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Asus Bundles 10 GbE With ROG Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly

The ROG brand sports the newest features, highest build quality and the best accessory packages in the Asus line up. The new Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly announced this month lives up to the name. This model is the first desktop motherboard to ship with 10 gigabit Ethernet, a high-end feature previously reserved for server- and workstation-class motherboards.

The Asus Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly is the most feature-rich desktop motherboard to date. The board uses Intel's flagship Z170 desktop chipset as the foundation and adds premium features for users looking for a luxury experience. The Assembly version differs from the standard Maximus VIII Extreme in a couple of ways: This version uses a new Plasma Copper color scheme and includes two hardware accessories to round out the package.

The first accessory extends the audio capabilities of the system by including a 5.25-inch (optical bay) headphone amplifier. The same ESS ES9018K2M DAC is on the Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly, just like the base model. The audio resolution is very desirable and extends all the way to 32-bit / 348 kHz, the same resolution you will find in a modern recording studio, with DSD128 (Direct Stream Digital) playback capability. The new headphone amplifier takes the high resolution audio and amplifies it to over 6 Vrms  to drive high-end 600 Ohm headphones.

The Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly was unveiled at IFA last September, but the 10G Express add-in-card wasn't part of the initial display. The retail model brings this powerful capability down to home users. Ten gigabit delivers roughly 1000 MB/s of sequential transfer performance to your network. Over the last two years, switches have come down in price to reasonable levels. Netgear offers an 8-port 10GBase-T unmanaged model for less than $800. Thecus, QNAP and other NAS manufacturers now have low-cost models that ship with 10GBase-T installed from the factory for less than $900 to target the other end of the pipe.

"We're excited to work with the industry-leading gaming brand ROG to include our 10G Express expansion card, providing supreme-speed, lag-free online gaming experiences for ROG gamers. ROG is the first gaming brand committed to providing high-performance, low-power and great-value multi-gigabit networking and future-proof standards, expanding the potential and appeal of its elite gaming gear," said Nir Sever, Chief Operating Office, Tehuti Networks.

The technology has come down in price over the last two years, and over the next two years we'll see more adoption. The Asus Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly is just the first desktop to ship with the technology, but we expect to see more motherboards incorporate high-bandwidth network solutions at CES. Asus' 10G Express uses a Tehuti Networks controller, but we haven't isolated the specific model. Unlike many older 10 GbE products that need a lot of power, Tehuti Networks has models that consume less than 4 watts of power.

At this time we don't have an MSRP for the Asus Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly, but the base model without the fancy accessory package already sells for $500. We expect the Assembly model to top that price.

Update, 11/16/15, 8:25am PT: Fixed typo.

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  • CaedenV
    10GbE cannot happen soon enough!
    Totally useless for an internet connection, but I could use more than a 1Gbps connection to my home server. This is long overdue for power users.
    Reply
  • thundervore
    This will go nice with the 1GbE switches and routers in homes as 10GbE switches and routers are not a common thing in a normal home environment. So essentially this motherboard 10GbE connection will be useless to anyone who useses it and does not have a 10GbE switch

    I was hoping the NETGEAR ProSAFE GSS108E was a 10GbE switch because its awesome
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    In before people cry about how useless this is.

    I would love to have a 10gbps link directly between my desktop and file server. I could use the 1gbps to go to my router. My raid array is crawling when limited to 100MB/s transfer speeds
    Reply
  • Dave K
    10Gbe is awesome for "low cost" storage networks... I think it's still too expensive for home use... but it's getting tantalizingly close. The pcie cards are now in the ballpark (a bit over a hundred bucks) but the switches need to get below $400 IMO before you'll start seeing consumer adoption.
    Reply
  • unixwizard
    All high end MB's should have 10GbE, or at least one model in each line. NAS's should also sport one of these.

    That said, you can get a Mellanox ConnectX-2 10Gb card for ~$55 (mine also included the SFP+ cable which is expensive on its own). This is a cheap way to get a point-to-point 10Gb connection for use between workstation and a file server. You don't need a switch to go between two machines, so you can avoid what is usually the biggest single expense in a 10Gb network. I am using these cards for a SAN and the bandwidth is much higher than on 1Gb, but even with these cards, and jumbo frames enabled, I only see around 3Gb/sec using SMB and a bit higher using iSCSI. On Windows 2012 R2, SMB(3.02) has absolutely terrible actual performance compared to iSCSI though, and this matters when using things like PLEX media server, which transcodes and stores chunks of video to stream while also pulling the full source data over the same link, meaning a single HD stream can use up to 150Mb/s of bandwidth to/from your SAN.

    Lastly, something to be aware of that matters with 10Gb is that the interrupt processing can be detrimental to attaining high throughput. With SMB(3) on Win2012, the use of RDMA can help dramatically with this, but the X-2 cards don't (officially)support RDMA. They do have interrupt coalescing and several settings to adjust but you can't keep up with data flow unless you have a decent CPU to go with it. I'd recommend no less than a 3Ghz quad core chip on anything with 10Gb, and don't forget you need a PCI 2.0 x8 slot to put it in. If you arent running on a platform like X99 with a 5960, you can run short of PCI lanes once you have RAID controller(s) and possibly a video card in play.
    Reply
  • DrakeFS
    Until home networking equipment starts showing up with 10GbE ports, the use case for this is extremely limited. And yes, I really want to get 10GbE SOHO network built but it is not financially feasible at this time.
    Reply
  • atheus
    10Gbe is awesome for "low cost" storage networks... I think it's still too expensive for home use... but it's getting tantalizingly close. The pcie cards are now in the ballpark (a bit over a hundred bucks) but the switches need to get below $400 IMO before you'll start seeing consumer adoption.
    You're talking about a motherboard that's 3-6x as expensive as other similar products. This is not for "consumers", nor is it for "enthusiasts". It's for what I would call "fanatics". I see no problems here.
    Reply
  • hurnii
    Typo alert: "6 VRMs" should probably be "6 Vrms" (Volts, root-mean square)
    Reply
  • floppyedonkey
    This will go nice with the 1GbE switches and routers in homes as 10GbE switches and routers are not a common thing in a normal home environment. So essentially this motherboard 10GbE connection will be useless to anyone who useses it and does not have a 10GbE switch

    I was hoping the NETGEAR ProSAFE GSS108E was a 10GbE switch because its awesome
    This will go nice with the 1GbE switches and routers in homes as 10GbE switches and routers are not a common thing in a normal home environment. So essentially this motherboard 10GbE connection will be useless to anyone who useses it and does not have a 10GbE switch

    I was hoping the NETGEAR ProSAFE GSS108E was a 10GbE switch because its awesome
    This will go nice with the 1GbE switches and routers in homes as 10GbE switches and routers are not a common thing in a normal home environment. So essentially this motherboard 10GbE connection will be useless to anyone who useses it and does not have a 10GbE switch

    I was hoping the NETGEAR ProSAFE GSS108E was a 10GbE switch because its awesome

    Hate to see your answer to which came first the chicken or the egg. Exact same thing here.
    Reply
  • albinofunzo123
    10Gbe is awesome for "low cost" storage networks... I think it's still too expensive for home use... but it's getting tantalizingly close. The pcie cards are now in the ballpark (a bit over a hundred bucks) but the switches need to get below $400 IMO before you'll start seeing consumer adoption.
    You're talking about a motherboard that's 3-6x as expensive as other similar products. This is not for "consumers", nor is it for "enthusiasts". It's for what I would call "fanatics". I see no problems here.

    This is exactly right. People shouldn't be complaining about something that not a whole lot of people are going to buy anyway, mainly because they have no use/can't use it.
    Reply