One of the very few X38 boards to feature solely DDR2 slots, Asus' Maximus is otherwise fully tricked out in the standards of its Republic of Gamers brand.

That means more rear connections than anyone else, water-cooling-compatible northbridge sinks, all available BIOS options open, a rear switch for clearing the CMOS and micro-switches for power and reset buttons, so you can tinker before putting the front panel connectors on.

Pricey choice

It's an impressive list, and the Maximus comes close to the top of the table in performance.

The problem is that it leads everyone else by price. It's a finely engineered board, but we couldn't realistically find a difference in overclocking performance between this and some of its rivals.

As much as we like that rear CMOS clear, it's not enough to win the test.