Getting started with the Maximus VII IMPACT

Since the Intel Z87 chipset days when you wanted a mini-ITX solution with all the power of a full ATX board and excellent overclocking or gaming performance the Maximus Impact have been hands down the board of choice. Having tested the Impacts built on the Intel Z87 and z97 chipset and recently finding great joy in overclocking DDR4 memory to the max I was very excited to get my hands on the latest revision the Maximux VIII Impact. Built using Intels Z170 chipset supporting the latest Intel 6th generation core i7 processors.

The Maximus VIII Impact key points:

  • LGA1151 socket for 6th-gen Intel® Core™ desktop processors.
  • Dual DDR4 4133(OC) support.
  • Best gaming performance – Impact Power III, 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning, Pro Clock, second-generation T-Topology
  • Best gaming audio – champion-level SupremeFX Impact III audio card with intuitive Sonic Studio II.
  • Best gaming networking – Best-in-class Intel® Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard and GameFirst technologies.
  • Best gaming connectivity —2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO , NVMe U.2 and USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C for extreme-speed transfers and total compatibility.
  • Best gaming protection – Carefully-selected premium components for maximum durability.

For the full spec and functionality of the board I highly recommend you visit the official ASUS Maximus VIII website

Time to prep the board and give it a little protection for the extreme cold and harsh conditions it will experience through its journey with me. I am a big fan of the Vaseline and armor-flex method and here is my work log.

  1. The first step is to remove the Audio and wifi cards. Both are held in place by two screws under the board. using a small Philips head screw driver to remove the screws they are easy to remove.
    IMG_1013Under the Sound card you will find the voltage read points. I recommend soldering a wire to each point enabling easier access when you need them (not done in the picture)
  2. Next step is to remove the stock heat spreaders. The heat spreader on the Impact Power III board is held together by two screws. On the back plate there is a single thermal pad on the right hand side.  a long thermal pad the full length of the VRM can be found on the front plate. The grip of the thermal pad is very good and to looses with out damaging (it after removing the screws) I found the easy method is to gently insert a small object in the gap and gently lift it away from the board. Please Be careful not to damage the board or thermal pad.
    To remove the chipset heat spreader just removing the two screws securing it in place under the board and lift gently.IMG_1019
  3. Next is to mask off the memory slots and other slots that need to be protected from the Vaseline. This step is probably one of the most important steps as getting Vaseline in unwanted area’s can really cause issues with components making good contact.IMG_1020
  4. Once happy with the masked off area’s its time to apply the Vaseline and no reason to not be shy, really get it everywhere.IMG_1023
  5. To apply in a nice thick layer I use a paint brush with the bristles cut a little shorter.IMG_1022
  6. Next I take a piece of 10 mm thick armor-flex and cut it roughly to size of the CPU socket area IMG_1028
  7.  systematically pressing down marking the armor-flex it is “easy” to get a basic outline from the Vaseline and trim it to make a snug fit around the components.IMG_1029
  8. The end product with a bit of paper towel in between the memory slots to catch any condensation.IMG_1030
  9. The last step before we are ready is to use a hair dryer or heat gut to heat up the Vaseline helping it to reach those hard to reach spots. make double sure that you have reached the tricky bits where the meory slots and power board meet! IMG_1025

All finished and the Maximus VIII impact is ready cope with the extreme conditions it will need to endure in the coming weeks when we push some awesome scores in both 3D and 2D benchmarks.

until next time, Happy benching


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