Asus' ROG Maximus IX Extreme is fit for a king

Asus' latest high-end motherboard for liquid cooling fans, the ROG Maximus IX Extreme, has arrived and is available for purchase. Brace yourselves and your wallets, for this is a pricey one—though not without some good reasons. The Maximus IX Extreme will set you back a cool $630. If you're still conscious after that sticker shock, read on.

This E-ATX board is fully decked-out, but what really sets it apart from similar offerings is the built-in liquid cooling waterblock. To our knowledge, the full-coverage block covering the CPU socket and all the VRMs makes the Extreme the first of its kind. Asus teamed up with Bitspower to develop the waterblock, which packs flow-rate, water-leak, and temperature sensors. The company says the leak-detection sensor is capable of turning the system off in the event of a leak or spill. There's even an M.2 heatsink that can attach to the waterblock, too. Finally, for the blinkenlights fans, the block comes with RGB LED lighting compatible with Asus' Aura Sync.

All those cooling niceties wouldn't be worth much if the board didn't have plenty of spots for you to plug all your hardware into, though. On the networking side, the mobo comes with an Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet port and a 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter. A USB 3.1 Type-A port and a Type-C connector with Thunderbolt 3 support are accompanied by two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports. There's also a header for a pair of front-panel USB 3.1 ports. The standard loadout of audio jacks is present, all color-coded with LEDs. The audio outputs are fed by a Realtek S1220 codec and an ESS DAC for extra audio crispness.

On the board itself, you'll find three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots with SLI support, along with eight SATA ports and two M.2 PCIe x4 slots. If you're going full-bore with cooling, you'll find eight radiator fan headers and a host of watercooling sensor headers. For the overclocking-crazy, there's an external BCLK generator and support for RAM speeds up to 4133 MT/s. Finally, should things go a little awry during overclocking, the board includes multiple mode-setting switches and onboard buttons to help with the process of pulling every last MHz from your gear.

This is an expensive board, but we're hardly surprised considering the extras that come along for the ride. The ROG Maximus IX Extreme is going for $630 over on Newegg right now.

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