Builders, the latest Asus motherboards have small changes that'll make you happy

A clever M.2 cooling scheme and an integrated water block highlight the mobo class of 2017.

The latest motherboards from Asus make some small changes that really matter. For instance, you’ll finally get an internal header connector for USB 3.1, so you can put USB-C ports on front of your desktop PC. Of course, you’ll also need new case that supports this connector.

The Maximus 9 Apex board has a special daughtercard that lets you slide two M.2 cards into a DIMM slot. This isn’t to put them closer to the CPU for higher bandwidth, but farther away from the graphics cards so they don’t get too hot.

Then there’s the Maximus 9 Extreme, which comes with its own custom water block and a little warning device in case water drips from your loops—and the device warns you on an app for your phone! For your convenience, it has illuminated, color-coded audio jacks to glow. Here’s the most subtle, but important change: Asus is getting on the front-panel power button bandwagon, so you don’t have to guess where they put it anymore. It all adds up to small changes that will make happier builders.

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Gordon Mah Ung

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