Performance

For testing, I have been saying for years that motherboard benchmarks don’t hold much weight because you are still using the same CPU, memory, and GPU and those are what play big roles in how fast your PC is. But I do run a few tests just to make sure everything is running the way it should and it also lets us see what the system can do. In this case, it is the i9-10900K and an RTX 2080 which is a potent combination. While I test with MCE turned off, we can also get a look to see if any of the boards are going significantly beyond the “standard specs”. The Maximus XII Extreme did step out ahead of the other two boards in 3DMark Fire Strike on the overall score but it was right with the MSI on the CPU dependent physics score with the Aorus board, on the other hand, sticking out like a sore thumb showing they are running a little hot even without MCE. Time spy was similar but PCMark 10 had all three boards in the same range. Passmark on the other hand again had the Aorus sticking out with the other boards right together. The in game tests didn’t have as much of an issue, the Extreme did well.

So I set out to test the one aspect that does have some variation, network performance. For this one, I tested a few different ways. I tested the WiFi of course which given all three boards have the same controller it shows how good or bad the antenna performed which in this case the Asus antenna could use some improvement. I also tested the wired networks and with more than one NIC I did test both the 10G Aquantia NIC and the Intel 2.5G. I also did something a little unusual and tested them on a 1G network because this is our main network and this is also how most users will be using 2.5G and 10G until they are available more in home routers and switches are cheaper. The Maximus XII Extreme was a hair lower than the two other boards but not enough to be a concern. I also finally setup a basic way to test the higher speeds going PC to PC without a switch until we get one in for future testing. The Aquantia 10G was right up there at 9488 Mb/s and the Intel NIC wasn’t far from 2.5G with 2375 Mb/s as well.

3DMark – Fire Strike

Motherboard

Overall Score

Graphics Score

Physics Score

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

20727

23120

29879

Z490 Aorus Master

20396

22915

31001

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

21168

23177

29574

3DMark – Time Spy

Motherboard

Overall Score

Graphics Score

CPU Score

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

11179

10907

13021

Z490 Aorus Master

11142

10807

13524

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

11175

10874

13261

PCMark 10 Score

Motherboard

Overall Score

Essentials

Productivity

Content Creation

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

8041

11286

9964

12548

Z490 Aorus Master

7878

11298

9342

12570

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

7978

11169

9894

12471

Passmark PerformanceTest 10.0 - Overall Score

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

8981.5

Z490 Aorus Master

9129.2

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

8921.1

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands – High Detail - Average FPS

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

114.24

Z490 Aorus Master

113.15

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

113.98

Shadow of the Tomb Raider – High Detail - Average FPS

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

150

Z490 Aorus Master

148

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

149

Far Cry 5 – High Detail - Average FPS

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

147

Z490 Aorus Master

149

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

146

Average Network Speed- Wired on a 1G Network - Mbits/Sec

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi - Realtek RTL8125B

950.9

Z490 Aorus Master – I225-V

950.9

ROG Maximus XII Extreme – I225-V

949.4

ROG Maximus XII Extreme – Aquantia 10G

947.4

Average Network Speed – WiFi 6 - Mbits/Sec

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi – Intel AX201

616.5

Z490 Aorus Master – Intel AX201

811.7

ROG Maximus XII Extreme – Intel AX201

614.6

Average Network Speed – wired on 10G Network - Mbits/Sec

ROG Maximus XII Extreme – Intel AX201

2375

ROG Maximus XII Extreme – Aquantia 10G

9488

VRM Temperatures

On Heatsink

On VRM

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

131.1F

159.7F

Z490 Aorus Master

139.6F

161.1F

ROG Maximus XII Extreme

109.9F

113.7F

           


I did also run AIDA64’s FPU Stress Test long enough to get the VRMs nice and toasty and I then took a few thermal images. I wanted to see if there were any hotspots on the Maximus XII Extreme and at the same time to see how hot the VRM cooling was and how hot the area around the VRM in general was. What I found was that the triple heatsink design was working well. The overall temperatures were significantly lower than the other boards. You can also see how the heat does reach out to on the cover over the rear I/O which helps with cooling to a lesser extent as well. Beyond that, there weren’t any hot spots on the rest of the board.

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While I had a camera out I was also checking out all of the lighting on the board. RGB lighting for some is extremely important and for others, it is a waste of money. The Maximus XII Extreme does have more lighting than most other Asus boards although at first glance it isn’t all noticeable. The rear I/O cover has a hidden strip that lights up, as does the chipset cooler with a similar design. The chipset cooler also has the large ROG logo that lights up as well. The power and programable buttons both light up to make them easier to see and of course, you have the POST LED readout as well. But I was surprised by the full underglow that the Maximus XII Extreme has with addressable lighting around where the backplate is.

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Then there is of course that large Livedash OLED screen below the CPU and above the PCIe slots. You can see that while running it settled on showing us our CPU temperature but what it displays can be changed even as far as showing custom pictures and animations. For example, if you give your PC a name you could have it show here or your own username.

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