The ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex Review: X Marks the Spot, Literally

The ASUS ROG Apex line of boards have always been known for its focus on overclocking as well as unique design implementations like the “X” shaped board and the unique ‘DIMM.2’ slot – a DRAM-like slot for a bundled add-in card that can be used for two additional M.2 modules on a PCIe 3.0 x8 link. The Z370 ROG Maximus X Apex sticks with its pedigree and even adds a 5G network port to a long feature list.

Straight off the bat, it is hard to ignore that the Apex is not a rectangular motherboard. ASUS has cut the Apex into a more esoteric shape, almost like an X, to differentiate itself from other products on the market. It is a little odd, given generations of rectangles, although it is worth noting that motherboards do not have to be rectangles at all – as long as it fits in the standard, go crazy. The Apex fits the standard, requiring an E-ATX chassis, and the extra PCB area is used extensively for features.

The Maximus X Apex, by both pricing and feature set, places it in the high-end enthusiast segment for the Z370 platform. The Apex includes a lot of features focused on overclocking but is well rounded enough to do anything from gaming to workstation level activities. An example of the overclocking pedigree is in the upper right-hand corner, where there are several buttons, switches, and voltage read points that are all dedicated overclocking features to make extreme competitive overclocking easier.

To that end, the board uses two DRAM slots rather than the four we would normally expect to see on full-size, premium cost motherboards. ASUS mentions this was done to have better trace routing and helps with higher memory speed support, but also gives room for features such as DIMM.2, as shown below. The Apex also includes an Aquantia AQC108 5G LAN port for faster network connectivity and also has a bright RGB LED implementation. The ROG Maximus X Apex is a board aimed at users who want all of the performance out of this platform while not falling short most anywhere else.

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