The Intel Z590 Motherboard Overview: 50+ Motherboards Detailedby Gavin Bonshor on January 19, 2021 10:15 AM EST
ASUS has prepared an impressive line up of Z590 models. Starting with the flagships, ASUS has two prepared two new Extreme models, the ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial and ROG Maximus XIII Extreme.
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Extreme & Extreme Glacial
Both of these share the same core feature set with an advertised large 20-phase power delivery (18+2) with impressive 100 A teamed power stages. Interestingly, the Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial looks to include a centrally located screen, which could be customizable, but ASUS hasn't provided us any details at time of writing.
The biggest difference between both models is that the ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial includes a large monoblock developed between ASUS and EK. This provides coverage of the CPU socket, power delivery, and chipset for liquid-cooled systems. ASUS includes integrated RGB LED lighting across both models, which can be found within the window of the monoblock and chipset area on the Extreme Glacial. On the Extreme, it is integrated into the rear panel cover and chipset heatsink of the Extreme, with both boards benefiting from a strip on the underside of the PCB at the right-hand side.
Both models include two full-length PCIe 4.0 slots that operate at x16 and x8/x8, with a half-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. The PCIe 3.0 x4 slot is located at the top of the PCIe slot area on the Extreme Glacial, while it's the second slot on the non-monoblock version. Storage consists of three M.2 slots with all of them operating at PCIe 4.0 x4, although two of these revert to PCIe 3.0 x4 with Comet Lake processors and the third completely disabled without an 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPU installed. The ROG Maximus XIII Extreme and Glacial version includes six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays, with four memory slots that can accommodate up to 128 GB of DDR4-5333 memory.
Included with both models is a new ROG Clavis USB Type-C DAC, with four ESS audio converters for variable spectral audio ranges. ASUS states that this ensures the highest levels of SnR with low distortion, with isolation shielding to ensure minimal interference.
On the rear panel of both boards, the only difference is in the color of the pre-attached rear I/O shield, white on the Glacial, and black on the regular Extreme model. ASUS has a stacked USB configuration, including two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C and eight USB 3.2 G2 Type-A ports. Networking capabilities include a Marvell AQtion AQC113CS 10 GbE controller, with a second Intel I225-V 2.5 Gb Ethernet port. The board also includes an Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, with five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output powered by a SupremeFX ALC4082 and ESS Sabre ES9018Q2C DAC. To the far left of the panel are a clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback button pairing, with a single HDMI video output.
The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is set to cost a whopping $1843, which I believe is the most expensive desktop motherboard to exist outside of workstation and HEDT variations. Based on this, the target market is likely to be slim, and I don't expect ASUS to shift as many units as its other boards. It's incredibly high-end, but outside of adding an aftermarket CPU block, even at the upper end for $1000 to the ROG Maximus XIII Extreme ($1166), it's an insane price.