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Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex: For Serious Overclockers

Designed for Overclocking, but also a well-rounded performer

Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex
(Image: © Asus)


Asus has several applications designed for various functions, ranging from RGB lighting control, audio, system monitoring, overclocking and more. Instead of plodding through each application as if it changes for each review, moving forward, we’ll capture several screenshots of a few major utilities. In this case, here’s a look at Ai Suite 3, Armory Crate, and the Realtek Audio application.


Like the software section above, we’ve shortened the Firmware section as well. Instead of describing each section, we’ve gathered screenshots covering the vast majority of the bios screens. If there is anything of interest, we’ll make a note of it.

I’ve been a longtime fan of the Asus UEFIs as they are easy to get around, have a lot of options, and the most frequently accessed items are not buried deep within the menus. The BIOS is high-contrast and easy to read, too. The EZ Mode provides enough information and options to be useful, while the Advanced part of the BIOS has everything you need, and more, to tweak your motherboard.

Worth noting on these Asus boards: On the first boot or after a CPU change, a prompt asks you to choose or avoid Intel specifications by pressing F1, which locks the BIOS down to Intel specifications (for power limit, etc.). The other option, F3, loosens up the stock limits, allowing the CPU to stretch its legs. We use the F3 option to match other board partners who by in large do not conform to the Intel specifications by default.

Test System

Our test system uses Windows 10 64-bit OS (1909) with all threat mitigations applied. The motherboard BIOS used is the latest non-beta available to the public, unless otherwise noted. The hardware used is as follows:

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 10Version 2.1.2177 64
Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, MS Office
3DMarkVersion 2.11.6866 64
Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R20Version RBBENCHMARK271150
Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 19.00
Integrated benchmark
Game Tests and Settings
The Division 2Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080
Forza Horizon 4Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080

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Joe Shields
Joe Shields

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.

  • digitalgriffin
    Nice board in terms of features and a decent review. Odd amount of memory banks though.

    One minor error in your article (no biggie)
    USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A (10 Gbps)

    Gen 1 is 5 Gbps, not 10.