A feature rich package for Ivy Bridge.
When it comes to enthusiast motherboards, you’d be hard pressed to find any series as popular or as feature filled as ASUS’ Republic of Gamers. If you pick up an ROG motherboard, rest assured that you’ll be getting the highest-end components and a plethora of accessories packed inside the big red box. Today I’ll be looking at the Maximus V Formula/ ThunderFX motherboard, and true to heritage, there’s tons of stuff packed inside the box, besides an incredible motherboard.
The first thing you’ll notice once you open up the flaps on the box is the Diablo III branded mousepad inside. This isn’t just some random mousepad with Diablo III printed on top either, but the Steelseries QcK mini Diablo III surface. The rubber base sticks well to any table top, and the cloth surface is exceptionally well designed for my Razer Naga mouse to literally glide on it.
Once you open the box completely you’re greeted with a plethora of accessories. Apart from the manuals and driver CD, we have the rear I/O panel, a sticker sheet to label all the myriad cables inside your case, an ROG logo badge and door placard.
Following on we see the Q-Connector pins, ROG Connect cable, an SLI bridge and 6x SATA cables. You’ll notice two WiFi antennae and two cables to connect the antennae to the Bluetooth & WiFi module.
Last but not least is the ThunderFX external soundcard which comes with a 3.5mm connector cable and as well as USB cable to hook it up to the motherboard. One of the cool things about the ThunderFX soundcard is that it can accept input from the Xbox 360, including the mic input as well. In turn you can hook up a pair of really powerful headphones because the ThunderFX card has amplification up to 300 ohms. Another cool feature is the built-in hardware level audio preset (three in total) customized for different environments.
In my opinion the onboard SupremeFX soundcard on the Maximus V Formula is more the enough to handle every situation for your current headphones. The only way I can see someone using the ThunderFX is if they have a really powerful set of headphones that would require an amplifier anyways, or if you play your Xbox 360 (or PS3) on your PC monitor anyways, and would like to consolidate all the cables and connectivity options in one place.