As we saw with the previous CPUz result, the Apex makes reaching 5GHz childsplay. Actually, there is a video on Youtube which shows a young child doing this overclock, come to think of it. Our need for the board directly relates to Intel Optane Technology but there is also something rather unique in the way the SSD is incorporated as well.
If you look at the Asus Z270 Rog Maximus IX Apex closely to the right of the HyperX Memory, you will see what appears to be an additional DIMM slot. This slot is used strictly for the motherboards dual SSD adapter and connects the M.2 SSDs directly to the CPU, rather than having to switch PCIe lanes on or off as was necessary with our last system build.
Asus has placed a small metal bar, labeled DIMM.2, near the top to keep us from making the mistake of trying to fit a memory module in, thus damaging the memory.
Although we could not identify any performance increase whatsoever in the SSD, this setup assists cooling of the M.2 SSD through, not only placement with respect to active cooling flow within the system, but also, through add on fans such as the Corsair Airflow Platinum LED fan. This fan fits perfectly over top of the DIMM.2 SSD adapter and memory.
The ASUS Rog Maximus IX Apex also has great LED lighting, on board AC WiFi, USB 3.1, and comes in at a great price.
Next up, we have the Intel Kaby Lake I7-7700K Quad Core LGA 1151 CPU which has a base clock of 4.2GHz, with Turbo frequency of 4.5GHz.
Intel has surely stepped up with speed of the I7-7700K, but even more impressive was our ability to overclock this retail chip to 5GHz with only 2 changes in CPU settings. Granted, the temperature peaks in this Intel Xtreme Tuning result are a bit high, but the sheer fact that we were able to get the test to complete at 5GHz on the first attempt, without further adjusting of our system, was incredible.
Now that is impressive… The Intel I7-7700K CPU runs for $339 at Amazon.