Buildzoid Takes a Closer Look at the ASUS Maximus IX Apex Motherboard

A few days ago Buildzoid posted a new video on his Actually Hardcore Overclocking YouTube channel, solely focused on the latest and greatest motherboard from ASUS – the ROG Maximus IX Apex. The board has already made quite an impact on HWBOT where it already has seen more submissions than any other Z270 motherboard. It was created by the ASUS R&D team to be the best performing motherboard for the new Kaby Lake platform, and if world records are anything to go by, they have done a fantastic job.

Buildzoid basically takes us a tour of the Maximus IX Apex. He kicks off with his thoughts on a slightly pared-down back panel IO, where he is delighted to see PS/2 ports for the keyboard and mouse. Did you know USB can affect stability under extreme temperatures and high BCLK configurations? You do now. The fact that the board features no USB 2.0 ports, only USB 3.0 ports is a source of minor disappointment however.

Buildzoid, as you would expect, also brings his technical expertise to the plate with an assessment of the motherboard’s power delivery, specifically the VRM. The VRM in fact uses a few components that he has never seen before, as well as more familiar components from International Rectifier and On Semiconductor. The conclusion is that considering the power needs of Kaby Lake processors, the VRM is pretty much overkill. The board in fact uses a true 8+2 phase design, pretty much as much as you can achieve without using a doubling scheme.

We look forward to live streamed OC sessions that will feature the Maxiumus IX Apex being put through its paces. Until then, you can catch this video here on the Actually Hardcore Overclocking YouTube channel.


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Taiwan sdougal says:

Discuss here...

Sweden elmor says:

Did you know USB can affect stability under extreme temperatures and high BCLK configurations? You do now.
What? USB ports are from the PCH and are on a separate clock region, not affected what so ever by the above.
The fact that the board features no USB 2.0 ports, only USB 3.0 ports is a source of minor disappointment however.
What? All USB3.0 ports are also USB2.0 ports. Windows XP and native Windows 7 support has nothing to do with USB2/3. Latest gen Intel controllers do not have legacy EHCI support and only support the newer xHCI (native in Windows 8+, or through drivers). Drivers are still released by Intel for Windows 7 but not for XP which is why we have no USB there. The workaround is to use a controller which has drivers for XP.

Czech Republic buildzoid says:

elmor said: What? USB ports are from the PCH and are on a separate clock region, not affected what so ever by the above.



What? All USB3.0 ports are also USB2.0 ports. Windows XP and native Windows 7 support has nothing to do with USB2/3. Latest gen Intel controllers do not have legacy EHCI support and only support the newer xHCI (native in Windows 8+, or through drivers). Drivers are still released by Intel for Windows 7 but not for XP which is why we have no USB there. The workaround is to use a controller which has drivers for XP.


A bone stock win 7 will not install through a USB3.0 port. I've never had it work. As for in OS support for some reason I always have issues with USB3.0 ports picking up properly even when I checked that they aren't third party. Also I've run into things like systems not POSTing until you pull most of the USB devices out when doing memory or BCLK stuff. Which makes even less sense but I've had it happen.

Admitedly I still haven't used any skylake or kabylake chips but so far everything I ever used complains when using 3.0. I know it shouldn't but it does and so I always use USB2.0 for everything.

Sweden elmor says:

buildzoid said: A bone stock win 7 will not install through a USB3.0 port. I've never had it work. As for in OS support for some reason I always have issues with USB3.0 ports picking up properly even when I checked that they aren't third party. Also I've run into things like systems not POSTing until you pull most of the USB devices out when doing memory or BCLK stuff. Which makes even less sense but I've had it happen.

Admitedly I still haven't used any skylake or kabylake chips but so far everything I ever used complains when using 3.0. I know it shouldn't but it does and so I always use USB2.0 for everything.


That's because all USB3.0 controllers I'm aware of are xHCI only. But putting USB2.0 ports on the board wouldn't do squat, you have on-board headers for USB2.0 if you want to try it yourself. The only way to have legacy USB working is to put an old EHCI-compatible controller on the board (or use a PCIE card).

Czech Republic buildzoid says:

elmor said: That's because all USB3.0 controllers I'm aware of are xHCI only. But putting USB2.0 ports on the board wouldn't do squat, you have on-board headers for USB2.0 if you want to try it yourself. The only way to have legacy USB working is to put an old EHCI-compatible controller on the board (or use a PCIE card).


Oh. ok now I get it. I never looked into the specifics of how USB work(or any storage stuff really).

So basically installing bone stock win 7 on Z170/270 is pretty much impossible if you want to do it over USB without a PCI-e card using a controller that is supported by win7.

Anything else I messed up in the video? (I hate getting corrected but more than that I hate being wrong)

United States Strong Island says:

buildzoid said: Oh. ok now I get it. I never looked into the specifics of how USB work(or any storage stuff really).

So basically installing bone stock win 7 on Z170/270 is pretty much impossible if you want to do it over USB without a PCI-e card using a controller that is supported by win7.

Anything else I messed up in the video? (I hate getting corrected but more than that I hate being wrong)


you can slipstream the required drivers into your iso and install using the usb ports. And for xp can use firadisk to load drivers and I use pcie usb 2.0 card for usb in xp.

Sweden elmor says:

buildzoid said: Oh. ok now I get it. I never looked into the specifics of how USB work(or any storage stuff really).

So basically installing bone stock win 7 on Z170/270 is pretty much impossible if you want to do it over USB without a PCI-e card using a controller that is supported by win7.

Anything else I messed up in the video? (I hate getting corrected but more than that I hate being wrong)


The MOSFETs are the same as on ROG Z170 boards (CSD87350) and it's a doubled design using IR3599.

Czech Republic buildzoid says:

elmor said: The MOSFETs are the same as on ROG Z170 boards (CSD87350) and it's a doubled design using IR3599.


Yeah I never got to get a good look at the Z170 ROG boards(or any other Z170 boards). Also now that you mention the IR3599s I finally noticed them on the board. In which case I'd love to know what the Digi+ ASP1405I actually is because I initially thought the board had an 8 phase. Though admittedly those controllers are pretty rare and as far as I can tell also expensive.

Sweden elmor says:

buildzoid said: Yeah I never got to get a good look at the Z170 ROG boards(or any other Z170 boards). Also now that you mention the IR3599s I finally noticed them on the board. In which case I'd love to know what the Digi+ ASP1405I actually is because I initially thought the board had an 8 phase. Though admittedly those controllers are pretty rare and as far as I can tell also expensive.


It's a custom Infineon/IR part.

Indonesia speed.fastest says:

USB 3.1 from ASMedia is helped a lot, there is barbonenet guide in the forum for USB 3.1 XP drivers. And there is PS2 Keyboard & Mouse i liked it a lot, useful for hardware detection and can install XP/7 easier than before.

Sweden elmor says:

buildzoid said: Yeah I never got to get a good look at the Z170 ROG boards(or any other Z170 boards). Also now that you mention the IR3599s I finally noticed them on the board. In which case I'd love to know what the Digi+ ASP1405I actually is because I initially thought the board had an 8 phase. Though admittedly those controllers are pretty rare and as far as I can tell also expensive.


If you need info on Asus products in the future, send me a PM and I'll try to get you accurate information. There's already so much misinformation out there in leaks, reviews etc.

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