CES 2016: ASUS Displays New Maximus Formula, AMD 970 Board and More

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Our next stop in covering CES 2016 was with the fine people at ASUS. Raja lead us around their suite showing off all kinds of new goodies from the new Z170 Maximus VIII Formula, 970 Pro Gaming/Aura AMD board, gaming peripherals and even an external graphics docking station, the ROG XG Station 2.

ROG Maximus VIII Formula

The MVIIIF, as I will now call it, is a Z170 ATX motherboard sporting a integrated EK made waterblock to keep the VRMs cool. ASUS mentioned that in their testing, liquid cooling dropped the temperatures on the VRMs by up to 23 °C. It also uses the new Aura lighting so you can customize the LEDs that are placed in various places on the board. The board is theme-agnostic in its black PCB and dark grey armor (think Sabertooth armor). With the ability to customize the LEDs’ color with full RGB to choose from, it will fit with nearly every build. You can also connect LEDs to the motherboard and control them through the software. Expect to see this motherboard on the shelves in a couple of weeks, as well as a review!

ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Formula

ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Formula

970 Pro Gaming Aura

ASUS took the liberty of modifying an older but solid chipset (970+SB950) for AMD CPUs. One of the first things they did was to jazz it up a bit with some RGB LEDs that are fully customizable with their Aura software. They added M.2 NVMe support as well (just below the southbridge) so you can use one of these quick SSDs on the older chipset. Last, but not least, this is the world’s first AMD board that is certified by NVIDIA to offer SLI support.

ASUS 970 Pro Gaming Aura

ASUS 970 Pro Gaming Aura

ROG Spatha Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse

One of the next items we looked at is the soon to be released ROG Spatha wired/wireless gaming mouse. The mouse features an 8200 DPI laser, and 12 programmable buttons (six by the thumb) made for “MMO glory.” It comes with a vertical charging stand, or the ability to plug it in and use it wired. If the feel of the left and right mouse button are not what you would like them to be, the ROG Spatha also has the capability to easily replace the switches. Look for this in the market soon.

ROG Spatha Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse

ROG Spatha Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse

ROG Spatha - Exploded View

ROG Spatha – Exploded View

ROG Claymore Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The ROG Claymore Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, pictured below (from ASUS website), is made out of aluminum with a cool looking design, uses Cherry MX RGB mechanical switches, and also has a detachable number pad that can be placed on either side of the board. That same number pad also has macro switches on it. The keyboard features full customization via Aura software, N-key rollover and it can be synced with ROG motherboards to control fan speeds, direct to BIOS boot, overclocking (profiles) via buttons on the keyboard (see photo below).

ROG Claymore Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

ROG Claymore Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

 

synckeys

Overclocking Keys on Claymore

ROG XG2 External Graphics Docking Station

One of the last things we had a chance to see was an external graphics docking station named ROG XG2. This neat device is intended to boost up your the graphics power of your laptop by using the GPU inside of this device, instead of the typically weaker ones inside of most laptops. The dock will support any card, NVIDIA or AMD based. As you can see from the images, it will fit a large card as well as the ROG Matrix 980 Ti manages to fit inside. This will also charge your laptop when it is docked.

ROG XG2 External Graphics Docking Station

ROG XG2 External Graphics Docking Station

XG2 Open - Left

XG2 Open – Left

XG2 Open - Right

XG2 Open – Right

Also on display was the Z170 Premium motherboard, intended to slide in above the Deluxe in the product stack, as well as a slightly different version of the venerable Z170 Sabertooth Mark 1, named the Z170S Sabertooth. The big differences, outside of the lack of armor, is the camouflage theme. We should see these on the market shortly as well.

ASUS Z170 Premium

ASUS Z170 Premium

ASUS Z170S Sabertooth

ASUS Z170S Sabertooth

We have a couple more partners to cover, keep an eye on the front page!

Joe Shields (Earthdog)

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Discussion
  1. I would really like to see a write up on that GPU docking station. Historically the drop in performance has been hard to swallow for the price.

    So nice shiny things in there for the wish list though.