Asus has pulled out all the stops for what it calls its "flagship E-ATX motherboard" based on the Z170 chipset, the Republic of Gamers Maximus VIII Extreme. Decked out in silver and red and and bristling with slots and ports, this board is certainly something to behold.
Asus says it's built the Maximus VIII Extreme for maximum performance and overclocking prowess. The company's Extreme Engine DIGI+ VRM hardware purportedly delivers extra-clean power to the CPU, and all four memory slots can be populated while reaching memory speeds of 3,866 MT/s. Asus also includes a feature called Pro Clock, which it describes as a dedicated generator for Skylake's base clock that can push BCLK frequencies as high as 400MHz.
To aid in overclocking, Asus kicks in the OC Panel II, a removable accessory display that can either sit in a 5.25" drive bay or stand on a desk in "Extreme" mode. In its drive bay configuration, the panel can control system fan speeds and monitor CPU temperature, multipliers, and BCLK speed. When the OC Panel II is unleashed from its cage in Extreme mode, tweakers get an extra panel of buttons that offer access to quick recovery controls in case an overclocking attempt goes awry.
The Maximus VIII Extreme doesn't want for connectivity. Asus includes eight SATA 6Gbps ports, four of which are tied into the dual SATA Express ports. U.2 and M.2 slots hook up to next-gen storage. Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 pass through a single Type-C connector on the rear cluster, and peripheral I/O is bolstered with a wealth of other ports. Four-way SLI or CrossFire setups are possible thanks to the quartet of PCIe 3.0 x16 slots.
To top off the Extreme's glorious excess, this board includes SupremeFX 2015 onboard audio and controllable RGB LED lighting. All this goodness doesn't come cheap, however. The RoG Maximus VIII Extreme is currently available on Newegg for a breathtaking $500.