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Introduction

The ASUS MAXIMUS VIII RANGER is a mid-range SOCKET LGA1151 motherboard based on the Intel Z170 chipset, supporting the sixth generation Core i “Skylake” processors. It brings high-end audio interface, three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, six SATA-600 ports (allowing two SATA Express connections), six USB 3.0 ports, and two USB 3.1 ports, one of them Type C. Let’s take a good look at it!

The new Intel Z170 chipset was launched with the LGA1151 socket, targeted to the sixth generation Core i “Skylake” CPUs. The main difference between LGA1151 and LGA1150 platforms is the compatibility with DDR4 memories.

The Z170 chipset is the first model to be launched on the new 100-series and it is also the higher-end chipset of this family. The main differences between the Z170 and its predecessor, the Z97, are the DMI 3.0 bus to communicate with the processor (it offers twice the bandwidth, that goes from 2 GB/s per direction to 4 GB/s), the presence of ten USB 3.0 ports (against six on the Z97), and the support to 20 PCI Express 2.0 lanes controlled by the chipset (Z97 has only eight PCI Express 2.0 lanes.)

Like the Z97, the Z170 supports six SATA-600 ports, Smart Response (installing an SSD as a cache for the main hard drive), Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while in sleep mode), and Rapid Start (faster boot times) technologies.

You can see the ASUS MAXIMUS VIII RANGER motherboard in Figure 1. It uses the ATX form factor, measuring 12” x 9.6” (305 x 244 mm).

ASUS MAXIMUS VIIIFigure 1: ASUS MAXIMUS VIII RANGER motherboard

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Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.