ASUS' newest Maximus Formula uses the familiar thermal armor that we've seen on other TUF-series boards, including full liquid cooling support for the VRM heatsink. The VRM heatsink is considered a "hybrid" cooling solution, in that it will accept 1/4" fittings for liquid or use the more traditional passive copper cooling; the company calls this "CrossChill Copper," which is a corrosion-resistant copper channel traveling through the heatsink to allow transport of liquid coolant.
Things are somewhat normal beyond that. The board has 3xPCI-e slots with unspecified pin-out, though inspection of board images reveals that they are x16 / x8 / x8 (some sites are reporting x16/x16/x16, but a look at the above image refutes that). One slot is PCI-e 3.0 x16, one is PCI-e 3.0 x8, and the third is PCI-e 2.1 x8. An additional 3xPCI-e 2.x x1 slots are present alongside a single mini-PCI-e 2.x x1 expansion card slot.
RAM support is listed on ASUS' website as DDR3-3300+ (32GB), so if you're trying to be the next "hicookie," this board will get you pretty close.
Storage support is listed as:
- 6xSATA III
- 4x Shared SATA III / SATA-e
- 1xM.2 Socket 3 w/ M Key
The motherboard should become available next week, ASUS says, and has an initial MSRP of $320.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.