A feature rich package for Ivy Bridge.
Looking at the standard ATX sized board, the Maximus V Formula we see the typical ROG black and red color scheme across the board. There are 3x PCIe slots, some really chunky heatsinks and a lot of LEDs.
Starting from the CPU section on the top, we see the two huge heatsinks spread over the 8×4 VRM layout. The unique thing about these heatsinks, which ASUS calls ‘Fusion Thermo’ is that they have an integrated copper heatpipe within which allows for watercooling; notice the pipe input leads on either end of the heatsinks. The power delivery phases are also cooled by a small heatsink, with a pulsating ROG logo on top. On the right we see the 4x DIMM slots that allow up to 32GB of RAM, supporting speeds of DDR3 2800MHz while overclocked.
Moving to the left we see the rear I/O panel which has 4x USB 2.0 ports (white one is also for ROG Connect), 4x USB 3.0 ports, 1x eSATA ports, an HDMI and DisplayPort along with Optic out for audio. There are also 5x audio jacks with Optical input and a clear CMOS button near the top.
In between the ROG Connect and Clear CMOS buttons is a small space where you can plug in the aforementioned wireless and mSATA port. While it has an mSATA port for you to plug in any mSATA SSD (and use it with Intel SRT for creating a hybrid storage system with a traditional HDD), the module also has a Bluetooth v4.0 and WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n connection. This is a very interesting space saving combination where none of your USB or PCI slots are used up to hook an SSD and wireless modules.
Coming down we see the 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and 1x PCIe 2.0 slot. You’ll notice the SupremeFX chip surrounded by multiple capacitors as well as the EMI shielding and physical PCB separation denoted by the red LEDs around the circuitry.
Across the right you’ll see the massive heatsink covering the Z77 chipset, in front of which are the 6x SATA III (6gbps) ports and the 2x SATA II (3gbps) ports in black. Just to its right you’ll see the USB 3.0 header as well, although, sadly the Maximus V Formula with all of the extra accessories doesn’t come with USB 3.0 bracket.