Low Orbit Flux Logo 2 F


Third Party Review

Author: Catherine Dempsey

The Maximus XIII Apex, one of four in the Maximus XIII series, was built for overclocking enthusiasts. The Apex includes the Overclocker’s Toolkit, which offers hardware controls to help with overclocking. There are four QLEDs to visually display the current boot status. There is LN2 mode with a jumper to enable liquid nitrogen overclocking options. A Safe-boot button can instantly reset the PC and boot straight into Safe mode. A ReTry button initiates a hard reset with a single button push. The Slow Mode Switch reduces the CPU ratio instantly to keep the system stable during setup and preparation for overclocking. A Pause Switch can pause the system for any adjustments that need to be made mid-benchmark. A Probelt offers nine integrated measurement points to aid tuning the system. A BIOS switch lets users easily switch between BIOS 1 and 2. Finally, a Full Speed Mode Switch instantly sets all fans to maximum RPM. In addition to the Toolkit, the Apex also offers condensation detection to prevent short circuiting. ASUS OptiMem III’s proprietary memory trace layout improves signal integrity, and lets memory kits run at lower latencies and voltages even while operating at high frequencies. This motherboard uses Teamed Power Architecture, which allows it to switch from deep power saving mode to a full load nearly instantly, without a drastic thermal swing.

As the XIII Apex was made for overclocking, thermal design and cooling is a big part of what makes this motherboard stand out. A large extended VRM heatsink is mounted on the MOSFETs and chokes, and is connected to a heatpipe and aluminum cover, whose wide surface area dissipates heat. Other heatsinks are present on the M.2 drives and chipset. A high conductivity thermal pad and U-shaped heatpipe further absorb and redistribute heat to keep everything running at a safe temperature. There is a wide array of headers so that more cooling options can be added on. Each of these headers can monitor and react to up to three thermal sensors, so you can cool as much as you need for your current workload, instead of wasting power being on full blast when not necessary. These sensors are compatible with the included UEFI BIOS. All onboard headers are set to automatically detect PWM or DC fans, there are three chassis fan headers, and two full speed fan headers for use during extreme tasks like overclocking. A dedicated AIO pump is ready to support a self contained water cooling system as well. To help manage all of these cooling options, AI Cooling is included in the AI Suite, which can help manage as much or as little of the cooling options as you would like.

Between all the hardware and software benefits, users interested in overclocking will find no lack of options with this motherboard. The AI Suite and other included software makes it a good option for the beginning overclocker, who may want to use AI assistance to get their feet wet and learn hands-on without damaging their computer. However, there is still just as many options for fine tuning veterans who want to tweak their rig by hand to reach record breaking levels.