ASUS Maximus VI Impact Review: ROG and Mini-ITX

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The Impact is more expensive than other mini-ITX boards, and at $225 it competes in a serious price bracket with both micro-ATX and full sized ATX brethren. One could argue that being a small form factor product produces a price premium for having to engineer the hardware on a smaller PCB, and that there is potential for it to lack many of the features of full-sized ATX motherboards. ASUS has attempted to engineer the Maximus VI Impact to dispel myths like these.

To start, the right angled power delivery design we initially saw on the P8Z77-I Deluxe is back, this time with Blackwing 60A chokes and 10K black caps, similar to other boards in this price segment. The audio codec is supplied on a custom built PCB in order to provide enough space for filter caps and appropriate DACs to go with the SupremeFX audio philosophy and reported a 107.8 dBA SNR in our testing. The integrated 802.11ac WiFi, a feature on a few ATX boards around this price point, is combined on an mPCIe Combo II card with support for M.2 NGFF SSDs. Along with an Intel i217 Ethernet controller there are four SATA 6 Gbps ports (PCH driven), 1 eSATA port, six USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, four 4-pin fan headers and an ‘Impact Control’ PCB on the RearIO to support ROG Connect, USB BIOS Flashback, MemOK and a ClearCMOS button. Having four 4-pin fan headers on a mini-ITX is almost unheard of.