ASUS Maximus VII Impact In The Box

Being part of the ROG brand, ASUS usually attempts to bolster the experience with a number of extra goodies in the box. With the Impact being filled with daughter boards, some detachable, these become the bulk of the extras. To that reason, we get the mPCIe Combo IV add on card with 802.11ac 2T2R dual band WiFi, the SupremeFX II sound add-in board and the CoolHub with two extra fan controllers off the bat. Added to this is a set of WiFi antenna, the driver disks, manuals, a set of stickers for easy cable labeling, the rear IO shield, four SATA cables and an extension cable for the front panel.

ASUS Maximus VII Impact Overclocking

Experience with ASUS Maximus VII Impact

ASUS’ main auto overclocking feature with the Impact for 24/7 use is the software via 5-Way Optimization in AI Suite 3. For those that are a little more adventurous, the BIOS offers a Gaming OC in the presets which implements a 47/46/45/44 multiplier based on 1-4 core loading. There is also the CPU Level Up options from 4.2 GHz to 4.6 GHz, ensuring that even some of the worst Haswell CPUs can at least aim for a reasonable speed enhancement.

On the manual overclock side, ASUS’ range of overclock options is practically insane. Unless you are a full time overclocking professional, or actually work on motherboard design, chances are slim that all the options make sense. But ultimately the high end overclocking market is where these boards are aimed at, so options for these users should be there. One could argue their relevance when LN2 mode is disabled, however.


Our standard overclocking methodology is as follows. We select the automatic overclock options and test for stability with PovRay and OCCT to simulate high-end workloads. These stability tests aim to catch any immediate causes for memory or CPU errors.

For manual overclocks, based on the information gathered from previous testing, starts off at a nominal voltage and CPU multiplier, and the multiplier is increased until the stability tests are failed. The CPU voltage is increased gradually until the stability tests are passed, and the process repeated until the motherboard reduces the multiplier automatically (due to safety protocol) or the CPU temperature reaches a stupidly high level (100ºC+). Our test bed is not in a case, which should push overclocks higher with fresher (cooler) air.


One thing I did notice when overclocking was the lowest possible voltage I could manually apply was only 1.05 volts. Typically I start at 1.000 volts and work up, but this was not possible here.

Software 2014 Test Setup and System Benchmarks
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  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    looks like a very nice motherboard, if a tad expensive. especially the fan control with custom fan curves...wish my p8-z77 pro had that. wonder why 1.05 volt is the lowest voltage available?
  • ME5H - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    Man these boards are nice! Im pretty sure my next build will be a itx or atx, but for now my 2600k @ 4.8/GTX 780 can handle everything I throw at it. I was this close to buying a used Maximus for my 2600k but didnt trust them coming from Hong Kong :/ Thanks for the review. Peace
  • varg14 - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    I am in the same boat with my CPU I have falling in love with going on 4 years old. A good ole Sandy Bridge i7 2600k @ 4.9ghz on a p67-ud4-b3 MB with 2 EVGA GTX 770 4GB Classifieds in SLI I do not see a CPU upgrade coming until PCI-E 2.0 @8X start limiting GPU performance at high res and settings. As of now you only see a real difference between 3.0 and 2.0 at low res with low settings.
  • Morawka - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    the real hero are the millions of i7 920's still in circulation. You can get one on ebay for like $75. Quad core with HT ftw
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    CPUs for P55 still run nicely too (cheaper than X58 CPUs, less power, easier to oc). I recently
    tested an i5 760 @ 4.2GHz with single/dual 7970 3GB, it was easily able to match or beat a
    5GHz 2700K with a single GTX 980. I can't post the URL here, but Google for, "SGI Ian pc
    benchmarks". I tested with Stalker COP, CoJ, FC2, all the Unigine tests, and the 3DMark suites.

    Only down side of Lynnfield CPUs is that P55 mbds have become highly valued for some
    bizarre reason.

    Best used value atm though is a Z68 board and a 2500K, as the mbds go for diddly.

  • Samus - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    True the i7-920 (even the 950) are cheap, but a decent X58 board still sells for $200. I know because I just sold my Asus P6X Deluxe for that much on eBay. It's ridiculous how much these boards command, but I kind of get it, they're ridiculously good. I feel my H87's stability pales in comparison...but I wanted to do an ITX rig so the negligible performance increase and PCIe 3.0 weren't really the selling factors over X58.
  • mooninite - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    This review is a little late. The board has been for sale for a couple months now. There is one issue I've had with my board and it's with Turbo settings. The default core ratio settings are to sync all cores. This will bring your CPU outside of its rated spec and in the case of a i7 4790k it will cause your CPU to overheat and throttle at extreme loads. At first I thought I had a defective CPU, but after investigation the board is maxing out at 4.4ghz with 4 cores instead of 4.2ghz. With the correct settings my CPU does not throttle and stays within thermal limits. With an aftermarket cooler I can run at 4.4ghz on all cores, but just barely.

    This Turbo / stock CPU cooler issue should be a good topic for Anandtech to investigate. It seems many (all?) motherboards have wrong defaults for this and stock coolers cannot do the job.
  • varg14 - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    Really overheats on stock voltage? What Cooler you using ? Also have you tried undervolting a tiny bit?
  • Zap - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    This board (along with many other "enthusiast" boards) overclocks the CPU by default through "multicore enhancement." It has been around for a few years, and AnandTech even had an article about it.
  • mooninite - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    No, I specifically said *default* settings. Not with XMP. Not with Multi-core-enhancement. ASUS, Gigabyte, and others are, by default, syncing ratios on all cores.

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