With the Intel Z68 chipset offering the combined performance of the P67 and H67 chipsets and more, the popular P67 infused Maximus IV Extreme was given a slight makeover to take advantage of the new Z68 chipset: here comes the Extreme-Z.
As you can see the front of the box is essentially the same as the original Maximus IV Extreme, with the exception of the aforementioned “Z” suffix and an additional little Lucid Virtu logo along the bottom.
Opening up the box, we have the motherboard in one box and the accessories in the other. All the usuals from the accessories are there: User manual and driver disc, SATA cables and stickers for identifying them, CrossFireX/SLI/3-Way SLI links, ROG ProbeIt connectors, ROG Bluetooth connector, ROG sticker, ROG USB cable, rear USB panel and of course the handy zip ties for clean cable management.
Moving on to the board, the M4E-Z is nearly identical when next to its brother, with the only real visually distinguishing difference again being the “Z” after Extreme stamped on the motherboard. Underneath though, the real difference lies is in the Z68 chipset that’s nestled underneath the heatsink and a reworked PCB to accommodate the new availability of processor graphics, Lucid Virtu and Intel Quick Sync Video. You can read more about the specifics of the update over on the ROG blog.
The previous M4E featured the P67 chipset, which provided overclocking capabilities to Intel’s second generation Core CPUs, but couldn’t take advantage of the processor graphics that were also on board. The H67 chipset on the other hand could take advantage of those graphics, but it was completely unable to overclock – so it was obviously not a valid ROG part! Enter then the Z68.
Taking the overclocking prowess of the P67 chipset and combining it with the ability to access the second generation Core CPU’s processor graphics of the H67 chipset, then mix in some new SSD caching features has yielded the new Z68 chipset. Naturally all these cutting edge features meant a refreshed and tweaked Maximus IV Extreme was inevitable.
Overclocking the CPU has always been the main focus for getting maximum performance in systems, with the GPU a close second. On top of the GPU.DIMM Post that was introduced with UEFI on the Maximus IV Extreme, the ROG team has gone one further and has introduced the new Mem TweakIt; a nifty new feature that gives you access to change the timing settings for the memory from within the OS. This gives hardcore overclockers more real-time control of their system than ever before.
Let us know if you’re interested in the Maximus IV Extreme-Z in the comments below, or head on over to the ROG Facebook page and let the ROG guys know there.