some other really great points. The fact that it has thunderbolt and a plethora of other connectivity features such as an mPCI slot with an included WIFI card is pretty impressive. Not only that but you have six SATA6G ports, four more than are native to the platform. The audio performance is really impressive as well. The T-topology really seems to shine through with this board as does its custom PCI-E layout. Bringing the ability to use native 16x and native 8x/8x multi GPU PCI-E bandwidth to a board which supports 4-way is very nice. The way ASUS has paid attention to the little things such as thermal sensor headers next to the fan headers, the custom Windows software package, and the 3.3v power generator all instill confidence for users looking to purchase an extremely high-end Z77 overclocking board. This one is going to be very hard to beat. 

Pros Cons
Extensive UEFI with Memory OC Profiles High Price
OC-Key and Subzero Sense Memory CPR not fully functional
Special PCI-E layout and 3.3v generator UEFi a bit too complex for novice
Very good LN2 Benchmarking ability  
Excellent Memory Overclocking  
Thunderbolt and mPCIE  
Extensive Software Package  

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