Back in April, Intel released its Z490 chipset for its 10th generation Comet Lake processors with a choice of over 44 models for users to select from. One of the more enthusiast-level models for Z490 was announced by ASUS via its ROG Maximus Apex, with solid overclocking focused traits, but equally with enough features for performance users and gamers too. ASUS has announced that the ROG Maximus Apex is now available to purchase with some of the most prominent features including three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, a 16-phase power delivery, an Intel 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface.

Not all motherboards are created equal, and not all conform to fit a specific purpose e.g content creation, gaming, or workstation. One of ASUS's most distinguished brands is the Republic of Gamers series, with its blend of premium controllers, aesthetics, and the models are generally full of features. The Apex series is the brands overclocking focused models, and there have been some fantastic Apex models across the chipsets. ASUS has just put the new ROG Maximus XII Apex into North American retail channels.

Some of the most notable features of the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Apex include support for up to three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 drives, with the use of an included ROG DIMM.2 module included in the accessories bundle. Looking at storage, the Apex includes eight SATA ports which use a friendly V-shaped design to allow easier installation of SATA drives. Despite this board being ATX, ASUS includes just two memory slots with support for up to 64 GB of DDR4-4800 memory, which is likely to improve latencies and overall memory performance when overclocking memory. There are two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16 and x8/x8, with a half-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot and a single PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. On the rear panel are a load of USB connectivity with four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, and five USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. For networking, ASUS includes an Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE ethernet controller and an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 interface which also includes support for BT 5.1 devices. The board also includes a SupremeFX S1220A HD codec which adds five 3.5 mm audio jacks and a single S/PDIF optical output on the rear.

Underneath the large power delivery heatsink is a big 16-phase setup with sixteen TDA21490 90 A power stages, with an ASP1405I PWM controller operating in 7+1 mode. This is due to ASUS opting to use teamed power stages with fourteen for the CPU, and two for the SoC, with teamed designed to improve transient response when compared to setups that use doublers. Providing power to the CPU is a pair of 12 V ATX CPU power inputs, while a 4-pin Molex is present to provide additional power to the PCIe slots. 

The ASUS ROG Maximus XII Apex is currently available to purchase at Digital Storm and Cyberpower in the US, with stock expected to land at both Amazon and Newegg very soon. Stockists and retailers such as Scan Computers in the UK also have stock at present.

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Source: ASUS

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  • Quantumz0d - Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - link

    Z490 is like B550, waste of money when you spend more than a B550, both have CPU only PCIe Gen 4.0 support. And none of these good Z490 even Z490 dark, do not have a 10G lan only MSI has it with Godlike but that's insanely expensive for a B550 class mobo. This is a good board with good number of SATA ports and unique design, but Intel sandbagged whole Z490 with that EOL chipset.

    Not going to buy any Z490, waste of money. Looking forward for X670 if they remove that chispet fan to a new lithography node chipset design.
    Reply
  • back2future - Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - link

    better sense might be having a double stacked main cpu fan (for redundancy, if necessary) and chipset cooling through channelized directed flow (or heatpipes) Reply
  • back2future - Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - link

    hexus.net
    x570
    "testing shows that using PCIe 4.0 peripherals under stress doesn't make much of a difference to power consumption" ???
    "chipset power consumption in his testing to near 10W by attaching multiple devices and stressing them all. Then, with "almost no airflow" and a tiny chipset heatsink (pictured above) sat replacing the active fan cooler, the temps peaked at 74°C."
    Reply
  • Morawka - Thursday, July 2, 2020 - link

    I love the two canted sets of SATA connectors on this board that flow with the lines of the heatsinks. The artistic design is phenomenal. Some semi-rigid RGB sata cables would look amazing on this board. Reply
  • Byte - Friday, July 3, 2020 - link

    The V shapped SATA is some stupid reterted shlt. I want it on every mobo! Reply
  • MrVibrato - Saturday, July 4, 2020 - link

    Wait until you see two M.2 slots forming an X. It's just a matter of time when some manufacturer will do it. Gamerrrrrs will lap this shit up... Reply
  • PrimozR - Sunday, July 26, 2020 - link

    Whoever thought of this hasn't ever built a computer. How the hell do you even plug in two cables in the same plane (both bottom or both top) on either side of the V?? Hs the designer ever seen a SATA cable? Reply
  • PrimozR - Sunday, July 26, 2020 - link

    And yes, I know the point of this board is not to plug 8 drives in it. And I agree. But then... WHy even put 8 SATA ports on it?? Reply
  • MrVibrato - Friday, July 3, 2020 - link

    An ATX board with two memory slots. I guess now i have seen it all... Reply
  • Destoya - Saturday, July 4, 2020 - link

    That's been a thing for years on these top-end overclocking boards. You can consistently get a couple hundred more MHz on the ram RAM with 2 slots compared to a 4-slot board. For a long while people would set RAM overclocking records on mini-ITX boards for that reason alone. The Apex represents Asus' most extreme overclocking offering (hence the name), so it would be a disservice to ship it with anything other than the 2-slot layout.

    Complaining about it is like complaining that a Porsche 911 GT3 doesn't come with rear seats from the factory; it's just completely irrelevant criticism.
    Reply

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