Not everyone has the time and expertise to design and build the perfect gaming PC. That doesn’t mean they should break down and buy a preconfigured and possibly more expensive PC from a system builder. Therefore, the more that components are able to integrate advanced features the better.
Asus has taken that idea to heart and has released a new gaming motherboard that includes one relatively advanced gaming feature — water cooling — built into the board itself. The Asus ROG Maximus IX Extreme Z270 isn’t the least expensive option, but it builds in some convenient technology, Hexus reports.
Asus dubs the solution the “Water Cooling Master,” and it’s a monoblock that Asus designed along with Bitspower specifically for the new motherboard. It cools the CPU, VRM module, and M.2 slot, and integrates eight fan connections and a number of sensors that provide flow-rate, water-leak, and temperature data to the ROG Fan Xpert 4 software. It’s also Asus ROG-themed and is designed to reduce some of the complexity of the typical liquid cooling system.In addition, the Maximus IX Extreme Z270 includes all of the usual high-end gaming motherboard features. There’s an extensive array of connections with support for all of the latest technology, including dual M.2 PCI3 3.0 x4 with NVMe SSD RAID support, 2X2 802.11AC Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1, and Thunderbolt 3.
There is a host of PCIe expansion slots including two PCIE 3.0 x16 slots supporting x16/x8/x8, a PCIe 3.0 x16 supporting x4 mode, and another PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. The board supports both Nvidia two-way SLI and AMD 3-way CrossFireX multi-GPU setups.
High-end audio is supported via a SupremeFX S1220 codec and ESS Sabre Hi-Fi ES9023P digital-to-analog converter. A Texas Instruments RC 4580 op-amp pushes heavy volumes with low distortion. Sonic Radar III, Sonic Studio III, and LED-lighted 3.5mm jacks round out the audio support.
The Asus ROG Maximus IX Extreme Z270 uses an Intel Z270 chipset and supports all of the latest seventh- and sixth-generation Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors. Turbo Boost 2.0 I is on hand, as well as full support for Intel 14nm CPUs.
If you’re still on the Intel bandwagon and want to save yourself some hassle in setting up a liquid cooling system, then Asus’ newest gaming motherboard might be for you. Just know that you’re going to pay for it. Asus released the ROG Maximus IX Extreme Z270 in the U.S. for $630 and it’s available if you’re ready to pull the trigger.
Article originally published in March 2017. Updated on 05-03-2017 by Mark Coppock: Indicated that the motherboard is now available.