When ASUS was about to announce the Maximus Formula we thought OK, here comes another $500 'Special Edition' product that very few gamers will be willing to get their hands on. After all, the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe WiFi-AP@n costs $350 and it's just a typical high-end motherboard sporting the X38 chipset. Instead we were surprised to find the Maximus Formula retailing for $260, which by todays standards is reasonable for a high-end gaming motherboard.
As we have mentioned throughout the review, the Maximus Formula includes a vast amount of features. Unlike a few years ago, today we are starting to find performance among motherboards less of a concern as we can already assume similar performance and stability among models - and even brands - running under the same platform. In the other hand, specific features targeted at specific crowds like gamers or overclockers can become prevalent and even more relevant than price.
With an increasing number of users turning to water-cooling not only for overclocking but for running near-silent systems, the Fusion Block System is something that will come handy to have from scratch.
The Maximus Formula is an affordable high-end motherboard geared towards gaming. This was made evident not only because of the price but also because of the DDR2 memory support. This translates into cheaper upgrades without getting stung by excessively high memory prices that DDR3 currently presents. This also means you can load up the Maximus Formula with 4GB of quality DDR2 memory for as little as $300.
In our opinion it's the consumer that wins when big motherboard makers like ASUS can afford to offer such a diverse range of products (more than six models using the new X38 chipset already). In fact, there are three versions of the Maximus Formula and those that see the inclusion of DDR2 memory as a disadvantage can always go with the Maximus Extreme, which exclusively supports DDR3 memory.
When focusing on the value of the Maximus Formula and the features it offers, we believe this to be one of the best LGA775 motherboards yet released no matter whether you are building a system from scratch or upgrading to the Core 2 platform.