• Slot: Intel LGA 1151
  • CPU: Intel Z170
  • RAM Slots: 2
  • RAM Type: DDR4
  • Ports: USB 3.0 x4, HDMI x1, LAN x1, USB 3.1 x2
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • Features
  • Cons:
  • Price
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark 8 (Home): 4,332 points
  • PCMark 8 (Creative): 4,485 points
  • PCMark 8 (Work): 3,921 points

Small In Stature, Big In Power

When ASUS sent us the Maximus VIII Impact to review, we didn’t expect much out of it because Mini-ITX motherboards are typically known to be made for small form factor PCs that end up being a home theatre system to watch movies and do computing on the big screen. The company is looking to change all that with this ROG-branded pocket-rocket of a motherboard.

Owing to its extremely small board print, the Maximus VIII Impact comes with fewer components that we’re so used compared to a regular-sized ATX board. That being said, the board’s two DDR4 DIMM slots are capable of supporting up to 32GBs of DDR4 RAM, which can be overclocked to a whopping 4,133MHz. It also has four SATA III 6.0Gbps ports, which is capable of powering a decent amount of built-in storage. The board also has only one PCIE slot, which makes sense considering the cases these types of motherboards usually get thrown into.

At the back, the Maximus VIII Impact has four USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI port, audio out ports as well as a LAN port and USB 3.1 type A and Type C ports, which is quite impressive considering its relative size.

Despite being a Mini ITX board, the Maximus VIII Impact does not come with its own set of features. For starters, it has ASUS’ SupremeFX audio card built in, allowing audiophiles and gamers alike to be immersed in an soundstage like no other. It users Nichicon capacitors, as well as an ESS ES9023P DAC to give you that life-like sound quality that no other motherboards in this form factor can give you.

For enthusiast who want to overclock, the Maximus VIII Impact also comes with MicroFine Alloy chokers, PowIR Stage MOSFETs and 10K metallic capacitors to ensure that the components stay strong even as you push the processor to its limits.

During our time with the motherboard, we had little issues getting it up and running. In fact, we didn’t feel any difference at all when using this tiny board, when compared to other boards that are easily twice or three times its size.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The performance of the ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Impact motherboard belies its size. If you’re looking to build a compact badass gaming rig, this is definitely the go-to motherboard.

(previously published in issue December 2015)

ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Impact